Patience Wearing Thin. How Much Longer Must I Wait?

by Verna

Opened our pool just over 2 weeks ago, nasty brown water, some leaves got in and decayed. Vacuumed many times and all matter is gone. Have shock, shock, shocked. Water is balanced, pH is 7.4 , alkalinity is about 100, cya is about 30-40, free chlorine is 3 ppm, chlorine is off the charts bright yellow with a liquid test kit. I've used about 16 lbs. of powdered shock and 4 gallons of liquid since opening. So the water is now a light bluish green but very cloudy. It seems like it's getting better but I've been running the hayward sand filter 24 hours a day for well over a week and a half.

Am I just not being patient enough, will it take that long for the filter to get all of the dead algae out? I'm just losing patience that it's ever going to clear up. It's obviously improved drastically but I feel like it should be clear by now. Have back washed lots of times. I see no obvious issue with the filtration system but I'm honestly not sure what to look for in regards to problems. I put some fiber clear in last night after back washing but I don't know how much it caught. Had to back wash again this morning because the pressure went up so high overnight. Just got the center drain turned on 2 days ago (was just using side skimmer). Thank you so much for your help!!

Thanks for the question Verna

There are many things going on here so I'll start with a test kit. The only one you want to have is the Taylor K-2006 kit. I've done several videos on YouTube that show you exactly how to use it. You can also go on my chlorine, pH, TA, chlorine and CH pages and find the videos.

Next is you need you understand that green water is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. I'll touch on this later one but the goal is to kill the algae faster than it reproduces, and it can mature and reproduce within a matter of 5 hours. Over a 24 hr. period that almost 5Xs. So what's the goal? It's to get AND KEEP the FC level at 12ppm and backwash once per day. Once the FC level starts to go below 10ppm the algae starts to mature and reproduce once again. I will assume your other readings are correct.

First is to stop using anything called "shock" Buying a bag of shock is non-existent. What does that mean? The chlorine found in bags of shock is nothing more than regular stabilized or unstabilized chlorine, just marked up 200%. That's a very long story but the bottom line is the only thing you need is liquid chlorine to kill the algae. Shocking a pool is something you DO not something you BUY.

I don't have your pool size but you'll use 1 gallon to increase the FC 10ppm per 10k gallons. You want to shoot for 12ppm FC and keep it there which means adding enough chlorine to the pool to maintain that level. That's the only way to kill algae. No clarifier, phosphate remover, flocc, etc... can do that. With the information I have I will assume your filter is working.

That's all you need to do to kill the algae. Then allow the filter to do its job. Backwash once per day. Normally you'll need 3 - 4 days of shocking the pool morning and night to kill the algae. Filter for another 24 hours. Only at this point should you use a clarifier. This is to help make smaller particles into larger ones. They get caught in the filter and get backwashed out.

You must be consistent with the shocking
and not allow the FC to dip below the 10ppm mark. That's why you test and shock morning and night. Keep hammering away at it with liquid chlorine. What happens is you shock the pool. All of the FC gets eaten up by the algae so now the FC is 0ppm. If it's left there for a couple of days the algae will start back up again. Then you shock it again but don't reach the 12ppm mark. Maybe it only got to 8ppm. That's not enough so the algae keeps reproducing. Then it's allowed to sit for 1 more day. Now the FC level is down to 2ppm. That's another 5X turnover for the algae to reproduce.

Remember - Shocking is a process, not an event. The trick is to get AND keep the chlorine above 10 - 12ppm for a period of time. You'll need to manually dose the pool with chlorine to keep it at 10 - 12ppm. Make the adjustment at night, then retest in the morning. Be sure to have the pump running 24/7 and backwash once per day. You can go up to 15ppm, but no higher. Anything after that and you're wasting money and chemicals.

You'll know this is working because the pool will go from green to a white/grey cloudy and the chlorine will begin to hold better. First you may lose most, then 2/3, then 1/2, and so on. Once you only lose 1 - 2ppm of chlorine 8 - 10 hours after the last application you know the algae is dead. Now it's just a matter of filtering and backwashing once per day. Broadcast the chlorine around the perimeter of the pool and brush well. This will loosen up any algae adhering to the walls and bottom.

Shocking a pool isn't adding a bag of chlorine to a pool and expecting it to clear up the pool. Shocking a pool means to kill/eliminate the algae and organic matter. This is done by dosing the pool with enough chlorine to reach a high enough FC level and keeping it at this level to allow the chlorine to kill the algae and organics in the pool.

There's no magic formula for clearing up and balancing a pool. It's just little things here and there. Go on my home page where I clear up and balance a green pool for $15 in 3 days. What I'm telling you is shown throughout the video.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias.

Pool Consultation

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


Thanks for your quick and detailed reply. Wow, that blew my mind. I had no idea the FC should get and be 12ppm. So the liquid chlorine by the gallon that I last bought is all I should be using huh? It's a 24' above ground by the way. It's only 3 years old so I would hope our filtration system is working fine. I'll check out the link and try this and let you know if I don't have success and need a consult. I have 5 way test strips and a liquid test kit for pH and chlorine only so I'll check out the one you mentioned.

At 24ft that's no more than 10k gallons so 1 gallon of chlorine should bring the FC up to at least 10ppm, but verify with your owner's manual to be sure. Liquid chlorine a couple of times within a 12 hour period and you should see an immediate difference.


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