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Thread: On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks


    Long time reader first time poster. I finally have an issue I can't seem to figure out after hours and days (literally) searching this forum and others and trying almost everything I can think of.

    First, the basics
    16ft Vynl Intex
    5,500 gal (approx)
    SWG with cartridge Filter (1,500 gal/hr)
    Lamotte ColorQ 2056 testing kit

    The background:
    3 weeks ago I did my weekly maintenance - my pool was crystal clear and a very nice shade of blue my numbers were:

    FC: 7.1
    TC: 7.1
    PH: 7.4
    ALK: 80
    CH: 150
    CYA: 20

    Based on this, I went to increase my CH and ALK. Looking back I probably added too much CH in one shot: 64oz (Calcium Chloride). I pre-diluted but I do remember it frothing which I thought was unusual.

    Once I dumped that in, I also pre-diluted and added Sodium Bicarbonate (alk increaser): 16oz

    I realize my CYA was low but I have yet to see it prove itself as a worth while ingredient with a SWG that is producing chlorine every night - this is where I may be mistaken?

    I then ran the pump all night (10hrs)

    When I woke up, the pool was milky. Stuck hand in and could hardly see hand 4inches below the water.

    So, I tested:
    FC: 7.0
    TC: 7.0
    PH: 7.6
    ALK: 123
    CH: 200
    CYA: 20

    This began the three week period of struggling to clear the cloudy water.

    In the following order I tried:
    1) reducing PH to 7.4
    2) Running pump for 72 hours, changing cartridge filter for new one or washing off existing one every 12 hours
    3) pool clarifier added
    4) Turning pump off for 24 hours - pool cleared but left white chemical looking stuff at bottom - went to vacuum and the return jet was returning white clouds again
    5) Shocked Pool twice in a row
    6) removing 1/8th of the pool water and replacing it - the water that came out left white chalky dry substance on my blacktop driveway when the water evaporated.
    7) continued running pump and back washing cartridges. There were period where cartridges were full of milky water and other times when they werent.

    During the three week period the only times the pool became somewhat transparent was when whatever was in the water settled to the bottom. a white checmically looking substance (super dust) Then was stirred back up into a cloud when I went to vacuum.

    I read about "Vacuum to waste" but with an intex filter system and a very long haul from my pool to a place where draining that much water quickly wasnt going to cause damage preventing this option from being feasible. I dont think my pump would handle pushing water through a garden hose (which when connecting two together DOES reach a good area but I use the siphon method to drain pool).

    Readings as of this writing:
    FC: 6.4 (I had turned SWG down a bit...)
    TC: 6.4
    PH: 7.6
    ALK: 120
    CH: 186
    CYA: 18

    Any thoughts? Am I going to have to drain the pool or figure out a way to vacuum to waste? At that point I just might drain the pool and close it for the season (Live in North East) which would be a shame..

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry
    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks

    Welcome to the forum.

    I don't know where "melville" is but most of the US has water rates of about $5/k gallons. Drain your pool, rinse it thoroughly and then refill for about $25 bucks.

    I have no idea what the stuff is you are seeing but I do know that intex pump will never get it out. Intex pumps barely keep up with a crystal clear pool and simply do no have the "oomph" to clean a contaminated pool.

    Next, read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. You have some misconceptions about CYA and TA. That article will get you headed down the right path.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    TFP Guide
    YippeeSkippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    'burbs of Augusta, Georgia

    Re: On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks

    First thought- ditch the LaMotte tester and get one of the recommended tester kits (either the TF-100 or the Taylor's K2006)

    Second thought- Why are you adding calcium to a vinyl pool? None needed. Save your money

    Third thought- For a pool your size draining is always the fastest option.... how feasible is this? A simple cheap sump pump will do the job pretty well.

    Random thoughts- For a SLAM to be effective, one has to reach a prescribed level of FC (based on the CYA level) and then MAINTAIN it as long as it take until water entirely clear and confirming the algae is dead and gone with an OCLT (Overnight Chlorine Loss Test) and no more than 0.5ppm Combined Chloramines (CCs)

    Did you do all that?
    12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub. Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Columbia, SC

    Re: On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks

    Welcome to TFP!

    Dave has pointed you in the right direction, but I thought I'd reinforce a couple of,things you said in your post that concern me:

    You said "3 weeks ago I did my weekly maintenance" - our recommendation is daily maintenance. Too much can happen in a week. After a while you may back off to every 2 or 3 days for testing, but a week is too long.

    So far we have not had a poster who,has had long term positive results with the ColorQ. Do not confuse the specificity of the result it gives you with accuracy. There was a recent ColorQ user who tested the same sample of water three times in a row and came up with three different sets of results. We have found drop based testing using Taylor reagents to be the most accurate and repeatable testing.

    Your comments and how you are phrasing things lead me to believe you are trying to mix pool store recommendations (like to increase CH on a vinyl pool) and TFP recommendations. It doesn't work. You will end up frustrated and with a cloudy pool.

    CYA is a necessity. If the sun shines on your pool you have to protect the chlorine. With CYA less than 20 your chlorine probably has a half life in full sun of about an hour. So, if you start with FC 10, an hour later you have five, an hour later you have 2.5 and so on through the day. Your Intex SWG can't keep up.

    At this point I think a drain/refill would be the most expedient and cost effective cure.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Re: On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks

    Thanks for all of the quick replies!

    I'm not sure where LaMotte is getting a bad name but I've found it to be very close to my TF-100 such that I started using the LaMotte more frequently. I know at one point they had a bad set of regents that were sold with them causing poor readings. I must have purchased mine after the fact (this season)?

    Looks like I have some reading to do re: CYA, TA and SLAM-ing.

    I don't have a pump but I know Harbor Freight has a few cheap ones I could use.

    Does anyone here think it's worth the investment in a proper sand filter? Regardless of this issue, would a 16' intex that may be up for the next 2 seasons (max) be worth it? If so does anyone have any recommendations? I dont want to spend an arm and a leg.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks

    The intex sand filters are a big upgrade from the Intex cartridge filters. Lots of people here use them and are happy with the results.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  7. Back To Top    #7
    TFP Guide
    PAGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Central PA

    Re: On & Off Cloudy Water for 3 weeks

    I got my sand filter on clearance a few years ago. Check and Amazon frequently.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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