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Thread: Cloudy blue pool

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    Cloudy blue pool

    Hello everyone! Starting my foray into maintaining my pool the TFP way.

    So here's the backstory: my wife and I just bought and closed on a house with a pool. They opened the pool for us, but not sure when they moved out. We closed on July 19th, and moved in shortly thereafter (20-22). The water looked pretty clear, but we didn't have any chemicals to maintain it, no idea how to do it, and no time to learn that week, meaning that unfortunately, it was left unmaintained for the next week. The pool first turned cloudy, and then green.

    Fast forward to this past Saturday (July 30), and we went out and got all the chemicals that we thought we'd need at Lowe's. I looked at a few sites and decided the first course of action was to shock the pool, which I did that night. Waking up the next day, the pool was no longer green (yay!), but it was still cloudy blue. I bought test strips with the other chemicals (I know, I know) and tested the chlorine and found it close to 0 for total and free. I also noticed that the alkalinity was very low, pH was high, and stabilizer was low so I added a large quantity of alkalinity increaser and a good amount of "pH down" product. I also put two pucks of trichlor in the pool to increase the chlorine and CYA.

    Fast forward to today, and the free and total chlorine were both around 3 in the morning, and the alkalinity had increased to ~160-180 per the strip. So much higher than anticipated, but the strips are unreliable anyway. The pH was right around 7.6, but through reading other posts, it seems like with an alkalinity that high it will keep drifting up. But anyway, the pool is still cloudy. I shocked the pool with two bottles this time to really drive up the FC. I also ordered the TF-100 test kit today so I can properly maintain it in the future.

    So now down to the actual questions:

    1. My wife and I would like to swim in the pool as soon as possible. Would it be reasonable to add a bunch of bleach to bring up FC even though it would really just be guessing? I know that the stabilizer reading on the test strip is next to worthless, so I really have no idea how much CYA is in there. The strip indicated somewhere around 30-40 ppm. Can I just assume that's what it is and bring it up to shock level according to PoolMath? I don't have any way of measuring FC that high unfortunately, so again it would just be guessing, but maybe it would do enough to clear it up?

    2. I have no idea how long it's been since the sand filter has been deep cleaned. Should I do that now or just wait until the next season since we're halfway through in NY? It seems to be working since the water turned back to blue, or would it do that without the filter regardless?

    3. For whatever reason, the port where there should be a pressure gauge is plugged instead of having a gauge. I assume it would be good to replace that post-haste? I really have no way of telling when to backwash without that, right?

    4. There appears to be a secondary filter inline post-sand filter. The manual indicates it's a Nature2 A30 cartridge filter. It says something about being a "mineral filter" and breaking down bacteria or something? I don't really understand why there would be two filters; do I need to take this apart and clean it? Should I replace it to make sure that it's brand new? The manual recommends replacing it every year but that seems kind of excessive if other cartridge filters last 3 years or more... There's no shutoff valve before or after the filter so how would I ensure that it doesn't siphon water when I take it out?
    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Quote Originally Posted by KevDawg673 View Post
    Hello everyone! Starting my foray into maintaining my pool the TFP way.

    So here's the backstory: my wife and I just bought and closed on a house with a pool. They opened the pool for us, but not sure when they moved out. We closed on July 19th, and moved in shortly thereafter (20-22). The water looked pretty clear, but we didn't have any chemicals to maintain it, no idea how to do it, and no time to learn that week, meaning that unfortunately, it was left unmaintained for the next week. The pool first turned cloudy, and then green.

    Fast forward to this past Saturday (July 30), and we went out and got all the chemicals that we thought we'd need at Lowe's. I looked at a few sites and decided the first course of action was to shock the pool, which I did that night. Waking up the next day, the pool was no longer green (yay!), but it was still cloudy blue. I bought test strips with the other chemicals (I know, I know) and tested the chlorine and found it close to 0 for total and free. I also noticed that the alkalinity was very low, pH was high, and stabilizer was low so I added a large quantity of alkalinity increaser and a good amount of "pH down" product. I also put two pucks of trichlor in the pool to increase the chlorine and CYA.

    Fast forward to today, and the free and total chlorine were both around 3 in the morning, and the alkalinity had increased to ~160-180 per the strip. So much higher than anticipated, but the strips are unreliable anyway. The pH was right around 7.6, but through reading other posts, it seems like with an alkalinity that high it will keep drifting up. But anyway, the pool is still cloudy. I shocked the pool with two bottles this time to really drive up the FC. I also ordered the TF-100 test kit today so I can properly maintain it in the future.

    So now down to the actual questions:

    1. My wife and I would like to swim in the pool as soon as possible. Would it be reasonable to add a bunch of bleach to bring up FC even though it would really just be guessing? I know that the stabilizer reading on the test strip is next to worthless, so I really have no idea how much CYA is in there. The strip indicated somewhere around 30-40 ppm. Can I just assume that's what it is and bring it up to shock level according to PoolMath? I don't have any way of measuring FC that high unfortunately, so again it would just be guessing, but maybe it would do enough to clear it up?

    2. I have no idea how long it's been since the sand filter has been deep cleaned. Should I do that now or just wait until the next season since we're halfway through in NY? It seems to be working since the water turned back to blue, or would it do that without the filter regardless?

    3. For whatever reason, the port where there should be a pressure gauge is plugged instead of having a gauge. I assume it would be good to replace that post-haste? I really have no way of telling when to backwash without that, right?

    4. There appears to be a secondary filter inline post-sand filter. The manual indicates it's a Nature2 A30 cartridge filter. It says something about being a "mineral filter" and breaking down bacteria or something? I don't really understand why there would be two filters; do I need to take this apart and clean it? Should I replace it to make sure that it's brand new? The manual recommends replacing it every year but that seems kind of excessive if other cartridge filters last 3 years or more... There's no shutoff valve before or after the filter so how would I ensure that it doesn't siphon water when I take it out?
    In the order of importance but keeping your numbering:

    0. Buy TF100 test kit

    1. Can you drain and refill your water? If you can then add 1 gal of bleach after refill (6 ppm for your pool) with additional 1/3 gal daily and swim away. Your water contains too much copper from #4 on your list, drain/refill will take care of that. You'd also need to add 3lb granular CYA using bucket or sock method. Getting rid of copper without draining water is rather difficult if at all possible.

    4. Take it out immediately . It's part of metal- based 'system' to inhibit algae growth and to much less degree- other pathogens and it brings copper into the water which will eventually give nice green tint to your swimming suits, hair and stain pool walls

    3. Buy new gauge and repair it

    2. Clean it, it shouldn't take more than few hrs and in the course of doing so you will examine internals of your filter for absence of cracks, very important for normal operation.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Hi and welcome to TFP

    We practice pool care by proper testing and only adding what your pool needs. It is highly reccomended that you get your own test kit. And, while you're waiting for that to arrive do some reading in pool school and ask questions here as you have them. You will need to SLAM pool to clear it up but, With proper test results, you will find no shortage of help from the fine folks here. Links below.

    Pool School - Test Kits Compared
    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart
    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

    Hello all,

    My TF-100 kit just arrived today and here are the results of my first round of testing:

    FC: 4.5
    CC: 0
    TC: 4.5
    pH: 7.8 (not quite 100% confident on this yet but seemed to match perfectly)
    CH: 150 (not a big deal with vinyl right?)
    TA: 210
    CYA: ~10? (the dot was cloudy at 20, but still visible, so there's some in there, but not much)

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. The TF-100 comes with a 50 ppm CYA standard to ensure that you are doing the test properly. However, when I performed the test the first time, I got around 25 (halfway between 20 and 30). I thought that was weird, so I performed it twice more, and I got right around 30 both times. I thought maybe it was a bad standard? I'm not sure. I followed all the instructions (back to the sun, waist level, etc.) and in the video they provide, they go until the dot actually disappears, which I also did. Is it safe to assume that the standard was actually around 30 ppm instead of 50? Otherwise my CYA test is pointless.

    2. Being that my CYA is probably somewhere in the ballpark of 10, should I use that in PoolMath to increase it?

    In the week that it's been since posting here, I've been adding a gallon of 10% bleach a day to keep my FC up and combat the cloudiness. Since my FC is apparently low, adding a 10% gallon of bleach a day was likely more than enough. I'm happy to say that it looks much better than it did a week ago!! Here's a picture of the water (it's a little ripply because it was windy):

    IMG_2536.jpg

    What would be my next course of action?
    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Is the water cloudy?

    Go ahead and add 20 ppm of cya based on pool math, you might need to do a little more but better to under do it rather than over.

    Have you done a OCLT since getting your kit to confirm you don't hace any organics growing.?
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    The TF-100 comes with a 50 ppm CYA standard to ensure that you are doing the test properly. However, when I performed the test the first time, I got around 25 (halfway between 20 and 30). I thought that was weird, so I performed it twice more, and I got right around 30 both times. I thought maybe it was a bad standard? I'm not sure. I followed all the instructions (back to the sun, waist level, etc.) and in the video they provide, they go until the dot actually disappears, which I also did. Is it safe to assume that the standard was actually around 30 ppm instead of 50? Otherwise my CYA test is pointless.

    You are on the right path. Yes, the CYA standard seems to measure closer to 40 ppm using the TF-100 view tube. But, remember that CYA can be measured in a range. So, your CYA is still too low at 10 or 20 ppm. Go ahead and bump it up using Pool Math by 20 ppm like mgmoore7 just said.

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Okay, I will bump my CYA from the best guess of 10 up to 30 according to PoolMath. It says to add 38 oz (volume) of stabilizer; I don't have any on me tonight but I will purchase some after work tomorrow and add it.

    For now I will add some bleach and start an OCLT tonight! The water is pretty clear, but it isn't "sparkling". However, if the OCLT passes, then can I assume that it's just dead stuff that needs to get filtered out and not perform a SLAM? I'd like to save some bleach if I could!
    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Okay so FC started at 15.0...we'll see what it is in the morning!! Fingers crossed. CC was again 0. In the interest of full disclosure, the solution changed color so slightly that I couldn't count it 0.5 for CC, so it's probably 0.1 or 0.2.


    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    I also have some other questions that I suppose I might as well pose now:

    1. I read about the DE in the sand filter trick to improve filtration so I decided to try it to quicken the rate at which the pool would clear. I wound up adding 2 cups of DE through the skimmer and that raised the pressure from 14.5 to ~16 psi (I waited for about ten minutes for the pressure to rise). When I checked probably about 3 hours later, the pressure had risen to ~17.5 psi, and water was coming out of the return much slower. A quick backwash fixed the problem with a lot of cloudy water coming out which I assumed was mostly the DE; the pressure dropped back down to 14.5 psi.

    Thinking that it must have caught quite a bit to slow the flow down so much, I added the same amount of DE again and it only raised the pressure to a little over 15, not even a full psi over about 10 minutes. However, the same problem occurred again when I checked about 3 hours later; slow flow and about 17.5 psi.

    My question is am I not waiting long enough for the pressure to stabilize after adding the DE? Maybe I'm adding too much?

    And also should the flow slow down so much with only a 3 psi increase (14.5-17.5)? Does that mean my pump is running near max capacity or something?

    2. The skimmer is missing the weir door. Is this super important, i.e. should I go out and get one ASAP? Or is it okay to run without it? It seems to be pretty easy with splashing to make the skimmer suck air; would the weir door prevent this?


    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Quote Originally Posted by KevDawg673 View Post
    I also have some other questions that I suppose I might as well pose now:

    1. I read about the DE in the sand filter trick to improve filtration so I decided to try it to quicken the rate at which the pool would clear. I wound up adding 2 cups of DE through the skimmer and that raised the pressure from 14.5 to ~16 psi (I waited for about ten minutes for the pressure to rise). When I checked probably about 3 hours later, the pressure had risen to ~17.5 psi, and water was coming out of the return much slower. A quick backwash fixed the problem with a lot of cloudy water coming out which I assumed was mostly the DE; the pressure dropped back down to 14.5 psi.

    Thinking that it must have caught quite a bit to slow the flow down so much, I added the same amount of DE again and it only raised the pressure to a little over 15, not even a full psi over about 10 minutes. However, the same problem occurred again when I checked about 3 hours later; slow flow and about 17.5 psi.

    My question is am I not waiting long enough for the pressure to stabilize after adding the DE? Maybe I'm adding too much?

    And also should the flow slow down so much with only a 3 psi increase (14.5-17.5)? Does that mean my pump is running near max capacity or something?

    2. The skimmer is missing the weir door. Is this super important, i.e. should I go out and get one ASAP? Or is it okay to run without it? It seems to be pretty easy with splashing to make the skimmer suck air; would the weir door prevent this?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1. I think you're adding too much, try only 1 cup. DE back wash is always milky but inside that milk a lot of things gets stuck. Please make sure you're using pool grade (not food grade) DE.

    2. Not urgent but it's very useful, not only as anti- splash but to keep surface junk inside the skimmer- when the wave tries to push water back to the pool weir raises and prevents that from happening. It improved skimming a lot and allowed me to run pump at much lower speed during skimming. My skimmer was missing weir originally as well.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Quote Originally Posted by KevDawg673 View Post
    Okay so FC started at 15.0...we'll see what it is in the morning!! Fingers crossed. CC was again 0. In the interest of full disclosure, the solution changed color so slightly that I couldn't count it 0.5 for CC, so it's probably 0.1 or 0.2.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    If you have s swg, be sure it is not running between the two tests
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Quote Originally Posted by max2k View Post
    1. I think you're adding too much, try only 1 cup. DE back wash is always milky but inside that milk a lot of things gets stuck. Please make sure you're using pool grade (not food grade) DE.

    2. Not urgent but it's very useful, not only as anti- splash but to keep surface junk inside the skimmer- when the wave tries to push water back to the pool weir raises and prevents that from happening. It improved skimming a lot and allowed me to run pump at much lower speed during skimming. My skimmer was missing weir originally as well.
    Okay thanks. I'll just go with 1 cup and see how that plays out. And I will look into getting a weir. And I did my homework; rest assured that I am indeed using pool grade DE.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    If you have s swg, be sure it is not running between the two tests
    Not to worry, I don't have a SWG
    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Testing before work yielded 15.0 for FC, so OCLT pass! Yay!


    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Quote Originally Posted by KevDawg673 View Post
    Testing before work yielded 15.0 for FC, so OCLT pass! Yay!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That is great. Do you know what to do next?
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    That is great. Do you know what to do next?
    I think so. I'm going to add the stabilizer tonight. Can we swim while it's dissolving? And also, can it be any sock that holds the powder? I saw some things that said hang it in front of the return or put it in the skimmer. Which is fastest? Also, Pool School mentions waiting a week to re-test CYA, but I've seen 24 and 48 hours on posts. How long should I wait?

    Also I will lower the pH since my TA is so high. I'll target 7.5 to keep it swimmable and let it drift up to lower TA. I don't really want to bother with lowering it unless you think it's crucial.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, with regards to the Nature2 cartridge...in the interest of keeping my pool water copper-free, I plan to remove it. Can I just run with the housing in place with no cartridge? I don't really want to re-plumb it before the end of the season since it's fast approaching. It shouldn't cause any problems right?
    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    So using the TFP method, the pool water is now crystal clear!! After adding the stabilizer last night, the FC only dropped from 5.5 at approximately 9 PM to 3.5 at approximately 5 PM. Much better loss! We were having guests over to swim so I bumped the FC up to 7 according to PoolMath to ensure that FC would remain above the minimum during swimming activities. pH measured out at 7.5 this time, so I'm not sure why it dropped, but that's pretty ideal in my book.

    The guests all said the water felt excellent, and I had some open their eyes underwater to see if it was irritating, and all of them said it was perfect. Makes me feel proud. These same guests swam in another friend's pool last week and it was irritating to the eyes, so I'm glad they enjoyed my pool! Thanks for the help and guidance.

    I have to ask...is this really all there is to maintaining a crystal clear, safe, and fun swimming pool? Daily testing and a little bleach each night? Just seems too easy since I've had so many people complain about their pools!!
    13,500 gallon AG pool, vinyl liner, Sparco SF-40 Sand Filter, Hayward Power-Flo LX pump (1.0 HP, 60 gpm), filled from city water

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    Re: Cloudy blue pool

    Quote Originally Posted by KevDawg673 View Post
    ...I have to ask...is this really all there is to maintaining a crystal clear, safe, and fun swimming pool? Daily testing and a little bleach each night? Just seems too easy since I've had so many people complain about their pools!!
    Yep, you got it- not much mystery, just regular testing and slow adjustments. I'm not even adding bleach every day. When temperature drops this whole activity also slows down a lot- you'll see. Try to monitor FC / pH at least every other day and run the rest weekly at the beginning. If you're disciplined enough (I'm not) you could write results to some log so you could see how your pool behaves so you'd learn it faster. One member here was giving away spreadsheet with graphs, etc for that purpose.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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