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

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
I should point out that 20,000 gallons was the closest approximation I could come up with. I think it's pretty close. As requested, here are a few pics of the pool. You can see why, because of its oddball shape that I had to resort to an approximation.

I can drain water if I have to. The piping for this pool's pump is extremely basic. I'll just have to open up the filter and maybe run a garden hose to it if I really have to drain a portion of it.

pool_algae_3a.jpgpool_algae_4a.jpgpool_algae_5a.jpg
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,540
Laughlin, NV
OK -- once you get your kit do a full set of tests and do the quick 10ppm FC test for us.

Then we can discuss a drain or exchange, if necessary.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
Okay, well I should know something by Wednesday, but won't I ever need stabilzer in the future? I'm figuring I might as well get some just to have it on hand for future use.
 

x2rider

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 19, 2011
224
Bartlesville, OK
Michael, the thing you need to understand is when you say "I shocked the pool yesterday". You can't put in 3 bags of anything and expect clear water tomorrow. Your pool has come down with a nasty virus, and you have to give your pool anti-biotics for a few weeks to cure it. You have to change your perception of what "shocking" is. Remember it's not a product, it's not a one time thing, it's a process you have to maintain until you've killed everything and filtered all the dead stuff out.

This will take a few weeks to cure, but only if you keep the chlorine at shock levels. If you let the levels drop just one day could set you back more than that for recovery. Once you get your test kit and get a stabilizer reading, then go to the pool calculator page and enter that CYA number, then look down at the bottom to read what your shock level is. For me, my shock level is currently 26, so I have to try to keep it at that target as long as possible in order for it to be effective.

Do you have an Atwoods in your area? I've been buying 10% gallons for $1.99 each.
 
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cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
No Atwoods. Just Leslie's Pool Supply, which is, like, everywhere. And Wal-Mart, of course, which is where I bought my chlorine. It's 10%, but cost about twice what you're getting yours for. I also get a Doheney's catalog in the mail on a regular basis. Just got another one yesterday.

I ordered one of those whale-tail pool brushes, which arrived late today. I'll start scrubbing down the sides tomorrow. And it should be about time to clean the filter too tomorrow. The pool is starting to show a pretty good buildup of dead algae on the bottom now. My little Hayward Pool Vac XL does a good job of vacuuming it up, so I have to stay on top of filter cleaning right now.

I follow you on the process, and I've prepared myself for the long haul. I reckon it'll be worth it once I've cured the pool. I've been through this once before -- not as bad -- and managed to clear it up, with the help of my now-departed pool guy. He fell down on his job about a week and a half ago, though, which is why I'm having to deal with a jade-green pool now.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
Okay, the test kit arrived today and I have some numbers to report. I followed directions and avoided conducting the tests out in the heat, so temp shouldn't have been a factor.

FC = 21
CC = 10
---------
TC = 31

Calcium 500 ppm

Alkalinity 190

CYA 90

I also ran the little blue kit for pH and got 8.2 -- high.

My Whale-Wall brush (or is it Wall-Whale?) came in yesterday and, first thing this morning, I brushed down the sides of the pool. Wow, what a difference. With the regular brush, I'm in agony after a couple of minutes -- because of my blown-out back. But with this brush, I was able to stand erect while brushing the sides, so pain was kept to a bearable minimum. I'm thinking that, just maybe, the reason why the calcium was so high was because I brushed the walls with the whale-tail brush. Possible?
 

Fast7

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2018
113
Plainfield, IL
Your CYA is very high. It's outside recommended range. Your Calcium is high as well.
Check Calcium and Alkalinity of your fill water.
You might want to start with partial drain and refill.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
I would recommend that you drain half the water to get CYA and CH down.
Be cautious about doing this in the heat of the day. You don’t want to the plaster to dry out. There also is a water exchange process to drain and refill at the same time if you are weary about having the pool without water. Draining will also help reduce the algae load.
Brushing the walls likely didn’t add any CH to the water.
After the drain and refill, reduce pH to 7.2 with muriatic acid and then follow the SLAM Process process.
 
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cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
I guess my former -- and not missed -- pool guy must have continued to add stabilizer to the pool without bothering to check for CYA levels. Else how could it possible have gotten so high? Far as that goes, it appears that the cheesy little sight glass thing he was using to check the pool chemistry with was probably just about useless anyway. The fact that the rest of the numbers are off as far as they are is a pretty good indication of his incompetence, I'm thinking.

I just read through the SLAM process again. Yeah, it appears that, with my CYA level as high as it is, I'm gonna have to drain some of the water. It's starting to get pretty warm here in Houston. Daytime temps up in the 90s. So I guess I'll drain the pool at night. Maybe tonight, if I can find the fitting I need.

This pool's piping to and from the pump is extremely basic. There's a pipe coming into the pump from the skimmer box, a pipe from the pump to the filter, and a pipe from the filter to the pool. There is a fitting at the bottom of the cartridge filter's housing, slightly smaller than a garden hose end. I'm gonna go down to Home Depot and see if I can find an adapter that will get me from a garden hose end to that size fitting. Then I can just hook up the garden hose and drain the pool from the filter. Or maybe Leslie's Pools will have it? There's one not too far from my house. They're closed now, so if I go that route, it'll have to wait til tomorrow.

If I can't find an adapter, then I'm gonna have to get more creative. It'll involve cutting the PVC pipe running from the pump to the filter and inserting a two-way valve to which I can attach something that I can drain the pool with. Seems to me, it might not be a bad idea to install this sort of bypass valve anyway. Plus, the flow rate will be much higher than it will be through that small hole at the bottom of the filter.
 
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Teald024

TFP Guide
I guess my former -- and not missed -- pool guy must have continued to add stabilizer to the pool without bothering to check for CYA levels. Else how could it possible have gotten so high?
High CYA is likely from solid chlorine products that most pool services use. Trichlor pucks for daily use and weekly dichlor “shock” treatments. Both of those products are basically half CYA. That’s why we recommend liquid chlorine.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
Ah, so are those tablets that I have in my little pool floater not a good idea? I have a huge bucket full of the things as well. Or is it more of a case of everything in moderation and nothing to excess?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
Ah, so are those tablets that I have in my little pool floater not a good idea? I have a huge bucket full of the things as well. Or is it more of a case of everything in moderation and nothing to excess?
No, those tablets are making your CYA worse (assuming they are trichlor). I'm afraid to say that that huge bucket may sit there unused for a while.
It's a case of knowing what each product contains and then only adding what your pool actually needs.
As for the moderation, yes your pool needs some CYA, but too much isn't good and can render your FC ineffective. Take a look at the FC/CYA Chart to see where FC needs to be for each CYA level.
Tabs are ok to use as long as you understand the consequences. A few tabs while you go away on vacation are fine to hold you over, but a constant diet of them can cause issues.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
Well, that's certainly good to know. My pool guy was dosing my 20k gallon pool with three of the tabs per week. Too much, I'll wager -- at least based on my CYA readings. And as he was walking off the job, he was complaining about "losing money" on my pool because he was "spending too much money on chemicals." So who knows what else he was dumping in my pool. Or maybe he was just bloviating, I dunno.
 

jdlangley1

Well-known member
Jan 7, 2019
137
Spring, Tx
How close are you to spring, tx?

You can buy 12.5% bleach for $1.68 a gallon at Napco Chemical. Best price you will find anywhere.
 
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cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
99
Houston, Texas
I'm 20 miles from Spring. 40 miles round trip and any savings is gonna get eaten up in the cost of gasoline. A little less than 4 bucks a gallon of a 10% solution at Wal-Mart isn't gonna be my undoing. I wonder -- what about generic bleach -- just plain old sodium hypochlorite -- from the grocery store? It might be cheaper. Dunno the strength of household bleach, though.