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Thread: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

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    Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    I have a vinyl above ground 15,000 gallon with a Hayward pump and sand filter (150lb), which came with the house I recently purchased. The previous owners didn't put a winter cover on it, and it was green and murky. I hooked up all the plumbing, etc, scooped out as much gunk from the bottom with a rake as I could, got it going, and shocked the water. Took a test sample to the local pool store and got the water adjusted to the proper chemistry. After a couple days, the water turned blue but is now very cloudy. I ran the pump/filter 24/7 for a week, and it stayed cloudy. The pool store came out and changed the sand in my filter along with a bunch of gaskets and washers. 3 days later, after running the pump 24/7, it's still just as cloudy as before. There's chunks of white stuff in the water, I'm guessing is dead algae. What else can I do? My pressure gauge has stayed at 10psi and hasn't gone up. I tried adding clarifier but it made no difference. My chlorine levels are good and steady, the water has almost perfect chemistry, but I can only see maybe 3-4 inches into the water.

    It seems all I have right now is $300+ of chemicals and repairs sunk into this pool, along with a very high electric bill from running the pump nonstop.

    The pump and filter are located on the left side of the pool. There's a skimmer and drain pipe going into the pump, and the return pipe/jet coming out from the pump. At this point I have almost shut off the skimmer so the drain is taking most of the water, hoping that would clear more.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    Unfortunately, shocking isn't a one time application of shock product. It's a process, and it has to be completed to work.

    I suggest you take some time and read pool school (upper right, white button) and pay particular attention to the shocking information contained within.

    You will also need a proper FAS-DPD test kit. The TF100 from http://www.tftestkits.net is the best around, and also the best value. I suggest bypassing any time you might spend looking for a better deal while your pool waits to get fixed, there just isn't one out there.

    You do not need any more chemicals, other than chlorine either in 6% (regular bleach, from the grocery store), or 10-12% which can be found at pool stores. 6% bleach is cheap enough, walmart great value at $2.60 works great.

    We also will need a full set of test results (FC, TC, CC, PH, TA, CH, CYA), go to the pool store for a free test until you can get your kit. Prepare to re-start the shocking process and devote some time to the pool till it's complete. Go buy bleach. Lots. It is essential that you get a general idea about the CYA level. Knowing that is the basis for calculating how much chlorine you'll need, watch them test for CYA and if they use a strip... consider the results invalid and find another pool store.

    Look at the threads in the algae section of the forums, lots of successful pools have gone from slime to shine by following the information here and if you do the same your pool will soon be just as sparkly. You are partially there already. If done properly, this ALWAYS works. Promise :~}

    Edit: Your algae is only partially dead, but yes dead algae clouds the water. Don't worry about cloudiness till you know you've killed all the algae, partially dead algae just re-grows. This is why you will likely need to shock again, it will take hold again if you haven't killed it 100%. The filter will then take care of the cloudiness, patience will be in order.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    While going through this process keep an eye on the pumps pressure. Once it rises 5-6psi you will need to backwash the filter. Like forgabog said, go to the pool store and get your water tested there until your FAS-DPD test kit arrives but don't let them sell you anything. About the only thing you will need to get at a pool store is CYA and even that can be purchased at Walmat, Lowe's, etc. Getting a good test kits cannot be stressed enough......it is the key to having a beautiful pool! Oh, when you order your test kit, I recommend the Speed-Stir as well. Welcome!
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    Thanks for the info. I started neglecting adding more chlorine, since it wasn't getting cleaner. I may start using regular bleach, because the price is almost exactly the same as the pool store's chlorine, and it's difficult and dangerous to use the 5 gallon carboys.

    I do have test results, but I'll get new ones in a couple days to post. The pool store wasn't bad actually, my CYA was 0 so I bought and added 5.5lbs of that, and my alkalinity was a little low, and the lady recommended using baking soda. They also sold me a bottle of sand filter cleaner, but I haven't used it.

    I'm beginning to feel I wasted $200 on service visits replacing the sand and everything.

    I did start vacuuming and the pump basket filled with leaves and gunk in just a couple minutes.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    You'll want to get as much of the debris out of the pool as you can. It will only prolong the process of getting the pool clear because it will continue to break down and eat up your chlorine.

    Testing every few days won't be enough to really get a handle on the chlorine levels or to shock properly. As others have suggested... invest the $ in a test kit and you'll be much better off now and in the future. It's like the gps for your pool.... w/o it, you don't really know where you are or where to go. Aside from your pump and filter, it's the next most important thing to keeping your pool sparkling.. it may actually be more important.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    I will try my best to get the gunk off the bottom with the vacuum. For some reason as soon as I hook up the vacuum hose to the skimmer my pressure drops to only about 2-3psi and won't get higher than that. It's enough to suck stuff up still though. Still, it's difficult to get the stuff without being able to see the bottom. Right now I'm focusing on getting the girlfriend to test the chlorine every few hours and dump in more from the carboy while I'm at work. I've been using the strips to get a rough idea of CYA, PH and alkalinity just to make sure it's not to one extreme.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    You can try a net and see what you get up that way before vacuuming.
    20k gallon IGP
    Plaster over gunite
    3/4 hp Hayward pump
    Purex Triton DE filter
    TF100 test kit w/ speedstir

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    I have used both the skimmer and leaf rake and I'm getting minimal stuff.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    You did order your test kit didn't you? You will never get the pool sparkly clean without a good FAS-DPD test kit! We dont get anything for pushing these test kits, they are just the main tool you need in your tool box! With a test kit, you will know what your FC and CC levels are because you tested them. You cant trust the test strips any more than you can trust a pool store. My pool store told me my CYA was 30, it was really about 200. They just loved selling me stuff. If you order the test kit and follow the instruction that you will receive here, there is a real good chance that you will be able to tell if a dime is head or tails while sitting on the bottom in a very short amount of time. Oh, return the sand cleaner. Also,you might want to put your pool information in your signature so everyone will know about your equimpent and pool type without having to read through the entire thread to find it.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    I did order one but it won't be here till sometime next week probably. For now the best I can do is use test strips and the drops.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    Can you tell us more about how you think the previous owners may have chlorinated the pool? Is there a liquid chlorinator or maybe a tablet chlorinator on the system? What kind, if any chlorine have you added since you've owned the pool?

    I'm asking because a CYA of 0 for a pool previously chlorinated by tablets or if you've used any dichlor products (granulated and solid chlorines) the CYA can't really be 0.

    If however the owners filled a previously drained pool just to sell it, without adding any chlorine the CYA could very well be 0. In such a case, you should take the 5.5 pounds of CYA that you added and plug that into the calculator at the bottom. Make sure to enter the pool volume at the top first. The calculator will tell you what your assumed CYA level is. From there, we can help you find the correct shock level and get you going with the OTO drops (dilution method) as long as it's around 40ppm or less till your kit arrives.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    You can take back the sand filter cleaner by the way.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    They used chlorine, there's tablets with the floating dispenser and an empty carboy. The pool store tested for it with the digital bioguard machine. I'll check it again myself once the kit gets here.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    Until the test kit arrives I would pour in about a jug of bleach daily just to keep the creepy crawlers at bay and save the majority of the bleach until the test kit arrives. You don't want to risk bleaching your liner and there is no reason to go overboard on the bleach if you are not going to be in the shock zone. Keep filtering the pool and backwashing keeping as much of the debris out of the pool as you can. You may think about adding DE to your sand filter to help it along! Adding DE to the sand filter is covered in the pool school. You mentioned your pump pressure being low....what is the normal operating pressure of your filter?
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    10psi seems to be normal but it's not increasing. It only drops when I use the vacuum or the pump basket gets full.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    I have never paid any attention to my pressure when the vacuum is attached but dropping to 2-3psi seems low in any case. Does the pressure at the return eye seem OK and does the pressure high on the filter when it gets dirty? I would empty out the baskets as often as possible, the less junk you have in the water the better.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    When the pressure cuts out with the vacuum attached it also cuts out at the return eye. I haven't seen the pressure rise at all, even with the filter running nonstop and all the **** getting sucked into the filter.

    I'm off to the store to get some DE and some more bleach. I've been keeping it about 15ppm for now, since my estimated CYA is 50. It's more guessing than anything else with a carboy, just dumping a gallon or so at a time in the water when the chlorine levels drop a bit.
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    I find it strange that the pressure drops at your return eyes when you attach the vacuum hose. My return eyes are pretty constant even when filtering. When my filter starts to get dirty and the pressure rises, the water flow through my return eyes slows somewhat but it doesnt seem to drop as low as what you seem to be experiencing. Lowe's sells a nice big box of DE for about $20, I have not priced it elsewhere. If you can, post a picture of your filter set up.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by matt151617
    It's more guessing than anything else with a carboy, just dumping a gallon or so at a time in the water when the chlorine levels drop a bit.
    It doesn't have to be. I have a 2qt pitcher I use. Pour the chlorine into the pitcher by the side of the pool, then pour from the pitcher over the return. With 20k gallons I don't need precision beyond 1qt (1.5 ppm), though you're smaller and might want pint-level precision which is still easy enough to get.

    A gallon at a go in 15k gallons would be ~6 ppm and probably represents more variation than you really want.
    20k gallon IGP
    Plaster over gunite
    3/4 hp Hayward pump
    Purex Triton DE filter
    TF100 test kit w/ speedstir

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Cloudy Pool: Dead Algae

    I'll get a picture later. The test results I got:

    Chlorine: 10+
    pH: 7.8
    Alkalinity: 180
    Hardness: 100
    CYA: 70
    13,000 gallon ABG with Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump, DE filter, SWG

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