Problem Found and Ideas needed

7Iron

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 14, 2014
62
Mobile
I began SLAMing my pool 4 days ago (84 hours). My CYA is somewhere between 25-40 so I used the SLAM values for Mustard at 30-40 CYA, which is about FC 22 or mustard and 14 for a normal SLAM.

I checked the FC every 3-4 hours and after the first couple of checks where the FC drop was 5-8 the drop settled to 4-6 (even over night). I never let it drop below the 40 CYA normal shock value of 16 FC..trying to hedge my bet on CYA level.

I scrubbed everything, even the inside of my filter housing, and it the nooks and crannies of my ladder. Yesterday I kicked the FC up to the 40 CYA mustard level of 24, still dropped to the 16-18 FC after 3-4 hours, seemed that the 16-18 FC was where the pool wanted to settle, even during the 10 hour overnight period.

After 8 gals of 8.25%, and plateauing FC at 16-18, I decided this morning to remove the ladder to do a better scrub and WOW i found a panel on the bottom rung that is used to add ballast to allow the ladder to sink. When I removed the cover I found pieces of concrete chunks a little larger than golf balls. They were slimy green and began to "bubble" when I put them in a plastic bucket with a 50-50 bleach and water mix.
IMG_0493.jpg

About 10 minutes after this photo, the water had turned totally green and you could not see the chunks or bottom of the bucket.

Not only were they harboring my alege, I think they were giving me my radical and unpredicted pH swings...

Any suggestions on a good ballasting material that will fit into 4 cavities-- roughly 3x4 in??
 

BoDarville

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2012
3,844
DFW, Texas
I'm aware of a product called "Ballast Bag" for pool ladders. It looks like a thick Zip-Lock type bag that you fill with sand. A Google search should turn up plenty of examples.
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
673
Southeast Michigan
We use PVC pipe filled with sand and then permanently sealed. They work great.
You could measure the size you would need to fit in each pocket of the ladder rung. Although they could still get algae but the pipes would be much easier to clean. Our pipes are open to the water flow under the stairs, so we do not get algae there. Since your ballast was in an area that does not get circulation, you will probably have to open up that compartment and clean it every year at startup and maybe even during the season.
When we tried heavy duty Zip lock bags they eventually got water in them and the algae accumulated in the bags.
 

7Iron

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 14, 2014
62
Mobile
Thanks mariane and BoDarville for the suggestions. The PVC pipe I think is the answer....possibly with some material more dense than sand, maybe lead pellets as the pipe will be capped and glued?
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
673
Southeast Michigan
Yes, capped and glued. And you don't need to buy the screw on cap for the pipe. The glue-on end caps work great.
We went with sand since it would totally fill the pipe without air pockets that might occur using lead pellets. We also had the sand from previous years using the play sand bags in the ziplock bags and then putting them in the water.
Maybe use sand to fill in the remaining air pockets from the pellets. Or maybe it would be so heavy, lifting them could be an issue. :)
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
I used medium size river rock gravel for my drop in steps, after soaking it in bucket with strong bleach water for a day.