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Thread: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

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    PickleF16's Avatar
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    Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Hello and thank you for this forum. I'm new here but have already read a lot of great information. Notice I didn't say "learned" a lot. There is so much to learn and it's not soaking in yet. I'm still at the confused stage and chemistry was never my thing. Although I am not new to owning a pool, I had a home in Arizona with a pool for 17 years but paid a pool service to keep it looking beautiful all the time. It was also a rental for for many years and I didn't trust tenants to take care of it. We just finished our new home and pool about 18 months ago and I'm finding that keeping the water and tile looking great is more than weekly testing and adding chlorine when needed. I've had water tested at a small local shop that has computerized testing. I would like to take control of the pool and not let the pool control me but there is a lot to learn and I don't want to make it worse.

    My current problem is the pool went from clear and beautiful to cloudy, what seemed like overnight. That's when I checked the chlorine feeder and it was empty. We also had a lot of rain and let water out of the pool. While looking on the internet for help on removing calcium deposits from glass tile, I found this forum. That's when I decided to purchase the TF-100 Test Kit so I didn't have to keep running water to the pool store. I'm not confident in my chemistry skills yet so I hope I'm getting the correct readings when I test the water. The following are the results from the testing done yesterday:

    FC: 5.5ppm
    CC: 0
    TC: 5.5
    CH: 600
    TA2: 210
    CYA: 100

    Test results from one week prior and the pool looked great:

    FC: 5ppm
    CC: .5
    TC: 5.5
    CH: 575
    TA: 180
    CYA: 90

    The sun shelf has a few small spots of algae forming, which it has done in the past. It's difficult keeping it clean because there isn't enough circulation and it's too shallow for the pool cleaner.
    I would greatly appreciate any advice.

    Thank you,
    Terri
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Welcome to the TFP Forum! Here are two links to bookmark:Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart and :http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html. The chlorine/CYA chart indicates that your target FC is 12 and Pool Math indicates it will take a little over a gallon and a half of 8% bleach to reach that. But - if you have algae already and is to be expected with your CYA that high, a water replacement is going to be necessary to get your water ready for a SLAM:Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain. I'm sure one of our chemists will chime in with the amount of water that will need to be replaced to get your CYA levels correct. Pool Math indicates a replacement of 60% to get you to 40ppm CYA. 50% will take you to 50ppm.
    16X32 AB, Pentair SD filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    I would drain 60% as stated above will have the added bonus of lowering the CH so you can get the scale under control. What is your current pH?
    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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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Thank you for the replies. I have bookmarked those pages and I've also printed a few of the charts off and put in my test kit for quick reference.
    The pH is 8.2.
    Is there anything that can be done in lieu of draining 50-60% of the pool in the short term? The pool builder is going to be replastering the sun shelf in the near future and will need to drain a large portion of the pool for that.

    Thanks again,
    Terri
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    If you do have algae as I suspect you do, there is not much you can do that will truly fix the problem unless you SLAM, draining was suggested because a SLAM at a CYA of 100 would take over 8 gallons of bleach just to get up to 39ppm FC you would need and then you would have to maintain that level for at least a couple of days, maybe longer it is hard to predict. A shot in the dark price on a SLAM with a CYA at 100 would be $100 to $160. You could try to just get the FC up to 12ppm and it may keep any algae from getting much worse but it will not be a fix and if there is algae in there the FC demand will be higher than normal.

    No matter what you do with the FC you should bring your TA down I would target 90 or lower, look HERE for how to do that and get the pH in to the suggested range 7.4 to 7.8. I would stay on the lower end of the pH range to combat the scale on the tile until you can drain and lower the CH. Also be aware pH readings are not accurate at FC levels above 10ppm so best to get that the pH under control if you plan on going above that level.
    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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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    I think we'll just go ahead and do the drain now and not worry about later. We need to get the water good again.
    What is the best way to drain 60% of a pool? Is there any issue with removing that much water that I should know?

    Thanks

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Best method is sump pump as your filter pump is not designed for that sort of work even though it could probably do it. Only concern would be if your have a high water table, if the pool has a hydrostatic valve you have extra insurance, I would check with the builder if you know who that is or call a local plaster company and ask them as they should have a good idea about the local water table. Worst case scenario they will suggest a few smaller drain and fills if that is the case you may have to do a little more than 60% due to dilution.
    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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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    The water table is extremely low and our IG gunnite pool was actually built mostly above ground due to the terrain and it's on rock. I'm not sure about the hydrostatic valve but I doubt we have one if its typical in a high water table locations.
    Right now we have 3 hoses siphoning the water but we have a sump pump around here somewhere. That may help it go quicker.
    So am I right to assume that since we don't have a high water table, I'm good to remove 50-60% of the water without a problem?
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Sounds like it especially with a good portion of the pool above ground you should be good to go.

    You will still need to SLAM once you get it filled back up but it will take much less bleach to accomplish. If you have not yet done it might be a good time to start reading the process and check a couple of threads where some one went through it so you have an idea what to expect.

    Oh and if the equipment pad is below the water line and has a valve to drain for rain it would be ok to use the pump until the water level gets substantially below the level of the pump.
    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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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    atttech-2: Thank you for all the great info. I will definitely read more on SLAMming and hopefully all will go well. I appreciate the quick responses as I'm trying to clear this up ASAP. I'll be back if I have any questions.
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Okay! Drained 50-60% of the water. It's filled back up now and here are my new readings:

    pH: <8.2 but above 7.8
    FC: 2
    CC: .5
    CH: 550 if the color is supposed to be truly blue / 325 if purple is considered blue for this test
    TA: 200 test says for water to change to red but I assume it's referring to the pink color. Please let me know if it's actually supposed to be a true red.
    CYA: 55 halfway between the 50 and the 60 lines

    So from what I've read I need to get the pH down between 7.2 and 7.5 before slamming. How long will that take?

    Here is the Before pics.

    Pool Before SLAM.jpgBefore SLAM lane.jpgAttachment 54327
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    re pH shoot for 7.4 so you don't overshoot. That'll be quick, 30 minutes with the pump running. I'd add a bottle of bleach if you're going to wait until tomorrow to SLAM, otherwise as soon as you verify your pH, go for it.

    Call your CYA 60.
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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    The PoolMath says to add 332 oz of 8.25% bleach to bring to SLAM level of 24. Do I add that all at once and recheck after a couple of hours?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually, PoolMath says 652 oz of bleach and the PoolCalculater website says 332 oz. Hmmm...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Never mind...Just noticed I had the wrong pool size in the PoolCalculator form. Looks like I need to start with 5 gallons but is that all at once? Any idea of haw many more I need to have on hand? I think I have 8 total but looks like I may be using a lot more than that for this SLAM.
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Hi and welcome to TFP

    Use pool math linked here (at top of web page). Yes add all that bleach at once preferably in front of a return to disburse it. Keep your pump running 24/7 during slam. Check chlorine 30 mins to an hour after adding. And BRUSH!!! Not only does brushing help circulate that chlorine it stirs up the algae to be killed by the chlorine.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Thanks Aimee. Just put the 5 gals of bleach in and will let it circulate for 30-60 mins before checking the FC level. I did get the pH down to 7.4 before starting the SLAM. This is my first ever SLAM and I'm anxious to see how it goes. I think I need to run and get more bleach before I run out.
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    I would get at least 10 gallons more for now. Its going to use a lot in the first couple of days as its oxidising the algae, keep the level at SLAM or in a word "Maintain" its especially important to start with. It will be easier to hold the FC up as you get near the end. The 2 most common mistakes I see are 1.) not maintaining, that can draw the process out and use more bleach than would otherwise be needed because of backsliding, and 2.) stopping before you pass the 3 tests. It is a lot of cost and effort to SLAM so if in doubt an extra day is a minor cots and inconvenience compared to starting over.
    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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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    I just checked the FC and it's at 30. Hope that's not a problem since I was shooting for 24. I added a little less than 5 gallons as the jugs are 121 oz and not 128. I brushed the pool after testing and now I guess I wait until morning to test again.
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    In your first post you mention a chlorine feeder...You have accomplished alot of work so far in the SLAM. Please don't shoot yourself in the foot again by raising your cya unknowingly with pucks. They are the evil culprit to making your cya sky-high! Maybe you already knew this, but I just wanted you to have a reminder. Please don't take any offense, it just those pesky pool stores and businesses keeping their livelihood! Your rainbow 320 has tri-chlor tablets in it, those tablets have a ton of cya in them! I believe that's how it got to 100!

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by JEC11718 View Post
    In your first post you mention a chlorine feeder...You have accomplished alot of work so far in the SLAM. Please don't shoot yourself in the foot again by raising your cya unknowingly with pucks. They are the evil culprit to making your cya sky-high! Maybe you already knew this, but I just wanted you to have a reminder. Please don't take any offense, it just those pesky pool stores and businesses keeping their livelihood! Your rainbow 320 has tri-chlor tablets in it, those tablets have a ton of cya in them! I believe that's how it got to 100!
    Thanks JEC for mentioning the chlorine feeder. I thought I was gonna love that thing. In theory it's great but from what I've learned so far it's best used sparingly, like while on vacation. The feeder is empty and off so I will start manually adding bleach. It seems like it's a pretty easy thing to do until the weather turns colder and/or rainy. That's when I'll find it harder to get out and take care of the pool on a daily basis. Maybe as I get more knowledgable about taking proper care of my pool everything will seem much easier and more like second nature. Right now it's more like a chore and I have enough of those. I was really considering hiring a pool service until I found this forum, and now I'm kind of excited to get educated on doing it myself. This SLAM will set the tone on how I feel about taking care of the pool myself. Like you said, I've "accomplished a lot of work so far" and I'm anxious to see the fruits of my labor.
    20K, IG, Plaster w/ Diamond Brite Sun Shelf, 8' x 60' Lane 4-5' deep w/ 16' x 16' Sun Shelf/Steps/Benches 9"-5' deep, Sand-Pentair 30" TA100, 2 PENTAIR 2HP WF-28 Pumps (1-Cleaner/1-Water Features), April 2015, TF-100, PENTAIR Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder, 2 Spillways, 2 Sun Shelf Bubblers, Polaris 280 Cleaner, Well Water

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    Re: Help! New To Pool Care and My Pool is Cloudy

    When you overshot the FC level you were aiming for assuming you added the amount of bleach Pool Math told you to that is a possible indication the pool is a bit smaller than you think. Don't worry about slight overshoots right now they will not hurt anything except you wallet in a bit of extra bleach. Once you are done with the SLAM if you consistently overshoot we can talk about how to recalculate the volume. Since you have a geometric pool I would be surprised if its far off. The only thing I can think would skew the calculation is the baja shelf.

    Regarding caring for the pool in the winter I found it much simpler, I was only adding bleach once a week if that. I accidentally overshot once and did not have to add for 3 weeks. FC holds much longer when the sun is at a low angle and it is cooler out. Unlike testing every day or two in summer for most its totally safe to test every 4th or 5th day in winter once you know you pool you could probably stretch that to weekly. I have not done that because I like testing but other than the FC overshoot early on I have not had a testresult surprise me and cause an unusual adjustment.
    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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