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Thread: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

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    Shablam's Avatar
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    Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Hi first time posting and have become quite desperate.

    I have owned this pool for two years and have always had crystal clear water. Started with a DE filter and after getting fed up with the broken grates and DE in the pool I put in a Hayward c17502 cartridge filter last year.

    The pool is 12,000 Gallons, Plaster, Hayward c17502 cartridge filter Pentair inline chlorine tab dispensing bio guard tabs.

    So it all started about three weeks ago, we had some major rain for about a week strait and the water began to look cloudy. I was shocking it once a week and figured it was from the rain and shock but why wasn’t it clearing?

    Took some water in and they told me I need to up the Alkalinity but all other numbers were spot on. Added the Balance pak 100 to their recommendations with no change.

    The next week left out of town and told the wife to take a water sample in. She called me and told me it was looking more cloudy. Store told her the numbers were fine and there shouldn’t be any worry.

    Ok, so came home to a green pool. Went to the pool store told them the pool was green and that I couldn’t see the bottom of the pool at all.

    They took a reading on my water and here is what they found:

    PH – 7.6
    TA - 78
    FC – 5.9
    TC - 6
    TH 296
    CYA – 80

    I was told to add yet another balance pak for the Alk, wait an hour, add 1/8 gallon of Acid wait 15 then add 2 bags of shock wait 1 hour brush and then 1 hour later add 19 oz of banish algicide.

    Did all of that on Saturday and have ran the pump constantly since. This morning awoke and still green water. When I swept there was only a light amount of green coming off of the step that I could see.

    Took another sample in:

    PH – 8.1
    TA - 118
    FC – 9.4
    TC – 9.5
    CH - 287
    CYA – 80

    Was told to add 6lbs of balance pak.
    2.3 pts of Acid
    1 bag of shock

    Explained that my pool is still cloudy and green and they told me it should clear. Well that was this morning and I still see absolutely no change.

    I have two cartridges so I am cleaning and swapping out about every three hours.

    After reading on here I am thinking that my CYA is too high and this isn’t going to clear unless I drain some water, lower the PH and start again.

    My Questions:

    1) Should I drain some water to lower the CYA, get the PH down to 7.2 and start shocking?
    2) Should I stop obsessing and give it some time? How long should this take to filter the green water?
    3) Do i have a filter problem?
    4) Any other advice would be much appreciated?

    Pictures of pool below.

    Thank you for this awesome web site!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12,000 gallon in ground pool with rock and spa water fall, Jandy Aqualink Controls, Polaris Cleaner with booster, Hayward C17502 cartridge filter. Managed by a TF - 100 Test Kit.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Welcome to TFP!

    The answer to question 1 is yes. The other questions are moot. Pool school (button in upper right) has comprehensive instructions for shocking; sounds like you've already been reading

    By the way, I really like your pool.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    I'm just a noob here, haven't even got my pool yet. But is 80 really that big of a deal?

    Like I said, I'm new here, but I would think he should be able to dump two gallons of bleach (6%) and get his shock up to 15 or 16, and try to hold that for 24 hours.

    goes to show you what I know. I just checked the CYA/Chlorine chart, and he would have to get his FC up to 31 for a good shock.

    Unless of course he has a SWCG... then 80 isn't too bad, and he only has to get to 30 FC.
    Custom Cloud shaped 19'x35' - Raised Spa 6' diameter
    Rainbow 320 Inline Chlorinator - Paramount Clear O3 Ozone Generator
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Oh yeah... other than the green thing... nice pool dude.
    Custom Cloud shaped 19'x35' - Raised Spa 6' diameter
    Rainbow 320 Inline Chlorinator - Paramount Clear O3 Ozone Generator
    Hayward C4025 Cartridge Filter (Hayward CX880XRE) - Hayward Tristar 2 speed pump
    Hayward H400Fdn Heater, Hayward GVA-24 (valve actuators)

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    80 is pretty high; I didn't see an SWG mentioned (tab feeder only, right?). You can manage a pool at 80, but it's a little more work in situations like this (shocking). Where are you located? If you're in the south somewhere (I see banana-like trees...) with lots of intense sun, depending on how much it will cost you to do a partial drain and refill, you may just want to leave the CYA at 80 (assuming you'll be switching from tabs).

    If you decide to stick it out without draining water, you definitely will need a good test kit. You'll need to keep your FC at about 30, as thunderkyss mentioned. We're here to help!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Shablam's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Thanks for the comments about the pool. I bought the house with it and I think it is 10 years old. The owners before me neglected it so I have spent the last two years on a restore job. Never thought that I would end up being a PVC artist.

    So this is what I am trying to figure out. Go ahead and drain some water or continue lowering PH back to 7.2 and keep shocking.

    One other thing; i am confused on the bleaching. Are we talking about chlorox here? I have heard that it is very hard on swimmers skin and I have two young children.

    I live in Dallas and the pool has sun from 10 am to 6 pm. I run the pump (when the pool is clear) from 9:30 to 6. I have a test kit but it only does the basics, PH, FC,TA with acid demand. The pool store is a block away and they have no problem testing it for me so i will use them until i can get one ordered.

    I really have no problem draining just want to make sure it is needed, i think the cost will offset with all the chemicals i am having to buy at the moment. The pool calculator says 38% of my water to reach 50. Is the best way with a siphoned garden hose to drain? Is this the fastest route to be able to swim again? My kids are going crazy!?

    Yes it is just a tab feeder, when you say switching from tabs do you mean to a SWG?
    12,000 gallon in ground pool with rock and spa water fall, Jandy Aqualink Controls, Polaris Cleaner with booster, Hayward C17502 cartridge filter. Managed by a TF - 100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Thats a cool looking pool and welcome to the forum. From what I've read on here it can take several days to clear a green pool. Refilling can be costly and high CYA is managable if you have a good test kit and some knowledhe from this site. As far as your filter, do you have a pressure gauge? Is the gauge giving you good data? The dirtier the filter the higher the gauge should read. For instance my filter guage normaly reads 14psi it's considered dirty and should be cleaned at 25psi.
    Keep on reading this site and pool school and you will get a etter grasp of whats happening with your pool. Get to know the pool calcualtor as well.....it takes all the guess work out so you can concentrate on other things.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
    Blue Granite Pebble Sheen finish
    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
    2' Powerfall

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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Bleach is the exact same chemical as chlorine.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
    Blue Granite Pebble Sheen finish
    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
    2' Powerfall

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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Filter gauge is always at 13 to 14 1 hour after running pool and I go ahead and clean at about 20 (force of habit from the DE). I have two filters and a good as seen on TV turn your hose into a pressure washer deal that gets them clean clean clean.

    Well its been almost 3 days, wondering if it will clear in a few days or not. Just doesn't seem like there is any change in the color. According to my filter, if i remember correctly, it should turn the pool once every hour and a half.
    12,000 gallon in ground pool with rock and spa water fall, Jandy Aqualink Controls, Polaris Cleaner with booster, Hayward C17502 cartridge filter. Managed by a TF - 100 Test Kit.

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    Shablam's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane1
    Bleach is the exact same chemical as chlorine.
    So you think i should lower the PH and maybe tomorrow add the amount of bleach as suggested by the pool calculator?
    12,000 gallon in ground pool with rock and spa water fall, Jandy Aqualink Controls, Polaris Cleaner with booster, Hayward C17502 cartridge filter. Managed by a TF - 100 Test Kit.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Shablam
    So this is what I am trying to figure out. Go ahead and drain some water or continue lowering PH back to 7.2 and keep shocking.

    This depends on where you live, and what you plan on doing from here on. If you want to convert to an SWG, keep your CYA at 80. If you don't, look at your water bill and see how much it'll cost you to do a 40% drain. In Dallas I wouldn't think you'd need any more than 50 ppm CYA.

    One other thing; i am confused on the bleaching. Are we talking about chlorox here? I have heard that it is very hard on swimmers skin and I have two young children.

    This is a myth, as Shane1 said above; it is spread by ignorance and/or deceit. Chlorine is chlorine, regardless of whether it comes from a tablet, powder, or jug.

    I live in Dallas and the pool has sun from 10 am to 6 pm. I run the pump (when the pool is clear) from 9:30 to 6. I have a test kit but it only does the basics, PH, FC,TA with acid demand. The pool store is a block away and they have no problem testing it for me so i will use them until i can get one ordered.

    Sounds like a good plan. Your two sets of results are pretty consistent, which is much omre than can be said with many pool store tests.

    I really have no problem draining just want to make sure it is needed, i think the cost will offset with all the chemicals i am having to buy at the moment. The pool calculator says 38% of my water to reach 50. Is the best way with a siphoned garden hose to drain? Is this the fastest route to be able to swim again? My kids are going crazy!?

    Again, look at your water bill and figure about how much it will cost. Draining a pool is done differently depending on how your system is set up. Since you have a cart filter, you probably won't have a way to pump to waste. Is there a hose spigot on your plumbing somewhere? If no, you can post a picture or two of your equipment and we'll help you figure it out.

    Yes it is just a tab feeder, when you say switching from tabs do you mean to a SWG?

    An SWG is one option. We don't recommend tabs, since they drive CYA up.
    If you give Pool School a good read, this will all make more sense. Especially "how to shock your pool":
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    You will need a good test kit to shock properly; the pool store's testing will not suffice.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Shablam
    One other thing; i am confused on the bleaching. Are we talking about chlorox here? I have heard that it is very hard on swimmers skin and I have two young children.
    When the chlorine is in the water chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. It doesn't matter where it came from. Bleach (clorox) is 6% sodium hypochlorite. Pool store chlorine (or liquid shock) is 10% or 12.5% sodium hypochlorite. It is not hard on the skin any more that any other form of chlorine. That "chlorine smell" that people associate with unbalanced pools is really combined chloramines (CC), and the way to get rid of them is MORE chlorine, not less. To ensure that you don't get CC's (or other problems) maintain FC above the minimum for your CYA level.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shablam
    I really have no problem draining just want to make sure it is needed, i think the cost will offset with all the chemicals i am having to buy at the moment. The pool calculator says 38% of my water to reach 50. Is the best way with a siphoned garden hose to drain? Is this the fastest route to be able to swim again? My kids are going crazy!?
    The reason we recommend a partial drain is because CYA renders chlorine less effective, so you need proportionally more when you have high CYA. In order to shock with a CYA of 80 you need FC of 31.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shablam
    Yes it is just a tab feeder, when you say switching from tabs do you mean to a SWG?
    Using trichlor tabs in your feeder, or dichlor granular shock adds CYA to you pool, which will continue to build up. Unless you want to do periodic drains to keep CYA in check, you should use only unstabilized forms of chlorine. Realistically this means adding liquid chlorine daily or an SWCG.
    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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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Ok did some shopping today after pouring over this web site most of the night and some today. On my lunch break I gathered my ammo but made a huge blunder along the way:

    3 1.4 gallon jugs of Clorox
    2 Jugs of Acid (I was out)
    1 1000 GPH water xfer pump (I plumbed out my back wash valve when I went to cartridge)

    Ok here is the blunder:
    Broke my golden rule and bought a test kit from Leslie's thinking that it was the Tayor K-2006 bah! Is there a way to test FC over 7 with this thing?
    Think I will take it back in the morning and order the TF from the web site and wait. Strike three for that store!

    I awoke this morning to a lighter green pool slight blue fading through I tested and the PH was at 7.9 added acid waited for 30 min PH was down to 7.5. Put powder shock in for the last time since it was all i had FC still showed way higher then my little test kit reads (7.5 +). Brushed and left for work.

    When I came home this afternoon with the intent of draining the pool to my surprise the water is blue and white. Still cloudy but not green. Tested water still reading above 7.5 FC PH was back at 7.9. Put in enough acid to bring the PH back down to under 7.5. I then made a guess since I cant test that high and put in 3 jugs of bleach to maintain FC, brushed and took a reading at sun set.

    I will return this kit and buy the TF tomorrow and wait for shipping. Untill then is there anyway to do the overnight shock test? I dont want to think I am ok, come down from shock lvl and enter the green swamp phase again.

    I guess I am asking where I should go from here without the test kit. I was hoping I could make it till the end of swim season before doing any draining. If the pool is blue and white do i just keep shocking and brushing till I am clear?
    12,000 gallon in ground pool with rock and spa water fall, Jandy Aqualink Controls, Polaris Cleaner with booster, Hayward C17502 cartridge filter. Managed by a TF - 100 Test Kit.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    you can dilute the pool water with an equal amount of distilled water (tap water will have chlorine so don't use tap water) then multiply the result FC by 2 for FC level in pool.

    What is you pool size and type? Oh, I found it in the first post. You can enter all that info in at the User Control Panel, see it at the top of the page, left side. Go to Profile, and edit Signature.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    So I see you have a handle on things now but I just had to comment how funny it was that they kept telling you to increase the alkalinity level (and add acid at the same time) as if those two chemicals would some how kill algae.

    Unbelieveable.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Sounds like you are definitely on the right track - we've been in that "green pool syndrome" also - your progression from green to cloudy blue is a good sign. The cloudiness is probably dead algae and/or oxidized organic material.

    As already posted, you can use your current test kit for high FC by diluting with distilled water and multiplying by the dilution factor. Until you get a good CYA testing kit, I would go ahead and rely on the pool store - as someone else indicated, at least their results seem consistent. They may not know the basics of getting your pool chemistry right, but perhaps they can follow test kit instructions.

    The chlorine/CYA chart is critical in your situation for getting the shock level right and the maintenance FC at the correct level. If you don't drain to get the CYA down, and your CYA is at 80, looks like your maintenance FC should be between 6 and 9. Based on the first set of readings on your first post, you were just below the low end of the range - and your follow-up shock level was probably not high enough for the CYA level of 80 - that's likely why you ended up with a "pretty green lagoon". Although it's surprising that the FC and TC levels are essentially the same - with cloudy and/or green conditions, the combined chlorine (CC) would have been at least 0.5, maybe greater than 1.0, thus a greater difference between FC and TC. The pool store results may not be that accurate after all (no surprise there).

    Stop using the chlorine tabs - if you continue to use them, they will add to your already high CYA, thus requiring even higher chlorine levels to be effective. Switch to liquid chlorine (Clorox or other brands of simple chlorine bleach will work). Going forward, you can either switch to the SWCG or continue to use liquid chlorine. When you get weary of daily adding liquid chlorine, and you want to consider a less expensive alternative to a SWCG, look at the Liquidator, a liquid chlorine doser that allows continuous dosing of liquid chlorine and can go a week or so before having to re-fill the holding tank. I don't have one yet, but will probably go that route next spring. I believe you can get an 8-gallon Liquidator for about $170. Check with these folks for the Liquidator: http://www.poolservicestech.com/
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

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    Shablam's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Still blue and cloudy. Tests showed PH back at 8.1 and FC was still way to high for my tester. Diluted the water and still too high for my tester, on a side note the color of the test looked the same as last night.

    Spoke with Dave from TFTestKits on the phone this morning and ordered the TF-100XL; what a wonderful person! Thank you for the best pool conversation I have ever had.

    Don't have anymore Clorox so will buy some on my way home from work. Will add 1 jug a day until the test kit arrives and turn off the tab feeder (sounds crazy to say that). Cleaned filter, added acid to bring the PH back down to under 7.5, did a good brush before leaving and took a picture:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12,000 gallon in ground pool with rock and spa water fall, Jandy Aqualink Controls, Polaris Cleaner with booster, Hayward C17502 cartridge filter. Managed by a TF - 100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Hey, Shablam,

    Disregard that pH test and don't lower it anymore. In the presence of high chlorine, the pH test will be skewed to the high side and invalidates the test. Don't try to adjust it back up, you'll be fine leaving it alone.

    Your pool water looks exactly like you described it and I think you are not too far from having a crystal clear pool back.

    Thanks for the compliments. I start drinking very early in the AM and am friendly with virtually EVERYBODY!

    (Just kidding....thank you very much )
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Shablam's Avatar
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    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Put in 1 96oz jug last night, changed filter and swept. After sunset took a reading of FC (disregarding PH) and diluted was still way above my testers ability.

    Turned off the tab feeder! I felt like a junky a kicking the habit... Crazy!

    Awoke this morning and can start to see a little clearing of the water. I can now barely see the two drains at the bottom. Took a reading and seems to be the same color as last night. I really cant wait for my tester to arrive so I can stop this guess work. Put in 1 96 oz jug as it is supposed to reach over 100 today and swept. I think for the first time I am not seeing a single bit of algae on the steps when I sweep or for that matter really anything. The pool seems cleaner then ever.

    This is the 5th strait day of running the pump, does anyone think I have a filter issue or is this length of time to clear the water normal?

    Took a picture before leaving to work:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12,000 gallon in ground pool with rock and spa water fall, Jandy Aqualink Controls, Polaris Cleaner with booster, Hayward C17502 cartridge filter. Managed by a TF - 100 Test Kit.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Green Cloudy Water Need Some Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Shablam

    This is the 5th strait day of running the pump, does anyone think I have a filter issue or is this length of time to clear the water normal?

    Took a picture before leaving to work:
    I doubt you have a pump or filter issue. I had the same problem waiting for the dead algae to clear. After about a week of waiting for the couldyness to filter out I got tired of waiting and used a flocculant and it cleared the pool in just a couple of days.
    35,000 gal, 3.5-9ft with diving board. Jandy CV580 filter, 2hp 2 speed motor, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 H/C heat pump. Pentair IC60 swg.

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