Small, 10' x 3' pool chemical conversions

Shellbird

Active member
Jul 9, 2020
32
COLUMBUS, GA
So I have been fairly fastidious on maintaining my water chemistry. However, after some significant rain, I have an algae bloom.

My chlorine (by tablet) is high as is my free chlorine. How do I get an algae bloom with high chlorine? What am I doing wrong. Says my ph is low. I thought high ph and produce algae. Seems logically high chlorine with low ph would mean I woudn't get algae?

Any advice, insight, guidance is appreciated. The chemical calculations for some of this stuff is tricky too. Such a small pool, the general manufacturers base everything on 10,000 gallons or more. I can do the math but with such a difference in volume I wonder if it is accurate.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,930
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Q: How do I get an algae bloom with high chlorine?
A: You don't. Your chlorine may be high if you're using the 1-3 is ideal standard from the 1960s, but without knowing the CYA level, you can't really say it's high. Chlorine tablets add chlorine and CYA both. The chlorine gets used up killing algae or destroyed by the sun. The CYA just builds and builds. the higher the CYA, the higher the FC level you need to mainatain. You haven't been, so you got algae.



pH has little or nothing to do with algae blooms. However, chlorine tablets are highly acidic, which explains why a steady diet of them has crashed your pH. Yep, it's those pucks again.

You're only looking at about 1500 gallons. It might be cheaper and faster to just dump the water and scrub the pool with some strong chlorine solution, then refill and start again. And this time around, pay close attention to how manytablets you've fed the pool so you can stop when the CYA level gets to optimum. Then you switch to liquid chlorine, or even Cal-hypo powder if you don't mind dumping water again in a few months if Calcium Hardness levels get too high.

You need some schooling. Start with these.
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

 
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Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,586
NW Ohio
Firstly, welcome to TFP!

You'll probably need to do some draining regardless, but without test results it is impossible to say. There's really only two ways we recommend caring for a pool. For small pools it is often faster, easier, and cheaper to follow the Temporary Pool Guide Richard posted. It does involve draining, but that is because it makes problems go away quickly. The other way is TFPC - Trouble Free Pool Care. It is what larger pools use and will work just fine in a smaller pool. However, it requires reliable testing to be properly run. That means a kit like the TF-100 or Taylor K-2006c. Test Kits Compared These give the accurate and precise numbers needed to properly care for a pool.

Either method works fine, it is just the larger the pool the more unreasonable "drain and start over" becomes. Blindly adding a bunch of chlorine is never recommended, it's just not good practice and can cause some real problems.
 

Shellbird

Active member
Jul 9, 2020
32
COLUMBUS, GA
Oh and WOW, THANK YOU For the quick reply!!! Our beloved tiny pool on bett20190615_152100.jpg
Firstly, welcome to TFP!

You'll probably need to do some draining regardless, but without test results it is impossible to say. There's really only two ways we recommend caring for a pool. For small pools it is often faster, easier, and cheaper to follow the Temporary Pool Guide Richard posted. It does involve draining, but that is because it makes problems go away quickly. The other way is TFPC - Trouble Free Pool Care. It is what larger pools use and will work just fine in a smaller pool. However, it requires reliable testing to be properly run. That means a kit like the TF-100 or Taylor K-2006c. Test Kits Compared These give the accurate and precise numbers needed to properly care for a pool.

Either method works fine, it is just the larger the pool the more unreasonable "drain and start over" becomes. Blindly adding a bunch of chlorine is never recommended, it's just not good practice and can cause some real problems.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,930
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I ordered TFP Test kit.
Question: Can I use bleach, Borax, ph UP and/or ph Down. What should I do. Do I abandon the tablets?
You can use some tablets initially to chlorinate with and build CYA. You may need to supplement the chlorine with bleach, and when the CYA level has built to a certain point, you will have to switch to bleach completely. Some googling shows that your pool is 1018 gallons when 90% full. Using that figure, 8 ounces of trichlor -- one 3" puck -- will raise CYA to 33. If that's what size you have, break one in half and use 1½ pucks. If you have the 1" tablets, you'll need to figure out how much they each weigh and work it out or tell us what you discovered they weigh.

Borax can be used if pH needs increasing without much TA change. pH Up raises pH and TA. pH down isn't the best choice for lowering pH, but if you already own it, you might as well use it up. Otherwise Muriatoc Acid is better. It's all in the links I posted earlier in the thread.
 

Shellbird

Active member
Jul 9, 2020
32
COLUMBUS, GA
I really like the way the water looks and feels with Borax. Is there an equivalent that is more beneficial overall? The Pool School is really great! I'm actually starting to UNDERSTAND what is going on. This site is great. Can't wait to get my test kit.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,930
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I really like the way the water looks and feels with Borax. Is there an equivalent that is more beneficial overall? The Pool School is really great! I'm actually starting to UNDERSTAND what is going on. This site is great. Can't wait to get my test kit.
Once you're certain the algae is all gone, and you've mastered the chemistry, THEN you can decide if you want to add borates. They're not the cure-all that people think. You can still develop algae if the chlorine level is too low. And once you've added borates, the pH remains more stable, which also means it's harder to adjust.