problems keeping cartridge clean

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
#21
Ok, back to the problem.

How do you usually sanitize your pool? bleach, pucks, dichlor? You might have a high CYA that is keeping your chlorine from being as effective. Or since the pool was gross all winter, you might have no CYA. in any case, algae in the water seems to interfere with the CYA drop tests.

If your water is green, you still have algae living in there, Keep your FC up to 15 (mix 1 part pool water with 2 parts distilled and test that; multiply results by 3. This is a rough estimate, and only to be used until you can get a test that reads higher than 5,

You can order the FAS-DPD test by itself from duraleigh
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#22
We don't really have a system for sanitizing yet. We have never had blue water. We do have the pucks. They were left by the previous owner. I suspect there is little or no CYA in the pool. I remembered this morning that we did have to fill the pool. After we took the cover off, the water level had gone down about 50%. So whatever we had as far as CYA is concerned is surely gone.

I see what you mean about the baquacil brand name, but I still don't think I will use the cartridge cleaner anymore. It didn't work that great, in my opinion, and it is expensive. Over $30/bottle.

ETA: I edited my post with the test results. I had it reading greater than 30 instead of less than
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
#23
heatmisr said:
We don't really have a system for sanitizing yet. We have never had blue water. We do have the pucks. They were left by the previous owner. I suspect there is little or no CYA in the pool. I remembered this morning that we did have to fill the pool. After we took the cover off, the water level had gone down about 50%. So whatever we had as far as CYA is concerned is surely gone.

I see what you mean about the baquacil brand name, but I still don't think I will use the cartridge cleaner anymore. It didn't work that great, in my opinion, and it is expensive. Over $30/bottle.

ETA: I edited my post with the test results. I had it reading greater than 30 instead of less than
Ahhhh...less than 30..then that's a horse of a different color.. :) Keep the puck in. You don't want a CYA level of 60-80 though..30-50 should do well. You will want to keep your FC @ 15 as recommended to start killing the algae. You'll need to try to maintain that level of FC, which entails checking your FC often and adding chlorine as needed to bring the level back to 15. Since you have very little CYA in the water, you'll lose a lot of FC to sunlight, and you'll also lose a lot to the algae, so be vigilant! Once you can maintain the FC shock level overnight, your algae problem should be gone. Once you get your CYA up, your chlorine loss to sunlight will lessen, so it'll be easier to maintain the normal FC level you'll need for your pool.

I've got a cartridge filter as well, and have found that the dishwasher detergent works well to clean the filter. Note I said dishwasher detergent, and not dishwashing detergent. We bought a round plastic trashcan at Walmart that was a little bit bigger than the filter itself, and then followed the instructions that came with our new Unicel filter. Here's a link to their website that details the steps:

http://www.unicelfilters.com/pool_owners/ci_chlorine_users.asp
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#24
How often should I test the CYA? I noticed that you don't get much reagent in the test kit. Only about enough for 3 tests. I am guesstimating about the FC level because I don't have a test for it yet. Do you think I have the FC high enough adding 2g of 12.5% every 12 hours based on my stats?

The algae is definitely dying. The pool has gone from swamp green to light green. I still can't see the bottom, though.

Definitely using dishwasher detergent. I was reaching for the cascade when I saw a $1 box winking at me...lol
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
#25
Typically, you only need to test CYA to get your baseline so you know where to set FC, or after you've added CYA to get to a target PPM amount, or if you are using dichlor or trichlor which continually add CYA to the water.

You also need to test if you've added more water, thereby dilluting the previous CYA content, or you backwash substantially or have to pump out a lot of water due to things like heavy rains, etc.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
#26
2 gallons of 12% in your pool is raising your FC by about 28ppm. That means it your FC was 5, now you are at 33!! You risk bleaching your liner with super high chlorine levels, though in your green pool I imagine they are not staying that high for long!

Use the dilution method I said about in a previous post with your HTH kit. It is better than guessing. Download one of the pool calculators in my signature and use it to help you figure out how much bleach to add.
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#28
Ok, I had hubby do the CL test when he got home. Using the diluted method, the TC was still around 15, so we didn't add any additional liquid CL. The water is still light green and cloudy. Still can't see the bottom. We brushed and vacuumed some to try and get some of the dead algae out. I will check it in the morning to see what the CL level is. It seems like we may finally be turning a corner. Either that, or the CL level was way too high.

BTW, hubby said the dishwasher detergent worked much better than the bacquacil cleaner did.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
#29
heatmisr said:
Ok, I had hubby do the CL test when he got home. Using the diluted method, the TC was still around 15, so we didn't add any additional liquid CL. The water is still light green and cloudy. Still can't see the bottom. We brushed and vacuumed some to try and get some of the dead algae out. I will check it in the morning to see what the CL level is. It seems like we may finally be turning a corner. Either that, or the CL level was way too high.

BTW, hubby said the dishwasher detergent worked much better than the bacquacil cleaner did.
It sounds like you're turning a corner. The dead algae will cloud the water, so keep your filter running, and keep that FC up around 15.

Good to hear the dishwasher detergent worked well. Keep up the good work, you're almost there! :)
 

Rob

Well-known member
May 23, 2007
165
#30
Do you have a skimmer sock on your skimmer?

Maybe look at putting one of those on to catch at least some of the junk before it gets stuck in your cartridge.
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#33
Actually, no I don't. I meant to get some when I was in Leslie's, but forgot. Maybe I can just use a knee high.

Checked the CL level this morning. It was 0. Added 2 gallons of liquid CL. Water is getting lighter and cloudier. Since I am off today, I can check the levels again in an hour. Unfortunately, we will be away this weekend. I am hoping all our work won't be for naught. I'm really worried because I thought it would be holding the CL levels by now. We have been shocking it all week. I only have 2 gallons of liquid shock left. I bought 12 on Monday.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
#34
Heatmisr, the only way to get ahead of a bad algae bloom is to hit it hard and often with chlorine.

You are doing battle. You throw your troops (bleach) at the enemy (algae), they battle until the last of your troops are dead. If you killed all the enemy, you are done shocking. If not, they regroup and start growing immediately in the absence of your troops.

Since you are home, you might consider shocking quite a bit over the normal level, then retesting an hour later and bringing your troops back up to the shock level, repeating hourly or so until the chlorine is holding fairly steady.

At this point, since you are having so many issues with your cartridge filter plugging so soon, I'm wondering if you might not be better of setting your valve to recirculate (assuming you have this option) and bypassing your filter, get the bleach in to kill everything, add a floculant, turn your pump off and let everything clump and drop overnight to the floor of the pool. You can then SLOWLY vaccuum it to waste, keeping it out of your filter.

Any chance you can have someone you trust stop buy on the weekend evenings and throw some bleach in so you can hopefully at least keep things where they are now and not have to start over again?
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#35
The cartridge is actually running pretty good right now. It is getting a lot cleaner using the dishwasher detergent. We can actually go about 2 days now. I don't think there is a recirculate option. If there is, we don't know how to do it. We don't have any paperwork for the pool other than a useless DVD we got from the previous owner and a manual we got from NAMCO, which is very basic. I also don't know how to vacuum to waste. There are no settings on the pump. Not even an off button. We have to go in the house to flip the switch in the electric panel to shut it off.

As far as the CL goes, I am going to run out and stock up again on the liquid CL. It is still on sale at Drug fair. I think I can sneak home tomorrow afternoon to dump some more CL in. We are going to be at a conference about 45 min away from home, so I will just bite the bullet and make the drive back. Don't want to lose all the progress we made.

Is floculant the same as a clarifier or polisher? If so, we already have some of that from last year.

Ok, I'm off to the store. I will report back in a few.

If I haven't said so already, thanks for all the help!
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
#36
I believe floculant is different. It makes particles clump together so they are bigger and can be filtered easier.

If you feel things are progressing, don't change it on my account. I was just throwing some thoughts out there since you said "Water is getting lighter and cloudier". I interpreted this as you were making progress killing stuff (lighter) but not filtering it out (cloudier).
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#37
OK, back from the store. I checked the CL level and it was down to 9, so I added 1 bottle of the 12.5%. I am going to check it in another hour to see where my levels are. Hopefully, it will hold a decent amount of CL until I can get back here tomorrow afternoon.

Should the pump be running when you add the flocculant or should it be off?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
#39
Flocculant is usually added and then the pump is turned off. It consolidates particles which then settle to the bottom of the pool and need to be vacuumed to remove. A clarifier is usually added and the pump is kept running. It also consolidates particles, but not as much, so they instead get caught in the filter. The filter is then cleaned or backwashed (depending on the type of filter).

They are actually different sets of chemicals though knowing this industry I wouldn't be surprised if they sometimes get mixed up. By the way, PolyQuat 60 is not only an algaecide, but is also a clarifier.
 

duraleigh

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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,397
Sebring, Florida
#40
Heatmisr,

I'm coming to the game late but I want to say something. It is my firm belief that chlorine, and I mean lots of it, will completely clear your pool.

You're getting great advice.....remember to keep your chlorine at shock level this entire period....at least 15ppm or so. Bring it back to that level as often as you can. I would not suggest you by-pass the filter. You need the filter working to filter out the dead junk. That's why your filter clogged up so fast at first and is doing it less now....you have less dead junk.

Brush the pool as frequently as practicable. This keeps the junk stirred up allowing your filtering system to get rid of it.

My primary point is this.....do not get too side tracked on peripheral things like which algaecide, floc, clarifier, etc. Focus on keeping your chlorine level constantly high and filtering your water 24/7. Your pool will be crystal clear in the shortest time possible if you stay the course with chlorine, filtering and brushing.