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Thread: Question about Water Clarity

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    Question about Water Clarity

    Hi All,

    I've searched around a bit but can't seem to find anything in Pool School in regard to the causes of (slightly) cloudy water.

    My issue is that my pool, whilst relatively clear, doesn't seem to be as "crystal clear" as it used to be and I was just wondering what potential causes might be. Obviously filter issues are one, but given my cartridge filter is a new install, I doubt that's the issue. What are the potential other causes? CYA/FC ratio?

    My latest results are:

    FC: 4.5
    CC: 0
    TA: 75
    CH: 350
    pH: 7.6
    CYA: 75
    Salt: 7000

    Any suggestions welcome!
    60,000 litre (16,000gal), IG, Pebble, Cartridge Zodiac CS150, Haywood Super II Pump, SWG, Zodiac Robotic CX20, K-2006C Test Kit

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    I think the first thing to try and rule out is an algae bloom. If you run an OCLT this will either confirm the presence of organics or not.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    Jazza has you covered. Here is a link to how to do a OCLT:

    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    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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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    I agree. With a CYA of 75 (rounded up to 80) your target FC would be 6, with the absolute lowest being 4. You were pretty close there already from your test. The OCLT would've been my next course of action as well.
    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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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    Ratboy,

    You say your cartridge filter is new.. Did you used to have a DE filter? If so, I find that DE filters give the water a sparkle that the cartridge just do not do.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    Filter wars!!

    OCLT tonight?
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    Yeah, I have sparkly water and a cartridge filter ... just sayin!
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    We shouldn't jump to a filter issue without ruling out other issues, namely Algae. It doesn't sound like the OP is talking about minor variations.
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    So I've figured something out... On a retest this morning my FC level is way down (0.8), and I'm hoping it's because I turned the salt cell down, and not some other reason. I loaded the pool up with chlorine to get FC back towards 5. The pool is looking clearer already. Once I've got a steady chlorine level I'll do an OCLT.

    Another interesting thing I discovered is that with FC at 0.8, CYA increased from a previous test of 75 to a result this morning of 90 - or is that just test variation?

    Jim R - I used to have a sand filter (that spat most of the sand into my pool ) - the differences with clarity have all been with the new cartridge filter, so it's not a filter change issue.
    60,000 litre (16,000gal), IG, Pebble, Cartridge Zodiac CS150, Haywood Super II Pump, SWG, Zodiac Robotic CX20, K-2006C Test Kit

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    I'd just try and get your FC level up to about 10 and then perform the OCLT, the sooner you can confirm the clearer your next plan of attack should be. I'm sort of assuming if you have a reading of 0.8 which is is quite low from possibly 5ish taken late yesterday then algae could be it.

    Your higher CYA reading is likely from a testing variation - it is around +/- 15 error range when you take the reading.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    You are now exhibiting two classic symptoms of an algae bloom. Lower than expected chlorine and cloudy water. Algae is likely consuming your chlorine which can be confirmed by OCLT. But that must be done with the SWG off. We recently revised the process to not require raising FC to 10 ppm prior to beginning the test. FC of 3 ppm or greater is sufficient. What is most important is accuracy of the test sample size and making sure to hold the bottle vertically and form good drops. Consistency from test to test is also an important aspect.

    More here, Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    Maybe I'm in denial - but would you expect the clarity to significantly improve when I raise the FC level to 5 if I had an algae bloom?

    Will run the OCLT tonight.....
    60,000 litre (16,000gal), IG, Pebble, Cartridge Zodiac CS150, Haywood Super II Pump, SWG, Zodiac Robotic CX20, K-2006C Test Kit

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    Unfortunately, if a bloom is in the making, a short burst of FC won't resolve the problem. Algae is just that stubborn. Performing the OLCT would be your best approach as noted by pooldv. The results of that OLCT will confirm whether you have algae or not.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    I noticed you reported an FC of 0.8. Just in case you are not aware of this, you can do your FC and CC tests with a 10ml sample and multiply your drop count by 0.5. It will save on reagents.

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    When we fill our pool in the spring with clean cartridge filters I add one dose of water clarifier to the water. Seems to help get the filters going,
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    So.....the OCLT results are in. Last night at 8pm FC=6.2ppm, this morning at 6am FC=5.2. That's a loss of 1.0 - and according to the test that means I should be OK.....just! Or is it too close, and I should be worried?

    wjr75 - in terms of clarifier, is that just a pool shop purchase, or is there a cheaper alternative? Is this just for new cartridges? Mine is about 4 months old.

    Again - thanks heaps for all the advice here!
    Last edited by Ratboy; 03-03-2016 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Additional question added.
    60,000 litre (16,000gal), IG, Pebble, Cartridge Zodiac CS150, Haywood Super II Pump, SWG, Zodiac Robotic CX20, K-2006C Test Kit

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    There is generally no need, or even benefit, from adding clarifier. Not to dispute the good luck wjr75 has had with them, but the anecdotal evidence of "seems to help get the filters going" is not the type of science based advice the forum generally follows.

    Clean cartridge filters alone, with properly maintained water, will be plenty sufficient to obtain/maintain sparkly water. If it has gone off of sparkly, a SLAM will return it to that state.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    I was just pointing out that it had helped me in the beginning of the season not that I use it all the time. I'm an Engineer and after reading a lot about other scientific stuff over the years a clarifier that is a coagulant helps clump finer particles together which may help in filtering. I have my pool power washed every spring so this seems to help getting rid of any plaster residue. I have also heard people add some DE powder to both a cartridge filter and also a sand filter to get similar results. I have not tried this out ever on my cartridge filter.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    Fair enough. After all, understanding what goes in and why/what it does +/- is the key.

    Does seem like a SLAM is in order in this case before trying a clarifier though, as OP is on the edge of not passing the OCLT (with a loss of 1.0), AND has cloudy water.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Question about Water Clarity

    I agree. I would slam.

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