11 Mar 2013

Help! My Swimming Pool is Turning Green

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What does it mean when your swimming pool turns green? It means you’ve got an algae problem and you need to step up your swimming pool maintenance. However, not all algae is created equal, so treating it requires different steps. There are really three types of algae: yellow(mustard), green or dark green and black.

Yellow Algae
Yellow algae is sometimes also a light green or mustard color. It is usually found on the walls of the pool, generally on the south side, though the water is still blue and clear. Yellow algae is very delicate preferring water not to hot or too cold (temperatures between 60 – 75 degrees) so it most often develops in the spring and fall in Arizona. It also doesn’t like too much sunlight, hence its preferred location on the south walls of the pool. Brushing the walls won’t get rid of the growth, and it can’t be killed with just chlorine. We recommend an ammonia-based algaecide. Some “yellow-out” products require extra chlorine and act as a chlorine accelerator. This means it depletes the chlorine in your pool as it kills the yellow algae. For every yellow-out type algae application count on buying an additional 3-4 times more chlorine to get rid of the yellow algae in your pool.

Green Algae
When you water turns green or dark green, your algae has spun out of control due to lack of chlorine. Treating this problem requires a copper or ammonia-based algaecide, as well as chlorine. We recommend using a 99% granular for the fast boost and a copper algaecide.

Black Algae
Black algae is the dark horse and the most difficult to eliminate and cure. Black algae is generally not caused by a chemical problem. Generally, the problem is a surface condition with the plaster in your pool. The older the plaster, the more likely you are to develop black algae because it roots deep in the plaster and not in the water. While you can temporarily treat the problem by rubbing chlorine directly onto the spot, it will only solve the problem for a few months. The only sure-fire solution is to drain the pool, chip out the old plaster, and put a resurface in the pool.

Note: When treating an algae problem, you want to use the purest chemicals possible. Using lower quality materials at times like this will just add more filler to the pool, making the water harder, and bringing your closer to the time you must drain and refill the pool.

When in doubt, come into Pool People and ask us what will work for your pool. Located in Glendale, Arizona, Pool People provides regular pool and spa cleaning, pool and spa maintenance, pool remodeling, pool and spa repairs, as well as tile cleaning for residents of the Northwest Valley on Phoenix. We also have a fully stocked pool store at 5830 W. Thunderbird Rd., Suite B-6, Glendale, AZ. We carry the highest quality chemicals, with the fewest fillers possible for the health and well being of you pool.

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