Why did I wait this long?

Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#1
I just wanted to say that digging through the forums, there seems to be a tremendous amount of knowledge here, and thanks for all you guys do!

As background - this is our first pool. We've been here for 4 years, and haven't had many challenges. I've done the bring water to pool store, buy boatloads of unnecessary chemicals that don't seem to do anything, repeat, etc. As the pool had been pretty clear and with the exception of the occasional green algae bloom, I had just assumed that this is the way of the pool. :oops:

About a month ago, before it warmed up, we started getting some black dots on the bottom of the pool near the main drain, steps, and middle of the shallow side of the pool. Other than these blemishes, the water is clean and clear. So I did what I always did, throw random amounts of chlorine in various forms at it, scrub, and laugh at how I was so smart and the pool would bend to my will.

After a few truckloads of cash to the local stores and more black dots continuing to appear in the deep areas, I dug around more and was fortunate enough to come across the site. I read up on Pool Math, ordered a TF-100 Kit so I could wean myself from the crappy tests at the pool store that were always all over the map.

The last pool test said we had CYA of 30, but 0 chlorine. Everything else seemed "normal" according to them. So I added to enough chlorine to get to 15, waited 30 minutes, and used my crappy test to see what my Chlorine was at. It came back as between 1 and 2. TF Kit just arrived, and I'm putting in the first tests.

From what I've gathered, it seems important to get the CYA and pH in order first and then start slamming (if needed)?

CYA - 0. That black dot never even turned grey. This may explain why I can't get any chlorine to stay in the pool.
pH - 7.8
Total Chlorine using the daily test - 0

It seems like I should get my CYA up to 30 (60 oz by weight), then once I have that in the skimmer, add enough Muriatic Acid to get down to 7.5? At what point should I add in some chlorine, and just enough to theoretically get it to about 4, or up to shock at what the CYA would get to?

Sorry for the long windedness, I appreciate the help!
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,485
Tucson, AZ
#2
Welcome to TFP!

You've been doing a lot of reading, that's awesome.

The first thing to do is to get some chlorine in there to at least slow down the algae growth, along with CYA to stop the burn off. Once your CYA is at 30, you'll stock up on bleach/liquid chlorine and drop your pH to 7.2 with muriatic acid, then it's time to SLAM and brush those black spots.

In case you hadn't found it, add CYA by putting the granules into a sock and hanging that sock in front of a return (don,t let it touch the side). Alternatively, you can out the sock in the skimmer basked, but make sure to leave the pump running until it is dissolved. Every so often, massage the sock with your hands, mashing the CYA together until the white clouds stop coming out - this will help it to dissolve faster.

Are you you familiar with using PoolMath to get the correct amount of chemicals to add to reach a target?
 
Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#3
Welcome to TFP!

You've been doing a lot of reading, that's awesome.

The first thing to do is to get some chlorine in there to at least slow down the algae growth, along with CYA to stop the burn off. Once your CYA is at 30, you'll stock up on bleach/liquid chlorine and drop your pH to 7.2 with muriatic acid, then it's time to SLAM and brush those black spots.

In case you hadn't found it, add CYA by putting the granules into a sock and hanging that sock in front of a return (don,t let it touch the side). Alternatively, you can out the sock in the skimmer basked, but make sure to leave the pump running until it is dissolved. Every so often, massage the sock with your hands, mashing the CYA together until the white clouds stop coming out - this will help it to dissolve faster.

Are you you familiar with using PoolMath to get the correct amount of chemicals to add to reach a target?
Yes, PoolMath is great. Went out to buy some CYA and added a gallon or chlorine which should get me temporarily from 0 to 6.5.

So I should add the CYA, squeeze the sock, and retest that tomorrow? If pH not down to 7.2, add appropriate amount of muriatic acid. Then begin the SLAM process.

Brushing question - start now or wait until just before slamming? During SLAM is it safe to get in to brush or do I only get in when levels have dipped below shock and then add more after brushing?

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,094
Franklin, NC
#4
You can add the CYA to a sock, place it in the skimmer and run the pump. I'm betting that in a couple/few hours it will be dissolved if you squeeze it every once & a while.

Yes, if the pH isn't down to 7.2, add acid to get it down there.

The biggest problem most folks have is not anticipating how much chlorine they will go through. Stock up and be ready.

The harder you hit it in the beginning by testing and adding more chlorine to get back to the SLAM level the better.

It is safe to be in the pool as along as the FC is below full SLAM level. (wear old clothes, the chlorine is actually harder on them than your skin)
 
Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#5
Testing this evening

CYA - 20 - need a bigger sock
FC - 1.5 (3 drops)
CC - 0.5 (1 drop)
TA - between 90 and 110 - is this supposed to turn red then go clear or stay red? It went completely red at 9 drops, then to clear with swirling. At 11 it stayed pink after swirling.
Hardness - unknown - the cap came off when I opened that test dumping everywhere. Emailed the kit folks :)
pH - between 7.2 and 7.5

Tonight - add 20 oz. CYA per PoolMath to get from 20 to 30. If still awake, add 1.5 gals Chlorine to 12. Otherwise I'll add that in the morning.

With work tomorrow - better to go a little over shock level to try to stay above as much of the day as possible, or just hit shock and retest ASAP when I'm home?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,898
Tallahassee, FL
#7
You can go a tad over SLAM level but don't go too far over.

Work days=test & dose after first cup of coffee, T&D as soon as home, T&D at dinner, T&D right before bed.

What kind of brush do you have-nylon or steel or a mixture?

We would love to see a picture of the pool. That will help you see if the dots are fading.

Kim:kim:
 
Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#8
FC - 10 (20 drops)
CC - 0.5 (1 drop)
CYA - 30 - success
PH - 7.5

Adding chlorine to 12 and acid to 7.2.

I have both brushes. I've been using the wire one on the steps, walls, and floor lately.

Not sure if these pictures will come out ok, but this is the area by the main drain and the shallow end.

0327170620a.jpg
0327170620.jpg

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Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#11
Just got home. Full sun still on pool. Added enough to chlorine to go from 10 to 14 this morning

FC - 13
CC - 0.5

Small amount of white debris on steps. Not adding any more chlorine yet. Will wait awhile before getting in to brush and vacuum out the crud. Pool water very clear with similar appearance of black dots.

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk
 
Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#15
It is worth a shot. You try it two ways. Put a puck on one of the bigger ones ( about 15 mins.) AND rub a puck on another. See what works best.

Kim:kim:
That will have to get tested tomorrow with some sun. Wind picked up while brushing and I wussed out with the cold water.

FC still 13, not adding more this evening


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Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#17
FC - 12.5, not adding again.

As the chlorine doesn't seem to be dropping, is there something I'm missing? Is it just that I haven't broken through the surface of the crud?

Should be able to take the afternoon off to get in while there's some sun out and puck attack.

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,898
Tallahassee, FL
#18
If you are getting in the pool do something else for me:

-take a white paper towel out with you put it where you can reach it from inside the pool. Use something-fingernail, plastic spoon/knife-to scrape one of the black spots. Wipe it on the white paper towel. What color is it when you do this?

If it is black algae it is TOUGH to beat :( it takes time and chlorine. It will fade more that disappear. The puck might help it go away faster but it is quite a bit of work ESPECIALLY when it is so burrrrrrrr

Kim:kim:
 
Mar 26, 2017
9
Chandler, AZ
#19
FC - 10

Puck test - putting it on the spots didn't really seem to do anything. Scrubbing at least gave the satisfaction of seeing it colored in with chalky puck substance.

Scraping - this only seemed to do anything on a few of the spots that were slightly raised. Came up black then when smeared turned dark green.

Scrubbing - diving in to take a closer look at the spots with goggles on, many of them seem to be more of an outline of an O rather than a full spot. Few full spots.

I did notice that the main drain covers seem to have some funk near the screws and the holes. Scrubbed that rigorously. I've never done anything with the main drain - is the cover safe to remove by taking out the screws? Otherwise I'll go buy a small steel brush to get at the areas the big brush really get to.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,898
Tallahassee, FL
#20
Scraping-turned green when smeared= black algae. That is good to know.

Scrubbing=hard work maybe the steel brush and the SLAM with the FC will help you not have to do this as much

Main drain-Yes it is safe to take off BUT make sure to NOT drop them down the hole. Make sure the pump is off as well. Make sure to put it back on before you turn on the pump.

Kim:kim: