SOS for pool

prehman72

Member
May 10, 2021
5
San Antonio
Good morning ,

We just purchased a home that has an 18x33 oval above ground pool with a vinyl liner. When we looked at the home in late March it was clear. When we moved in early April the water was green. Here's the history since then and I really need some advice as I don't know which direction to move in.

Day 1: A guy showed up and said he was the pool guy here to clean our pool and that the prior owner was paying for it. He did a few things and left.
Day 5: Same guy comes back and says he is finishing the job for prior owner and that he will charge me 170/mo for him to come weekly and supply chemicals. As I don't know anyone I agree. He says a few things to my significant other and leaves. We asked questions about what we needed to do - but were not given any advice.
Pool looks ok - but is really dirty/cloudy - but we are busy as we just moved in so we don't pay much attention to it.
Day 10: Large rainstorms in San Antonio. I wake up the next morning to a green pool. My s/o is out of town traveling. I text pool guy and tell him. He says he will be here. He shows up- does a few things and leaves. I give him a check for 2 weeks of payment as this starts our first week.
Day 14: Pool is still green and I'm a bit angry now as I feel like I'm being duped by said pool guy. I call him and he comes back out. S/O is still out of town and I am furious. Why am i paying you if this pool is green?....etc etc. He says 1) Water chemistry is perfect (shows me a test strip which I don't understand). I ask him to explain it and he doesn't. There were too many leaves stuck in the filter. 2) He says prior owner said pool was always difficult to maintain and probably due to either filter being too small or too many trees in our yard. 3) He offers to let me borrow a robot vacuum for a few days and shows me how to use it, how to backwash the pool and clean the leaves out of the pool. He said I should do this daily. I haven't heard from him since and that was a week ago.

It is now Day 21 and here is what has happened since:

After feeling like being duped, I go to Family Leisure Pools with a water sample and pictures of what I have (pump, filter, pool) (I actually used to work at a sister location in Nashville years ago!).
I am told there the pool was purchased at that location (and he even pulls up my address when I give him the old owners name), so I feel a little confident then.
He tells me it is a Perma Salt system and I need to do exactly the following:
1) Backwash the pool - he gave me specific instructions on how to do this
2) Throw 1 gal muriatic acid in the pool
3) Change the chamber on perma salt system
4) Throw 1 bucket of perma salt chemicals in the pool to "open" the pool
5) After 24-48 hours sand getting a "copper" reading - lower perma salt level and use some more chemicals and then do that every 2 weeks.
$400 bucks or so.

I did steps 1 and 2 with no success while s/o was still out of town.
I also realized during this time that the Perma Salt system did not have a power cord and apparently was not being used.

S/O comes back to town. We go back to store with another water sample.
I explain my concerns about wasting the bucket of chemicals and the new chamber on a "green" pool - and this service guy agrees. I need to use more muriatic acid to get the pool clear before doing anything else- and he also checked the history and found pool is from 2013 and said this problem also could be caused by sand needing replaced.
He sells me sand and a power cord for the Perma Salt and we go on our way. $150 bucks.

So we change the sand in the filter.
We add another gal of muriatic acid (the kind from Lowes).
PH goes down a bit, alkalinity still too high.
We add next day after 24 hours 2 more gals (this time the kind from Home Depot because of reading this forum).
That was last night - and now we have had big rain storms and wake up to an even greener pool.

I know I need to get a test kit (and I"ll be doing that today but it is a few days delivery), but the color coded strips they gave me now show PH is somewhere in the 6.8 range and alkalinity around 80. Yesterday they were both higher so I think we are doing something right - but my question is - what do I do in the meantime while I'm waiting for the test kit?

Based on the reviews here, I think I need to return the Perma Salt stuff -since clearly the owner before me wasn't using it either. If I wasted $50 on a power cord, so be it!

Any suggestions??? We know absolutely nothing about maintaining a pool and just assumed we would hire someone - but now I feel like we need to learn this ourselves. I'm frustrated and almost ready to just drain it and tell someone to come get it!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,975
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!
You need to follow the SLAM Process. To do that, you need a proper test kit. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.

While you are waiting on your test kit, add 5 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine / plain bleach to your pool each evening with the pump running. This will replenish the FC lost each day to the sun and also inhibit any algae in the water from growing further.
Please fill out your signature so we know pool volume, specifications, equipment, etc.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,784
NY
Hey 72 and Welcome !! ^^^ all of the above. You will want to take that new power cord and return it if you can and leave the old one disconnected too. The PermaSalt system add copper to the pool because certain metals inhibit algae growth. While this is entirely true, they cause problems to swimmers and stain pool surfaces when the copper levels get above a trace amount.

These style systems are usually sold under a pretense that with the metals keeping algae at bay, more chlorine is available to kill bacteria/viruses/pathogens so you will need less chlorine with one of these systems, increasing swimmer comfort. This is a BOLD FACED lie. Again, a half truth. If you have a lower chlorine level (1-2 PPM), but the regular UV from the sun burns off 2-4 ppm daily, you will have a pool with zero FC more often than not. Which ends up like you have seen, luckily only with algae and not with swimmer rashes and sicknesses/infections also.

So ditch the magic system and treat with liquid chlorine until your test kit comes. 5 ppm per the pool math app (download it for free) will keep it from getting worse until your kit comes.

With your reliable test kit we can hatch a plan and clean you up. From there you can decide if you’d like to swap out the magic system for an actually helpful Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWG) that will add chlorine for you, Or just continue adding liquid chlorine (bleach / liquid shock) yourself.

Side note about the bleach. No Clorox. No splash less, scented, color Max technologies of any kind. All are additives that will cause problems. Just plain Jane old skool bleach. The garden centers of Home Depot / Lowe’s / Walmart should have HDX chlorinating liquid or pool essentials. Look for a long # on the bottle that starts with 20 or 21. Do not buy the 20. (2020). Get the 21 with the highest 3 #s after it. Today is day 131 of the year and Google the 3 day Julian date to figure out how old the bottle is. You want 2 months or less preferably.
 
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prehman72

Member
May 10, 2021
5
San Antonio
Ok, we have finally got our test kit and here's what we have assuming we are using this right. The pool has cleared up but I really don't know what to do next.


Our FAS-DPD results from last night were: 13.5 FC and 1 CC.

This morning the results were: 14FC and 1CC.

Our CYA was more than 20.

And see picture of our current daily tests.

Next steps, advice?

I'm not much of a chemist.
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,975
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Great. The CC is a bit concerning. But no FC loss overnight is great.

Can you provide a complete set of test results?
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
 

prehman72

Member
May 10, 2021
5
San Antonio
Good morning!
Due to heavy rainstorms we finally were able to do all of the tests requested today. It seems things are looking better, but I'd love to know what to do to get everything in range.

FC 7.5
CC 0.5
pH 6.8
TA 80
CH 550
CYA 15
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,975
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I assume your CYA test was just cloudy and you could see the dot as 15 is not a valid result.

With a TA of 80 your pH will rise quickly.

I would suggest adding 10 ppm CYA worth of stabilizer using the sock method. Then follow the SLAM Process until you pass the three criteria. Your SLAM level FC would be 12 ppm as you would assume you have 30 ppm CYA until you can test that level a day after the stabilizer is fully dissolved from the sock.
 

prehman72

Member
May 10, 2021
5
San Antonio
Hi,

We did as suggested - and have had more rainstorms here in San Antonio! I'm sorry but the SLAM process seems a bit confusing to me so I'm not really sure what to do.

Here's our test results for this morning:

FC 5.5
CC 1
pH 7.5
TA 90
CH 375
CYA 20

Seems like our FC and CC are about .5 high, and CYA is low.
I've read all of your pages on SLAM and I just don't understand what I need to do. Do I need to add more Stabilizer?
 

MITBeta

Well-known member
May 28, 2020
371
North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Add 10ppm of stabilizer, lower pH to 7.2, raise FC to 12.

Check chlorine several times daily and add more to bring it back to 12.

Brush and vacuum daily.

When:
1. The pool is clear,
2. CC is less than one,
3. You pass an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test,

you can let your FC return to the appropriate level relative to your CYA FC/CYA Chart.

Add chlorine daily to keep well above the minimum on the chart.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
855
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Hi,

We did as suggested - and have had more rainstorms here in San Antonio! I'm sorry but the SLAM process seems a bit confusing to me so I'm not really sure what to do.

Here's our test results for this morning:

FC 5.5
CC 1
pH 7.5
TA 90
CH 375
CYA 20

Seems like our FC and CC are about .5 high, and CYA is low.
I've read all of your pages on SLAM and I just don't understand what I need to do. Do I need to add more Stabilizer?
couple bits of advice: Read through the SLAM process a few times without thinking of your specific pool problem. Just try to get the point about how chlorine kills stuff and how long the chlorine needs to be high enough to do it’s job of killing bad stuff and how the right CYA percentage keeps the chlorine from burning off.

Another bit, it’s really easy to not have enough FC, but really hard to have too much. If your pool is ever green, there’s not enough FC in the water.
 
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