Hello! Just joined today, and I have to say THANK YOU ALL for providing this site and the information it provides. I finally have a place I can go for information that I trust.
My problem, like so many others, is persistent cloud. Had it last year for most of the summer (i had no idea what I was doing, other than keeping Pools Plus afloat), and I am off to a bad start this year. Opened the pool last Sunday, severe white cloud. I have cleaned the pool, scrubbed, and been adding LOTS of bleach. 3 big bottles at night, during lunch, etc. I have read all of pool school and I am following the steps to beat algae. Although it is white, so isn't it dead already? I am on day 4 only, so I realize it is early in the battle. The reason I keep adding more bleach is because I may be reading my test wrong. I have an OTO test (and yes, I have a Taylor kit ordered from amazon, which won't get here until next week) and the instructions say that you add five drops and match the color at 10 seconds. This represents FREE chlorine. Then, wait more than two minutes and the color represents TOTAL chlorine. Subtract and you get the combined. So, when I have been testing, I get about 1-3 ppm at around 10 seconds. A light yellow. Then, if I go work on my pool for 20 minutes and come back, it is dark orange-brown. So, does that mean I have little/no free chlorine but tons of combined? Should I just keep blasting it with the big jugs? Below are my numbers from Tuesday, the day after I had added 6 total jugs. These are the pool place numbers, not the numbers from the OTO test. I have added lots more chlorine, and I am still getting the same OTO test results of light yellow changing to dark orange-brown over several minutes.
20,000 gallon pool, Vinyl liner, Hayward sand filter
If my assumption is correct, that all my chlorine is being eaten up, it sure seems like I am adding a TON of bleach to clear out some dead algae. I have "blind vacuumed" several times, and scrubbed the walls and floor a bunch too. I believe I have most of the stuff off the bottom, but it is hard to tell. I guess I am also looking for advice on how to use the OTO test to get rid of the cloud before the better test kit arrives. We have a party 9 days from now. Thanks for your help, and sorry for the long post!