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Thread: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

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    Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    This is my second year using the BBB method. Began learning it last summer, and am glad to finally know what's going on with my pool.

    Opened the pool the beginning of May, and have been struggling ever since trying to get it *crystal* clear. My numbers seem ok, but the water just won't clear up.

    The particulars:
    Fiberglass in-ground pool, Aquarite SWG (currently turned off), filter running 24/7 (since 6/12). Testing is done with a TF-100.

    As of 6:30 this morning:
    FC = 17.0 (just coming down off shock period)
    CC = 0.5
    pH = unsure since TC is still so high, but was 7.3 before I started to shock
    TA = 80 - 90, varies from test to test
    CYA = 70
    CH = 130
    Aqua-rite salt reading = 3000

    Water is a cloudy white. It is improving, but I can't see why it's not going faster. This is the second time I've shocked the pool in the last few days. I ran it up to FC = 24 for 24 hrs, lost .5 overnight, but water clarity only slightly improved. So I ran it even higher, up to FC = 31 for a day. I lost 1.0 overnight two nights ago. I am letting the FC continue to drop. last night, I lost .5 ppm . CC has stayed at .5 (occasionally 0) the entire time. Shocking was done mostly with 12.5% bleach, but picked up some additional 6% to get me over the hump for the second shock. I have thoroughly brushed the pool twice during this process, sides & bottom both.

    I know my CH is low... but am not sure if that will lead to cloudy water in a fiberglass pool?

    What am I missing? what else should I do?
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    What size is your pump? How old is the ZeoBrite? Can you open up the filter and see if the zeo is channeled? I'm not sure how often this happens with zeo, but I know it can be a common filtration problem with sand filters.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    Is your overnight FC loss just now starting to stabalize?

    If so, I think what you are seeing is somewhat normal. If your water is constantly improving, I would let your FC drop to maintenance levels, and tweek your numbers with small changes.

    I would expect you to see clear water within a week.

    On the other hand, if your FC loss has been neglagable for some time now, it's time to look at the physical filtration. There is nothing in your numbers which would otherwise suggest cloudiness.

    Channeling is definately something to look for. If that turns up negative, it may be time to add some DE to your filter... Or yea... Maybe try some floc.

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    My pump is a Hayward Super Pump... but I don't recall if it is a 3/4 or 1 horse. 3/4 sounds right. It's about 6 years old now, but I had it rebulit at the electric motor shop a year or so ago (electric motor rebuild, plus new pump seals).

    I put in the Zeo when I opened up at the start of 2009. So one full season plus a couple of months this year is all that is on it.

    I've not heard of this channeling phenomenon. Sounds like the media can form some openings that will defeat the filtration?

    My biggest question was whether the CH was entirely relevant to my situation. I was pretty sure it wouldn't be causing my problem... but at this point I was worried about just about everything.

    My overnight losses have been pretty stable. I think I measured a 1.5 loss maybe one time within the last week, but it's always been 1.0 or 0.5 every morning.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    I don't think low CH is likely to cause clouding. I've only heard of that with high CH and then usually with other factors, such as pH out of range. Sand can channel and since zeo is similar, I would assume it could too. A 3/4 Super Pump with that size filter seems about right from what I've seen.

    I'd suggest taking a look to see if it's channeled. You may want to see this post regarding resettling your sand/zeo. If can see inside your sand filter and it looks like a mountain landscape in there, channeling could be your problem. It's also possible that it's clumped and needs stirred up, but again, I don't know how often this happens with zeo.
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    Unless your pH is way high, with your TA and CH numbers, I do not see your CH being a factor.

    Let your FC come down to maintance levels, and let's see where your pH is.

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by loughps
    I'd suggest taking a look to see if it's channeled. You may want to see this post regarding resettling your sand/zeo.
    That is a very intriguing post you linked in.

    After a backwash, my pressure is usually 16 - 17 psi. In prior years, I'd backwash when I got up to around 20. I backwashed yesterday for (only!) the second time this season... and only because I haven't done it for weeks... and my pressure was still rock-solid at 17. It hasn't gone up a bit in weeks of filtering, which includes several runs of the barraduca and at least a couple manual vacuumings.

    Interesting... I'm gonna make a beeline for the tool box to fetch my rubber mallet when I get home from work.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    Okay, an update on the numbers... As of 9:00 am this morning, I had
    pH = 7.2 + (it's just a *touch* darker than the 7.2 index on the comparator, but not nearly as dark as 7.5)
    FC = 9.5
    CC = .5
    T/A = 90

    I tested chorline yesterday at 4:00 pm, and it came up at 10.5. So I only lost 1.0 ppm over the course of 17 hours.

    Also yesterday, I tapped my sand filter all over with a rubber mallet. I did not notice an increase in pressure, but did observe what looked like a stream of fine particulates being shot into the pool from one of the returns that lasted for several seconds. I backwashed earlier this week, so I was surprised to see this.

    Gonna pop the top off the filter today to see what it looks like in there.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    Sounds like a filtration issue...let us know how it goes.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Cherie's Avatar
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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    Just wanted to mention that we're on our third year of zeolite and the water just wouldn't get sparkly at the onset of the season. Then it dawned on me that I hadn't backwashed in forever......really forever! I backwashed and the water cleared right up! When was the last time you backwashed?
    32x16 buried Doughboy, 4' shallow - 7' deep
    Pentair Dynamo 1 hp, 2-speed - Pentair 150# SD40 w/zeolite (75#)
    One skimmer/two returns/Aquabot Turbo T2

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    Re: Stumped... 2nd year of BBB, good numbers, cloudy water

    I opened up that filter today, and was really surprised by what I saw. Laying on top of the Zeo was a startling amount of RBC (Random Bits of ****). This was particularly surprising because I just backwashed a few days ago. The surface of the media didn't look particularly rough or uneven, but it wasn't exactly smooth & level either.

    I took my hose and began the process of gently working it down into the media. At first I was only running it about halfway open, but as time went on I ended up opening the tap all the way. As water overflowed, it brought a lot of the RBC with it. Bits of leaves & other plant stuff... strands of my daughter's hair... a surprising number of bristles from my pool brush... all kinds of stuff. The overflowing water was relatively dirty, but not too bad, as I worked it around within an inch or two of the media surface. After a few minutes of this, I became amitious and tried working the hose deeper into the media.

    This is when things really got gross. The overflowing water became absolutely funky brown. I mean dirty brown. Picture shuffling around ankle-deep in a farm pond, and that's what was coming out. And it kept coming, and coming, and coming... I spent nearly an HOUR hunched over that @#$%^ thing, working the hose back & forth, up & down, in & out...

    I never did get it to the point where the overflowing water was clear. But when I finally quit from heat and frustration, it was not nearly as thick & funky looking as when I started. It's been filtering all day, and I *think* clarity has improved a bit. Hard to tell because light was failing when I took my water sample just now.

    I've been considering taking the plunge on a robot. I have a barracuda now, but flooding hoses, etc is always such a PAIN. I've been drawn to the idea of chucking a unit in there and simply plugging it in, but it turns out there will be additional bonuses gained by not feeding all the sucked-up RBC directly to my filter.

    BTW, numbers are all still looking good. pH slightly above 7.2, TA around 80 - 90, FC at 5.0 (after leaving the cover open all day), CC at .5. I turned my SWG back on tonight.

    Tomorrow, Dad will SWIM. Happy Father's Day to all the other dads out there.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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