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Thread: My pool is cloudy!!!

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    My pool is cloudy!!!

    This is how my pool tested today. I have a SWG that is running 60% for 16 hrs a day. It appears cloudy and may have some mustard algae. About 1 month ago a friend got in the water with his swimsuit that had been in the lake. The next day we had what I think is mustard algae. I have been following instructions of the local pool store for about 1 month and still have cloudy water and a little bit of mustard algae (I think). I have decided to try a different approach. HELP!

    Salt: 3100
    FC: 10
    pH: 8.2 (I have put tons of pH down in our pool over the last several weeks and the pH has never been below 8.0
    TA: 93 (for some reason they keep wanting me to raise it?)
    CH: 150
    CYA: 40

  2. Back To Top    #2
    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    If you don't have a test for CC you can at least do an overnight FC loss test to determine organics. If it really is algae you need to shock (process not product). This will be difficult without a test kit that can measure FC over 10 and CC.

    Don't raise the TA any more. With a SWCG your pH has a tendency to rise and higher TA makes it worse. 60 to 70 is fine and will help keep pH out of the stratosphere.

    Your pH is probably well over the ability of your test to measure (8.2++) so you aren't adding enough acid. I recommend using muriatic acid rather than pH down because it is cheaper and doesn't add unwanted chemicals to your pool (sulphur).
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

  3. Back To Top    #3
    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    One more thing...your CYA is low for an SWCG. You should bring it up to 70 - 80. This will keep the FC from being burned off by the sun as quickly and will help your SWCG keep up with demand.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    If you have been adding a pool store chem to raise the TA, that will likely also cause your PH to go up (coupled with using an SWG).
    The TA is fine, stop increasing it, and you should see your PH stabilize.
    Use Muratic Acid to lower PH, use the Pool Calculator to determine how much.

    Do not adjust your CYA up until you have completed the shock process, if you need to shock the pool. As Sven mentioned, you determine the need to shock by turning OFF the SWG and doing an overnight FC loss test. In any event, with a CYA of 40, your shock level is much higher than 10. Refer to the CYA Chart for your recommended levels.

    Do you have your own test kit? You need one to complete the shock process properly, and avoid the bad advice the pool store is giving you.

    Hope this helps, post back if you need clarification on anything.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    I do not have a test kit, and the only one I can find locally does not test for CYA. So, I will have to order one. In the meantime, I bought some fresh strips. I suspect they are not all that accurate but the only choice I have besides the pool store at this point. I will do a FC test tonight and then again in the morning. Let me clarify what I should do afterward....if I lose FC that means I do have algae? Then I shock it? But the Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine are both too high (10). Would I still shock it? Also, do I need to decrease the output of my SWG since the FC is so high?

    I had already figured out that I needed CYA, but I should wait to add it until after I figure out if I need to shock? Also, we had already added 4 lbs of pH down before I found your site. How long should I wait to recheck the pH? I still have a couple of pounds of the pH down left. I assume it will be ok to use it if need be and then switch to the muratic acid.

    Thank you for your quick reply!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    If my TC and FC are the same, does that mean I probably don't have algae. If I am reading the ABC's of Pool Care correctly, TC=FC + CC so if FC and TC are the same then the CC would be 0.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by shoppinandfishin
    I do not have a test kit, and the only one I can find locally does not test for CYA. So, I will have to order one.
    The best investment we made in our pool is a good test kit! I recommend the TF100 or TF100XL from TFTestKits.net. Excellent product and customer service. Link in my sig.

    In the meantime, I bought some fresh strips. I suspect they are not all that accurate but the only choice I have besides the pool store at this point. I will do a FC test tonight and then again in the morning. Let me clarify what I should do afterward....if I lose FC that means I do have algae? Then I shock it? But the Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine are both too high (10). Would I still shock it? Also, do I need to decrease the output of my SWG since the FC is so high?
    The FIRST thing you should do is lower your pH using muriatic acid. Get it down to around 7.2 to 7.4 ish.
    Again, do this first!

    The shock level for your CYA level of 40 is about 15 or 16. See the CYA/Chlorine chart in my sig.


    I had already figured out that I needed CYA, but I should wait to add it until after I figure out if I need to shock?
    Yes, you want to wait and add the CYA after you are done shocking.

    Also, we had already added 4 lbs of pH down before I found your site. How long should I wait to recheck the pH? I still have a couple of pounds of the pH down left. I assume it will be ok to use it if need be and then switch to the muratic acid.
    I suggest you go ahead and use the muriatic acid. Use Jason's Pool Calculator (link in my sig)for dose amount. Add about 2/3 of recommended/calculated dose (pump running) and recheck in an hour or two. Then add more, if necessary, to reach your goal. Try not to overshoot your pH goal. Best to ease up to it.

    Welcome to the forum


    Thank you for your quick reply!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    Here is my plan of action (correct me if I don't have this right):

    I ordered the TF100 this morning.

    In the meantime, I will have the pool store retest my ph and adjust it with Muratic Acid.

    There is definitely mustard algae in my pool, so after the pH is balanced I will shock with bleach. Even though the FC is 10? We did lower our SWG from 60% to 50%...was that right?

    Then I will add CYA when? The next day?

    I would like to add the Borax as well. So, once I get the TA, pH, etc. balanced I can add the Borax + Muratic Acid according to the instructions on the sight?

    I really appreciate your patience. It seems I have been following some really bad advice on this!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    If your FC is above 10, the PH might read falsely-high. So allow the FC to drop down below 10, retest the PH and then adjust it. Then resume shocking. Use 1 part pool water and 1 part distilled water to test your FC up to 20 with the strips.

    How do you know it's mustard algae? (this is often mistaken for something else).

    Wait to raise the CYA level until you are DONE shocking. The higher the CYA level is, the higher your shock level must be.

    If you mean Borax for Borates, I suggest you focus on one thing at a time, allow the pool issue to stabilize for a week or two, till you are confident things are running smoothly and then proceed if you like.

    You should know they are completely optional, many do not use them at all (like myself, Duraleigh).
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    I have a brownish yellowish residue in the seams and on the steps. When I brush it, it makes kind of a cloud. From everything I have read, this sounds like mustard algae. What else could it be? How do I determine what it is? My neighbor got in my pool with his swimsuit from the lake. That is when I started having problems. Before that my water was perfect!

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    dust, dirt, pollen, dead algae, etc.

    Most all pools get stuff like you describe (including mine). Many folks on the forum confuse it with Mustard Algae which is more rare than people think. It could be a coincidence, the stuff you are seeing could be dead algae, it's not clear at this point.

    You need to turn OFF the swg and do an Overnight Loss test.

    Mustard algae grows up the walls, and likes the shady side of the pool. Mustard Algae will disappear when you raise the FC up to shock level, and then return when the FC drops back down to normal.

    So when you reach shock level, if you still see this stuff, its something else. If it vanishes, then we can talk about treating for mustard.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    Makes sense. I will work on getting the pH right first, then do the overnight FC test.

    Thanks for your help!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    The pH is 7.4 and the FC is 5. That means FC dropped overnight. So shock?

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by shoppinandfishin
    The pH is 7.4 and the FC is 5. That means FC dropped overnight. So shock?
    Yes, you need to shock. Follow the instructions for How to Shock Your Pool in Pool School.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    Ok, I put in 9 jugs of 6% bleach this morning. I took my water to the pool co and here is how it tested:

    FC 4
    TC 1
    CC -3.1
    pH 7.4
    TA 106
    CYA 15
    Iron 1.99

    I don't see how this test could be accurate. First of all how can I put that much bleach in and my FC go down. Second how can CC be a negative #. If I have iron in my pool do I need to add something to get rid of it? They want we to add an algicide. Will shocking it not get rid of the Mustard algae if that is what I have?

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    How fresh was the water sample? Chlorine will dissipate pretty quickly. Sample needs to be not an hour old.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    TC being lower than FC is impossible and means there was a testing error, regardless of anything else that is happening.

    Shocking the pool will kill the algae if it is done correctly (see the article in Pool School). We don't normally recommend algaecide.

    Iron at 1.99 would be a significant problem. Hopefully that test result is simply wrong. If you have iron at 1.99, I would expect you to already have iron stains (unless you are already using large amounts of sequestrant).

    CYA can't be 15 if it was 40 last time. One, or both, of those test results is wrong.

    I will be interested to see results from your TF-100 when it comes. I wouldn't put too much faith in these pool store results. Anyone who actually writes down a negative CC has no idea what they are doing.
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    I went back and had them retest with the same results. I questioned the lady about the negative CC and she said they get those all the time!?!!*&%$ This was a different store than I have been going to and the other store never mentioned an iron problem and I have no stains, so that is probably just dead wrong.

    My pool smells like chlorine. My kids went swimming and their suits smell like chlorine so given the fact that these test results are questionable, I don't really think I should add more chlorine. Should I just let it be until my kit comes in?

    I have some algecide will it hurt anything to add it since I have already paid for it?

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    That "chlorine" smell is CC. To get rid of the smell, it actually needs more chlorine! (We destroy CC by increasing FC level/shocking.)

    My suggestion is that you bring the pool to shock level each night and each morning until you get your TF100. Others will be along with their opinions/ideas.

    I would try to return the algaecide for refund or store credit. You don't need it and it could cause other problems. The only algaecide we recommend is Poly 60 used mostly for pool closings.

    Hang in there. Things will be remarkably sparkly before too long....
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Ladeda's Avatar
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    Re: My pool is cloudy!!!

    BELIEVE in TFP!! I had the same problems when I found TFP and I am now a true blue BBB. I have not visited a pool store, or paid ridiculous prices for chemicals since I found this site. The TF-100 has paid for itself time after time. If you follow up with the suggestions you get here, you will save yourself alot of frustration and money. The only bit of advice I can give, being new to this family, is two things, Time and patience. I have found that it takes a minimum of 3 days to get your pool clear with the shock method mentioned, and another 3-4 days to get your chemicals aligned. Once you get past that it is smooth sailing. Good Luck to you.
    25,000 gal IG Liner - Filter Sand Z Brite - Pump 5 HP - TF-100 test Kit

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