Phosphate levels? Who's testing?

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
647
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
15000
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Heavenly, I think several people have said it here...you don't have a phosphate problem; you have an algae problem. From your logs, it looks like June 9 was the last time your Free Chlorine was at a good level. But even then you had .5ppm of chloramines, so you may have had algae sneaking in, as the very next week your FC was down to 1. Get your phosphates to -0- and you'll still have algae.

See the SLAM procedure, and yes you need to buy several gallons of liquid chlorine. 20,000 gallon algae pool? Make that several several gallons of liquid chlorine, since your CYA is 70. Note: Don't get Clorox bleach or any supermarket bleach with additives in the cleaning supplies. Pure 10% or 12.5% chlorine. You may need to replace some water first, as a CYA of 70 is going to demand 28 ppm of chlorine for a SLAM, and that's going to be a lot of liquid chlorine. A SWCG cannot come close to making enough chlorine for a SLAM.
 

Heavenlytunes

Silver Supporter
Oct 25, 2020
175
Nassau, Long Island NY
Pool Size
20000
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Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital PPC1 (RC-35)
When I converted to SWG's this year I also could not get my FC up. The SWG manufacture told me one thing to do was to test for phosphates, as this was the likely culprit. I bought the same test kit as you. First test was 50 (they said to try to get it to 0)! I added the required amount of phosphate remover. Second test: 100! When all was said and done, phosphates were not MY problem. I had this pool since 1986 and NEVER tested for phosphates before, and probably never will again!
I'm trying everything at this point but what was the problem?
 

Heavenlytunes

Silver Supporter
Oct 25, 2020
175
Nassau, Long Island NY
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
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SWG Type
Autopilot Digital PPC1 (RC-35)
Heavenly, I think several people have said it here...you don't have a phosphate problem; you have an algae problem. From your logs, it looks like June 9 was the last time your Free Chlorine was at a good level. But even then you had .5ppm of chloramines, so you may have had algae sneaking in, as the very next week your FC was down to 1. Get your phosphates to -0- and you'll still have algae.

See the SLAM procedure, and yes you need to buy several gallons of liquid chlorine. 20,000 gallon algae pool? Make that several several gallons of liquid chlorine, since your CYA is 70. Note: Don't get Clorox bleach or any supermarket bleach with additives in the cleaning supplies. Pure 10% or 12.5% chlorine. You may need to replace some water first, as a CYA of 70 is going to demand 28 ppm of chlorine for a SLAM, and that's going to be a lot of liquid chlorine. A SWCG cannot come close to making enough chlorine for a SLAM.
I can raise my CYA if that's going to help with using less chlorine or I can dump water below skimmer and add new water. ??
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,175
NY
I can raise my CYA if that's going to help with using less chlorine
70 CYA is plenty for us, especially now that the UV demand is dropping off a cliff.

If you aren’t holding FC, Overnight Chlorine Loss Test, and pronto before it explodes into pea soup. Algae grows exponentially and by the time you can see it, that next growth cycle goes full swamp.
or I can dump water below skimmer and add new water. ??
You would need to drain half the pool in one shot, or do many MANY small drains. Each one becomes less efficient as you drain new water too. It’s usually not worth the efforts to lower the CYA for SWG folks, just to SLAM. If you were using liquid chlorine, then yeah, it would be worth it long term AND make an easier SLAM.
 
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Heavenlytunes

Silver Supporter
Oct 25, 2020
175
Nassau, Long Island NY
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Autopilot Digital PPC1 (RC-35)
One last question with the SWG. Should I shut it down or bypass so it doesn't get damaged.
Turn it to 0%?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,175
NY
Turn it to 0 or unplug it for the SLAM. Either way works. If you have a swamp it can’t keep up, and by the time it can keep up with clear water, you need it off to Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to know when the SLAM is complete. At that stage the FC is holding well anyway so there is next to no need for the supplemental boost from the SWG.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
There are many pools out there that are affected by phosphates, but they are the very slim minority. Just throwing a rando # out there, but half a % of 12 million pools is still 60k pools. It does matter at times but to openly discuss and approve it on the forums as a regular thing does a disservice to the oodles of new folks coming in grasping for straws thinking /praying/hoping that they could be the one. Especially when the pool store already got it in their heads that it’s critical for all. Statistically speaking they aren’t even close to being the one.
^This. My pool is is kinda weird and despite running a FC of 8-9 with a CYA of 60 I still can get algae in some spots of the pool. I have come to realize I should just bring mine up to slam level a few times a season (AKA “shock” the pool). I don’t understand why I have to do this, but it’s the only thing that seems to work for my situation.
 
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Leebo

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TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,026
Eastern Ohio
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In full disclosure before I start, I haven’t read a huge portion of this thread. 😂 That said it does seem like you’ve got Algae which automatically makes the phosphate test meaningless. As discussed in this article algae gives the phosphate a false result so you more or less can ignore the phosphate test for now. Additionally it’s pointless to remove phosphates before you kill off the algae as you will reintroduce the phosphates as you clear your pool.

I’m one of the few here that actively uses a phosphate remover and pays attention to the level in our pool…….and I’d agree with everybody here when they say to SLAM Process first then we’ll see about removing phosphates.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,175
NY
I’m one of the few here that actively uses a phosphate remover and pays attention to the level in our pool…….
Is it because you had any issues, or just to sleep better ? A little of both ? Lol.
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
513
Flower Mound, TX
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
My pool is is kinda weird and despite running a FC of 8-9 with a CYA of 60 I still can get algae in some spots of the pool.
I’ve had the same issue the past 2 years. I actively controlled phosphates for several years and had no algae issues. I quit doing so after I kept reading that it wasn’t necessary as long as FC was kept at 5+. I keep FC in the 8-10 range (CYA 70-80) check it constantly, and yet still had a minor algae outbreak this summer. Even with the algae, FC never dipped below 6. Same thing last summer, and those are the only 2 outbreaks I’ve had in the past 10 years. So I’m back to using phosphate control. That said, I’m not disagreeing with any of the recommendations regarding a SLAM - just that maintaining FC at certain levels is a guarantee of algae prevention.
 

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Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
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Jul 21, 2011
11,026
Eastern Ohio
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Is it because you had any issues, or just to sleep better ? A little of both ? Lol.
I personally had two main reasons to deal with phosphates,

First was to learn. I’ve never been one to say I know everything about anything. I’m the type who’s always willing and excited to learn. Years ago I was talking with ChemGeek via email and he was mentioning the topic of phosphates and I became interested. After doing some reading on TFP I noticed info was in my opinion……lacking. Next thing I know I was picking Joyfulnoise’s brain and testing for them myself.

The second reason is because the pool I maintain is somewhat an odd situation. Because of my schedule and the kids I’m often not at the pool daily. I found the use of a phosphate remover saved my rear a bit when I allowed the chlorine level drop too far and I found the expense to be less than I worried about. In the end it was an insurance policy that I personally felt would benefit myself when I messed up and allowed the Chlorine level to drop.
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
243
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
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Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I bought some of that PR10000 waiting to get here. Will give it a shot and bring it down to Zero.
I use this product regularly, 3oz every month or so and it defitnely works as advertised. I come from a reef aquarium background where phosphates are managed to reduce algae outbreaks as the use of chlorine is not an option.

For me it’s piece of mind and a safety net that allows some flexibility if my chlorine dips below the recommended levels for a short period of time.
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I come from a reef aquarium background where phosphates are managed to reduce algae outbreaks as the use of chlorine is not an option.
I’ve kept those as well, in addition to a brackish tank and a discus tank. Gave up that hobby because I didn’t have the time to deal with it. Way harder then maintaining a pool.
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
243
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
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I’ve kept those as well, in addition to a brackish tank and a discus tank. Gave up that hobby because I didn’t have the time to deal with it. Way harder then maintaining a pool.
Yea it definitely requires tighter parameter maintenance. Only way I can keep up with it is through automation. Once you get in that mindset of automating it’s hard to go back. I’ve defitnely carried it over to to Pool maintenance discipline. It may be overkill, but it works for me.
 
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Orion7319

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Jul 1, 2020
553
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
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Vinyl
Chlorine
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Yea it definitely requires tighter parameter maintenance. Only way I can keep up with it is through automation. Once you get in that mindset of automating it’s hard to go back. I’ve defitnely carried it over to to Pool maintenance discipline. It may be overkill, but it works for me.
Automation? I haven’t had an aquarium in over 10 years. I’m having a hard time imagining automating a salt water change that involves RO water, getting the specific gravity right and then waiting for the heater to heat up the replacement water…
 

joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
243
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
15568
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Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Automation? I haven’t had an aquarium in over 10 years. I’m having a hard time imagining automating a salt water change that involves RO water, getting the specific gravity right and then waiting for the heater to heat up the replacement water…
Oh yea, a lot has changed in 10 years. When I had my 180g reef tank up and running every aspect of the process was automated. Even the water changes. Only thing I had to do was add the salt to the fresh RO water vat. Unfortunately I still had to manual clean the glass/clean the tank but that wasn’t too bad.
 
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Selenap

Well-known member
May 28, 2021
244
Waynesville, NC
Pool Size
25200
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Liquid Chlorine
I use tsp baths to clean my filters. So I technically add phosphate. Who knows how much cause I was never aware of phosphates until I found TPF. Well I was aware of phosphate chemicals being bad for the watersheds and stuff but never put 2 and 2 together. Actually, I still have no clue how much phosphate is in my pool because it’s an 80 mile round trip for me to go to a pool store.
 
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