So, You Have an Algae Problem (Sorry!)

Here’s how it happened and here’s what you can do to get rid of algae.

Common “green” algae are microscopic organisms that float in your pool or cling to the walls. In both salt and fresh water, algae grow temperatures above 85°F and it can even “bloom” overnight. It doesn’t matter if your pool or spa is clean—the spores are entering by rain, wind, critters, pool toys or swimsuits. Not only unsightly, if left unchecked, algae can clog filters and create surface damage.

Step 1: Vacuum Your Pool. Often, pool owners try to use their automatic cleaner to blow it out. This can make the problem worse by blowing the algae all over your pool. To best remove algae, vacuum it manually. Getting rid of the algae this way will reduce the amount of time it takes to kill and clear the algae bloom in the next step.

Step 2: Shock Your Pool.  T”shock”. Shock is a granular form of highly concentrated chlorine, which quickly raises the chlorine level of the swimming pool water and makes the pool water conditions unlivable for anything organic–thus, algae quickly dies. The “maintenance” amount of most swimming pool shock is 1 lb./10,000 gallons. Follow the manufacturer’s dosage suggestion for killing algae. Dissolve chlorine pool shock on in a large bucket of water before it is added to the swimming pool.

Step 3: Don’t Swim Right Away. Don’t use the pool until  the algae is dead, and the chlorine level is back in the safe range of 1-3 ppm. Keep your pool filter system  running as you add the shock, and keep it running 24 hours a day until all signs of algae have completely left the pool.

Step 4. Monitor the Filter.  Keep an eye on your pool filter system, and clean the filter each time the pressure rises 10 psi. above normal operating pressure. Dead algae can quickly dirty the filter, so clean it frequently.

Step 5. Vacuum Again. Once the algae is dead it will turn white or gray. When you can no longer see green algae in your pool, vacuum it throughly and backwash or clean the pool filter to make sure nothing’s trapped inside.

Step 6. Watch Your Chemical Levels.  Algae and other harmful bacteria are almost immediately destroyed in chlorine levels of 1 ppm or higher. Likely you had an algae issue by allowing the level to drop lower. We always recommend testing your pool water frequently and adjusting to maintain a clean and safe swimming pool.

If the algae situation doesn’t improve after a day or so, add a second dose of chlorine pool shock at the increased rate.

Or, as always, give us a call if you have any questions.




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