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  #1  
Old 03-01-11, 03:17 PM
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Default Swimming Pool Secrets


I'm new to swimming pools as my new home has one. Never had one and I don't know where to start. The pool is a fair size and I would guess about 4mx8m.
We haven't moved in yet, but I want to be prepared...

I have some questions and wondered if you guys could share some secrets on pool maintenance.

How do you test your water, and how often?
What do you use to keep your water blue/clean?
How frequent do you add chemicals?
How frequent do you add/drain water and how much?
What cleaning system do you use, filter& in pool cleaner?

What have you found works and what is absolute NO GO?

Thanx

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Old 03-01-11, 03:40 PM
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It depend on a lot of things. First of all, if you have a heated pool, you need to give a lot more attention to chemicals as the green things gets comfy very quickly once above about 25⁰C.

I run my pool on 31⁰C.

The most important things to test, are the following:

1. Alcalinity. This MUST be correct in order to provide a buffer for PH changes. To low alcalinity can make PH change quickly under certain weather conditions.

2. PH. If this is not correct, the chlorine cannot do the work properly.

3. Chlorine.

I went for the saltbath system as I find the water to be a lot more pleasing on the skin and it help that I do not need to add chlorine manually every day or when I am away for a few days.

If PH and alcalinity is fine and the chlorinator works as it should, I test my water weekly with those simple test strips with the squares on. It works good enough.


Be very very cautious for adding stabiliser. Once in the water, it cannot get out because of evaporation hence adding water for makeup is no reason to add stabiliser. It works, but if over stabilised, the chlorine cannot work. Thus, you will test high chlorine but cannot understand why the pool is green.

Water? Add as needed. More in summer, less in winter.
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  #3  
Old 03-01-11, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
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How do you test your water, and how often?
Let your kids get in, if ther skin stays on, ph is right, if they come out screaming, addmore water!!

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Originally Posted by Smiles View Post
What do you use to keep your water blue/clean?
HTH, That is all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles View Post
How frequent do you add chemicals?
One cup a day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles View Post
How frequent do you add/drain water and how much?
Never, backwash uses some water, and you will need to add some now and then.

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  #4  
Old 03-01-11, 03:46 PM
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What is regarded as a stabilizer?
What products do you use for alcalinity, PH and Chlorine control?

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  #5  
Old 03-01-11, 03:48 PM
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My parents use poolmagic. Never had a green pool, the water is always crystal clear blue. Does not require a lot of attention and very little chlorine.

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Old 03-01-11, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
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What is regarded as a stabilizer?
What products do you use for alcalinity, PH and Chlorine control?
Stabilizer: Cyanuric Acid. Those floating chlorine cans often have it in. Beware.

Just go to the pool section of the shop. Those things are all lying in little bags there clearly marked. I am not too concerned about brand. Acid is acid.

Chorine? As said I throw a 50 kg bag of salt in my pool and the chlorinator splits the NaCl.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-11, 04:06 PM
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First step I would suggest is to get yourself a pool cover, it minimizes chemicals used and frequency of time spent trying to maintain correct water conditions.
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Old 03-01-11, 04:13 PM
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Pool Magic, used as directed.

easy, end of problems....

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Old 03-01-11, 04:17 PM
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I have a +- 90 000lt pool. I used to buy 10kg HTH + hydrochloric acid every month. Took a water sample to the pool shop every now and then and then walked out with another R200 - R300 worth of chemicals. Total cost around R600 per month. As soon as the weather changed the pool went green.
One month I decided that I had enough of all the chemicals and bought 2 chlorine floaters, called Brilliant, from Pick & Pay for R50 each. Backwash for about 2-3min and clean filters every sunday. Kreepy Krawly Bull shark runs 2 hours early morning and 2 hours early evening. That's it. Pool has been trouble free for a year now.

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Old 03-01-11, 04:23 PM
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Blu 52, use as directed. You'll enjoy having a pool.

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  #11  
Old 03-01-11, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Be very very cautious for adding stabiliser. Once in the water, it cannot get out because of evaporation hence adding water for makeup is no reason to add stabiliser. It works, but if over stabilised, the chlorine cannot work. Thus, you will test high chlorine but cannot understand why the pool is green.
The best advice so far. The only way to fix an over stabilised pool is to empty it. Also if you want to use a floater thingy make sure it says for non stabilised pools. The more your pool is used the more chemicals it will require, also in hot weather it will require more chlorine.

In March my pool will be 20 years old and it must be at least 10 years since I last tested the water and it is always sparkling clear. I just look at and feel the water to know what to add but do not try this if you are new to pools.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-11, 06:21 PM
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I use the HTH Floater +. (Die een met die half blou deusksynende bo-kant)

Gooi hom in die swembad en sodra hy begin omval (na so amper 'n maand), gooi nuwe een. (My bad is so +- 60 000 L)

Testing
The HTH test kit works well. It comes with a booklet with some general info about the testing and how to "treat" the pool based on your test results.

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  #13  
Old 03-01-11, 06:35 PM
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Is it a salt pool or other? I have a salt pool and touch is very seldomly

I take a water sample once a month and adjust as needed

31 deg C for a pool is just madness - how do you want to cool off in that - may as well go lie in the bath. Mine varies between 17-23 in summer depending on the amount of wind ( has a cooling effect) and the weather) You can cool off in there nicely.

Salt pools cost a bit to set up but run cheaply - buy the salt from a co-op (animal feed salt) good enough !!!

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  #14  
Old 03-01-11, 06:41 PM
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.... Mine varies between 17-23 in summer...
Below 25 and I don't swim... it's too cold. ! !

(I get 30+ in summer without heating aides )

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  #15  
Old 03-01-11, 10:01 PM
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Below 25 and I don't swim... it's too cold. ! !

(I get 30+ in summer without heating aides )
Nee man - that's too hot

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  #16  
Old 03-01-11, 10:49 PM
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I have also recently bought a house with a pool and used the HTH floater like the previous owner did but the pool has turned green. On closer inspection I noticed a little sticker on the floater that should have been removed to allow the chlorine to get out.

I also have the HTH test kit to test things like PH which should be between 7.2 and 7.6 for the Chlorine to work properly this can change if large amounts of rain water end up in the pool.

Using HTH granular chlorine is great but works out very expensive, I use it only to boost the chlorine levels if the floaters are not enough.

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  #17  
Old 03-01-11, 10:53 PM
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close it up or build a koi pond

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  #18  
Old 04-01-11, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
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close it up or build a koi pond
I have made the same suggestion to Swambo several times. Sine my son has left home it has very much became a white elephant.
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  #19  
Old 04-01-11, 06:37 AM
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Bioguard Ultraswim is what i use at the moment, till i can get my Chlorinator sorted.
Once you have had a salt water chlorinated pool you never want to look back.

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Old 04-01-11, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
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Bioguard Ultraswim is what i use at the moment, till i can get my Chlorinator sorted.
Once you have had a salt water chlorinated pool you never want to look back.
Not my experience. I removed the chlorinator as its electrodes kept packing up. For the last 4 years I use a product with the name "Activator D" - works like magic. One dose about three times a year and always clean and blue.

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  #21  
Old 04-01-11, 07:59 AM
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I also use the HTH floater. Now and then have to add a little HTH chlorine especially after rain. Added a little pool acid the other day. I used to use the HTH test kit, but everything always tested normal even with murky water.

My inlaws has a salt system. He backwash it once every two weeks. I am seriously considering it. Even when lightning strucka tree right next to the pool, littering it with branches etc, the water stays fine. Also very nice to swim in. Builders sell a DIY salt chlorinator IIRC R5k

Enjoy the new house!

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Old 04-01-11, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biltong View Post
As said I throw a 50 kg bag of salt in my pool and the chlorinator splits the NaCl.
How much does a conversion cost to go to salt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moetbiedjiewegkom View Post
First step I would suggest is to get yourself a pool cover, it minimizes chemicals used and frequency of time spent trying to maintain correct water conditions.
I thought of a cover seeing that I also want to heat my pool at a later stage. What type of cover works well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre View Post
The best advice so far. The only way to fix an over stabilised pool is to empty it. Also if you want to use a floater thingy make sure it says for non stabilised pools. The more your pool is used the more chemicals it will require, also in hot weather it will require more chlorine.
How will I know if my pool is over stabilized?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardMiddelmann View Post
Salt pools cost a bit to set up but run cheaply - buy the salt from a co-op (animal feed salt) good enough !!!
So the quality of the salt does not matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engel View Post
close it up or build a koi pond
I will be the Koi for now...

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Old 04-01-11, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
How will I know if my pool is over stabilized?
Just stay away with stabiliser, far away.
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  #24  
Old 04-01-11, 08:17 AM
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After looking at the list of products used,
Pool Magic
HTH
Blu 52
BioGuard Ultraswim

it seems that it is more a function of how the pool reacts to what you put in. What is the effect of changing from one treatment to another?

Must I stick with what is currently used in the pool and if it does not work well switch to something else? (i'm bit concerned as the water apeared green last time I was there)

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Old 04-01-11, 08:25 AM
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Ditto on the PoolMagic and the floater thingie. (One of each per month in summer and even less in winter)

I have just returned from a 2 week holiday and my pool is crystal clear even after all the rain and thunderstorms we apparently had in Pretoria.

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Old 04-01-11, 08:31 AM
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One thing nobody has mentioned is that there is a big difference between a fiber glass pool and a marbelite pool. I finally lost my temper with the marbelite pool and had it glassed. Since then maintenance on the pool has been virtually nothing.

When the pool water looks a bit off, I chuck in several cups of chlorine (I believe in the "shock" treatment rather than then regular little bits).

When I go away, I buy a couple of monthmates.

I probably don't backwash the filter more than once a month.

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Old 04-01-11, 08:35 AM
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Maybe start off with changing the sand in the filter (check with previous owner when last it was done) and get something like a chlorine floater or Blu 52. You will see soon if its working or not. You can also take a water sample to the pool shop for a test, but this could prove costly as they would love to sell you all kinds of stuff and the last thing you need when buying a house is to have unnecessary expenses.
One of my biggest problems in the beginning was the pump was too small for the pool.
They ran a 0.6kw pump in a +- 90 000lt pool with a 4 bag filter. I changed it to a 1.1kw and voila !

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Old 04-01-11, 08:40 AM
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Maybe this question should be moved to a new thread, but I think it can add to the value of this discussion.

I am considering installing a clorinator but don't know which of the products available is most reliable. I have a 75000 l marbelite pool. Any suggestions?

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Old 04-01-11, 08:49 AM
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After struggling with HTH system of testing water PH/Alkalinity etc and daily dosing with Chlorine and all the other bulls..t and the likes I switched over to BLU52.
I backwash and rinse the filter once a week and add the BLU52 as directed. No hassles for two years now.

Around my pool I have plenty trees and garden so a lot of dust, grass and leaves in the pool when its windy or raining. Clean weir filter and pump filter regularly and your pool will be a pleasure.

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Old 04-01-11, 02:11 PM
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What makes Blu52 so famous? Is it really good? I heard alot of negative comment about it...

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Old 04-01-11, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granlor View Post
After struggling with HTH system of testing water PH/Alkalinity etc and daily dosing with Chlorine and all the other bulls..t and the likes I switched over to BLU52.
I backwash and rinse the filter once a week and add the BLU52 as directed. No hassles for two years now.

Around my pool I have plenty trees and garden so a lot of dust, grass and leaves in the pool when its windy or raining. Clean weir filter and pump filter regularly and your pool will be a pleasure.
Jannie, with Blue 52....do you still get the green and black algae problems , or is there some thing in the Blue 52 that eradicates this.
and about PH adjusting, does Blue 52 sort this out.

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  #32  
Old 04-01-11, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
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close it up or build a koi pond
If you think pool maintenance is bad, don't even think about a koi pond!

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Old 04-01-11, 05:38 PM
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Seriously, install a salt chlorinator. There is an upfront cost, but afterwards the cost is minimal, not to mention trouble-free without the hassle of adding chlorine every day.

The latest systems have self-cleaning electrodes, i.e. maintenance free.

Get yourself a decent test kit to test for Ph, total alkalinity and chlorine content.

Enjoy your new pool!

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Old 04-01-11, 06:49 PM
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My sister uses only Blu-52, swears by it and her pool is always in good shape. Having said that, doesn't work well with me as I have a chlorinator and marblelite pool.

I clean my electrodes when they are dirty, maybe twice a month (old system, so not self cleaning). I add a 20kg salt maybe 3 times during the summer swimming season, and some acid when I remember. Occassionally, especially with bad weather, I help teh chlorinator along with a cup of dry chlorine.

Once the PH etc is sorted, then you add stabiliser to reduce the usage of chlorine. Other sueful things to keep at hand is a bottle fo the blue stuff that you pour in to make the water a bir clearer, I use a 500ml in a year's time. Also a bag of "defloculant" (not sure about the word!!) which you can also ad if the water is a bit unclear, as it binds all teh crap floating around and then the pool cleaner can suck it all up.

If the pool is very old, start with new sand, it is not a big job to replace the sand.

I don't use a pool cover, although it makes sense as I am lazy to remove it when I want to swim (I know I can keep it off in summer etc). My pool has charcoal colour marblelite and I circulate the water through pipes on my roof to get the heat up. My rule of thumb is that I swim in 25+ water and in 22+ water if I have some liqued encouragement ... Using a 1,25 motor for this in a 65 000 l pool.

Lastly, HTH makes a small test kit that comes in a bottle with little paper strips. You dip it in the pool an then compare the 4 colour strips against the bottle, this will tell you to add acid, chlorine, stabiliser etc. About R70 for 20 strips or so, I test once a month ot when the water seems to be going wrong ..

Enjoy !

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  #35  
Old 04-01-11, 08:54 PM
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Any comments on the use of Roundup in the pool? I have been told it loves algae, and is not poisonous- apparently the salespeople swallow it to show it is OK!

I have never been desperate enough, but would like to hear if this is urban legend, or just not popular with the marketing guys of the pool chemical industry!

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Old 04-01-11, 09:57 PM
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My dad has an old chlorinator that does not do the self cleaning thing but every so often he reverses the polarity on the electrodes and that apparently does the cleaning. Any one else do this?

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Old 05-01-11, 08:02 AM
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Apparently the sand and filter was replaced with a new stainless steel one not long ago, 1 year. I assume that the SS ones are good.?

What is the function of each of the chemicals, acid, chlorine and stabilizer?
How do I know that say acid is needed, is it only by testing or visual? Same with chlorine.

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  #38  
Old 05-01-11, 08:22 AM
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I have had normal pools - month mate and a bit of dry chlorine kept it sparkling. Now a new house with a salt chlorinator - much easier as I don't have to do much. However, we have little bugs in the pool - I have googled it and it seems to be boatman or tailswimmers (water hondjies) and they bite - now I have a sparkling salty pool, but nobody wants to swim.

How do I kill them critters?

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  #39  
Old 05-01-11, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Jannie, with Blue 52....do you still get the green and black algae problems , or is there some thing in the Blue 52 that eradicates this.
and about PH adjusting, does Blue 52 sort this out.
I do get a little bit of algae if I skip a week of dosing but this is corrected quickly once I resume normal dosing. This Dec on returning from holiday my pool was a bit green due to the pump standing for approx. a week after some heavy rain caused the electricity to trip. After dosing it took about 5 days and the pool was good as new.

Aboyt Ph adjustment I haven't worried about this for the last two years. Don't even know where my HTH test kit is.

A usefull tip I've found to work for me. You get a blue 'spungy' block about the size of a bar of soap. Don't know what it is called but they are available everywhere. If watercolour is off slightly put one of these in the weirbasket and you'll see the difference in a day. Acts like a floculant, takes all the fine dustparticles your filter struggles to remove out.

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Old 05-01-11, 08:29 AM
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in the four/five years of owning this place, I have only ever used Blu52 or the HTH equivalent Clear4Weeks once a week. Pool has always been blue and clear, no goggos or overpowering chlorine smell/taste.

I have no clue about PH balances or alkaline whatwhats. If you maintain your pump and clear out the wier and filters regularly you shouldn't have a hassle.

So forget salt and a PHD in physics - just chuck the above in the thing once a week and get on with other interesting things!
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Old 02-03-11, 09:07 AM
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Okay, so I moved in after a hectic time to do a lot of renovations in 3 days!

The guy I bought the place from used BLU52. I continued with it but are still considering to change. I found some areas (specifically in the weir) where i get a lot of algae. How do I prevent this.

Also the creepy wasn't working so I replaced it with a Baracuda. This seem to work well.

I first thought that there was dirt on the floor, but now I found that it is actually stains from the previous creepy not cleaning properly. How do I remove stains on the bottom while the pool is filled with water?

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Old 02-03-11, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Let's Play View Post
Not my experience. I removed the chlorinator as its electrodes kept packing up. For the last 4 years I use a product with the name "Activator D" - works like magic. One dose about three times a year and always clean and blue.
What brand/model did you have? Could I perhaps buy it from you?
I'm currently looking at the Zodiac Tri-Midi. But it's not at the top of the priority list yet.

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  #43  
Old 02-03-11, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles View Post
Okay, so I moved in after a hectic time to do a lot of renovations in 3 days!

The guy I bought the place from used BLU52. I continued with it but are still considering to change. I found some areas (specifically in the weir) where i get a lot of algae. How do I prevent this.
Check the pool size.
Most people think you only have to use 1 of those quarters of the blue52 each week. That's based on a 50 000 liter pool. I have a 70-75 000 liter pool, so I have to use 1 and a half of those every week.
I currently use blue52, but I have about 6 bottles of different hth chemicals, test strips, and a proper test kit, just to keep an eye on the blue52, so far no hassles.

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Last edited by RedLineR; 02-03-11 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 02-03-11, 09:38 AM
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My dad looks after my pool - no hassles

Seriously, only use Blue52, occationally a bit of acid. Changed to Blue52 in Messina after spending a fortune each month on chemicals to keep it less green, since using Blue52 always have a sparkling blue pool.
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  #45  
Old 02-03-11, 09:43 AM
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I saw Blu 52 at Builders for a 75000lt swimming pool...

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Old 02-03-11, 09:46 AM
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Thanks Smiles! Will have a look out. Only had 50000lt pool stuff when I was at ours

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Old 04-04-11, 08:52 AM
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Okay, i have 2 questions...

I have a problem with algea. What do I do? I tried the stuff that the pool shop gave me, but it did not work

Also, how often do you backwash your pool? How long must I backwash it for and do I then switch to rinse?

H

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Old 04-04-11, 09:12 AM
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What colour is the algae?

Normally it is just a question of brushing it off the walls, backwashing the filter, loads of HTH or acid depending on the test....let the pump then run for 12 hours...

If it is black algae, get some strong algaecide specifically for black algae....brush it off the walls or the spot it is stuck on. I eventually gave up with back algae on a Marbalite pool and had it fibreglassed...all algae gone.

Now i have a salt chlorinated pool - what a pleasure. I dont do anything and buy no chemicals.....

I backwash the pool for about 1 min, then rinse if to about 2 minutes....once every 6 weeks. It all depends on the working of the creepy....if it gets slow, backwash (best is to change the sand, water is expensive and scares). this however, depends on the size of the pool and pump motor.

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Old 04-04-11, 09:29 AM
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The algae is brown.

Perhaps i should try backwash. I brush the algae off the wall on a daily basis... my pump is running 3 hours a day.

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  #50  
Old 04-04-11, 09:39 AM
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Run the pump for about 4 hours twice a day. In summer that should be the minimum. In wither, scale down to 2 hours twice daily. It varies, but could be the problem!

But the secret is to get the algaecide in, brush the stuff off and let the water filter for a few hours...then back wash again and rinse well. (I gave it a shock treat with 3 to 4 cups of HTH too) Then back to your original settings on the filter.

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