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Thread: Cloudy and Confused

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    Cloudy and Confused

    First time ever using a forum, so be patient.

    I have been fighting cloudy water for 6 months. There has also been some clear/white slim involved.
    I have tried multiple recommendations from three different pool places. Including changing my Sand/Glass (that was fun), flocking and Algaecide.

    So, I ordered the TF Test Kit

    Performed simple Chlorine and PH test - ah very low chlorine.

    Brought Chlorine up and here are the results: (CL 2.4, PH 7.5 )FC:4, CC:1.5, TC:5.5, CH: 22.5, CYA 100

    Pool has started to clear up but very concerned about the CYA number (remember I am indoors)

    Help!

    I don't see my signature file so I am adding the info just in case:

    Pool Size: 30,000 gal
    Pool Type: IG - Indoor
    Liner: Vinyl
    Filter: Sand (glass) - Hayward S244T
    Pump: Hayward MAX-FLO II Pump (model C48D43A04)
    Date Installed: Installed Spring 2013
    Test Kit: TF 100
    Frog Mineral System (I do not buy the packs) refill with 1" Bio-Guard silk tabs
    Bio-Guard Maintain Smart Shock

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Welcome to TFP!

    I'm sorry to say the only way to get your pool,under control will be to replace almost all of your water. 100 is the limit of the CYA test so we really don't know if your CYA is 100, or some number much higher than 100. We recommend CYA of around 20 or 30 in and indoor pool.

    You need to stop using the tabs as they are TriChlor which is almost half CYA and stop using the shock because it's Dichlor which is even higher in CYA than TriChlor. You need to be using liquid chlorine only.

    Due to your high CYA your FC is much too low for maintenance. If we assume it is only 100 your FC should never be below 7. Anything below 7 would allow algae to grow, which is probably happening causing your cloudy water.

    A SLAM is in order for your pool, but you need that CYA down first.

    Here is some reading you should do
    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    (Cross-posted with Tim! Basically same thing)

    Welcome to TFP! Kudos on your new kit! I didn't see a TA reading there...just the low CH, which is fine for vinyl.

    My guess is that the cya added from using a stabilized chlorine product and then not maintaining the FC to the level for such high CYA is what led to your white water mold ( assuming that's what the white slime is). Please refer to the Cya:Chlorine link in my signature (just click on it) to read the ratio at which your chlorine will adequately sanitize your pool.

    Since your pool is indoors, the cloudiness is not likely to be nascent algae (I think...bear with me as I adjust to applying TFP to indoor environment

    On one hand, just raising your FC with liquid chlorine to the correct level and ditching the sticks may help.

    But high cya requires a lot of daily chlorine to maintain, AND you mentioned the white water mold, so your long-term best plan for a trouble free pool is going to be a partial drain and modified "SLAM" (shock and maintain shock level), both which should help clear the cloudiness...in the case of the Slam, by oxidizing the water, provided your filter is functioning properly. It works tat way in my hot tub .

    That way, you will be able to have complete control over your sanitation because your cya will not be a moving target once you stop using sticks and use liquid chlorine to chlorinate.

    So first off, is it particularly difficult to drain when you're indoors?, and when built, did the builder instruct you on how much you can drain without harming the liner? Eg. Outdoors, with a vinyl pool, you would leave at least a foot in the shallow end.

    Indoors, you do not need as much cya to buffer the chlorine, but you still need some So while I think you need LESS than 30, if you could drain and refill enough to get to 30, that would be a more manageable level for you.

    Once you've completed your water change, then you would follow the steps outlined in How to Slam to shock and maintain the shock level long enough to completely oxidize whatever is in your water. In your case, being indoors, I'm not certain that your cc level will get quite as low as recommended because you don't have sunlight helping to break them down -- cc stands for combined chloramines, the by product after chlorine combines with something.

    Please also put your details in your signature so that we can always see your pool specs -- edit your profile to do so. That will prevent people from advising you as if you gave an outdoor pool

    I hope that helps get you started, and I also hope someone wth more indoor experience comes along with tips. I've participated in a few threads with indoor pool peeps and raising the FC/switching to liquid chlorine works wonders
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    HI! We can help you get a jewel like pool! Great news on the test kit! It will only get easier and cheaper now!

    "Frog Mineral System (I do not buy the packs) refill with 1" Bio-Guard silk tabs
    Bio-Guard Maintain Smart Shock"

    This is the cause of your high CYA Please take the tabs out and do NOT add any more shock. They both add CYA.

    Like mentioned above you do need to drain your pool. Do NOT drain it dry. Make sure there is a foot of water in the shallow end.

    After drain and replace retest and share your results here.

    HUGS! We will help you!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Calcium levels are unlikely to have much to do with your problem, so this is a minor point... However, CH of 22.5 is an unlikely-looking result, since the drop count is multiplied by 10 when doing the standard CH test. Could you please review your procedure for that test?

    With a CYA number at 100 (at the limit of the test), it would be good to run the test again with a diluted sample to get a better idea of actual CYA - that will give you a better idea of how much water to replace to get your CYA down to around 20 ppm (I believe that's the level I've seen recommended for indoor pools). To do a diluted test, mix one part pool water with one part tap or bottled water, and take your CYA test sample from the mixed water. Mix in the reagent and run the CYA test as usual, and then multiply the result by two. If necessary, you can dilute more, e.g. one part pool water and two parts tap water, and multiply test result by 3.

    Do you have good ventilation available in the pool enclosure? Once you start a SLAM, you're likely to get a bunch of combined chlorine products from breakdown of organics - that gives the pool that strong familiar "chlorine" smell, which you'd just as soon not be breathing all the time while spending time near or in the pool.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Sorry, the CH is 225 not 22.5

    I performed the CYA test as you described. One part pool water one part tap water and the reading was 70 so multiplied by 2 would be 140.
    So how much water needs replaced greater than 50% I assume.

    Is there any other option than replacing the water.

    Also, liquid chlorine? How often what brand ? any advice would be helpful.

    Before this indoor pool I had an outdoor pool and it was flawless. Everyone said isn't a pool a lot of work. I never did anything but add chlorine and shock.
    30,000 gal IG - Indoor Vinyl Sand (glass) - Hayward S244T
    Water replaced from well running through water softener

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    You got your siggy to stick---------THANKS!

    Liquid chlorine aka bleach--------I add mine every day at the end of the day. I get my chlorine from the pool store up the road. Some people get bleach from Walmart (great value brand), just plain, no smells, no splashless, etc. Just plain bleach. You will have to see what you have around you and make sure you look at the % and date code to make sure it is new.

    With you being indoors..........I bet you will not use as much FC as I do as I am outdoors in FULL sun.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Any brand liquid chlorine. If the pool stores sell 10/12.5% for a reasonable cost then go with that. Many use 8.25% Great Valu bleach from Walmart.

    You have a new animal with an indoor pool. Many outdoor pools in colder climates get away with tabs & shock because they winterized their pool each year pumping out lots of water, including the CYA from that season. Your indoor pool , like pools in warmer climates just allows the CYA to keep building up.

    The Pool Math link at the top of the page does all of your calculations for you. Down at the bottom in the yellow section set the goals from TFP and your chlorine and pool surface. It will calculate what you need to do. I already looked at your drain/refill and it says you need to exchange about 80% of your water. With a vinyl pool you shoul neve drain it below,the point that there is still 1 foot of water standing in the shallow end to prevent the liner from floating out of place. With you water source being a well you may want into a source for trucked in water. It may sound strange, but some volunteer fire departments provide this as a service for a small donation.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Ok so you have my stress level high now - thanks (hahaha)

    so I assume since I will be unable to replace 80% in one shot. I replace what I can run filter (turn heater off) for 1 day then retest. And replace water accordingly again?
    30,000 gal IG - Indoor Vinyl Sand (glass) - Hayward S244T
    Water replaced from well running through water softener

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by sljozzie View Post
    Ok so you have my stress level high now - thanks (hahaha)

    so I assume since I will be unable to replace 80% in one shot. I replace what I can run filter (turn heater off) for 1 day then retest. And replace water accordingly again?
    you can, but the smaller drain and refills actually use more water in the long run than one or two big refills.

    You don't need to wait a day, once the pool is full again run the filter for an hour or so and retest.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by sljozzie View Post
    Ok so you have my stress level high now - thanks (hahaha)

    so I assume since I will be unable to replace 80% in one shot. I replace what I can run filter (turn heater off) for 1 day then retest. And replace water accordingly again?
    Relax, and take your time figuring out how best to manage the drain and refill process, given the water sources available to you. Running that many gallons through a water softener (as shown in your siggy) sounds unlikely to me, but I'm not an expert.

    No reason to rush into action - it's fine to think out your plan of attack. Replacing water is, unfortunately, the only reliable way to get your CYA down to manageable levels. Once that is done, you can address the cloudiness and slime. If necessary, read more on the forum so you gain confidence in the process. This is a transparent and predictable process, and you can trust it to give you a clear and clean pool, and to maintain it that way with minimal effort in the future.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Algae will certainly grow with indoor light. Sunlight is not necessary. So algae can grow in an indoor pool.

    At a high CYA level without a proportionally high FC level, bather waste organics can build up, especially when there is no UV from sunlight so that can happen in indoor pools. More likely though is that the cloudiness is from algae growth.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    ok, just replaced 10,000 gal. Dropped the CYA from 140 to 70. Based on everything that was said above and what I read. I need to be between 20-30 and if I don't I will be using a lot more chlorine than necessary to keep good water.

    Just want to make sure because every 10,000 gal of water is $360. And 10,000 is the max draw down without calling installer since the liner may pop out.
    30,000 gal IG - Indoor Vinyl Sand (glass) - Hayward S244T
    Water replaced from well running through water softener

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Given the cost, it's up to you. 70 ppm CYA will certainly be a lot better than 140 ppm CYA. As shown in the Chlorine / CYA Chart your minimum FC would be 5 ppm and you don't want the FC to get lower than that at any time so target higher such that it gets no lower than 5 by the next time you add chlorine.

    The main issue with 70 ppm is if you needed to SLAM the pool since that would take 28 ppm FC to do. Also, given that your pool is indoors, you'd probably want to target higher than the minimum FC level to try and keep the water clear.

    So if you want to see how you do at your current level, given the high cost of water replacement, you can, but certainly your pool will be easier to manage with an even lower 20-30 ppm CYA level (or 35 ppm which would be another half drain/refill). It's really up to you since it's a cost/risk tradeoff. How does the water look now?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by sljozzie View Post
    I performed the CYA test as you described. One part pool water one part tap water and the reading was 70 so multiplied by 2 would be 140.
    So how much water needs replaced greater than 50% I assume.
    If the water is already cloudy, how reliable is the CYA test really going to be?

    Granted, I'm new to this TFP thing, but based on my recent experiences the CYA test was significantly affected by my algae problem. I already had an algae problem when I got my test kit, and my CYA tested over 100ppm. I did a calculated 40% water replacement and then shocked the pool. Once the water was clear I retested the CYA and it was less than 20ppm. I think the cloudy water falsely increased my initial CYA reading, causing me to replace more water than needed. And on top of that I had to add more CYA in after everything was said and done.

    Is there some way to pre-filter the water sample to remove the algae so the test is only measuring the opacity from precipitated CYA?
    Joe
    13,500 gal, IG Pebble/Plaster, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward SwimClear 425 sqft cartridge filter, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Some of the CYA drop may have been from the SLAM itself since chlorine slowly oxidizes CYA, but does so at least 10 times faster at SLAM levels so may drop at least 1-2 ppm CYA per day of the SLAM (maybe more). Nevertheless, it does seem that on rare occasions algae or other particulate cloudiness can have the CYA test precipitate report falsely higher readings even though the pool water sample in the tube itself isn't seen to be particularly cloudy.

    Unfortunately I don't know of a filter that you could use that would readily remove the algae unless you can find something that filters down to 1 micron or so (these are called Class I filters). That should filter out algae but would still pass through CYA (and other chemicals). Such inline filters tend to be somewhat expensive. Instead, you might get one of the Duda Diesel filter bags that are rated to 0.5 micron (these are Teflon/PTFE coated filter bags) and filter your pool water sample through it. However, since I don't think anyone has tried this before, there is the risk that the PTFE coating has some CYA bind to it though I don't think that will happen. To be sure, one could test using some 50 ppm CYA Standard Solution filtered through such a bag.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    If the water is already cloudy, how reliable is the CYA test really going to be?
    Do this experiment. Simply take a sample of pool water and put it in the CYA view tube. Do you see any cloudiness or can you read the black dot clearly?

    There is virtually never any affect. If you really are able to obscure the black dot with just pool water (doubtful) then simply subtract that value from your normal CYA result.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Yes, do the test Dave says first. If the water is cloudy enough to obscure the dot without adding reagent, then that can be readily backed out in the test.

    What I was referring to was when/if algae or other particles interfere with the CYA test in a non-additive way where the water sample looks perfectly clear, but such interference is far less common and only been reported a few times.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    ok my head is spinning again -trying to digest everyone's advice. I will have to say my water clarity is almost perfect at this point. Is there something we are missing.

    And I did not SLAM yet. Just replaced 10,000 gal this morning (9 AM) ran filter and tested at 6:00 PM.

    I almost did not do the drain as after I brought the chlorine level up (first post) it really cleared up. I brought the chlorine level up with 5 bags of shock and turned chlorinator (frog system) to max for 14 hours. I assumed that if I did not lower CYA I would require that much chlorine all the time.

    details details - what should I do next?
    30,000 gal IG - Indoor Vinyl Sand (glass) - Hayward S244T
    Water replaced from well running through water softener

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    Re: Cloudy and Confused

    Honestly, if your water clarity is almost perfect, I don't think the CYA test is going to give you the wrong reading. If it were me, I'd just proceed as normal and trust the tests as usual.

    If that means you are at 70 ppm CYA now, then as to whether you go lower, why don't you operate at 70 ppm meaning no lower than 5 ppm FC for a while and see what you think. No sense stressing out over it at this point. We don't say one HAS to have 20-30 ppm CYA for indoor pools -- that's just a recommendation since higher CYA isn't needed because no sunlight is present. Worst case if you find that you may need to do a SLAM for whatever reason and you want to use less chlorine doing so, you can consider lowering the CYA more at that time.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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