omg...is this true, or is the pool guy wrong?

Algae problems in swimming pool water.
Green (cloudy) water or slimy pool walls.
Black algae. Mustard algae. Pink or white pool mold.
virraszto
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omg...is this true, or is the pool guy wrong?

Postby virraszto » Thu 14 Aug, 2008 15:42

I just got back from getting my water tested. We've had algae problems off and on all summer. It went from a little cloudy to green in like 2 days. Here is the water analysis.

Free Chlorine 1
Total Chlorine 1
PH 6.0 with an arrow down( +25)
Copper 1.0
Total alkalinity 0
Total disolved solids 500

He didn't test for cya because he was out of the stuff. I checked the cya with my tester and it said 90.

So, the guy tells me that because we have been using the chlorine tablets, those lower the ph, which in turn causes the copper from our heater to leach into the pool.

He says we will have to drain half the pool, add $150 worth of chemicals and about 10 days work....or we can cover it and deal with it when we open it next summer.

Is it that bad? Since it's already end of Aug and we live in MI, we might just close it up. We are new pool owners of 2 yrs. Didn't have a heater last year, only put it on this year.

Any advice? Is the guy right?





tried to post a photo but it says links are not allowed


muss08
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Postby muss08 » Thu 14 Aug, 2008 21:30

He is right on several fronts. When your TA comes back 0 and the pH is below 6.0 this usually means that the pH is probably lower than 5. Basically you are giving your entire pool and all of your equipment an acid bath. This low pH is in fact dissolving your heat exchanger inside the heater which is made of copper. You definitely do not want to simply close the pool with the pH this low. It can destroy a liner or eat away at plaster. You do not have to drain half the pool or spend that much. You are looking at at least $50 in soda ash. Soda ash is also known as pH up or increaser. You can find bulk 50lb bags online. You are going to need to add about 10-12lbs of soda ash per 10000 gallons of water. If you have a small pool you can simply buy the pH increaser from the pool store although it will be more expensive. If your grocery store carries arm and hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda) this will work as well. Washing soda is another form of soda ash. Yes chlorine tablets (known as dichlor or trichlor) are very acidic and if you pH is not regularly checked (weekly) it is possible to drive your TA and pH this low. It is very important that the pH is checked weekly to avoid this. It is also VERY important to the health of your swimming pool's shell and equipment that this problem is taken care of BEFORE closing for the season. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
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Postby virraszto » Fri 15 Aug, 2008 13:37

muss, thank you very much for replying. We went out and bought a lot of soda ash ( Arm & Hammer Washing powder) and dumped one box in so far, tested it and the ph and the alkalinity has risen a little bit already. We're going to dump and check, dump and check until we get the levels sorted out.

The pool isn't pea green anymore, it's still a yucky color but it's looking better.

My husband unhooked our pool heater and plumbed it right into the pool to avoid any more copper problems.

I'll keep updating this thread.

Thanks again!!
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Postby virraszto » Fri 15 Aug, 2008 14:04

Ok, I just added another box of washing powder, waited 20 min and did a test.

Total alkalinity is now 120
Ph is now 7.5

Now, will these numbers lower significantly after this washing powder gets fully disolved into the water? I thought it would take more than 2 boxes of washing powder to get the levels up.

I'm going back out in another hour or so and test the water.
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Postby muss08 » Fri 15 Aug, 2008 18:47

I would hold off adding any more for now. Wait 24hrs and test again. 20 minutes may have been too soon. Where you are right now is good. TA 120ppm is on the high side of normal and 7.5 pH is perfect. A probable reason for your pool being pea green is copper. Metals in the pool become noticeable when the pH gets higher than 7.8 and the chlorine is very high. Your chlorine level may have been low but with the pH very low it makes the chlorine 100% active compared to 60-80% active when your pH is in the normal range.
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My pool

Postby virraszto » Sat 16 Aug, 2008 11:41

The ph and alkalinity have leveled out, but the chorine level is high. Before we added any washing powder, we added 4 gallons of chlorine.

I am going to try to post photos, but I don't know if I can. I've tried before and it said no links allowed.
h t t p: // i328. photobucket. com/ albums/l356/virraszto/greenpool.jpg
h t t p: // i328. photobucket. com/ albums/l356/virraszto/DSC04174.jpg

take out the spaces and see if that works
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Postby Craig V. » Sun 17 Aug, 2008 00:38

You should keep the pump motor on until the water clears. This will help circulate the water and mix the chemicals. You will not get an accurate reading on the chemicals until the water circulates. Add the chemicals in small amounts, wait, then test again. You might need to add some more liquid chlorine. Chlorine level should be atleast 3. I hope this helps.
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Postby Craig D. » Sun 17 Aug, 2008 00:57

Also Note: running the pump for 24 hours + will filter all the water in the pool. This will help clear the water. Then you should wash or backwash the filter.
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Postby muss08 » Sun 17 Aug, 2008 17:03

What exactly is your chlorine level? And what is your CYA level? Its hard to know what high means. I was able to look at your pics and it does seem to be improving. Have you added a metal sequestering agent? If not get a bottle from your pool store and make sure it takes care of copper. This will help make the pool bluer if the green is being caused by copper and not algae. If your CYA is really high you may need to increase the chlorine level to kill any leftover organics.
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looking much better

Postby virraszto » Tue 19 Aug, 2008 03:09

We have been running the pump 24/7 for the past week or so. It is improving, but we're not there yet.

All tests are within normal range now. We have not gone back to check the copper levels though. I may get it tested sometime this week.

Husband added some clarifier yesterday. The water is mostly cloudy, not green anymore. He has not added a metal sequestering agent. We wanted to wait and see what happened after we got all the levels back up.


It doesn't appear to be having an algae issue.

Thank you guys for your help. We really appreciate it and it's great that this forum is here.

Have a great day :) and again, many thanks!!

Virraszto

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