Hi guys, I'll preface this long post by explaining that I found this website while my swimming pool was being built 5 years ago so my pool chemistry and maintenance has always been based on what is recommended here. Because of this, I have never had the "pleasure" of treating algae or needing to go thru the SLAM process until now.
Due to on ongoing metal staining issue in my pool, I had been keeping the chlorine lower than I normally do. Add kids out of school, additional chlorine demand, and it appears my chlorine got low enough to cause organics/algae to start to thrive although the water looked clear. I noticed increased chlorine demand (manually adding chlorine to compensate for the slow SWG). I think I may have mistakenly attributed all of the chlorine demand to the kids swimming all day. On day 3 of the kids being out of school and swimming, we had a massive thunderstorm that dumped a lot of water and blew some yard debris into the pool (some small branches, leaves, pine straw). After the storm, I noticed the water was slightly cloudy in deep end, chlorine had dropped to 0.50. That evening, I added chlorine (which turned the pool even cloudier - more on this later). Next morning, I tested water again and chlorine was 0, cc was now .50. This is when I decided I needed to go thru my 1st SLAM in 5 years of TFP pool ownership.
So here we are, it's starting day 3 of the SLAM. I've been diligent about checking the chlorine at least 3 times a day to keep it at the recommended shock (or a little above) level per the CYA-Chlorine chart. Yesterday, I took a vacation day so I could stay home and babysit the pool since I have a cartridge filter and it takes time to clean the dirty filter element. Luckily, I keep a spare clean element I can put immediately in the filter so I can get back to filtering the water while I clean the dirty element.
So I have a few SLAM questions since I've never had algae or the need to SLAM.
1. When I started the SLAM, adding chlorine to the water would cause the chlorine to immediately turn into a white cloud. The initial shock dose of liquid chlorine turned the pool water so cloudy I could no longer see the main drain. Water was very white and cloudy. Is this normal? I recently added CH to help with my metal stain issue as recommended by the makers of Jack's magic products. However, my CH level is 240 which I didn't think would cause clouding. What bothers me about this is that it keeps doing it, even now. I added chlorine to the water last night and it still turns cloudy as it goes in the water. Since I'm bypassing my gas pool heater and no water is circulating through the heater, I've now been adding the chlorine to the skimmer to try to keep the water from clouding up so bad. My pool pump has a plastic impeller so I think it's safe to have the high chlorine hit the pump and filter before returning to the pool. So the question here is, why is liquid chlorine suddenly behaving like this? I've never seen liquid chlorine do this in my pool. Is this something not-visible algae or organics can do? Is it going to keep doing this?
2. The water is still cloudy although slightly improving with each day. I can easily see the main drain now and the shallow end is almost clear. That being said, ever since bringing the pool to SLAM shock level, my CC level reads zero on every test. However, if I stick my hand in the pool, my hand has a strong chlorine odor. I thought that odor was directly attributed to CCs but my testing says I have 0 CC. Is this something I should worry about? I plan to maintain shock level until the water completely clears and I pass the OCLT test (which I passed last night, btw).
3. I assume the cloudiness is just par for the course. I've been reading some posts where people have gone 1-2 weeks of the SLAM process although most of those posts were for green ponds. I was hoping I had caught things early and I'd be back to a clear pool in a day or two but it seems like my filter is just going to need a lot of time to filter this haziness out. I keep a spare clean filter element which I swapped last night before bed. I had been adding Jack's filter aid to help my cartridge filter but last night, I didn't add filter aid to the filter. The filter element I pulled out of the filter last night was VERY dirty even though the pressure gauge had hardly moved. In lieu of the filter aid, can adding clarifier to the water help or make things worse?
The progress I'm seeing is so much slower than I'm used to that I keep wondering if I'm missing something or should be doing something else but the chemistry seems ok.
Here are my latest test results:
FC: 35 (I know this is a bit high - until this test I have been in the 25-28 ppm range)
pH: It was 7.2 when I started the SLAM
SALT: 3800 (My SWG calls for 4000ppm so this is close enough)