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Thread: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

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    Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    Hi I had a pool installed about four weeks ago. I followed all the instructions the pool store gave me about adding chemicals. The first couple of days the water was sparkling blue, but then I noticed leaks on the pump. I called the installer and shut off the pump until the installer got out there and fixed it two days later. By then my water was no longer crystal clear. After it was fixed I tried following the pool installers instructions again, but it didn't work. I cant get the water clear. Its very cloudy.

    The instruction manual told me not to use chlorine schock because it could make the water cloudy, but my FC levels were at 0 and my water was cloudy anyway, so I tried some of the shock from Wal-Mart.

    Well it didn't make my pool clear. I tested the pool (with test strips the pool store gave me) after the chlorine schock, and my FC levels were high and my PH and AK were normal, but my pool still isnt clear. When I look very closely it almost looks like little white pieces floating in the the water. I really have no idea what I am doing and how to get it crystal clear again. My manual says something about filter helper which I haven't tried yet I was going to buy some do you all think it would help?

    Thank You
    I have a Cornelius aboveground pool 18x48. 1 hp sand filter

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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    maintain the FC levels, and keep the filter running- patience at this point is the answer...
    The store "shock" only makes your pool milky if you have high TA/CA, not a problem for most people (even less when pH is <7.8!)
    The store "shock" does often have CYA in it though, so using to much will eventually result in excess CYA in pool... use the shock til CYA reaches 30-50 ppm, then
    Recommend just bleach from Walmart instead of the "shock" to maintain Cl where it needs to be!
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
    sand filter, 200#,1.5 hp single speed pump
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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    First, visit Pool School at the top right corner of this page. That'll get you started on taking care of your chemicals.

    Shocking is a process, not a product. There is more information on the shock process in Pool School.

    Sounds like your pool store guy doesn't know as much about pools as he should. If you have algae, shocking will cause your pool to get cloudy but that's the whole point. The cloudiness is caused by dead algae. If you don't have algae, there's no need to go through the shock process.
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    Welcome to TFP.

    The posts above directing you to Pool School are spot on. Start with the beginners section and move to the maintaining sections.

    A good test kit is a great investment, but since you don't have one yet, take a sample to your local pool store and have them run a full set of tests. Don't buy anything yet. Come back here and post the test results and we'll help you understand what you need to do. I suspect shocking but we don't recommend adding chemicals to your pool without first testing to see what you need.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    I have read through the pool school and I will read it again, it is a great resource. It is why I knew my pool store test strips are not great. Haha I always called my dad crazy for pouring bleach in his pool. He directed me to this site. Little did I know that a lot of people use bleach in their pools. I'm going to get my pool water tested today. Thanks for the advice.
    I have a Cornelius aboveground pool 18x48. 1 hp sand filter

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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    OK so I went to the pool store yesterday and these are the numbers they gave me. PH 7.7 Ch 110 ALK 80 and COP 1.25.

    They told me my numbers were fine and just to continue my regular maint. I told them it was cloudy and they told me to use lithium schock. I decided to go ahead and by filter helper (flock) because I suspected that. Sure enough it worked I followed the instructions and got up this morning and it was crystal clear again, but the bottom of the pool was filthy. I followed the instructions on vacuuming. I put the filter set to bypass to waste and I think it has to be the most inefficient method I have ever seen. Within minutes even with a water hose I was below my water level. I put the filter back on filter and with the water circulating my water was cloudy again. So I have turned off the filter again to see if it will all settle to the bottom and try vacuuming again. Is there anyway to make the vacuum work better. It wasn't sucking very strong and seemed like it was just moving the dirt more than sucking it up.
    I have a Cornelius aboveground pool 18x48. 1 hp sand filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    If you are going to use floc, which I don't recommend for the exact reasons you have described, you need to vacuum super slowly and carefully to keep anything from going back into suspension. You also end up losing a lot of water, which has to be made up and the chemicals rebalanced.

    The filter alone is capable of clearing up the water, but with a sand filter it will take a while (several days to a week or more).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    Ok I was under the assumption that these particles were too small for the filter to capture. Should I just run the filter? Should I go ahead and add the lithium shock?
    I have a Cornelius aboveground pool 18x48. 1 hp sand filter

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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    I have been able to clear mine with a sand filter, no issue. In fact I noticed today how dang clear my water is now that everything is repaired and in balance. I'll be putting a "thank you" thread up tomorrow once I get some pictures of my water.

    Why lithium? That stuff is expensive!
    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: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    IDK that it what they told me to use. They gave me a bunch of bags of potassium shock in a starter kit, and they told me I was supposed to be using lithium shock. They told me that the regular shock, at wal-mart, will make the water cloudy, but I don't believe them because I feel like they are trying to get me to buy all my supplies from them and my water was cloudy using there stuff anyway.
    I have a Cornelius aboveground pool 18x48. 1 hp sand filter

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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    To me it just sounds like they want to sell you lithium shock. There's no reason you can't shock your pool with something as simple as Clorox if you don't mind toting the bottles.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    You do want to keep the FC level high until the water clears up, but it isn't clear if that means adding more chlorine right now or not as you haven't given us enough information. We can be much more helpful if you would post a full set of water test results.

    I'm with RobbieH, lithium-hypo is very expensive compared to other equally good forms of chlorine.

    You should do some reading in Pool School on the various forms of chlorine and their advantages and disadvantages.
    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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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    Thank you guys for all your help. One last question, if you don't mind. With a sand filter I read, on your site and other places, that that a sand filter needs to be a little dirty to work at an optimal stage. My instruction manual says to backwash once it hits 15 psi, but I read in other places not to do it until 20-25. when do you normally backwash yours (mines like at 12 now but for future reference).
    I have a Cornelius aboveground pool 18x48. 1 hp sand filter

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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    find out what the pressure is after fresh backwash, then backwash at that level +10psi
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
    sand filter, 200#,1.5 hp single speed pump
    Wood deck (still in progress...)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    I suggest backwashing somewhere between 6 and 10 psi above normal operating perssure. On my filter, the pressure never goes up more than 1 psi until it's time to backwash and then it jumps about 5 psi, so as soon as it jumps up, I backwash.
    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: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by nickp

    Within minutes even with a water hose I was below my water level. I put the filter back on filter and with the water circulating my water was cloudy again. So I have turned off the filter again to see if it will all settle to the bottom and try vacuuming again. Is there anyway to make the vacuum work better. It wasn't sucking very strong and seemed like it was just moving the dirt more than sucking it up.
    Like Jason said, thats why most TFP'ers dont recommend using floc.

    IF you wanted to use something to help a sand filter along a bit, you're better off using a clarifier. It will aggregate the smaller particles together so the filter can clear them easier, but wont drop everything to the bottom and make a big mess. One caution with clarifier, do not over dose. Only use the amount it says to on the bottle. This is one thing where a little is ok, a lot is NOT more ok.


    however, until you get a better idea of how to shock the pool, keep the chemistry in line, test your water, I wouldnt add anything like floc or clarifier until you finsh the shocking process and know that you have no more algea in the water.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    OK I got you. I think I backwashed too much to begin with, but I have a good idea of when to now. I have seen clarifier at wal-mart, but I thought it was the same thing that I already had. Pure n Blue Clear, but I think that what I have is just an algecide. thanks again guys I appreciate it.
    I have a Cornelius aboveground pool 18x48. 1 hp sand filter

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    Re: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    I'm not sure how you can backwash too much. I really don't think it's possible. Just put your valve in wash mode, run until clear, wait 30 seconds, then restart in clean mode. That's really all there is to it.
    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: Newbie went from crystal clear to cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    IF you wanted to use something to help a sand filter along a bit, you're better off using a clarifier. It will aggregate the smaller particles together so the filter can clear them easier, but wont drop everything to the bottom and make a big mess. One caution with clarifier, do not over dose. Only use the amount it says to on the bottle. This is one thing where a little is ok, a lot is NOT more ok.
    Even before using a clarifier, you could Add DE to a Sand Filter to improve filtration. The thing is that chlorine alone with reasonable filtration usually clears most pools, but you need to be patient. Only if there isn't any progress even after a week or if you just are impatient and don't mind spending more money on extra products that you would go down the road to using a clarifier (and even then, it's not a panacea and sometimes does not work). Of course, these choices are really up to you -- we're just here to tell you the pros and cons of the various options available.
    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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