Algae Problem


Old 06-02-04, 11:11 AM
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Algae Problem

I have a huge green algae problem this year. It's my first year in this house and the first time I've ever owned a pool. Anyways, all my levels are good - alk, pH, metals, etc. Once those were good, I shocked the pool with 2 lbs of crystalized shock - nothing. Two days later, I put in three more pounds - nothing. Yesterday, I put in four pounds and a bottle of algaecide that the pool store guy said should help. Guess what - still nothing. I think the pool is slimier now than when I started.

Filter has 100% new sand, I've vaccuumed as good as I can guess (can't see more than 6 inches into the water), and my free chlorine levels show 10 on the test strips (the highest it goes). However, the test strip shows "total chlorine" as almost zero.

Can someone explain the difference between free chlorine and total chlorine, and offer some suggestions to get this pool blue again?

I'm thinking the 7 day chlorine tabs suck, and so does the crystal shock. I'm also thinking that the pool store guy isn't giving me enough chemicals for my size pool (18X32 inground).

I'm very seriously considering buying 20 gallons of liquid chlorine and dumping every last drop into the pool tonight. My neighbor puts a full 5 gallons in his little above ground pool - my pool is at least three times the volume. Seems like people generally use more chlorine than published when opening pools, and I'm guessing I'm not using enough...

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 06-03-04, 12:09 PM
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Well you definately need to put in more Chlorine if your Total Chlorine Level is at 0.
The liquid Chlorine will give the best results.
The Tabs will be fine once you have initially "shocked" the pool again and have gotten rid of the algae...but they won't do anything for you right now...they just aren't strong enough.
Total, combined & free is just refering to the molecule...meaning it has not bonded or combined with another compound and is available for sanitizing.
When free chlorine molecules encounter and destroy compounds...they combine with them to create a combined compound. When that happens
the chloramine is no longer available to sanitize and it just floats around blocking the path of the Free chlorine molecules (which are good, combined chlorine molecules are bad)
The Total chlorine is simply the sum of combined and free levels.
How to get rid of the algae....i am assuming its the suspended green algae floating on the top of the water?
You need to shock the pool....HARD!
Put as much chlroine in the pool as it takes to turn the pool cloudy. You may even want to use Hypochlorite (you can get that at a pool store) and use as much of it as it takes to turn the pool a cloudy bluish/gray color. Also, back wash the pool to get the water moving around.
You should see some sort of an improvement in a couple of days. But remember to shock the pool hard....using liquid chlorine will work best. Don't be stingy with it either....better to use too much than not enough.

hope that helps,
Old 06-03-04, 01:39 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389

First Id put the test strips in the trash. Then go out and buy the little 4 in 1 test kit for about $12.00.

You need a free chlorine of 1.0 to 2.0 here, more to start.
Now to clean it up Id say run the pool pump full time till you get it clean and wash out the filter every so often. Use liquid chlorine for sure. I use it all the time.

You say but what are they the pH want that about 7.4-to 7.8. Then whats the alkalinty at in the pool need 80 to 100 ppm for it
Also at home depot they had a" water clarifier" by pool time use 3 oz per 10K water in the pool works good. Did have a dive pool and 2 1/2 gal of chlorine would shock it just fine. You are getting the 10% chlorine from the pool guys there. You could make it a salt pool down the line .
Let us know how you do


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