I'm new to this forum and after browsing the Pool School information available, I decided to post since I'm running out of ideas and so are the people at the pool store.
My husband and I purchased a foreclosure property in November of last year that has a 18 x 36, 25,000 gallon inground pool with vinyl liner. The pool had been drained when the property was foreclosed so we had to replace the liner, the pump, the pool housing, and the O-ring and spider ring in the multiport. The sand in the filter was not replaced & we're not sure how long it's been since the previous homeowners replaced it, but the pool guy said the pool, aside from the liner, looked relatively new. This is our first time owning a pool, and even though I know a little bit about chemistry from when I was a lifeguard when I was a teenager back in the day, we're still learning.
We filled up the pool and had no problem for months. I added the first batch of Bioguard chemicals as directed and it stayed blue for quite some time. We kept up with brushing, manually vacuuming, backwashing, and cleaning the skimmer baskets. Ocassionally, we had a problem with the Georgia pollen but was quickly fixed with Skim Mors skimmer basket covers. Then summer time rolled around and we have been battling algae (green I think) ever since.
It turned pea soup green once or twice when we got some heavy rain and didn't shock it as regularly, but I was able to turn it blue in a matter of two days by using 6 lbs of the Omni Shock predissolved (as I was told to do by the lady at the pool store) and then we would just vacuum the dead spots.
Then, I broke my ankle and was unable to keep up the pool for about 3 weeks. My husband works all day and was unable to vacuum it at night. It turned dark green and was that way for about another week until I managed to get out there to clean the skimmer baskets and backwash it really good & add chlorine. I took a sample in and added the chemicals they sold me (ph Up, a couple bags of shock, alkalinity and algaecide).
The dark green turned to a lighter shade of green and I brushed it as well as I could. We also found frogs and tiny tadpoles in the skimmer basket.
Then we wanted to swim but didn't have the money to buy the chemicals from the pool store so my husband bought about 6 lbs of Xtra Blue shock from Walmart and added those in, predissolved. The next morning, it was a milky blue. I let it sit for a day or so to let the shock work, and brushed up any undissolved shock, but I couldn't see the bottom to see what I was brushing.
It remained milky blue.
We bought some more of the shock from Walmart and added 6 lbs more 2 days later. It remained milky blue and hasn't budged since. This was about 2 weeks ago. I added about 10 more lbs of shock and still, nothing. I took a sample in, and she said my free chlorine was practically non-existent and that my PH was low. I added 3 chlorine tablets and those dissolved within a day or so and upped the PH. I have a test kit that shows PH and CL and I test usually within 24 hours of adding the chemicals and every other day. She also sold me some Smart Shock from their store and I added 5 lbs of it and it's still cloudy.
Then it rained, and I added a bottle of 50% algaecide. It rained again so we added another bottle. It foamed and bubbled, and now there is a milky film over the deep end. I tried to fish them out as best as I could with a net and use a Skim Mor to try and catch some of it in the skimmer basket.
My husband got out there a couple days ago and brushed it for a good 2 hours. We were planning to vacuum blindly, but the bristles on the vacuum were bad and we were afraid of tearing the vinyl liner, so today we replaced them and I actually got in with my clothes on and vacuumed and brushed the whole pool to make sure we got to the hard to reach spots. Usually when I brush and there is algae present, it gets kicked up and the blue turns green again, but so far we didn't see anything.
To make a long story short, I've probably spent about $200-300 in the past two weeks on chemicals, trying to turn this milky blue pool, clear. I've taken in samples 4 or 5 times in the last two weeks, making sure that all the chemicals are balanced. At the clerk's advice, over the course of two weeks, we've added polysheen blue clarifier, turboshock, regular shock, algaecide alkalinity increaser, chlorine, Skim Mors skimmer basket covers, a filter aid, ph Up, and we've managed to get the chemicals the most balanced they've been since the ordeal started, this week. We have a housewarming party in 4 days that is also a pool party and I have about 10-15 people (including kids) coming expecting to swim, if it doesn't rain.
Every day I clean the skimmer basket twice a day, clear debris from the pool housing, replace the Skim Mor skimmer basket covers and if I need to add shock, I do so at night and have lately been broadcasting it. The lady at the pool store suggested we turn off the skimmer at night and let it pull from the main drain. We did that. Nothing changed. Normally, I backwash once a week and since we've had this problem, I backwash once every couple of days to avoid wasting the chemicals we had just added in.
Here are the test results from this afternoon from the pool store:
Total Chlorine: 4.5
Free Chlorine: 3.2
Adjusted Total Alkalinity: 70
Total Hardness: 203
The lady at the pool store suggested the following:
-Add 12 lbs of BioGuard Balance Pak 100 Total Alkalinity Increaser, since it was low.
-Add a 1 lb. bottle of filter aid, predissolved to the skimmer slowly.
-Finish off the bottle of Polysheen Blue Clarifier (which had less than 6 ounces in the bottle), since I've been adding 6 ounces daily for the past 3 days.
-Tonight, after the sun goes down: add 10 lbs of Turboshock, broadcasted.
-Turn off pump really late and turn it back on first thing in the morning after we vacuumed on filter in order to let the debris settle to the bottom.
-NOT backwash for at least 48 hours to let the filter aid take effect.
So this afternoon, my husband and I got out there and vacuumed the whole pool and brushed the whole pool. I got in with my clothes on and felt the bottom of the shallow end and walls with my feet and couldn't feel any debris along the bottom but we did it anyways. I made sure to brush the cover of the main drain in the deep end really good. I also cleaned the skimmer since I could see some algae growth on the walls inside the skimmer. We cleaned the skimmer basket and made sure the chlorine tablets were not dissolved. I backwashed and rinsed it for a few moments to clear the filter. Then I added the 12 lb pound bag of alkalinity increased, predissolved. Then I finished off the bottle of the Polysheen Blue clarifier (about 6 oz.) and slowly added the filter aid to the skimmer, predissolved. I replaced the Skim Mor. Tonight I plan to add about 5 lbs of the Turboshock and see how it does before adding the other 5 since our chlorine is up.
We normally run the pump continuously for 24 hours straight and have never shut it off overnight except when we were having repairs done to the pool or the water level was below the skimmer.
How can I get this milky blue to water to clear up before Friday? I'd like to be able to clear up in the next two or three days, so I can atleast see what I'm vacuuming. I have not used the original shock (Omni Total Balance) we used before this happened, only the Walmart brands and the Smart Shock they sold me at the pool store. Could this be a factor? The lady at the pool store told me that aside from the alkalinity being low, chemistry is not my problem. Should I buy a couple bags of the Omni Total Balance Shock, if it's not cleared up in a day or two? Should I take her advice and shut off the pump for the night? My husband noticed that one of the two jets were shooting out murky water, but I figured that, that's because the water in the pool is murky and it's part of the recirculation? Should I go ahead and add the full 10 lbs of Turboshock?
At this point, I'm desperate. I've also attached pictures of the pool at its worst and this afternoon.
Thanks in advance,
At it's worst before very little treatment of chemicals or cleaning:
This afternoon - milky blue, can't see the bottom or more than a foot down.