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Thread: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

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    First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Hi all,

    This is my first year opening my pool. We moved into the house last year and hired pool companies to open and close it for us, but I thought I would be able to handle it myself... I think I am on the right track, but I'm afraid that progress may have stalled.

    I first took off the pool cover this past Saturday to find a nasty green swamp. After adding a lot of shock product that I bought in the orange bags from Lowes, I found this forum which recommended I use bleach instead, which is what I have been using the past 4 days. The water is definitely no longer green and looks quite blue, but it is still cloudy. I can see the bottom of the shallow end but the deep end has remained cloudy for the past 3 days or so.

    Here's the info:

    1. Salt water pool approximately 15 feet wide by 30 feet long, with 6 feet at the deep end and I think 3 feet on the shallow end for a total of 15,100 gallons

    2. Sand filter

    3. Inground

    4. Vinyl liner

    5. Don't know size pump or flow rate...

    Test results this evening using Taylor K2006:

    FC - 17 or 17.5
    CC - 0
    pH - looks to be just below 7.0 (does this even matter when shocking?)
    TA - 6 was when it turned clear, 7 when it turned pink
    CYA - 30

    My questions:

    1. Obviously my first question is what needs to be done to make it no longer cloudy?

    2. The FC is still high from shocking the pool, but with a CC of zero, I am planning on just letting it drop to normal levels before turning on the SWG to take over. Is that what I should be doing?

    3. The SWG was reading a level of 1700 for salt yesterday so I added 2 40 pound bags of salt to the pool last night. The reading I just got was 1900 but I'm not sure if it's been a complete 24 hours yet so that might not be accurate. However, the salt level being low shouldn't matter if I am not using the SWG until the FC levels drop, right?

    4. Is there any way to get the pool clear within 2 days? If not, is the water safe to swim in anyways? We are having a party this Saturday night so we'd love to know that we can use the pool even if it isn't crystal clear just yet.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Here is a bit more information:

    - Pictures I just took an hour ago can be found here - http://imgur.com/a/bUdDr

    - Yesterday the FC reading was 22 and I didn't add any additional bleach today when it came down to 17, so it appears to be dropping by 5 each day without any CC. I am assuming this is normal due to the sunlight since the CC is zero, meaning that nothing is alive, correct?

    - I have no idea how to read the numbers on the SWG. I know the 1900 number in the picture is the salt level, but no clue what the other numbers mean... or what they should be.

    - In the 6th picture, the red knob is turned perpendicular to the pipe, which I am assuming means it's closed, right? What is that knob for and which way should it be turned?

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    You need to get that TA number up to around 90. PH is probably way below 7 (BAAAAAAAAD) if it is checking at that level while your FC is over 10. Those need to be fixed before anybody gets in. Have you been backwashing the filter to clear the dead algae? Your CYA needs to get to the 70-80 range for the SWCG.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Just realized that I needed to multiply by 10 for the TA, so the TA is between 60-70 instead of 6 and 7.

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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp
    You need to get that TA number up to around 90. PH is probably way below 7 (BAAAAAAAAD) if it is checking at that level while your FC is over 10. Those need to be fixed before anybody gets in. Have you been backwashing the filter to clear the dead algae? Your CYA needs to get to the 70-80 range for the SWCG.
    Okay, I will work on increasing the PH and TA. And yes, I have been backwashing the filter when I was brushing and dead algae rose to the surface... but now nothing really comes to the surface anymore so I am assuming the algae is all gone, and thus I don't backwash unless the pressure gets too high.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Don't increase your TA. It is practically perfect!

    You do need to get that pH around 7.4ish ASAP using Borax.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Have you passed the overnight FC loss test? If not, make sure SWG is off for testing.

    I suggest you wait to add more CYA until you determine that you are done shocking.
    It is easier (less jugs to haul) and cheaper (less jugs to buy) to shock at lower CYA levels.

    Welcome to the forum
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Okay, I will try the overnight FC loss test tonight... but does the overnight FC loss test matter if the CC has been zero for the past 2 days? Just curious. Also, is a low pH a common cause of cloudy water? I added some sodium bicarbonate to increase the pH just in case. Otherwise, I wonder if there might be something wrong with my filter? It has done a good job of filtering out the dead algae over the first couple days but how do I know if it is filtering as well as it should be?

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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Here's an update:

    FC - 6.5 (haven't added bleach in 48 hours since shocking and haven't turned on SWG yet)
    CC - 0 (been 0 for the past 2-3 days)
    CYA - 30
    PH - 7.4
    TA - 90

    Yet the pool water is still cloudy. When I turn the pool light on, there's definitely some light colored particulates floating around, but I'm not sure what that is. I turned off the filter/skimmer to see if it magically clears up overnight... if it does, that could only mean that the filter is the source of the cloudy water, even if the water looks clear coming out of the jets, right? If it turns out it is the filter, what can I do to make it filter better?

    Thanks!

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    I opened my pool on the same day as you, and we have a similar setups (see my signature info). The fastest way to clear up the little particles in my experience is adding some DE to the filter. You have to be careful because doing so will make you have to backwash much sooner so you will really have to keep a close eye on your pressure gauge, but it really does clear the water up a lot faster! Today I could clearly see the bottom of my shallow end and could see the main drain cover (still a little fuzzy) in the deep end (about 8 or 9' down). This was from starting with some serious green slime and muck only one week ago.

    Here is a link to the "how-to" in Pool School for the DE:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._a_sand_filter
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Okay, I am going to try using DE. Where can I buy it? Lowes? Walmart? Or do I have to go to a...pool store? *shudder*

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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    I got a large box from Home Depot two years ago. Since you only add a small amount, it seems to last forever. I haven't even used a quarter of the box yet. Remember, it is only for "polishing" and you should probably make sure you are done with shocking prior to using.

    This is exactly what I bought (dirt cheap)!

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    Jackpot! Thanks J20832! I just got back from my local Lowes to see if they had any DE or 40 pound bags of salt and they were out of both, but I checked Home Depot online and they have both so I'll go there first thing in the morning so I'll have 12 hours of better filtering to hopefully clear up the water at least a little bit before our party starts. Otherwise I'll have to come up with a really good excuse as to why the pool is cloudy to tell my party guests.

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    Re: First time opening pool, need help with cloudy water

    No problem. I love the simplicity of my sand filter, but really glad to have found out about DE (on this site) for turbocharging it. The sand filter without the DE will eventually get it all, it just seems to take forever (particularly when it is really hot out and the water is too cloudy to jump in comfortably)!

    Keep reading Pool School and checking out this forum. You will get great advice and save a ton of money that you would otherwise spend on unnecessary chemicals at the pool store.

    Not being a newbie, I should have known better than to open my pool so late (depends on local area temperatures). Last year I opened my pool in early May and it took two days to be swimable, cold, but swimable. This year, with weather and family obligations, I opened way too late to a murky swamp and missed out on what would have been some great swimming Memorial Day weekend. Just a thought for the future!
    20k gal, IG Vinyl, IntelliFlo VF Pump, 60 GPM sand filter, Jandy Aquapure Ei 35, 2 skimmers, one main drain, two returns, Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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