$200 worth of chemicals and it's still green

Algae problems in swimming pool water.
Green (cloudy) water or slimy pool walls.
Black algae. Mustard algae. Pink or white pool mold.
mfee
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun 13 May, 2007 13:31

$200 worth of chemicals and it's still green

Postby mfee » Sun 13 May, 2007 13:46

I opened the pool this year to a green swamp. I have been through 3 water tests at the local pool shop. I have added 14 lbs of hypo-chlorite shock, 20 lbs of Soda Ash, 4lbs “Green to Clean” with some improvement (cloudy green to clear, see the drain, green).

Here are the stats:
28,000gals
Salt system for chlorine generation
Reading on the salt generator is 3000ppm
1hp filter pump running continuously
Filter-Triton II TR60, 63gpm
Legend II in pool cleaner that runs continuously. (The bottom is spotless)

Water analysis from local pool store:
Free available chlorine= 5+
(Turns my dip sticks to the very high side of blue)
Total available chlorine = 5+
Total bromine NA
Water PH 7.2
Total alkalinity 140
Calcium NA
Cyanuric acid 90
TDS 2000
Copper/iron NA
Phosphates 300
(This is above normal ranges of 100ppb according to their normal)
Salt 300

After I got this water analysis I was told to add 1.5 lbs Soda Ash and wait 20 minutes. Then to add 32 oz of algae control that had as an active ingredient Polyoxyethelene(dimethylamine)……..60%. 20 minutes after that I was to add 2 lbs of shock. Out of frustration I added 4 lbs of shock and hit the super chlorinate on the salt chlorinator.

That was yesterday and my pool has not changed from green.
I have not changed my filter silica sand since it was installed 3 yrs ago. I also used a different company to close the pool last year and they put lots of anti-freeze in the lines. I am not certain this has anything to do with the algae but is here for completeness.

Any ideas? Each time I visit the pool store they just sell me empty promises
Thanks for any help


Buggsw
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Posts: 421
Joined: Sun 13 May, 2007 23:26

Postby Buggsw » Mon 14 May, 2007 00:07

Ouch! For that price you probably could have drained and refilled.

I don't live in an area where we need to use antifreeze - so that may be your problem.
me_too

Re: $200 worth of chemicals and it's still green

Postby me_too » Tue 15 May, 2007 10:23

mfee wrote:I opened the pool this year to a green swamp. I have been through 3 water tests at the local pool shop. I have added 14 lbs of hypo-chlorite shock, 20 lbs of Soda Ash, 4lbs “Green to Clean” with some improvement (cloudy green to clear, see the drain, green).

Here are the stats:
28,000gals
Salt system for chlorine generation
Reading on the salt generator is 3000ppm
1hp filter pump running continuously
Filter-Triton II TR60, 63gpm
Legend II in pool cleaner that runs continuously. (The bottom is spotless)

Water analysis from local pool store:
Free available chlorine= 5+
(Turns my dip sticks to the very high side of blue)
Total available chlorine = 5+
Total bromine NA
Water PH 7.2
Total alkalinity 140
Calcium NA
Cyanuric acid 90
TDS 2000
Copper/iron NA
Phosphates 300
(This is above normal ranges of 100ppb according to their normal)
Salt 300

After I got this water analysis I was told to add 1.5 lbs Soda Ash and wait 20 minutes. Then to add 32 oz of algae control that had as an active ingredient Polyoxyethelene(dimethylamine)……..60%. 20 minutes after that I was to add 2 lbs of shock. Out of frustration I added 4 lbs of shock and hit the super chlorinate on the salt chlorinator.

That was yesterday and my pool has not changed from green.
I have not changed my filter silica sand since it was installed 3 yrs ago. I also used a different company to close the pool last year and they put lots of anti-freeze in the lines. I am not certain this has anything to do with the algae but is here for completeness.

Any ideas? Each time I visit the pool store they just sell me empty promises
Thanks for any help


Let's get the water uncomfortable for algae before we get it comfortable for swimmers. In other words, let's clear up the pool first, we'll worry about the water balance later.

Why is the calcium figure not available? If it's on the lower end of the scale I would add about 4892 grams of 65% cal-hypo to the pool (after diluting it in batches in a pail filled with hot water). That should bring the available chlorine to about 25 ppm. Test the water regularly and maintain this high level of chlorine until the water clears up. (For your size pool 163 grams of 65% cal-hypo brings the chlorine up 1 ppm).

Just make sure it's 65% cal-hypo and nothing else.

The pool *will* clear up. My experience shows that the next day the pool will be free of visible algae.

Keep the filtration going to filter out dead algae, this will take a few days.

There is no need at this point to buy anything but chlorine, not 'shock', just your regular 65% cal-hypo in a big pail. That's all. The soda ash and polyquat and shock were not needed.

If your calcium figure is already at the high end of the scale then substitute bleach for cal-hypo, in which case about 22 liters will do.

We use antifreeze here all the time with no adverse effect on the water chemistry at spring startup.

Do write back when the water clears up.

Best,
Guest

Postby Guest » Tue 15 May, 2007 20:23

Thanks for the help. My wife however got impatient and put about 60 liters (14gal) of bleach and 6lbs of borax into the pool. The good news it is clearing up. I will get another water test when it clears up. Will that much clorine/borax hurt the liner?
me_too

Postby me_too » Wed 16 May, 2007 04:59

Anonymous wrote:Thanks for the help. My wife however got impatient and put about 60 liters (14gal) of bleach and 6lbs of borax into the pool. The good news it is clearing up. I will get another water test when it clears up. Will that much clorine/borax hurt the liner?


It's normal to become impatient with pools because everything happens so slowly.

14 gallons of bleach is a fair amount and that should do the trick. However the borax may be counterproductive as it raises the pH and renders the chlorine a bit less effective.

Let the water circulate a few days, it should clear up.

Regards,
mfee
Pool Newbie
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun 13 May, 2007 13:31

Postby mfee » Mon 21 May, 2007 19:14

Thanks again for the help

Here is the latest.

The pool did clear up within 48 hours.
The Ph off a lab quality ph meter registered 8.36. (I assume this elevation was from the borate that was added) Chlorine measured with my pool test kit was greater than 25 ppm. (I had to do a couple of dilutions to even get it.) The alkalinity measured greater than 200 ppm.

After reading about some other ph adjustments with muriatic acid, I added 16 ounces of 35% muriatic acid. The Ph came back as 5.71.

My plan is to keep testing the pool and adjusting the Ph with muriatic acid. I expect the Ph to creep up with the elevated alkalinity and the fact I have a Salt water generator. (Somewhere I read this makes your alkalinity stay elevated)

Let me know if anything here is not correct. My impression is that as long as your pool is clear and the Ph is within a normal range the other numbers will eventually come into range or will need to be adjusted to get the ph back to within normal limits. The elevated Chlorine will eventually come down and will need to be supplemented as usual. (My chlorinator is currently off.)
Thanks for all the help.
mfee
me_too

Postby me_too » Tue 22 May, 2007 09:05

mfee wrote:Thanks again for the help

Here is the latest.

The pool did clear up within 48 hours.
The Ph off a lab quality ph meter registered 8.36. (I assume this elevation was from the borate that was added) Chlorine measured with my pool test kit was greater than 25 ppm. (I had to do a couple of dilutions to even get it.) The alkalinity measured greater than 200 ppm.

After reading about some other ph adjustments with muriatic acid, I added 16 ounces of 35% muriatic acid. The Ph came back as 5.71.

My plan is to keep testing the pool and adjusting the Ph with muriatic acid. I expect the Ph to creep up with the elevated alkalinity and the fact I have a Salt water generator. (Somewhere I read this makes your alkalinity stay elevated)

Let me know if anything here is not correct. My impression is that as long as your pool is clear and the Ph is within a normal range the other numbers will eventually come into range or will need to be adjusted to get the ph back to within normal limits. The elevated Chlorine will eventually come down and will need to be supplemented as usual. (My chlorinator is currently off.)
Thanks for all the help.
mfee


Happy to hear all cleared up. The chlorine will eventually dissipate with the sun's uv rays.

The borates have increased th pH that's for sure. If you have any left over, get yourself some borate test strips (I think Aquachek makes 'em) and aim for about 50 ppm. This will help lock in the pH (my experience shows it really really locks it in), and at that level it's a proven algestat and for unknown reasons (but it's readily apparent) iit makes the water 'sparkle'. (I'm still trying to get some hard numbers on this but turbidity meters are quite expensive).

With an alkalinity > 200 combined with a SWG, the pH will definitely tend to drift upwards (the SWG causes a rise in pH).

I would maintain a lower pH, say around 7.0-7.2 until the alkalinity drops. It can take several weeks and lots of acid, the secret is to _maintain_ it at 7.0 and if you have anything that breaks the surface of the water, jets, fountain, turn 'em on. This will promote evacuation of CO2.

Depending on your situation (water hardness, alkalinity) you may need to "choose" a pH that brings everything in line (avoids deposits etc). So yes, as long as the water is clear, as long as the pH is appropriate and as long as the water is disinfected and disinfecting then all is fine.
me_too

Postby me_too » Tue 22 May, 2007 10:00

Forgot to say something about SWG. We're starting to see issues with corrosion to coping, sidewalks and equipment due to salt systems.

If this is a retrofit system make sure your decking can sustain the salt content. We're starting to hear about getting sidewalks sealed to prevent efflorescence, and equipment and pool structures electrically grounded to prevent erosion.
nin

brown water

Postby nin » Wed 13 Feb, 2008 11:19

every time i add soda ash/ph plus to the water the water turns brown. why does this happen
chem geek
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Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Wed 13 Feb, 2008 15:52

Brown water when the pH rises is probably iron in the water which precipitates out at higher pH. Lower the pH and then add a metal sequestrant. You could have your water tested for iron to figure out how much is there and how much sequestrant you need. Also, have your fill water tested for iron. If it has iron, then you'll need to maintain the metal sequestrant level over time or consider filtering your incoming water (say, from a house filter, if you have one).

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