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.
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 14 Jun, 2009 13:28

I have to learn to not hold a grudge which is very hard for me to do in this situation.
I've cooled to a warm glow that's just about gone out... :cool:

In conciliation she knocked on my door this morning. She has arthritis and couldn't get the pad lock we'd put on the pool gate open. We don't want anyone by the pool, but have a homeowner who thinks she can sunbathe even if she's not using the pool. We can't take the chance that someone will try and use it without it being permited by our city. So we have a chain and lock to keep people out. If that isn't a clear warning nothing is.

We each took a sample of water. I'm shocked that I could actually see the bottom of the pool for the first time in over two months. There's a lot of debris down there too!

She asked me to go with her back to the pool store and I did. I have enough money to cover the supplies so she needed me anyway. I want this pool spotless as it can be.
I'm not absolutely happy with all of this, but we went back to Leslie's pool supply and had the water tested.
The test showed all normal-ish except Chlorine. It's down to 1 or 2 with the difference of 1.5 between TC and FAC. She sold us some more shock that we used on Friday night. The CYA level showed 100ppm though which concerns me since we intend to use trichlor tabs for normal chlorination. We told the lady there about the algaecide foaming up and she said she'd "never had any complaints" before like that. The stuff was 60% of some kind of polymer-alcohol and 40% inert. I was told yesterday that "cheap" algaecides will foam up.
The stuff cost us over $25. Was it really "cheap" or did it just react to all that algae? I think I know the answer but I'm still asking.

The second sample of water we took to Warehouse pool supply. Their test shows the CYA=30 and pH 7.2.
I lost the paper from Leslie's(I put it down whilst signing the credit card slip and forgot it, ARG!) so I don't have the two to compare as I would have liked.

So which test is more likely correct? The lady at Leslies is more than likely experienced and seems to know her stuff. Warehouse pool supply had kids no more than 19 or 20 working there. I'm guessing the young fellow did the tests a little off. :shifty:

Though does CYA=30 go more with the chlorine level dropping from at least 6 yesterday evening more than if it is 100?

Now, after insisting that we not run the pump she says "of course we'll need to run the pump" when we put the shock in. :crazy: We should have been running it all this time and she didn't want to now she realises
we need to with the shock. :crazy:

Anyway, it's ok and with some luck the man who is coming tomorrow won't want to charge us too much
for regular service. She's leaving me to talk to him though since she has a doctor's appointment. :roll:

Is CYA already too high to use Trichlor tabs if it's 100ppm? If it's only 30 then I know there's nothing to be concerned with... yet. I'll need to backwash the filter so we'll lose some level water, but is it enough if that level is that high :?:


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 14 Jun, 2009 14:22

So much for sitting back and relaxing..hehe.

One store had CYA at 100 and one at 30. If I recall you tested it at 50-60. If it's really 100 the tabs aren't the way to go for sure. With a pool man coming in tomorrow have him test it and see what he gets.

The algaecide is probably the reason for the foaming. Most algaecides are good at preventing algae, not so much killing it. The chlorine does the killing.

I would be careful with the cal hypo. Your level for CH jumped quickly and continued use will push the level too high.

I would have any questions you have ready for the pool guy coming in. Get his opinion on what to do now and how to handle the pool once it is clear. You can run it by us here once you have his ideas.
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 14 Jun, 2009 15:51

Yeah, I know... I got hoodwinked. :roll:

I'm confused about this too. I haven't added anything with stabilizer since Tuesday or maybe Monday.
Two tests, one on Wednesday and one on Friday both had the CYA at 60 or so. Now, it jumped to 100 or dropped by half to 30. I don't want to test with the kit I bought last week since there are two reagent bottles for CYA and I've used one whole bottle during the week. I got about 4 tests out of the bottle.
Does that sound right? When I said that to my neighbor she thought I'd used too much, but I followed
the directions: fill with sample water to 7ml line, fill with reagent to 14ml line, mix, drop into tube with dot, etc... The reagents aren't very big bottles either.

That's what I'd thought, but my neighbor got pitched a good one and bought it hook, line and sinker.
$25 isn't much, but it does happen. And now our filter pressure jumping up to 20psi in a WAY shorter time than it did before the algaecide foamed up and stopped it up. Even after backwashing as long as possible (pump begins to lose prime, no water through skimmer) it's not staying at it's 12.5psi for more than 90 minutes. It worries me that junk did something wrong to the filter. When I backwashed Friday night the foam came out of the bleeder valve when I opened it to backwash, the filter was so full of it.
I was given that sample of purafiber filter cleaning aide and it may or may not have helped, but didn't
do anything bad for sure. I have a little in reserve and I may use it.

The test at Leslie's today showed CH=220 again and warehouse did too. I'm not sure if I jut did that test wrong, but I watched the woman at Leslie's do the CH and TA tests. I'm inclined to believe all of these tests except the CYA which I'm uncertain of. If it's that low then the calhypo will cause no problems.
Also, pH is 7.2. I read somewhere on this forum that having a slightly low pH can help with hardness to prevent scaling.

I guess I better have some questions for the pool guy ready, you're right.

We only want an estimate at this point and with some luck a quote to do a one time cleaning.
We should probably get a few of them, then hire one to continue this. I'm not looking forward
to this chemical bounce we're going to have using trichlor. We have to use trichlor since we
have the feeder for it we just have to live with it.

Best part is, the pool is clear enough to see the whole bottom so any cleaning shouldn't cost us too much.
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
chem geek
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby chem geek » Mon 15 Jun, 2009 00:24

Pool store's are notorious at doing tests incorrectly, most especially the CYA test. I would trust your own results. You can always get just a CYA test (or a FAS-DPD chlorine test) here . If the CYA were 60 ppm, then the shock level for a relatively quick clear of the pool is around 20-25 ppm FC. After the pool is cleared, then the FC should be at a minimum of 4.5 ppm FC unless a supplemental algaecide or phosphate remover is used.

If the algaecide was more expensive and a polymer, then I suspect it was PolyQuat 60 ( that is 60% Poly{oxyethylene (dimethyliminio) Ethylene (dimethyliminio)ethylene dichloride} ). However, that does not usually foam. As denali noted, algaecides (except for copper-based ones, but they can stain) are mostly for inhibiting algae growth and not killing an existing algae bloom.
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 » Mon 15 Jun, 2009 09:39

Unfortunatly, that is what I suspected. I'll do a CYA test later today. My neighbor put the floating dispenser we bought yesterday into the pool with at least one trichlor tablet last night. I told her it
won't work as well without the pump; we'll see what happens.

The chemical name you said above seems to be what she bought. :?:
On Leslie's webpage this seems to be the one we used in the quart size.

I told her I didn't like the idea of putting that stuff in there but she was taken by what
the lady at Leslie's said. She think's the algaecide did something more than the chlorine. :crazy:

I know the active ingredient was 60%, but we had mounds of foam all over the pool that clogged
the filter and made it jump to 30psi from 12.5 in about 30 minutes. Ever since we put that stuff in
the pool I can't seem to backwash it out of the filter. When I ran the pump last night I started with
a backwash per instructions on the filter unit.

5 minutes later the pump was running dry as water got too low to take in via the skimmer
and I ceased backwashing. I filled some water into the pool to keep the pump from running dry.
Later, I put in the three bags of cal-hypo shock (the lady at Leslie's said that what we
needed based on chlorine level) and turned on the pump.

Normal filter pressure is 12.5psi. This was around 9:30 pm. My neighbor conceeded to run
the pump 4 hours which should have been almost one cycle of poolwater at 60gpm the
flowmeter shows.

When I checked the pump at 11pm the filter psi had jumped almost to 20psi. This has
happened ever since that algaecide. Only 90 minutes and the filter shows jumps to a higher
pressure. Within 3 hours it would be at 25psi. What am I doing wrong? Not enough backwash?
When I opened the manual bleeder the foamy stuff from Friday was still coming out of the filter.
So that algaecide stuff is still in there clogging up the works.

How do I clean it out fully? WE probably need new sand anyway, but until we can afford that what
do I do?
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
chem geek
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby chem geek » Mon 15 Jun, 2009 15:51

Well that's really strange because normally PolyQuat won't foam the way you describe. Then again, perhaps way, way too much was used. If that was the case, it would end up consuming some chlorine since chlorine slowly oxidizes PolyQuat. The way to get rid of PolyQuat is to let chlorine oxidize it, which can be done more quickly at higher FC level (i.e. you could shock again), but maybe patience is what is needed at this point (see below).

Also note that PolyQuat is a clarifier (it was originally sold as such until it was found to also be an algaecide and sold as such for higher profit), so this will consolidate particles in the pool and have them get caught in the filter. That probably explains the rise in pressure in the filter, but that just means the pool is getting cleared and eventually after enough backwashing this rise in pressure should slow down and then stop. So I'd just keep at the backwashing, but let it build up and accumulate between backwashings. It's got to stop sometime.
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 » Mon 15 Jun, 2009 16:39

So that stuff IS a polyquat algaecide that she bought? What about air leaks? I read on another site that micro air leaks in the return lines can cause even polyquat to foam. Here's the link:
ask alan a question com/foam_and_scum_pool_problems.htm

Maybe the small drips we have in the filter plumbing are enough to be considered an air leak?

My neighbor used 1 quart of that algaecide. It says 1 quart is to be used at spring startup
in a 20000 gallon pool. Ours is about 22000 so she didn't add too much by that account.

I sure hope backwashing helps. We really need to change the sand in the filter too.
The pool man we are supposed to get a quote from hasn't been here yet I don't think.
Need to get a quote on changing out the old sand while we're at everything else.
I've been out since noon and my neighbor had a doctor's appt. I called her and she was
going to see if he could come out after 5pm, but I hope he can. I really want her there when
we talk. Since she's so disbelieving in running the pump, I want a trained, qualified person to
tell her is needs to run and how long. She was going to have me meet with him solo but
with some luck she'll be here too.

Is it worth it to change to the sand alternative vs new sand? Is there a filtration difference
as the literature seems to indicate there would be?

The max filter pressure is 50psi per label on teh filter, and nominal has been 12.5psi.
I've been backwashing around 22-23psi. Should I let it go higher between backwashes?
My neighbor was told we should backwash daily. From what I've read here that's not
entirely true. I've been backwashing until there isn't enough water to go through the pump.
Then refilling the pool and going back to normal filter mode. Should I refill and backwash more?
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
Denali
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Algae in condominium Homeowner's Association pool

Postby Denali » Wed 17 Jun, 2009 01:15

Did you get an estimate from a pool guy? Any useful info?

On backwashing: I would backwash as needed. No time table. Just watch the flow and when it drops down, backwash until flow is back where you expect it.
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 » Wed 17 Jun, 2009 07:50

The guy neither called back nor showed up. :evil:
No telling why. She has other things going on so she didn't call him again either.

That's what I was doing, but my neighbor has insisted the pump be left off and it's now
been off since Monday about 2am. The chlorine levels are also bottoming out in spite of
the floating feeder w/ two trichlor tabs in there;they've hardly disolved at all.
Everything else seems ok but chlorine.
I told her the filter was needed to get the trichlor distributed properly, but she won't listen. :evil:
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".
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 05 Jul, 2009 23:33

It's been a few weeks since I've posted here. The lastest update is that we've been using the pump with trichlor tabs in the feeder. It was working ok and with zero trouble since my neighbor was actually told yes we need to run the pump 10 hours a day.

We do have a new problem though: the pump ran dry twice whilst left to turn on via the timer.
It appearently failed to prime and was dry for at least 3-4 hours like this on Monday last week.
I suspected the suction line was clogged as ran the hose through it to clear it out. This seemed to work and I restarted the pump and it was working ok. I left the timer set to turn on and off as it has been doing.

On Tuesday the same problem happened again. My neighbor this time found it dry and shut it off.
It was on for probably an hour before the problem was found this time. I had a harder time to get the pump to prime later when I tried to restart it. I still suspected a clog. I ran the hose into the line again. It seems to work and once it began circulating water it worked ok. Filter pressure went to 12.5psi and stayed there. I have been manually turning it on ever since though. We can't trust the thing to run dry.

Saturday, I spent all of 30 minutes clearing the suction line again since the pump refused to prime after I turned it off to clear the strainer basked.

Anyway, I realised this is not algae related per se, but can someone tell me why this pump is failing to prime?

I'm going to post this question in the pump and equipment forum too, I think. I don't like crossposting though.

In the mean time we have been trying to find a pool service to work on the pool but for some reason no one will come out. Or so the property manager says.
Money talks!? All it ever says to me is "goodbye!".

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