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Thread: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

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    Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    I'm a new pool owner with a SWG pool and I think the water is slightly cloudy. It seems a little more cloudy than it was a few weeks ago when it was crystal clear. The rest of my family hasn't noticed, so it's pretty subtle, but it doesn't seem as clear as it was. I just had the water tested at the pool store and here are the results:

    Total Chlorine 1 ppm
    Free Chlorine 1 ppm
    pH 7.6
    ALK 120

    Other info:
    - I have the SWG set at 40-45% (pool builder said to set it at 30%) but when I tested for Chlorine, I'd get a low number so I've bumped up to 45%
    - I run the pump about 10 hours a day (during the day)
    - I have never shocked the pool with the SWG
    - I backwashed the DE filter once this year and the pressure is OK now (it wasn't even that high when I did it orginally)
    - Pool only gets used on the weekends with family only - 4-6 people

    The guy at the pool store suggested running the pump longer during the hot weather, backwashing the filter and bumping up the SWG and shocking the pool.

    My questions are:

    1) Should I be worried that the pool company's suggestion was to set the SWG at 35% and I'm not at 45% with a recommendation to bump it up higher? Is that telling me that something else is wrong?

    2) Could the "cloudiness" I'm seeing be the salt in the water? Can you ever see the salt?

    3) What should I do to get my water back to crystal clear?

    THANKS!!

    3) Should I shock the pool with the SWG?
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Can you post test results for CYA, and CH?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    1) maybe, 2) no, 3) let's talk

    First, bravo for noticing that dullness. You can head off a lot of problems by noticing that early and discovering what exactly is off, before things get bad.

    What I do not see in your test data is the stabilizer level. This is the main key to keeping chlorine in the pool, regardless of how it gets there. With a SWG, one has to balance the input and the output. The output being not only what is lost to swimmers, but what is lost to the sun. CYA (stabilizer) is what protects chlorine from the sun.

    So, before you do anything at all, you need to get a handle on what exactly is in the pool right now.

    When you read through Pool School (you must, of course), take some notes when you get to the part about Test Kits Compared. Either find one of the ones suggested or order online. I have the TF100 and swear by it, best value, great service, fast shipping, but there are others that can be located. Just beware, many places will claim to have a kit then suddenly act all surprised when it is not actually there and "this other kit is just as good" which it is not. You also want salt tests, see that section for comparisons also.

    While you wait on a decent test kit, you will have to take a sample to the pool store for testing. You must get FC, CC, TC, pH, TA, CH, CYA (=stabilizer). DO NOT let them sell you anything, tell them that you think you have some at home and need to go look. While dullness is almost always related to FC & CYA, it can be related to CH & TA & pH. Again, reading Pool School will get you familiar with why this is so. If we prove that none of those are off, then we look to the filtration. But usually it is chlorine.

    The reason that turning the SWG up may be the answer is that in this heat, with summer sun, a lot of chlorine is lost. Particularly if CYA is low. CYA does tend to decline slowly, or maybe it was never high enough to start with. Locate the owners manual, most can be found online, and see what the salt and stabilizer levels ought to be. If those things are correct, then turn it up may be the solution. If they are low, better to correct them, then see. It is possible that you can turn the unit down instead.

    It may be that you need to shock, or maybe you don't. We can do a test that will prove the need, but you need a good test kit first. Or you can just shock anyhow. If you use bleach it won't change any other parameters like CH or CYA. The common "shock products" will affect those, and not always in the way you need them to move.

    Meanwhile, have you checked the skimmers and the filter to be sure they are clean?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Thanks for quick responses guys!

    For some reason the pool store guy didn't test the CYA or Hardness today, but 3 weeks ago the CYA was 75 and Hardness was 220 ppm. Early in the season I brought the CYA up from zero to 75 and I'm assuming it's still pretty close to that (or is that a bad assumption), and again, 3 weeks ago CYA was tested at 75.

    My next move is to order the TF100 test kit, so don't hassle me about that!!

    The skimmers are fine - after a week they are still nearly empty. I didn't check the filter basket in the pump which I'll do ASAP. The filter itself is still pretty clean - I don't know the pressure value off the top of my head but it's somewhere halfway between "clean" and dirty". I have solar heating and even when the solar is working, the pressure on the filter/pump doesn't cross over into the "dirty" range.

    So if I assume (dangerous I know) that all my levels are OK and I just need to turn up the SWG to produce more chlorine in the hot weather to say 50%, is that a normal working range for the SWG? Or do I just keep bumping up the SWG percentage until I get to 3-5 ppm? That's the range recommendated in TFP's "Water Balance for SWGs" section. Obviously my levels are much lower than that. Could that be the entire problem.....not enough chlorine in the water?

    I guess the source of my confusion is that the recommended SWG setting doesn't get the chlorine level close to the recommended level and I'm trying to figure out why.

    Thanks again,
    Bart
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Is salt level correct?

    How old is the SWG? Life span is 3 - 5 yrs.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Don't know about the salt level! The pool is brand new as is the SWG and they just added salt this spring. They tested it when they added and left it at the correct level (I presume). I'll have to dig up the manual and test the salt level........if I remember correctly, you just press the button that looks like a salt shaker.
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    That DE filter ought to clear the pool fast if no algae is growing. Do check it for it may be dirty now with the stuff it has been filtering
    Probably safe to assume CYA is still 75, so take a look at the CYA/Chlorine chart in Pool School. You need to keep the FC up to 4-6. Use some bleach now to get to 6. That boost may be enough, along with a clean filter, to clear this up. After that, and assuming salt is corrected, you can slowly turn up the SWG as FC hits 4.0, to keep it in your 4-6 range.

    You may need a proper shocking, but maybe not. To be sure, turn off SWG overnight, after you get your test kit and can get exact FC numbers. Adjust FC to top of range, 6. Do overnight chlorine loss test, measuring FC again early morning before sun hits pool. See Pool School for details.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Here's an update.....

    I checked the salt level and it was 2.8 which I believe is low (3-5 was the recommendation of the pool company). I added some bleach and took the level up to 3.1.

    What should I do now? Add more bleach?

    Thanks!
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    I think I know the answer to my question.....YES! But how much do you think I should add?

    1 gallon? Or more?

    Then should I bump my SWG back down to 35%?

    Thanks again!
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    I do not know if you need to shock or not. A test of overnight chlorine loss would tell you, but you don't have a good enough test kit right now to be certain, running back and forth to the pool store won't work well. For that reason, I suggest that you try to run the pool at the top of the FC range and see if the filter can clear the dullness.

    Or you can just go straight to shocking, your choice. Again, the test kit is important. Dull water may not need shocking, worse than dull may. Testing, when you get a kit, will let you be sure.

    Let's assume CYA at 75. (You added that, you tested that 3 weeks ago, should be still there unless the pool has overflowed a lot). Take that number over to the Pool Calculator and see the amount of bleach you need to add to get there. I cannot say because it depends on what the FC in the pool is right now. I can say that the pool calculator tells me that 182 oz of 6% bleach will add 2.9 ppm FC to your size pool. You want to get to 6 FC. Then let the SWG try to keep it there, and let the pool filter try to clear the water.

    Or you could go to shock level at FC 16 ppm and be sure that if there are organics, they are being killed, then the filter can work on it.

    After you get the pool up to 6.0 ppm (assuming you do not shock) you will want to test daily to see where FC ends the day. If that is dropping from 6.0 ppm, turn the SWG up a bit more. I noted that the Jandy Aquapure manual that I read said to begin at 50% setting and adjust up or down from there to keep levels correct. That is for a different unit than yours, based on a properly sized set up, and I have no info on whether yours is over or undersized. Your manual may give you guidance.

    I would also test FC at the start of the day, after the filter is running an hour but before the SWG has been on, if that is possible. That would tell you your minimum FC during a day. A good ending FC and a low starting FC may mean that you have organics in the pool and need to shock. Really, you will just have to tweak the SWG setting from time to time, based on tests.

    But, you can see why you need a good test kit, a drop based kit, on hand, so you can test as often as needed to pin down what is going on in the pool. So, how long until this kit is delivered? You DID order one already didn't you?

    You've fixed the salt level to the lower end of the range, you could go higher if that seems to help the chlorine production.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Thanks for such a detailed answer! I've read it twice but it's going to take a few more reads before I fully grasp it.

    YES! I have ordered the test kit (TF100)and it will arrive today or monday.

    I also have an update on my salt level. I just checked it and it's back down to 2.8. I was under the impression that adding bleach made the salt level go up, but I don't think that's correct. The bleach was just to shock the pool to quickly take care of the cloudiness problem, correct?

    Speaking of the "cloudiness problem", I'm not sure if it's still there (it was slight to begin with, and I may just be over paranoid on the crystal clear water front), but the water is looking good.

    Back to my salt level, which I think is my real issue....if it's a steady 2.8, that means I need to raise up a bit, correct? I have 4 - 40 pound bags of salt that the pool guys left. Should I dump that in?

    Also, if I do that, how to I shut off the SWG? Just set it to zero? I can't find a power button on it.

    Thanks again, this is greatly appreciated!
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Never ever "dump some in".

    Use the Pool Calculator. Consider it your new best friend. You will consult it before adding a anything to your pool. Ever. Really. Except pool toys and children, of course.

    You ALWAYS need to know where you are starting from and what exactly you are adding and what exactly you expect to happen from putting chemicals into your pool.

    I keep a chart. Down the side it has test info, same order as the TF100 tests; date, FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, CYA, then in a second block, down the same side; chlorine source (sometimes I use 6% or 10% or cal-hypo), amount, FCGoal, acid type, amount, pH Goal, then comments. I will be able to see when I last tested, and how long between full tests, since I don't redo TA or CH or CYA but about once a month. Sometimes I check to see if it actually hit the goal, for sometimes missing is important to know. I never add anything but that but you would also note salt and SWG setting. Next year you might just see on the notes that after spring rains you need to check and add salt and when temps go above 80 you need to turn up settings, for example.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Find your manual online, don't blindly trust the pool company. Trust, but verify, to quote Ronald Reagan.

    You have to be smarter than your equipment.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Set to 0% to turn SWG off.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Pool may be, possibly slightly cloudy???

    Thanks again! The test kit has arrived and I'm going to be firing it up shortly. I went over the pool calculator and I need to add about 80 lbs of salt to get into the optimal range. I also printed up the manual for the Aquapure so I'm all set there too.

    Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction!
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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