Update on sand filter & cloudy 10k gal swimming pool


The pool is all back to normal but I had to do the full Clear-Floc vacuum method. I didn't raise the PH to 8 but it seems to work just fine anyway. The Clear-Floc as a filter aid just didn't cut it this time. :( I donno why it didn't work because it has before.
There really wasn't much dead algae in the pool to vacuum but enough to make it quite cloudy.
Before I used the Clear-Floc I talked to the pool "experts" at the pool store and did another sample.
Phosphates: 250 ppm (I think this confirms it is a green algae problem)
Alkalinity: 60 ppm
Everything else normal but the "Free and Total" chlorine are at 1.5 ppm. A tad low.
This is what he suggested:
1) Finish the Clear-Floc Vac method to clean the dead algae. (done)
2) Shock (wait 4 hours)
3) Add 5lbs Alkalinity Control to bring that up to 80-120 ppm (wait 4 hours)
4) Add 12oz of Phos Free (wait 4 hours)
5) Retest.
6) He went ahead and recommended the synthetic sand (at my suggestion) if this doesn't completely clear the problem up.
He said I should only shock after a rain storm. I don't know why they were always telling me once a week before. Shocking, after a event like a rain storm, seems to make more since to me.
Comments are appreciated. I'm still a bit confused about when to vacuum. For people that own a Polaris systems (or something similar), do you vacuum (with the hose and vacuum head) regularly, or just when disaster strikes?
Does the Alkalinity effect the "hardness" because that is at 200 ppm? The recommended range is 200-400ppm.
The goal is to not use Clear-Floc again, and try to do as little water wasting as possible, while maintaining a sparkling clean pool.
Thanks, Jim
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I told you in the other thread.

Most likely a waste of money.

Then he doesn't know what he's talking about.

It's industry SOP.

But, you should not fail to consider you're pretty close to knowing less than nothing about pools, because some of what you think you know is wrong. http://www.poolinfo.com/Shock.htm

Good luck with that.
Here's a shot of my drain through 8'6" of water:
http://i32.tinypic.com/6qw58h.jpg
You can trial and error your way to pool knowledge and waste a shitload of money, time and effort in the process, or you can avail yourself of the mountain of reliable information available free on the internet. -----
- gpsman
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wrote:

I told you in the other thread.

Most likely a waste of money.

Then he doesn't know what he's talking about.

It's industry SOP.

But, you should not fail to consider you're pretty close to knowing less than nothing about pools, because some of what you think you know is wrong. http://www.poolinfo.com/Shock.htm

Good luck with that.
Here's a shot of my drain through 8'6" of water:
http://i32.tinypic.com/6qw58h.jpg
<snip>
Big freakin deal.
I can't believe you posted that picture. LOL
You were the same guy that told me it took 7 days to clean his pool. I had mine done in less than 24/hrs.
<heh>
You're one funny dude.
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wrote:

I told you in the other thread.
== Oh yeah....Floc worked like a charm. It was the Floc as a filter aid. All I had to do was let it settle over night. Like I told you in the last thread.
Go take pictures of your drain. LOL
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In forth:

As I said phosphates = algae Eliminate the phosphates- kill the algae NO MORE PROBLEMS

No need, waste of money and chemical

Baking soda is much cheaper

Waste of more money, been using regular filter sand for 22 yrs, changed once

Like I said before, they're trying to sell chemicals
Shock when chlorine level is low and a fast increase is needed ONLY. Like I said before, I've shocked once this year, even when my test kit said I was low. High chlorine levels will dry out your liner and lead to premature failure

I vacuum when it's dirty. period. I've got one of those lady bug vacuums and use it and if needed(not yet this year) vacuum with hose and vacuum head Which is about once every ten days depending how often the grandkids are swimming, which usually is daily

That's plain WRONG. I don't know who told you that, but Alkalinity should be 80-100ppm

I will repeat it one more time, since using PhosFree I haven't used a floc agent of any kind in almost 2 years. For experts, these guys are full of shit and you're making it more difficult than it needs to be. Vinyl liner pools are the easiest to take care of(IMO) Mine is virtually maintenance free, considering others i have seen and helped on
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forth:

Actually, this thread wasn't intended to get anyone upset.
Are you having a bad day?
They are just questions that you can answer or not. Take it easy. For guys with pools both of you seem uptight.
I didn't say alkalinity effected hardness I asked if it does. Jesus! Sorry!
When you're uptight your reading becomes impaired. :-)
LOL
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In forth:

I'm not upset, I'm just giving you advice that you've asked for. The difference between me and the pool "experts" is I'm not trying to make money off of you.

Nope, just got back from a weekend road trip to the hill country. Beer, BBQ, mexican food and half naked women, what's to be upset about?

Not uptight. you've asked the same questions more than once. your choice to take the advice or not<g>

I didn't say it did or didn't, just that baking soda is cheaper and that 200ppm is absurd

When you don't listen, you become repetitive<g>
After using PhosFree for at least a month or 2 with your phosphate level at almost 0, get back with me and tell if everything I've told you about the use of fewer chemicals and debris free pool isn't right...........m'kay<g>
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forth:

By "experts" I was being sarcastic. It doesn't do well on Usenet but I can't help it.

Sounds decent.

Well actually I'm not just asking you personally. But okay.

200 ppm "Hardness"
I think 5lbs was $6. It looked like baking soda to me.

Actually I'm not just talking to you the questions are for anyone with an opinion. Good bad or ugly.

That's what I'm thinking too. He said 125 ppm but I can't see why zero isn't better. They probably are saying 125 ppm is the max I can have.
Thanks Man ---- Glad to see you had a good time today. I hate to piss off good people!
I'll retest after 48 hours to see where the Alkaline, Hardness and Phosphates are. I think you hit it on the head.
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forth:

Man...I don't know if it was the Phos Free, but I added 16oz a few hours ago and now the pool is crystal clear X 2. The pool store guy said it coats the filter. Must of been what it needed.
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In forth:

It was *and* I told ya so<g> from here on out use a couple of capfuls every ten days or so, and watch your maintenance diminish as well as your expenses.
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Here's my two cents. First, I'd buy a book about pools that does a good job of explaining everything, especially water chemistry. There is one written by Dan Hardy, probably avail on Amazon and it's an excellent one.
Shocking: The pool store guy who told you to only shock when it rains is an idiot. A rain storm can add runoff into the pool, so it is ONE factor in determining when to shock. The real problem is chloramines, or combined chlorine. This is formed when the chlorine reacts with other compounds in the water, eg ammonia. The chlorine is then no longer available to kill bacteria. You could have a total chlorine reading of 4 ppm, but most, or all of it is not free chlorine, but rather this combined chlorine. By shocking, you raise the chlorine level high enough so that it destroys the combined chlorine and frees it up. It takes a chlorine level of at least 7X the combined chlorine to accomplish that. For simplicity and margin, a 10X factor is used. So, if you measure the combined chlorine and know it's 1ppm, you add enough chlorine to get to 10ppm.
Now, since most people don't bother to buy a test kit to actually measure free and combined chlorine, the industry gives some general guidelines, like shocking once a week, using X amount of product. That also helps sell more shock. For $60 you can buy a real Taylor test kit that will measure everything of importance. And you will save 5X that it not buying the expensive chemicals the pool store is selling you when they test your water. How often you need to shock depends on a host of factors, including bather load, debris entering the pool, etc.
As for raising the total alkalinity, someone suggested using baking soda. That is correct. You can either buy it at the local supermarket or pay 3X the price for "Alkalinity increaser", or Alkalinity Balance Z or whatever. It's the same sodium bicarbonate. You can buy it at Costco in a big bag really cheap.
Alkalinity doesn't affect the hardness, which is calcium hardness. That is raised by adding calcium chloride. Again, you can either buy that at the pools store as their special product, or buy calcium chloride in bulk as ice melt for 1/4 the price, which is the same thing. Dowflake is the product generally used.
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Here's my two cents. First, I'd buy a book about pools that does a good job of explaining everything, especially water chemistry. There is one written by Dan Hardy, probably avail on Amazon and it's an excellent one.
Shocking: The pool store guy who told you to only shock when it rains is an idiot. A rain storm can add runoff into the pool, so it is ONE factor in determining when to shock. The real problem is chloramines, or combined chlorine. This is formed when the chlorine reacts with other compounds in the water, eg ammonia. The chlorine is then no longer available to kill bacteria. You could have a total chlorine reading of 4 ppm, but most, or all of it is not free chlorine, but rather this combined chlorine. By shocking, you raise the chlorine level high enough so that it destroys the combined chlorine and frees it up. It takes a chlorine level of at least 7X the combined chlorine to accomplish that. For simplicity and margin, a 10X factor is used. So, if you measure the combined chlorine and know it's 1ppm, you add enough chlorine to get to 10ppm.
Now, since most people don't bother to buy a test kit to actually measure free and combined chlorine, the industry gives some general guidelines, like shocking once a week, using X amount of product. That also helps sell more shock. For $60 you can buy a real Taylor test kit that will measure everything of importance. And you will save 5X that it not buying the expensive chemicals the pool store is selling you when they test your water. How often you need to shock depends on a host of factors, including bather load, debris entering the pool, etc.
As for raising the total alkalinity, someone suggested using baking soda. That is correct. You can either buy it at the local supermarket or pay 3X the price for "Alkalinity increaser", or Alkalinity Balance Z or whatever. It's the same sodium bicarbonate. You can buy it at Costco in a big bag really cheap.
Alkalinity doesn't affect the hardness, which is calcium hardness. That is raised by adding calcium chloride. Again, you can either buy that at the pools store as their special product, or buy calcium chloride in bulk as ice melt for 1/4 the price, which is the same thing. Dowflake is the product generally used.
=== Good info. I've got to thank Chairman (and gpsman <g>) again for the Phos Free. Our pool looks incredible right now. My wife just commented that now we have to get the re-plaster job because you can REALLY see the discoloration in the plaster. (That is so typical of her) That Phos Free stuff is simply amazing.
Yeah...I agree, that the guy at the store misspoke. I doubt that is what he really meant. I think he said it because it has been raining so much lately. It's kind of irresponsible and a good reason to not believe everything you hear. I hold short of calling him an idiot because, just because he said one dumb thing, doesn't make him an idiot. It's a good store in general. It's obvious they don't "push" chemicals because they tell me I don't need something more often than not. As far as charging too much for something; all specialty stores do that. It's the cost of doing business. There isn't a guy at Costco or Homedepot that is going to check my pool water for me and talk to me about it for 30 minutes or spend time installing my heat sink and bearings on my pump for free.
Thanks for the tips on the calcium chloride and the sodium bicarbonate. However, both are not very big issues for me. Our city water is pretty hard and the Alkaline has only been adjusted twice (inc. the 6lbs I just put in) in almost 4 years. It needs acid more often and I just paid $18 for 4/gal muriatic acid.
Really I think the BIGGEST plus that came from these threads is the Phos Free. The store wasn't checking for phosphates. I had to ask them to and I'll keep a close eye on it from now on.
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On 8/1/2010 10:22 AM, JimT wrote:

i did not read even ONE of the other replies, because if you ask a hundred people a pool question, you will get one hundred different answers and the majority of them will be wrong. You mentioned in your OP about the sand, then you mentioned the pool guy suggesting synthetic sand. What sand did you use? The stuff called BLACK BEAUTY is really the only thing that works well and it is actually a slag product from the copper smelting process.
just FYI, if you haven't heard of it, you may want to check into it. BB will last two seasons before it should be changed. Anything else is junk about a half season into it.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
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I'll look into it. I think I've pretty much isolated the problem and made the needed adjustment. I've got to get the phosphates down first and then the reg. pool sand should work. I've probably built up the phosphates over the last 3 or 4 years and didn't know .
Thanks -- I will keep that in mind. Should be easy to remember <g>
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Shocking helps free up chlorine. You should shock once a week for habit. If very few people use the pool or their is no way that leaves or other organic matter (even mice or leaves or bugs) get into the pool then once every two weeks.
Shocking frees up the chlorine temporarily to kill any chance that algae can grow. It's a matter of sanitation.
Shocking only after a certain event again, such as a rain storm means you are sure gonna get algae again. Do you have a pool cover or a solar blanket?
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I'm aware of the need for free chlorine maintenance and that's why I'm a bit puzzled by the "expert" suggestion that I only shock after rain storms. I'm taking it as "If we are having weekly rains, shock after the rain hits. Otherwise, do weekly shocks." The pool constantly gets used. Myself I swim over an hour everyday.
I have a solar cover but I don't use it. The pool has been at 90 to 91 F for about a month now. I don't get much large debris in the pool at all.
The phosphates were high IMO. 250ppm. I just put Phos-Free in to bring that down as close to zero as I can get it. I'm believer in no phosphates = no algae. I run salt-water aquariums with soft corals and fish. Same rule applies. Get the phosphates out completely as possible.
Thanks for the comments
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