Pool owner for 14yrs needing algae issue advice

shawn1112

Member
May 10, 2019
15
Chicago Burbs
So we have had a 24' round above ground pool for 14 years. I have always used the little test strips from the pool store and for the most part been algae free for 12 out of 14 years. About 7yrs ago developed a very bad algae issue towards the end of our season. So I just closed the pool down, the following May I drained in completely, scrubbed the walls and floor with a 50/50 mix of bleach and water. Refilled and problem solved for the next 6yrs. Towards the middle of last season started getting noticeable signs of algae early July. I would shock the pool, use algae destroyer and vacuum problem solved for a week or 2. Tired of repeating so went to the Great Escape with water sample. Told me the stabilizer was to high, bought what they recommended and helped for a few weeks. Same issues again, went back with water sample and again stabilizer to high. They asked what chlorine I was using, told them we bought from Costco. I was told that Costco and Sam's (3" tablets) has bad chlorine and thats causing my high stabilizer issues. So I fought the algae last few weeks of the season and did a proper closing. So I have been lurking on here last few weeks and signed up tonight to try and get some help before we open our pool.
I just ordered a TF 100 so I can teach myself how to properly check water levels vs using the test strips. So I know you guys probably need those levels to help me out and will post in this thread next week. But do have a few questions in the mean time.

I'm assuming my stabilizer (CYA) is probably still high. Do you think I need to drain whole pool and refill or could I get away with draining 75%?
This pool is 12 years old, kind of nervous about draining the complete pool.

Is the Sam's Club or Costco 3" tabs chlorine really that bad or was he just trying to sell me his more expensive chlorine?

Should I switch over to liquid chlorine or are the 3" tabs fine?

For last 5-6 years we have also used Phos-Free, but while lurking on here, sounds like a waste of money and not needed?

Anything else you recommend?

Thanks in advance
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,709
Northern NJ
I'm assuming my stabilizer (CYA) is probably still high. Do you think I need to drain whole pool and refill or could I get away with draining 75%?
This pool is 12 years old, kind of nervous about draining the complete pool.
Let's see what your CYA level is when you get your TF-100. There is no need to completely drain your pool. We have a water exchange method that may help.

Where do you get your fill water from?

Is the Sam's Club or Costco 3" tabs chlorine really that bad or was he just trying to sell me his more expensive chlorine?
Ha ... HaHa ... HAHAHAHA!!! Funniest thing I heard all day. I would say they were pulling your leg except they were serious.

One more reason never to listen to those clowns again.

Should I switch over to liquid chlorine or are the 3" tabs fine?
You really have to use liquid chlorine unless you want to drain water every season when your CYA gets too high. Using tabs gets you into a never ending draining and refilling cycle.

For last 5-6 years we have also used Phos-Free, but while lurking on here, sounds like a waste of money and not needed?
No reason to worry about phosphates if you maintain a proper FC level following the FC/CYA Chart The problem occurs when your CYA climbs due to using the trichlor and you don't continue to adjust your FC up.

Anything else you recommend?
While waiting for your TF-100 read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and Pool School - Trouble Free Pool
 
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czipper

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2014
81
Long Island, NY
I start my season, open the pool balance the water and SLAM with liquid chlorine. I then use the chlorine tabs until they raise the CYA to 50 (this takes maybe 6-8 weeks in my pool). Then Liquid chlorine only until the end of the season. The CYA goes away during winter, so i always open with no CYA. I can swim 3 months tops, and my water never gets warm (its shaded a good chunk of the day) . I will be buying costco tabs this year BTW.

Oh, I never look at phosphates. With proper attention to chlorine, fuhgeddabout phosphates.
 
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