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

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Thanks for the feedback, Dave. I just finished pulling maintenance on the pool. Scrubbed down the sides, cleaned the filter, tested the water, and added chems. Interesting thing, when I cleaned the filter, unlike when I cleaned it a week ago, where the dirt coming out of it was green colored, this time it was just dirt colored. No green at all. Odd, considering.

I did as you and Casey have suggested. I'm using 10 ppm as a target since yesterday. FCs were 7.5 ppm and CCs still at 1.0 ppm, pH at 7.5. So I added 10% bleach and 31.45% muriatic acid as per the PoolMath app.

Today I noticed when I was scrubbing the sides that the pool color has changed slightly. It has taken on a slight aqua tinge. If that doesn't go away from the heightened FC level by, say, tomorrow, I'm gonna go ahead and start SLAMming again, even though the water quality is still good. Especially since, if I can assume that I added the correct amount yesterday to raise the target level to 10 ppm, in a single day the FCs dropped by 2.5 ppm. And it's still mostly overcast here. Partly sunny, so I don't think the sun is burning off much of the chlorine.
 

Ezun

Gold Supporter
Jul 27, 2017
50
Edwardsville, IL
Hey @cooltouch, great details and I see there’s a lot of learning and sharing. At the risk of stating the obvious, a few things that I noticed maybe weren’t perfectly clear. Feel free to disregard if they were clear.

#1 - I was going to link to this on the site here but can’t remember where I saw it “A pool is like a puppy, you have to feed it and care for it every day even when you don’t feel like it”. I’ve seen that you’ve been busting your butt doing all of the care and maintenance, but the feeding was skipped for a number of days. Chlorine must be added daily to maintain your level of FC so that you don’t YoYo back and forth between clear and seeing little bits of algae. I learned on here as well that algae doesn’t grow in a linear fashion like a tree or bush, it multiplies very very quickly. So once it gets ahold of your pool and overruns the power of your chlorine, it will rapidly start to change your pool (hence the reason you’re seeing the color change with Chlorine added just the other day). So, you have to keep your chlorine at the recommended levels or the algae multiplies faster than your chlorine can kill it and bang, you have a cloudy pool again.

#2 - When we ask for testing, you can follow the Basic Pool Care Schedule - Trouble Free Pool.
Bottom line is that you should test your FC, CC and PH every day, but you don’t have to run a full battery of tests, you can do that 1 time per week or even less often for some (since the other things don’t change as quickly). Specifically during a SLAM, the only thing to test is FC And CC since PH will not be accurate.

My personal routine is to test and adjust every morning after returning from the gym and before breakfast. I can then clean the skimmers, test the water and adjust anything in about 15 minutes. Allows me to see exactly where my chlorine is every morning.

A key element to this daily testing is to do it at the same time. If you do it in the morning you want to make sure your FC is high enough to ’take the hit’ of the sun during the day so your FC’s don’t drop below the recommended levels. If you do it in the evening you can see the impact of the daily chlorine consumption.

Hopefully this helps, you can obviously disregard if I’m again stating the obvious.
 
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cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Hey Ezun, I appreciate all perspectives. I like the puppy analogy and I can see the truth factor in it. I do need to get into a routine in terms of when I do the water testing. Probably early morning will be best for me. After I make my first cup of coffee and let the dog out to do his business, I might as well go ahead and test the water too. This is also usually the best time for me to clean up the leaves that have made it into the pool from the night before. It's also when it's coolest too. Things are getting somewhat oppressive here in Houston now, although for the past several days it hasn't been too bad because of all the rain.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,795
SW PA
With the oppressiveness of the heat, all the more reason to stay on top of your testing and chlorine additions. The pool can get away from you quickly in this heat. I always liked the analogy of feeding the pool/puppy. You dont feed the dog n he'll get sick. Ezun is absolutely correct that you need to find a schedule with the pool testing and additions to get to know your pool. I will test my FC almost daily every other day if I stretch it. The other parameters weekly (pH) or monthly (CYA n TA).

Excellent post @Ezun.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Well, I decided to give the first-thing-in-the-morning plan a try this morning, and things went smoothly. After doing my regular pool maintenance I tested the water and things are looking up, I think. I just tested for FCs, CCs, and pH this morning. I just noticed that it's been a week since my last full test, but I'll wait until tomorrow to do a full test again.

I have an FC target of 10 until I've dispensed with the algae that's been trying to propagate again. This morning's FCs were 8.0 ppm and CCs were 0.0 ppm. pH is 7.2. I added 51 oz of 10% bleach as per the PoolMath app.

I would describe the water quality as good -- very slightly cloudy, but the aqua hue is gone now. I might try an OCLT test tonight, but i think it might be a bit too early. My gut tells me I'll probably need to maintain 10 ppm for at least another day before the algae has been eliminated.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Marty, I thought I'd give it one more day, see if the slight cloudiness improved. It didn't. During the past 24 hours, we've had overcast and rainy skies, so chlorine burn-off from the sun should have been minimal. Yet this morning's numbers showed there's little green beasties growing in the pool. From a projected 10 ppm, the FCs have droppped to 7.0 ppm, CCs went up to 0.5 ppm and pH bumped up a couple of points to about 7.4.

So I started the SLAM at 7 am. Hopefully it won't take too long to complete.
 

Ezun

Gold Supporter
Jul 27, 2017
50
Edwardsville, IL
Marty, I thought I'd give it one more day, see if the slight cloudiness improved. It didn't. During the past 24 hours, we've had overcast and rainy skies, so chlorine burn-off from the sun should have been minimal. Yet this morning's numbers showed there's little green beasties growing in the pool. From a projected 10 ppm, the FCs have droppped to 7.0 ppm, CCs went up to 0.5 ppm and pH bumped up a couple of points to about 7.4.

So I started the SLAM at 7 am. Hopefully it won't take too long to complete.
You’ll be super happy that you caught it and started your SLAM Quickly. This happened to me when my FC’s dropped below and when it started getting cloudy I immediately went to a SLAM and it recovered in just 2 days.

Good luck, you’re definitely on the right road here. That small thing of testing will get you to know your pool really well.

Another quick thing I learned by going into the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry - Trouble Free Pool section of this forum: FCs are your Free Chlorine that is ready to attack all the bad guys that get in your pool. CC’s are combined chlorine and they essentially show up when the Free Chlorine is attacking something. So, going back to one of your posts where you mentioned your FCs were 0 and your CCs were 0 so it felt like you were moving in the right direction. Following the science, you have to have FCs to create CCs.

This is good to understand when you’re looking at your numbers so you can really tell what’s happening.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Thanks for the response, Ezun. I feel I'm getting a handle on the pool chem basics now. Some of it is bringing back memories of my college chem classes lo these many years ago. Especially the testing. I enjoyed titration back in those days. And getting to titrate every day or sometimes more, just brings back those memories, although I was typically using pipettes in my chem labs. But the accuracy is the same.

I tested the water again this evening and had to dump about 3/4 gallon of bleach. Almost forgot that I have to leave the pump running 24/7 while slamming. I won't be surprised if it will require a similar amount tomorrow morning.
 

Ezun

Gold Supporter
Jul 27, 2017
50
Edwardsville, IL
Keep it up, the process and procedures work, just gotta follow them.
I talked to someone the other day who dumps shock into their pool after every pool party because they “feel like they need to”. I had to resist the urge to guide them down a better path, they were so **** bent on their process it would have resulted in me looking like a Christian trying to convince an atheist.
 
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cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Interesting. This morning, the water was cloudier than it was yesterday, but the FCs were 20 ppm (my target number), and CCs were 0.5 ppm. So I didn't add any chlorine.

It's just now noon, and the water is much less cloudy. That's a nice quick change. I cleaned the filter just to be on the safe side. It didn't need it. Looks like operating pressure with a clean filter is now 3 psi. I didn't test the water again, thinking I'd wait a little while longer. I have a confession to make -- I rounded upward last night and this morning when I was adding chlorine, so I have a bit of a buffer when it comes to FCs, I suspect.

Ezun, a technique I've used in the past, which has sometimes worked -- and sometimes not -- is to attempt to appeal to a person's rational side. Sometimes they're so close-minded though they will reject anything I say, no matter its truth value, just because it goes against their belief. There's not much you can do when you encounter such shortsightedness. If they're not willing to listen to a clear explanation of the chemical processes involved, there's not much one can do, methinks.
 
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cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Last night, when I tested the pool, the water was much clearer. This morning, the same. It's almost back to normal. But the SLAM must go on. Last night, those little algae buggers were busy getting murdered by all the chlorine I've been dumping in the pool. So much so that I had to dump another gallon of 10% chlorine in the pool this morning (FCs 15 ppm, CCs 1 ppm). So the algaecide continues.
 
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IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
628
Milwaukee, WI
I just tell people I found a way to manage the pool without relying on pool stores that exist to sell me chemicals, and most people understand.

I don't have many friends with pools, though - they're not so common in Wisconsin. :)
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Yeah, pool chemicals and extremely overpriced (to me, at any rate) pool sweeper machines. I must admit, though, when my pump burned out a motor last year, Leslie's price on a new motor was competitive at least.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
I'm still SLAMming the pool. Water clarity is excellent. But chlorine is still being consumed. I think I'm gonna try an OCLT tonight, see how things fare. It seems about due now.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
628
Milwaukee, WI
If the pool is completely clear, no signs of algae and no CC, then you can do the OCLT and if you pass you're set! Just make sure when you let your chlorine go down that it never goes below minimum for your CYA. I recommend testing once a day at the same time and adding daily - so I get down to 3 - 4.5ppm for my CYA 30 each day and bring it back up to 6. Never letting it drop below 2.
 

cooltouch

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2018
98
Houston, Texas
Water clarity is excellent, so I tried an OCLT last night. Not even close. I had to SLAM 1.5 gallons of bleach this morning. I'm gonna try again tonight. The water is so clear, I might as well.