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Thread: Hello - Newbie rescued by TFP -- trying to solve some pool cloudiness issues...

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    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Coventry, Rhode Island
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    6

    Hello - Newbie rescued by TFP -- trying to solve some pool cloudiness issues...

    Hello Everyone;

    A little bit of background: bought my house with a pool 2 years ago. Knowing nothing about pools I signed up with the local Bioguard dealer. The pool is a 20'x40' in-ground vinyl 30kgal pool that was neglected when I bought the house. The first year it took 2 weeks and $400 to get the pool up and running. The second year it was probably close to 3 weeks and $600 to get things rolling. And this year I am in for over $600, and 4 weeks later the pool is still not ready. And finally, the 60lbs that broke the camel's back was when the pool store told me last week: "I know what's wrong, alkalinity is low...you need to dump 60lbs of our carbonate stuff into your water at $2/lb". And thinking that these guys knew what they are talking about I did and things were never the same afterwards: calcium levels and alkalinity through the roof, cloudy water...but I woke up and figured there must be another way...and there is! TFP!

    So, I took charge, bought myself the TF-100 test kit, read the pool school and here are the results:
    pH 7.5
    FC 4
    CC 1
    CH 500
    TA 210
    CYA 60
    Temp 70F

    pool stats: 20x40, 30kgal, in-ground vinyl, 18" Hayward S310 sand filter, 1hp Hayward super pump.

    Overall, the measurements are not too bad, but as I had suspected, CH and TA are completely out of whack. There is nothing I can do about the CH this season. It will have to wait until I partially drain the pool for the winter here in the northeast.

    Here is my thinking on the TA and the cloudiness issues: lower the pH to 7.2 making the water more acidic. This will take care of the TA issue. It might also take care of the cloudiness because the more acidic water might dissolve some of the fallen out calcium??? Any thoughts on this would be very welcome.

    Tonight I will do the OCLT test to rule out the fact that the cloudiness is due to organic material. My thinking is, if the cloudiness is due to calcium or scale then it should not consume chlorine at night -- correct? If chlorine is consumed then I have other issues to worry about

    Thanks TFP, at least now I have a framework I can use to think about pool issues.

    - Lutz
    30K gal, in-ground vinyl, 1 HP Hayward Super Pump, 18" Hayward S310T sand filter

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    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Central Valley CA
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    Re: Hello - Newbie rescued by TFP -- trying to solve some pool cloudiness issues...

    Welcome to the forum you will be in great shape in no time.

    Sounds like you are on the right track just need to tweak things a bit. Your FC is a bit low for your CYA level you should be aiming for 5 to 7 ppm that coupled with the CC at 1 an OCLT is a good idea if you don't pass then you know a SLAM is in order. I would not worry to much about the CH, it's high but I have seen posts with those that have higher and get by just fine. As for the high TA you can add acid as you plan then aerate to bring both the pH back up then repeat the process till the TA is where you want it. It takes some time but can be done take a look at THIS
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Coventry, Rhode Island
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    Re: Hello - Newbie rescued by TFP -- trying to solve some pool cloudiness issues...

    Thanks for the welcome atttech-2. Here is an update: So my pool failed the OCLT test; 4ppm FC vanished faster than you can say algae. I am now into my third day of SLAM, the water is getting clearer every day and this morning was the first time that I actually had some FC left in the pool.

    However (there is always a however), I have mustard algae...yellow, sandlike patches at the bottom of my pool. Also, I retested my CYA and it is probably between 70-90 (I have hard time figuring out when exactly the dot is obscured in the TF-100 test kit - any suggestions).

    Now, given my high CYA and the fact that mustard algae are basically resistant to normal SLAM level chlorine, I have decided to use a copper based algaecide...I know, I am running a risk, but look at the numbers below.

    At CYA of 90 the mustard algae SLAM level is 46. In my pool that would mean 12 gallon jugs of 12.5% bleach just to reach that level, and then to maintain it probably even more. This is not feasible. Also at this point I cannot reasonable do a partial drain to bring down the CYA...

    I intend to try culator to bring down my copper level. Any suggestions for a good copper test?

    - Lutz
    30K gal, in-ground vinyl, 1 HP Hayward Super Pump, 18" Hayward S310T sand filter

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    Re: Hello - Newbie rescued by TFP -- trying to solve some pool cloudiness issues...

    Sounds like introducing a new problem to me. It's your pool.

    CYA test. Test in full sun, back to the sun, vial waist high, hold the top with two finger. Squirt, glance, look away. Squirt, glance, look away. When the dot is gone, pour it back into the squirt tube and do it again. Average those 2 numbers.

    I understand that sometimes draining is unattractive or even impossible, can you elaborate on your circumstances?
    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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    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Coventry, Rhode Island
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    6

    Re: Hello - Newbie rescued by TFP -- trying to solve some pool cloudiness issues...

    Thanks for the hints on the CYA test. So (70+90)/2=80, that's interesting because when I brought a sample to the pool store they reported a CYA level of 75. So, that seems to be in the ballpark.

    Draining is not an option at this point. We live on a horse farm and are heading into the summer dry season. I cannot risk damaging the well by draining and refilling a pool...and I am too cheap to pay for refilling a pool

    Yes, the pool is mine The pool school and the pool calculator were essential to finally understand what's going in a pool. What I took away from my pool school lessons was that the central message of all this is "understand your pool". The protocols laid out at TFP are ideal in that they do not introduce any unnecessary chemicals into a pool. However, under certain circumstances you have to deviate from the ideal protocol to solve a particular problem. In my case dealing with a pool with a high CYA level I had to go for something stronger than chlorine to kill mustard algae. Now that I understand pool chemistry deviating from the ideal protocol is OK as long as I am aware of what I am doing. In my case I introduced copper using a copper based algaecide (BTW, my pool is sparkling - it only took a week to go from swamp to sparkling water -- TFP rules). This means, the next step is to remove the copper. I ordered the copper test kit from TFKits and the CuLator from Periodic Systems to start my metal sequestering process. This kind of reasoning was only enabled by TFP and I love the fact that it is all based on measurements and scientific reasoning. I will post my findings with CuLator.

    - Lutz
    30K gal, in-ground vinyl, 1 HP Hayward Super Pump, 18" Hayward S310T sand filter

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