The unpoolstorification - fixing levels, etc

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
546
Alamo, CA
As I'm pre planning all these steps, I noticed the preference to put the CYA into a sock and dangle into the pool to avoid damaging the pools surface. Local Pool Store told me to dump the granules into the skimmer with the basket out so it will get caught in the DE filter and dissolve over time. Bad idea? Did that maybe do damage?
There have been several threads reporting the results of dumping granular CYA down the skimmer. The results are not good, as the CYA partially dissolves into a slurry, runs into a bend in the pipe, and stays there, clogging the pipe until it is physically removed. Here's one I found with a quick search:

Don't ad-lib the CYA. You can put the sock in the skimmer if you prefer, as long as the pump is running. Squeeze the sock periodically to help dissolve the CYA.
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
OK, I'll donate a sock to the cause. With my work schedule, I can't be counted on to put something in the skimmer and then be home again to take it out when the pump is turning off.

Today's plan is to test out my new grout. If all goes well (no more leak/dropping water level) after 24-48 hours constantly running the waterfall, I'll move on to doing the ascorbic acid / sequestrant treatment for the stains next. The ascorbic acid arrived yesterday, but I'm still waiting on the polyquat 60 to arrive.
 
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FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
Ok, I'll follow instructions, but I think what I'll do instead of leaving it in the skimmer is put it into my small raised pool. It fills up when the pump is running. When the pump finally shuts off, the return operates in reverse (due to gravity), and the water flows out of the small pool back into the large pool. The water level drops about 5 inches when not running. I could hang the sock in the middle of the small pool such that the sock is out of the water when the pump is not running. When the pump is running, the water level would rise and the CYA sock would then be in the very turbulent, elevated water in the small pool.

In other good news, I am pretty confident my leaking grout problem is solved.

Next steps: vacuum, put in chlorine neutralizer then polyquat 60 then vitamin C then sequestrant then run pump overnight and see what the morning brings! I'm anticipating doing a few dilutions of the
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
Today I did the following:

Measured the pool. It's officially pretty close to 15000 gal.

Checked Cl level and then added "chlorine neutralizer". Vacuumed pool while neutralizer was working. Rechecked Cl level and was zero. pH was 7.5 so added unmeasured muriatic acid. Recheck was 7.2. Added pool size appropriate amount of polyquat 60. Added ~2lb of ascorbic acid. Scrubbed the pool, focusing on the stains. Added 32 oz of " super metal control " from Local Pool Store.

I have removed the timer screws from the pump controller so it will run around the clock.
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
It's now approaching 36 hours after the above treatment, and the stains have not budged! :(

Last night, I was starting to wonder if the vitamin C would do anything at all, so I picked the three worst stains, and directly applied vitamin C using a sock. Here's the before (note this picture is before my initial treatment with "iron and cobalt remover" so many of the stains you see here won't be in the next pictures, but the stains I chose are the most persistent/darkest):
stains-pretreat.png
You can see they are "streak" pattern stains where they are sloping down the slope from the shallow end to the deep end.

Here is what they look l after I've applied the vitamin C sock to 1 and 2 (with 3 actively being covered by the sock. The stains turned from greenish brown to brownish purple and look overall worse! (nighttime picture taken with pool light on)
stains-02-during.png
This picture I took the next morning before dawn (today!)
stains-03-morning-after.png
The stains are noticeably lighter overall compared to before the sock treatment, and the brown/purple parts are only minimally brown/purple, and I couldn't get a good picture of stain #3.

Which makes me feel pretty confident that the vit C should lift ALL the stains. However, the rest of the stains haven't budged! I'm considering adding more vit C tonight, perhaps with the pump turned off so the vit C can settle on the bottom of the pool directly on stains, then waiting 30-60 minutes and restarting the pump. The problem with this method is I have stains on the walls too so they won't be touched by directly applying the vit c to the entire bottom of the pool. Also the vit C likely will dissolve before getting to the bottom of the deep end.

Another alternative is just to dump a few more pounds of Vit C into the pool while the pump is running and see what happens. Any thoughts?

And as for the bottom of my "pool fix list", yes, I'm definitely getting there!

Thanks again!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,276
Tallahassee, FL
Man this is a hard one. My gut says flood the whole pool with Vit C with the pump on high so it can really move it around. Nothing to really base it no other than it will make sure to get the whole surface and keep it moving.

Did your heart drop when the stain was worse? :( Mine did when I read it. Glad it ending up for the better.
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
I had the stains do the same thing (turn dark brown/purple/black) after using the stuff from the Pool Store a few months ago. I nearly had a heart attack then. Before dumping in their concoctions, I remember thinking to myself "well I can't really make it any worse..." And boy was I wrong when it turned black! It was a good thing Local Pool Store was already closed for the evening. By the morning it looked great.

And yes, I think my next move is to double down on the Vit C (add 2 more pounds) plus throw in another bottle of "super metal control" sequestrant. If that doesn't do it I may have to break down and buy Pool Store "iron and cobalt remover", but I think we are getting close with the current treatment.
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
It looks like I was too impatient. After using the Local Pool Store ingredients and plan during my first attempt to get rid of my stains, after 24 hours the pool looked a TON better. I think that falsely set my expectations. Fast forward to the current project.............

After 36 hours with vitamin C and "super metal control", nothing happened.

I was not able to get home to inspect the pool before leaving work so I bought more "super metal control" anticipating continued non improvement.

But after I came home at 48-60 hours, the stains finally started lifting! (YAY YAY YAY!)

I already paid for the "super metal control" so I dumped in 1/2 of the bottle as well as another 1.5 lb of Vitamin C.

I'm going to give it another 24 hours before switching to drain/refill mode. Also, given the improvement, I may switch to manual application of Vit C for the few stains that remain. The improvement over the last 24 hours has been fantastic!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,276
Tallahassee, FL
When you drain and refill the water I would also do a total tear down and rebuild of your DE filter as in removing the old DE and adding new to make sure you got as much stuff out as you can.
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
OK, I watched a few videos. It doesn't look too hard. I noted in one video they said that DE can "sneak past" the filter and go back into the pool via the returns, creating a whitish powder in the pool. I also have a "whitish powder" always at the bottom of the pool. Its particularly noticeable whenwhen its dark out and the pool light is on. In fact, it's visible in the lower right corner of the above picture. It's the white stuff the pool light is reflecting.

I had been assuming it was calcium, but now I'm not sure.

Then I guess my other question would be do I need to address that or the million bubbles coming out of the returns before I take apart the filter? Thanks again!
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
Just a quick update

Pool started getting cloudy / murky whitish color yesterday sometime. Did a drain of about a foot of water yesterday evening then refilled with municipal water overnight. Am concerned the murkiness is algae so added more polyquat 60. Will do another drain & refill tonight.

Thinking ahead, I'm anticipating needing to SLAM after the final drain& refill given the murkiness. Is there any problem going straight from AA treatment to SLAM? Thanks!
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
I did the ascorbic aciacid treatment, and subsequently have done 4 partial drain and refills. That should reduce all substances in the pool by approximately 75%. In the process the water has become a cloudy whitish green color. Will add chlorine back tonight when I get home and see what's underneath!

Also, while the water level was down I applied ascorvic acid powder to the top step and scrubbed it in an effort to get more of the stains off. I turned the step mostly brown, and it hasn't come off yet. I may have to get more sequestrant and do another treatment in a few weeks.
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
that's a good point. I could have a single thread just with all the different pictures of different color stains/chemicals on my pool steps. Started out brown-green, went to gray-black, then blue, then back to a lighter shade of brown-green, now brown. Maybe someday they'll be light blue like the rest of the plaster!
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
At this point, my chemistry should be all out of whack, but approximately Cl 0, cya 7 (it was about 25 pre-dilutions), TA around 20, pH 7-7.2.

Turn on pump to filter. Add bleach to get cl to 4 ppm. Check calcium hardness, add Calcium chloride to get to 250. Put CYA into sock and then into skimmer. Let it all mix for an hour or two. Check fas DPD cl level and add more cl if needed. Check pH and TA. Add baking soda to increase the TA then wait another couple of hours and reheck TA and pH. I anticipate needing to add muriatic acid to correct the pH back to 7.2. Then go to bed and leave pump running in filter mode overnight.

In the morning, do overnight cl test. May have to SLAM.

Will need to pull the sock from the skimmer in the morning after turning the filter off if not SLAMming
 

FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
After putting in about the amount to get the ppm of Cl to 4, I waited about 2 hours and got:
CH 200
Fas dpd FC 1.0
Fas dpd CC 1.5 :( :(

I don't feel the need to waste one of my 15 CYA tests to know that I have 0-10 CYA level. I put in enough Cl to get to 12ppm, which is the SLAM level if my CYA was 20. I'm going to hope for a cloudy day tomorrow!
 
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FlaPoolGuy

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
53
Florida
Well i did a SLAM for about 48 hours, then I lad to leave town. Because I knew my CYA was too low, I loaded up 2 chlorine floaters with a total of eight 3" trichlor tabs, and I took the chlorine level up to about 11 ppm. Came back 6 days later to a crystal clear pool.

The stains have improved, no doubt about that. However, I applied vit c and scrubbed it into the top step to see if I could get the darker stains out faster, and instead I turned the step BROWN! Ugh

I think at this point I'm going to leave the stains be for a few weeks and then maybe hit it with the sulfamic acid. Or do another vit c treatment