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Thread: Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    Heading into my fourth summer with our AG pool and so far not so good.

    In past years I threw in a few pucks, shocked weekly, ran the EZ Vac, swirled some test strips around like, oh, almost never (I think I tested it twice all last summer - which in Ohio is maybe 3 months I then sat back, enjoyed my crystal clear pretty blue pool that garnered so many compliments - and patted myself on the back for being so skilled and clever. Clearly, I was a pool genius.

    Until a few weeks ago when my pool went rogue on me and we've yet to wrangle it back. I found you because every time over the last few weeks that I googled "Cloudy water" the results came back to TroubleFreePool.com

    Clearly, I need a better test kit. I'm def going to need to order one of the recommended kits. I think the TF-100.

    My only problem is that reading all the advice I realize that despite my ONE reason for agreeing to a pool "because you don't have to mix chemicals in little tubes like a Mad Scientist anymore!" -- apparently you do! You are all so educated on this that I sit in awe. I am reading pool school but where even "novices" seem to have a basic knowledge of what it means to have low or high pH and that obviously this or that will raise/lower it - that's all greek to me. Seriously, I think I was passing notes to someone during science class and missed that.

    Is there any hope for a Chemistry 101 flunkie who has made it her life's work to NOT understand chemistry to be reborn as someone who knows - or cares - what the "obvious" fix is for common chemical problems? My chemical fix thus far is sit by the pool only at night, drink enough wine and realize that if you squint right it doesn't look nearly so cloudy. The kids, however, are not impressed by this method.
    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
    Hayward TS180 Sand Filter

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

    Heading into our FOURTH summer with pool. Previously so maintenance-free that it seemed too-good-to-be-true. This season we have cloudy/greenish water. Algae or silt? Can't know for sure. It's mostly chalky/cloudy water with a tint very slight. Pool store says we overchlorinated trying to fix it but otherwise it tests fine. Suggested adding stabilizer but no other fix. Also added a skimmer sock last night and it has what appears to be MUD in it? Dirt? If I turn off the filter and let the water sit I get little wisps of something on the bottom. I assumed algae but could it be silt?

    Here's the situation:

    Hayward Sand Filter full of Zeobrite since 2006. - Probably should replace the filter media? Thinking of switching to sand. Yay or nay?

    Skimmer door (weir?) missing. No problem said pool-owning friends, you don't need it. Can't imagine that's an issue but mentioning it.

    Pressure gauge on filter has not worked since the day it arrived new in box. I have never checked pressure. I just backwash regularly (at least weekly or more if needed) and when water runs clear I'm good. Could I have over-backwashed? (See, probably need new filter media, above).

    I tend to run filter 24/7 because my kids swim in there and I thought that would be just the kind of uber-freak overkill that would get me right into Good Mama Heaven someday. Can you overfilter?

    Cannot seem to adjust water return. Getting great flow, but can literally see the water ripple across the top and edges of the pool as the return jets out. I wonder if I am only getting the top half of the water level circulated? We used to have an adapter that redirected the water and that appears to have gone missing.

    When vacuuming I get tiny air bubbles in the return. I don't remember that before.

    Now to add to the mix: Recently buried the in and out lines to/from pool in prep for landscaping. Could be coincidental but I swear it started looking bad right after that. DH thinks I'm a crazy person but tiny bubbles + silt = I swear I'm starting to think that have a tiny crack in the line that may be letting in silt/dirt? Is that just crazy talk?

    So, my question is, we obviously need to address a few things.

    My gut is to go with the obvious first:

    1) Replace filter media. That's a no-harm/no-foul since we are past the end-life of Zeobrite (3 years I was told) anyway.
    2) Already pulled the lines out of the dirt and will clean them off so we can keep an eye on them. Buried lines! Pffttt. Silly man.
    3) look into purchasing new water return outlet apparatus so I can be sure water is circulating throughout and not just on top half.
    4) Order TF100 test kit ASAP since I feel a little bit stupider every single time I read about all the stuff the cool pool owners know that I don't.
    5) Throw in the beach towel and try to convince swimmers that cloudy/green is the new blue?

    TIA!
    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
    Hayward TS180 Sand Filter

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    Speaking as one who never even took a chemistry class, you do not have to be scientifically inclined to be able to use the test kits recommended successfully. The instructions are very clear and you just have to make sure you have a few distraction free minutes so you don't lose count of the drops while conducting the tests.

    As far as clearing the pool goes, all you need to know is how much of what to add to your pool. Your test results and the pool calculator will tell you that. Understanding how the processes work is totally optional!
    TFP Moderator
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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    I recommend that you go through Pool School one "chunk" at a time. It can seem overwhelming at first because there is alot of information (and valuable information), but if you focus on one topic at a time until you are comfortable with it, then you'll gradually become an expert.

    The test kits recommended at TFP can also be a little daunting at first - a few drops of this, a few drops of that, etc. But, with time, it will become second nature. You might want to keep some test strips along side at first until you feel comfortable with the new test kit. The Free Chlorine (FC) and Combined Chlorine (CC) tests will be critical to knowing the condition of your pool - then you can take the appropriate action.

    As for your cloudy conditions, sounds like you may need a good long liquid chlorine shock; or maybe it's related to too high alkalinity and calcium hardness (lime precip in your water) - but you will need to post your chemical test results first before people can make specific recommendations.
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    No PhD required! All you need is a desire for a clear sparkly pool that's safe to swim in.

    I like DWSPool's suggestion of taking Pool School a "chunk" at a time.

    The biggest things you can do to help yourself is to get a good test kit and learn to use the Pool Calculator. (links to both in my sig)

    The best thing about this place is that if you have a problem with the pool or just understanding your testing or results you can just come here and ask and some of us will hold your hand and get you through it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    I'm guessing you have made a cake from a boxed mix a time or two for your kids. So, I know you can read. I know you can measure. I know you can pour stuff from one container to another. I know you can follow directions in order. Done -- you can use a test kit and you can have a sparkly pool!
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    As far as clearing the pool goes, all you need to know is how much of what to add to your pool. Your test results and the pool calculator will tell you that. Understanding how the processes work is totally optional!
    Thank you. You are all so sweet (and so early in the morning too!)

    I DO want to learn. I find it easier for me to maintain something I at least functionally understand. I know the pool stores are busy but sometimes the "do this, don't ask any questions" thing gets old.

    I really appreciate the advice to take it in "chunks." That I can do.

    Right now I have only test strips (hangs head in shame) and the results of five days ago from pool store that say:

    Calcium Hardness 160
    Total Alk 50 * Too low? Shouldn't this be 80-120?
    Cyanuric acid 10 ** Recommended 5 lbs of stabilizer ASAP
    Free Chlorine 6.5 *** Was told this is way too high and we needed to let chlorine levels come down?
    Total Chlorine .97
    pH 7.5
    -----
    Suggested Treatment: 5 lb. Chlorine Conditioner. I have not added it yet. Pool employee was sweet as pie but I just didn't get an overall confident/competent vibe.

    Background: I run filter 24/7 and vacuum every day or two as a matter of course.
    Silty wisps of algae/silt (?) appear at pool bottom if filter is left off.
    Chlorine ran out once for maybe 1-3 days about two weeks ago. Went away and failed to notice that chlorine pucks had dissolved. Immediately added liquid shock, etc. (which probably led to the HIGH reading). Pool still looked blue and clear but later, after a spate of heavy rains, trouble started and pool went rogue.
    Trees near but not directly over pool. Debris/leaves in pool few to none.
    Treated with algaecide a few days and water did seem marginally clearer but may have been wishful thinking.
    Cannot shake the cloudy/greenish tint.

    I've been adding chlorine (both liquid and powder) to shock, vacuuming, backwashing, and lather/rinse/repeat as necessary with little to no real improvement in clarity or color.

    I don't want to add anything else until I know more ...

    Off to pool school ...

    'm guessing you have made a cake from a boxed mix a time or two for your kids. So, I know you can read. I know you can measure. I know you can pour stuff from one container to another. I know you can follow directions in order. Done -- you can use a test kit and you can have a sparkly pool!
    Poor analogy. Box mix is akin to the pool store. "Here's a box of chemicals. Just add water. Trust us. You should get cake. But maybe, for some unknown reason relating to the phases of the sun, moon, weather and how many cooks you have in your kitchen over a holiday weekend your cake will be flat, weird, murky or just altogether unfit to eat."

    Pool School and BBB method (which sounds intriguing) more like cooking from scratch. Works if you understand the basics of cooking chemistry ala' x will leaven, y will rise, etc. -- not so easy if you don't. I'm a pretty good cook but to this day can't tell you whether I want to add baking powder or baking soda to cause something to rise.
    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
    Hayward TS180 Sand Filter

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

    No, you can't over filter.

    1) Zeo media lasts more than 3 years.
    2) That shouldn't make any difference
    3) Good idea
    4) Great idea
    5) Problems like this are far easier to solve when you have a good test kit. To really answer your questions, we need to see a full set of water test results.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  9. Back To Top    #9
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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    Straight A honors student here...
    Squeaked out a B- in Chemistry. And I was even friends with the teacher's kid!

    It's easier this way than the pool store way. There's less 'stuff' to put in and we speak 'human'. I was reading the product sheets for the chemicals at my pool stores (proteam and bioguard) and it was nothing but marketing, all promising a crystal clear pool and none of it made sense.

    Print out the pool school stuff and start a folder. Let go of everything you thought you knew about pools and start from square one fresh.

    We'll be with you every step.
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
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    http://www.tftestkits.net TFT100 test kit

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymberly
    Heading into our FOURTH summer with pool. Previously so maintenance-free that it seemed too-good-to-be-true. This season we have cloudy/greenish water. Algae or silt? Can't know for sure. It's mostly chalky/cloudy water with a tint very slight. Pool store says we overchlorinated trying to fix it but otherwise it tests fine. Suggested adding stabilizer but no other fix. Also added a skimmer sock last night and it has what appears to be MUD in it? Dirt? If I turn off the filter and let the water sit I get little wisps of something on the bottom. I assumed algae but could it be silt?

    Here's the situation:

    Hayward Sand Filter full of Zeobrite since 2006. - Probably should replace the filter media? Thinking of switching to sand. Yay or nay?
    I personally do not have experience with zeobrite. If you want, you can try to clean it according to Zeobrite's directions. Click here to read the FAQs for Zeobrite.

    Skimmer door (weir?) missing. No problem said pool-owning friends, you don't need it. Can't imagine that's an issue but mentioning it.
    A missing weir door can contribute to the air bubbles in the return you have noted. The weir door helps control the flow of water into the skimmer. If the water is pulled into the skimmer too quickly a vortex (whirlpool) can form and suck air into the skimmer. Many pool supply stores carry weir doors or can order one for you.

    Pressure gauge on filter has not worked since the day it arrived new in box. I have never checked pressure. I just backwash regularly (at least weekly or more if needed) and when water runs clear I'm good. Could I have over-backwashed? (See, probably need new filter media, above).
    I have not heard of frequent backwashing causing any problems other than making it more difficult to keep the water balanced due to frequent water replacement. The filter gauge is easily and cheaply replaced and should be done as soon as is practical. The pressure gauge not only tells you when it is time to backwash, but also will give you a heads up on other problems, such as a potential blockage (pressure rises) or leak (pressure drops) in the pool plumbing.

    I tend to run filter 24/7 because my kids swim in there and I thought that would be just the kind of uber-freak overkill that would get me right into Good Mama Heaven someday. Can you overfilter?
    Running the filter 24/7 is fine, in fact some people here recommend it. When you are going through the shock process it is absolutely necessary.

    Cannot seem to adjust water return. Getting great flow, but can literally see the water ripple across the top and edges of the pool as the return jets out. I wonder if I am only getting the top half of the water level circulated? We used to have an adapter that redirected the water and that appears to have gone missing.
    The water return fitting (eye or eyeball) can be adjusted to different angles. Yours may be stuck. Use a pair of rubber gloves for better grip and unscrew the eyeball from the return. I change the angle and direction of my return from time to time to help keep things from hiding under the steps.

    When vacuuming I get tiny air bubbles in the return. I don't remember that before.
    Could be an air leak in the vacuum hose. Is that the only time you see bubbles?

    Now to add to the mix: Recently buried the in and out lines to/from pool in prep for landscaping. Could be coincidental but I swear it started looking bad right after that. DH thinks I'm a crazy person but tiny bubbles + silt = I swear I'm starting to think that have a tiny crack in the line that may be letting in silt/dirt? Is that just crazy talk?
    I don't think that is your issue. If there was a leak large enough to let dirt in, you would be seeing wet dirt in the area all the time. Since you have cloudy water, you likely have an algae bloom going on. Dead algae resembles dirt laying on the pool floor. Try holding a sock over the return for a few minutes with the pump on. Examine the contents of the sock and report back here.

    So, my question is, we obviously need to address a few things.

    My gut is to go with the obvious first:

    1) Replace filter media. That's a no-harm/no-foul since we are past the end-life of Zeobrite (3 years I was told) anyway.
    2) Already pulled the lines out of the dirt and will clean them off so we can keep an eye on them. Buried lines! Pffttt. Silly man.
    3) look into purchasing new water return outlet apparatus so I can be sure water is circulating throughout and not just on top half.

    4) Order TF100 test kit ASAP since I feel a little bit stupider every single time I read about all the stuff the cool pool owners know that I don't.
    This is the best thing you can do for your pool. Your test results will be more accurate than any pool store's results. Once you have a complete set of test results, we can help your clear your pool.

    5) Throw in the beach towel and try to convince swimmers that cloudy/green is the new blue?
    You'll have to talk fast because soon it will go to solid green, then black!

    Read through pool school, and ask questions. Go ahead and get the pool store to test your water (just don't buy anything!) and post the results here. We need to know:
    FC (free chlorine)
    CC (combined chlorine)
    TA (total Alkalinity)
    CH (Calcium)
    pH
    CYA (cyuranic acid, aka stabilizer or conditioner)


    TIA!
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    poolgirl (and all others) again, MANY THANKS.

    I took the numbers I have (and right now the strips, as much as they can, are pretty close to the pool store so until my Big Girl kit comes it will have to do) ...

    Using the numbers above I ran the pool calculator (and thank you for that!)

    Can someone double check me here but my understanding is that I will want to:

    Add baking soda to raise TA
    Add about 60 oz of stabilizer (so the Pool Lady I doubted was right).

    I don't know what magic voodoo this forum has but I swear it seems clearer already. I've been vac'ing since about 6:00 a.m. and when the return started blowing dirty water when I restarted the vac after a skimmer clean, I backwashed a LOT of crud out of the water and restarted the vacuum. I'm running it with a skimmer sock in place since I'm here to babysit it and clean frequently as needed.

    I really think I need to get some new Zeobrite or sand for the filter. I swear it's better since I added the skimmer sock. I wonder if it's just not filtering properly anymore?
    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
    Hayward TS180 Sand Filter

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymberly
    As far as clearing the pool goes, all you need to know is how much of what to add to your pool. Your test results and the pool calculator will tell you that. Understanding how the processes work is totally optional!
    Thank you. You are all so sweet (and so early in the morning too!)

    I DO want to learn. I find it easier for me to maintain something I at least functionally understand. I know the pool stores are busy but sometimes the "do this, don't ask any questions" thing gets old.

    I really appreciate the advice to take it in "chunks." That I can do.

    Right now I have only test strips (hangs head in shame) and the results of five days ago from pool store that say:

    Calcium Hardness 160
    Total Alk 50 * Too low? Shouldn't this be 80-120?
    Cyanuric acid 10 ** Recommended 5 lbs of stabilizer ASAP


    Free Chlorine 6.5 *** Was told this is way too high and we needed to let chlorine levels come down?
    Total Chlorine .97
    There is an error in the chlorine tests. Total chlorine cannot be less than free chlorine.
    Total chlorine = Free chlorine + Combined chlorine, thus Total chlorine will always be higher or equal to Free chlorine.


    pH 7.5
    -----
    Suggested Treatment: 5 lb. Chlorine Conditioner. I have not added it yet. Pool employee was sweet as pie but I just didn't get an overall confident/competent vibe.

    Background: I run filter 24/7 and vacuum every day or two as a matter of course.
    Silty wisps of algae/silt (?) appear at pool bottom if filter is left off.
    Chlorine ran out once for maybe 1-3 days about two weeks ago. Went away and failed to notice that chlorine pucks had dissolved. Immediately added liquid shock, etc. (which probably led to the HIGH reading). Pool still looked blue and clear but later, after a spate of heavy rains, trouble started and pool went rogue.
    Trees near but not directly over pool. Debris/leaves in pool few to none.
    Treated with algaecide a few days and water did seem marginally clearer but may have been wishful thinking.
    Cannot shake the cloudy/greenish tint.

    I've been adding chlorine (both liquid and powder) to shock, vacuuming, backwashing, and lather/rinse/repeat as necessary with little to no real improvement in clarity or color.

    I don't want to add anything else until I know more ...

    Off to pool school ...

    [quote:1hkhugur]'m guessing you have made a cake from a boxed mix a time or two for your kids. So, I know you can read. I know you can measure. I know you can pour stuff from one container to another. I know you can follow directions in order. Done -- you can use a test kit and you can have a sparkly pool!
    Poor analogy. Box mix is akin to the pool store. "Here's a box of chemicals. Just add water. Trust us. You should get cake. But maybe, for some unknown reason relating to the phases of the sun, moon, weather and how many cooks you have in your kitchen over a holiday weekend your cake will be flat, weird, murky or just altogether unfit to eat."

    Pool School and BBB method (which sounds intriguing) more like cooking from scratch. Works if you understand the basics of cooking chemistry ala' x will leaven, y will rise, etc. -- not so easy if you don't. I'm a pretty good cook but to this day can't tell you whether I want to add baking powder or baking soda to cause something to rise.[/quote:1hkhugur]

    Assuming the rest of the test results are correct (but I doubt they are), here is a tentative plan of action according to the pool calculator.
    Your daily FC target is 1-4ppm. You want to keep it at 4 and never let it drop to 0.
    Your shock level is 10ppm. That means you want to raise the FC to 10 and keep it there until you pass the overnight test. (Add enough chlorine in the evening to bring it to shock level. When the sun goes down test the FC and record the results. Test the water again at dawn, before full sun reaches the pool. Record FC and CC and compare to the previous night's results. If FC loses 1ppm or less and your CC is .5 or less you pass the test.)

    I would hold off on adding anything other than liquid chlorine until you have a good quality test kit. I suspect these pool store results are way off.

    Do you know if you have been using dichlor, trichlor, or calcium hypochlorite to shock the pool in the past?
    TFP Moderator
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  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

    zea3 (and all others) THANK YOU. Seriously. You're thorough post really helped me understand things.

    Like the fact that my DH is NOT to blame for burying hoses (and putting bigger, smooth hoses in place of the cheap ones Pool Store sold us. He's a "more is more" guy and I was blaming his fancy hoses (smooth rather than the corrugated type) for the fact that I was getting a whirlpool/vortex in skimmer. Knowing it's a Weir/door lets him off the hook. I thank you. He thanks you. Also helps me understand air-bubbles.

    Must order new pressure gauge. My "just backwash the heck out of it" probably is not the way to go.

    I thought Zeobrite was a 3-5 years but Pool Store lady said they were now being told "every year." I was angry to think that Zeobrite had misled as to the product. Will need second opinion on that. Also was NEVER told (diff pool store) that we should ever clean it out! I haven't cracked open that filter since it was installed in Spring '06. Will do!

    I too think it's just algae and despite her "overchlorinated - stop adding" advice that we just needed to knock it out? I added more shock last night and it's already a tad clearer this morning. Am running vac with skimmer sock in place and backwashing as needed.

    Right now I have only test strips (hangs head in shame) and the results of five days ago from pool store that say:

    Calcium Hardness 160
    Total Alk 50 * Too low? Shouldn't this be 80-120?
    Cyanuric acid 10 ** Recommended 5 lbs of stabilizer ASAP
    Free Chlorine 6.5 *** Was told this is way too high and we needed to let chlorine levels come down?
    Total Chlorine .97
    pH 7.5
    -----
    Suggested Treatment: 5 lb. Chlorine Conditioner. I have not added it yet. Pool employee was sweet as pie but I just didn't get an overall confident/competent vibe.
    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
    Hayward TS180 Sand Filter

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    Do you know if you have been using dichlor, trichlor, or calcium hypochlorite to shock the pool in the past?
    Um, no. I used round white pucks. Came in a big bucket? Cost an arm and a leg? We used Bioguard the first year, this year we are using (runs off to look at bucket ...) Trichloro (just received yesterday). I am, however, pretty sure the previous bucket was Trichlor of a different brand as well.

    We just ordered the 3-1 Trichlor tabs from In The Swim that a friend loves. I hope I didn't just toss $144 away into the drink?

    THANK YOU for telling me the test was off. See, I took my water in to be tested after we had inadvertently run out of chlorine and I was reading almost 0 on home test strip. I realize test strips are fallible but I'm getting o (ie. no color) and she tells me my chlorine is off the charts and we should stop immediately? Everything else matched up with my strips within reason but I trusted her and QUIT ADDING CHLORINE for days. Seriously. She told me not too! Also sold me a new bottle of strips for $8 and I threw away a huge pack I had at home because they must be defective.

    Now, thinking back, that's when any gains we had started to backslide. I waited days because she swore the chlorine was too high, and finally started adding chlorine and shock again and almost overnight we see some improvement?

    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
    Hayward TS180 Sand Filter

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

    Hi again, I addressed your test results in your other thread. One of the moderators will probably combine this thread and the PhD thread sometime today so we can keep all your information in one place for now. That will make it easier on you and you won't have to post the same stuff in both threads! Until you can get a good quality test kit, go ahead and have the pool store test your water, but do not buy anything from them.
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  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    So the trichlor pucks you are using now came from In the Swim? (just to clarify, because if you have a bucket of pucks already and ordered more yesterday try and cancel the order)

    If you find out your CYA level really is 10, then it is o.k. to supplement the chlorine with the pucks. You cannot use pucks as the only source of chlorine. They dissolve too slowly to keep up with the chlorine demands of the average pool. That is why they will tell you to shock the pool once a week. It boosts the FC way high and slowly drifts down over the week's time. Trouble is dichlor or trichlor powdered shock will add a lot of CYA along with the FC, and your CYA level can become unmanageable over time. Most of us use liquid chlorine or a SWG (saltwater chlorine generator) since they do not add CYA to the water.

    Please wait until you confirm your CYA result before you add more to your water. Once the CYA becomes too high, the only way to reduce it is to drain water or have a pool service that performs reverse osmosis treatments "clean" the water. If you have already added CYA, it may take up to a week to register on a test.

    The best thing to kill algae is chlorine and lots of it! Pool stores will try and sell you algaecides to clear it up, but all algaecides are not created equal. Some have different concentrations of active ingredients, and some have things in them you don't want in your pool, such as copper. All of them cost way more than they should. A properly sanitized pool does not need algaecide, and liquid chlorine is relatively cheap.
    TFP Moderator
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  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    Thanks again.

    The In The Swim order came last night - the first puck went in yesterday and is 3/4 gone today.
    Previous brand is unknown but I've used 3" pucks every year so I'm sure they were the same thing - Trichlor. Probably?
    As for pucks not dissolving quickly, I'm confused. My BioGuard pucks (year 1 and 2) went in a little mesh bag in the skimmer and 3 pucks would last maybe 3-4 days.

    Now that I filter 24/7 we are going through a puck per day so I assumed they were dissolving nicely?

    The CYA probably is zero because we have added none since 2006 (yes, really, I am telling you I am the stupidest pool owner EVAH and up to now just lived a charmed life). We backwash frequently and the kids splash out so much water that if a drop of the water originally delivered 4 years ago is actually IN there - I'd be very much surprised.
    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

    Great. Thanks! I hope they DO combine because I DID read the TOU and don't want to be "that one" who just can't understand rules about not posting the same info twice but then nice people had questions ... and now I'm THAT person. Ugh.

    All of our issues are complicated by living in rural Hooterville (I say this with love). The pool store - any pool store - is minimum 30 minutes one way, with kids, which means I try to get there every fifth of never.

    Yet another justification for buying a good test. The money saved in commuting to the pool store.
    24' round/52" deep Leisure Bay AG est. 13.5k gallons
    Hayward TS180 Sand Filter

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Do I really need a PhD in Chemistry to do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymberly
    The CYA probably is zero because we have added none since 2006
    The pucks have CYA in them. When the pucks dissolve, you add chlorine and cya. If you have 3-1 pucks you also add other ingredients. Look at the bucket of pucks and let us know what the other ingredients are.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kymberly
    We backwash frequently and the kids splash out so much water
    This is actually a good thing, at least from a cya perspective. The backwash and splashout are reducing your cya. CYA is a good thing, until it gets too high, then it's a bad thing- just like the wine Your pool is a much happier place with some cya, too much and it acts in ways you won't like.

    You most likely have more cya than 10 ppm. Wait until your new kit comes and test the cya before adding any. Before testing the cya read up on how to do the test so you don't waste reagent. Someone with more skill than I will be along to post the link to the Taylor CYA instructions- good read.
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
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  20. Back To Top    #20
    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water? Help me decide what to fix first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymberly
    Great. Thanks! I hope they DO combine because I DID read the TOU and don't want to be "that one" who just can't understand rules about not posting the same info twice but then nice people had questions ... and now I'm THAT person. Ugh.

    All of our issues are complicated by living in rural Hooterville (I say this with love). The pool store - any pool store - is minimum 30 minutes one way, with kids, which means I try to get there every fifth of never.

    Yet another justification for buying a good test. The money saved in commuting to the pool store.
    Hi Kymberly..
    Surely a mod will combine these sometime.

    I understand rural Hooterville...I'm in the same situation. It has forced me to rely on ME instead of them. I received confirmation of this yet again this week. Two different pool stores, vastly different results and a ridiculous shopping list at the first one, then beyond ridiculous at the second one, even though the second one seemed to have a better handle on what the products actually do... But, I can assure you that living in a big city is no better with regard to pool store testing...bigger isn't better in most cases.

    One trip to the pool store and buying their recommendations will pay for your test kit over and over. Plus the peace of mind you'll have is priceless...

    The whole theory here at TFP is knowing what you put in, why, and it's effects long term. Once you get things under control then you can buy only what you NEED at the pool store.
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
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