Yuck. Green upon opening

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
We decided to take the cover off and YUCK. The pool is green! I checked it 2 months ago and it was sparkling clear under the cover. We had some storms come through soon after that and do damage to the cover though and it caused everything on top of the cover to go into the pool.

This will be our first time opening. I have no clue what to do besides going out and buying up the bleach. :?
 

JohnT

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Apr 4, 2007
9,620
SW Indiana
You probably waited too late to open. Once the water hits 60, you are going to start turning green..but that's a lesson for next year. Get your pump and filter de-winterized. Once that's going, check your pH and then shock the pool. Better to wait until you can check it frequently for the first 12 hours. You'll be adding chlorine hourly for the first few hours, then every 4 hours or so, then every 8 hours or so to maintain the levels you need.
 

JohnT

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Apr 4, 2007
9,620
SW Indiana
Got interrupted during the first post. We really can't give much specific advice without a set of test results. If you don't have a good kit, you either need the TFTestKit or a Taylor K-2006. The first is sold by a member here who will be available for support. It will pay for itself in one season. We'll need to know Free Chlorine and pH at the beginning, but it would help if you had an idea of what the CYA was when you closed last fall. A current CYA test will read high due to the dirty water. Test the pH before adding any chlorine because the high chlorine levels you'll be using will mess up the pH test later.

Read Jason's article on Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis for the details on the cleanup.
 

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
I'll post full test results tomorrow, but we have ZERO free chlorine (Even after adding 4 gallons of bleach and a small amount of shock) going by those little strips (something I have from last year).

The pool is actually no longer green though. OMG, you should have seen the mess in the filter. YUCK! Hubby had to backwash 4 times because the pressure kept going up. It's been running pretty well for the past 3 hours though. I'm going to go tomorrow and buy up a bunch of bleach and I'll post the test results before I pour the bleach in.

BTW...the ph and alkalinity fell within normal range on the strips. I really need to know the CYA though so I'll know if I need stabilizer or not. Last year, I was so scared of going OVER the normal CYA that I never had enough.
 

JasonLion

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Getting a good quality test kit is the best investment in your pool you can possibly make. Everything gets simpler when you have real test numbers when you need them. Without good testing there is simply too much guess work.
 

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
First off, I want to let you know how hard it was for me to spend that kind of money on a test kit! Hopefully it will pay off in the end.

I just tested and here are my numbers (27 foot Above ground pool):

FC= 0
TC= 0
Bromine= 0
PH=7.0
Alkalinity=90ppm (I'm hoping that I did these tests right!)
CYA= 60 (which REALLY surprised me because I thought I had none and that's why the chlorine wasn't holding)

Now what do I do besides add bleach? I just went to Aldi's and bought 20 gallons of Ultra Bleach. The water is no longer green, but it's cloudy. I can't see the bottom. I'm going to backwash a bunch, so that will bring the CYA down a tiny bit won't it? We're also supposed to get rain the next few days.
 

JasonLion

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With CYA at 60, shock level is 18. It takes about 5 gallons of 6% bleach to raise FC by 18. Then you want to measure the FC level and bring it back up to 18 as frequently as you can, preferably every hour for a few hours. Keep the FC level up around 18 until it holds steady overnight and that will kill off anything growing in your pool.

Otherwise your numbers look reasonable. Letting CYA and TA both drift down a little with backwashing is a great idea. I would aim for CYA between 30 and 50 and TA between 60 and 90. You should probably also bring your PH up just a little, perhaps to 7.4. One box of borax should take care of the PH for now.
 

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
JasonLion said:
With CYA at 60, shock level is 18. It takes about 5 gallons of 6% bleach to raise FC by 18. Then you want to measure the FC level and bring it back up to 18 as frequently as you can, preferably every hour for a few hours. Keep the FC level up around 18 until it holds steady overnight and that will kill off anything growing in your pool.

Otherwise your numbers look reasonable. Letting CYA and TA both drift down a little with backwashing is a great idea. I would aim for CYA between 30 and 50 and TA between 60 and 90. You should probably also bring your PH up just a little, perhaps to 7.4. One box of borax should take care of the PH for now.
Oh good! So, I'm not too bad off then. :-D I've got two boxes of Borax, so I'll go ahead and put one in.

I have one more question. Can you add too much bleach? I just put in 8 jugs. :? I haven't tested the water again because I didn't know if I was supposed to wait for it to mix up well. I'm going to go back out now and brush the pool. I just finished brusig off the residue that was around the top where the water line was.

BTW...Thank you!
 

JasonLion

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Yes, you can put in too much bleach. But don't worry, you didn't. I try to avoid it, but up to about twice shock level is usually alright.

Give the bleach an hour with the pump running to mix in before retesting.
 

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
Chlorine held last night. Here are the new numbers:

FC= 5ppm
TC=5ppm
Bromine=0 (what is Bromine?)
PH= 7.2
Alkalinity= 100
CYA= 60

Pool water has improved greatly, but it's still cloudy. How long does it usually take to clear up? Do we need more bleach? Am I not adding enough? 5 is the highest the number goes on the test kit thingy.
 

JasonLion

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Don't worry about bromine, it doesn't apply to your pool.

Which test kit do you have? You want to maintain FC between 5 and 9, which is going to be a little tricky with a FC test that only goes up to 5. The TF Test Kit has two chlorine tests, one only goes up to 5 and the other goes up to 50.

It can take the filter up to a week to clear up the water after the algae is all dead. You should see an improvement each day if the algae is dead.
 

JasonLion

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That is the Leslie's version of the Taylor K-2005C kit. That chlorine test is still reasonably accurate if you dilute the pool water one to one with distilled water (or some other water with no chlorine in it) and multiply the result by two. I believe that there is a mark on the sample tube half way up that you can use to measure the dilution. That will allow you to measure FC and CC up to 10, which will cover all your normal day to day needs.
 

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
The bleach is still holding, but I went ahead and added 2 more jugs this morning since I knew it would be a sunny day. The water is still cloudy though. How long does this process take?

:?

Oh, and should we have the pump running 24/7 until it clears up? We've had it running 24/7 for days now. I'm terrified of what our electric bill will be.
 

JasonLion

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Moved from another thread. It is better to keep everything related to one issue together in one place. Thanks JasonLion

NicInNC said:
Numbers are still holding the same as the other day:

FC= 5ppm
TC=5ppm
Bromine=0 (what is Bromine?)
PH= 7.2
Alkalinity= 100
CYA= 60

I've been adding a jug of bleach each day to keep the FC up, but pool is still cloudy. I've vacuumed like crazy (even though I can't see the bottom), backwashed daily, and have been brushing each day. I'm seeing some progress (today, I could just barely see the brush on the bottom of the pool as I was brushing), but it still seems as though it has a long way to go. How long does it usually take to clear up?
 

JasonLion

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There are a couple of possibilities and unfortunately the best way to tell which is most likely requires the FAS-DPD chlorine test, which I believe you don't currently have.

You might still have algae. It takes consistent high levels of chlorine to kill off some of the heartier kinds of algae. Without reliable testing of the FC number it is impossible to be sure you got it all. With a good test kit you would measure the FC level in the evening and again first thing the next morning and if it remains the same overnight then all the algae is dead. But that requires the more precise FAS-DPD chlorine test.

Once the algae is dead it can still take the filter up to a week to clean up the water. However, any problems with the filter could slow that down. Has the filter pressure been going up and have you been backwashing regularly?

There are also other things, besides algae, that can cloud up the water, but they are very unlikely in this situation. My bet is that the algae isn't really all dead yet.
 

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
JasonLion said:
There are a couple of possibilities and unfortunately the best way to tell which is most likely requires the FAS-DPD chlorine test, which I believe you don't currently have.

You might still have algae. It takes consistent high levels of chlorine to kill off some of the heartier kinds of algae. Without reliable testing of the FC number it is impossible to be sure you got it all. With a good test kit you would measure the FC level in the evening and again first thing the next morning and if it remains the same overnight then all the algae is dead. But that requires the more precise FAS-DPD chlorine test.

Once the algae is dead it can still take the filter up to a week to clean up the water. However, any problems with the filter could slow that down. Has the filter pressure been going up and have you been backwashing regularly?

There are also other things, besides algae, that can cloud up the water, but they are very unlikely in this situation. My bet is that the algae isn't really all dead yet.
The first two days of trying to clean it up the pressure kept going up, but after lots of backwashing, we haven't had the problem the past couple days. It's holding steady. Here is a picture of the water:



It's just cloudy and we can't see the bottom.
 

JasonLion

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Well, that certainly doesn't look like algae.

If you have a sand filter, have you tried adding a little DE to the filter? Alternatively this may be the time to try a clarifier.
 

NicInNC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2007
82
North Carolina
JasonLion said:
Well, that certainly doesn't look like algae.

If you have a sand filter, have you tried adding a little DE to the filter? Alternatively this may be the time to try a clarifier.
I wish I had taken a picture when we first opened it. It was dark green. DH just went out and put the brush in and said he can tell that it's clearing up because 2 days ago, he could only see the brush about 1 1/2 feet down. Now it can barely be seen on the bottom, so it IS improving. Maybe I'm just impatient. I don't know what DE is, but I'll search now. Thanks Jason. You've been a really big help! :-D