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Thread: Unfilterable cloudiness

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    Unfilterable cloudiness

    I'll start from the beginning with a trend toward brevity. My pool was never closed last year. I simply removed the pump and filter and put the plugs in the return and skimmer. Needless to say I had a swamp come May. In a Google search on the subject I found this site and all the wonderful advice in "Turning your green swamp back into a sparkling oasis". I followed the advice to the best of my ability and soon was rewarded with a balanced but cloudy pool. I have done my best to maintain a reasonable FC level, but with only test strips it was difficult. It didn't seem to matter how long I ran the filter (24 hrs a day for a week and a half) it remained cloudy.

    Today I fit a Leslie's service complete test kit into the budget and got these results:
    FC 2.0
    CC 3.0
    PH 7.2
    TA 100
    CH 200
    CYA 35

    I added soda ash and started shocking the pool with bleach as per pool calc. around sundown. I tested FC every hour with the following results:
    5:30 6:30 7:30 8:30 9:30
    15 10 15 10 10

    Every time the levels dropped below 15 I added bleach as per pool calc. My question is this. I have been down the shock and run pump road before with no results. Am I missing something in the water balance? Did I not shock long enough? Is there some other factor that I am overlooking? I should add that my pump and filter are working fine and I even replaced the filter sand.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Welcome to TFP!

    You are not done shocking your pool. A CC of > 0.5 indicates the need to shock and yours is at 3. Before you can deem the situation to be a filtration problem, the CC must be addressed.

    Please visit Pool School and read the "Shocking Your Pool" section.

    The key to shocking your pool is to maintain the shock level until:

    1) The CC is 0.5 or less
    2) You lose no more than 1 ppm FC overnight

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    Welcome to TFP!
    1) The CC is 0.5 or less
    2) You lose no more than 1 ppm FC overnight
    ...and 3) Your water is clear.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    Welcome to TFP!
    1) The CC is 0.5 or less
    2) You lose no more than 1 ppm FC overnight
    ...and 3) Your water is clear.
    Well, you can be free of organics and yet still have some cloudiness to the water from dead algae. At that point, it does become a filtration problem.

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    I will check the FC in the AM before work (well before sunrise) and continue the shock process if I see a drop of more than 1 PPM. However if the FC and CC check out I have no way of checking water clarity. The part of my yard the pool is in is very dark after sunset. How can I be sure I meet all three indicators? Should I just add more bleach in expectations of the worst? My last reading was FC = 10PPM at around 9:30. I did not adjust from there.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    With a FAS-DPD test. You really don't have to wait till it's clear to know you're done shocking. The two steps that 257 mentioned ar all that's required. The third step is for people that don't have a FAS-DPD chlorine test. I usually suggest that people who have had problems hold shock until they pass the overnight loss test two nights in a row. Probably overkill but it's extra insurance that you're truly done shocking.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    I saw no overnight FC loss this morning. I added bleach again to bring my FC up to 15 for the daytime while I was at work. When I got home (about 12 hrs later) the FC had understandably sank to 6. I added bleach again to raise it back up to 15. I have a thunderstorm moving in so I may not be able to check again before bed. I figure at the least I can retest in the morning and add to shockable levels for tomorrow.

    I am a little confused though. Is the point of the FAS-DPD test to monitor the CC at extremely high FC levels? If so, am I to understand that the lowering of CC for extended periods and not necessarilly water clarity are the determining factor if algae are active in my pool? If that is the case, then when the pool passes the overnight FAS-DPD test it should be cleared by the filter within a few days?

    I'm trying not to be impatient, I would just like to understand the process a little better. Thank you again in advance and I apologize for another long winded post.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    NCFlyersFan's Avatar
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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Having a CC reading is indicative of there being an organic (ammonia) compound in the pool that has combined with chlorine to create chloramine. CC has little, if any, sanitizing abilities and needs to be removed. You need to maintain FC at shock levels to burn off the CC, as well as any other organics, such as algae.

    The reason you bought the FAS-DPD test kit is to be able to test FC at the high levels needed to shock your pool. You need to continue shocking, as discussed above, until CC > 0.5 ppm and you pass the overnight FC test. And, you should raise FC to the shock level before you perform the overnight FC loss test.
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
    "It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself." - Hyman G. Rickover

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Thank you for the advice. I will raise my FC to shock level after dark to properly perform the overnight FC loss test and chalk last nights readings up to operator error.

    Your explanation of FC, CC, and the reason to shock also helped greatly in my understanding of pool chemistry. However, as with all great answers it leads me to more questions (sorry!) You mentioned ammonia as the driving component in the creation of chloramines. I know from my aquarium experience that decaying animals in an aquatic environment create large amounts of ammonia in a very short period of time.

    The reason I mention this is, during my initial cleanup of debris on the bottom of the pool I came across a very unlucky, very decayed squirrel. Is it possible that this kicked the ammonia level so high that it's burning the chlorine up almost as fast as I can add it? If that is the case then why was I able to maintain a FC level at all? My gut says that the squirrel is a contributing factor but not to the point where it is uncontrollable. I just want to check with someone who knows. Obviously, either way, an overnight FC test will tell of a problem no matter the origin.

    Thanks again.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Yep, it can contribute. When you have an organic 'event', you definitely want to hit shock level hard and fast.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    I have continued to maintain shock level the best that my work schedule allows me. As of a minute ago I am seeing improvements and had to backwash the filter so I would say I'm on the right track. Thank you all for your advice and patience. With any luck, the break in the hot weather, and my persistence will allow me to open the pool for the holiday weekend.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Only other advice I could give you to speed things along is ...do not be afraid to overshoot shock level by 5ppm or so. If work keeps you from adding chlorine as frequently as needed, this will help you ensure you stay at or above shock level for a longer period of time.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    I believe I may have done this in the not to distant past but conciderably more than 5ppm. When I backwashed the filter today and the pool level subsequently dropped I noticed I had bleached some of the color out of the vinyl liner. It's not to noticeable but there none the less. I must have read a test wrong or had a typo in pool calc somewhere along the way. Consider it operator error and a lesson hard learned. I'll bump it up around 5ppm over normal before work in the morning. That should help keep me in the range. Thanks for the tip.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Sorry to hear about the liner...as with all chlorine make sure the pump runs for at least 30 mins after adding chlorine and if it's in granular form, make sure it does not settle on the liner.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    I haven't shut the pump off in almost a week so I don't think pump run time was the problem. Like I said I think it was operator error on the pool calc page.

    Just an update, I've been maintaining shock level because I have been loosing small levels of FC overnight. The process is in full swing however. Every day the pool clarity is a little better. The filter is gaining pressure now so I must be taking something out of the water. In addition brushing on a daily basis I have been preceding that with vacuuming as thoroughly as possible. My theory is that if all I do is brush then I agitate the dead algae back into the water column and create a "bigger" job for the circulation system. The vacuum is a more targeted approach and doesn't seem to stir up as much as the brush does. I'm also planning on stopping on the way home from work and getting a filter sock for the skimmer basket. I figure that every little bit helps.

    Thank you again everyone for your help and I'll keep posting updates.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Update:
    It's clear. Totally and sparkly clear. Checked my levels today and there was some minor tweeking to do but all and all everything looked good. I upped my CYA to 50ppm because with all the sun my pool gets throughout the day it was wreaking havoc on my FC. I got my borate test strips in the mail this afternoon so I am going to start to add the borates to the pool tomorrow.

    Thank you to everyone who helped by posting solutions both here and in other topics. I have such a sense of accomplishment right now. I finally feel like I can whip this thing. Thanks again.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Unfilterable cloudiness

    Congratulations. And yes, you CAN whip this thing. Good work.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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