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Thread: Cloudy Water

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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Cloudy Water

    I just returned from a 10 day vacation and had my Mom taking care of my pool. She did everything that I told her to do on a daily basis, and my test results on return were pretty good, however my water is cloudy. With my chlorine levels in the good range, is it safe to follow through with the shock process? I am worried about pushing my chlorine level up too high. And honestly I'm not sure what the "shock level" is for my pool. It is hot around here still and we want to use the pool, so I don't want to render it unusable. Here are yesterdays numbers, tested with my HTH test, then confirmed at my local hardware store, my test only does Free Chlorine, pH, ALK, CH, the other numbers are from the store.

    FC- 1.0
    TC-1.0
    CC-0.2
    pH-7.6
    CH-300 (on my kit, on only get round numbers)
    ALK-88 (90 on my kit, only get round numbers)
    CYA-40
    Copper-0
    Iron-0

    Todays Numbers (added 2oz Chlorine Granules around 9pm eastern time)

    FC-3
    pH-7.6
    ALK-80
    CH-300


    I'm open to any suggestions!
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    Also did the OCLT two days ago, and lost less than 1ppm overnight...
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    Re: Cloudy Water

    Assuming that CYA is correct, your shock level is 16. Also, you should keep FC between 3 and 5 at all times.

    In order to shock the pool properly, you will need a FAS-DPD test for FC. This will allow you to measure FC accurately even at high levels. A test kit like the TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 will save you time in the long run. And you will be able to test everything yourself (more accurately than pool store or hardware store).

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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    Okay, I'm really new at this.... I've been using HTH Shock and Swim, should I switch to liquid bleach? Is my pool safe to use at shock level?
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    The powder you've been using adds calcium, and you don't need any more of that. Nor do you need any more CYA, which the other powders will add. Therefore: bleach. Or Pool Chlorine. It might also be called something stupid like "liquid shock." It's all the same stuff - sodium hypochlorite- just different concentrations.

    As mentioned above, you need to spend some time in Pool School, especially learning about the shock process. You can swim in the pool up to shock level. But I'd stay out while you're holding the FC at or above shock level.
    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: Cloudy Water

    It's important to read pool school, many many times. Please do that, and pay special attention to the How To Shock Your Pool information. After you've read it, read it again. Almost all of the questions you have right now, and hundreds others you don't even know you have about this are answered in Pool School.

    And yes, bleach (grocery store - no scents or additives) is the only chlorine you should put into your pool from now on. Your CYA is right where it needs to be, so do not use any more powdered or solid chlorine products that will add unwanted chemicals to your water, only liquid chlorine (bleach - 6% sodium hypochlorite).

    I wanted to mention that since you've got an HTH 6-Way test, that you can get everything else you need from TFTestkits.net by only buying refills of the missing reagents. You have all the tools in your current kit except for the scoop which is a whopping $.15 at TFTestkits.net.

    You need:
    R-0870
    R-0871
    R-0003
    scoop
    R-0013

    The Taylor refills are the least expensive option, but the TFTestkit refills (Taylor reagents, re-bottled) offer a better value because you get more. Either way, for less than $30 including shipping, you've got a good kit with the FAS-DPD test you need.
    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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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    I just purchased the Taylor K 2006 (it was the only one I could afford) as everything I have read says your test kits are better than the HTH kit. I didn't get these messages until today, so I have gone out and purchased several gallons of bleach and will start with that tonight. I have read and reread the shock process, and it is beginning to make some sense to me, I have also read a majority of pool school. I have had crystal clear water since the week after I opened, it's only in the last few days that it has become cloudy. I added the shock and swim that I had on hand last night, and the pool is much better today. I think that I will wait to start the shock process until my new kit arrives so I can better monitor the different chlorine levels. Thanks for the help, I just have one more question, how does adding bleach lover the CC? I would think that adding chlorine would raise all chlorine levels...
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    I just got my Taylor K 2006 and used it for the first time this morning. I feel that I got some pretty good test results, my FC is a little low as I didn't add anything last night after a hot sunny day and LOTS of use, due to massive storms rolling through (we haven't had rain in a couple months)! My question is, if I bring my pool up to shock level right now, will it be okay for use in 6 hours, or should I just add the normal dose and wait to shock until tonight?

    Today's Results:
    FC-1.4
    CC-0.2
    pH-7.6
    ALK-110 (on it's way back up AGAIN!)
    CH-430
    CYA-30

    I checked out the Pool Calculator and have the dosages needed...
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    I finally made it up to shock level, and now my pool looks 10 TIMES WORSE!! It almost looks like MILK! Does it generally get FAR worse before it gets better! I'm really starting to freak out and think that I have done something seriously wrong by shocking it! I don't know if I want to allow my family in to the water! HELP PLEASE!!!!
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    You're seeing the algae die. That is absolutely normal. Maintain shock level (test hourly, add bleach as needed) and relax inbetween tests/dosings. Cloudy pool means you did something right. If you maintain shock level the algae will stay dead and the filter will catch it eventually. Filter 24/7.

    Clearing the cloudy part is the last stage of shocking, so expect cloudy water for a while yet. When it begins to clear, you're close to being done shocking (but not done, it must be clear before you stop shocking even if the testing indicates all is good).

    Combined chlorine is not good chlorine (CC is chloramine). It's the result of active chlorine killing something. If CC is present, it's an indication that active murderous activities are occurring. By raising/maintaining to shock level, eventually less and less organic material is being murdered, and the CC will go down and eventually disappear or at least be less than .5ppm.
    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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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    My CC is 0 and my FC is 16.6, and has held there for almost 3 hours now. I didn't realize that slightly cloudy water meant an algae outbreak, I thought it was probably from the kids wearing sunblock! There were no other signs and all my tests were normal. Only when I got it to shock level did it turn into milk. I have never lost chlorine, except the normal sunlight burn of about 1-1.5, I have only been adding a small amount at night to be ready for morning! But again, I am not anywhere close to being an expert, and I'm glad to learn something new everyday!!
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    Just a note, it sounds like you're using the 25ml sample for testing chlorine. That's very precise and not really necessary for these purposes. Plus it takes a lot more reagent (drops) to get the result. Go ahead and use the 10ml sample, and value each drop .5ppm.

    By the way, what did you use to raise to shock level? More shock n swim? That contains calcium, and it's possible that high calcium is part of the cloudiness you're seeing. Not too probable, but possible. The most likely culprit is dead algae.

    How's the filter doing? Have you rinsed it lately? Unfortunately, it's much harder to clear a pool with just one 1000gph cartridge filter than it is with... say two... or three of them. Seriously. You might want to visit a pool store and get a Unicel cartridge that fits the Intex filter. Walmart used to sell a cartridge that filtered smaller particles but I couldn't find them online, and the stores may or may not have them. The media looks like it's got little dots, whereas the other medias look like spun fiber (dryer sheets).

    A better cartridge means more frequent cleanings, be aware of this.

    If you want good filtration on an Intex pool, consider a second pump/filter (try craigslist). Or, consider a complete switch to a sand filter with a larger sized pump, or at least a larger sized intex style cartridge pump/filter.
    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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    JulieS's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    I am using the 25mL and will definitely switch the the 10, I don't know why I didn't think of that! I am using 6% plain old regular bleach. I have several new cartridge filters, and generally clean my filter everyday, once it starts to look poor, I swap it out for a new one! Would it be better is I cleaned it more times a day? I don't know much about sand filters, so I'll do a bit of research on that. I have been looking at different pumps, as I thought the one that came with my pool was a bit cheap and small.
    Intex AG Round 15'x42" About 4600 Gallons.
    2650 Gallon Sand Filter Pump W/GFCI .
    K-2006 test kit.
    Here in the beautiful Southwest Michigan!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water

    Clean the cartridge when the skimmer stops working well. With the spun fiber cartridges, they tend to work better when they're a little plugged up.

    Are you spraying the cartridge off and reusing it, or just buying new ones? Because you don't need a new cartridge. Garden hose, and if needed a soaking in dishWASHER detergent is all that is needed. Might want to take the new cartridges back. If you've got two, you're good to go all summer with one in the soup and one in the pump.

    The intex sand filter and 2600gph pump combo is $169 at walmart. Kills two birds with one... "submit payment". lol
    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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