SO. MANY. PROBLEMS.

MelanieD

Member
Jun 13, 2019
7
Hanford, CA
I’m a fairly new pool owner.. bought this house with a pool about 2 years ago and have had nothing but problems with keeping it up. I even had to drain it completely last year and refill.

I think one of the main problems is just age.. the house is about 20 years old and I’m thinking the pool was put in not long after that (it has retro dolphin tile lol).

So the issue this year is algae and I’m almost positive it’s mustard algae because it is so stubborn and keeps coming back. I’m guilty of testing my water at Leslie’s for the past couple years and just this past month have done their whole Algae free treatment (yellow out + 4lbs of shock every 12 hours + clean filters + clear aid and run pump another 48 hours) TWICE! And while I’m adding the 2nd round of shock on the 2nd treatment I see the mustard algae already coming back! It’s so frustrating! I can brush it off the walls but it always seems to come back a couple days (if that) later. I’ll post pics of it when it was really bad.

So I took to the internet and luckily found you guys and educated myself. I have my own Taylor 2006 test kit and have read the “Pool Bible” you guys have and have learned sooo much! I’ve also learned that there’s a lot more than just bad water chemistry going on with my pool.

Water is blue but super cloudy. I’m doing the SLAM process now where I’ve used about 14 gallons of 10% bleach in my pool the last 2 days. Today around 4pm as I was adding a couple more gallons of bleach (per pool math app), I noticed a little yellow algae growing under one of the return jets (AGAIN) and an area on the wall about a foot away from it, at the time my FC level was 7.

Doesn’t make any sense! The pump is running 24/7 and keep testing the water to make sure the Free Chlorine levels are high and they’re always all over the place.

My jets have bubbles coming out and the filter basket has bubbles under the cover so I think I’m taking in air somewhere. The filter gauge always reads zero but i don’t know if it’s a bad gauge or if there just isn’t any pressure in there because of the air it’s taking in. When I open the pressure relief valve very little air comes out and no water so I know the filter isn’t filling up. I just ordered a new gauge and seal anyways just to see. Should my pressure ever read 0 when the pump is on, even if the pump is taking in air somewhere? Why wouldn’t water come out of the pressure relief valve when opened? Would that have something to do with the air intake? My levels as of 8pm today were
FC- 13
CC-.4
CYA - 35 (if I’m doing it right.. the dot becomes blurry but I can still kind of see it until 35 and then I can’t see it at all.)
pH (before SLAM started) - 7.4
TA (before SLAM) - 150
CH (before SLAM) - 400

I know the last 2 are high but I wasn’t going to worry about them until the algae issue was resolved. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.. I’m losing my mind and am about to turn it into a half pipe 😂

These pics are just to show what the algae USED to look like.. for a diagnosis. I was able to brush most of it off the walls and will post new pics of what it looks like now but the algae that started coming back today looked like this only a much smaller patch.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,940
Tallahassee, FL
Hi and welcome! You have come a long way already by finding us and getting a good test kit! SWEET!

You are on the right track with doing the SLAM. It is very normal for the FC levels to be all over the place as more algae is killed and the sun is shining or no shining.

Now you get to finish this SLAM up. I have a couple of things for you to do. Please take your light out and see what is behind it. There should be one screw at the top or two with one at the top and one at the bottom.

I also want you to get a new toothbrush and donate your old one to the pool. Use the toothbrush around the returns and skimmer. If you can get the return off that would be even better. Look inside you skimmer. Is there any algae on or by the little door?

Brushing-you need to brush the pool at least once a day during this time. Try to twice a day if possible. This will get the algae up and into the SLAM level FC.

Look at your regents. Do you need to reorder any? Do so now so you don't run out. You have a little way to go to get that green monster out of your pool.

When was the last time you cleaned the filter? Getting a new gauge is a good idea. If your filter is clogged then you will not have any pressure. I am not sure why no water came out when you opened the air valve though. Can you take and share a pic of your equipment so we can see what is what?

We will get you all sorted out!
 

duraleigh

Admin
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Apr 1, 2007
32,190
Sebring, Florida
I know the last 2 are high but I wasn’t going to worry about them until the algae issue was resolved
That's good thinking....ignore them for now
Should my pressure ever read 0 when the pump is on, even if the pump is taking in air somewhere?
NO! Never! You need to find that air leak.

First, replace the gauge if you have not already done so. Then, find that suction side leak.....you cannot SLAM properly until you do that, Read this article and start from there. You need to stop the leak and then restart the SLAM. Suction Side Air Leaks - Trouble Free Pool
 

MelanieD

Member
Jun 13, 2019
7
Hanford, CA
Now you get to finish this SLAM up. I have a couple of things for you to do. Please take your light out and see what is behind it. There should be one screw at the top or two with one at the top and one at the bottom.
Behind the light was filthy.. full of algae. Cleaned it all out and also the ring around it.. I’m pretty sure I have every single type of algae there is as I had to use a flat head screwdriver to take some of that black stuff off the wall.
I also want you to get a new toothbrush and donate your old one to the pool. Use the toothbrush around the returns and skimmer. If you can get the return off that would be even better. Look inside you skimmer. Is there any algae on or by the little door?
Used a toothbrush around all returns.. wasn’t able to get them completely off but did my best to get every bit I could see with the toothbrush, wire brush and screwdriver. By the little door do you mean the weir? Mine broke off awhile ago and haven’t replaced it (pic below) Is it something I really need to replace?
Brushing-you need to brush the pool at least once a day during this time. Try to twice a day if possible. This will get the algae up and into the SLAM level FC.
I brush as much as I can but it’s strange when you can’t see the bottom of the pole:/ I don’t even know if/what I’m brushing once I get down a few feet.
Look at your regents. Do you need to reorder any? Do so now so you don't run out. You have a little way to go to get that green monster out of your pool.
Just ordered some refills for the cya and fas/dpd tests.
When was the last time you cleaned the filter? Getting a new gauge is a good idea. If your filter is clogged then you will not have any pressure. I am not sure why no water came out when you opened the air valve though. Can you take and share a pic of your equipment so we can see what is what?
Filters were cleaned last week and they were only dirty half way up (pic below) haven’t had a bad outbreak since and They were cleaned 2 weeks prior when I had the bad algae outbreak shown in the pics and they were filthy then. Bought them new last year. New gauge came in today. I’ll watch a YouTube video to figure out how to install it later on. Pics below of the pump and filter set up.
Thanks for all the help! Hope this works 🤞🏼
 

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MelanieD

Member
Jun 13, 2019
7
Hanford, CA
NO! Never! You need to find that air leak.
I didn’t think so, I got the new gauge today I’m going to figure out how to replace it.. I ran the hose over the filter drain plug, basket cover, pvc pipes around it and still bubbling.. the hose had a pressure tip on it tho so I’m going to take it off and try again. Unless it’s underground, I think I’ve tried all the other options but will try again.
 

MelanieD

Member
Jun 13, 2019
7
Hanford, CA
Update: I replaced the gauge and it still didn’t work.. opened it up and noticed that the stick in the middle is really bent.. I think that’s why the water is going through it.. how do I get it to line up? I’ll post a pic to show what it looks like.

Did the water hose test again and let water run smoothly over basket cover, pvc joints, drain plug, still bubbled in the cover. Tried the incense test where you wave an incense around all the same areas to see if it pulls the smoke in and can’t see it pulling any of it in. I have no clue what else to do to find the air leak.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,940
Tallahassee, FL
Some thing IS up with your filter for it only be dirty on the bottom like that!! It might be time to get a new one. I will see what others have to say about it :(
 

Lilypad

Bronze Supporter
Nov 12, 2016
161
Plano, Texas
Interesting how your filters look with the debris/dirt only at the bottom. Maybe one of the Mod Squad can see if that is a problem with water flow through the filter? Or is this normal for this type of filter?

Edit: Thanks mknauss, the filter housing not filling due to the air leak makes sense.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,592
Laughlin, NV
With lots of air I doubt the filter housing is filling with water.

Need to find the suction side air leak. Be sure the pool level is high enough, weir door in place, check all the connections above ground before the pump. Use plastic wrap around them to check them.
 

duraleigh

Admin
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Apr 1, 2007
32,190
Sebring, Florida
+1 what mknauss said above.

Your filter may or may not be an issue. You can't really solve that until you find the suction side air leak.

Pump running, can you see bubbles and/or frothing in the clear plastic pump basket lid?
 

MelanieD

Member
Jun 13, 2019
7
Hanford, CA
Pump running, can you see bubbles and/or frothing in the clear plastic pump basket lid?
Yes a lot of bubbling in there.. tried the hose test and still bubbled no matter where I put it.. tried the incense test to see if it pulled any smoke in anywhere and still couldn’t see it pulling in. Idk what the plastic wrap test is?
 

MelanieD

Member
Jun 13, 2019
7
Hanford, CA
Need to find the suction side air leak. Be sure the pool level is high enough, weir door in place, check all the connections above ground before the pump. Use plastic wrap around them to check them.
I mentioned before that I don’t have a weir door.. there’s also a pic posted of the skimmer and the water level is just above half the tile. I also mentioned that I tried the water hose running and incense test and couldn’t find any leaks anywhere. Could it be the seal inside the pump?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
Could it be the seal inside the pump?
No. The pump is pressurized. The most common place for a suction side leak is the plastic lid does not seal correctly. It should never be hammer-driven tight but it should seat correctly. Probably the next most common is a faulty repair made on the pipes......are they all straight?

Also, there is one or two drain plugs down low on each side of the pump basket. Are they sealed nicely with teflon tape.

Did you read page 2 of the suction leak article? Suction Side Air Leaks - Trouble Free Pool
 

MelanieD

Member
Jun 13, 2019
7
Hanford, CA
Ok so I finally got the drain plugs in the mail replaced both..one suction side and one pressure side because when I replaced the suction side one the pressure side one started dripping water. There are very little air bubbles in the basket cover now which I’m waiting for the o ring to replace as well. Even with the fixes, my filter only shows pressure when the valve is switched to Inlet Off. then it shoots to 30psi really quick and I’m able to bleed air and water out. Any other setting and the pressure reads 0. I posted a pic of the valve I’m talking about.. I know one way goes to the waterfall and one to the return jets but Idk what the other ways do except the one that builds all the pressure in the filter. What should I check/fix next?

Thanks again for all your help ❤
 

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