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Thread: Help with cloudy water

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    MediumMo's Avatar
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    Help with cloudy water

    New pool owner confused about dealing with cloudy water. Thanks in advance for any and all advice! I've been reading the forum and following the tips but not sure what my problem is here. The pool math calculator (which I love BTW) tells me all is well. Any ideas?

    FC 4
    CC 0
    CH 350
    TA 100
    CYA 50
    pH 7.5
    Temp. 81F
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Your FC is at the absolute minimum. I would venture to guess it has dropped below that recently and that you have a bloom starting. Do you know how to slam?

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    +1 on what Marian said. That is my thoughts as well.

    Hello MediumMo, and welcome to TFP,

    Well for the most part your numbers don't look too bad. The only thing I'm curious about is the FC being at the minimum for your current CYA level. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock With it being at the bare minimum it can easily drop below the minimum which can cause you some problems if/when it does which might in fact be what has already happened. The 1st thing I'd suggest is to raise your Target FC up to at least the upper half for your CYA level per chart above, so Target for 6ppm, and you can even target slightly more if you'd like say 7, or 8ppm and see if that doesn't help clear the cloudiness up for you. I'm just hoping the FC level has not dropped below the minimum for any period of time and that you aren't seeing the early signs of an algae bloom going on, but I suspect that is exactly what is going on. The CC of 0 looks promising that whatever it is you have found it early, and it can hopefully be easily fixed.

    Have you attempted to do an OCLT-overnight chlorine loss test http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...loss-test-oclt.

    Go ahead now, and raise your chlorine level to at least 6ppm.

    At bedtime (and at least 30 mins after adding any chlorine) check both your FC and your CC levels and Document those as you nighttime levels
    Then in the morning before the sun is hitting directly on the pool again retest the FC, and CC levels and that is your morning level.

    The cloudy water tells us there is something going on in there, and you may fail to pass OCLT because of it. What you are hoping to see is an overnight loss of chlorine of 1.0ppm or less, and a CC level of 0.5ppm or less. The OCLT should tell us if there is algae or organics in there depleting your chlorine.

    So try to do an OCLT tonight if you can, tomorrow night if you can't do it tonight, and let's see if that will show us if you have a potential algae problem going on in there. If it is algae a SLAM- shock level and maintain will be in order to kill it out. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    I hope this helps, and have a wonderful night.
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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    An OCLT done at lower than shock level is no guarantee, however. If you do the OCLT at lower levels, be sure to use the 25ml water sample in your vial.

    Cloudiness (or visible algae) is not a part of PoolMath, btw. If you're cloudy, it's symptomatic of something wrong. Usually it's chemistry.

    Also, because of the margin of error with testing, maintaining minimum FC levels is very risky.

    I suggest that you also check out bleach/liquid chlorine prices in your area for the best deal on fresh stuff. I do this routinely everywhere I shop.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    You're exactly right on the FC. Yesterday it was at 0.5 and the water looked good, well Ok. Punched in my numbers on the PoolMath calculator and it told me to add bleach which I did. Well you saw my latest results. I definitely have a lot to learn but have been reading up on the SLAM process just in case. A trip to walmart is my first stop in the morning as I only have 2 gallons of bleach on hand. Thank you!
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    If you do need to SLAM you'll also need to use Muriatic Acid to lower your pH to around 7.2ppm before you raise your FC levels above 10ppm because the pH reading once the FC level is at 10ppm or more isn't accurate (it reads higher than it actually is), so it's always recommended that the pH be adjust before the SLAM begins if it needs to be.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Thanks for your reply, I truly need all the help I can get!
    since it's 1:30 in the am here I guess I should wait for tomorrow to do the OCLT. I have 2 gallons of bleach on hand and as tempting as it seems I think I should wait until I can get to the store and pick up more bleach rather than toss those 2 gallons in now. I will keep you posted!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just stocked up on the acid so I'm good to go there at least!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I do have a couple doses of Shock-N-Swim on hand. Is it worth it to throw that in for tonight or not?
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    It's 1:30 here too. You shouldn't need to toss in 2 gallons of bleach to raise from 4 to 6 anyway. It will only be 38 ounces of 10%, or 44 ounces of 8.25% to try to keep it above minimum for the night and hopefully be able to check OCLT. As Marian said OCLT at lower levels aren't always accurate but hopefully it will tell us what we need to know. But if you rather try it tomorrow night instead that's fine, but I suspect a SLAM is going to be in order.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh NO, please don't use any powdered shocks, pucks, etc. use only regular Household Liquid Bleach (do NOT use low splash or splash less though), or you can use Liquid shock. The active ingredient needs to be Sodium Hypochlorite ONLY.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Oh boy. I really need to work on my patience...after reading about algae blooms multiplying so fast I decided to throw a pouch of HTH shock in the pool. I'll run all the tests again tomorrow and re post my results then. I feel stupid that I didn't wait for your reply. Lesson learned. I need to order a whiteboard from Amazon to keep track of all the lessons I've learned recently
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Hello MediumMo and welcome to the forum.

    There seems to to be a bit of confusion in this thread as far as the OCLT goes. The only requirement to pass the OCLT is that the overnight loss needs to be 1.0ppm or less. Cloudy water is irrelevant to the OCLT.

    It is best to raise your pool to the proper shock level per your CYA at the start of the OCLT. Don't start the test based on the amount of chlorine added alone, start with an actual test result 30 minutes after your last chlorine addition, after the sun is down and the pump has been running since the addition. Test again in the morning before the sun is on the pool. Try to get at least 8 hours of overnight between tests. Keep your pump running overnight, and the pool should remain uncovered. If you fail the OCLT, add enough chlorine to get back to shock level and start your SLAM. It's ok to go a couple of ppm above shock level in anticipation of any losses, especially during the day.

    I recommend you stock up on bleach. If your FC has indeed been at or below the minimum and your water is cloudy you will absolutely need to SLAM. With the addition of the HTH SuperShock your CYA is most likely closer to 60ppm, which will require a FC of 24ppm to be maintained for the duration of the SLAM.

    Dom
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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    I have to agree with Dom about the OCLT. You want that FC at or close to your SLAM level when you start the test. It will be more reliable that way. It's tough to not grab pool products off the shelf, especially if at the pool store, but try to resist. The side effects can really mess you up. Stick to the basic items you learn here (regular bleach, acid, etc) and your water will be just fine. Wal-Mart's "Great Value" or HEB's "Bravo" are fine. Once you confirm the status of your water by doing the OCLT, we can help you with the SLAM as necessary. One thing at a time.

    If you don't mind, there's something else I wanted to share as a fellow FB pol owner (totally un-related to your cloudiness), but only because I'm battling it right now thought you should know. When you have time, do this little experiment as a learning tool. Go to the Poolmath calculator and look at the CSI row (3rd from the bottom). With your current test numbers, it may show something like .09. Now the experiment ... watch that CSI number as you increase pH and/or TA a bit. Just try it. Watch how quickly that CSI number rises when you let pH go up, or let TA go up. When the CSI gets close to or over .6, you can get scale in your pool. It's not an issue for you right now, but because you are learning, I just wanted you to be aware that it can happen to you because it happened to me - even in our FB pools. So every once in a while, take a peek at that CSI number once all your tests are loaded. As long as you never let the pH or TA creep-up on you, you will be fine. Just a good thing to know.
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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by MediumMo View Post
    You're exactly right on the FC. Yesterday it was at 0.5 and the water looked good, well Ok. Punched in my numbers on the PoolMath calculator and it told me to add bleach which I did. Well you saw my latest results. I definitely have a lot to learn but have been reading up on the SLAM process just in case. A trip to walmart is my first stop in the morning as I only have 2 gallons of bleach on hand. Thank you!
    If you can recall, what exactly happened during the few days before to lead the FC to drop to 0.5? Taking a step back, and troubleshooting, can be a savior for next time. For example, any time there is swimmer activity, I always add enough liquid chlorine to raise by a few PPM. Test before and after.

    In my pool, based on the amount of people and the time, I have a sense of how much extra to add. If it is only my children, then I usually do nothing. If 6 young children and 8 adults are in the pool on a hot day for at least 4-6 hours, my TC consumption could be another 2-3 ppm per day. Most people add liquid chlorine after levels have dropped, and not necessarily before. The worst thing that could happen is that you are over by a few ppm, way under SLAM level and you can skip a day and allow the chlorine to burn off.

    At least now you are ready for the SLAM as you have the best test kit on the street. Keep us posted!
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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post

    If you don't mind, there's something else I wanted to share as a fellow FB pol owner (totally un-related to your cloudiness), but only because I'm battling it right now thought you should know. When you have time, do this little experiment as a learning tool. Go to the Poolmath calculator and look at the CSI row (3rd from the bottom). With your current test numbers, it may show something like .09. Now the experiment ... watch that CSI number as you increase pH and/or TA a bit. Just try it. Watch how quickly that CSI number rises when you let pH go up, or let TA go up. When the CSI gets close to or over .6, you can get scale in your pool. It's not an issue for you right now, but because you are learning, I just wanted you to be aware that it can happen to you because it happened to me - even in our FB pools. So every once in a while, take a peek at that CSI number once all your tests are loaded. As long as you never let the pH or TA creep-up on you, you will be fine. Just a good thing to know.
    Thank you for this-great info!
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by Catanzaro View Post
    If you can recall, what exactly happened during the few days before to lead the FC to drop to 0.5?
    In the days previous the pH was going up so I added acid. Then Cl started going down so I added bleach. 1 or 2 adults in the pool for an hour or so.
    Since I added the shock last night the water has cleared up considerably. I can see the drains in the deep end. But it seems I'm skating on the edge here so I plan to do,the OCLT tonight and prepare to slam.
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Hello MediumMo and welcome to the forum.

    There seems to to be a bit of confusion in this thread as far as the OCLT goes. The only requirement to pass the OCLT is that the overnight loss needs to be 1.0ppm or less. Cloudy water is irrelevant to the OCLT.

    It is best to raise your pool to the proper shock level per your CYA at the start of the OCLT. Don't start the test based on the amount of chlorine added alone, start with an actual test result 30 minutes after your last chlorine addition, after the sun is down and the pump has been running since the addition. Test again in the morning before the sun is on the pool.

    Dom
    Ok, let me make sure I understand this. This evening I test chlorine and CYA, then add bleach to come up to shock value as per the chart and based on CYA. Run pump 30 minutes and test chlorine again. That's my starting value. Then run pump overnight and test again first thing the next morning. If the loss is greater than 1ppm then I start the slam. Is that it?
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    That's correct! Make sure to test in the morning before the sun hits the water.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Relieved that you are doing the OCLT at shock level! I might suggest also waiting an hour after adding chlorine to do your testing. We want to make sure that it is completely mixed. The protocol is to wait "at least" 30 minutes. Good luck!

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Thank you all for your help!
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Well it took me an extra day to do the OCLT but started it this evening. FC was at 4.5 and CYA was at 50. The pool calculator told me to add 344 oz of 8.25% bleach which I did. Waited an hour or so with pump running and re tested. Now FC is at 30ppm instead of the 20 I was shooting for. I'm not sure what I did wrong. Am I relying too much on the pool math calculator? Or maybe I'm off on my pool water volume. The previous owner said he thought it held 13000 or 14000 gallons but the formula for my pool depth said 17,500. I kind of split the difference at 15,000 gallons for my measurements.
    Regardless, I'm going ahead with the OCLT even at the high FC levels. Any thoughts?
    15,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward Star Clear Plus cartridge filter with 1-1/2 HP two speed Hayward Super2 pump; TF-100 test kit w/speedstir.

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    Re: Help with cloudy water

    Be sure to get up early before the sun hits your pool to test FC/CC. I will think on your FC jump. Is there a 5 digit code on the jugs? Are they 128oz?

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