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Thread: grayish white powder on bottom

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    grayish white powder on bottom

    I am a new comer to BBB. After a horrible month messing around with the pool water, I'm finally close to totally clean. I have been using a decent test kit but am awaiting delivery of the one recommended here. A month ago, after a week or so of simply not being able to hold a chlorine level, and seeing green algae, I got a test done at my local pool place. The phosphorus level was very high so I took their advice and added a good dose of phoslo and shocked the pool. A debacle ensued, lol. They didn't tell me that it would start the worst pool experience of my short poolowner life. Even adding clarifier and repeated cleaning of white powdery gunk out of the filter did not clear up the totally cloudy pool. Had a retest after a week of frustration. Well the phosphorus dropped from 3000+ to 600, but it still wouldn't hold a chlorine level. I told the pool place that I would never add phow low again and that I just wanted to superchlorinate the pool. They sold me a 75 pound container of powder shock and had me adding 3 lbs of chlorine powder as often as every 4 hours. Still cloudy, still gunked up filter. I used at least 50 lbs of the stuff. Added a little more phoslo. Fast forward.

    I got a new filter, I am using liquid chlorine bleach and liquid Muriatic acid. The water is clear, but there is still a gray/white powder on the bottom in places. When brushed, it makes a dark grey cloud. I am brushing it a couple of times a day, and may vacuum it soon. It is decreasing. Chlorine levels somewhere over 4. pH 7.5, Alk 120. Balanced easily with BBB/Acid techniques. I'm curious what the CyA level is going to show and the Calcium level.
    Comments: is the grey powder calcium deposits from the breakdown of all that powdered chlorine or is it still the chemically combined ex-phosphorus w/ dead algae? And is it likely that the 50 pounds of the powdered shock is going to give me a horrible CyA level? Or do only the pucks do that? Needless to say, the solids on the pool bottom was too much for my old cartridge filter, even spraying it off (jet setting) very frequently. I'm going to hose the new filter down, too, when the powder is all filtered out. Old filter soaking in TSP now, and I may also soak it in acid. (The old filter was working fine till the algae bloom/phoslo drama.) Should I add some clarifyer to help congeal the powder?
    8500 Gallon AG/WaterWays HiFlo pump/ClearWaterII Cartridge Filter 100 sqft (replaced in July 2012)/ TF-100 test kit/BBB & Muriatic Acid system
    Southwestern Pennsylvania

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: grayish white powder on bottom

    If you could post the brands/names of the chemicals you used we could tell you what is in them. The pucks likely are trichlor, which contain CYA, the powdered shock could have been dichlor, which also contains CYA or Cal-hypo which contains calcium. It would also help if you could post a complete set of current test results, including CYA and CH (calcium). Test results will help us determine what the powder is.
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    Re: grayish white powder on bottom

    You should also know that dead algae makes a gray powdery substance on your pool floor.

    When you post your numbers, also please post your pool's size, preferrably in gallons. I'm very curious to see what the pool store had you use to superchlorinate, and what effect it's had on your chemistry.

    One more thing, what is your pool's construction? Above ground, in ground vinyl, in ground plaster, etc.
    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: grayish white powder on bottom

    8600 gal AGP. The powder shock was mostly cal-hypo, like 60% and 25-ish % tetra something. I don't have the new test kit yet, so don't know CyA nor calcium readings. I guess the powder could be calcium AND/OR the bound phosphorus AND/OR algae. I'll post exacts when the torrential downpour stops. I am going to keep the chlorine level as high as I can till it is completely fixed.....190 ounces 6% today. one or two gallons each of last 3 days. And a whole gallon jug of M. acid only dropped the pH from 8.0 to 7.5. Haven't gotten down to 7.2. But TA is much better, 120 down from 220. I just have a simple chlorine test: But it is very bright clear yellow/orange. Not pale yellow which was the best I was getting with all the powder ****e I was using. Could the powder be undisolved chlorine powder?
    8500 Gallon AG/WaterWays HiFlo pump/ClearWaterII Cartridge Filter 100 sqft (replaced in July 2012)/ TF-100 test kit/BBB & Muriatic Acid system
    Southwestern Pennsylvania

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    Re: grayish white powder on bottom

    44,000 gallons. That is one big pool......do you have pictures posted on the site?
    8500 Gallon AG/WaterWays HiFlo pump/ClearWaterII Cartridge Filter 100 sqft (replaced in July 2012)/ TF-100 test kit/BBB & Muriatic Acid system
    Southwestern Pennsylvania

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    Re: grayish white powder on bottom

    The shock was Caribbean Blue Forever Clear: 47% Calcium hypochlorite and 30% Sodium tetraborate pentahydrate. about 50 lbs of this in my pool.
    8500 Gallon AG/WaterWays HiFlo pump/ClearWaterII Cartridge Filter 100 sqft (replaced in July 2012)/ TF-100 test kit/BBB & Muriatic Acid system
    Southwestern Pennsylvania

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    Re: grayish white powder on bottom

    cya level is 60.
    8500 Gallon AG/WaterWays HiFlo pump/ClearWaterII Cartridge Filter 100 sqft (replaced in July 2012)/ TF-100 test kit/BBB & Muriatic Acid system
    Southwestern Pennsylvania

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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: grayish white powder on bottom

    Hi and welcome to TFP. It might be helpful to put your pool specs in your signature. If you click on User Control Panel at the very top of this page towards the left, you can add a signature.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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