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Thread: The cure for milky water is....?

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    The cure for milky water is....?

    18,000 gallons
    FC: 0
    TA: 350
    CYA: off the Taylor 2006 charts

    Water is milky, algae growing on skimmer and light, cannot raise chlorine level. On Wednesday, 15 gallons of 12.5% were added; next morning, FC was .5. Fast forward to yesterday, 12 gallons of 10% added, FC is now 0. One hour after the twelve gallons, FC was only 3.5. With my CYA, I assume I need FC to be 35+ and I also assume there's very little chance of actually getting there.

    So.

    I'm going to do a 50% water replacement ASAP. Is that the right course of action?

    Second question: considering the algae, should I continue to chlorinate and run the pump while I wait for the water trucks (could be Tuesday), or am I just throwing money away?

    All help appreciated!
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    I'm going to do a 50% water replacement ASAP. Is that the right course of action?
    That's what I would do.

    I would ignore putting more chlorine in the pool until you get your CYA in line. A 50% replacement will help but "off the charts" is not the kind of measurement that will determine where you will end up.

    In other words, after you drain/refill 50%, test your CYA again....you may have more draining to do to get to the 50ppm that is a good level.

    Once your CYA is around 50, then you can start the shock Process. read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School, then read "How to Shock Your Pool".
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Well, off the charts means I ran out of reagent before the black dot became visible. I'm guessing it is around 180-200.

    How does one go about replacing more than 50% of the water in a vinyl liner pool? Is there a way, I assume, to drain it completely, reset the liner as if it were new, then fill? Am I being too drastic?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Simply do a series of drain/refills until you get the CYA level where you need it to be. Probably NEVER a good idea to completely drain an IG vinyl pool.

    Your CYA test is still puzzling....The dot starts out visible and then becomes progressively invisible.

    I'm not trying to beat a dead horse but you need to have a good handle on your CYA before you begin to get the pool corrected. Are you using Taylor's R-0013 reagent to perform the test? It is locally available frequently and, if not, can be ordered online and get to you very quickly.

    A pool store will also test for you but, frankly, that's a poor second choice.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Your description doesn't fit the way the test works. If you filled the view tube and the black dot remained visible your CYA is zero. When the CYA level is extremely high you add just a little to the view tube and the black dot disappears almost instantly.

    When draining a vinyl liner pool always leave at least 8 to 12 inches of water in the shallow end. You can either do that over and over again, or you can drain water and replace water at the same time. Doing both at the same time goes more quickly, and is safer for the pool, but uses a bit more fill water.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    That's how I found this place...pool store said "throw more pucks at it" last year. When I inherited the pool from previous owner, he showed me the chlorinator and told me to keep 10 pucks in it at full blast and I'd never have to shock. So you can imagine the stabilizer buildup in this thing. It is 10 years old.

    I will report back after ordering more Taylor supplies and draining some of the pool. Very possible I did the test wrong.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Just testedmy CC and it is 14... expected after what I've told you?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    It is locally available frequently and, if not, can be ordered online and get to you very quickly.
    Ordered just now from you!
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Very high CC levels are suggestive of ammonia in the water. But it is difficult to be sure until the CYA level comes down.
    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

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Okay, now I have a different issue... I'm getting quotes all over the map for water. Help me with what makes sense, please. Each number is a different vendor:

    1. $750 to replace most of the water by draining via main drain and filling from hydrant at the same time
    2. $.01 a gallon to replace 50-60% from hydrant
    3. $1100 for trucks to come refill. Drain your own.
    4. Don't ever use trucks, put your garden hose in the deep end and your cover pump on a submerged step and run them together, and in 36 hours, you will have replaced 75% of pool water

    Help meeee
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Is there any reason not use your garden hose? That is by far the simplest approach and usually the least expensive.
    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

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    I don't know. Is that really going to skim the bad water? How much brand new water would I be pumping directly back out (vs. draining 50%, *then* filling)?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Hmmm. Jason has offered you a good choice based on years of experience and common sense. If you don't want to do it that way, that's fine, but I would trust his suggestion.
    Help me with what makes sense, please.
    That's what he did. Test your fill water when your kit gets in, and if your water is acceptable, I doubt you'll find a better path.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Sorry Dave and Jason. Just curious. I want to learn "why", not just "how", so I don't have to ask so many questions in the future. I wasn't trying to doubt anyone.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    I'm potentially hijacking my own thread here, but after pumping out two feet of water (main pump + main drain is faster than the hose, so eventually with 1 foot of water left in the shallow end I stopped removal and am now just adding), I could finally see my pool light. The entire assembly is covered with black something. I'm assuming this is algae? Can I just unscrew the light assembly from the wall, and (using the long cord) get it clean on the deck somehow, and assume all of the black stuff left behind in the light well will be killed when I fill up and get to shocking?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Yes, it's algae, but you're better off brushing it to expose the lower layers of algae to the chlorine.
    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: The cure for milky water is....?

    After partial drain and fill (appx 60%):
    FC: .5
    CC: 3.5
    TA: 250
    pH: 7.4
    CYA: 20 (based on borrowed R-0013 -- I've obviously fallen prey to the CYA-to-ammonia conversion over this very mild winter and very late pool opening -- it was 180 last time I (correctly) checked)

    Pool calculator says 490 odd ounces of 12.5% to get to FC 30, so I put in a case -- 512 oz. Thirty minutes later:

    FC: 3
    CC: higher than I could test... ran out of reagent at 17 drops at the .5 test
    pH: 7.4

    Any late evening hints would be appreciated. Another case of chlorine before bed?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    #1-----Slow down! It took years for the pool to get as it is, don't "fix" it in a day.

    #2----what is your current CYA level? If its 20 then use the Pool calculater to get your shock level. I don't see a FC level of 30 being needed. It's gonna speed up some, but I'm guessing it's way high for your CYA level.

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    Thanks leebo. I'm just not grasping where all the FC is going within 30 minutes. Is there an ammonia test I can do that, in coordination with the chlorine/cya chart, will tell me how much to put in to actually get to shock level? I'm just worried that I'm throwing money away because I'm putting in chlorine but not getting the pool to shock level.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: The cure for milky water is....?

    There is a test, but it sounds like you need to shock anyways....so let's start there.

    I'm going on these 4 facts so far. If any are wrong please say....
    1----18,000 gallon pool
    2----CYA level is 20
    3----water is milky and green in spots
    4----You have either the K-2006 or TF100 and reagents to do several tests

    Is those 4 are true, then we'll break it down for you. The stuff living in your pool is quickly using your FC up. The chlorine is trying to kill off all that is can. You need to get your FC level up to 11 (based on a cya level of 20) and KEEP IT THERE as much as you can. This is what we call shocking, as opposed to a product sold at the store. If all your FC is used up in a hour, add it all back. Anytime you can test, and re-add chlorine to maintain a 11FC level you should. The more you do this the quicker it will go. According to the calculater it looks as if about 2 gallons of 12% bleach should take you to a FC level of 14, above shock level, but not enough to harm your liner.

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