Saving my disaster!!! Giving the BBB a try

newby12

Member
Feb 25, 2008
18
My Disaster!!
After several days of research here on TFP, I've decided not to drain my pool and try the bleach method of saving the water. My plan is a bit suspect to start. My current DE filter is old and tired and blows DE out when vacuuming. I have already received my new filter (Hayward Star Clear cartridge C12002 ) and plan to install it after I get the water to a better state. I would rather let the old filter get totally impacted than chance overloading the new filter with all of the debris that is currently in my pool.
I started by dumping in 2 gallons of 6% bleach, skimming and brushing. I don't have a high quality testing kit, just the cheap 3 way KMart kit. I'll get a better one at my Local Pool store Monday (any suggestions for a proper kit). I have a Leslie's Pool supply and a Sky Blue Pool in my neighborhood. I think that 2 gallons was a bit much but I could not see 1 inch down throught the algae, dirt and debris. I'll see how the levels go over the next two days before I add any more
Initial tests show:
CL 0.0
CC 0.0
Br 0.0
Ph 8.2 +
After the first 1 hour the pool had already gone from chocolate brown to cloudy green brown. After 3 hours the water had changed into a cloudy and murky blue. I could not get pictures as the light was already gone. If I get the test kit I'll check to see what the Chlorine levels are.

The specs.
20 year old 48 sf hayward DE filter, soon to be switched out
1 Hp pentair pump (2 year old)
some where between 9600 - 10200 gallons (depends on which formula for size and volume)
in ground Sahara pool with raised spa and spill over waterfall.

Keep you posted on the progress.
 

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JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,629
SW Indiana
Two gallons of 6% bleach only raised your chlorine to about 12ppm. The problem you'll have is that chlorine needs to be added every few hours. The bleach you added is already gone and the algae is growing again. The only way to do it is to hammer it hard and maintain 15ppm chlorine by checking and adding every 4 hours for the first day, then every 8 hours until it isn't green anymore. Anything less is just a waste of time.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
Welcome newby!

You don't need to drain!! Just do as John said and hit it hard with bleach.

Bleach is also more effective at lower pH, so you might want to drop that down a bit with muriatic or dry acid. Keep in mind that pH tests are inaccurate when you have high Chlorine.

Use Jason's calculator found in my signature to help you determine how much bleach to add.

Good test kits: The TF100 linked in my sig is the best. The Taylor K2006 is the next best choice.
 

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
414
Joliet, Il.
hi there... :)


Your pool will clear up...but you need to be more persistent with the bleach. With all that algae, the bleach you add will be "used up" very quickly. The more persistent you are with adding bleach the quicker things will get cleared up. Things will clear up! Stick with it, test often and add bleach as often as needed!!!!!

dan
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Newby, welcome aboard!

If you don't already have one, you might consider picking up a leaf rake net at the pool store while you're there. The more large debris, leaves, sticks, animals, etc that you can get out will speed up the process. You also might want to take them a water sample to test (I know you're buying a new kit but it'll give you a benchmark when you do your first tests), just don't let them sell you any chems - tell them you've got a bunch of stuff in your shed from last year. If you have low cya you might want to use some trichlor pucks in addition to the bleach to help maintain the cl, lower the pH a little and add cya.

Good luck with the cleanup! If you need any help or have more questions, we'll be here to assist.
 

newby12

Member
Feb 25, 2008
18
More bleach

I added another 2.78 liters later last night, about four hours after the initial shock. I also threw some pucks into the float just in case I could not tend to the pool till late. My wife will be adding another 5.56 L this afternoon. The pool was looking cloudy but not too green or brown as of 5:15 am this morning. Lighting was not great so I really could not tell. I won't be able to do a test till late this eve if I can get my hands on a better test kit.
I must have done something wrong on the Bleach Calc, the increase came out to something like 43 ppm which I thought would be fine. I assume I really can't over chlorinate at this point. The water had a lot of foam on it. I did not add any thing else to the water. I scooped most of it out but there was still some this morning. What is this caused from.
I'll post more pics later today.

Thanks for the help guys.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
It sounds like you are making progress. But without a good test kit it is impossible to tell at this point. You really need to get some idea of the CYA level to know how safe high levels of chlorine are. At sufficiently high levels of chlorine there will start to be rapid corrosion of any metal exposed to the pool water. As long as the algae is green it is very unlikely that you will be able to reach significant FC levels in the water. But when the algae turns white or gray things get riskier.

If you kill the algae it will turn white or gray. From that point it can take the filter up to a week to clean up the water. You should be running the pump & filter 24/7 and keeping an eye on the filter pressure. The filter will probably need to be cleaned/backwashed fairly frequently. With a DE filter it can be ever few hours. With a sand or cartridge filter it is more likely to be every other day or three as long as the algae is growing.
 

newby12

Member
Feb 25, 2008
18
Progress is being made. The water has turned a cool shade of cloudy blue and I can start to see the second step. I will have to replace that filter if I ever expect the water to really get clear. The old DE has seen its last days. Spit out some DE while trying to vacuum last night, probably adding to the cloudy water I have been testing with the kmart test kit my Cl is staying at least high enough to keep things bright yellow. I can't seem to find a adequate test kit at the local pool store. Looks like i'll have to order one online. I plan to keep adding the bleach at the same rate for the next couple of days unless the water clears up signifacantly. I'm sure i'll get better quality once the filter gets changed out. More tomorrow.
 

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newby12

Member
Feb 25, 2008
18
Moving slowly

Cloudy but not green!!. I can now see down to the second step and almost to the bottom of the spa. I have been just keeping to the same regime but will cut back a little on the bleach tommorow. I stiil don't have an adequate test kit so I'll have to order one online. All the kits I have seen including some that claim to be "professional" grade only measure to 5ppm and don't include charts for extrapolating higher concentrations.
Brushing and skimming is all I can do till the new filter is in. Hopefully I'll get in by this weekend.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,629
SW Indiana
Looks like progress. You can measure your chlorine by diluting the sample with distilled water. Add three parts distilled water to one part pool water, mix, then test the mixture. Your reading will be 1/4 of the actual chlorine level. You can expand this to handle even higher concentrations as well. Not as accurate as a better test kit, but close enough to get by.
 

IkeRay

Well-known member
May 20, 2007
154
Houston, Tx
newby, dont be scared to just take a water sample into the local pool store. they wont charge you for testing it, but they WILL try to push you to buy chems. also tell them that you had just shocked. if they ask what kind of chlorine you use, say you use liquid chlorine, and if they ask what percentage, say 6%. they wont be able to test for any thing else with you having just shocked.

your pool is as clean as its going to get without you taking out that old filter and/or replacing the old grids. keep the bleach regimen up, but you can let off some, it wont require you adding bleach every 4 hours now, but check it ever 8 at least.

also, someone mentioned earlier about your pH level being high, it is quite high and bleach works a lot better at 7.2-7.4 pH.

good luck.
 

newby12

Member
Feb 25, 2008
18
Deceasing the PH

I will try to lower the ph some tonight and change out he filter Friday or Saturday. To lower the Ph I need to add Muriatic acid? What would be the optimal ph for the bleach to keep working its magic? Is the stuff at home depot ok to use?
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Re: Deceasing the PH

newby12 said:
I will try to lower the ph some tonight and change out he filter Friday or Saturday. To lower the Ph I need to add Muriatic acid? What would be the optimal ph for the bleach to keep working its magic? Is the stuff at home depot ok to use?
Muriatic acid is my choice for lowering pH, sodium bi-sulphate (a granular/ dry acid) is often sold at pool stores to lower pH, but sulphides can cause a few problems in a pool. If I'm remembering correctly muriatic acid is a specific form of hydrochloric acid (~31.4%) and any source you can find will be fine.

Chlorine works better at lower temps and at lower pH, however - you don't want to damage the pool surface or equipment by lowering the pH below 7.0 (neutral)
 

IkeRay

Well-known member
May 20, 2007
154
Houston, Tx
Re: Deceasing the PH

newby12 said:
I will try to lower the ph some tonight and change out he filter Friday or Saturday. To lower the Ph I need to add Muriatic acid? What would be the optimal ph for the bleach to keep working its magic? Is the stuff at home depot ok to use?

home depot should carry it, but it sometimes runs a bit more than the pool store in some cases. my home depot has the acid for $20 a case while the pool store has it for $16/case.

in most cases, its kept outside, but i believe that most grocery stores and wal-mart carry it and keep it inside on the shelf. in short, check the garden area of home depot if you go that way, and outside at that.
 

newby12

Member
Feb 25, 2008
18
Thanks

Thanks for all the advice so far. I'll get on the filter and the ph later today. I wish I would have found TFP before my disater. I'll keep you all posted.
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Re: Moving slowly

newby12 said:
I stiil don't have an adequate test kit so I'll have to order one online. All the kits I have seen including some that claim to be "professional" grade only measure to 5ppm and don't include charts for extrapolating higher concentrations.
If you are looking for a great test kit, just scroll up to Jason's post and TF TEST KITS is in his signature. Lots of us think it is the BEST kit available :-D Not only that, you get first hand help right here from duraleigh with any test kit questions you may have. Yes, we are spoiled. There is also a link on the home page. Good luck! :-D


Joyce
 

rimshaker

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2007
64
Florida
Buy MA at Home Depot/Lowe's (31.45% full strength) And generally the 2.5gal chlorine jugs at pool stores are the best bang for your buck; they're 10-12% strength also.

Chlorine's sanitizing power is best at lower pH levels. Lower the pH to 7.2 during the day and then add the chlorine during the evening or when there's no more sunlight hitting the pool. Sunlight breaks down unstabilized chlorine molecules.

Be very careful handling the acid; gloves and eye wear to be safe. Avoid any splashes; the stuff will burn through almost anything.
 

newby12

Member
Feb 25, 2008
18
unions

Thanks for all the advice so far. On a different note, I am getting ready to install the new filter and bought unions to do the hook up. After looking at them for a while I relized that it will be really easy to screw up the install. Is there a correct sequence to getting the unions faced the correct way for easy maintainence later? I will be measuring twice and cutting once before I dry fit everything but I would rather have a clue from the start. I am also considering using clear braided pvc flex tube for the connection between the pump and the filter or from filter out to heater. This might make the install easier as the current pump was patched in and not completely redone. There does seem to be enough pipe to reconnect to.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,629
SW Indiana
Re: unions

newby12 said:
I will be measuring twice and cutting once before I dry fit everything but I would rather have a clue from the start.
Dry fitting PVC isn't great because it's almost impossible to fully seat a dry joint. The connection almost always goes further when the solvent is added. Careful measurements after gluing the first joint and before gluing the next joint is about the only way to get it right
 

duraleigh

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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,863
Sebring, Florida
John's right. Dry fitting usually makes just enough error to foul up the job.

When the connections have to be exact, I measure the exact length of the PVC run and then add the depth of the socket (all the way down to the stop) into which the pipe will fit. I then cut the pipe about a 1/16th short of that (on each end) and put a pencil mark on the pipe to let me know when to stop pushing the joint together. That usually works.

On a hot day above 80 degress or so, the glue sets up quite a bit faster and I'll usually cut the pipe about 1/8 of an inch short of the stop on each end. Still, the pencil mark is the key to getting exactly the length you want.