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Thread: I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

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    I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

    So, bare with me here, I feel like this is going to get a little long, but I could really use the help. I am so fed up with dealing with a pool right now!

    Ok, so way back toward the middle of May or so, I started working on getting our pool ready for the season. It had been green and all that. I followed the instructions here, which I've used pretty successfully for the past two summers, so while I'm not very knowledgeable about pools in general, I feel like I have an idea of how to deal with them, thanks to this forum.

    So, the pool turns blue but stays cloudy. Like for a long time. It verrrry slowly gets clearer - but never actually clear. I continue on with the bbb method, but we have been out of town a lot this summer, so I've been tossing in a floating puck dispenser whenever we go away. When I started out, my cya was super low (in fact, I added a little, because there wasn't really any there), so I figured I was fine with the pucks.

    Now it's the end of June. My pool is still not clear, and I don't know why the heck not. Whenever I vacuum, I feel like the water coming out of the returns is dirty. I'm wondering if we need new sand in the filter? My husband says he thinks it looks normal - like, a little dirty, but cleaner than what I'm sucking up.

    We have had an insanely bad pollen season, maybe that is playing a part, but it's definitely not all of it, as my neighbors' pools look great.

    Anyhow, last week, we were leaving for camping, I tossed in the floating puck thing and just ignored the pool all week. I went out there to take the water readings this morning and this is what I have right now:

    PH: 7.3 (or at least between 7.2 and 7.5, according to the color gradient)
    FC: .5 (makes sense, since I haven't been adding any chlorine all week)
    CC: 0 (when I did the test, added the five drops of whatever back in, it didn't turn red at all)
    TA: 50 (this seems to be a little low, but if I add baking soda, I raise my ph, which I don't want to do, right?)
    CYA: Nearly 100, I'd say
    Calcium Hardness: I hadn't done this test until today, because I have a vinyl pool and didn't think it mattered, so I didn't bother with it. Then, I read that high levels of calcium would read as a cloudy pool, so I tested it. I know it's not high, as the water turned blue really quickly (like, light blue within 3 drops), but I wasn't sure how blue it should be before I called it "blue," you know? It seemed a little subjective. At any rate, I don't have high calcium.

    Whew. I realize I'm rambling, but I'm just not sure what to do. Does anything stand out here? Anything I can do to clear this dang thing up once and for all?

    I added 120 oz of bleach to bring the FC level up to around 5. If I don't have to repeat the shocking process, I really don't want to. I didn't have any CC show up in the test, so do you think I'm ok? I guess I'll do the overnight loss test tonight, too. I can do the bbb method for the week, but we're going to be gone again for four days next week. I'm concerned that I keep adding these pucks, when my cya level is getting pretty dang high already, but I don't know how else to handle it. I don't have anyone who will come over and add bleach every night.

    Also, can my kids safely swim in this water, even if it's not crystal clear? I can easily see the bottom, but the pool is only about three feet deep, so that doesn't say much. The water just looks dull and not right, yk?

    Thanks so much for any thoughts you have!
    12x40x3 IG lap pool, vinyl liner. 26" sand filter, 1HP pump.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

    However it happened, CYA is now way too high. Ideally you should replace about 40% of your water to get CYA to 60, or better yet 50.

    You should raise the TA, but only a little, to perhaps 80 or 90. The effect of doing that on PH will be minimal and your PH is currently at the low end of the range, so raising PH a little is fine should that happen.

    There is a reasonable chance that you have algae now, though it is difficult to tell. If you do an overnight FC loss test you can find out if you have algae or not. If you do have algae, you will certainly need to shock. Most people here would say that you need to shock regardless, and they are likely right.

    Assuming you don't have algae, or once you get rid of the algae, I would try resettling the sand in the sand filter, and then add a little DE to the filter to see if that can catch the cloudiness. If that doesn't work the next thing to try is clarifier. But again none of this paragraph should be done until you are sure you don't have algae anymore.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    East Texas

    Re: I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

    If you're in the mood to drain water to lower your CYA.....I'd sure let the pool settle out first and than vacuum to waste to drop it down. I feel your pollen pain. Cleared mine up pretty good. Good luck.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

    Thanks for your reply. That tip about resettling the sand filter sounds hopeful, and I will definitely try it. So, I guess my plan right now is to first do the overnight loss test, and then tomorrow if I'm clear, I'll resettle the sand filter.

    Regarding the cya, do you think it's ok to exchange water a little at a time, like by vacuuming to waste, rather than dumping so much water at one time? I really, really don't want to do that...

    Also, since my water is cloudy right now, is there any chance it's giving a false higher cya reading?
    12x40x3 IG lap pool, vinyl liner. 26" sand filter, 1HP pump.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

    This probably isn't your problem, but one year we had trouble with a cloudy pool. It was, I think, a combo of algae and cleaning issues. Turns out, our vacuum hose had a slit in it and so it was leaking out unfiltered water back into the pool as we were vacuuming. A small amount, yes, but still an amount. $20 for a new vacuum hose and we cleared up in a few days.
    TF50 test kit
    9800 gal.
    15x25 oval; AG
    Hayward sand filter with zeobrite; Hayward pump 1hp pro-max flow, or something like that, LOL!
    Southwest MO; hot/humid summers, full sun 8am-1pm, then shading begins.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

    Also, since my water is cloudy right now, is there any chance it's giving a false higher cya reading?
    If you think it is, put some plain pool water in your view tube and see if you can hide the black dot in the bottom. The chances are near zero that it's having any affect.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: I'm so frustrated, and can we swim in this?

    I had a pool so murky I tried Dave's suggestion and it didn't have any affect on obscuring the dot from view. The water had a green tint but the dot was clearly visible.
    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
    Perfectly Clear Pool Service, Find me on Facebook!

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