PHOSPHATES-What is the biggest imbalance that causes phosphates to allow algea growth

abake

Active member
Apr 6, 2017
31
0
leesburg fl
#1
My pool is driving me insane.

Every month I have algea start to grow in my pool even though the water tests always show up as perfectly fine. "Perfect PH, perfect alkalinity, plenty of available chlorine, tsd not too high" But without fail every 3-4 weeks i start having green dust like algea start to cover every surface. I can scrub and shock and within a few days its back. My phosphates always rise. I have dogs that track in dirt and wind blows in plenty of other junk.

The only thing thats helped is phosphate remover. But its expensive and I have a cartridge filter with 4 cartridges. If I want to clean them thoroughly I have to set aside 1-2 hours. When removing phosphates I have to do this 3-4 bleeping times. Everyone is always saying you dont need to worry about phosphates, so what causes the big imbalance? What should I be looking for? I know pool stores only test for phosphates when asked, at least mine does. Is there some other test im unaware of?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#2
Define "perfect". We like data. What test kit are you using?

Phosphates can be largely ignored if you maintain proper FC levels for your CYA level, according to the [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. I am going to guess that this is your problem and likely that you are trusting pool store testing which is a recipe for disaster.
 

abake

Active member
Apr 6, 2017
31
0
leesburg fl
#3
Is that chart in parts per million? You may be right. Last test showed stabalizer at 100ppm and free clorine was at 9.0 But I have an inline filter and the pump was running when I took the sample.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 7, 2014
10,175
1
Bedford, TX
#4
A,

As Jason points out... my guess is that your perfect is not TFP perfect... :p

I would further guess that your CYA is high and that your FC is really much too low... When you throw in a bunch of Pool Store shock and a gallon of Phosphate remover, you kill some of the algae and temporarily stunt the growth of more... But this only lasts a short period of time and... "... it's Back!!!..." So you do it all over again, and again, and then again...

Our TFP pool care process allows you to kill ALL of the algae and then if you just maintain your CYA to FC relationship you will never get algae again and as a bonus... you won't ever need to add Pool Store shock again, nor will you need Phos-Free or any other expensive magic in a bottle...

The downside to following the TFP process is that you have to be able to test your own pool water which requires an accurate test kit... Either the TF-100 (the one I have) or the Taylor K-2006C (and yes the 'C" is important.)

Let us know... We would be glad to get you pointed in the right direction.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 11, 2014
10,085
1
Franklin, NC
www.title-3.com
#6
You have been around here a while, but looking at your old posts indicates you have had more trouble with iron in your water than anything else. What I never saw in any of your previous posts is if you maintain your water the way we suggest.....

The fact that you are thinking that phosphate remover is "helping" battle algae tells me that you have been relying on a pool store. So, my first suggestion is to stop going to the pool store. Their only response it to sell you something that probably won't fix the problem, like the phosphate remover. Think about it, you are taking advice about how to keep your pool clean from someone who has a vested interest in it not being clean. A clean pool = fewer sales of that expensive phosphate remover.

I will tell you, it didn't get algae overnight and it will take time to clear. But, we can teach you how to get it sparkling and keep it that way for a lot less money than the pool store.

Not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. But, what can you do?? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100 test kit and at least include the XL option. That will give you what you need while you are clearing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use.

While you wait for it to get delivered, you have a homework reading assignment. Start with ABCs of Water Chemistry and Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis
 

abake

Active member
Apr 6, 2017
31
0
leesburg fl
#7
Thanks everyone for the replies.

Tim5055- I was worried about the iron before I filled the pool. But it was not a problem once I chlorinated it because everything precipitated out and the filters caught it water was crystal clear. Is there and issue with iron leading to more algae or tying up chlorine?

I believe that the cya is the problem but I never really considered it because my pool has only been filled for a year and I dont over chlorinate it with the tablets. Is a year enough time to jack it up that much? Do a lot of people do a yearly drain and fill?
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 11, 2014
10,085
1
Franklin, NC
www.title-3.com
#8
Thanks everyone for the replies.

Tim5055- I was worried about the iron before I filled the pool. But it was not a problem once I chlorinated it because everything precipitated out and the filters caught it water was crystal clear. Is there and issue with iron leading to more algae or tying up chlorine?

I believe that the cya is the problem but I never really considered it because my pool has only been filled for a year and I don't over chlorinate it with the tablets. Is a year enough time to jack it up that much? Do a lot of people do a yearly drain and fill?
No, no issues with iron and FC, I just made the comment because you have never talked about what test kit you use or how you maintain your water (i.e. TFP or pool store).

How many tabs have you used and how many bags of powered "shock"?

Each "tab" raises the CYA in your 30,000 gallon pool by 1.8ppm and each bag of shock will raise it 2.2ppm.

Just a bag of shock each weekend would push it over 100 in a year, but the pool store will tell you to toss in 3 or 4.

As aussieta pointed out, the CYTA test only tests to 100, so you may be well above that.
 

abake

Active member
Apr 6, 2017
31
0
leesburg fl
#9
Tim5055- I use the pool store but normally try to go over the readings myself and figure out what I need from there rather than what they say. They have given some questionable advice before but thats mostly what their computer throws out when they enter the info.

I use about 5 or six tabs per week with it being a 30,000 gallon. So the math makes sense with what you said. Im a little annoyed that the store said nothing about stabilizer and I assumed that where I was at was an acceptable spot for my free chlorine. "My results showed I was in the acceptable zone but on the max end of it". Currently im draining my pool and will start to fill again tonight.

Ive really been wanting to get a sand filter and this cya problem would be a big reason to get one. I would imagine that I would not have to do this as often with the back washing and such.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 11, 2014
10,085
1
Franklin, NC
www.title-3.com
#10
Tim5055- I use the pool store but normally try to go over the readings myself and figure out what I need from there rather than what they say. They have given some questionable advice before but thats mostly what their computer throws out when they enter the info.
Please do not confuse the specificity of the results from their fancy computer with accuracy. Even when they hand test using Taylor reagents we find that most pool stores are poor at testing water, thus not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. But, what can you do?? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit.

You should order a TF100 test kit.

The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.
 

abake

Active member
Apr 6, 2017
31
0
leesburg fl
#11
So, I drained about 2/3 of the water and refilled. CYA now is at 65. So a lot more workable than what I had. Since the tests max out at 100, im sure I was probably around 120-130 by my best guess. Looks like I will be staying away from powder shock from now on.
 

abake

Active member
Apr 6, 2017
31
0
leesburg fl
#13
I will be getting the actual chlorine jugs that are refillable. In the long run it will be cheaper to shock with that anyway. about 4$ for 2.5 gallons here. The tablets are just too convenient for me to give up on. But hopefully the splash out in the summer will help keep it lower.

Just wanted to tell where things went so hopefully this can help someone else who reads this thread.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 11, 2014
10,085
1
Franklin, NC
www.title-3.com
#14
I will be getting the actual chlorine jugs that are refillable. In the long run it will be cheaper to shock with that anyway. about 4$ for 2.5 gallons here. The tablets are just too convenient for me to give up on. But hopefully the splash out in the summer will help keep it lower.

Just wanted to tell where things went so hopefully this can help someone else who reads this thread.
You seem to have missed the entire point we were trying to make. We advocate never "shocking" a pool, but to maintain a constant amount of chlorine based on the level of CYA in the water. Splashout is never going to account for a constant diet of tabs. In your 30,000 gallon pool each tab raises your CYA by 1.1ppm, so every 9 tabs you use your CYA went up by 10.

As your CYA goes up you need more chlorine to counteract the rising CYA, thus more CYA. It's a vicious cycle and you said it best yourself:
Every month I have algea start to grow in my pool
If you continue with the tabs you have a similar summer to look forward to.

It's your pool to take care of as you wish and I wish you good luck.
 

funandsun

Bronze Supporter
Jun 12, 2017
764
0
Bloomington Indiana
#15
Yes, sorry, Powder Shock and Tabs = Same thing in 80% of the cases, the other 20% don't do you many favors either, so Tabs or pucks are not the way to go forward except in pretty specific 1-2 tab short time situations.. out of town for the weekend kind of thing. But to just keep feeding your pool with tabs, you are going to have issues. Unfortunately it isn't an opinion, it's chemistry.