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Salt Water Pool Algae Problems


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#1 Heidi

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:03 AM

I need serious help. I switched my above ground pool to salt water this year and it has been a fiasco. (operator error I know) First the water all went brown due to the high iron levels in our well water, I kind of got that cleared up then I got busy with school and kids and didn't check the pool for a few days and the salt levels had gotten low (due to overfilling the pool one night) and the generator was not producing any chlorine and I now have a green mess.

Here is what I have done. Added the salt and a saltwater pool start up pack upon filling. I consistently had no FC level and no CYA on my test strips the PH and ALK were in the normal range. I ran the generator around the clock but never got over a 0.2 FC reading.

Currently I have a completely green slimy mess and my readings are.

Total Hardness = 100
FC = 0
PH = Off the charts my strips read up to 8.4 and it is much higher
TA = Off the charts my strips read up to 240 and it is much higher
CYA=100

I don't understand why my CYA is so high as I have not added anything to the pool since the salt/salt start up pack a month ago and I have never had a CYA reading.

I used the calculator and understand that I need to add 778 oz of bleach for my CYA level? I have Muriatic Acid but I haven't added it yet as I don't know what to do first or if I should just add everything at one time.

Questions are..

Do I drain the pool to lower my CYA (is this a real reading?) Test strips from last year.. Really dread doing this as I will battle the iron again.
Do I add the 778oz of bleach (seems like a lot)
Do I attempt to bring the PH and TA down first with Muriatic Acid or do I shock first?
Why did I never get a FC reading? I assume due to no CYA and if that is the case why do I have such high CYA levels now?

I love having a pool but I am ready to trash the whole thing after weeks of trying to clear all the iron out and now this.

Thanks for your help!

Ignorance is NOT bliss.

#2 waterbear

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:07 AM

First of all, you cannot balance water with strips. At best they can tell you if you are 'in the ballpark' but do not have the precesion ot balance the water nor the accuracly for critical tests like pH and CYA. Get a good test kit! (Taylor K-2006 is probaby your best bet!)

Second. what kind of salt system do you have?
Third , how many gallons is your pool and what kind of pump/filter do you have?
Last (for now), What exactly is the "saltwater pool start up pack" that you added to the pool, what are the ingrediets, and how many gallons does it treat? (This could be where the CYA came from.)

Need more info to know what is going on in your pool.
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#3 Heidi

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:09 PM

First of all, you cannot balance water with strips. At best they can tell you if you are 'in the ballpark' but do not have the precesion ot balance the water nor the accuracly for critical tests like pH and CYA. Get a good test kit! (Taylor K-2006 is probaby your best bet!)

Second. what kind of salt system do you have?
Third , how many gallons is your pool and what kind of pump/filter do you have?
Last (for now), What exactly is the "saltwater pool start up pack" that you added to the pool, what are the ingrediets, and how many gallons does it treat? (This could be where the CYA came from.)

Need more info to know what is going on in your pool.


Ok, I will have to order a test kit off the internet.. Wal Mart is as good as it gets where I live.

I have an Intex Metal Frame pool approx 12,500 gal. Intex Filter with the cartridges. Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System.

I added the HTH Salt Pool Care Restore and Balance that I was told to use on start up and now after looking at the package I see that it is really nothing but Potassium Monoperslfate 77% and the remaining 23% "other ingredients" treats 20k gallons.

Maybe while you are at it can you tell me a better filter system I could add? I'm looking at sand filters now..

I'm still at a loss as to where the CYA came from.

Thank you so much for your time. I am dying to get back in the water I am almost 9m pregnant and it's 103 outside ;o)

#4 waterbear

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:26 PM


First of all, you cannot balance water with strips. At best they can tell you if you are 'in the ballpark' but do not have the precesion ot balance the water nor the accuracly for critical tests like pH and CYA. Get a good test kit! (Taylor K-2006 is probaby your best bet!)

Second. what kind of salt system do you have?
Third , how many gallons is your pool and what kind of pump/filter do you have?
Last (for now), What exactly is the "saltwater pool start up pack" that you added to the pool, what are the ingrediets, and how many gallons does it treat? (This could be where the CYA came from.)

Need more info to know what is going on in your pool.


Ok, I will have to order a test kit off the internet.. Wal Mart is as good as it gets where I live.
IF the walmart near you sell the HTH 6 way test kit (with liquid reagents) get that for now and order a Taylor K-2006 (not the K-2005). The walmart kit, while not the best, is better than strips and is actually made by Taylor (but it has some severe limitations on the chlorine testing and hardness testing, the TA and CYA tests are identical to the ones in the K-2006 but you don't get much reagent.)
I have an Intex Metal Frame pool approx 12,500 gal. Intex Filter with the cartridges. Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System.

I added the HTH Salt Pool Care Restore and Balance that I was told to use on start up and now after looking at the package I see that it is really nothing but Potassium Monoperslfate 77% and the remaining 23% "other ingredients" treats 20k gallons.
This is where your CYA came from most likely.
Maybe while you are at it can you tell me a better filter system I could add? I'm looking at sand filters now..

I'm still at a loss as to where the CYA came from.

Thank you so much for yo
ur time. I am dying to get back in the water I am almost 9m pregnant and it's 103 outside ;o)



I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#5 Heidi

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:36 PM



First of all, you cannot balance water with strips. At best they can tell you if you are 'in the ballpark' but do not have the precesion ot balance the water nor the accuracly for critical tests like pH and CYA. Get a good test kit! (Taylor K-2006 is probaby your best bet!)

Second. what kind of salt system do you have?
Third , how many gallons is your pool and what kind of pump/filter do you have?
Last (for now), What exactly is the "saltwater pool start up pack" that you added to the pool, what are the ingrediets, and how many gallons does it treat? (This could be where the CYA came from.)

Need more info to know what is going on in your pool.


Ok, I will have to order a test kit off the internet.. Wal Mart is as good as it gets where I live.
IF the walmart near you sell the HTH 6 way test kit (with liquid reagents) get that for now and order a Taylor K-2006 (not the K-2005). The walmart kit, while not the best, is better than strips and is actually made by Taylor (but it has some severe limitations on the chlorine testing and hardness testing, the TA and CYA tests are identical to the ones in the K-2006 but you don't get much reagent.)
I have an Intex Metal Frame pool approx 12,500 gal. Intex Filter with the cartridges. Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System.

I added the HTH Salt Pool Care Restore and Balance that I was told to use on start up and now after looking at the package I see that it is really nothing but Potassium Monoperslfate 77% and the remaining 23% "other ingredients" treats 20k gallons.
This is where your CYA came from most likely.
Maybe while you are at it can you tell me a better filter system I could add? I'm looking at sand filters now..

I'm still at a loss as to where the CYA came from.

Thank you so much for yo
ur time. I am dying to get back in the water I am almost 9m pregnant and it's 103 outside ;o)


Thanks.. So adding the amount of bleach the calculator calls for is correct? and do I attempt to adjust the PH and TA now or wait until I have the other issues under control.

#6 TXPoolOwner82

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:22 PM

I'm no expert, but according to my understanding, you should take care of your pH, TA, and CYA as best you can and then shock the hell out of it to obliterate all of the green stuff. :)

#7 waterbear

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:17 PM

I'm no expert, but according to my understanding, you should take care of your pH, TA, and CYA as best you can and then shock the hell out of it to obliterate all of the green stuff. :)


Not really.
You have to be careful how high you bring the FC in a vinyl pool AND you have to keep tabs on the pH in a vinyl pool (or any pool for that matter). TA has a direct impact on pH that most people, even pros, don't understand. CYA levels determine how high you need to bring the chlorine to kill algae and pH will have an effect on the type of disinfection byproducts that form when you are killing algae.

I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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#8 waterbear

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 09:27 PM

Many people like the idea of salt water pools, but there are many things to consider. Algae in salt water pool systems are rare, as long as you continuously watch the chemical levels. Also, saltwater pool systems virtually eliminate algae problems.


Algae can easily occur in a salt pool if the FC level is not maintained, if the cell stops generating because of scale buildup, if the cell cannot generate enough chlorine because the CYA level is maintained too low, or for many other reasons. Anyone who has actually lived with serviced salt pools can back this up.

Perhaps salt water chlorine generators are not common in India, where your IP address is located, but they are very common in the US and I have quite a bit of experience with them.
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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