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Thread: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

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    VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    About 10 days ago, our in-ground 16K gal pool turned VERY cloudy. Testing showed no abnormal chemicals except high cloriine level. Weather in AZ has been hot, dry and VERY windy, so I figured it was just the in-floor cleaning getting overwhelmed. Lowered the SWG setting to 15%, changed the cartridge filter and started running the pump 24/7. No improvement - actually got more cloudy. Last weekend we went the Borax route, and still no improvement. One thing that surprised me is the chlorine level still very high, so I measured the salt concentration - 7200ppm!!! Very strange (although it does explain the high clorine level with low SWG setting), especially since the SWG sensor is reading 2300. Here's my chemical readings. Have been trying to avoid using a clarifyier, but am desparate. Any suggestions besides drain the pool?

    FC 10+
    CC 0
    TC 6
    pH 7.5
    T/A 80
    CH 400
    CYA 80
    TH 250
    Borate 50-60
    Salt 7200
    Pool Temp 85
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Where did you get those numbers?

    I'd get a second opinion on everything but especially the salt and FC reading.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    I did multiple tests with both test strips and the TFP test kits for all the numbers. The numbers I used were the average of all the tests. The test strips and the R-0600 drop tests show chlorine levels off the top. The chlorine drop test with the R-870 powder showed FC at about 6 (did the test twice). For the salt test, I used test strips from two separate companies (HTH and Aquacheck). Both came back with identical numbers (7200). I haven't added salt in forever. Don't know how the levels could get that high, and the SWG sensor reading low (currently 2400).
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Averaging unreliable test results with reliable test results doesn't make much sense. If the FAS-DPD chlorine test says 6 then the FC level is 6, regardless of what the test strips say.

    The salt level is a little more problematic. I'm inclined to believe the SWG salt reading over the test strips, but there are various plausible ways the SWG could read lower than actual. Do you have a water softener on the line that you use to top off the pool? A water softener is a plausible way the salt level could be going up. Another thing to do is to take the SWG cell out and examine the blades. If there is any white crusty stuff on the blades it needs to be cleaned.

    Also, what brand of SWG do you have?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    The only reason I'd hesitate to use clarifier is that you don't know what is causing the problem. Clarifier can be a help in clearing the water more quickly if the cloudiness is just dirt in the water, but it is a waste of money if it's just used to mask the symptoms of another problem.

    AT 7200ppm, you should be able to easily taste the salt in the water. 2300ppm is below the typical human taste threshold, while 7200 is around double the threshold. Your pool water should taste about like a gallon of your tap water with one teaspoon of salt added.

    Have you inspected your cartridge(s) to make sure it's seated properly and doesn't have any tears in it?
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Directions for the Aquacheck SALT test strips are different than the other Aquacheck test strips. If you dunk the aquacheck salt test strips completely into the water then it will most likely read 7000+

    When using the Aquacheck salt strips be sure to dip only the bottom 1 inch of the strip into the sample then wait 4 or 5 minutes. When the indicator stripe at the top of the strip turns yellow, compare the white level on the test strips and match it to the enclosed chart.

    Tell us about your testing procedure to arrive at 6ppm FC.


    PSG
    poolschoolgrad

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Let me try to answer all of these.

    1. We do have a water softener system for the house, but thw pool is bypassed. Both pool and softener system have been in place for over 5 years without a problem.
    2. I checked the SWG cell and it's clear - no calcium buildup. It's a Jandy and I love the thing because it alternates polarity on the cell, which virtually eliminates buildup.
    3. Can definitely taste the salt in the water (verified by wife and grand daughter).
    4. I replaced the filter cartridge with a brand new one. Seems to be working fine. Pressure at the cartridge is nominal (20 psi).
    5. Followed the directions on the salt strip test closely. Both test strips have the same procedure (insert strip in 1" of water and wait for top of strip to turn yellow).
    6. I followed the TFP Test Kit directions for the FC test. Dissolve 1 scoop of R-870 powder in 20ml water. Add R-871 1 drop at at time until solution turns clear. Number of drops x 0.5 = FC.
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Quote Originally Posted by hillyjd
    6. I followed the TFP Test Kit directions for the FC test. Dissolve 1 scoop of R-870 powder in 20ml water. Add R-871 1 drop at at time until solution turns clear. Number of drops x 0.5 = FC.
    You meant 10 ml of water, didn't you? Each drop represents 0.5 ppm in 10 ml of water or 0.2 ppm in 25 ml of water. In 20 ml of water each drop would be 0.25 ppm.
    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
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    You're correct - 10ml.
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Latest - drained about 500 gal out of the pool and then filled it to the brim with fresh water. FC still high (test strips and drops). Salt test still at 7200 ppm (amazing). SWG sensor dropped from 2400 to 2300. Water still VERY cloudy. Borates and pH look good. Set SWG at 5%.
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    That tells me that there's something wrong with either the salt tests or the procedure. Replacing 500 gallons would have lowered your salt level about 100 ppm which is exactly what your swcg saw. That also makes me suspect the rest of the tests.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Ran in-floor cleaning pump all night. No change in cloudiness - a little worse if anything. SWG sensor now reads 2400 ppm. Did a sanity salt strip test at the outside spigot that feeds the pool auto fill. Negligible salt. Redid pool salt test. Still at 7200 ppm. Used same technique on both tests, so I think they are valid. FC still above 6. Another tidbit. Very cold winter here in AZ, coldest in 40 years. SWG sensor read between 2200 and 2400 all winter when pool water temp at 50 degrees. Reading did not go up as water warmed up like it usually does. Stayed the same, so I'm suspecting sensor not right. I'm wondering if the sensor can't compensate for the extremely high salt content. If salt content correct, can't figure out where it's coming from. Time to dump out a lot more water?
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Drain half of your pool water and refill and see if the salt test goes down. That should get you to about where you need to be if it's truly that high.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    I still think the SWG is correct, and the strips are wrong.
    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: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    I think replacing water is my only option at the moment. If salt level is really that high, could that be the cause of the cloudy water?
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Or am I fighting more than one problem?
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    I would agree that at this point you need to do a partial drain/refill.

    As for whether there is multiple issues happening - with the SWG off and without adding chlorine, you should do an overnight test and see if your FC is holding.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Thanks - appreciate all the quick responses. I'll probably wait until the weekend to do the drain/refill and let you know how it turns out.
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    One last question -is there any other salt concentration test besides the test strips? And OBTW, I ran the pump again all last night and the pool is cloudier than ever this morning. Discouraging.
    16,000 gal in-ground Pebble-tec pool / Pebble-sheen spa. Jandy AquaPure 1400 SW Cl gen (SWG) system. In-floor cleaning system w/ Hayward EcoStar 2.0 HP VSP pump. Hayward 31" sand filter. 900 sq ft Heliocol solar panels (on roof) w/ separate 1 HP Pentair WhisperFlow single speed pump. Water feature with separate Hayward 0.85 HP VSP pump.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: VERY cloudy pool isn't getting better

    Taylor makes a drop salt test, the K-1766. That's what I use. Tftestkits carries it.
    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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