Start over or try to clear up

Piper Mike

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2014
200
Bartlesville, OK
#1
I just opened my pool and it's nearly black it's so dark green. Should I drain or try and clear up. I prefer to try and clear up as it's not cheap refilling the pool. If I try any tips on the best way?
Mike
 

Piper Mike

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2014
200
Bartlesville, OK
#3
Thanks I've read that tons of times. Please read my question. This water is nearly black

- - - Updated - - -

I'm wondering the BEST way to clear up the water when's it's so bad. I poured 4 gallons of pool chlorine in there and filling the pool up currently as it's below the hose holes. thanks
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
#5
It really is the one and only way to clear up a nasty pool. Even if you were to drain and refill, you would still have to SLaM so why waste the time and water?
Don't forget the M. Maintaining the elevated level of FC is the key.
 
Apr 15, 2016
1,683
Central Florida
#7
I've beaten black and dark greens across the country for myself, friends, and family. I understand what you're looking at doesn't seem to compare to the "green swamps" that you're reading about.

To answer your question directly, a complete drain is almost never the answer; however, depending on your answers to the next questions, a strategic siphon vac partial drain from the bottom 1-3 inches may be the game changer you're looking for. This pumps out the grossest, most settled, heaviest sediment, dense decomposing leaf layer that is reflecting that black and would require a lot of FC to oxidize to crystal clear.

Let's see what you're dealing with:
1) Are you or another responsible adult available for a few hours to perform a modified version of carefully vacuuming the pool? If no, just ignore my post and follow exact defeating algae and slam procedures.

2) Do you have some open grass a few feet away from the pool that could stand to be lightly flooded without the water pooling against the pool wall, going into your home, a shed, or anything that doesn't like water? - if yes, yay! continue, if not, ignore post

3) Is there the possibility that there sticks/branches/other liner pokers in the pool or was it covered? How about leaves and pollen? - this matters no matter what you do

3) Do you have the ability to take a plastic (not glass) pitcher or bucket and remove a sample of the water? Try to reach away from the wall and try to avoid surface layer of water. If you do this and then pour it into a glass cup or jar, how does the stream of water look? How does the glass look once filled? Ignore floating sediment. Does it let light through? Would you call it clear-ish water-like? Is it like green tea? Or is it actually motor oil black sludge? - if the substance in your pool under the top inche and above the bottom three inches is basically water, we're talking about 93%+ of your pool being easy to treat, but the extremes at top and bottom being tough and costly. A siphon vac uses a pool vac head and hose to siphon/pump out, without the motor, just gravity, the bottom muck and garbage that is the real trouble in your tar pit, leaving only the surface for you to skim, then you have a normal SLAM ahead of you. YAY!

4) Do you have a Taylor K-2006 or TF-50 or TF-100 test kit? you really need one of these. It's an investment of less than $100 that will save you way over $100 each year.

5) Do you have a vehicle that could carry, let's say, 20x one gallon jugs from Wal-Mart at a time? I called the Leslie's in your city and they don't sell liquid chlorine, so you're probably going to find Wal-Mart the cheapest way to get your pool beautiful and safe, drain or not. We can help you make a pretty complete shopping list before you go to keep your trips down and save you money.

6) I see you have a pretty big pool, maybe 35-40k, could I convince you to either complete your signature or tell us about your pump/motor? A picture would even help.
 

Piper Mike

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2014
200
Bartlesville, OK
#8
I have never experienced such bad water. I've always started new water each year. I've nearly always maintained crystal clear water. So I'm wanting some advise that's all. I thought these forums were here to help. I know I need to slam the pool. I've done that. I was just asking for more help/advise. Everyone can technically ready the pool school and never need to go on this right? if you never had such a problem with near black water then lucky you, but please have some compassion on someone that has never had and want some help. If I'm not aloud to ask for help on this forum please advise and I'll leave quietly.
Thank you kindly
Mike
 

bownut

Well-known member
May 7, 2016
50
Fayetteville
#9
Piper Mike, how expensive is it to refill your pool?

- - - Updated - - -

I'm asking because we started out with almost black water and bullfrogs last year. We had an undersized filter so it took between 20-30 days. At that point we had spent hundreds of dollars, and frankly since we are on a well, it would have been better to start over. I hear you. It is totally discouraging. If you have an idea of what it would cost to refresh your water, it may be so inexpensive it isn't worth the time, effort, and money it will cost to SLAM. That is my two cents.
 

Piper Mike

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2014
200
Bartlesville, OK
#10
I've beaten black and dark greens across the country for myself, friends, and family. I understand what you're looking at doesn't seem to compare to the "green swamps" that you're reading about.

To answer your question directly, a complete drain is almost never the answer; however, depending on your answers to the next questions, a strategic siphon vac partial drain from the bottom 1-3 inches may be the game changer you're looking for. This pumps out the grossest, most settled, heaviest sediment, dense decomposing leaf layer that is reflecting that black and would require a lot of FC to oxidize to crystal clear.

Let's see what you're dealing with:
1) Are you or another responsible adult available for a few hours to perform a modified version of carefully vacuuming the pool? If no, just ignore my post and follow exact defeating algae and slam procedures.

2) Do you have some open grass a few feet away from the pool that could stand to be lightly flooded without the water pooling against the pool wall, going into your home, a shed, or anything that doesn't like water? - if yes, yay! continue, if not, ignore post

3) Is there the possibility that there sticks/branches/other liner pokers in the pool or was it covered? How about leaves and pollen? - this matters no matter what you do

3) Do you have the ability to take a plastic (not glass) pitcher or bucket and remove a sample of the water? Try to reach away from the wall and try to avoid surface layer of water. If you do this and then pour it into a glass cup or jar, how does the stream of water look? How does the glass look once filled? Ignore floating sediment. Does it let light through? Would you call it clear-ish water-like? Is it like green tea? Or is it actually motor oil black sludge? - if the substance in your pool under the top inche and above the bottom three inches is basically water, we're talking about 93%+ of your pool being easy to treat, but the extremes at top and bottom being tough and costly. A siphon vac uses a pool vac head and hose to siphon/pump out, without the motor, just gravity, the bottom muck and garbage that is the real trouble in your tar pit, leaving only the surface for you to skim, then you have a normal SLAM ahead of you. YAY!

4) Do you have a Taylor K-2006 or TF-50 or TF-100 test kit? you really need one of these. It's an investment of less than $100 that will save you way over $100 each year.

5) Do you have a vehicle that could carry, let's say, 20x one gallon jugs from Wal-Mart at a time? I called the Leslie's in your city and they don't sell liquid chlorine, so you're probably going to find Wal-Mart the cheapest way to get your pool beautiful and safe, drain or not. We can help you make a pretty complete shopping list before you go to keep your trips down and save you money.

6) I see you have a pretty big pool, maybe 35-40k, could I convince you to either complete your signature or tell us about your pump/motor? A picture would even help.
Thank you!
Ok, our local Atwood's sells liquid chlorine and I bought 4 gallons last night. I took a sample of the water and it's a light green tint. A lot lighter then I had imagined it would be. I can't see the bottom to vacuum. If I try draining it, like I did this morning it just wants to drain under the pool. It's a slope up away from the pool and the drain is too low to the ground to get a hose screwed on. So you figure I'd need 20 gallons of shock? I have the largest intex filter/pump that I can get. Takes size B filters. Yes I have that good Taylor kit, but it's now two years old.
Thank you again so much :)
Mike

- - - Updated - - -

Piper Mike, how expensive is it to refill your pool?

- - - Updated - - -

I'm asking because we started out with almost black water and bullfrogs last year. We had an undersized filter so it took between 20-30 days. At that point we had spent hundreds of dollars, and frankly since we are on a well, it would have been better to start over. I hear you. It is totally discouraging. If you have an idea of what it would cost to refresh your water, it may be so inexpensive it isn't worth the time, effort, and money it will cost to SLAM. That is my two cents.
It costed me $200 last spring, but I am also worried that the water will drain under the pool and cause even more trouble. It was leveled last spring and they had to dig down a lot by where the drain is. And the drain Is too close to the ground to get a hose screwed on
 
Apr 15, 2016
1,683
Central Florida
#11
Good replies. I'm looking for a couple pictures from a few years back that might help you.

In the mean time, is the pump running?

Check the expiration dates on ph test chemicals. Did you test pH before adding shock?

Please don't add more shock yet, as pool school teaches, you are not getting much for your money with chlorine if the pH isn't in range. pH test isn't valid if FC is 10+. Luckily for you, your swamp and the sun should eat up those jugs you put in before sunset I'd guess :)

Always ensure pH is in range before chlorine additions to be as thrifty as possible :)
 

Piper Mike

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2014
200
Bartlesville, OK
#13
Good replies. I'm looking for a couple pictures from a few years back that might help you.

In the mean time, is the pump running?

Check the expiration dates on ph test chemicals. Did you test pH before adding shock?

Please don't add more shock yet, as pool school teaches, you are not getting much for your money with chlorine if the pH isn't in range. pH test isn't valid if FC is 10+. Luckily for you, your swamp and the sun should eat up those jugs you put in before sunset I'd guess :)

Always ensure pH is in range before chlorine additions to be as thrifty as possible :)
Thanks again
No I never tested it, but I do get new ph and chlorine test kits each year, so they should be ok. The water is nearly up to the point I can put the pump on.
Thanks
Mike
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
#14
So you are going to need to get the proper testkit. I use the TF-100 from Tftestkits.net
You need to know your CYA level to know what SLAM level to maintain.
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,216
East Texas
#15
If I'm not aloud to ask for help on this forum please advise and I'll leave quietly.
You've been a member of this forum for 3 years and should know by now that every response has been made in order to help you solve your problem.
Thank YOU kindly.
 

bownut

Well-known member
May 7, 2016
50
Fayetteville
#16
All of your chemicals should have an expiration date on them. If they are actually expired get refills. I have the Taylor K-1515 (FAS-DPD), for testing the TC, FC, and CC down to .2ppm for SLAMming. You can get them on Amazon. I do get my refill chemicals from TFTestkits and they are having a sale on their refills right now so it is a good time to buy.

Good luck! Post pictures. And don't lose hope. It sometimes takes a while, like in my case. Also, change your signature so that people can see what equipment you have. Part of how the TFP community solved my SLAMming issues was because they read my signature and found that my equipment was undersized for my pool.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#17
If you want to leave it filled, you will need to get a kit that was mentioned, because you cant slam without a FAS/DPD test. Then get a whole lot of bleach, and study the SLAM procedure. You will need to follow that procedure to the letter until you are done, but this will be a haul. Even if you have a Sand Filter on this pool it will take a while to clear. You might consider renting a submersible pump from home depot to pump the water away from the pool, and start over. It may well be worth every penny, but thats just me.
 
Apr 15, 2016
1,683
Central Florida
#18
I found a video of when I had to siphon vaccum a real nasty pool.
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AoOtP08Bbf0YgWyh56Z_suMKXf7a
It is on my Microsoft Skydrive hosting account, hence the shortened link.

As you saw when you took a sample from the water, most of it isn't too bad, but the bottom is a real gray/black/dark green/brown muck fest of leaves/algae. The siphon vac method has you attach your vacuum head to the pole, attach the hose, carefully put it in the pool, fill the line with water, then quickly, but not so fast as to splash nasty water in your face, lift the end not connected to the vac over the pool wall and down below the water line as swiftly as possible, and all the way to the ground. Physics works its magic and water flows from the pool onto your yard. You can pull the hose as far away from the pool as you have slack for.

Rules for siphon vac:
1) If there are sticks - be warned, this is not without risk of pushing a stick or other object with the vac head and puncturing the liner. You have to make your own decision if you want to try to remove sticks with a leaf rake or grabber or other device. Alternatively, you could skip brushing or vacuuming of any type until you can see the bottom. Liner leaks are freaking annoying and I suggest you respect the power of sticks. If you do brush, vac, or siphon vac blindly - slow is critical and if you feel resistance, slowly back up and skip that area. You don't have to get every square inch - even 50% of muck is a lot of time and bleach saved in my opinion.

2) Pay attention to where your water is going, don't flood pool base, don't flood your or your neighbor's sheds/homes. Don't let pets or kids drink or play in waste water.

3) If you are a fisherman, after you flood your yard with this pool water, go collect worms that will all come to the surface.

4) If you can place the end of the hose in the yard somewhere where you can see it, do that or have someone relay what is coming out. There is a multi-second delay for travel time through the hose, so every time you move, wait a couple seconds to see if it goes from clear to dark green or leafy. Pause a few seconds and let it suck the muck, or wait until relatively clear then slowly move to another spot.

5) Mind your water level in the pool. Turn pump off so not to risk dry pump when water is below skimmer. Don't pump down more than a foot below skimmer or whatever your pool manual says.

6) Don't go crazy with this. The goal is pump out some of the muck and leaves, not to throw away water that can be easily cleared through the SLAM.

Final thought - siphon vac is absolutely optional - following defeating algae and SLAM will clear the pool, no matter how black it is. Siphon vac is best when you know the bottom is stick free but has a ton of leaves or pollen or years of algae build up. It is unnecessary and overkill for pools that were cleaned then covered for the winter.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,961
Tallahassee, FL
#19
Thanks I've read that tons of times. Please read my question. This water is nearly black

- - - Updated - - -

I'm wondering the BEST way to clear up the water when's it's so bad. I poured 4 gallons of pool chlorine in there and filling the pool up currently as it's below the hose holes. thanks
Please tell me you brushed you pool after doing that :shock: to help mix it all up.

The 20 gals of bleach Battle talks of is just a start. There is really no way to know just how much you will need.

You have been given great help so far. The links provided at what you need to do. Print it out and follow it to the letter and your pool will clear. It will take testing, bleach, time. LOTS of it all.

Kim TFP MOD
 

aussieta

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
#20
hey piper mike
tfp have rescued pools so dirty you are scared there may be alligators in them
dont worry how black it is
slam is different to pool shop shock
it is not a one off
you will need an accurate test kit as mentioned above but order the xl size as you will burn through the reagent testing every hour or so
20 gallons of bleach per shopping trip
not from start to finish
you will need an accurate cya level, hence accurate kit
then use the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart to find your shock level
then maintain it at that level, the more frequent you test and adjust the quicker it will go
using poolmath https://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html will tell you how much bleach to add each time
dont forget to take photos same time each day
looking down the stairs/ladder helps show the depth clarity
and good luck,