Swimming Pool Blog
by Guest Blogger Matt Giovanisci, July 31, 2012
Kick Algae Butt - Karate Style!
Welcome to my dojo, I am your Sensei, Matt. You’re here because your swimming pool has become infested with algae. It’s teal, green, or black and you need to fight back to get your swimming pool under control. I’m here to teach you.
Put on your gi, strap on your white belt, and I’ll take you through the Art of Algae Karate.
Bow and say, 'oss'.
Note: You should only use your skills in self-defense. However, if you are attacked by algae, you may use your training to defeat your enemy.
Know Your Enemy
Swimming pool algae is a small plant organism that likes to grow in warm, dark, unsanitized water. The most common pool algae is green in color and spreads very fast. You’ll need to act quickly and always be on the lookout for an algae outbreak.
The strength of algae is determined by color. If your pool is a teal color, it means you’ve caught the algae at an early stage of growth. It has not taken over your pool yet, and should be easy to defeat with a few swift moves.
If your pool is dark green or black, you have a stronger enemy to defeat. The algae is more powerful and has taken over your pool.
You can easily defend yourself against an algae attack using the right sanitizer. This is your secret weapon. Algae cannot grow in water with a proper level of free chlorine.
Algae also likes to cling to the surfaces of your pool and work its roots in deep. Dark places, small cracks and crevices is where you’ll find them beginning to bloom.
Don’t let algae make the first move. Here are some techniques you can use to defend yourself:
● Keep the walls and floor of your pool clean with a pool brush.
● Vacuum your pool once or twice a week (more if needed).
● Skim the surface of your pool water everyday.
● Run your filter and pump for 8 to 12 hours per day.
● pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6.
● Alkalinity should be between 100 ppm and 150 ppm (parts per million).
● Free chlorine level should be at 3 ppm.
● Use a weekly dose of algaecide.
How To Defeat Algae When Attacked
If you are unsuccessful at fending off algae, you must now fight your enemy to the death. You will need the proper weapons:
● A 5 gallon bucket of water
● Calcium hypochlorite pool shock
● Wooden paint stirrer
● Protective eyewear
● Clothes you don’t care about
Size up your enemy by determining the color of the pool. If your pool is a teal color, you will need to double shock it. This means using 2 pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons of water.
If your pool is green or dark green, triple shock it by using 3 pounds per 10,000 gallons. And if you pool is black, you will need to quadruple shock your water by using 4 pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons of water.
Prepare to Fight
The best time to strike is dusk or night. This will allow the chlorine shock to be the most effective.
Put on your old clothes, gloves, and protective eyewear. You will be handling a very concentrated chlorine solution which could bleach what you’re wearing, hence the need for old clothes and protection.
Turn on your filter system and take it off the timer (if you have one). You will need to run your swimming pool 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week, until the algae is defeated and the water is clear.
Now that you’ve prepared yourself, get into a fighting stance and follow these steps to make your first move. This fighting technique is called 'The Pre-Dissolve'.
1. Fill your 5 gallon bucket with warm water or pool water.
2. Pour in ONLY 1 pound of chlorine shock carefully.
3. Slowly stir the shock into the water with a wooden paint stirrer. Avoid splashing.
4. Slowly pour the mixture into your swimming pool, while walking along the edge.
Repeat these steps until you have added all the necessary pounds of shock to your water.
Allow your pool to run overnight and check it the next morning. If your pool has turned a cloudy blue color, you have successfully defeated your enemy. If the pool is still a green color, repeat the attack. Brush, vacuum, check your chemicals, and re-shock the pool with the amount of shock you need for the new color.
Once your pool is cloudy blue, you’ll need to continue to run your pump and filter until the water is clear. You can clear it faster by using a liquid clarifier chemical.
Bow and “oss”
With respect to our enemy, common pool algae is a weak opponent that is easily defeated with the proper weapons and techniques. By completing your training (reading this article), you’ve earn your green belt. Congratulations! You are now qualified to defend yourself against an algae attack.
I wish you luck during the pool season. May you have a healthy and algae-free pool.
About the Author
Matt Giovanisci is the creator of Swim University and has over 15 years of experience in the swimming pool and hot tub industry. He is also an award winning web designer and has been featured on Martha Stewart Radio as a pool & spa expert.