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.
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mr_clean
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby mr_clean » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 16:41

just a note,
you might need to dig into your own pocket book & cover some of these expenses as the electrical bill to clear this up along with the chemicals you are going to use are going to be alot money. (not trying to be hurtfull just real) but if this is important to you & maybe others, you & them will do it.

Then theres a reason the pool is getting algae (most likely) THE LEAK and with this comes "loosing the chemicals added" do to water loss. So even when cleared of algae the chemicals will cost more than normal.
The chemicals you would loose "CYA which is conditioner" & "chlorine" which help fight algae.The other factors helping prevent algae, the filter being clean & the amount of time each day you allow it to run & normal brushing.

when cleaning this mess you will need to start by running the filter 24/7 until clear.
only stopping to backwash the sand filter when the pressure rises which will be alot but can be done with someone around.
Adding chemicals needed and for now would be to get CYA up to level 50-60ppm & chlorine at shock level (your pool) 20ppm or higher. Then you need to recheck the pools chemicals 2-3 times a day to keep the chlorine at shock level (so more chlorine). Know normally it drops faster at the begining but then slows up & holds as the pools clears up. With you having a leak & loosing water as fast as you have stated this could be slower. Trying to add any other chemicals right now is not important (for-now)
When chemicals are in & pool is running you need to brush the pool & know the more the better.

Have you looked around for the cause of the leak?
is there water around the equipment when it's running?
when backwashing do you see where the water goes? or is it piped intothe ground?
sometimes when the multiport valve has a bad spider gasket it will leak water into the backwash area inside of the multiport valve and you loose water. This spider gasket is not expensive & not hard to replace.


Henry_R
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My Pool: HOA Community Swimming pool built approx. 1971.
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Location: Houston, Texas USA

Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Henry_R » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 17:26

Denali wrote: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.
Heheh, I do that times.
Don't worry it happens. Thanks for replying.

The one place we didn't go today is Home Depot. I'll have to see if the local HD stores have the timers and if thy carry the cover for the electrical connections.

I bought a decent test kit from Leslie pool supply(I know I should get really good one, but I need it now not it a week), and found some 10% chlorine shock and a leaf skimmer at Lowes, but we didn't get to Home Depot. I also got three tabs of trichlor. I'm considering using them in the chlorine/bromine feeder once I get things where they need to be since we have the feeder for them. The feeder says to use only trichlor and something else(I'm not sure whatelse). I have to guess and hope that TriChlor is what
the pool company was using.

In the mean time I added 1 gallon of 10% bleach to the pool and 2lbs of CYA to the skimmer. I'm being conservative of how much CYA I add for now since the chemistry is so out I don't want to go high.
The label indicated 2lbs should make it go up by 10ppm.
That's enough for now even though it might still be low.

Also, I discovered that the connections at the filter are dripping water just a little. I bought some silicone grease from Leslie pool supply, but I cannot get the connections to undo. They are compresion fittings.
I don't have a wrench big enough to open the fittings to check and or lubricate the seals. I have a neighbor
who has tools and might have some channel locks or a pipe wrench big enough. Otherwise we'll have to live with the leak until we find someone with the right size wrench. It's only a small leak, but leaves a big enough puddle to notice. I also need to change the o-ring on the pump strainer, but it's not leaking at all. It's degraded enough though since it's got some frayed spots and turns my finger black when I touch it. Leslie's has these o-rings so I'll get them sometime this week. But my HOA has to reimburse me for this stuff first. I spent over $66 today and $21 last night on pool supplies. It'll take a few days to get the money. I cannot afford anymore. I think we've been pretty conservative too on money. Well under $100 so far to get the pool clear is pretty good considering the alternative(s).

Now the bigger concern: the valve also leaks a little and is not changing position smoothly. When I got
home from getting the supplies above, the filter psi had changed upwards so I backwashed it for a couple of minutes; I'm still getting used to do this right. I know I probably didn't need to do it yet but I did anyway. When I changed it back to normal the valve leaked a little and water was still draining into the backwash drain and the filter gauge dropped a little then went up. I could hear gurggling from the backwash outlet pipe too like the valve wasn't completely closed. I think it might still be leaking a little. I'll check it a bit later.

I wonder how I can find out what is wrong with the valve? There are screws on top of it, but I'm loath to get too deep into something I cannot get out of. Are slide valves standardized in any way? Is there a diagram somewhere for a basic slide valve? My mechanical skills are pretty decent once I know what I'm doing.
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Henry_R
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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 19:49

Mr Clean, thank you for your thoughts.

The Certified Pool Operator course is an interesting idea. I'm not certain I'd want the responsibility to maintain the pool once we have more funds to repair then open it but it's a good idea. I'm not sure I
could get it paid for. I'm cash poor and the HOA might see it as an unnecessary expense.

My neighbor was very amazed by the change since last night and said nothing about my essentially disobeying her by turning on the pump this morning. We went to get some supplies and it cost $89 of my own money. She's going to fast-track my being reimbursed since we've likely saved several thousand dollars in would-be fines considering the former condition.

I bought a leaf skimmer, some 10% chlorine liquid shock from Lowes, and a decent pool test kit from Leslie pool supply. The color is now getting to a blue-white from my adding a gallon of the 10% chlorine and about 2lbs of CYA. That should bring CYA up by 10ppm. It read on test strips <30 and continues to read there in the new kit w/ the "disappearing dot" test. Assuming CYA was under 30, but not zero I should be able to get a reading at some point I hope. I don't want to go too high too fast and risk overshooting it so I'm being careful. I'll check chlorine when the sun goes down and again tomorrow morning.

As I said to Denali though my biggest concern now is the pool filter compression fittings are leaking and the valve is stiff and leaked some water around the handle when I changed it earlier. I backwashed for a short time when I got home from getting supplies. When I changed it back to filter It continued to spew water down the drain for several minutes. It is not a multiport valve only a push valve.

Is there a drawing somewhere of these types of valves? The brand name is long worn away if there ever was such a marking. Are they standardized enough to be easy to fix though? My mechanical skills are pretty good as long as I have good instructions. I'm guessing it's just a bad seal like one would find on a kitchen or bathroom sink faucet. Should be easy enough to fix/replace the seal if it's made to be replaceable.

Probably needs as much attention as those compression seals and the o-ring on the pump skimmer.
This pump is running for the first time since probably last fall or early winter.

The compression fittings to the pump are large. My 5" vice grips were too small.
I have a neighbor who might have a wrench big enough or some channel-locks.
He's going to have a look-see when he gets home. We can't do anything until the CYA circulates fully
though. It says on the dry acid bottle to run the pump 48 hours so I'm going to follow that.

You asked about where the backwash water drains to. There is a cast iron pipe that the backwash pipe goes into. There's a picture of it in the link I posted earlier in this thread.

The leak we're going to have to deal with and hope we can keep up with the chlorine levels and such.
We don't have either a brush nor a vacuum because there is nowhere to store them easily. We used
to have a pool building but it was torn down when it became a hazard. So we don't have storage for equipment. We're going to have to store the chemicals on someone's patio for lack of another place.
The brush, skimmer and pole are fairly easy but the vacuum and hose are not.
Our patios are only 5' deep and 50' wide, btw.
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Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 21:07

Here is a diagram of a typical slide valve. http://www.poolcenter.com/parts_valves_pacfab_slide.htm

The orings on the piston shaft need lubing to slide easily. When you remove the screws to pull the piston shaft out, pull slowly and turn as you pull. The orings can swell and dry out over time so a gentle back and forth as you pull it out will help.

Sounds like things are moving along pretty well.
Henry_R
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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 21:40

Denali wrote:Here is a diagram of a typical slide valve. http://www.poolcenter.com/parts_valves_pacfab_slide.htm

The orings on the piston shaft need lubing to slide easily. When you remove the screws to pull the piston shaft out, pull slowly and turn as you pull. The orings can swell and dry out over time so a gentle back and forth as you pull it out will help.

Sounds like things are moving along pretty well.
Thanks for the link. I found that very page and my valve is a Pentair Pac Fab valve too. I guess I need new gaskets or at least to lube them. Trouble is going be making sure to get the correct gaskets/rings. Googling the part numbers specified for the o-ring on what's left of the valve label gives me zero hits. I don't want to buy the rings and take things apart without know I can repair them. Pentair has a dealer that is right around the corner; literally I could walk there. I think I might take the whole valve innards there and get them to give me the proper o-rings. It's worth having someone who is familar with this type of valve to make sure I get the right ones.

The pool is really starting to look better in the mean time. I snapped a few photos and posted them here: http://s468.photobucket.com/albums/rr48 ... /?start=20

Note the amount of foam on the surface of the water. That began after I added the CYA. Did I do something wrong? I only added about half of what I really think I need since the CYA test is still below 30 I think.
I really need to take a water sample to a pool supply and let them do some tests to make certain I'm testing right.

There are two pictures of the label of the valve too. They're just high enough resolution (after photobucket reduced them) to zoom in and read the writing online.

Thanks to everyone here once again.

I'll be postng back soon I'm sure.
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Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Sun 07 Jun, 2009 22:54

Henry_R wrote:
Denali wrote:Here is a diagram of a typical slide valve. http://www.poolcenter.com/parts_valves_pacfab_slide.htm

The orings on the piston shaft need lubing to slide easily. When you remove the screws to pull the piston shaft out, pull slowly and turn as you pull. The orings can swell and dry out over time so a gentle back and forth as you pull it out will help.

Sounds like things are moving along pretty well.
Thanks for the link. I found that very page and my valve is a Pentair Pac Fab valve too. I guess I need new gaskets or at least to lube them. Trouble is going be making sure to get the correct gaskets/rings. Googling the part numbers specified for the o-ring on what's left of the valve label gives me zero hits. I don't want to buy the rings and take things apart without know I can repair them. Pentair has a dealer that is right around the corner; literally I could walk there. I think I might take the whole valve innards there and get them to give me the proper o-rings. It's worth having someone who is familar with this type of valve to make sure I get the right ones.

The pool is really starting to look better in the mean time. I snapped a few photos and posted them here: http://s468.photobucket.com/albums/rr48 ... /?start=20

Note the amount of foam on the surface of the water. That began after I added the CYA. Did I do something wrong? I only added about half of what I really think I need since the CYA test is still below 30 I think.
I really need to take a water sample to a pool supply and let them do some tests to make certain I'm testing right.

There are two pictures of the label of the valve too. They're just high enough resolution (after photobucket reduced them) to zoom in and read the writing online.

Thanks to everyone here once again.

I'll be postng back soon I'm sure.


It's looking good!

I would bring in the backwash valve so you're sure you get the right sized orings. Lube it up before putting it back in and it should slide easily.

I wouldn't worry about the foam. Adding the CYA shouldn't cause it. It looks like the foam you get when you use a cheap algaecide they sell at lowes or home depot. The bleach you added, was it unscented? The scented kind does have some additives. Like I said , nothing to worry about there.
Henry_R
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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 » Mon 08 Jun, 2009 00:55

And so here I am. Just checked the chlorine level and it's near zero again. I added the last of the 10% chlorine shock I bought today and the rest of the CYA since it's evidently still low. How long does powdered CYA take to begin working to bring up the level. Now,I need to get more chlorine and more CYA too, I think. Istill don't want to overshoot the 30-50 range but it's still reading below 30.
The dot in the CYA barely disappears before I fill the vial. Am I doing that test wrong?

*edit* Dinali, I just noticed your post after I submitted mine.
I've used nothing but the unscented walmart great value brand 6% sodium hypochlorite bleach last night.

Today I added 2.5lbs of dry acid to reduce pH. I checked a little while ago and it's down to 7.2 or so.
I hope it'll remain there. That's fine for now. Excellent news!

Then I've put in 2lbs of the CYA and a gallon of 10% liquid chlorine. It calls itself "liquid shock".
This is what I got at Lowes. It cost less than the 6% bleach and stronger so it seemed cost effective.

Tonight I've put in more of this stuff and 2lbs more CYA. The chlorine is measuring near zero again so that's why I added more CYA too. It's after the CYA is added that the foaming begins and the entire pool is foaming now with the second dose.

Other than these I've not put anything else in there to account for the foam.
No algaecide at all; only chlorine as above. Having read about copper problems I've purposely
avoided any chemicals that even mentioned it.

I'm not going to worry about the foam though. Unless it begins to turn green-ish again I'm going to try an let it stabilize some before adding more chlorine. If CYA is still low it's not worth putting it in during the day. I don't have a car and use public transportation. My neighbor has a vehicle, but must be in court in the morning so we can't get any more chlorine in there before we get sunlight & UV burning it up. It'll be at least tomorrow night before I add more. UV index has been very high the last few days too. It's also be blazing hot.

Given the problems with CYA should I try a regular shock formula that's stabilized?
I have a bag of dichlor 4 in 1 shock, but only one; I'd need to get another to have enough.

I also have those three tabs of 3" trichlor.
They're designed for the feeder unit attached to filter. YES, I know not to mix them and not
to use one then the other. No explosions or fires here...

I'll work on the valve problems in a couple of days when the filter can be turned off for a while.
That CYa says to run the pump for 48 hours after adding it. And not to backwash or whatver for
the same timeframe.

*end edit*
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Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Mon 08 Jun, 2009 01:15

Henry_R wrote:And so here I am. Just checked the chlorine level and it's near zero again. I added the last of the 10% chlorine shock I bought today and the rest of the CYA since it's evidently still low. How long does powdered CYA take to begin working to bring up the level. Now,I need to get more chlorine and more CYA too, I think. Istill don't want to overshoot the 30-50 range but it's still reading below 30.
The dot in the CYA barely disappears before I fill the vial. Am I doing that test wrong?


You're doing the test right. It can take up to a week for the CYA to fully register on the test. That is why you shouldn't backwash after adding as you might lose what you put in.

It does take a fair amount of chlorine to turn a green pool clear as you're finding out. You don't want the pool at 0ppm FC for long as the algae will come right back. Best if you can keep the shock level constant until you are clear.

Have you checked pH since the addition of the dry acid?
Henry_R
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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 » Mon 08 Jun, 2009 01:26

pH is in the 7.2 range as of about 10pm, and still in that range at 12:45am. The chlorine is still measuring near 0.5 to 1. The vial is not completely clear when I test it so it must be just low not zero.

Nothing I can do without another dose and I'm out of it. Shy of throwing 1lb of dichlor in there which is not enough for a 22000 gallon pool I have no more chlorine and won't be able to add more until about 6pm due to my schedule today.

A week is a long time for CYA to register.
Does it begin to have effect on chlorine retention sooner than it shows in the test?
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby chem geek » Mon 08 Jun, 2009 02:11

Henry_R wrote:A week is a long time for CYA to register.
Does it begin to have effect on chlorine retention sooner than it shows in the test?

It will start to have an effect even at 10-20 ppm that may not show up fully in the test. You say you've got Dichlor so that's another way to add both chlorine and increase the CYA simultaneously. For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Dichlor, it also increases CYA by 9 ppm. You don't want to go too high with your CYA, but if you believe you need to add more, then Dichlor dissolves quickly.

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