Green pool...started with pool store chemicals...now what?

A BBB guide to supermarket poolcare.
Use store-bought bleach, baking soda
and borax to replace proprietary pool chemicals.
nicksmom

Green pool...started with pool store chemicals...now what?

Postby nicksmom » Fri 05 Jun, 2009 11:25

I've been reading through old/other posts here, but I seem to be missing something. We took our winter cover off last week. Pool looked pretty good. Then my husband was away on business and I discovered a leak in the pvc pipe between the pump & filter. Long story short, here we are 10 days later, and the pool is swamp green. It's an 18' x 36' inground, vinyl lined rectangular pool. I fixed the pipe last night and started the pump this morning. We had already purchased our "opening kit" from our pool supply store. I have added the algecide and suspend-all. Now I think it would be smart and economical to switch to the BBB method. I'm just not sure what my first step should be, since I've already added some chemicals.

I need clear, step-by-step instructions, taking into consideration we have some algecide in the pool already. Also, I've never heard of adding CYA or testing for it. Our test kits only test for FC, alkalinity, ph. We are in Michigan, so our summers are relatively short. We usually open around Memorial Day and close in late September.

I took a pic of our pool this morning, but can't figure out how to upload photos here. It's impressively swamp-like!

Thanks in advance for your help with easy-to-follow instructions.


chem geek
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Green pool...started with pool store chemicals...now what?

Postby chem geek » Fri 05 Jun, 2009 13:06

Get a good test kit, either the Taylor K-2006 you can get at a good online price here or the TF100 from tftestkits.net here with the latter kit having 36% more volume of reagents so is less expensive per test.

Read Defeating Algae and other articles in the Pool School to become familiar with how to maintain your pool. You will basically be hitting your pool hard with chlorine that is MAINTAINED at a high level until the pool is cleared. You will brush regularly and clean/backwash the filter and may vacuum to waste or physically remove stuff if there's a lot of it. You can use a skimmer sock as well. Algaecide is better at preventing algae; it doesn't do much to clear an existing algae bloom (though can slow down or stop its continued growth, depending on the algaecide, but chlorine alone can do that).

Look at this post for how a pool gets cleared of algae using chlorine alone.
Cluckie
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Joined: Thu 25 Jun, 2009 07:12
My Pool: Above ground 24' diameter. 12000-15000 gal?
Location: Oklahoma

Green pool...started with pool store chemicals...now what?

Postby Cluckie » Thu 25 Jun, 2009 07:31

We have had our above ground pool for 9 years and very few summers have I been able to get it clear. Despite dumping tons of $$ into it. Here it is the middle of summer and it is still green. Part of my problem is we live in a rural area and the pool store I buy chemicals at is an hour away so I dont go regularly and if I run out of shock or chlorine tabs I may have to wait a couple days to a week before I can go get it as my husband and I both work.
Yesterday I told my five year old daughter that I stink at cleaning the pool. She very seriously suggested I go to cleanpool.com. Yesterday during the kids naps I started looking online for help and after reading some posts on your forum this morning I'm mad that I'm making this harder than it has to be by being inconsistent in my pool attention and not using regular bleach that I can buy at our local stores and wasting money. But I am hopeful that I can turn it around.
I still have a few questions: I use the test strips. Even after adding 3lbs of shock it shows no chlorine level. The ph is 7.0 and the alk is 120. Last week the store sold me a $38 bottle of stabilizer that took me almost a week to dissolve and add to the pool. I have two floating baskets with chlorine in them. Still no luck. Are the test strips adequate for testing purposes? Is two gal of bleach over today and tomorrow the right amount? I learned yest. I should be backwashing 3 times a day til clear. Is this right? We are leaving tom to go camping for 3 days. Is there anything I can do to keep progressing while we are gone? Any help is appreciated. Thanks, Carrie
chem geek
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Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Green pool...started with pool store chemicals...now what?

Postby chem geek » Thu 25 Jun, 2009 11:48

Since you are using Trichlor pucks/tabs, your Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level may be high and that makes the chlorine less effective to the point where algae can grow faster than chlorine can kill it.

First of all, you need to get yourself a good test kit as I posted earlier in this thread responding to another pool owner (i.e. the Taylor K-2006 or the TF100). It will be well-worth the extra expense -- you definitely get what you pay for and shouldn't skimp here.

Depending on your CYA level, you may need to do a one or more partial drain/refills to lower it by dilution.

If you will be unable to add chlorinating liquid or bleach every day or two, then you can use Trichlor at times if you also use a supplemental algaecide or phosphate remover at extra cost. Another alternative is to add 50 ppm Borates to the pool, though that will only slow down algae growth and not eliminate it completely (but it's like insurance, which is what most algaecides are anyway). Read the Pool School for more info on how to maintain your pool including the article on Defeating Algae that I lined to in the earlier post in this thread. You can use The Pool Calculator to figure out dosing.

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