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Thread: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

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    Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    I'm new to TFP but I love what I'm learning. I need help! We let our pool go over the winter (I know, I know the pool owners cardinal sin) because it was in such bad shape by end of summer (spent a small fortune on chemicals and never got it right). So we gave up. NOW we have been diligently working on it taking it from swamp status to cloudy/murky/blue water. It is getting there, but still so frustrating because my pool store just said I have a chlorine demand and need to shock EVEN MORE (and I've been shocking the mess out of it)! So here is what we've done so far:

    drained the pool half way
    got a leaf rake and scooped out a TON of leaves
    scrubbed the vinyl walls with vinegar/water mixture (worked amazingly)
    refilled
    super shocked
    then we changed the sand in the filter
    Got a new skimmer basket
    have had to backwash several times because we believe sand sediment is coming out return
    shocked
    shocked some more
    added clarifier (to clump particles)
    went to pool store. Was told I needed stabilizer/conditioner/CYA because my chlorine was depleted
    put a whole bottle in plus three bags shock
    Now (about three days later) my CYA is registering 80 ppm (per Taylor test kit)

    That's when I called my pool store and she said that 80 is fine but I have a chlorine demand. I need help you guys! My kids are out of school next week and they are already driving me nuts about when they can swim!
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Hi Jana and welcome to TFP! Now repeat after me ........


    First & foremost you really must stop adding chemicals to the water based on pool store advice. They are obviously wrong and happy to take your money. You MUST have the right test kit and test the water yourself. See the TF-100 link below in my sig. With that kit, we can help YOU fix this, but you must have that kit and be prepared to perform a "SLAM" (link also below). Post a set of your own test results and you'll see how well this works. Nice to have you with us.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Thank you! I have a Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD chlorine test kit. I'm JUST learning how to use it and feel very in over my head. I got the CYA reading (yea me). Trust me, I WANT to stay out of the pool store. My question though ....if my CYA is registering high (per TFP standards) and I read that I shouldn't SLAM until that is lowered but that CYA really doesn't lower. What the heck am I supposed to do? < that is how I feel at this point

    - - - Updated - - -

    OH! and I've got to add, that I bought the ridiculously expensive Biogard Silk tabs for my skimmer (which I learned also has CYA) Should I stop using those. Go skeet shooting?
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    What's your CYA?

    Keep the tabs for vacations or stain removal.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
    Test Kits - Pool Math - Chlorine/CYA/Target/Slam Chart

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    No problem. Let's try to figure-out how high your CYA is with your K-2006. It would be best to try a CYA dilution test before anything else. Now these steps are for the TF-100 measuring tube, but you can improvise with your K-2006 7 & 14 lines:
    Add pool water to bottom of sticker.
    Add tap water to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Pour out half so mixture is to bottom of sticker.
    Add reagent to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Test outside with back to sun and tube at waist level.
    Pour back and forth a few times to see if you get the same result.
    Double the result.
    So try that first if you can and let us know what you get. If your CYA is really high (like over 90) it is best to lower that before doing anything else. But let's see what you come-up with first.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    My CYA is measuring 80 ppm per my Taylor kit.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you! Duly noted!
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Okay, well, 80 is not the worse. I was helping someone with that earlier. So you have two choices before we go any further Jana:
    1 - Prepare to SLAM the pool "as-is" right now at the CYA of 80. Once you get ready, it will require an FC of 31. Not impossible by any means, but I just want you to know it's a bit of bleach.
    2 - Do a partial water exchange. If you replaced about half the water, your CYA would be about 40. If you chose to replace 25% of the water, your CYA might be about 60 or so. So those would lower your required SLAM FC level.

    Make sense? That's really the first step. You let us know which way you wish to go, then post a full set of YOUR test results from that K-2006 and we'll guide you from there. Okay?
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Yes, makes perfect sense! Thank you!

    We are due for a couple of rainy days. Would that lower my CYA? Or should I go on and drain/refill?
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    The only way to lower CYA (and CH for that matter) is a water exchange. So if you can take advantage of Mother Nature's free water, that's great. Either way (clouds or hose) it won't have CYA in it. So I would recommend lowering anywhere from about 25% - 50%, whichever you are comfortable with and have the time to do. Lowering the CYA will make your future pool management MUCH easier. Then you know it will never go up again unless YOU want it to ... as long as you don't use any more of those pools store tabs or bags-o-shock. Those are very naughty.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Welcome. You've gotten great advice. Now that you've changed your sand, you never (ever) have to do it again.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Ok update: I have backwashed several times, lowering the water, and refilled with the hose (it never rains when you want it to) and just tested CYA. It is reading between 65-70, so it has come down. Is that good or should I keep trying to lower it?

    PS - Water is still cloudy but it is looking bluer and prettier (from a distance)
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    If your CYA is indeed 70, that's manageable. It's probably great for the summer sun, and for now (SLAM) will require a little more bleach. If you SLAM now, your FC level needs to be maintained at 28. Make sure to adjust pH to about 7.2 before increasing the FC though. Everything else you need in on the SLAM page. Should you decide to exchange a little more water to lower CYA more, that's certainly your call and will help lower the SLAM FC level to save some bleach, but either way will work. Good job lowering the CYA!
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Ok thank you! Now I've got to learn how to use the test kit to read my pH, etc. I appreciate the advice and I've also got to learn the BBB method. I've got some homework to do!
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Ok I'm learning on the Taylor test kit. My readings (best I think I did):

    FC 5
    CC 0.8 ppm
    TA 100
    CYA 65-70
    pH 7.2

    So I should add Borax to raise my pH a little right (about half box)? Then start SLAM process?
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Actually, leave the pH right where it is. It's perfect to start the SLAM. Just raise the FC with regular bleach to 28 and you're off & running ... or SLAMming.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Awesome! Just since backwashing/rinsing a bunch and refilling, I've noticed a BIG difference. Because I still can't see the bottom though, I decided to use the leaf rake again and boy did I stir it up. Apparently there was a pile of swamp nasty leaves in the bottom corner. And because I can't see, no telling how many more piles. So I'll be more diligent about that. And I just did four bottles of bleach (per pool math calculator).

    Thank you Thank you for all your advice!
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Nice! That's how it's done. Have a nice weekend.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Texas Splash you have been so helpful, so feel free to ignore my weekend question - but my water is STILL cloudy. So now I'm scratching my head because here are my readings:

    (After four bottles of bleach yesterday)

    FC 16
    pH 7.2
    CYA 60!
    TA 120

    I have vacuumed and nothing is coming out but clean water....but obviously particles are still floating in the water. Should I floc? I know that isn't recommended too much on here (and if I don't have to spend the money on it, I'm ok with that).
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    Ignore? .... NEVER! ha. One of the most important aspects of a SLAM is patience. A SLAM make take several days, so just give it time. Now that your CYA is 60, your FC SLAM level is 24, so increase your FC to 24 and try your best to keep it there day & night. Even if when the water clears, don't let-up until you pass ALL 3 SLAM criteria. No need to floc or try and miracle products that will only drain your pocketbook. The bleach will kill the algae, then the filter will eventually remove it. That's where the sweeping/brushing comes-in handy. Only backwash when your beginning clean pressure increases by 25%. Hang in there Jana. In a few days you will see the benefits of proper testing and maintaining that FC level. Have a nice weekend.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Cloudy Murky Water! Help!

    THANK YOU again! You are awesome! I appreciate the encouragement and will do all!
    Jana D

    Pool owner for six years. Above ground. 15 x 30 oval. Vinyl liner. About 12,000 gallons (per online estimation I found). Hayward pump/sand filter. Learning about the BBB method. Can't stand algae! New to test kits and learning those too!

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