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Thread: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

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    Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    we are so frustrated! We opened our pool one week ago and have not been able to get it clear. first, we had a problem with the sand filter. Turns out the previous owners who had installed the pool a few years ago had rigged it up to "work" but it really didn't. before finding this out, we shocked the pool before balancing (oops) and then figured out the filter problem. we how have a brand new hayward sand filter with the laterals installed inside correctly! I was using 6-way test strips to test, which were very vague. i did finally buy a complete chemical test kit. The water was tested at the pool store this morning and the results are as follows.
    TA 140
    pH 7.3
    CA 0
    TH 210
    TC 3
    FC 3
    so obviously we need stabilizer badly. we have been wasting chlorine and shock since the water won't hold it. but the water is cloudy, you can only see about 10 to 12 inches down and that's it. it's blue, just cloudy. so the pool store sold my husband a bottle of something called super sheen to clear up the water. after it circulated for a few hours, we are supposed to vacuum. which is interesting since we can't see the bottom. we have vacummed a couple times though, since we know there is junk down there. I cant add the stabilizer yet because it needs 48 hours to filter through and the filter can't be backwashed during that time. i added the super sheen about 3 hours ago, it of course has done nothing. The pool store said if that didn't work, to come back and get a flocking agent they carry. i don't want to waste more money there if i don't have to. Any ideas on how to remove the cloudiness? any info you need that i did not give?
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Hi welcome to TFP! Do you know if the shock product you used had calcium-hypochlorite as the active ingredient? If so then you have not been adding any CYA to the pool. Do not add any more "magic potions" to your pool. 9 times out of 10 it won't work. We recommend using liquid chlorine either 10-12% strength from the pool store or plain 6% laundry bleach from the grocery store. You can buy the conditioner/stabilizer/CYA separately and put it in a clean tube sock and hang it in front of a return. Massage the sock a few times a day until all the CYA is dissolved. Using the sock method you can still backwash your filter if needed.

    Read through pool school especially shocking your pool and defeating algae even though your pool is not green right now. I do think you need to put the pool through the shock process and keep the filter running 24/7. Backwash after a 20% rise from clean filter pressure or when return flow is reduced. You can go ahead and add enough CYA to reach 30ppm while you are in the shock process. Use the pool calculator to tell you how much to add to your pool.
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Thanks! Yes, it was shock and super shock by HTH, sold at Walmart, which is calcuim-hypochlorite so no CYA was being added. Right now it is just filtering with that super sheen in it, looking like it has for the past 4 hours. After we vacuum one more time this evening, I am going to shock and get the CYA going in there. How long should I wait for it to clear before i know i messed something up again? I am in the process of reading through pool school too. Thanks!
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Assuming thatr you have nothing else growing in your pool and all you are contending with is dead algae, it can take a week plus of filtering 24/7 to clear.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    thanks so much! I will report back results
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    STILL have a cloudy pool!! When I last posted, we had zero CYA in our water so I was going to shock and add that it, which we did. there was little to no change in the cloudy water. On Friday, May 25, we actually took the sand filter apart again to make sure it was working properly. That evening, my husband added the rest of the super sheen that I mentioned in the above post, and put the solar cover back on. On Saturday, the super sheen was visible in the water, having picked up what I am guessing was contaminants, and leaving a slimy feeling on the bottom and sides of pool and leaving areas of brown sludge in the pool-such as on the floating thermomoter and the underside of the solar cover. we vacuumed, which only helped a little. my husband vacuumed again on Sunday. we shocked the pool last night since we have some very hot sunny days and had been swimming in the pool. I can not get the water tested until tomorrow, as today is a holiday. It is testing within normal levels in my dip strips and water testing kit, but i know those are not exact like a pool store. We didn't have this problem at all last year, which was the first year we lived here with the pool. the previous owners helped us open it, we shocked and vacuumed and that was it. There is no more of the oily residue left from the super sheen, but i have not been in this morning to feel the bottom or sides. I can see down in on the sides, but not to the bottom in any part of the pool. Will we ever have a clear sparkling pool???
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Will we ever have a clear sparkling pool???
    Of course, but you must again post a complete set of CURRENT test results for us to really be able to help you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Can you describe exactly what you're doing when you say "We shocked the pool..."?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    teporterfield,

    When this group says shock, they mean raising the chlorine levels, not adding "shock" or anything sold as "shock" to your pool. By elevating the chorine levels you are assuring that you are actually killing all that algae that is clouding your water. You need to read the pool school and use the pool calculator. You'll also need to get a decent water test kit, so that you can actually use the calculator properly. I started out with a full on swamp in March, followed the instructions and advice on this board, and I now have sparkling water. The only "pool" chemicals I buy at WalMart is in the grocery section (Bleach). Bleach is 6% Sodium Hypochlorite....chlorine. I buy bleach by the case at Sams. I use bleach to chlorinate, and I use bleach to shock. Shock is a methodology, not a chemical. Immediately, you need to raise chlorine levels to shock via the pool calculator. That will kill the algae, which your filter can clear out. But just in case that cloudiness isn't caused by algae, you need to get a decent test kit like the TF100. Most of the mods have links to buy those kits in their signature lines. Hold the pool in shock until you get your test kit. The strips and smaller test kits won't cut it to find the source of your problems. Order the kit today, and elevate the chlorine levels in your pool to shock by adding the amount of bleach to shock by pool calculator.

    Were you using pucks to chlorinate last year and previous years? If so, that might have caused a slight issue for you, but you'll be able to figure that out and solve that issue too, once your kit arrives. I'll leave it to the experts to guide you from here.
    9400 Gallon Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, 20 foot round, 4 feet deep 2 filter cartidges one Type B in the skimmer, and a C-50 hayward in the big box, 1/2 Horsepower Dynaflo Pump. TF100 Test Kit, well water, clean with Iron used for filling (CH of fill water is 450).

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    yes, I have to order a kit. These strips are a joke and so is the water test kit I got from walmart. it's ok if i only need to check chlorine and ph, but the range is small and it doesn't help me with the shock process. Speaking of shock, I understand it's a process, not a product. I recently switched from granular cal-hypo to liquid chlorine bleach. But I am not sure that I had enough in for a long enough period of time since my test kits are crappy. I am going to order a good kit, and take a water sample to a pool store tomorrow. I may not have been keeping the chlorine level high enough. I guess I need to start over!
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    TomTinNC's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Yep, I feel your pain. I was anxiously awaiting my test kit with cloudy water. It took me 3 weeks to resolve everything once the kit arrived, however; my pool was a T TOTAL absolute disaster area...leaves, lilly pads, leaves, frogs, alligators, swamp people with rifles milling about. (well ok, the gators and swamp people weren't there, but they would have been at home).

    Following these methods, nailed the pool, and I mean nailed it. Take pictures now, so you can show the progress later. I would assume your CYA level to be 100 or so, I don't know if these guys will concur, but I'd chlorinate as if the CYA was high to make sure you get enough in there.....until your kit can arrive.
    9400 Gallon Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, 20 foot round, 4 feet deep 2 filter cartidges one Type B in the skimmer, and a C-50 hayward in the big box, 1/2 Horsepower Dynaflo Pump. TF100 Test Kit, well water, clean with Iron used for filling (CH of fill water is 450).

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Hey beaver PA.....I'm over in Steubenville Ohio myself.

    First step....order the tf100
    Second step....read pool school
    Third step.....read pool school
    Forth step....post YOUR personal test results once your kit shows up

    After that we can help you even more. The store will keep running you around. Take charge of your own pool!

    Ps....don't buy anything from the pool store.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by teporterfield
    yes, I have to order a kit. These strips are a joke and so is the water test kit I got from walmart. it's ok if i only need to check chlorine and ph, but the range is small and it doesn't help me with the shock process. Speaking of shock, I understand it's a process, not a product. I recently switched from granular cal-hypo to liquid chlorine bleach. But I am not sure that I had enough in for a long enough period of time since my test kits are crappy. I am going to order a good kit, and take a water sample to a pool store tomorrow. I may not have been keeping the chlorine level high enough. I guess I need to start over!
    your pool store results are most likely a joke as well
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    I am ordering my test kit later today. Can anyone answer 2 questions for me? First, will this kit last me all summer? Second, will I be able to test chlorine and other levels higher than my cheapo walmart kit? Third (yes, that's more than two) can I test CYA more often with this kit? The one I currently have only contained enough chemical to check it twice and it didn't give clear results either time.
    thanks!
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Why would the pool store test results of my water be a joke? Do they fudge them or are they just not accurate?
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by teporterfield
    I am ordering my test kit later today. Can anyone answer 2 questions for me? First, will this kit last me all summer? Second, will I be able to test chlorine and other levels higher than my cheapo walmart kit? Third (yes, that's more than two) can I test CYA more often with this kit? The one I currently have only contained enough chemical to check it twice and it didn't give clear results either time.
    thanks!
    Yes it should last all year.
    Yes it can test chlorine levels up to 25ppm.
    You can check CYA several times, and can test over and over with your test sample until you trust your results. Not sure you did it right? Dump the contents of the tube back into the squeeze bottle and try again.

    Oh, it isn't that the pool store messes with the results, they just don't usually know what they are doing. My local store is usually run by a very young girl who has never owned a pool (I asked!)
    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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    TomTinNC's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    If you have to hold your pool in shock mode for an extended period of time, you will probably use up the drop reagents for the Chlorine Drop Test. If you are monitoring the shock levels as often as suggested in the curing your swamp article. When you initially shock your pool, if there is algae in there, its going to be eating the mess out of your chlorine, so you have to do the drop test pretty often initially, so you use up a lot of reagents. As the biologics die off, you begin consuming less and less chlorine, and test less often. I held my pool in shock for a month, and used up my chlorine drop reagents (most in the fist 2 weeks), and ordered new before I ran out. I never missed a beat. Remember, once you get your pool in order, you won't be running all those tests all the time. You'll merely be checking pH and FC daily with the color test...which is the daily kit. The TF-100 is for when you have really bad issues, and to get control of the big picture. Once you get the pool under control, you use the daily tests....or even strips....but the daily drop test is better (the one that tests pH and FC (at normal levels)...yellow and red.

    I have tested my CYA at least 8 times with the reagents that came with the TF-100...and I probably have a few more left. Once you know what your CYA is....which is more like learning how to read the test and dot.....it really doesn't need to be tested all the time. Once you get your CYA levels where they need to be, don't add any more, and don't use trichlor pucks to chlorinate. IMHO, once your CYA levels are good, you shouldn't check it unless you have significant water replacement, or if you slipped pucks into the pool.
    9400 Gallon Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, 20 foot round, 4 feet deep 2 filter cartidges one Type B in the skimmer, and a C-50 hayward in the big box, 1/2 Horsepower Dynaflo Pump. TF100 Test Kit, well water, clean with Iron used for filling (CH of fill water is 450).

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    UPDATE. went to the pool store today to have my water tested as i don't have a decent kit yet. results are as follows.

    FC 3.4
    TC 3.6
    CC .02
    pH 7.7
    hardness 219ppm
    alkalinity 151ppm
    CYA 53
    Phosphate 400ppb

    Mind you the problem with the water is cloudiness. It has gotten better, but the pool has been open for 2 and a half weeks. She said my water chemistry is perfect. she asked how old the sand in my filter was and i told her it is brand spanking new. she said that was the problem, that new sand does not filter as well or it may have channeled in there. She gave me a bag of DE to put in the skimmer. I admit, it does look a little better by the day, i can BARELY make out the pattern on the bottom today. Comments please??
    Above Ground pool in Beaver, PA. 13,500 gallons, sand filter.

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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    If you'd have said it wasn't new she'd have said it needed to be replaced.

    I put in a new sand filter last year and the new filter and new sand filtered just as well as the old filter and sand. The DE trick is a good idea though, just add enough to raise the pressure by 1.

    You need to keep the pool at shock level until the water is clear. It took 2 weeks for mine to go through the entire shock process.
    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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    TomTinNC's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to Pools- can't get water to clear.

    I don't believe an FC of 3.4 will be an appropriate chlorine level to keep your pool in shock. Put the numbers you have in the pool calculator, and start workin'!! Be patient. Stay with the BBB method, and the worm will turn!!
    9400 Gallon Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, 20 foot round, 4 feet deep 2 filter cartidges one Type B in the skimmer, and a C-50 hayward in the big box, 1/2 Horsepower Dynaflo Pump. TF100 Test Kit, well water, clean with Iron used for filling (CH of fill water is 450).

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