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Thread: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

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    Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Hi, I know that the test strips are great but thats all I have right now so i'm using them. Anyway, my water has been cloudy for some time now and based on my reading, I have been shocking the pool with shock plus but with no results! I have gone through 4 1/2 bags of shock in just over a week. I have been shocking almost daily to try and get the water right.

    I'm not really sure what my ph level is because the color I was getting on my strip, before i started shocking, was not any color on the bottle. It was kind of a very light orange and white - the lowest ph color is orange - the highest being florescent pink (i'm using aqua chem strips). Because the color was less than the first color, I started using Borax to bring up the ph, after going through 2 boxes of borax and buying a 3rd the color was still non existent on the strip! So, I came to poolschool and started reading. I found a similar post to my problem (the non existent ph color problem) which said it was a mistake to rise the ph that it was in fact way to high and to bring it down but to shock shock shock until the water was clear. Based on that, I went out and bought a 5 bag box of the orange Shock Plus bags and began to shock. I only have 1/2 a bag left and still my water is cloudy and my ph level now shows an orangeish color similar to the lowest level of ph on the strip.

    I confused now, do i put more borax now, do i get more shock, do i really need to lower the ph? All other levels are right on but alklinity - although in between the ok ranges, seems to be in between 40 and 120 about 1/2 the color of each mixed.

    I tried to use the calculator but since i'm not really sure of my exact numbers on ph I dont know what to do.

    PLEASE HELP - I have about 30 kids coming to my house in TWO DAYS and they are ready to swim! As a side note, I have 6 kids who still swim in the water - cloudy or not - almost daily BUT its rained the last 3 days here so they have not swam in those 3 days.
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    How big is your pool?

    Is it a salt water pool?

    Do you have a pool store you can get water tested at?

    Do you have a pool store you can buy a test kit from?

    What type of filter do you have?

    Do you have pictures of your pool, it's current condition, and your equiptment pad?
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Without a good test kit no one can advise at this point because we don't know your numbers. Also, for the time being, I would suggest NOT using any more of the "shock" product that you are using. It does contain dichlor and will be raising your CYA. Just use bleach to keep algae from getting started until you can get your water tested properly. Then you can begin to tackle your PH and so forth. You can't tell anything from those strips. They are worthless. Post back with information that harleysilo stated.
    18x52 Ultra Frame with 1600 gph sand filter and intex skimmer

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo

    How big is your pool? 18' x 4' 6,423 gallons - Intex metal frame

    Is it a salt water pool?No

    Do you have a pool store you can get water tested at? Yes - Pool Town but they use test strips to test the water.

    Do you have a pool store you can buy a test kit from? Yes - Pool Town but they only sell a 2 way kit for $17 and test strips for $24.99

    What type of filter do you have? 110-120 volt Filter Pump with 1,500 gallon (5,678 L) per hour flow rate - type A filter cartridge

    Do you have pictures of your pool, it's current condition, and your equiptment pad? Pictures, No but will try to remember to take some tomorrow. Current Condition: open, cloudy, no alge, warm, seems clean just cloudy, doesnt burn eyes. Equipment pad - i have no idea what that is.
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Equipment pad means the area with the pump, filter, heater, valves, and that eyesore stuff.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Ok - thanks for the info.

    My equipment pad is very basic then - just the pump/filter i mentioned, I have no heater, no SWG, valves are just the basic intex side of pool hoses. I do have the over the wall skimmer for intex metal wall pools and the in skimmer vacuum - i put the vacuum in the water, put the hose up to my outspout to fill it, connect the hose to the canister which connects to the skimmer which powers the vacuum.

    That's about all i've got.

    So how much bleach do you think i should be adding per day Coastal Carolina?
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    It's impossible to know how much you need to add without knowing how much is in there and what the CYA level is. Neither of which you've told us.

    The so called shock you've added is Dichlor and if you've added 4½ bags you've added 45 ppm of CYA to what you already had in there.

    If you're in a big hurry to get it cleaned up you might be better off draining and refilling it. And depending on your CYA you may need to drain some water anyway. Also Without good test results we're not going to be able to help you, even though we'd really really like to.

    By draining and refilling you could be swimming tomorrow. Maybe even this evening.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Thanks for the reply. The weird thing is that the CYA reading for me - on the useless strips - still is showing very low - between 0 and 50! The chlorine shows Total Chlorine to be between 1 and 3 - but after I shock, it shows a 3 and the next day, it shows back to a 1. The Free chlorine is the same showing 3 after shock and the next day showing a 1.

    This is partly why i'm so confused. Maybe there is too much stablizer in it even though it says there is still between 0 and 80 on the strip.

    I'm going to take my water to the pool store today and see what they say BUT, as i've said, they use strips too. I'm also going to walmart to purchase that kit mentioned in the comparison since I dont have $70 bucks right now to purchase the expensive one.

    Does anyone know about the aqua chem liquid test kit or the HTC liquid test kit? Are they good or not - what about the ones being sold on ebay - the ones labled swimline test kit or just a generic test kit?

    Thanks again
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Don't waste your money on any of those other kits. Get the HTH 6-way if you have to and let us know what the results are.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Hi, ok, today, I took my water to the pool store and they tested my water and said all my numbers are RIGHT ON and the only thing that was a little low was the stabilizer but its not bad. I asked then why is my water cloudy and he said i dont know what to tell you - all your levels are where they're supposed to be. Then he suggested that i buy pool first aid for $27 and I declined and bought some water clairifier (sp?) for $9. I also went to walmart and bought the HTH 6 way test kit but today only tested my chlorine/bromine and ph levels (due to time). Ph shows about 7 and chlorine was high (but i added some bleach - 10% from the pool store) this morning due to 4 days of rain.

    I also picked up some filter cartridges today from walmart. I went home, drained the filter (i'm assuming this is a backwash), changed the cartridge, restarted the filter, added 8 oz of the clarifier, and left to do some more shopping. About 8 hrs later, I tested with the new HTH kit and got the above results with ph and chlorine/bromine.

    I vacuumed the pool 3x over since there was some slimy gray stuff that kept lining the vacuum bag, then since the ph showed a little low, I added about 1/4 of the small box of borax.

    The shock plus i was using is not dichlor - its trichlor i think and it says on the pack that it doesnt lower ph. I also noticed that the top of the water has some oils on it. I'm thinking my kids went in with some stuff in thier hair (like hair lotion or oils). I'm hoping that after what i've done, that tomorrow, after a full cycle of water, it will clear up tomorrow.

    Do you all have any suggestions based on the above?

    thanks again
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Did you test for cya with kit you bought?
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Hi again, I read your post and it sounds like you are feeling a little more upbeat and ready to take charge of that pool! Don't let it get the best of you. The best advice I can give you tonight is when you have time it will be very beneficial for you to go through Pool School and read through each section. It will help explain in more detail what each of the "numbers" means, CYA, your TA, CC and Ph readings, and how they all play together to bring your water the clarity you want and also making sure that it is properly sanitized. You wouldn't want the kids to be swimming in unsafe water. Let us know how the water looks tomorrow, and just so you are aware........if you are having that many children in your pool....the water will cloud up depending on the usage because your chlorine is being used up by the extra load. So keep checking your chlorine # and you might need to bump it up a little as the day goes on. Just have the kids get out for awhile, add more chlorine and let it circulate before they get back in. Have a fun day!
    18x52 Ultra Frame with 1600 gph sand filter and intex skimmer

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Crek31, not yet but thats my first step this morning!

    Coastal Carolina - yes, i'm aware of the overload in the pool and intend to limit the swimmers to 15 at a time and will keep checking the levels throughout the day - I also intend to add some extra chlorine before they come (unless the level is still high) since I know it will depleat quickly. I also intend to have each of the kids 'shower' off with the hose before they enter the pool.

    After breakfast, I will go out and check ALL the levels and repost - thanks again everyone for your replies and help!
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Ok, this moring, it looks a little better but still a somewhat cloudy to me.

    I tested all water with the HTH liquid test kit and got the following:

    CYA - 35ppm

    PH - 7.5

    CL/BR - no reading - color is Orange which is darker than any color mark - I think its cause i added extra CL last night but the sun is so bright i think it'll come down

    AL - 90ppm

    Hard - 150ppm

    I am also attaching photos of the pool that I took this morning.

    Down towards the water shot:

    Across the pool shot:

    Into water from semi shade:

    Into water from very sunny area:
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    It looks like you are making some progress. The Orange CL test indicates you have 10-20 ppm depending on the color of the orange. THis is a comparison of the different testing methods.

    http://www.poolsolutions.com/tips/sw...O-and-DPD.html
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Thanks for the link! My color was a dark orange. I'm guessing since its had several hours of direct sunlight since i tested last it should have came down some. I'll test just before anyone gets in to be sure.

    any suggestions on the still somewhat cloudy water?
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    Basically the junk in your water is removed one of two ways, filtering or vacuum to waste. If the debris sinks to the bottom after leaving the pump off and hour or so, you could vacuum to waste if your fill water is good. If the debris is mainly floating and doesn't settle, you will need to continue filtering.

    If you have an Index A cartridge filter, it may take a while... and lots of filter changes/swaps-with-cleaned-ones. If you have the small Intex sand filter, I would guessitmate it will take a week to get it all. If you take a photo of the pump and hoses someone will know which one you have and be able to give you more specific information.

    Have you considered getting a better test kit? I know it's not cheap but it is less expensive than most trips to the pool store and their less than stellar testing and expensive supplies.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    techguy, thanks for your reply.

    I will take a pic of the pump tomorrow and post it.

    I vacuum a lot - especially since the sand under my pool extends past the under pad and sometimes my kids step in the sand and get sand at the bottom.

    I do use type A filter cartridges and I dont have a sand filter but would LOVE to find a good used one.

    I did purchase the HTH liquid 6 way test kit - i can't afford a more expensive one. the kit i already bought cost me $24.

    I am going to purchase a bulk box of filters on ebay tomorrow too. Also, does it work to just rinse out the cartridges and put them back in?

    thanks all.
    18X48 Intex Metal Frame - about 6000 gallons, Intex 2,650-Gallon Sand Filter Pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Filtration System, BBB care method

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    Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    I would not bulk purchase filters. I would find a better filter via Craigslist or buy the Intex 2650 sand for about 200. I don't know ow many times you can wash but I have heard of using paper towels, stockings, filter socks and "slime bags" with the Intex cartridges.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Frustrated with Cloudy water and ph level

    That's just my 2cents.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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