New to pools and salt - what could go wrong...

Opasan45

Member
Mar 7, 2021
20
Orlando, FL
Thankfully I found this forum, as stated my pool store has ripped me off for the last time.

Last year (first time pool owner) I fought algae all year long, even with weekly shocking. This year I said I'm going salt and dont care how long it takes to get the water just right. Well....guess after dropping a few hundred at the pool store was not the brightest idea.

The pool was a nice blue color before the salt. I got a SWG, let the chlorine from the tablets get as far down to zero as possible. We had about 1ppm before the switch. I installed the SWG and put in 4 bags of salt per the pool store. They told me to put all 4 bags in and keep the SWG on the middle setting (50%) on my unit (CircuPool SJ-40). The next day the pool was greenish, the second day it was greener and cloudy.

Back to the pool store I went - water was out of balance. FC of 10ppm, pH of 8, CYA of 80ppm, CH of 425ppm. They said to add in 4 cups of muratic acid and to turn off the chlorinator until the levels come down. Pool still green tint after that. They gave me some anti stain stuff for salt and poured the whole bottle in along with ClearRite. It cleared up the cloudyness over night. Pumps have been running for a week stright now.

All that to say this - pool still has a green hue to it, not as bad as it was before, cleaned the filters out twice so far and they were not bad, almost clean. No green stuff on them. If I turn on the water feature, agitation of the water causes foam (disipates quickly).

How do I get rid of this last green hue and the foam...I'm not going back to the pool store, test kit has been ory. Just don't know where to start...miss my blue water....

12,000 gallon pool, central florida.
 
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KurtinTUS

Silver Supporter
Jul 20, 2017
70
Tucson
Welcome to TFP! You have come to the right place! Experts will be weighing in shortly. Listen to them and don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,173
Tallahassee, FL
HI and welcome to TFP! I feel your pain as I did the exact same thing! I trusted the pool store and ruin my pool to the point I had to replace my liner :(

You are already on the right track by finding TFP and knowing there is a MUCH better way than the Pool $tore to care for your pool. The next good thing you did was getting a SWG! Well done! The next great thing you did was order a test kit...........which kit did you order?
Now lets start your learning how to care for a pool that will get and stay blue without breaking the bank!!!!

For now, while you are waiting on your test kit, I want you to find some liquid chlorine. The Pool $tore may sell it in refillable jugs or you can get it from Lowes or Home Depot BUT make sure to check the date code as chlorine loses it power over time.

Once you find the chlorine put about a gallon a day in to keep your pool from getting greener. Once you add the first gallon you can also run your SWG at 100% 24/7 to help keep chlorine in your pool until you get the test kit and can do a SLAM (what in the world is this???). Here is a link that talks about doing a SLAM : SLAM Process We do this to get a pool clear. Once the pool is clear we will move you to proper maintenance of a pool so you will never have to do this again.

Kim:kim:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,254
Bedford, TX
45,

What was your salt level before you added 4 bags of salt??? What is the salt level that your salt cell needs to operate?

4 bags of salt in a 12K pool will get you to about 1600 ppm, which is no were close to what I suspect your salt cell needs. What is your current salt level???

How long are you running your pump each day??

I am not even sure the green you have is algae, but once you get your test kit, the first thing you need to do is an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT).. Overnight Chlorine Loss Test

The results of the OCLT will tell us if you need to SLAM or not.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
616
Athens, GA - USA
They gave me some anti stain stuff for salt and poured the whole bottle in along with ClearRite.
Salt doesn't stain as long as it is food grade salt or it says 99.9% pure. Never use rock salt or road salt that could have iron (or other junk in it).

What was the clearrite? Do you still have the bottles of everything you have added? Can you post a pic?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,031
Evans, Georgia
Was someone advising you on how to go to SWG from the pucks? As previously mentioned, where did the decision on 4 bags of salt come from? Why did you let your FC drop down so low? Ideally you would have let the FC remain at normal levels and just turned on the SWG and let it *maintain* that FC level.

I wouldn't be surprised that your pool has a continuous low level algae growth going on and having let the FC drop to 1ppm let the algae take over.

We need to see you get prepared- a GOOD test kit (I recommend the TF-100 www.tftestkits.net ) and a list of results:
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
Salt level

Then you can perform a guided SLAM process to rid the pool of algae and help you set things up right with the SWG.

You game?

Maddie :flower:
 

Opasan45

Member
Mar 7, 2021
20
Orlando, FL
Thank you everyone for the quick responses! A ton of information to process, I couldn't be more thankful!!!

I have the TF-100 on the way so I should be good to get all the results back to you guys/gals soon. The 4 bags of salt were recommended by the pool store. based on the SWG, the range is 4000 - 5000ppm. It was low (1750ppm) last they checked and added another bag of salt. I guess that's still not enough salt to do anything. Didn't even think about that. I will get the water tested by them again just to get "numbers".

Should I run the salt cell now, it's currently off per their recommendation as I was at 10ppm of FC.... The pump has been on for days now non stop as the SWG is off.
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
616
Athens, GA - USA
Congrats on the TF100. You are well on your way to a Trouble Free Pool!

As long as your SWCG does not complain about low salt, it should be safe to run.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,254
Bedford, TX
45,

On thing that every saltwater pool owner should have is their own salt test kit.. I use the Taylor K-1766.. I think it is about $25 bucks and lasts forever..

You need to be able to know the "actual" salt level vs. the salt level the cell is reporting.. This is the only way to know if the cell is reporting an accurate salt level.

I have absolutely zero faith in pool store testing..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,115
Spring Valley, NY
Listen to them guys above. They got me to where I'm today from the same misery you're having. I know it sounds overwhelming but I can assure you when you're through it you will be a pro at understanding simple basic pool chemistry. Hang out here and look at other people's questions and resolve and you will get better even faster. Read pool school and ask away.
 
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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
13,093
Houston, Texas
Green water is either algae or iron. 90% of the time its caused by algae growth. The other 10% is from iron in the water and that usually only happens when you fill with well water. Algae growth happens when there is insufficient chlorine. Turn your SWG back on until your test kit arrives. Odds are you need more chlorine, not less. Since you previously used pucks to chlorinate you may have a high CYA level. Once your test kit arrives we can help you interpret the results.

Just for future reference, you don't need to let chlorine levels drop to 0 to change forms of chlorine. I don't know if the pool store instructed you to do that, but letting the chlorine drop only invites algae to the pool party. Anytime you want to switch between pucks, granules, liquid, or SWG as a chlorine source all you have to do is test the water so you know how much to add.

Welcome to TFP! We are happy to help you take control of your pool!
 

Opasan45

Member
Mar 7, 2021
20
Orlando, FL
Thanks everyone for their inputs, its really helpful - put in an order for the salinity tester as well. Have the SWG on also. Could an indication of algae be the foaming I'm seeing when the water feature is on or the water is being agitated? They had me put in this clarifier - the entire bottle... Added a picture of the salt they gave me to use as well, says "Salinity Pool Salt is the purest salt available for swimming pool and spa chlorine generators. It's greater than 99% sodium chloride (NaCl)"

The blue water is pre-SWG, nice and crystal clear blue water - then after the SWG was added and the clarifier, you can see the green. Now its still got a green hue to it - hopefully once I get the test kit and real numbers things will make sense. Just kills me that it's not blue anymore. I know I'll get there with this group of geniuses!
 

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Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
616
Athens, GA - USA
The sale is probably fine. I'm just not sure what the "stain inhibitors" are. Not sure what you paid for it but know that you can use water softener salt too (check the purity) so check prices in your area.

Agree with @CrystalRiver, foam is probably from the clarifier (or if you added any algecide, it is from that). Most people here don't approve of either. And since starting the TFP method, I've had no need for either. However if you do use clarifier again in the future, you will want to vacuum any debris to waste. You don't want it going through your filter.

My best bet is that letting your FC drop to 0 is the cause of cloudy/green. Just keep doing what your doing until the test kit arrives.
 
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duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
Sebring, Florida
A picture of your water would help a lot. Please read "The "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. you really need to start your knowledge base from zero and that's just what "the ABC's....." article will do

Secondly, when your kit comes in post both a test of your pool water and your fill water (just CH, TA, pH)
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,115
Spring Valley, NY
Thanks everyone for their inputs, its really helpful - put in an order for the salinity tester as well. Have the SWG on also. Could an indication of algae be the foaming I'm seeing when the water feature is on or the water is being agitated? They had me put in this clarifier - the entire bottle... Added a picture of the salt they gave me to use as well, says "Salinity Pool Salt is the purest salt available for swimming pool and spa chlorine generators. It's greater than 99% sodium chloride (NaCl)"

The blue water is pre-SWG, nice and crystal clear blue water - then after the SWG was added and the clarifier, you can see the green. Now its still got a green hue to it - hopefully once I get the test kit and real numbers things will make sense. Just kills me that it's not blue anymore. I know I'll get there with this group of geniuses!
Rest assured you'll be back and better then before, TFP has got your back.
 
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Opasan45

Member
Mar 7, 2021
20
Orlando, FL
The sale is probably fine. I'm just not sure what the "stain inhibitors" are. Not sure what you paid for it but know that you can use water softener salt too (check the purity) so check prices in your area.

Agree with @CrystalRiver, foam is probably from the clarifier (or if you added any algecide, it is from that). Most people here don't approve of either. And since starting the TFP method, I've had no need for either. However if you do use clarifier again in the future, you will want to vacuum any debris to waste. You don't want it going through your filter.

My best bet is that letting your FC drop to 0 is the cause of cloudy/green. Just keep doing what your doing until the test kit arrives.
Thanks great point - never thought about doing that, will get it vacuumed to waste today and clean out the filters as well. Should I set the SWG to Super Chlorinate overnight?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,031
Evans, Georgia
No, no need to waste cell hours that way since it won't cure your water problem overnight. I never use my SuperBoost cell function. You need to know that cells have an expected lifespan....and by not overworking mine it lasted 9 years on the first cell. I use liquid chlorine when I need an instant boost.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,115
Spring Valley, NY
The best way to use the SWCG is to keep the water at level X. If there's too much of a dip use chlorine since the the chlorine spike is instantaneous. The SWCG takes longer to get where you want it to be and then you're taking a risk of algae.
 

Opasan45

Member
Mar 7, 2021
20
Orlando, FL
The best way to use the SWCG is to keep the water at level X. If there's too much of a dip use chlorine since the the chlorine spike is instantaneous. The SWCG takes longer to get where you want it to be and then you're taking a risk of algae.
Awesome answer - instant vs exponential. Will get some chlorine to have on hand to use once the tester gets here. You guys are awesome!
 

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