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Thread: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

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    Montanaave's Avatar
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    Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    In just in the last 2 weeks I have spent over $1600 in chemicals from a pool store near our rural town, and still have zero chlorine levels on my test kit. I am thinking now after researching that I might have an algae problem, but can't see it. Although, the water is now cloudy after dumping in within a 24 hour period a total of 70lbs of PH UP and 118lbs of ZipChlor and another 12lbs of Lithium hypochlorite.

    I don't want to keep dumping in chlorine and wasting money. I went and bought a new test Taylor K-2006 kit (not here yet), Borax and liquid bleach, but am unsure if I should even start when my TA is 256 and PH 6.5. I just can't seem to get the PH up either! I have read that I might need to drain and put in new water with levels like this? How much would I need to drain off? Is there a way to not have to drain it off? I have well water that is pretty good and not to hard.

    This is what the pool companies analysis sheet gave me:
    TDS - 1200
    CYA - 153
    Total Chlorine - 3.5
    Free Chlorine - .9
    PH - 6.5
    TA - 256
    Adj. TA - 210
    Total Hardness - 157

    They told me to keep dumping in 15 lbs of chlorine every 2 hours to get the Free Chlorine up, and checking PH and dumping in 10lbs of PH Up inbetween. I did that but it didn't hold.
    We live where it is usually cold most of the year and am really frustrated that when the weather is finally so nice that we can't be enjoying our pool! Really fed up with the pool store as well as I feel like they are ripping me off.
    Thanks,
    Allison
    In ground 30,000 gallon vinyl pool that is 20ft x 40 ft with deep end 8.5ft (Pool store said 30,000 but PoolCalculator says 32,900). The sand filter is a Pentair Water Cristal-Flo II. The pump is Pentair Water IntelliFlo Variable Speed. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    PAGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    I wouldn't put much of anything else until your test kit arrives, save for some plain old bleach. If the CYA is close to correct, you will have to drain some water. But until you can get an accurate test, I wouldn't drain yet, as you don't know what the needed a mount is. 10# of PH up sure seems like a lot!
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    You haven't been putting just chlorine in, you've been putting in CYA also. That is your big issue right now. You need to switch to liquid bleach. Get it from the grocery store. Buy the least expensive, no lemon scent or anything like that. No splashless, just plain bleach. Concentrated is fine. You are looking for 8.25% or better. And fresh. Look for a date code like 15240. It means 2015 the 240th day.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Welcome!

    You've been pool-stored. Add that to your vocabulary. What you've spent might just be a record here. Extrapolating from the size differences, that much money would keep my pool going for almost three years - year round.

    The obvious solution is to stop doing what you've been doing and start doing what I do. That means no more pool store, and especially no more pool store tests. Free? No... those tests cost you about sixteen hundred dollars. I know at this point the last thing you want to do is spend more money, unless it's on a several dumptrucks full of soil to fill the thing in. But a proper test kit is an investment. It will pay for itself many times over. In your case, a test kit purchased two weeks ago would have saved you about thirteen hundred dollars.

    Given the task ahead of you, I'd recommend a TF100 with the XL option. And if the pool store reads CYA at 153, odds are it's more like 250 to 300. I see a huge drain and refill in your future. There's just no other way to get CYA down to a useful level otherwise. Reverse Osmosis is scarcely available where I live, there's no way it is where you live. And the Bio-active CYA reducer that sounded like such a good idea has turned out to be a bust.

    So..
    1) Order Test Kit
    2) Start draining water. With a vinyl liner, you'll have to leave at least a foot in the shallow end or the liner may shift and wrinkle. Refill, circulate, brush and vacuum any debris, and repeat.
    3) Read Pool School until you feel Start with Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool and move around at anything else that sounds interesting. Then read Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    4) When the kit arrives, test everything. Post results. We'll guide you the rest of the way

    Also, check out Recovering my old inspirational links - Page 2 for inspiration.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    If there is anything you purchased that hasn't been opened, take it back!!

    You can take control of your pool! Don't delay on getting your own test kit and the right one (TF-100) from TFTestkits.net You'll save far more than the price very quickly.

    Start stocking up on bleach, you'll need it. Nothing more until we see some test results.

    We'd love to see a pic of your pool
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    April's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Wow $1600.

    I use the TF100 with Speedstir and I spend a total of $150 a season for my pool. Listen to the experts they know what there talking about!
    18ft Round AG, Vinyl, 100LB Pentair Sand Filter, 1HP, June 2012, TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Quote Originally Posted by April View Post
    Wow $1600.

    I use the TF100 with Speedstir and I spend a total of $150 a season for my pool. Listen to the experts they know what there talking about!
    If you've gone a season without any grief, you're an expert, April. You know it's really not that complicated, now.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    poolnoob.ca's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    Look for a date code like 15240. It means 2015 the 240th day.
    You won't find any 15240 yet as that would be produced on Aug 28, 2015, but anything after 15190 was produced since July 9, 2015, so would be less than a month old
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Sorry about that. I was just using an example code. Didn't mean to be that specific.
    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! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Thank for the advise! This is our 3rd season and the 2nd year we have spent that much with this store (they put in the pool as well).
    I think my husband went on Amazon and bought a a Taylor K-2006. We haven't got it yet. But, is this test kit going to work?

    I'm really curious to see what the test readings show. I'll post them as soon as I can. It sounds like I shouldn't trust the pool store readings, but the test strips are finally showing free chlorine. The pool is still cloudy.
    We cleaned out the bleach and Borax from our local Shopko and Bomgaar's.
    In ground 30,000 gallon vinyl pool that is 20ft x 40 ft with deep end 8.5ft (Pool store said 30,000 but PoolCalculator says 32,900). The sand filter is a Pentair Water Cristal-Flo II. The pump is Pentair Water IntelliFlo Variable Speed. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Montanaave's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Is there anyway to get around draining and refilling the pool? (We will be having to close it in a little over a month anyway due to Iowa weather) We have well water which I have had tested and it really isn't that hard, but am wondering if it is making the Calcium levels high? I would have to load water tanks and fill them in town to refill the pool with city water. This process really takes a lot of time. Is there anything that takes the CYA and CH levels down without refilling? Do you think when there is a loss of water due to activity that I should be filling with city water and not the well throughout the year?

    I got the new test kit (Taylor K-2006) and it is reading:
    FC - 3
    CC - 1.2
    PH - 7.4
    TA - 550
    CH - 340
    CYA - off the chart - way over 100 probably over 200

    Thanks for the help!!!!! I think that the pool store's Chlorine and endless stoking of Chlorine tables has made my CYA skyrocket.
    In ground 30,000 gallon vinyl pool that is 20ft x 40 ft with deep end 8.5ft (Pool store said 30,000 but PoolCalculator says 32,900). The sand filter is a Pentair Water Cristal-Flo II. The pump is Pentair Water IntelliFlo Variable Speed. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    The Calcium isn't even a problem as long as you keep your pH on the lower end of the desired scale.

    Are you *sure* you got 550 for TA?? Can you repeat that one for me?

    The best way to determine high levels of CYA is to take half pool water and an equal amount of tap water, mix this then use this water as your pool sample and repeat the test. Then double the results.

    Your CCs are high which mean you need to perform a SLAM procedure to rid the pool of contaminates. But first we need to determine if you're going to drain and refill and of the water due to the high CYA?

    ....and yeah... you spent a lot of moolah just to jack up those levels. Don't step foot in that pool store again if you can avoid it.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Montanaave's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    The pool is finally clear after using lots of gallons of bleach.

    I have tested my CYA with half tap then even 3x's the tap water and still it is coming up not even half way to the 100 mark. I have followed the directions, but now have now idea what the CYA is since I ran out of one the the regent bottles for the test. I did a SLAM last night and here are the number today:
    FC - 9.2
    CC - 1
    PH - 7.6
    TA - 540 (still - tried this twice with the 2 different levels 10mm and 25mm tests)
    CH - 310
    CYA - ? Way over 100!!!

    With not much of a season left in Iowa is it worth draining and refilling?
    Can we be swimming in it with CYA levels that high?
    How about the high TA?
    Is this water even safe even though it has cleared up?
    The pool store people came out and had taken a test but told me their reading of CYA was 60. How can my test say something so much different? I have got to say that this is the first time I have EVER had consistent PH readings after putting in 4 boxes of Borax. It has never held an acceptable PH level ever. It has always been really low.
    One more thing, should I be using Diatomaceous Earth for my sand filter?

    Thanks for the great advise! I have read many posts and have learned so much.
    In ground 30,000 gallon vinyl pool that is 20ft x 40 ft with deep end 8.5ft (Pool store said 30,000 but PoolCalculator says 32,900). The sand filter is a Pentair Water Cristal-Flo II. The pump is Pentair Water IntelliFlo Variable Speed. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Keep reading and be prepared to dump a large portion of your pool to get your CYA down. Not much you can do about TA. Your pool is safe to swim.

    Get out of the pool store forever by ordering a good test kit and letting us teach you how to manage your pool without spending all that money.

    DE should be about the last thing on your mind. That CYA is your issue that you need to address. Up to you whether you do it now or next Spring.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    OP has the K-2006, but has run out of CYA reagent, I believe.

    Original poster, you can order more of that particular reagent, from tftestkits, or from a variety of other sources.
    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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    Montanaave's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    I'm draining the pool today and am wondering if it is okay to refill with our well water?
    I tested the calcium hardness of the well water and got 300. It is not very hard and is good for drinking with very little to no iron.
    In ground 30,000 gallon vinyl pool that is 20ft x 40 ft with deep end 8.5ft (Pool store said 30,000 but PoolCalculator says 32,900). The sand filter is a Pentair Water Cristal-Flo II. The pump is Pentair Water IntelliFlo Variable Speed. Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Sounds fine. It is recommended draining so as to leave about a foot of water in the shallow end. That will help hold the liner in place. CH of 300 is fine for your pool. Little to no iron is a blessing!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    When you finish refilling, go ahead and test again and we'll help you get it all balanced.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    Is more CYA reagent on its way? We will need the new value based on YOUR testing.

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    Re: Help! Cloudy and not holding chlorine.

    You can order more CYA reagent from tftestkits.net or from Amazon like I did, and I got the 16 oz. It won't go bad if you keep it indoors in a cool, dark place. (I keep mine in my laundry room cupboard).( If you get the 8 oz CYA reagent from tftestkits, it will do more tests than it says in the description, because you have the K-2006 kit and the CYA test tube is smaller.)

    Just FYI:
    tftestkits has a great little item in their CYA 50ppm standard solution... It "trains" you to do the test correctly by allowing you to use it like an already mixed sample... you add it to the tube just like you are doing an actual test, and if you have done it correctly, then your result should be 50ppm. Easy-peasy.

    It sounds like you are the second person in the last couple weeks with a CYA of over 500! The first is in CA where they cannot drain their pool. So even though it is a pain, count your blessings that you have that option to drain and replace water.

    And the just because CYA level is sky high doesn't mean the pool water is unsafe... it's not the CYA that is the problem, it's that you need proportionally higher FC levels to go along with the CYA (FC should be at least 7.5% of the CYA, as your baseline-- this keeps your pool algae and pathogen free) And SLAMming (shocking) becomes next to impossible!

    The experts here will fix you up. Stay away from the pool store unless you have a list of targeted items that you can only get there... and don't talk to them except to get what's on your list and nothing else!!

    Go ahead and get more of the R0870 powder and the R0871 reagent now... cause you're gonna need it soon. You've seen how tiny the bottles are that came in your kit.

    I gotta say I would be incensed if I spent all that money on stuff they had me dump into my pool and then they told me I had to drain my pool after I had added all the stuff they said to! The cause of your insane CYA level is the advice of the pool store to keep dumping tons of shock in the pool. Every 10ppm of Cl the shock was supposed to contain-- it also added up to 9 ppm of CYA. Except for the LithHypo... which is the most expensive form of Cl on the market! And nothing about it makes it work any better. Once it is dissolved in the water it is just Cl... nothing special about it! Oh wait, it is special... it does a remarkable job of removing $$ from your wallet. ��


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