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Damian42

Can't Get Rid Of The Algae

28 posts in this topic

Surely there are tons of articles about this so sorry for not searching but I'm desperate.

17,000 above ground pool with salt system and cartridge filter. I can NOT get rid of the algae. First I started with a local pool store who was more then happy to keep selling me hundreds of dollars worth of chemicals at each visit. None of them worked.

Now I'm down to buying shock and algacide from Walmart because I can't afford the pool store stuff.

Three nights ago I put in six pounds of shock and an entire bottle of algacide. (spaced one hour apart at dusk)

The next day the water was cloudy blue so I started vacuuming. Within minutes the water was green again and the pump was clogged. (I had vacuumed the pool at least three times before adding the chemicals the previous day)

The next day (yesterday) I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed. Each time the filter would clog within minutes. when I drained it to clean it nothing but green water came out.

I added half a bottle of algacide last night at dusk.

This morning I went out, cleaned the filter and vacuumed. More green came up and the filter clogged within minutes again.

I'm at the end of my road. How do I fix this problem. The family wants to start swimming.

Thanks,

Damian

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'Til some SME chimes in I will comment with my non-pro personal experience.

IMO - powdered shock is no better and a LOT more expensive than simple liquid chlorine and liquid chlorine should be able to shock the heck out of your pool water which should kill all living algae. When our 20k gallon AGP water is in good shape we can achieve a shock with about a 1/2 gallon of liquid chlorine BUT when the water is messed up and with "bound up" chlorine it can take gallons to achieve a bright red test kit shock reading but in those situations we keep pouring it in until we get a certain shock reading on the test kit and we are then confident everything in the pool is DEAD.

If your pool is truly and fully shocked then the algae should be all dead and IF your PH and Alkalinity are in good/ideal range then a good strong initial application of algaecide should keep it that way (with acceptable chlorine/sanitizer).

Then you should sweep bottom and walls and run filter maybe 24 hrs cleaning the filter cartridge like every couple of hours. If you have a powerful enough pump and adequate filter cartridge I would think the water would clear up in a day or two - some recommend adding a clarifier to cause debris to clump and make filtering it out easier - I dunno about clarifiers - sometimes I use one and it seems to help and sometimes I think they are useless.

Anywho, my opinion is if water keeps coming back green algae not completely killed off with shock and the above is what we have done for about 20 yrs to handle algae outbreaks successfully.

Best of Luck

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inmay gives great advice.

I suggest reading Defeating Algae, get yourself a proper test kit as described here, then learn how to properly manage your SWG pool here including an understanding of the Free Chlorine (FC) and Cyanuric Acid (CYA) relationship.

Note that you don't just add some chlorine and then walk away. You have to MAINTAIN a high shock level of chlorine to kill algae and clear a pool, along with regular brushing, continual filtration, and cleaning/backwashing the filter.

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Good info. I realized one of the problems was I was vacuuming instead of brushing. After writing the above post I went and switched the vacuum attachment back to the brush and started scrubbing the bottom and sides of the pool. The cloudy blue water quickly turned green from all the crud I was releasing. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get back out there because of work and bad weather tonight. I'll follow up in the morning to see how it looks and give it another brushing.

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So we've had rain for almost a solid week and I wasn't able to work on the pool. I added ten pounds of shock last night and a bottle of algacide an hour later. I had gotten in earlier and brushed the bottom and sides, and used a rag to wipe all the way around. There is a LOT of debris at the bottom which I can feel, just can't see it.

Anyway, I stirred up all the algae before adding the chemicals and I made sure the filter was clear as well. This morning the pool is back to being cloudy blue. I brushed a bit around the steps which are typically a bad spot for algae and didn't see anything come up.

Now what? How do I go from cloudy blue to clear?

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So we've had rain for almost a solid week and I wasn't able to work on the pool. I added ten pounds of shock last night and a bottle of algacide an hour later. I had gotten in earlier and brushed the bottom and sides, and used a rag to wipe all the way around. There is a LOT of debris at the bottom which I can feel, just can't see it.

Anyway, I stirred up all the algae before adding the chemicals and I made sure the filter was clear as well. This morning the pool is back to being cloudy blue. I brushed a bit around the steps which are typically a bad spot for algae and didn't see anything come up.

Now what? How do I go from cloudy blue to clear?

As noted in Defeating Algae, you have to MAINTAIN a shock level of Free Chlorine (FC) relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level, so an FC that is around 40% of the CYA level. You don't just dump in chlorine and leave. You need to remeasure the FC hours later and add more FC if it has dropped. You also need a good test kit that can measure shock levels of chlorine. That means the Taylor K-2006 kit you can get at a good online price here or the TF100 kit from tftestkits.net here with the latter kit having 36% more volume of reagents so is less expensive per test.

You can use a skimmer sock to trap more debris in the skimmer rather than having it all get caught in the pump basket and filter. You can physically remove some debris with a leaf net, especially if you cover it in a T-shirt or other cloth. The cloudy water will clear in days IF you maintain chlorine levels, keep brushing and cleaning/backwashing the filter. See this link for how a pool with algae gets cleared using chlorine alone.

Have you had your Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level tested? If it's very high (> 80 ppm), then it may be better to do a partial drain/refill along with the chlorine treatment. The shock level of chlorine is proportional to the CYA level.

In the worst case if your pool has no floor drain and circulation is poor, you can use a flocculant and vacuum to waste, but I'd first see if you can clear the pool with a maintained shock level of chlorine first.

Richard

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Well a full bottle of clarifier didn't do the trick. I put it in in two sessions, half a bottle at night, and the other half in the morning. Still a 17,000 gallon tub of milk. My chlorine levels are through the roof because of all the shock we used to kill the algae, and my PH level is down to like a 4.8. I have some baking soda to add to the pool today. It looks like I need to add about five pounds. I added another bottle of clarifier this morning as well.

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Well a full bottle of clarifier didn't do the trick. I put it in in two sessions, half a bottle at night, and the other half in the morning. Still a 17,000 gallon tub of milk. My chlorine levels are through the roof because of all the shock we used to kill the algae, and my PH level is down to like a 4.8. I have some baking soda to add to the pool today. It looks like I need to add about five pounds. I added another bottle of clarifier this morning as well.

Why is your pH so low? If you were using chlorinating liquid or bleach for shocking then the pH would not have dropped. Are you using Dichlor powder as a shock (or even Trichlor granular)? If so, then this is very, very bad since for every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Dichlor, it also increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 9 ppm. Also, why did you use a clarifier? I wrote that if you didn't have a floor drain and had poor circulation then you could use a flocculant (e.g. OMNI Liquid Floc Plus) with vacuum to waste -- that is not the same as using a clariifier which is unnecessary. You also added algaecide which will not work well with an existing algae bloom -- algaecide is better as insurance to prevent algae growth, not to kill existing algae (unless it's a copper-based algaecide, but then that can stain the pool so is not recommended).

What kind of chlorine did you add to the pool to shock it? If it was Dichlor or Trichlor, then the increase in CYA only makes the problem worse since it makes the chlorine less effective. If it was Cal-Hypo, then that increases Calcium Hardness (CH) which can cloud the pool if the pool was already saturated with calcium carbonate (though with your low pH I don't think that's the problem).

Brushing, high chlorine level, filtering and cleaning/backwashing the filter will clear your pool.

Why are you adding baking soda? Is your Total Alkalinity (TA) low? If the pH is truly low, then if the TA is also low you can add pH Up (same as Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda). You do NOT use baking soda to raise the pH. If the pH is low but the TA isn't very low, then you can use 20 Mule Team Borax to raise the pH (it raises the TA by half as much as pH Up).

Did you get the good test kit yet? Either get the Taylor K-2006 at a good online price here or the TF100 from tftestkits.net here.

It took days for the algae to develop and will take days for the water to clear. Pool owner patience is required, if you follow the instructions in Defeating Algae.

If you aren't going to follow the advice given by the posters in this thread, then you are going to potentially take a lot longer to get your pool into shape. At this point, I fear that you've added a lot of Dichlor or Trichlor and have the CYA through the roof which will make it very hard to clear the pool and maintain it going forward. Please get the recommended test kit and test your CYA level (and other parameters as well). If it's very high, then a partial drain/refill is the only way to lower it (via dilution).

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Thanks for the reply but I don't understand a word you're saying. I know NOTHING about caring for a pool (obviously) and unfortunately we're about out of money at this point. I can't afford a sixty dollar test kit. I have the six dollar one from Walmart which tests Chlorine, PH and Bromine (Sp?) and that's it. I got in it yesterday and brushed the bottom which stirred a LOT of white powdery stuff up. I tested the water again this morning and it showed the PH being low still. If I'm reading this right the Chlorine reads around 3.0, the BR around 6.5 and the PH around 6.8. When I brushed this morning I stirred the white stuff up again and did notice it did look like calcium coming up. Thicker then a powder. I cleaned the filter again and put it all back together. It does look as if it's clearing, but I'm honestly not certain if it's clearing, or just all settling to the bottom. The bottom also has a lot of leaves and pine needles in it still I cleaned a lot out yesterday but since I can't see them I can't go after them.

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We used Aqua Chem Shock Xtra Blue.

Ingredients are as follows.

Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione 63.05% (I guess this is where the problem is)

Copper (metallic) 0.26%

Other 36.9%

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I had this problem last year. Once you kill the algae (or as you are killing it) your pool will look like a science experiment, but keep running your pump, scrubing the bottom and adding your shock... it will clear up. It took me about 2-3 weeks to have my pool balanced and once I got there, I maintained it with floaters in the pool for the rest of the season... don't get discouraged...keep it up. At the end of the swim season be sure to close your pool down too... it will make opening it up next year much easier...There is hope.

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I had this problem last year. Once you kill the algae (or as you are killing it) your pool will look like a science experiment, but keep running your pump, scrubing the bottom and adding your shock... it will clear up. It took me about 2-3 weeks to have my pool balanced and once I got there, I maintained it with floaters in the pool for the rest of the season... don't get discouraged...keep it up. At the end of the swim season be sure to close your pool down too... it will make opening it up next year much easier...There is hope.

- Oh-- and i used clorine bleach last year to kill the algae and some of the posts on this board to help me.

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Here is a link to just about everything you might need to know to care for your inground or above ground pool.

http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/

Read everything on there, and then read it again. It will all start to click and suddenly you will realize that you know how to safely and econnomically care for your pool using mostly simple chemicals that can be bought at your grocery store! Give it a try, you have noting to lose except high pool store bills! :)

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I use some stuff called, "No More Problems" and I have no more problems.

http://www.h2opoolproducts.com/product_inf...roducts_id=1252

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I use some stuff called, "No More Problems" and I have no more problems.

http://www.h2opoolproducts.com/product_inf...roducts_id=1252

No Mor Problems is sodium bromide. It turns your pool into a bromine pool. The reason it works is that if your Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level is too high than chlorine becomes less effective and can no longer kill algae faster than it grows (unless you raise the Free Chlorine, FC, level proportionately). Bromine doesn't combine with CYA so adding sodium bromide has the chlorine turn bromide to bromine which kills algae. The problem is that bromine will breakdown in sunlight so will increase your chlorine or oxidizer consumption.

This product is totally unnecessary if you properly manage your pool's CYA level.

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WOW.

I didn't know that... I thought it reduced oxidizer breakdown.

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WOW.

I didn't know that... I thought it reduced oxidizer breakdown.

If your oxidizer (e.g. chlorine) is getting consumed by algae, then yes, it will reduce that loss, but it will make the loss from sunlight worse. If you maintain a proper FC/CYA ratio, then the algae won't grow in the first place so won't be using up chlorine.

Read the ingredients on the label (if you still have the bottle).

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I have the exact same problem! 25,000 gallon above ground pool.

Last week when we took off the cover the pool was almost black. With a couple of shock treatments and some algeacide, the pool transformed in only a couple of days to a milky blue. Now it's been over a week and it's still milky blue. We got a brand new pump, and changed the sand today.

We've been shocking it with the powder stuff about twice a day, @ double strength. trying to keep the ph levels good, but seem to be low. We've backwashed like crazy.

Somebody told us to change the sand in the filter because it can get old and be less effective. We did that today. Hopefully there will be some change tomorrow.

I'd love to take your advice, chem geek, but as D42 said, i have no idea what you are talking about.

could you please try to put it to simpler terms?

Oh yah. I aslo have been putting a cap full of clarifier in my skimmer after every back wash.

PLEASE HELP!

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I don't know what the powder stuff is that you've put into the pool. Was it Cal-Hypo or was it Dichlor (or even Trichlor)? What does it say for the ingredients on the label? It takes a SUSTAINED HIGH level of chlorine to clear a pool of algae and it takes 24/7 filtering plus brushing. It took many days to get to the point where you started so it will take days to clear, but it should clear unless your circulation is poor. See this link for an example of a pool getting cleared of algae. Read Defeating Algae. Of course, without a good test kit you will have no idea if your chlorine level is high enough. You don't just add chlorine and walk away.

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The powder stuff is... The label says "shock" followed by...Clorinating granules. To kill bacteria and algae.

My clorine levels are through the roof.

Should i get some of that liquid clorine?

Should I be using other chemicals?

I use the regular test kit, where you add 4drops into the little water holder and shake (red /yellow)

Why should I be brushing the pool? I have never done that. Do i do this with the vaccum, but with it off?

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We want the chemical names in the list of ingredients, for example Calcium Hypochlorite 73%.

The kind of test kit you have probably doesn't measure higher than 5. That will make it hard to know if you're maintaining appropriate chlorine levels. Doesn't make it impossible to shock, but you're doing it blind.

Brushing makes it easier for the chlorine to kill any remaining algae, and also stirs up stuff sitting on the bottom making it possible for the filter to filter it out.

--paulr

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I am new to this got my first pool this year, filled it up put in my chlorine and put on my solar cover. 2 days later the wind is strong blows off my cover to reveal a nice green colored water. My chlorine level is where it should be but my ph level is high. What can I do to get things cleared up

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I am new to this got my first pool this year, filled it up put in my chlorine and put on my solar cover. 2 days later the wind is strong blows off my cover to reveal a nice green colored water. My chlorine level is where it should be but my ph level is high. What can I do to get things cleared up

Welcome to the forum.

What type of pool (in-ground or above-ground, vinyl, fiberglass, gunite, etc.) What product are you using to chlorinate with? Please be more specific about your chlorine and pH level. Post any test results you have for

pH

Free Chlorine (FC)

Combined Chlorine (CC)

Total Chlorine (TC)

Total Alkalinity (TA)

Calcium Hardness (CH)

Cyanuric Acid (CYA or stabilizer)

Clearing an algae bloom is not difficult but may take a few days. Adjust pH to low to mid-range, say 7.0 to 7.5 ppm, then increase FC to shock level (see the Best Guess CYA chart) quickly and hold it there until the pool clears or you have less than 1 PPM chlorine lost between dusk and dawn. A common reason for algae outbreaks is water that has been over-stablized through the use of Tri-Chlor or Di-Chlor compounds so that the chlorine level is insufficient to kill the algea. But since you just filled the pool, that's unlikely.

Post back some numbers and we should be able to help you fix the problem.

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My chlorine level was at 1 last night and my ph was at 8. I have an above ground pool and I am using chlorine tablets in a dispenser that floats around the pool. I checked my filter today and it was a rusty brown. I was only running the pump about 5 hours a day like the manual suggested. I am guessing I should be running it longer. The puck dispenser looks like it has a scum line on it. That's the most I can think of now

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My chlorine level was at 1 last night and my ph was at 8. I have an above ground pool and I am using chlorine tablets in a dispenser that floats around the pool. I checked my filter today and it was a rusty brown. I was only running the pump about 5 hours a day like the manual suggested. I am guessing I should be running it longer. The puck dispenser looks like it has a scum line on it. That's the most I can think of now

Really need full test results to proceed. Here's why: It could be that you have copper in the water (do you have a heater? have you added copper-based algaecides in the past year?) or the rusty brown stuff in the filter could be dead or not-so-dead algae. An effective chlorine level depends on the amount of cyanuric acid (aka CYA, stabilizer, conditioner) and the chlorine tablets may be exacerbating a too-high CYA issue -- if the composition is Trichlor or Dichlor they're adding 6-9 PPM CYA to the water for every 10 PPM chlorine.

Strongly recommend that you procure a good test kit (such as the Taylor K-2006 or equivalent) so you can definitively measure CYA. Pool stores are rather notorious for mis-measuring CYA so relying on their testing accumen may just lead to confusion. If your testing (or the pool store test) has determined that pH is 8.0 you should take immediate steps to reduce it via muriatic acid. That's because the typical phenol-red test for pH tops out at 8.0 so you may have pH that's much higher than that. You can determine how much muriatic acid is needed by using the Pool Calculator - but I would suggest that you only add one-half of the recommended dose and re-test after a few hours of pumping before adding more.

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