Spotted a few small spots of algae...shock then?

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#1
Greetings fellow TFP'ers, hope everyone is doing well and apologies ahead of time for the long novel below but I know it helps here with too much detail vs. not enough :)

Well I've been going good, just maybe one or two days where I let the FC go .50 below the minimum but today I noticed some small quarter size spots on the sides and bottom that looked like green algae so the panic button went off and I began the shock process.

My initials readings before the shock were:
5:00 p.m. central

FC: 3.5
CC: 0.0
TC: 3.5
pH: 7.5
ALK: 90 (on 5/20)
CH: 120 (on 5/8)
CYA: 50 (on 5/20)

I went by the pool store (now hear me out) just to get some salt strips and salt (was just $1 more per bag than Lowes) as I have read that salt makes the water feel so much better, won't dry you out, etc.. Anyway I figured I might as well get a free test LOL and they had me at:

FC: 2.72
CC: 0.01
TC: 2.73
pH: 7.4
ALK: 60
CYA: 72

Now I know they are by far the pros when it comes to testing but this got me a little concerned as they had the TC almost 1 PPM lower than what my TFTkit showed and the kicker was the CYA was a lot higher. I'll admit I am not that good at the CYA test, still learning but it seemed like I could still barely make out the dot when it was closer to 60 so once I got closer to 50 I couldn't see it anymore so that's what I went with, but this made me think maybe this is why i started seeing algae?

I've been really really good with testing every day or every other day and usually adding about 3 FC every other day to keep in the range of 4 - 8 using a 50 CYA and lose no more than 1.5 to 2.0 FC on a sunny day however this makes me think I should split the difference and go back to 60?

Anyway back to the shock process....So I added the following:
320 (2.5 jug) oz of 12.5% to raise it 20.1
182 oz of 6.0% to raise it 5.6
80 oz of 10.0% (two month old jug, used to be 12.5%) to raise it 4.0

so that should\would make it 33.2

I just tested and my levels are:

FC: 36.0 (72 drops in 10 ml) also it is still sunny here so assuming my liquid chlorine was maybe a little stronger...
CC: 0.00
TC: 36.0
pH: 8.2 (very very dark purple :()

So here are my questions and appreciate any and all help:

Do I need to now add acid for the pH or wait til I am done with the shock process? I've been at 7.5 for the last month now so now I just created another thing to worry about LOL.

With the shock process, I've read it several times and from what I can tell I am already passing 2 items (pool is crystal clear and was already clear before I shocked with the exception of the 4 or so quarter-size spots, so if I pass the FC test am I done? The pool has always been clear ever since I learned the BBB from this site and got my CYA back down, in fact I've NEVER seen it this clear before especially when I go underwater.

Do I need to keep adding bleach to maintain the 34FC as I didn't know if you only do this until the pool is clear and since mine is already wasn't sure? I also didn't know if I just test each hour or since it's already clear if I just wait to do the overnight test? I've brushed the sides and don't need to backwash, in fact I haven't had to backwash for a while as the pressure hasn't increased the 25%. I also run the variable pump 3 hours on 2100 RPM daily and 17 hours on 1000 RPM for about a 2.2 turnover rate daily.

Did I overreact and should I only do the shock process when really needed such as it begins to get cloudy, I lose more than 2 FC a day when it's sunny and or there is more than just a couple quarter size green spots?

I purposely tried to get the level to 34 as a just in case for mustard algae, but once I am done, do I just let it go back down to the normal range and what ppm would it be safe to get back in and use? I didn't know if I needed to wait til it got down to the regular shock level of 24 or if mustard shock level was ok?

Going forward, does it hurt anything by using a higher FC range maybe 10 or 20 more than what I think my CYA level is? I just didn't want to cause any problems, like bleaching out my suits or liner.

Thanks as always, off to test in about an hour.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#2
The pH is inaccurate with a FC>10ppm ... you were fine before shocking so leave it alone.

Probably do not need to test each hour, but try to keep it above shock level.

Make sure you brush the algae spots while at shock level and odds are you should pass all the tests pretty quickly.

Your pool is not really in danger unless you are WAY over the shock levels. Aiming 1-2ppm higher than your normal FC levels if you are uncertain about your CYA will not hurt anything.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,273
Sebring, Florida
#3
1. A tenant of BBB is to TRUST your own testing....stay out of the pool store

2. Leave your pH alone. That test is not valid in the presence of Cl over 10ppm.

3. Continue to shock your pool until you no longer have visible algae.

4. Don't go higher than what's suggested by the calculator (If the correct dose of medicine is good for you, don't assume double the dose may be twice as good....it isn't)
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#4
Thanks so much for the help.

Just tested 30 min ago, still crystal clear, no spots or cloudiness and:

FC: 33.0
CC: 0.0
TC: 33.0

So should I keep it above mustard shock or is 24 Regular ok?

I think I'll just go one level above what I think the CYA is since that is usually only 1 or 2 ppm higher from where my levels are at.

Think I'll wait to test later tonight and see if I pass overnight test.

Thanks again
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#6
Sounds good, I wasn't sure if I should have done the regular shock or the mustard level shock so figured just in case.

I can't wait to be able to help others here and elsewhere and feel as time goes on and my experience grows I'll just be able to do that.

Thanks again for the help and will report back tomorrow.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#7
ED-209 said:
I can't wait to be able to help others here and elsewhere and feel as time goes on and my experience grows I'll just be able to do that.
Don't be surprised if your friends and family are not very receptive. Seems like people have to have a problem and find this solution for themselves before they accept it.
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#8
jblizzle said:
ED-209 said:
I can't wait to be able to help others here and elsewhere and feel as time goes on and my experience grows I'll just be able to do that.
Don't be surprised if your friends and family are not very receptive. Seems like people have to have a problem and find this solution for themselves before they accept it.
Funny you say that, when I first learned the info here and tried to help my Dad he said you do it your way and I'll do it my way. Month later his is somewhat clear but doesn't gleam like mine.

My only issue now is using either regular bleach or liquid chlorine at 12.5%. The issue is it seems its a guessing game when it comes to figuring out the actual strength and by the time I figure it out I'm done with that jug and start all over again. Even though the higher strength is somewhat cheaper the regular bleach is so more accurate and like knowing what I'm putting in without guessing.

How does everyone handle this or is there a better way than guessing? I like accuracy but I like saving money too LOL. Thought about SWG but after all the threads I've read it seems about same cost.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#9
Well, I don't think the accuracy is as important as you might think. There are some that use the "glug" method ... meaning they dose the bleach by counting the number of glugs out of the bottle, not by actually measuring it out. Just assume it is always as labeled and dose as calculated ... it would have to be pretty old for the results to be way off.

You are correct though that the higher the FC % the shorter the half-life ... it looses strength pretty quickly.
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#10
Thanks Jason...and I know I'm still finding my groove. I went from testing FC, CC and pH daily to every other day or every 3rd day. When I say I let the FC drop below the minimum twice it read that night at 3.5 so was only .5 but won't even think about taking a chance anymore.

I think I am too OCD, what I mean is I measure out to the exact amount each time and even bought a painters bucket that measures up to 1 gallon in oz. For the stronger liquid chlorine I just siphon it into the old Bleach jugs (96 oz and 182 oz) but hard to tell how much is jugging out so usually just measure it out. Also I pour it sooooooo slow into the pool as I've seen some say to make sure not to just pour it all in at once but I would think that would be ok as long as it's over a return, which is where I pour it...oh well I continue to soak up the knowledge.

It was funny, at the pool store they were like do you need ALK up and I almost said, nah I got baking soda at home LOL Then when I said I needed 6 - 40lb bags of salt they said you told us you have a chlorine pool and at first I almost said, well even if I did have an SWG, it would still be a chlorine pool LOL but I took the high road and said I am just adding salt for the feel of the water and they looked at me like I was crazy.

Well last test for the night:

FC: 32.5
CC: 0.00
TC: 32.5

So from 7:30ish til 10:00 I lost only .5. The sun wasn't out but still was a little light at 7:30 so hopefully it seems that there really wasn't nothing or much in the pool and I probably overkilled by doing the mustard algae shock but figured better safe than sorry and mostly used a jug (2.5 gallons) of the liquid chlorine and it was less than $5 so figured it was worth it. Plus I got to learn hands on about the shock process but hopefully I won't "HAVE" to do it again for a while.

One last thing, for now LOL, when would it be ok to actually get back in the pool, once it's below 24 ppm? I don't mind taking a chance but wifey usually gets in on the weekends or basically floats so just don't want to take a chance with her. If I lose my avg of 1.5 to 2.0 a day, probably won't be at or below 24 til maybe Sunday if I'm lucky.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#11
It is safe below the shock level for your CYA.

For reference, I am guessing the bags of salt you bought were pool salt ($7-8?). You can use the solar salt from the hardware store which is ($4-5). Same thing, for the pool salt they just put it through a grinder so it dissolves more quickly. I find the solar salt is gone by the time I walk around the pool brushing once.
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#12
jblizzle said:
It is safe below the shock level for your CYA.

For reference, I am guessing the bags of salt you bought were pool salt ($7-8?). You can use the solar salt from the hardware store which is ($4-5). Same thing, for the pool salt they just put it through a grinder so it dissolves more quickly. I find the solar salt is gone by the time I walk around the pool brushing once.

Darnit but I do love learning.

I searched for solar salt then read something about it having organics or something in it like sea monkeys LOL so wasn't sure and you are very good, it was $7.99 a bag and $6.99 at Lowe's for the pool salt and the solar salt was like $4....

I am still up in the air about the whole SWG...I just don't think I would like paying $500 or so every 3 to 5 years after paying at least $1000 after the initial install. Even regular bleach I can get for about $2 for 96 oz at high price, then the generic I can get at Home Depot, 182 oz for $2.99....but that liquid chlorine is so much more cheaper and affordable, still gotta get my groove in the hold guggling thing :)

We have been getting a screen installed for our pool, and hopefully they should be done by end of next week, so will be nice not having visitors in the pool and skimmers anymore. I retired my Polaris and got one of those Leaf Eaters with a silt bag and was able to connect it to my Polaris booster pump and it works great, takes me like 30 or so min to do the whole pool vs. having to have the Polaris on for hours, hoping it gets everywhere which it usually doesn't. Just learning so many things.

I can't thank you and everyone enough for opening my eyes as I was at my wit's end with this pool and was so close to draining or filling it in but now I have what I originally wanted, an Oasis and actually like taking care of it now vs. guessing, hoping and being always frustrated.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#13
The SWG is not really about saving money (although the price can be pretty similar). It is about NOT carrying jugs upon jugs ... and the ability to go on vacation with less worry about the pool being a swamp when you return.

The screen could lower your FC consumption as well by reducing the organic load.
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#14
jblizzle said:
The SWG is not really about saving money (although the price can be pretty similar). It is about NOT carrying jugs upon jugs ... and the ability to go on vacation with less worry about the pool being a swamp when you return.

The screen could lower your FC consumption as well by reducing the organic load.
Yeah, the rumor is the screen will block out up to 30% so hoping that helps and everyone keeps telling me I'll need a heater now as without one I can only swim about 2 months out of the year which I find that hard to believe. Reason being I live in West FL, my pool temp now is already 84 degrees and that is perfect for me, refreshing and easy to get used to and warm to me and in the hottest months it's unbearable to me as it's just not refreshing but that's when the wifey likes it, she likes the bath water. Now I don't mind the warm\hot water at night but not after I've been doing yard work and want to cool off so we'll see.

Gotcha and understand the convenience factor. I don't go away much and do still have the puck chlorinator (no longer use) just in case..I guess but I just don't know how much easier it would actually be as I see some horror stories about malfunctions, it not keeping up, etc. and even though I am still finding my way in dosing bleach, just don't know if I want to have to fool with cleaning the electrode thingy with the SWG as well as I can buy a lot of bleach for $1000 and for the $500 cell cost, but I guess when you break down the cell replacement, worse case scenario (3 years), it only comes to $13.88 a month which is less than what I pay for even the cheapest bleach. Also the techie in me really likes playing with gadgets and such and if I like the feel of the new salt in my pool, which I think I am as when I did my last test usually I have to wash my arm as I get that dry feeling, this time I didn't which was nice, just felt normal.

I inquired at the best pool installer company around my area and they told me they do the Aqua-rite (not sure which one) and it cost about $1400 and after install it would be around $1500 to $1600 and that's for the 40K size one. So not sure if that's the best one or not as when it comes to doing something like this, I rather pay for the best than skim.

I also don't know:

  • How much more electricity it would be as I've cut quite a bit with the way I run my VV pump
    How often to run it
    What % setting to run it
    If it's really accurate in terms of salt or other available readings especially the reading for when it needs cleaning
    I've seen a common thing about pH will rise so how much and how often will I now need to add acid (prefer dealing with Cl than acid)

Those are just off the top of my head based on the reading I've come across so figured I would first try to see how it feels with salt in the pool, just raised it to 2000 ppm, to see if what everyone says is true for me.

Do you have one, what are your thoughts?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#15
That is what I am installing (well that cell with the Hayward Pro Logic) And that price is pretty steep. You can find that setup for under $1000 (I got exactly what you described for under $900 ... then sold the controller to later buy the Pro Logic automation to control solar and pump as well) and do the install yourself. We recommend a cell for 1.5-3 times larger than your pool size. So you could probably get by with the 25k cell (especially with the screen). I think the Hayward is regarded as the middle of the road system that has been around a long time. There are others more expensive with more bells and whistles.

You would just have to adjust your pump run time to where you need it for filtration and then adjust the % to give you the right amount of chlorine for that run time. The pH rise is true but can be somewhat controlled by keeping TA lower.

Just some things to keep in mind for the future.
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
58
Florida Panhandle
#16
Cool, keep me up to date on how it works for ya if you can and have the time, would love to know your input and feedback.

Well, I tested again at 7:45 this a.m. and was worried a little since the sunrises a little early here but:

FC: 32.5
CC: 0.0
TC: 32.5

:mrgreen: so I assume since:

  • I really didn't lose any FC hardly from the initial shock
    The pool was previously and currently is crystal clear
    I didn't lose ANY FC overnight

That I am done with the shock process :party: ?

I guess I went overboard probably by doing the shock seeing those small spots as well as since I only needed to add chemicals once (which seems traditionally not the case for the regular shock process) but I guess better safe than sorry.

I am fixing to start on my second bottle and powder container for the FC tests but to me it's been worth learning these processes and also gives me an excuse to order some more reagents and thinking about maybe ordering two of those 25ml Taylor cylinders as it seems when I used the chlorine one and the other one it always spins when using my Speedstir since those are a little bit lighter in weight and also might get 2 more of those magnetic stirrer bars so I don't have to clean the only one I have each time (yes I know I have issues\OCD :))

Now, just have to wait til the FC gets down below 24, hopefully by Saturday or the wifey will kill me :hammer: Maybe with having higher FC it decreases faster or so hoping it does?

Oh and I did test my Salt levels and went from 370 to 1870 and maybe it's just in my head but now when I take the sample I don't feel the need to wash my arm off, doesn't feel like my arm is dried out, but maybe that's the Placebo effect?

Anyway, thanks everyone for your help and input, especially Jason :cheers: for giving me so much helpful information, I love being educated about this stuff and in control.