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Thread: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    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




    FC: 2
    TC: 10
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 120
    CH: 100
    CYA: 50

    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
    Other info:
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Seems you've been busy. I don't know how to fix your problem, just wanted to say hi.
    Custom Cloud shaped 19'x35' - Raised Spa 6' diameter
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Go pick up some clorox or generic bleach from Walmart, and keep your filter running 24/7 backwashing/cleaning as needed. If the CC really is that high, you need to shock until its .5 or less and the FC holds overnight (read about shocking your pool in Pool School). That being said, you really need one of the recommended test kits - either the Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100. They will allow you to take total control of your pool.

    If the numbers are accurate, then shocking is all you will need to do. But test strips are notoriously inaccurate so who knows what your readings really are.

    Hope this helps - post back if you have any questions and welcome to TFP!
    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
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    I will say its possible the cloudiness is just a result of so much TA and PH adjustment at once plus the dichlor. Not as concerned about that as I am the CC. If that's accurate.

    Also wanted to add I assume you are using the Pool Calculator at this point?
    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

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I will say its possible the cloudiness is just a result of so much TA and PH adjustment at once plus the dichlor. Not as concerned about that as I am the CC. If that's accurate.
    I'm going to test and shock before I go to bed again tonight and see how things are in the morning. I'll post the before and after test results.

    Also wanted to add I assume you are using the Pool Calculator at this point?
    Yes, that's how I came up with my shopping list at Walmart. It worked very well.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    You don't want to use too much dichlor. Dichlor adds CYA and lowers the PH, and from the look of the test strip your CYA level is already about right.
    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

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You don't want to use too much dichlor. Dichlor adds CYA and lowers the PH, and from the look of the test strip your CYA level is already about right.
    I only used the 1lb bags of Dichlor to get the CYA up in the first place. I will be using liquid Sodium Hypochlorite from now on.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    I added 380 oz of Bleach around midnight.

    Here is the before reading:


    and the reading this morning at 11am:


    The TC hasn't moved much but the FC is much higher. Perhaps these strips are garbage. Unfortunately I have no other way to test at the moment.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    ... and the water is still cloudy.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Yes, the strips are garbage. Time for some POP - Pool Owner Patience. You need to give it a few days. It will come, I promise!
    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

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Jesee..Hopefully I did not miss it, but now would be a very good time to invest in a TF100 or Taylor K2006. Having reliable test results will go a long way toward saving you money. If that were my pool, I would hold it at shock level until the water clears, which could take a few days.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    I was wondering should I keep the pump running or would turning it off for a few hours to allow settling help?
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    It is best to keep the pump running. That gets as much water to pass through the filter as possible.
    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

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    Aquatica's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    as Jason said run the pump. run it 24/7. The type filter you have will determine how fast it clears the water. looks just cloudy not algae or anything. CH is normal or high? those strips tend to give all sorts of results sometimes. I only use them to see if I have FC in the water or roughly where the CYA is. saves some time and money when checking new pools for first time.

    but yeah run pump 24/7. if you have a DE filter make sure the filter is charge up with the right amount of DE powder..which is usually a little less than the manufacturer displays on the side of the filter. might take couple days to clear.

    I just read you added all those boxes of borax and baking soda etc... you should only add like 2 lbs of anything at a time. best to take your time when adding chems. so dont add anything else run pump 24/7 until it clears. like I said could take a few days. Keep an eye on your filter pressure if it goes up like 10 psi and if you notice return jets not pushing you will need to backwash and continue running pump 24/7. repeat until it clears.

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquatica
    I just read you added all those boxes of borax and baking soda etc... you should only add like 2 lbs of anything at a time. best to take your time when adding chems. so dont add anything else run pump 24/7 until it clears.
    The reason he added so much borax and baking soda was that he had zero TA which means the pH was 4.5 or below (I missed that as well, but was told this information in this post on another forum). He also had zero CYA which explains the Dichlor. He's getting a proper test kit so we should know soon what's really going on with the pool.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Well the water cloudiness has cleared up quite a bit. There is still a slight brownish hue when looking at the very bottom of the ladder. After several days of direct sunlight the TC and FC are both still around 8-10ppm. CYA is holding at 100ppm.

    It has been raining a lot lately. TA has gone up to 140, pH has gone up to 7.6.

    Am I correct in thinking that once the TC & FC come down to 5-6ppm it's safe to swim? I just need to keep an eye on the pH going up from rain drop aeration, correct?
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Did I miss something? Is your CYA 0 or 100?
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    BEFORE:


    AFTER:
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Looks like you're almost done! for info, you can swim in 10ppm Cl water, you don't have to wait for it to come down...
    I even know people who maintain FC at 10 most of the time!
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
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    Re: First time pool owner, BBB method opening, cloudy water.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    Did I miss something? Is your CYA 0 or 100?
    The first chlorination was with granular Dichlor to get the CYA up to 100. The last shock up to 20ppm was bleach.

    Would it have been better to shock to 20ppm with bleach first and then add the Dichlor a week later to get the CYA up? I figure the FC level would have quickly declined due to no CYA. Or was it better to hold the pool at high FC levels for a whole week?
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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