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Thread: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

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    Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    I will try to keep this as brief as possible but would like to give a little history so maybe somebody will have a suggestion that I haven't already tried. I have been dealing with clean but hazy/cloudy water for almost 3 weeks now and I am really at the end of my rope. Ready to punch a hole in the side of the pool and let it drain and be done with it. Can't imagine living without a pool though.
    I have kept a pool at several different homes I have lived in for 35+ years and have never had such a hard time with keeping my pool sparkling clear. Not only is this frustrating because all the usual methods are not working but I have never had a problem like this to begin with.

    About 2.5 weeks ago the pool started with a green tint and I ended up with an algea bloom, don't get these very often. Cleared that up using my normal methods of dosing with algea eliminator and then vacuuming. My pool was clean and clear for approximately one day. Came out the next morning and it was cloudy/milky. Tried the tried and true methods which usually clear it up in a few hours or overnight, mostly I use a Clarifier with no change. Put some more in and still no change.
    The person at the pool store told me to use some floc for maybe some residual algea to get it to fall to the bottom. I had already done that after killing off the algea from the algea bloom but did it again and vacuumed....no change. They had me try clarifier again but this time only letting it circulate for a little while and then shutting down filter and letting it sit like you would floc. Still no change.
    So basically every day I have been adding bleach, or clarifier, not at the same time or even on the same day and have been vacuuming as well even though it seems like I am vacuuming nothing as there is nothing on the pool floor. Still no change. Or I should say very little change. It is probably a little bit clearer as I can see bottom better but definitely still cloudy. Man at the pool store said to try floc again though I didn't think I needed to and still no change.

    I don't have the fancy TF-100 testing kit and can't find it anywhere in my area. I would have to order it from Amazon. Quite frankly I really don't want to spend the money on such a fancy kit, as I have never had this kind of problem and it really baffles me why I am now, but I may have to bite the bullet and get it.

    Besides using my normal methods I stumbled upon your site and forum and have read all threads and tried all methods given to others with the same problem and still the water will not clear. The sand is new this year and is not the standard sand but something called Zeobrite that I have been told is much better as it is finer and catches more of the small particles that are suspended in the water. My husband insists it has something to do with the sand as it is the only thing that is different this year than for the past 5 years. Pool is usual very simple to open and maintain and this year I seem to be doing a lot more cleaning and stressing about it than enjoying it. It is pretty bad when every day you are consumed by this issue to the point that you are screaming, crying or both. Just shouldn't be this hard. I am not a stupid woman but I certainly feel like it right now.

    I did read something about "channeling" in the sand but don't know if that would create a problem and if I should open the filter and take a look.
    I also think I may backwash filter too much and backwashed quite a bit more with algea bloom, maybe too much that something happened?
    I will definitely wait for PSI to rise much more than I have before I backwash from now on.

    Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

    PH is 7.6
    Alkalinity is 120

    FC & TC are off the charts with both test strips and small plastic comparator, that only measures PH and Cl, showing very dark and bright fushia/purple......green

    Calcium Hardness is low as I don't usually worry about that due to I have an AG, vinyl liner pool.

    Cuyranic is about 90. I only know this as a neighbor has the TF-100 kit and had just enough drops for me to test this so I could post here. I know this is high and it is suggested to drain half the pool and refill, however with all the vacuuming to waste I have had to do recently and then fill as well as all the filling I have done throughout the summer do to we have had very little rain I can't imagine that I have not already done that....just not all at once.



    AG 18' round, 8,600 gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix pump/sand filter

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Wow...with all the potions and lotions you've purchased at the pool store none mentioned actually KILL algae, and the cost must have been enormous?

    You need to stop putting clarifiers, floc and other such things in the pool and concentrate on killing the algae with liquid chlorine (household bleach works) and then let your filter do its job. I don't know anything about Zeobright but for some reason I too wonder if that isn't all its cracked up to be. For the record, there is almost never a valid reason to change sand (very rarely needed) as its lasted millions of years so far.... I wonder if you can put a little DE in the filter when you've got Zeobright? In a sand filter it can help boost the filtering power on those microscopic particles.

    You DO need a pool test kit. The Taylor's K-2006 is available online (no other number!) at Amazon and other sites, and the TF-100 or the smaller TF-50 are both avail only at TFTestkits.net It comes from North Carolina so the shipping is pretty quick. Do consider the cost for the kit to be a lot less than you've spent on pool store potions.
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Hi YippeeSkippy,
    Thank you so much for your reply. I have been using clarifier for years but usually one bottle lasts me a couple of seasons as if the water starts to look a little less clear you slap an ounce or two of that in there and it is sparkling clear in no time. I rarely use floc but did this time because I did have an algea bloom and after applying the algea eliminator (kills algea.....it isn't "algeacide") it is nice that it drops to the bottom resulting in the pool going from green back to blue and also being able to see the green disappear at the bottom of the pool when you vacuum. I started with treating with shock but it didn't seem to be killing the algea. When I went to get more they suggested the algea eliminator and as usual I challenge everything they tell me as I know their job is to sell me a bunch of stuff I don't really need and I don't by anything I don't need. They told me if it didn't work to bring it back and they would refund my money. Well, it did work as the green disappeared and was at the bottom of my pool and I was able to vacuum it up. However, I have been left with a cloudy pool.

    In the past few days I have added 11 gallons of 12% bleach and the water has still not changed. How much more bleach can I add or should I add? That cost adds up just as quickly with that quantity.

    I have been told that dirty sand actually filters/cleans better by the people at the pool store, however they also recommend you change the sand every 3 - 4 years. I waited 6 with this pool. One of them suggested the new "clean" sand could be the problem but also said the Zeobrite is an excellent sand. And we haven't had this problem since we opened the pool in May...up till now it has been beautiful and clear. Ever since the algea bloom this has been the problem.
    I am not even sure where the bloom came from as I test my water every single day with the strips and my numbers are always fine except for the Calcium Hardness as I stated before. Occasionally I have to tweak the PH a little.

    Do they sell DE in small quantities or do I have to buy the big bag? That is probably costly as well.
    I am just stumped and don't know where to go from here.

    I will definitely invest in the test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Welcome to TFP!

    We see this all the time. Yours is a text book case that we call being pool stored. Using products over time that add CYA until the CYA is so high that you are no longer adding enough chlorine/shock to overcome it. So, more and more potions, flocs, clarifiers, algaecides, and whatever else they sell. That works for a little while but the CYA keeps getting higher and soon nothing works at all.

    Now, it is time to try the TFPC way of maintaining your pool. But, you have to choose TFP or Pool Store. They won't mix. And you already tried the Pool Store.

    Get one of the Recommended Test Kits, I use the TF100 from TFTestkits.net.

    When you get it give us some test results and get ready to SLAM Your Pool.

    It is possible to maintain and SLAM your pool with CYA at 90. Chlorine level is set based on CYA level and the Chlorine CYA Chart. Or you can do a partial drain to lower CYA to 40 or 50 to make it easier and use less chlorine.

    Here are some of my fave Pool School articles to read while you wait for your kit.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    This is a water chemistry problem, not a filter problem. Good filter maintenance is important but that is not the issue here. Filter problems do not cause algae, lack of chlorine causes algae.
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Quote Originally Posted by dresdenlj View Post
    ............ I don't have the fancy TF-100 testing kit and can't find it anywhere in my area. I would have to order it from Amazon. Quite frankly I really don't want to spend the money on such a fancy kit, as I have never had this kind of problem and it really baffles me why I am now, but I may have to bite the bullet and get it........
    Frankly I find it strange that you would spend money on all the pool store potions without hesitation, but will not invest in a tool that will give you control of your pool & save you money by eliminating all the "magic potions" you really do not need.

    Dom
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    dom - we see it everyday. it is VERY frustrating. it's called pool $tore brain. it's very hard to cure. there is a light at the end of that tunnel though. when they finally see how good their pool looks and how easy it is to maintain, they are very thankful!!
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Thank you all for your replies. I have ordered the test kit, though as I stated before I have been maintaining pools for 35+ years and have never had a problem like this before, nor did I feel the need for a fancy test kit. I would appreciate though not being called a $tore brain or being referred to as "pool stored". If you read my threads, though I do apologize for them being so lengthy, you would see that I try not to use chemicals and only use them when and if necessary which in my experience over the years isn't all that often. Until now. I tried every method I knew and suggestions I found here on the TFP site as well as many hours of research online to try and solve this problem for over 2 weeks before I even consulted someone in a pool store as I knew despite my knowledge they would try and tell me something different in order to make a sale. I will say as long as I have had pools the CYA term is rather new to me and something that I am now understanding...I think I am anyway.

    Anyway, with that said I would appreciate any and all suggestions to get my pool back to crystal clear. This morning it actually looks like it is clearer...still cloudy but less than it was. I need to know now if I should add more bleach or just leave it alone.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I am not sure I understand......how do I have a lack of chlorine when my readings for chlorine are off the charts?

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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    I don't see where you list your FC number. For your level of CYA - 90 FC should be no less than 7 and really should more like 10 or more. That level of FC is not normally measurable by any tester other than FAS-DPD. There is a new comparator being talked about that goes up to 10 but it's not very granular.

    So "off the chart' could be as low as 6, and that's too low for your CYA level.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    So, the issue is that pool store tests and test strips are not accurate. If you are not testing your own CYA with a Taylor K-2006 or a TF100 then we don't really know what your CYA level is. So, we can't advise on how much water to drain to lower it or how much chlorine your pool needs. We have had people report pool store or test strips as 60 or 90 or both and then have their own test kit read 200+. Chlorine level in a pool is set based on the CYA level and the Chlorine CYA Chart.
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    pooldv - the 90 was from a neighbors TF-100. since the neighbor is now out of reagent they can't retest.

    dresden - offer to buy a new supply of CYA reagent if the neighbor will help you out. An 8 oz bottle is only $8.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Test strips and OTO drop tests only measure total chlorine (TC), which is the sum of free chlorine (FC) and combined chlorine (CC).



    Only FC kills algae. If you have a high CYA level as well as an algae bloom, it's likely that most or all of your chlorine is CC with little or no FC. So you could test really high for TC, yet there's nothing present to kill algae.



    The FAS-DPD test measures FC, which is why it is crucial for successful pool maintenance.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    pooldv - the 90 was from a neighbors TF-100. since the neighbor is now out of reagent they can't retest.

    dresden - offer to buy a new supply of CYA reagent if the neighbor will help you out. An 8 oz bottle is only $8.
    Good eye. TFTestkits.net will hook you up.
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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Hi All, my test strips test FC and TC. Colors to match with numbers under the color. Both the colors are darker than color on side of bottle that you are supposed to compare to and the number listed under the last color is 10. So, according to those strips FC and TC are above 10. I know they are not accurate just wanted to give you the information.

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    Re: Help!!! My pool won't clear!

    Some wise person here stated that the only thing test strips are good for is measuring the depth of your trash can.
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