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Thread: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

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    Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    I'm new to this forum so I'll try to make this as easy as possible. I have a 30' round above ground pool with a sand filter and swg. This is our 4th summer with this pool and the first year I've had any problems. We have no trees in the area so during winter we just drain past the plumbing and refill the next year. Every other year our filter has had the water clear in 3 days and all that's left is balancing. This year the water never cleared. It is a beautiful shade of aqua blue but u can barely see the second step on the stairs. There is also serious scale build up on everything and u can see particles in the water. Also had at least an inch thick layer of algae on the bottom. In the beginning water balance was spot on. We've tried clarifier first, then extremely low ph and high chlorine, still nothing so then vacuumed out all algae (still not being able to see what I'm walking in) then used algaecide and flocculant. Still nothing although I'm no longer getting clouds of brown nastiness when I brush. I have no idea what's going on. Tried getting help from hth and our local pool store. Everyone has different ideas but nothing is working. Please help.
    This morning's test results: (using test strips so I'll try to be as accurate as I can get with these numbers)
    Th:200
    Fc:8 (i did just shock)
    Ph:7.2
    Ta:40
    Cya:30 maybe lower

    Please note we were running alkalinity low in preparation for adding borates from a previous post on this forum that I was really excited to try this year

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    Welcome to TFP!

    We generally won't even hazard a guess with test strips because they are so,bad. You are missing the CH reading which is the level of calcium, which causes scale.

    You need to get an accurate test kit like,the TF-100.

    Check this out: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    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

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    I cannot afford a better test kit atm unfortunately


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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    Welcome to TFP.

    I can understand your frustration. But buying a good test kit will save you money in the long run because with a bit of studying in pool school you can learn to take care of your own chemistry without guessing and without blindly opening your wallet at the pool store. That's what we advocate here.....understanding what your pool needs and only adding what is needed which often is as simple as bleach and baking soda. Have you looked at pool school? There is a link at the top of the web page. Here is a link to ABC's of water chemistry. Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    That is a good starting place.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    Aimee has hit the nail on the head. We believe with an accurate test kit and a little guidance we can teach folks to maintain their pools using generic equivalents instead of expensive pool $tore chemicals. In the long run you will,save money.
    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

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    I'm not trying to be rude. I'm grateful for the advice. But I'm not buying a new test kit yet and I do have a basic knowledge on how to maintain my pool. I just need some help understanding what this particular problem is. We had a thorough test done at the pool store and results were very close to what I had today. So please just tell me if you have an idea that we haven't thought of yet. We did just replace the sand. Is it possible it made it into the pool?


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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    Nope, new sand isn't causing it. But, I wish you would have found us sooner as we don't generally recomend sand replacements. Pool stores,recomend it because they sell sand. It doesn't wear out. We clean it for free. Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    I can tell you you have a chemical imbalance. The problem is that without numbers we know we can trust it's impossible to hazard a guess.
    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

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    Well.....first things first. You've already spent unnessary funds on algaecide and flocculant. If you have algae algaecide will not kill it. We rarely reccomend algaecide because at best it is only a preventative measure that isn't necessary in a properly chlorinated pool. At worst you could be adding metals to your water depending on what product you used.

    If you have algae, you need to SLAM your pool.

    Shock
    Level
    And
    Maintain

    That means you need to bring chlorine up to shock level for your CYA and KEEP it there until water is clear. We reccomend getting a test kit because a regular drop test or a strip will not measure chlorine as high as you need to be able to read it to properly complete SLAM. We also reccomend testing your own water because the key measurement to understand how much chlorine you need is your CYA which is the test the pool stores most often get wrong.

    So that is your starting advice for what is going on without having properly measured to results. You certainly don't need to get a test kit if you want to continue spending money on products like algaecide and floc which we woul almost never reccomend. And the pool store will test your water for free and reccomend those products.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    We already tried high chlorine for a 3 day time period. I'm fairly certain there is nothing left alive in the pool. I just can't seem to get the particles to filter out. Someone else suggested turning our vacuum upside down and letting it sit at the bottom of the pool to see if we can get it to pull those particles to the middle and down. I'm gonna give it a shot since it wouldn't hurt. I can't remember the exact number for calcium on the test we had done but I remember it was on the high side but still within range.


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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    Jami, to use your words - not trying to be rude, but you don't want to listen to what we have to say. That's fine. It's your pool and you have to be comfortable with the advice you are going to follow.

    I can guess that you use solid forms of chlorine to chlorinate your pool. Probably 3" tabs and a bag or two of shock each week because that's what the pool store said to do. What they don't tell you is that solid forms of chlorine are almost half stabilizer, also known as CYA. Stabilizer protects the chlorine from the sun, but it also inhibits the chlorines ability to do its job. So, the higher the CYA the higher the level of chlorine you need to keep algae away. You are just about on schedule for pools in northern climates. The CYA has built up for a few years and now can't do its job. How high it is and the solution requires testing. Your high chlorine for a few days won't cut it. I'm sure you have lots of algae in there. Yup, with our test kit you can prove/disprove the presence of algae, even algae you can't see. You don't want to believe it and get a test kit so you can fix your pool. Again, that is your decision.

    I can tell you, our system is followed by tens of thousands of people. Most of them showed up here just like you. Unless you are willing to listen and follow what we recomend there is not much we can do to help.
    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

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    To prevent scale maintain your CSI slightly negative, -0.1 to -0.3. Poolmath will calculate your CSI for you after you enter the test results. Tweak PH, TA and CH to adjust the number.

    More on scale, Pool School - Calcium Scaling
    More on CSI, Langelier and Calcite Saturation Indices (LSI and CSI)
    How to use Poolmath, Pool School - PoolMath
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    +1 on tims advice.

    I'd only add that you said you are "fairly certain" there is nothing left alive in your pool. With a fas-dpd chlorine test kit you can do and overnight chlorine loss test (OCLT) to confirm. Chlorine is consumed by organic matter (like algae) and sunlight. By doing an OCLT you take sunlight out of the equation. But you need a proper test kit for that.

    We aren't trying to point you in any wrong direction. Anyone here trying to give advice is doing so based on understanding the chemistry of our pools. We would very rarely reccomend any expensive pool store product. Ph up= soda ash found in the laundry isle of your grocery. TA increase=baking soda. Chlorine= plain unscented bleach.

    As I said earlier, the pool store WILL test your water for you free...and sell you any number of products to put in your pool. What we all do is diagnose our own issues and add what we know will correct the problem. We all take care of things this way. We Know from science and experience that knowing your CYA number with accuracy is key to knowing chlorine requirements for either maintenance or clearing problems. Experience from testing that ourselves and comparing to pool store results tells us stores simply get this number wrong. Nobody will care as much about getting numbers correct but you the owner. At least in my case.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    Pool store test results were very close to the ones I posted. Cya is low 20-30. Using liquid chlorine 9.5%. Calcium was within range but on the high side. Maybe pictures will help


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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale




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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale




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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    U can see the stuff settling in the bottom of the glass


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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    After reading through all the replies I agree I may have to get a better reading on calcium. It will just have to wait


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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy blue pool water leaving scale

    So, in order to determine if there is algae growing in the pool we would recommend Performing the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT). This will definitively tell you if there is anything organic growing in the pool. Or if the cloudiness is from calcium or something else. But, the OCLT requires having the FAS/DPD chlorine test, available here, FAS-DPD test TFTestkits.net. This chlorine test is also required for a SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain to kill algae.
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