Help - Pool water is clear, but has a green tint!

new_2_njMay 22, 2012

I'm at my wits end and I hope it's ok to ask this question here. Our pool opened green this year (it was clear, just green). There was a small tear in the solid cover for the last month of the winter, so we assumed that let in organic material that caused algae (that said there was no algae on the walls, and it was pretty clean).

We've been dousing this pool with shock and algicide and backwashing like crazy. Nothing is helping. It actuallly looked like it was starting to turn toward blue, but after another round of backwashing, shock, and algicide it looks brighter green than ever this morning. I don't know how anything could still be living in this pool. What is going on?!?!? According to the test strips the ph is good and the alkalinity is a bit high. Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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Have you been brushing? My understanding is that when you have any algae in the pool, it can cling to the walls and floor and steps and in the light niches, etc. Shocking can bleach it temporarily so you think it's gone, but it will come back unless you break its contact with all the surfaces via brushing repeatedly. I kept bringing mine to shock level for a week with repeated brushing (not daily as we probably should, but every couple of days) and that seemed to do the trick. Might not have taken a week had I brushed more. Read the algae section at TFP for the instructions I loosely followed.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:37AM
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We have been brushing, but maybe not as much as we should have because the walls appear perfectly clean. There is no noticeable growth. Did you see any growth on your walls?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Not after the first round of brushing did I see any growth. I did later find green algae in/under the light niches, which was invisible to me while I was actually doing the brushing. The thick grout lines around our skimmer boxes were also very susceptible. It did take our sand filter about a week to clear up the particulate and that was with me using concentrated clarifier a few times. DH was skeptical of the brushing and vacuuming we were doing, as every time we did, the water became cloudy and he felt like we were messing up the hard work we'd done to get it as clear as we had so far. I kept at shock level until our overnight chlorine loss was negligible and that's when I went back to maintenance chlorine levels.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Get a copper test. Let the chlorine drop and then get a complete set of chem levels.

Fix the cover before Fall. If light doesn't get in, algae can't grow.

Algaecides generally don't kill, they help prevent only.

Strips are not accurate. Please get a proper test kit that uses drops for color changes, like pink to clear, green to red...., or opaqueness cover a black dot.

Some stores use the Free Water Testing as a way to sell things you really don't need. Happens a lot.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:44PM
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Scott- I see people recommending the TF-100 test kit on TFP. Is this the best kit on the market? We too are currently using strips and need to switch to something better. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 8:30AM
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TFP kits are awesome. Highly recommended, and the ship time will impress.

MiaOKC, what is a "DH" ?

I think you have and algae bloom, check the CYA and shock accordingly.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 6:35PM
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The TF-100 uses the same reagents as a Taylor for the most part. One of the biggest differences is the TF-100 quantities of those reagents are larger resulting in a lower cost per test. I use it because it works.

Others I have seen work well are the Taylor K-2006 series. It differs from the Taylor 2006 in that it also has an FAS-DPD chlorine test that allows undiluted test for Free and Total chlorine up to 50 ppm, far more than OTO or plain DPD tests. The K-2006 also has a rebadged clone from Leslie's that IIRC, is web order only.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Scott Thanks. I am going to check out the Taylor K-2006 as well. Can you tell me what in the heck your last sentence means :) Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:07AM
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Goyom - DH is a Dear Husband. LOL. Highly technical term, I know!

CManley - I think Scott's sentence means that there is an identical test kit that has been re-packaged/re-branded as a Leslie's product (it's the same thing with different labels), and if he recalls (IIRC is If I Recall Correctly) he thinks it's web order only.

Whew. It's a good thing I'm an Army brat. It was a training ground to get me ready for internet acronyms. :)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 8:17AM
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IIRC = If I Recall Correctly

FAS-DPD is just a type of chlorine test that goes to 50 ppm. It uses a powder and some drops. Count the drops and you get your a color change at some point.

OTO is the test that typically turns a shade of yellow. It tells of the presence of chlorine but doesn't differentiate between free or combine chlorine.

A DPD test can but often, not in higher concentrations.

PPM is Parts Per Million.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 8:17AM
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I guess I am acronym illiterate :)
Thanks for all of the clarification. Nice to know what DH finally means. I ordered the Taylor K-2006. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 8:39AM
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Thanks for the responses. After a week of pouring various water conditioners and algaecides into the pool, I got the recommendation to put six pounds of chlorine shock per hour into the pool until it turned blue. We did two rounds of six, went to bed, and in the morning it was blue and beautiful. It was skeptical, but it totally worked.

I will definitely pick up one of those test kits, since the reader is showing that we're low on chlorine, which seems absolutely impossible!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Yay for you! That's what's known as keeping at shock level - shocking is not just dumping chlorine in the pool and walking away. You have to keep at it until the chlorine overtakes the organics and the chlorine can get ahead and maintain. (hence, doing it every hour). We will be bringing our pool back from green after a horrific hail storm/wind storm on Tuesday. Stocked up with 11 1.5 gallon bottles of bleach to work on that this weekend.

Sun and organics eat chlorine. So best to add just after sundown (like you did before bed), it will work more effectively (last longer and work longer before it will degrade due to sunligh), and clean organics (leaves, etc) out of the pool so chlorine isn't working on them and can sanitize the water. We scooped bags and bags of leaves out of the pool yesterday and today. No use pouring six bottles of chlorine in if there is that many leaves, IMHO.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:50PM
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