Problem with SLAM

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
The OCLT failed, I lost 3ppm overnight. I was a little late testing this morning 8:30am so the pool had an hour or two of sunlight by the time I go there but that is still not good.

Mike.
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
Now the water is back to horrible. I lost 3ppm overnight and 5 the first half of today. It's as if someone is throwing Crud in there day and night.

Mike..
 
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Tuckerclan

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2018
98
Kansas
Mike I'm not a pool guru, like others on here, but I have been following your problem and commenting along the way. Do you have a garden nearby your pool or a lot of trees? If you look at my pic, you can see what I deal with. I'm almost certain my chlorine use is because of the pollen that must blow into my pool. There is like a dusting of something floating on my pool from time to time and those are the days I seem to use more 12%. I have gone as far as shutting the lower main drain off so all the return goes through the skimmer, but even that doesn't move the top water through the filter fast enough. I run my pump 24/7 because I was told "If water is moving, it's a pool. If not, it's a pond." I really hope you figure out your problem. I myself think I got it down to a half gal a day ..... then one day it wants more. I just pay the piper, keep it around 7-9 and enjoy the pool. Good luck.20200524_103440_HDR.jpg
 

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mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
Thanks for staying with me, most of the group seems to have lost interest in this thread.

Yes there is a lot of stuff growing around the pool but it has always been there and this year is especially difficult. My biggest problem is a line of large white pines dropping needles and seeds. It's worth mentioning that I've been caring for this pool since 1996. I mentioned earlier that my CYA seems to have disappeared. I learned here that it never goes away unless you drain the pool but I've seen it go from 0 to 50 and back to 20 in the past month. The only thing that I can draw from this is that my testing is not accurate but I have new testing chemicals and my wife and I have confirmed each other's test results. I started the year with last old test chems but have since bought new which may be the reason for some inconsistency.

Last night I lost only 0.5ppm. The fact that I lost a lot of HCL yesterday and then passed the OCLT the same night tells me that I am losing the HCL to the sun but I've hesitant to raise the CYA yet becasue it just makes it harder to SLAM. I want to see at least two good OCLT's before raising the CYA. The water is most definitely clean enough to swim in and has been for weeks but I'd love to get to the bottom of this so that maybe I don't have to do the same thing next year and the year after. I'm hoping that I can learn something new and save some money in the future. Or maybe I'm just stubborn.

I've been following the TFP procedures for a few seasons now and have struggled to clean up in the spring each year but this year is much worse than in the past. You can probably find accounts of my past problems by searching this forum.

Stay tuned, Mike.
 

Tuckerclan

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2018
98
Kansas
Thank you. The pool is my responsibility, the garden is my wifes. I couldn't grow weeds in fertile soil. I really wish there was a better test for CYA too. Sometimes I see the dot at 50, next day 60, next day 50. ****, at 60 years old, I'm surprised I see a dot at all. I spend more time trying to convince myself there is a dot there at all. With all the other more accurate tests, why is this one so inaccurate?
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
Update

Since changing the filter sand I had a good day, a bad day, and now another good day. Yesterday I tested at 6:45am with had FC=10 and then didn't test again until 7pm and the FC was 7.5. That was a very good day. It was cloudy all day with some rain. All that I can conclude is that it is the sun eating up the chlorine now . I'll give it another day or two andn then I'll raise the CYA back to 30 - 40 and see how it goes.

Mike.
 
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mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
On Saturday the 4th the pool used about 4ppm in direct sunlight followed by a zero loss OCLT.

It's clear that changing the sand made a big improvement which makes me ask why didn't back-washing work to clean up the old sand? I even stuck the garden hose in the sand and flushed it good.

I also suspect that the declining pollen count is a factor.

Mike.
 

Tuckerclan

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2018
98
Kansas
Mike, What does that translate into on how much 12% you are adding now? And when do you add it and do you test it a couple of hours after to make sure you're at the correct level? I ask so maybe I can get a better idea of what I am adding.
 

CeltiaK

Active member
May 8, 2014
25
Western Mass.
Hi Mike, I've been following along as I also struggle to maintain control ast the season starts up. We have pollen in drifts, and farm fields all around, so I'm always a bit sensitive to high pollen load or even airborne fertilizer contamination (ammonia). But it's always fine - my Cl levels go a bit up and a bit down - about a 2-3 point swing over a week. Some of your tests were mind-boggling in comparison.

I picked up on this comment you made on cleaning your filter.

It's clear that changing the sand made a big improvement which makes me ask why didn't back-washing work to clean up the old sand? I even stuck the garden hose in the sand and flushed it good.
Are you aware that backwashing your filter is not the same as a deep clean? And that you really should let your filter get a bit dirty to catch stuff - definitly wait until your pressure rises over 25% above clean.

But nothing can substitute for a deep clean - where you gently push your hose down below the laterals and systematically flush out the funk. I spend 30-40 minutes on this at season end. Just when you think there's not much left - like 15 minutes in - you realize, oh yeah! There's more! I tried to find a pool school article to point to, but I didn't see one - search the forum and you'll get some good pictures or links to videos.

Sounds like you're doing much better now, but when you close up I highly recommend a filter deep clean.
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
Mike, What does that translate into on how much 12% you are adding now? And when do you add it and do you test it a couple of hours after to make sure you're at the correct level? I ask so maybe I can get a better idea of what I am adding.
Sorry that I've been away from here for weeks but life gets in the way sometimes.

Since I changed the filter sand we have been adding a half gallon or sightly more per day with high temps and bright sun. We're losing about 3 to 4 ppm FC per day.

To answer your question, in my ~18k gallon pool it takes about 20oz of 12% HCL to add 1ppm FC. I roughly calculate that 1/2 gallon of 12%HCL adds 3ppm and I'm adding that or a little more per day. This is at ~30ppm CA. I consider this to be perfectly normal.

Mike.
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
Hi Mike, I've been following along as I also struggle to maintain control ast the season starts up. We have pollen in drifts, and farm fields all around, so I'm always a bit sensitive to high pollen load or even airborne fertilizer contamination (ammonia). But it's always fine - my Cl levels go a bit up and a bit down - about a 2-3 point swing over a week. Some of your tests were mind-boggling in comparison.

I picked up on this comment you made on cleaning your filter.



Are you aware that backwashing your filter is not the same as a deep clean? And that you really should let your filter get a bit dirty to catch stuff - definitly wait until your pressure rises over 25% above clean.

But nothing can substitute for a deep clean - where you gently push your hose down below the laterals and systematically flush out the funk. I spend 30-40 minutes on this at season end. Just when you think there's not much left - like 15 minutes in - you realize, oh yeah! There's more! I tried to find a pool school article to point to, but I didn't see one - search the forum and you'll get some good pictures or links to videos.

Sounds like you're doing much better now, but when you close up I highly recommend a filter deep clean.
We covered that ground earlier in this message thread. I deep cleansed the filter when I opened this season and again a few weeks later with no change.

Changing the sand may be what cleaned things up or it may be just that the pollen was decreasing about that time and I'm pretty sure that both things helped. The swimming pool is not in a controlled environment and it's impossible to know for sure what happened but the pool is clean now using 3 -4 ppm FC/day.

Mike.
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
300
Connecticut
Overall I think that the mistake that I made was to try to get a clean OCLT during pollen season. I also addeD CA before getting a good OCLT. I wasted a boatload of chlorine by trying to overcome a bigger boatload of pollen.

Next season I will not even attempt to get a clean OCLT until mid June or early July. I will also not add CA until that time. I plan to maintain ~10ppm FC until the pollen eases up and then try to sanitize the pool. We don't use the pool until then anyways.

Mike.
 

DorsalSpine

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
602
Columbus, Ohio
Do you use a winter cover and/or a solar cover? I'm in farm country and the pool is surrounded by trees and landscaping. I used to open late to avoid the farmers ploughing and spraying the fields. Then I'd switch to a solar cover to help keep stuff out. Now that I have an auto cover I can open earlier and now worry about it.
 

TO116

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
67
New Jersey
I didn’t read the entire thread but figured I’d throw out an idea that may or may not have been mentioned.

I get a LOT of pollen in the spring time, and also have a line of tall white pines that send needles and seeds all over the place. But have no issues passing OCLTs.

Since you mentioned you’re CYA disappearing, could it be possible that some fertilizer blew into your pool from your yard or a neighbors? Since I believe ammonia feeds on CYA and also consumes a lot of chlorine, it seems to fit your situation. Coupled with the fact that people typically fertilize in the spring and stop when cool season lawns start to go dormant in the summer heat.

Just a thought.