Pool Man says extreme heat in SoCal is causing green algae for many customers

Jul 6, 2017
6
Glendale, CA
We've had our pool for approx 20 years and never had this problem before. Our pool man said the heat has caused this for many of his customers who haven't drained their pools in years. Our water was pretty normal 12 days ago. Then he added water to the pool (trickle-dripped) over two days which brought the water level up a couple of inches higher than usual and we had adult guests in the pool so it had 5 adults instead of 1 for 4 days. We had a bad heat wave about a month ago, then it cooled down, then went up to high 90s.

Our pool turned a light green. He told me that several of his customers are having this problem now with the heat. He mentioned that he did a testing six weeks ago and brought it into Leslie's and they said the only thing to do is to drain the pool. Our water has not been drained since we've owned the house.

He said he did try shocking the pool but the solids are such that it must be drained. We have chunks of plaster coming off but this isn't the time for us to be redoing the plaster now. He said it would be

It's a heat wave here now, 100 degree today, supposed to be 91 tomorrow. He says he's been draining the other pools without a problem. He'll come tomorrow, start to pump out the water, return the next morning and clean the filter, wash out the pool (not acid-wash because of the weak plaster), start adding the water. He said he'll stabilize the water.

I know most of you are maintaining your pools yourself, I read the other pages, but this isn't practical in our case for personal reasons. I wanted to run this by you all in case anyone had any advice or comments. Our pool man says he blames himself because he didn't insist that many of his clients drain their pools earlier. He's very upset over this. He's charging $250 to drain, $100 to do the filter and doing the stabilizing for free. I mentioned how people say not to do this in the heat of summer, but he said it has worked for his other clients that he's been doing it for during the last couple of weeks, without a problem. I've attached a photo to show. He estimates it's 17.000 gallons.
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,810
Bedford, TX
Chris,

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all pool owner that refuse to give up their pool man... :drown:

While I highly doubt that the heat had any direct effect on turning your pool green, I suspect that replacing your water will result in at least a temporary fix...

I can see in your picture that you use 3" tabs to chlorinate your pool. Tabs add CYA to your water and it does not go away.. When it gets high enough, the amount of chlorine you normally use will not be enough to prevent algae.

The only way to get rid of the CYA is to drain your pool..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,932
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I'm in the wrong business. $250 to set a $50 pump in a pool and watch it empty.

Green is inadequate FC for the CYA level. Odds are that the CYA is immensely high from a steady diet of pucks and the ignorant pool guy still assumes that 2 FC is adequate no matter what the CYA is.

That pool can be cleared up for under $250 if you're willing to buy a test kit and take control of the pool.
 
Jul 6, 2017
6
Glendale, CA
Thank you for the warm welcome and quick response, Jim. I appreciate knowing that we are on the right track draining the pool.

- - - Updated - - -

Philo, I will pass it along to him, thank you so much. Richard, appreciate the response.
 

griffths

LifeTime Supporter
May 2, 2011
171
Long Grove, IL
...Our pool man says he blames himself because he didn't insist that many of his clients drain their pools earlier. He's very upset over this. He's charging $250 to drain, $100 to do the filter and doing the stabilizing for free...
It seems to me that if he is really that upset over his failure to maintain your pool properly he shouldn't be ripping you off by charging you to fix his mistake. As others have already said your problem is not likely related to the heat but rather the method of chlorination (3" pucks) which creates these situations every year about this time, especially in pools that are open all year.

Also, I would be suspect of any pool "professional" who didn't have the basic tools needed to test the chemical levels of your pool water onsite and even worse, relied on a pool store for water testing.

Regards,
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
1,760
Edmond OK
Time for a new pool guy. If not you, then at least someone that understands the FC/CYA relationship.

Anyone on here in Glendale need a part time job?
 

Fingaling

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2015
283
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Wow. I would love to test your cya if your pool hasnt been drained in 20 years.

Cya is in 3" chlorine tablets. It protects chlorine from UV. Without any cya, half your chlorine would disappear 15 minutes of Sun. Unfortunately, cya stays in the pool so as you use more and more tabs it keeps going up. It protects the chlorine by binding without it, which makes the chlorine useless. The more cya you have, the more chlorine you need to be effective. If you've been using tabs without draining for years, your cya is likely ridiculously high and and amount of chlorine is likely not very effective. Combine that with some extra heat, and you have the perfect recipe for an algae bloom.

Not sure the reasons you can't maintain your own, but there are thousands of members here with a variety of circumstances and different abilities... You likely can maintain your own. If you don't want to do much, a salt water chlorine generator might be right up your alley. Then the only thing you have to do is add enough of the cya for startup, and several bags of salt. And likely some acid weekly-ish. Test daily or every other day just to make sure things are fine, when you can. It's a very low work load time wise with a SWCG. And only the salt is really "heavy work" as you'd need several bags on startup. If you choose to go that route, this forum will help you immensely.

If you want to continue having the pool guy maintain, then that's your choice too... But a drain is likely the only practical thing to do. The cya has to be lowered to a reasonable level to fight algae. It needs to be 30-50ppm and is likely in the several hundreds.
 
Jul 6, 2017
6
Glendale, CA
Jay, he's saying that pools should be drained every 3-5 years (which is no doubt not in line with this board). Jeff, thank you. I would be very open to someone local who reads this board as a new pool person. Anyone is welcome to message me.
 

Dale G

Active member
Jun 3, 2017
27
Cypress, TX
Even as a newbie myself, I hate that we don't know his true levels. He had the "pool man" take a sample to the pool store for testing? WOW. As mentioned, time for a new pool guy.

I understand the statements about the constant additions of "pucks" potentially bringing the CYA real high (made that mistake myself), but after taking the great advice from folks here I'd be very hard-pressed to spend a single dime until I knew exactly what's going on.

Chris, I implore you - if testing & maintaining your pool on your own isn't an option then PLEASE spend a few minutes in Pool School (as linked above) as well as YouTube to understand just how simple it is to get accurate readings so you'll at least be an informed customer.
 
Jul 6, 2017
6
Glendale, CA
Thanks, Dale, for the reply. I'm a "she" btw. And with medical conditions, I'm in the category of needing a pool service to handle this, please understand this. I did read up in the Pool School before your post, there's a lot of info there, as you know. I want to be an informed customer, however this algae emergency came up at a bad time personally for other reasons, so I'm trying to make the right decisions here at a point when I don't have the extra time to deal with this.

I was also surprised when he said he took a sample to the pool store. I've seen him do some kind of testing himself in the past. I looked up on Yelp and found one person who had good reviews in my area, left a message. However, I notice he also uses tablets.

I would be relieved to find a replacement in my area that I could trust who is as informed as the people on this board. But I'm running out of time.
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
My favorite part of this story...

POOL GUY: A lot of my customers are struggling with green algae.

(((HINT))) Probably not the right pool guy!!! :joker: (((HINT)))
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,810
Bedford, TX
Chris (She who must be obeyed...) :p You will only get that if you watch old PBS shows....

I can certainly understand having a pool service, or pool man, in your particular situation. I doubt that you are going to be able to find any pool service that does not use 3" tabs.

So your only real option is to go with them. Let's face it.. you've been doing this for 20 years and the world has not ended, so you can go it for another 20 years. My only recommendation would be to drain half your pool every year or two, right before the season starts. And, if you end up with an algae attack, think about draining before spending hundreds on "magic" chemicals from the Pool $tore... or your pool boy..

Hope things turn out well for you personally and you are always welcome to come back and ask more questions..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

Dale G

Active member
Jun 3, 2017
27
Cypress, TX
Chris, please accept my most humble apologies. And medical conditions surely can justify getting help, so I certainly respect that as well. My hope for you is that with the help of all the knowledgeable folks here, we can save you as much time, frustration and money as possible.

Best of luck, I'll be lingering in the background while the experts walk you through anything we (they) can do to help.

Side-thought: is there a trustworthy friend/neighbor/relative nearby that would be willing to help?
 
Jul 6, 2017
6
Glendale, CA
Dale, no need for apologies, but I do appreciate your kind note.

Update - interviewed a new pool service man today. He said that he can get the water blue again, but it will mean keeping a high chlorine level, like a public pool (which he also does). He does use tablets for his normal service, as Jim said. Btw, we haven't been using my current guy for 20 years - more like 7, as there was someone else before. Anyway, this man informed me that our city will hit us with a huge penalty when we drain the pool. And he's concerned about doing it in summer with potential cracking (as our plaster is in bad shape and he noticed a serious crack in the tile line, which means we have to keep the water level just right). He knew about the city because he lives here and has clients here, which I don't think my previous guy did.

He said he advises people to do their pool drains during the rainy season. He is willing to drain if that's what I want, if I can get the city to give us a waiver. But for a total of $323 he'll shock it back to blue, clean out the filter, get a year's worth of tablets and include the first month's service. He says that he doesn't trust Leslie's conclusion that it must be drained to get it back to blue. He did mention how algae is persistent, he's aware of that. I know this is not ideal but considering that I live on a hill and the whole drainage issue is not easy anyway, I would rather delay it to a better time.

All in all, he seems sharper than my previous person and he does other pools in my neighborhood, which my current guy doesn't do. And yes, it is a tip that many of the current person's clients all have algae. Any thoughts?
 

BuckeyeChris

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2014
821
Buckeye AZ
A shock is a one time chlorine bomb on the pool, which is not effective at actually killing all of the algae. And if you/he dont maintain the minimum FC level shown in the cya/fc chart, you will get in an endless "its cloudy/shock it" cycle. I think it's a dubious solution
 

dkimble

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2013
352
I wish you luck Chris. My only concern would be adding more CYA without a drain. Depending on what it is all ready, it is going to continue to go up. Would it be possible for you to add a daily dose of bleach to the pool, if he could help you determine how much is needed? Or do you have a family member or friend that comes regularly to assist you?

I certainly understand you not being able to take charge of the pool yourself, but trying to think of a way to get you using more bleach and less tablets.

Good Luck! I hope he can get it fixed. I had a bad mustard algae problem last year before I found this site. It drove my have nuts and was very stubborn, but we finally won!
 
Jul 6, 2017
6
Glendale, CA
Buckeye, I printed out the cya/fc chart and gave it to him. At least he knew what cya meant (the past one did not).
Dkimble, just saw this (we must have been typing at the same time) - that much I can handle (pouring bleach daily). I will ask him.