Taking the Plunge (literally and figuratively) with My Pea-Green Pool

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
107
Houston, Texas
I have an in-ground pool that I've estimated to be about 20,000 gallons in volume. For water filtration, the pool has a Hayward cartridge filter, I don't recall the model number offhand, but it is sufficient for this pool size.

My pool guy and I have had a falling out. He no longer works on my pool, and good riddance, I say. He was supposed to service my pea-green pool this morning and I was waiting for him when he got here. When he was here last Saturday, the pool was already turning green, but his performance then did nothing toward eliminating the growing algae problem. He claimed he shocked the pool, but I don't know what to think about that. I shocked it on Wednesday -- 3 one-lb bags, sufficient for 36,000 gallons. Didn't make any difference. I didn't shock it again. Instead I waited to see what the pool guy was gonna do. Turns out, nothing. He claimed that there was insufficient flow rate through the pool, but he gets here so early in the morning, the pump hasn't even started yet, so unless he turns it on, how's he gonna know? There's plenty of flow rate as evidenced by the two water jets, and the suction through my Hayward XL Pool Vac is strong.

OK, enough of that. I've read through the articles here on dealing with algae, and this is the first thing I'm gonna tackle. I'm ordering the Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD test kit. But I also have a question. In the articles, for bringing chlorine levels up, bleach is mentioned. I have a question about this. By bleach, is the article referring to regular old Clorox? Or is some special formulation of bleach used? If regular old Clorox, any idea how many gallons I should pick up so I'll have enough to complete the SLAM process?

Also, my brother-in-law, who has been maintaining his own pool for years, and who has done an excellent job, told me that the key he found to keeping his pool algae free was to reduce phosphates down to as close to zero as possible. Makes sense to me. So I'm also going to order a phosphate test kit and a 3 liter jug of PhosFree. I haven't run across any mention of phosphate control in the articles I've read. Is there a reason for this?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
You will need to SLAM Process when you get your test kit.
Add 5 ppm FC worth of plain bleach, liquid chlorine, chlorinating liquid, etc. Not Clorox. Best to find at Walmart (Pool Section), Home Depot, or some pool stores. No more solid forms of chlorine for daily maintenance.
Phosphates are algae food. Since a TFP pool has no algae, who cares? Eradicate the algae completely with a SLAM Process and then maintain your FC based on your CYA using FC/CYA Chart and phosphates do not matter.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
PhosFree is a very poor Phosphate remover. So do not buy that. IF, and that is a big IF, a pool needs phosphates removed, SeaKleer has quality products. They are not cheap.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,943
NW Ohio
To add to Marty's last comment, IF you choose to control your phosphate level (if you get the tester you might be surprised at just how low it already is) it cannot be done until after the water is cleared. Adding phosphate remover to a green pool can cause even worse problems.

And I will double the comment that the key to a clear pool is not phosphate control, it is understanding and following the FC/CYA Chart. Best of luck with your SLAM, it is the best way to get a pool cleared and to a point where proper maintenance will keep it that way.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
When you look at buying a test kit, you would be better served by a K-2006C, or my favorite, the TF-100 from TFTESTKITS.net. These are a bit more $ but will have enough reagents for tests to help you through clearing the pool. Those before you who have bought the K-2006 have wished they had gotten the larger bottles of testing reagents.
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,018
Long Beach, CA
Run a full test once you get your test kit, hopefully it is the K-2006C sized kit, and post the results before you start the SLAM, we might have more comments for you.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
107
Houston, Texas
I went to Wally World earlier today to buy some chlorinating liquid. Bought two gallons. Hopefully that'll be enough to last a while.

I have an ancient test kit that came with the house when we bought it almost 5 years ago, so obviously I'm not gonna use it. But other than that kit, I didn't have any others. So when I was at Wal-Mart, I looked around. They have an hth kit for $20, same as I see on Amazon. Just a general, six-way kit, though. But there was another six-way kit there that caught my eye. A $10 kit by Clorox, and what captured my interest was they offered a phone app to go along with the kit, where interpretation of the results could be done. Turns out, most of the interpretation involves pushing Clorox products, but so what else is new?

Anyway, I bought the Clorox kit, more out of curiosity, but also because it tests for both CC and FC. And, hey, I figured, for $10, what could it hurt. Running the app was kinda cool. It interprets a test strip that my phone scans and delivers some fairly precise numbers. CC's high, FC's good, pH is high normal (7.6), stabilizer is zero. So if these test strips can be trusted, it looks like I'm gonna need to get some stabilizer for sure. Dunno what to do about the high CCs. This morning, I fed my pool a couple of tabs of chlorine, cuz that's what my pool guy always does -- sometimes more than two. And today's when he usually comes by. This afternoon I brushed down the sides of the pool. Man, what a PITA. I have a bad back and that action kills it. There's gotta be a better way.

Now as for FAS-DPD kits, I found a reasonably priced one by Taylor. K-1515-A -- apparently all it does is FAS and DPD. But at $23 compared to some pretty high prices by others, I'm willing to give it a shot. One thing I like about it is that, rather than comparing colors to a chart, you titrate to find the result. Titration is much more accurate than trying to interpret fine degradations in color. It's getting lots of glowing reviews at Amazon.

So I got a question, since my FCs are good (like a 2 or 3 as I recall), do I want to shock my pool again to help knock down the algae? I shocked it on Wednesday with three 1-lb bags. Each bag treats 12,000 gallons and my pool is a 20,000 gallon pool, so technically, I exceeded the "dosage" by 16,000 gallons worth of shock. So anyway, this is why I'm hesitant. Should I be?

Also, I don't really understand what combined chlorine is and what its function in a pool is. All I know is mine is too high. Pegged the strip at 10, so who knows. I look forward to finding out, though, with that new kit I'll be ordering directly.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those test strips and app reader aren't worth what you paid for them. You liked the titration style and that's good. You would have been better off with that HTH kit. At least it would have given you a decent idea of the CYA in the water. Please do yourself a favor and get the TF-100 (or Taylor K-2006C "C" is important). No one has regretted getting this kit, except that they didn't bite the bullet sooner.
You have a pool full of algae and you will need to follow the SLAM Process process. This process involves Shocking the pool with liquid chlorine And then MAINTAINING the FC at Shock level per the FC/CYA Chart to effectively kill the algae. One or two doses of dichlor isn't enough to kill the algae. Brushing is also very important. Is there someone who can help you with this part?
Another thing, the test strips showed a CYA of zero. That is very unlikely since you have been using trichlor tabs and used powdered dichlor. Both of which contain significant amounts of CYA.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,720
Houston, Texas
The Taylor K1515-A only tests chlorine and quite frankly, if you are going to do the slam process you will need to test the chlorine level many times per day for the first couple of days. I doubt that test kit would get you through a slam process without refills. You also need to know exactly how much CYA you have in your pool to determine your slam level. I also believe the CYA level is well over what it should be. The fact that you dropped 3 bags of shock in the pool and it laughed at you is a pretty good indication that the CYA is out of control. CYA is also the most difficult to test accurately, and its near impossible with a test strip. The CYA reagent test is much more accurate. You will probably need to drain some water to lower the CYA level to make the pool managable.

CC's are the by-product of chlorine oxidation. In a swampy pool you are going to generate a lot of CC. CC up to 1.0ppm is not a problem, but anything above 1.0 indicates the need for a slam. Once you have an accurate CYA result we can help you determine the next step.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,929
SW PA
Also, reading the ABCs of pool water chemistry will help you understand your pool and the results. The TF100 is an amazing kit and you can replace the tests as needed.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
107
Houston, Texas
Thanks for the feedback, guys. Well, I was figuring the Clorox kit would be a crapshoot, but like I said, curiosity got the better of me. There's another kit that I'm looking at. It's the LaMotte FAS-DPD Commercial 7 Liquid Pool Spa Chemical Water Testing Kit, number 7022. It's priced reasonably at Amazon at $56 and change. I guess my biggest concern is will it have enough reagent for me to do what I need before I have to buy reloads. Anybody have any experience with this kit?
 
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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,720
Houston, Texas
You can read comparisons of the recommended and common kits here: Test Kits Compared - Trouble Free Pool
Double check the price on the LaMotte kit and check the shipping time. The best price I saw on Amazon was $62.49 with Wednesday delivery. If its going to take more than a couple of days to be delivered the price is no bargain.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
107
Houston, Texas
Well, I was interested in ordering from Amazon because I'm an Amazon Prime member, and I'd get shipping for free. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't carry the TF-100. But I sucked it up and ordered the TF-100 just now and bit the $12 shipping bullet. They don't specify the type of shipping. Hopefully Priority Mail, which means it should be here by Wednesday.

So is there anything I can do while I'm waiting for the kit? I've got chlorine tabs, shock, and that chlorinating liquid I just bought. But apparently no accurate way to determine exact chlorine levels. Should I buy some stabilizer as well? The pool is slightly greener today than it was yesterday. It's begining to look like a giant expanse of Imperial jade. (green jadite, you know)
 
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ship of fools

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2011
592
Albany, NY
Well, I was interested in ordering from Amazon because I'm an Amazon Prime member, and I'd get shipping for free. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't carry the TF-100. But I sucked it up and ordered the TF-100 just now and bit the $12 shipping bullet. They don't specify the type of shipping. Hopefully Priority Mail, which means it should be here by Wednesday.

So is there anything I can do while I'm waiting for the kit? I've got chlorine tabs, shock, and that chlorinating liquid I just bought. But apparently no accurate way to determine exact chlorine levels. Should I buy some stabilizer as well? The pool is slightly greener today than it was yesterday. It's begining to look like a giant expanse of Imperial jade. (green jadite, you know)
Good move. I was reluctant to fork over the money for a good test kit and looked for alternatives and finally bit the bullet and ordered the TF100 and Speed Stir and now I couldn't imagine using anything else. I take care of my pool myself, have clear water and spend way less on it than any other method. I understand all of the different chemicals in the water, how they interact and what to do if any of the levels need to be adjusted. And all of this requires an accurate reading of the levels of those chemicals which requires the good kit.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Add 5 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine in the pool each evening. When you get your test kit, run a full set of results (including CC) and post them here.

Good job on getting a quality test kit.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
107
Houston, Texas
Okay, so just to be sure I've got the math right, I'll multiply the size of my pool by 0.000005, correct? I get 1/10 gallon or 12.8 oz for a 20,000 gallon pool. Sound about right?

I have a 500 milliliter graduated cylinder, so that would be 12.8 x 29.5735 = 378.5 milliliters.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Can you post a picture of the water? Also, if more economically prudent, can you drain / exchange your water for a reasonable cost?
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,943
NW Ohio
The math is pretty easy with a 20,000 gallon pool. 1 gallon of X% chlorine in 10,000 gallons raises the FC by X ppm. So 1 gallon of X% chlorine in 20,000 gallons raises the FC by X/2 ppm. So a gallon of 6% raises it 3 ppm, 10% raises it 5 ppm, 12% raises it 6 ppm.