Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Algae problems in swimming pool water.
Green (cloudy) water or slimy pool walls.
Black algae. Mustard algae. Pink or white pool mold.
Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 00:14

Henry_R wrote:Yes, I understand which part is which. The concern is not that the filter will clog, but due to the amount of algae in the pool that the pump will before enough of the algae dies off.

My neighbor, the board president, thinks the pump will become filled with the algae and cause it to be damaged. She has read through this thread, but doesn't seem to want to agree turn on the pump.

She has instead defered to another board member who wants to turn on the pump as I have been saying and has gone on record that he is to be responsible if anything goes wrong whilst running the pump.

I did some further testing with a liquid reagent based test kit vs the strips. Results are similar in that the CYA is below 30, chlorine is practically zero, pH is high. I might still take the water to a pool store and have it tested. The CYA is really what needs to be tested for due to the length of time it's been without
anything except rain water. I'm not sure how accurate the test is.

The last few days I brought the water level up so the pump can take it in. It had settled about 2"
below the skimmer intake before that.

I still need to use stabilizer, pH reducer, and chlorine and or shock and then run the pump.
What is the best product to do all three or do I need to use seperate products? I hope to buy
from Costco since their prices are really good and our HOA money is extremely tight.

I'm not sure what kind of selection they have though. I stopped in a pool supply store and their prices were off the charts high due to their being located in a relatively wealthy area I think.
There are no other pool supply stores that I know of without driving a long way and Houston is a big city.


Let me take a crack at the concern about the pump. Right now you probably have algae everywhere there is water including the pump. Algae doesn't clog the pump. The pump has a basket in it that collects large debris (leaves etc) especially when you are vacuuming the pool. Anytime you vacuum you check and empty, if needed, the pump basket. The algae itself can't clog or damage the pump.

When you are clearing the algae from the pool, it is the filter that will clog. As I mentioned before that is the purpose of the filter. When it clogs, you backwash to clean it.

I would have it tested at the pool store. The reason I say that is the chlorinator you have on that pool uses 3inch chlorine tabs. The tabs contain CYA and continued use build up the CYA levels. So it's worth knowing exactly where your level is.

If you have a Home Depot or Lowe's near by you can normally get liquid chlorine and muriatic acid there. The acid is to lower the pH. For a pool that green that's been sitting unmaintained it will take time and a lot of chlorine to get it clear. If there are pool chemicals sitting around somewhere (service companies will sometimes leave some around to save on having to transport them weekly) make note of them and perhaps we can work them into this clean up.


Henry_R
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Posts: 126
Joined: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 21:41
My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
In-Ground, Plaster 34x18 3.5-6' deep, Sta-rite P2R A5D-120L pump, A.O. Smith centurion 1HP (uprated 1.25HP) motor,Hayward S244S filter(new 2011), Rainbow Lifegard Chlorine/Bomine feeder; new replastered June 2010
Location: Houston, Texas USA

Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Henry_R » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 01:30

Thank you. You have confirmed everything I have tried to convey to the HOA president, but she's firm that she won't sanction turning on the pump wth algae in the pool. I have to convincer her that the algae is dead enough to do no damage to the pump. Convincing someone who is not listening though it hard. :!: We have another board member who like myself want to use the pump. When he returns from holiday over the weekend I'll talk to him and the pump will be turned on. Until then...

What I did manage to convince her of is using chlorine bleach. The cost was less than $8. We went to walmart and got 2.75 gallons of 6% chlorine bleach and using the pool calculator for 23000 gallon pool put 1 gallon & 6 cups of bleach in there. (I think I might have undercalculated but it seems to have worked)We did this at about 10 pm and then she stired it like a cauldron with the skimmer pole. :crazy:
I don't know if that stiring did anything useful, but by midnight I checked the FC level and it was about 4ppm which is a marked improvement over near zero. pH is still high as expected.
The water has changed from dark green to lighter green, continues to lighten, and the bugs have begun to die. I'll check FC level in the morning and add more bleach as needed tomorrow to keep the level up.

I did buy some stabilizer and pH reducer but both labels state to use with the pump on. I hope to keep the level high enough to kill the algea then turn on the pump and use the CYA and pH reducer and regular shock at some point or
more chlorine.

The pump btw is dry and has been for months. The water level is below the skimmer and it is the only pump intake; the main drain is not functioning at all as far as I know. So there is no algae inside it
unless it was from the pool company using it months ago(it'd be dead by now though right?).
As I stated before I have to convince the un-convincible to let me turn on this pump at all or wait
until Monday. In the mean time I'm going to keep the chlorine level as high as I can to kill all the algae.

Which leads me to my next question: Is it even worth using the pump without the main drain?
Will the pump circulate enough water to be worth turning it on with the only intake at the skimmer?
Is there a way to find out if my suspicion of the main drain not working? Dye in the pool?
Whenever the water gets below the skimmer the pump draws air and begins to lose prime.
Is this a sign the main drain is not working?
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 02:17

Henry_R wrote:Thank you. You have confirmed everything I have tried to convey to the HOA president, but she's firm that she won't sanction turning on the pump wth algae in the pool. I have to convincer her that the algae is dead enough to do no damage to the pump. Convincing someone who is not listening though it hard. :!: We have another board member who like myself want to use the pump. When he returns from holiday over the weekend I'll talk to him and the pump will be turned on. Until then...

What I did manage to convince her of is using chlorine bleach. The cost was less than $8. We went to walmart and got 2.75 gallons of 6% chlorine bleach and using the pool calculator for 23000 gallon pool put 1 gallon & 6 cups of bleach in there. (I think I might have undercalculated but it seems to have worked)We did this at about 10 pm and then she stired it like a cauldron with the skimmer pole. :crazy:
I don't know if that stiring did anything useful, but by midnight I checked the FC level and it was about 4ppm which is a marked improvement over near zero. pH is still high as expected.
The water has changed from dark green to lighter green, continues to lighten, and the bugs have begun to die. I'll check FC level in the morning and add more bleach as needed tomorrow to keep the level up.

I did buy some stabilizer and pH reducer but both labels state to use with the pump on. I hope to keep the level high enough to kill the algea then turn on the pump and use the CYA and pH reducer and regular shock at some point or
more chlorine.

The pump btw is dry and has been for months. The water level is below the skimmer and it is the only pump intake; the main drain is not functioning at all as far as I know. So there is no algae inside it
unless it was from the pool company using it months ago(it'd be dead by now though right?).
As I stated before I have to convince the un-convincible to let me turn on this pump at all or wait
until Monday. In the mean time I'm going to keep the chlorine level as high as I can to kill all the algae.

Which leads me to my next question: Is it even worth using the pump without the main drain?
Will the pump circulate enough water to be worth turning it on with the only intake at the skimmer?
Is there a way to find out if my suspicion of the main drain not working? Dye in the pool?
Whenever the water gets below the skimmer the pump draws air and begins to lose prime.
Is this a sign the main drain is not working?


Hi,

Before I forget again I wanted to mention one important thing. In the pics you posted is one of your time clock where you turn the pump on and off. It is missing it's protective cover and the wires are exposed. Looks like an Intermatic time clock and wired 220 v. I strongly advise getting the insulation cover for it. If you check on the web you can find a pic of the part I"m talking about. Very cheap but important.

I would push the FC level higher (13ppm) and try to keep it there until the water clears. The stirring will help as chlorine is heavier than water and will settle to the bottom. Also, chlorine is more effective when the pH is down in the low 7.x. Muriatic acid will lower the pH for you.

I can't even think of anything the algae could do to a pump. The water just passes through into the filter. The motor is separate and the water doesn't touch it.

Yes, even without the main drain it is worthwhile running the pump. With the pump running the water circulates and thus the chemicals and the water being pulled into the skimmer is being cleaned by the filter.

Look into the skimmer and there may be a diverter valve at the bottom that controls flow between skimmer and main drain. If there is then you can set it to main drain only to see if there is suction from there.

For what you are trying to do now you can live without a working main drain. You do want to brush the pool as often as possible. Brushing really does help when trying to get rid of algae. Often when you brush the pool will look worse than it did as the algae is stirred up. That's ok as you're exposing the algae to the chlorine.

When the water level gets below the skimmer and it draws in air you lose prime. Nothing to do with the main drain here. Even with a working main drain you would lose prime. On some skimmers there is a device (looks like a flying saucer) at the bottom of the skimmer that will close when the water level is low and only pull from the main drain. So have a look at the bottom of the skimmer and see what's there.

I think I got to all the questions. Will check back to see how you're doing.
Henry_R
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Posts: 126
Joined: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 21:41
My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
In-Ground, Plaster 34x18 3.5-6' deep, Sta-rite P2R A5D-120L pump, A.O. Smith centurion 1HP (uprated 1.25HP) motor,Hayward S244S filter(new 2011), Rainbow Lifegard Chlorine/Bomine feeder; new replastered June 2010
Location: Houston, Texas USA

Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Henry_R » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 09:35

I made a decision. I turned on the pump. I first tried it in backwash mode. There are actually instruction on the filter unit so I followed those. Except there doesn't seem to be an air bleeder on the pump; only on top of the filter. DO you see a bleed valve on the pump in the picture?
http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr48 ... 0_1619.jpg

I bled the air out of the filter and it's pressure is staying at 12.5 or so psi.

I removed a turtle that had taken up residence in the pool. The poor thing had white spots on it's back from the high pH and chlorine I added. It was a real bugger to catch too.

I added more chlorine bleach in the same proportion as last night and then I've tried the pump in normal position. The pH is still very high so I added pH reducer. The label says sodium bisulphate(sp?).
So this is some kind of powder acid vs liquid acid? It came in a 48 oz container and said 48 oz was needed to reduce pH from 8.2 or higher. How long does it take for pH reducer to work now that the pump is running? I'll add some CYA shortly too, but I want the pH reducer to do some work before
I add something else.

We need to change a few seals and a gauge for the intake pressure. The gauge is completely shot and rusted. Also it's threaded into the PVC; what's with that? There are some leaks where the PVC meets the filter. Just a few drips really, but I guess there are seals that need to be fixed? Are those compression fittings?

Then the chlorine/bromine feeder is retrofitted to the PVC and it's seal is leaking. The o-ring on the pump skimmer too needs to be replaced since it's leaving black on my hands when I checked it. Other than that the pump seems to be working ok.

Oh, finally regarding the timer. There is a cover and it closes tightly. It was just too close up a picture to show up.

I write back this evening with hopefully more good news.
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 10:18

Henry_R wrote:I made a decision. I turned on the pump. I first tried it in backwash mode. There are actually instruction on the filter unit so I followed those. Except there doesn't seem to be an air bleeder on the pump; only on top of the filter. DO you see a bleed valve on the pump in the picture?
http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/rr48 ... 0_1619.jpg

I bled the air out of the filter and it's pressure is staying at 12.5 or so psi.

I removed a turtle that had taken up residence in the pool. The poor thing had white spots on it's back from the high pH and chlorine I added. It was a real bugger to catch too.

I added more chlorine bleach in the same proportion as last night and then I've tried the pump in normal position. The pH is still very high so I added pH reducer. The label says sodium bisulphate(sp?).
So this is some kind of powder acid vs liquid acid? It came in a 48 oz container and said 48 oz was needed to reduce pH from 8.2 or higher. How long does it take for pH reducer to work now that the pump is running? I'll add some CYA shortly too, but I want the pH reducer to do some work before
I add something else.

We need to change a few seals and a gauge for the intake pressure. The gauge is completely shot and rusted. Also it's threaded into the PVC; what's with that? There are some leaks where the PVC meets the filter. Just a few drips really, but I guess there are seals that need to be fixed? Are those compression fittings?

Then the chlorine/bromine feeder is retrofitted to the PVC and it's seal is leaking. The o-ring on the pump skimmer too needs to be replaced since it's leaving black on my hands when I checked it. Other than that the pump seems to be working ok.

Oh, finally regarding the timer. There is a cover and it closes tightly. It was just too close up a picture to show up.

I write back this evening with hopefully more good news.




No air bleeder for the pump. There shouldn't be one there, not needed.

The turtle is a necessary part of the pool!!

Just kidding.

The dry acid is fine. Should see the results within an hour.

The connection at the filter is compression I believe. There will be an oring inside the fitting.

On the timer I think we are talking about different things. I wasn't talking about the door that closes but a protective cover that goes over the wires. Look at the Intermatic site for pool time clocks. You will see the plastic cover that should be there.
Henry_R
Swimming Pool Pro
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Posts: 126
Joined: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 21:41
My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
In-Ground, Plaster 34x18 3.5-6' deep, Sta-rite P2R A5D-120L pump, A.O. Smith centurion 1HP (uprated 1.25HP) motor,Hayward S244S filter(new 2011), Rainbow Lifegard Chlorine/Bomine feeder; new replastered June 2010
Location: Houston, Texas USA

Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Henry_R » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 11:01

Good. The reason I asked is that the instructions on that filter reads something about a bleed valve on the pump. The only valve I saw was on top of the filter and I left it open until the water began to squirt out then closed it. Pressure remains at about 2.5 tick marks past 10 so I'm guessing that 12.5psi.
I think they're 1-psi per mark.

Re the wiring cover: I found out the hard and painful way. I had wet fingers and got zapped whilst switching the switch. I will look for a cover for the wiring ASAP.

The filter continues to work normally. My neighbor is going to have a cow when she finds out what I've done. She'll thank me in the end, but intially she'll be mad I know it. It was either turn on the pump or waste 2.75 gallons of bleach and $8. The water is beginning to become turquoise vs the deep green it was even earlier this morning so something is working. Either the pump is doing it's thing or that second does of chlorine, or both. I'm for both actually.

Ok, next question: the filter instruction mention three different positions for the valve. It mentions backwash position, filter position on how to do initial startup. Then on the part about cleaning, it mentions turning it to rinse position. The pictures I posted before have a closeup of the instructions. Link in one of the earlier emails. I'm not sure if the resolution has been reduced too far to read it.

How do I figure out where the rinse position or if this valve has one? There are no markings on the valve except the words "lock" and "open" for the rotation. The handle goes up and down as well as rotates.

The down position is backwash, up is filter. Any ideas for rinse? I can try to post a better valve handle picture if you want.

Finally, how do I set the timer to trigger it on and off? There is a clip on thing that has a set screw.
I'm guessing I put that on the timer, but shouldn't there be one for on and one for off?
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 11:54

Henry_R wrote:Good. The reason I asked is that the instructions on that filter reads something about a bleed valve on the pump. The only valve I saw was on top of the filter and I left it open until the water began to squirt out then closed it. Pressure remains at about 2.5 tick marks past 10 so I'm guessing that 12.5psi.
I think they're 1-psi per mark.

Re the wiring cover: I found out the hard and painful way. I had wet fingers and got zapped whilst switching the switch. I will look for a cover for the wiring ASAP.

The filter continues to work normally. My neighbor is going to have a cow when she finds out what I've done. She'll thank me in the end, but intially she'll be mad I know it. It was either turn on the pump or waste 2.75 gallons of bleach and $8. The water is beginning to become turquoise vs the deep green it was even earlier this morning so something is working. Either the pump is doing it's thing or that second does of chlorine, or both. I'm for both actually.

Ok, next question: the filter instruction mention three different positions for the valve. It mentions backwash position, filter position on how to do initial startup. Then on the part about cleaning, it mentions turning it to rinse position. The pictures I posted before have a closeup of the instructions. Link in one of the earlier emails. I'm not sure if the resolution has been reduced too far to read it.

How do I figure out where the rinse position or if this valve has one? There are no markings on the valve except the words "lock" and "open" for the rotation. The handle goes up and down as well as rotates.

The down position is backwash, up is filter. Any ideas for rinse? I can try to post a better valve handle picture if you want.

Finally, how do I set the timer to trigger it on and off? There is a clip on thing that has a set screw.
I'm guessing I put that on the timer, but shouldn't there be one for on and one for off?



Sorry to hear about the zap. I was always told that 110v would give you a good jolt but a 220v (which you have) has the potential to kill you.

The rinse setting should be one position to the left of filter. Let's see if I can include a URL http://www.poolhelpforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=8097

Yes, there should be two trippers for the time clock. The newer ones will have a silver one for ON and gold one for OFF. I think I have that right. That is just off the top of my head.
Henry_R
Swimming Pool Pro
Swimming Pool Pro
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 21:41
My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
In-Ground, Plaster 34x18 3.5-6' deep, Sta-rite P2R A5D-120L pump, A.O. Smith centurion 1HP (uprated 1.25HP) motor,Hayward S244S filter(new 2011), Rainbow Lifegard Chlorine/Bomine feeder; new replastered June 2010
Location: Houston, Texas USA

Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Henry_R » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 12:09

There is only one tripper then. Drat! I was barefoot and my hand wet. I guess I am lucky.
I'm used high voltage DC in my hobby of guitar amplifiers with vacuum tubes so I should know better than that. With DC in the 450-500V range if you touch it, it can knock you across the room. No kidding!
I've never had the displeasure, but I've been zapped by charged filter caps before; luckily with the power off.

I didn't realise it's 220VAC for the timer though. I think I might have only touched one wire so I didn't get a full bite. It only fealt like a zap if you're screwingin a lightbulb and touch the threads so it wasn't bad or anything. I've had worse zaps from ground mismatch in old tube junk. Touch two different potentials of AC and zap. Even 50V can hurt.

The valve is not a multiport valve. The picture in that thread (or one of them) shows a multi position handle. This one only goes up and down with a rotation only for locking.
I think it might not have a rinse position.

I found the Triton II model TR60 owners manual online and read through it.
Ours is old but not as old as I thought.
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 13:32

Ok, looked at the pics again. It is a slide valve so you only have filter and backwash positions. I think I"ve been answering too many posts and starting to have them blend together.

Home Depot sells Intermatic time clocks so they may sell the trippers also.
Guest

Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Guest » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 14:06

Friend, I feel your pain, I too work at a pool complex that is privately owned and trully under funded. I also have a board of well intentioned but poorly informed people who have no desire to truly learn about pools. I will list here some of the very inexpensive tricks we have come up with to make our lives a little easier.
For yourself ( maybe see if they will pay for it) enroll in a CPO course (Ceritified Pool Operator) I took it several years ago and learned a great deal it cost $275.00 and took 2 days.

Now for people who don't understand pools, get them to place thier faith in you and your judgement Right now with your pool thier really isn't much you can do that will hurt anything.

To help combat your algae, try this trick that works so well for us
1. To help circulate your water and keep your clorine moving, drop a sump pump in the water, get one with a long cord so that you can get it as deep as possible while keeping the plug dry. Chlorine is heavy and will sink to the deepest parts. moving water also helps to deter mosquitoes.

2. If you have a portable vacuum system remember it is a small filtration system, and can help keep it clean. We will run ours as a filter system a great deal before our season starts ( we are in the chicago area and our pools our only open Memorial to Labor days), so we have a lot of closed time where we have to keep up with water, mechanicals etc.

3. Sometimes the easiest, least expensive thing to do, is dump all of your water, give the pool a good scrubbing. If your main is non functioning, use the sump pump to empty the pool, so what if it takes several days. its a good way also of draining out the accumulated water during the scrubbing, and it places no strain whatsoever on your filtration system. We do this every spring on all of our pools. IT works beautifully.

4 VGB compliancy does not necessarily have to be expensive, 2 of our pools are 25 years older than yours, and we brought them up to code for 700 each. Find yourself a good reputable company, have them out and explain your entire situation with them. Even if you are not financially able to do much right at the moment. Having quotes and a company that is familiar with your situtation is always a plus. The more information you have and the more answers you are capable of giving will help with the faith and trust issues you are encountering.

5. A plastic bucket. We use chlorine tablets to clorinate during our season. In the off season, we drill 10-12 holes in a plastic bucket and fill it with tablets and hang it in the water, with the sump pump running, we get some clorination, and some circulation, for a substantially lower electric bill. The bucket trick will help you right now in killing your algae, and after its gone it will help keep your levels in control, and reduce operating costs substantially.

6. Getting your levels to where they are supposed to be wil cost some money, maintaining them will cost some but much less. It will be less expensive in the long run to keep your levels correct. It will be cheaper and far less damaging to all aspects of your pool to keep your water good then trying to recover from the situation you find yourselves in now. Proper levels are far more than just bather comfort, the help with the pool structure, piping, valves, everything Water that is out of balance will eat away the pool walls, corrode metal pipes, scaling. Goold levels are the first and best maintenance trick you have at your disposal.

7. The old line about a boat being a hole in the water you throw money into, A pool is a hole in the ground filled with water that you throw money into. That is a fact of pool life. But carefully spent money now and in the future will always be a wise investment 3000-5000 a year now, is far better than a 150, 000 spent in five years for a overhaul of the entire system. Believe me 150,000 is a very very low number for a commercial pool rebuild.

8. Everything on your pool is there to be operated, use it, manipulate it, open it, close it, turn it on, turn it off. Left alone, pool mechanicals will cease to function, valves rust closed or open, switches and contacts corrode, leaks occur, seals fail etc ad nauseum.

9. As for your board president not wanting to run the pump. Thats what it's there for, while pump and motor are physically connected, the motor DOES NOT come in contact with water, only the pump, and algae will not hurt the pump. Getting clorinated water going threw the pump would be a very good idea, it will kill anything that might be growing in it. And the filtration system, is there to filter, it won't hurt anything in that either, as a matter of fact, not using it could be detrimental to it.

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