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Thread: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

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    Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    We bought a house with a pool last month and, after learning loads from you kind folks, maintaining it so far has truly been trouble free... until today. The pool has gone from sparkly to very cloudy overnight.

    I realized then that the floating chlorinator was not in the pool (kids) and may not have been for two days. I have been using up a huge bucket of trichlor tabs and a few bags of "shock"/calcium hypochlorite that I bought before I found this site. The chlorine tested at zero so I put in 1 lb of "shock" (which I haven't had to use since the very beginning of owning it). I ran the pool cleaner and filter for a few hours and the water was clearing a little.

    When I checked again, the filter pressure had suddenly shot up 10 lbs over normal. Since it has been a month of running it without backwashing (though with stable pressure), I thought I would try to do it and see if that helped the filter to clear the cloudiness. I didn't get very far because after draining out some water in the backwash mode, it was clear not cloudy or white as the directions said, which I believe means that the DE was not coming out as I expected. Then I wondered if somehow the cloudiness in the pool was related to DE. Afraid to run the filter if it somehow no longer had DE in it, I have shut everything off.

    About 8 hours after the hypochlor was added, here are my test results:
    FC 6 PH 7.6
    CC 1 CYA 45
    TC 7 TA 110
    CH 425

    We did have several hours of heavy rain last night after 3 weeks of none.

    --Any ideas what is causing the cloudiness?
    --What is going on with my filter and what should I do? (I was planning on teaching myself to disassemble it when I closed the pool next month but I could learn in a hurry if I had to)

    Any suggestions would be very welcome as I am very new to this and eager to understand. Best wishes!
    16,000 gallon IG plaster, AO Smith Centurion 1.0HP motor, Anthony/Starite bronze pump, Hayward/AOSmith 3/4 HP Booster Pump, Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, Polaris 380 cleaner

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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    FC was at 0 and the pool was suddenly cloudy so that would have been algae. Shocking was the right thing to do. But that means shocking to about 18 and keeping it there. So getting the filter question settled is vital at this moment.

    I do now have any experience with De filter so I can only offer a guess. I don't think the cloudiness was related to the DE, but algae. And the sudden pressure rise would have been all the dead algae. But my guessing stops there, I don't have any idea why the backwash was not dirty as expected. I do wonder what the pressure would have been had you just put it back on filtering. Perhaps it would have been back to normal?

    But, let's wait on someone who can help more than guess.
    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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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    Thanks for the input. We'd been going along so well, I'm frustrated that we did something so dumb, but we just had movers arrive with a 40' container and we're very overwhelmed.

    Just to add that when it was opened last month, they opened the filter and rinsed out the grids. I added DE when I started running it. So if I added it a month ago, why isn't it coming out in the backwash now?

    Reading more on here, I can see how quickly problems develop and worsen so I am now more anxious that my pool is sitting out there cloudy and with no filtration on. Normally, I would just spend the time to figure out how to open the filter and check what was in it, but I am in a new house surrounded by boxes with two small children so not operating in any kind of normal mode. Any suggestions for what I should do would be very much appreciated.
    16,000 gallon IG plaster, AO Smith Centurion 1.0HP motor, Anthony/Starite bronze pump, Hayward/AOSmith 3/4 HP Booster Pump, Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, Polaris 380 cleaner

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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    The cloudiness could be 100 things - but 0 chlorine and a big rain... Seems like algae.

    The filter PSI shooting up by 10 is curious - what is the normal operating PSI? It shouldn't shoot up like that from a mild algae bloom a few days in the making. Also - I wouldn't expect to need to do a backwash on a DE filter after 1 month on a clean start up. Does the pool collect a lot of gunk?

    The missing DE seems curious. Any chance that there was some DE coming out, just not as much as you might expect? Any chance your multiport was on "Waste" and not "Backwash"? Give it another backwash and see, also - run it in filter mode after and check the PSI. Did the PSI go down?

    How did you add the DE a month ago? And how much?

    The Multiport on your filter may be malfunctioning as well. This could explain what appears to be missing DE.

    (I might lay off the Cal-Hypo. 425 is getting up there on the CH. Is your fill water hard or soft?)
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    The normal PSI is 10, and it has been very constant, so I couldn't understand why after filtering this algae for a few hours it shot up to 20. The pool gets a lot of oak leaves and acorns, but the Polaris does a pretty thorough job of collecting them every day, plus us manually skimming them off.

    I added the DE via the skimmer basket and I tried to add about 6 lbs which was the amount for my size pool and filter (I didn't know what I was doing, so I will be more accurate with my measurements next time). When I did the backwash yesterday, it was definitely set to backwash and the water was not cloudy at all, either in the spyglass or out of the blue hose. How long does it take after you start the pump on backwash for the cloudy water to emerge? I did briefly start the pump on filter again and the PSI had dropped, but then I got worried about running it with potentially no DE so I shut if off.

    My fill water is soft, so I added calcium hardener after I newly filled the pool and before I got my TFT test kit the pool store said the CH was 130 and 140, so again I was very surprised yesterday that CH had shot up to 425 (I ran the test twice to check) as I have not added anything but trichlor tabs since.

    I have to go out now to buy a car (this was an international move so we need everything) so I will get some more jugs of chlorine to get the pool up to shock level and keep it there for algae clearance. Then I will try to backwash again for longer.
    16,000 gallon IG plaster, AO Smith Centurion 1.0HP motor, Anthony/Starite bronze pump, Hayward/AOSmith 3/4 HP Booster Pump, Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, Polaris 380 cleaner

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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    You'd expect cloudy water almost instantly when you backwash a loaded DE filter.

    Sounds like you added the DE correctly - and roughly the right amount.


    Did you happen to adjust the multiport valve the day before the cloudiness and PSI jumping up?
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    One thing that jumps out at me is that you have a CC of 1! Time to shock until you pass the OCLT (overnight chlorine loss test). That means raising it to shock level for your CYA and testing and adding as often as every hour.

    Your cloudiness was/is no doubt caused by an algae outbreak because your FC got to zero.

    Tell us a couple of things.
    How are you testing?
    What are the ingredients in the "shock" you used?

    Just to reinforce a few things.
    You do realize that shock is a process and not some product that the pool stores sell, right?
    You must maintain your FC level appropriate for your CYA level.
    Trichlor raises CYA as it adds chlorine.
    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
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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am using a TF-100 test kit and, after the 1 lb of hypochlor (Leslie's Power Powder Plus) I added when I had nothing else available, I did the rest of shock using liquid chlorine (6% bleach). I do realize its a process and I did the appropriate calculation in the Pool Calc based on my CYA, but thanks for the reminders as I am still very new to pool ownership.

    The pool is now clear again, but I still have questions. I saw the cloudiness and added the 1 lb of hypochlor on Monday. I added just under 600 oz of 6% bleach yesterday (Wed) using the Pool Calculator, with now FC of 0 and target FC of 18 (per my CYA on Mon of 45). That took FC to 30, rather than 18 - so obviously I did something wrong????? My FC dropped to 25 with CC of 1 within 2 hours, then held at FC of 25 overnight with .5 CC (so I met the overnight FC test) and dropped to FC of 20 by late afternoon today (Thurs).

    My CYA which tested at 45 on Mon 8 hrs after the 1lb hypochlor was added, tested today as 60. I read that CYA rises take a while to show up, but could that lone addition have raised it so much??

    I'm still completely confused about the whole DE situation I had. I had not touched the multiport since I've owned it, until I tried to backwash. The water was clear on the backwash (despite my having add about 6 lbs of DE on startup a month ago). In trying to figure out what was happening, I added about 2 lbs of DE and then successfully backwashed that out ( I know I wasted it but I was trying to figure out what a backwash should look like and wanted to start from scratch in knowing how much DE was in my filter). Then I added exactly the right amount of DE for my filter (weighed and measured so I know for the future). And my pressure was down at 4 today and everything running ok.

    I'm just antsy to see the FC come down to 2-4 again so I can run the Polaris again as I spent hours today with the leaf bagger and skimmer plate vac getting up acorns only somewhat successfully. Learn something new every day, and I think we're through the algae situation pretty lightly.
    16,000 gallon IG plaster, AO Smith Centurion 1.0HP motor, Anthony/Starite bronze pump, Hayward/AOSmith 3/4 HP Booster Pump, Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, Polaris 380 cleaner

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy from Rain or No Chlorine or DE or Something Else?

    Quote Originally Posted by dandelions

    I'm just antsy to see the FC come down to 2-4 again so I can run the Polaris again as I spent hours today with the leaf bagger and skimmer plate vac getting up acorns only somewhat successfully. Learn something new every day, and I think we're through the algae situation pretty lightly.
    With CYA of 45, FC of 2-4 will result in another algae bloom...those are the minimum FC requirements for that CYA range. You should be targeting 5-6ppm.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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