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Thread: Cloudy blue water

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    Cloudy blue water

    We've had our 16x48 intex ultra frame pool for the last two years. We drain about half the water for the winter then refill in the spring. Last year when opening the pool I triple shocked it which got the water clear in a day or so. Then I vacuumed it and we were good to go. This year when I triple shocked it the water went from dark green to blue and very cloudy and has not cleared up. It's so cloudy you can't see more than a few inches into the water. I don't want to put the vacuum in it without seeing what I'm working with.

    I did realize after the fact that this year I put HTH "ultimate" 7 in 1 shock in it. I thought that's what I used last year but it was actually the "ultra". Could this be why my water is still so murky?

    I can't remember the exact values but when I checked the water the pH and alkalinity were both high and there was no free chlorine (even though the water smells strongly of chlorine). Everything else was in normal range. Is there anything I can do other than draining it and starting over? I feel lost!

    *********
    16x48 intex ultra set AG pool with an intex sand filter in central KS.

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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    Welcome to TFP!

    Since using that product, your CYA may be way too high therefore making your chlorine ineffective. This can allow algae to grow, and when it is killed off it makes the water look milky. Or, your pH may be off, which I see you are already aware of.

    Can you post your full set of test results?
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    smforte's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    Your water should never smell like chlorine. More than likely CC (combined Chlorine) is high. That's where the smell is from. Something in the water (more than likely algae) is causing that. Post a set of test results and if your water is cloudy you'll need to slam your pool. What test kit are you using?
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    I have the HTH 6 way test strips, probably not the best but it's all I've ever used in the past. I repeated it again and here are the results:

    TH 200
    FC 0
    pH 8.4
    TA 180 or 240 it was hard to tell
    CYA 30-50

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    You have a few issues to deal with. You can do it, but need to do it the TFP way.
    - "IF" correct, the pH is way too high. But I wouldn't use the strips. Wal-Mart has a cheap HTH "drop" test for pH/FC. Use that one. If pH is high (over 7.8) use muriatic acid to lower back to the mid-7s for now.
    - FC should never be zero. As soon as you adjust and verify the pH (let mix and test for 20 min), then increase FC to 5 ppm with regular bleach only. Do not add any other powders, shocks, tabs, nothing other than bleach. Add about 1/2 gallon each day.
    - You must get the right test kit. That HTH will only last a short time, and it doesn't test everything you need accurately. I recommend the TF-100 (link below) with speed stir. A great value that will last all season if not longer.

    Start on those things for now, post back and let us know if you have any questions or if water condition changes drastically. Remember, regular bleach is all you need (generic is fine). For dosage amounts, use the Poolmath Calculator (link below). It will eventually be your favorite tool.
    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: Cloudy blue water

    Welcome to TFP! Okay so the Pool School part of this website is amazing, and can all be read pretty fast. You should.

    I'm going to throw a lot at you, but please don't be discouraged. I just want you to have enough to work through when you have time, should you want to. It is what I wish I had been given on my first post

    That being said, in my opinion, go here first: Chlorine / CYA Chart (this tells you what your FC needs to be at based on your CYA in order to keep pool safe (target) and shock back to health when needed) A zero FC is always unsafe, even at zero CYA. So you're going to need to get some chlorine/bleach into that pool (unless you are using an alternative sanitizer) I suggest you to get the correct sanitizer in that pool ASAP.

    You will see that the exact amount of FC depends on the CYA in increments of 10. Your test gave us 30, 40, or 50 CYA, which means you're playing a guessing game with your money and health on sanitizer. Not fun. To solve this, TFP suggests you invest in one of these test kits that they've compared for you. It turns out that pretty much all other test kits leave you guessing on at least one thing. Gross. Pool stores also test water, but for a number of reasons, more often than not provide incorrect test results. Thus, they really can't be trusted if you're going to use the experts on this site. Only testing the water yourself with a suggested testing methods/kits will suffice for the TFP system to reasonably advise you on how to keep your pool safe and trouble free.

    I Know this is a lot to take in, I was new once too. I have never had a regret about switching from pool store/DIY guessing game to TFP. I've saved money, time, and never had a pool relapse. Crystal clear ever since. Love it.

    I love HTH. I love and highly endorse their Stabilizer when someone needs to up CYA. I love their ph & oto tests too. That being said, they don't sell an FAS-DPD test that is the only true test for FC. At a bare minimum, you'll need a standalone FAS-DPD test to end the guessing game of your pool sanitization. Depending on how accurate the HTH CYA test is, you might need that too.

    I do not suggest HTH solid shock though. It is expensive and slower acting compared to bleach/"liquid chlorine shock". Furthermore, as you could read here, the term shock isn't truly any one product, but rather a process. Most companies have just made it a marketing term and sales driver.

    This page lists the general info you could collect about your pool and pump/filter that would help all the experts really help you the most. Knowing that stuff would help them actually suggest which chemicals to add and you could use this calculator to determine the correct amount (with help from us if you had doubts)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Texas Spash is awesome btw, very lucky to have him in your thread!
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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    Thanks for all the info. I forgot to mention that we do have the Intex salt water system that will be turned on once we get the pool clean and clear. Does that change anything as far as adding bleach right now? The salt water pump is attached, but I haven't added salt to the pool yet so haven't turned it on. I'll try to spend some more time reading through pool school so I'll have a better understanding of the how's and why's.

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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    SWG (salt water generator) will reduce/maybe even virtually eliminate your regular bleach adds, except for when swimmers/nature generate higher FC demand than SWG adding daily. You can master that after we get you crystal clear, before you activate it. Congrats on having it though, that's a real $$$$$$ saver! I'll get one next year.

    For now though, pretend you don't have it.
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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    Yes we are glad that we have it too. From what I've heard it saves a lot on chemicals. As far as adding bleach, what's the best way to do it to avoid bleaching the liner and about how much should I expect to add in all? I'll need to stop at the store to stock up
    Central Kansas
    16' x 48" Intex Ultra AG with Intex Krystalclear sand filter and Krystalclear saltwater system.

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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    If you are going to follow the SLAM procedure, you never know, but the rule of thumb I've read is 4 times the amount required to bring you to shock FC level for your CYA.

    You can get that answer using CYA chart and pool math, then times that amount by 4. That's the minimum to have on hand so you don't have to run back to the store asap.

    Pour chlorine a couple inches above the water (so water doesn't splash into the containers), directly in front of the return eye (where filtered water shoots back into pool fast) very slowly so that it is wisked away by the water current and mixed fast. The slower you go, the less risk of a concentrated cloud surviving the pour into the pool since the return water is diluting it fast. No point to pouring slower than where an entire jug would take 2 whole minutes.

    WalMart 121 oz Great Value bleach 8.25% is usually around $3. Always very fresh and strong. Always a great choice. lots avail usually. more in back of store if shelf is empty often. Some Walmarts have Pool Essentials Liquid Chlorine Shock or some such wording in the garden center's pool corner/shelf, which is just 10% bleach in 128oz bottle, possibly for $2.50 on rollback if sale is still going. Great deal too if they have it.

    I've heard Meynards might have a sale on bleach or shock too. Aldi's is often competitive. Some lucky places have a *gulp* pool store that carries bulk 12.5% bleach in reusable 2.5 gallon jugs, but that is usually just places with lots of pools. You can always call and ask, it is often the cheapest that way, where available. Most pool stores just carry the 1 gallon jugs of 10% shock for like $3.75-$5. Horrible deal. Horrible.

    I want to stress one more time, that without a FAS-DPD test kit for FC and CC you will be GUESSING on how much to add. Risks are wasting money, damaging liner, wasting time, idk maybe others.

    Without a true CYA reading you don't truly know what your FC levels should be. Again, just rough guessing. So yeah, please consider a suggested test kit.

    That being said, adding a conservative amount daily until you get a test kit is always safe, since we know your pool would use 1-4ppm of FC a day just to be safe outside, and if yours has algae, it's more. Adding some daily now, amount can be discussed, will help to limit any growth and help to keep the water from getting really out of hand.
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    I picked up an HTH 6-way test kit. Here's what I got:

    Cl 0
    pH 8.2
    Alk 120
    TH 280
    CYA 0 (assuming that's what it means that the black dot in the bottom of the tube never disappeared when looking from the top).

    I also picked up some HTH liquid chlorinator 10%. I put roughly half a gallon in and left the filter running. I couldn't find any muriatic acid at 3 different stores so I grabbed the HTH pH decrease. Should I work on this now also or just get the chlorine where it should be before I tackle anything else?
    Central Kansas
    16' x 48" Intex Ultra AG with Intex Krystalclear sand filter and Krystalclear saltwater system.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    If you already added the chlorine, let it mix well for about 15-20 minutes, then add the pH decreaser. Once that mixes for about 15-20 minutes, test them both to confirm they are where you want them. Keep in mind you need stabilizer (CYA) to protect the FC from the sun. Use the Poolmath calculator to add about 30 ppm worth of stabilizer.
    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!

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    Ok I'm about at my witt's end. I'm still working on getting the pH lowered, but it's starting to come down. I've added a total of 4 gallons of 10% chlorine now without any change. Free chlorine was still 0 before I added another gallon this morning. The water is still very cloudy and blue. The bags of HTH ultimate shock that I put in the first day were blue so I'm thinking that's the source of my problems. If I do end up draining and refilling it, how much should I let out? The pool is about 3/4 full now with water just above the filter inlet.
    Central Kansas
    16' x 48" Intex Ultra AG with Intex Krystalclear sand filter and Krystalclear saltwater system.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    You're in a tough spot without the proper way to test FC above 5 ppm. The HTH kit won't go that high. If you can't order the entire TF-100 test kit, you should at least order the FAS-DPD portion separately as seen HERE. That way you can do the ammonia check and SLAM properly. There's just no way to do it if you can't test FC at 10 ppm or higher. I would hold-off on wasting too much money on anything else at this point. You can add one gallon of bleach to the water each day just to help keep it from getting any worse, then once you receive the FAS-DPD tester for Free Chlorine (FC) you can do this thing right. I don't want to see you guessing or getting frustrated. Even if you do a parital drain, you would still need to perform a SLAM to remove the residual algae.
    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 blue water

    Your money would be much better spent on the TF100 test kit than on the HTH (which I think only lets you test CYA a couple of times), so please consider that.

    Did your CYA sample turn cloudy at all? If so, and the dot never disappeared, you still have some CYA in the water, but it's less than 20.

    All the chlorine you're adding is getting consumed by sunlight and by killing organic material (algae, bacteria, etc). As long as your CYA is low, sunlight will continue to rapidly eat it, and as long as you're battling algae, that will consume it as well.

    Most drop tests only measure pH up to 8.2, so it could have been much higher, and may take longer to lower. I find muriatic acid in the paint department at my local home improvement stores. Once you get a pH reading below 8.2, you can accurately calculate the amount of acid to add to get your pH where it needs to be, with one dose of acid.

    Have you read pool school and gotten familiar with Pool math?

    If you continue to get us accurate test results and have some patience, the members of this site can get you through this.
    Pool/Equipment: 20'x52" round Intex Ultra Frame AGP (~8,800 gallons)--Intex SWCG (CG-28669, 15K gallon model)--Intex Sand Filter Pump (SF60110, 16", 120lbs sand, 3K gph)--Hayward SP1091LX Through-Wall Skimmer--Hard Plumbing--Taylor K-1766 Salt Test Kit--TF-100 Test Kit

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    Please don't jump to any drastic action except investing in a suggested test kit.

    It's only been 4 days since you bought your test kit. Is returning it an option? Would you be willing to try? As for why, how about because it is unable to test your water correctly. There was no warning on the outside that it only works up to 10 parts per million. If you get a refund you could apply that to a test kit with FAS-DPD, an extremely reliable CYA, calcium to eliminate that as a source of clouding, in addition to ph, ta, etc.

    I promise we wouldn't ask you to buy anything we had doubts about. We want you to have as thrifty a pool as humanly possible. TFP uses test kits that are SO good it eliminates guessing from pool maintainece. PoolMath (when used with true test data) ensures we only put what our pools need in them. None of us have the time or money to blindly throw money at the pool without results.

    Please, don't drain or add any chemicals (because a gallon of bleach a day) unless you are sure you need them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also roughly how much of what have you used to lower ph so far?
    If I was effective, and your pool makes you smile, please make me smile and CLICK HERE to Become a TFP Supporter!
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    Re: Cloudy blue water

    Update!! Hubby and I decided that we weren't getting anywhere with our murky blue water situation (which I am still crediting to the "ultimate 7 in 1 shock" that I put in it. Back washing and rinsing the sand kicked out water that looked like light blue milk. I went ahead and hooked up the vacuum and vacuumed to waste which pulled out a lot of green. I got as much as I could and started to refill it. Once it was filled I added chlorine and CYA. Vacuumed again yesterday and now have a pretty blue pool again. I am ordering the better test kit but it's not here yet. Here's today's with the HTH:

    FC 5
    pH 7.8
    Alk 210
    TH 350?
    CYA 20-30 (I realize this one isn't probably accurate but the dot did disappear this time when it didn't before)

    TH was tricky today. The water didn't turn red when I added the hardness indicator like it did last time. It turned yellow and I tried it twice. It took 35 drops of titrant to turn light blue.

    FC is a little high because I wasn't paying close enough attention and accidentally added too much yesterday. Sun is out and the CYA is on the low side so I'm hoping it eats some of it up today to bring it down. I also added a tad bit more ph decreaser this morning.

    The other thing I've noticed was last year we had issues with the pesky backswimmer bugs. I just couldn't get rid of them. They're dropping like flies now!!

    Thanks everyone for your input! I'm thankful I found this site!
    Central Kansas
    16' x 48" Intex Ultra AG with Intex Krystalclear sand filter and Krystalclear saltwater system.

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