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Thread: Perpetually cloudy pool

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    Perpetually cloudy pool

    I've been using the techniques in these forums very successfully for several years. Thank you!

    Unfortunately, this year is a disaster for my pool. We opened late, had a lot of algae and it took a long time to get up and running. I even shocked at my mustard algae level to make sure that everything was gone from the pool. Since then, have had to shock multiple other times. The overnight test comes back fine, but water is always cloudy. It is taking weeks to clear out the stuff that is left. I cleaned the filter (filled with stuff) and thought that was it. However, the returns still seemed to have low pressure. I fixed a small leak at one of the plugs. No improvement. The suction seems fine if I stick my hand down by the hole, but I can see that the movement in the deep end is minimal and the returns are lower pressure than they have been before.

    I replaced the gasket on the multiport about a year ago, but it was very hard to remove all of the debris. Although I have a ball valve at the waste line and my waste line goes up a wall, sometimes i see dripping there for almost an entire day. Then it goes away. The multiport handle seems a bit looser than I remember from years past.

    I have run my pump constantly, when it usually only requires 12 hours once it has been shocked.

    I have repeatedly backwashed the filter after shocking.

    Although my liquid filled pressure gauge goes up to 30 when I first turn it on (because i am well below the surface of the pool), it has almost never gone up beyond that. So now I'm not backwashing.

    I have a painted pool that probably has to be repainted and I see a lot of the paint coming off in a powdery way when I vacuum. Also my calcium levels are low, because the minute I get ready to add it, I need to shock again. Maybe this is what i am seeing? But why won't it filter out any more?

    When I return to non-shock levels, they drop about 2-4 points a day in FC. We have had a very hot summer here, so I am assuming that is normal? CCs are always pretty much nothing.

    Any ideas about what my next step should be? I am stumped.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Current levels:
    FC: 9
    CC: 0
    alkalinity: 100
    ph: 7.6-7.7
    calcium: 60
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Cloudy pools are most often caused by bacteria and algae in the water. They are there because there is not enough chlorine in the pool. FC must be maintained above minimum for your CYA at all times to kill bacteria and algae, FC/CYA Chart

    We recommend back washing the filter when pressure rises 20-25% over clean pressure. Nothing good clogs a filter as fast as algae does.

    You can do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to verify that organic matter is growing in your pool. If it doesn't pass then SLAM to kill it.
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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    I have to agree with the Expert above. I had a similar situation - CLOUDY Pool .. it wasn't too bad, and in fact most people never noticed. But I noticed that the deep end drains just weren't as clear as usual. I did the OLCT which came back clean (no organics). So I did the SLAM process -- raised my CL level to around 14 ppm (based on that CHART). I maintained this level for 2 days, running the pump continuously. I cleaned my filters (cartridge) about 4 times during that period. (They were very Yellow each time). Yes, a PITA !! but necessary. After 3 days it was very very CLEAR. I could read Head/Tails off a quarter at the bottom of the deep end..

    Good luck !!
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Thanks for the quick responses. My Cya level is at 45.

    The problem is that I have slammed repeatedly, passed the overnight test and had the pool go clear for a while. I even slammed at mustard algae levels to make sure. I cleaned the filter after each slam. But the filter is taking weeks longer to clear everything up even though I have been running the pump for 24 hours/day since I opened the pool.

    I have opened and maintained my own pool for several years with success and I guess what I'm saying is that there is something different here. Even after cleaning the filter and backwashing the filter, I still don't have the pressure in the returns that i had before. (And to be clear, the pressure feels about the same before and after backwashing, so that doesn't seem to be making a difference.)

    So I've tried slamming and mustard algae slamming according to Pool Math guidelines. Is there something else that could be wrong?

    I took a lot of what looked like cellulose out of the filter this spring. Could it be that this was helping to filter the finer particles and now is not?
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    and I guess what I'm saying is that there is something different here.
    Well, not really. Algae is algae and chlorine kills it. You need to reject the idea that your pool is somehow different.......it's not. So, let's get started on clearing your pool.

    1. I think you need to open your filter and deep clean the sand. There is an article in Pool School on how to do that. Secondly, check the level of your sand....it should be about 2/3 full. Once that is done, it will be time to SLAM the pool.

    2. Review the SLAM article make sure you plan on keeping the chlorine in your pool until the pool is crystal clear. Keep us posted and we'll help.

    3. For emphasis, I want to say again that your pool is like my pool and all the other pools. They need adequate chlorine to stay clean and sanitized......you have not been using enough chlorine.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Check that your pump impeller does not have any debris in it. That may be the cause of your weak flow at the returns.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Quote Originally Posted by WASP View Post
    Check that your pump impeller does not have any debris in it. That may be the cause of your weak flow at the returns.
    Thanks, I did this too! No luck!
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    [QUOTE=duraleigh;1104300]Well, not really. Algae is algae and chlorine kills it. You need to reject the idea that your pool is somehow different.......it's not. So, let's get started on clearing your pool.

    1. I think you need to open your filter and deep clean the sand. There is an article in Pool School on how to do that. Secondly, check the level of your sand....it should be about 2/3 full. Once that is done, it will be time to SLAM the pool.

    2. Review the SLAM article make sure you plan on keeping the chlorine in your pool until the pool is crystal clear. Keep us posted and we'll help.

    3. For emphasis, I want to say again that your pool is like my pool and all the other pools. They need adequate chlorine to stay clean and sanitized......you have not been using enough chlorine.[/QUOTE


    Responses:

    1. I deep cleaned my sand after I opened the pool (and started having trouble). I don't remember exactly how much sand was in it, so if I continue to have a problem, I'll open up the filter and check again. It wasn't any different than last year, when it worked fine.

    2. I slammed at shock level again yesterday with same results that I've had before: overnight test is good (down .5, no CCs), water really cloudy (can't see the robot on the bottom). This has been the case more on than off for weeks. I am continuing to shock (as I did before), but this has been done before without reasonable results.

    3. My comment is really to say that this experience with my pool is very different than what it has been for my pool in years past. I really don't think it is just the chlorine levels, but I will keep trying. Here are some other areas of concern:



    A. I backwashed the filter before I started this round of shocking. It was dirty (ran the backwash for about a minute and a half), BUT there was no increase in the pressure. I thought maybe there was a problem with the pressure gauge, so I bought another one. Same result today: No change in the pressure even after filtering the pool for 24+ hours. So, maybe this is sand too low? Or maybe it needs something (DE) to filter out what I think are actually white paint particles? Need to stop backwashing and get the sand dirtier so that the filter works? Something else?

    B. Pressure at returns is lower than it was last year.

    C. Last year, I changed the spider gasket, but had a lot of trouble getting the glued rubber off of the track. I thought it was ok, but maybe it didn't really stick?


    I appreciate your help.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    When you replaced the spider gasket did you glue down the new one and then lube it before re-installing the top ??
    Since you say it moves easier I'm wondering if maybe the gasket didn't seat properly and you're bypassing some water causing it not to filter properly.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiss4aFrog View Post
    When you replaced the spider gasket did you glue down the new one and then lube it before re-installing the top ??
    Since you say it moves easier I'm wondering if maybe the gasket didn't seat properly and you're bypassing some water causing it not to filter properly.
    I did glue it ( i think maybe only in a few places, as directed? It has been a while.) I don't remember lubing it, but I would have followed the instructions, so maybe I did? I have an old Pac-Fab multiport. Clearly the old one was glued down everywhere, as it took me days to remove the stuff from the track
    .

    But I'm wondering the same thing about the multi-port. Especially because sometimes I have dripping out the backwash line (past the old and maybe not working ball valve?!! and up the wall to the discharge line?!!) for a day or two. Other times it doesn't leak.

    I have another gasket on order from Amazon. Supposed to be a two-day Prime thing, but ooops, they won't deliver it for a week. So frustrating. Sometimes I wonder why I pay for Prime!
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Update as of Friday: Yesterday, I had to be away from the house for way longer than expected. By the time I got back at 4 p.m., levels had dropped significantly since the morning (about 10 points), so maybe there still is an algae problem here? I was down two on the overnight test. It rained last night here. Would that account for the extra 1 point drop? I'm here today, so I'll keep on top of it, although I'm running out of chemicals.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    You keep mentioning that you "shocked" your pool and did an OCLT. But a SLAM is more than a one time addition of chlorine (even when high as mustard algae level). It is a process which kills the algae which even under threat of chlorine is trying to reproduce. OCLT are done either before a SLAM to confirm presence of organics, or after the SLAM process when the water is clear and you want to confirm it is OVER. No use doing a OCLT on a cloudy pool.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Yep, listen to Yippee! Here is the process, SLAM
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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    I always have trouble with someone saying shock as I'm not sure if they are describing a one time addition like non TFP people do or if they are performing the SLAM but are used to saying shock. As you pointed out, it's that "M" in SLAM, maintain that gets the job done. It's holding/maintaining the FC up at the SLAM level that kills algae and clears your pool not just shocking it, letting it drop and shocking it again and again.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    That 10 point drop is a bit much. If you have a ladder, light, ... anything that can come out and be cleaned you might want to pull them and wash them down just to make sure there isn't something green hanging onto or behind them.

    The videos of spider gasket replacement show that you just need a few drops to hold it in place and not fully cemented so the previous guy likely just glued it all down but you did it right. If it doesn't come with it you might want to pick up a small tube of silicone lube. I replaced the seals and plastic bearing in the top of my Hayward because it was so stiff to turn but didn't do the spider (yet). Compressing that spring is a bear !!
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    I don't see that you have ever reported your CYA......or did I miss it?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Post #4, reported it at 45.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Ok, ok, SLAM. That's what I'm trying to do and say! Can anyone explain why my filter pressure isn't going up at all?


    I don't have anything in my pool at all - no light, ladder, nothing. I soaked all my equipment yesterday for the day, thinking that might be the problem, so we will see. I've been doing the overnight test even when the water is cloudy, because before I wasn't having any kind of significant drops in chlorine at all during the day or night and my pool was still cloudy. I do have a painted pool that is overdue for paint, so that is a complication. Also, I am shocking with cal-hypo, because my calcium levels are really low. Could this be causing cloudiness. It has gotten worse since I've been cleaning with the robot and SLAMMING.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Hey Dave - he mentioned it was 45 in post #7.
    ~Chris - 20,000 gallons free-form gunite / Pebbletec, Aquapure 1400 SWG, 2 HP Jandy VS Main Pool Pump, 2 HP Jandy Water feature Pump, 580 Jandy cartridge filter, Dolphin M500, TF-100 w/Speedstir.

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    Re: Perpetually cloudy pool

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I don't see that you have ever reported your CYA......or did I miss it?
    Yes, it is 45.
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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