I am a new pool owner. The previous owner left me with a tablet floater and a 3-way Chlorine/Bromine & pH tester. I had to make a few repairs because while moving the filter for the winter one of the fittings from the skimmer line shattered and the pressure gauge also broke right off with very little force.
After completing repairs I took off the cover. I was surprised to see that the water was very clear. There was a brown film on the bottom and a small pile of debris in the middle.
I tested the water with the 3-way kit. The levels indicated where practically non-existent. The chlorine test was clear the pH test was almost clear. In an attempt to raise the pH to 7.5 I picked up a jug of "Aquachem pH Up" (Sodium Carbonate) (I know, I know, I hadn't seen the light yet.) The directions instructed me to ad 30oz for a 15,000 gallon pool with a pH of 6.5 or below. I added the product to the surface of the pool above the circulation jet which seemed to stir it up quite well. It dissolved quickly. I waited 1 hour and then tested the pH again. The result was the same. Frustrated I then added the remainder of the jug which was 34oz. I tested again in 1 hour but the result was still the same. I was wondering if the test kit was bad so I dissolved a few granules of the pH up that were left in the jug into a measuring cup of water and tested it. The color was now light pink.
I knew something wasn't right so I decided to do some research online and came upon this forum. I found that using a 3-way test kit would not give me all the information about the water that I needed. I bought a bottle of 6-way test strips. I tested the water and the results were all extremely low.
After browsing the forums I found the BBB thread and knew that this was something worth looking into as I hate paying inflated prices for name brand anything. I was a little concerned about the borate levels in the water since I have pets and young children so I decided to keep them around 25ppm.
Now that I had a plan I filled the pool up to the middle of the skimmer with city water then vacuumed the brown film and debris from the bottom and vacuumed the sides for good measure. The water got much more cloudy from the debris being kicked up from cleaning.
I went to Walmart and picked up:
(3) 76oz boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax (Sodium Tetraborate)
(3) 64oz boxes & (1) 192oz Bag of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
(1) 55oz box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate)
(6) 1lb socks of Aquachem Shock Plus (Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione)
(3) 182oz Jug 6% Bleach (Sodium Hyprochlorite)
I added all of the Borax and tested about 1 hour later. The pH and TA went up a little. I then added all of the Baking Soda, tested 1 hour later. The TA was almost perfect the pH was a little low. I added the Washing Soda and tested about an hour later. The pH level was now very good.
Satisfied with the water balance I decided to shock the water. I added 1 and a half socks of Shock Plus. I decided to use the dichlor product for initial shocking and chlorination because there was no CYA present to begin with. I waited about 45 min and then tested. The TC was around 1ppm, FC around 2ppm, and CYA less than 30ppm. I added the remaining 0.5lb sock and another 1lb sock, waited 30 min and tested. The levels were now TC: 3ppm, FC 4ppm, and CYA around 40ppm.
It was now dark and I needed the water fully shocked so I added one more sock of Dichlor and let the pump run all night. I woke up this morning to see the debris in the water cleared up quite well but there is still a cloudiness to the water.
Problem: Cloudy Water
Just in case I'm reading it wrong, here is a photo of the test results.
Test pad order: Total Hardness, TC, FC/BR, pH, TA, CYA.
My pool: 27.5ft round x 3.5-4ft depth
Pool chemicals: Dichlor for inital CYA loading, Bleach thereafter.
My pump & filter: AO Smith 1HP BN25 Pump, Hayward S160T Filter