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Thread: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

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    Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    Please help! This is my first time to use an online forum.

    We bought our home last July and have had no issues at all maintaining it (we are first-time pool owners). We did not close it down for the winter so we were able to jump right in this Spring.

    I went out of town two weeks ago and left instructions for my husband (I am the primary care-giver for the pool). We had EXCESSIVE amounts of rain while I was gone. I returned yesterday to an extremely cloudy pool and it will not hold chlorine.

    Sat, 7/21
    1 lb hth Super shock n Swim

    Sunday, 7/22
    2 lbs HTH Super Shock n Swim
    20 oz HTH Algaeguard 3x's concentrate (small amount of visible algae on steps into pool)

    Monday, 7/23
    2 lbs HTH Super Shock n Swim
    14 oz HTH Super Concentrate Clarifier
    Soda Ash

    Readings apprx 1 hour ago:
    Cl .5
    Br 1
    Ph 6.8
    Alk 70
    CYA 60

    We always use a chlorine floater with 4-5 tabs of hth dual action 3" tabs.
    1. 55,000 gallon pool with 10 ft deep end
    2. Sand Filter
    3. In ground
    4. Vinyl
    5. Triton II, Model TR-100, Filtration flow rate 74, Filtration Area Sq Ft 4.91
    6. Pool intall date - ? (15+ years ago)

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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    How did you arrive at those test results? Did you test yourself? If so, what type of test are you using?

    Is the CL you refer to your total chlorine, free chlorine, or combined chlorine?

    Your CYA is pretty high, and will reduce the effectiveness of your free chlorine. Using a floater with chlorine pucks will continue to raise your CYA. Unfortunately, the only way you can reduce your CYA is with water replacement or reverse osmosis.

    It sounds to me like a shock might be in order. Understand that 'shocking' your pool is a process, and not a product off the shelf. Take a look at PoolSchool and read directions about how the process is preformed.

    PS welcome to TFP!

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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    First, you need to stop the use of the floater and tabs immediately. Your CYA of 60 is approaching making the pool unmanageable.

    Before we go any further, I want to make sure you understand we will not be pointing you toward any HTH or other brand name products. You can and will take control of your pool using products from the grocery store, hardware store, etc.

    At the top-right corner of this page is a button labeled Pool School. You need to make yourself familiar with that content.

    Next, you need to use poolcalculator.com, as you are going to need this to know how much of each item to add.

    And last in this section, let us know how you are calculating your pool's chemistry. You may need a better test kit. By the way, you can ignore the Br number you have posted.

    OK, now on to the good stuff.

    Your pH is too low. I recommend raising it with Borax. Yep, the 20 Mule Team stuff from the grocery store. No, it is not detergent. You need to get up to 7.5 to 7.8. The pool calculator will help you with this. Your soda ash does the same thing, but I prefer borax.

    I would like to see your CC number, but even without it I am betting you need to shock your pool. Shocking is a process, not something you buy from the store and dump in the pool. Read more here:
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    Here's where to get a good test kit. For your size pool I heavily recommend the TF-100.
    http://tftestkits.net
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    Hi and welcome to TFP!

    First off, I'd like to direct you to Pool School. It's the white button at the top right of every page here at TFP. Please read the information there, more than once (or thrice). That will help you a great deal in understanding what we do here, why, and how.

    You'll also come away with information that will fly in the face of what you've always done and how you've treated your pool. Shocking the pool is not a one time event, nor is it a product you can buy at the pool store. Shocking is a process, and requires a good test kit that can test for both FC and TC over 5ppm so that you can maintain shock level throughout the process. It can take weeks of maintaining shock level, or it could be faster. There is no way to tell ahead of time.

    Additionally, you're at the upper limit for CYA level and all kinds of solid and granular chlorine except for Cal-Hypo contains CYA. Your first step is to stop any additional CYA from entering your pool this season which means eliminating the pucks (trichlor-adds CYA) and powdered shock product (dichlor). From now on, use only liquid chlorine in either 6% (bleach) or 12% (pool store liquid chlorine - often sold as pool "shock").

    When you've read through Pool School and decided to move forward with liquid chlorine you'll have a number of questions. Post back here to ask them.

    Is your pool surface vinyl or plaster? I ask because you didn't post CH levels and if it's not a vinyl pool, CH is important to know.
    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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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    It's in the signature line, in-ground vinyl. Bigger pool than mine! Going to take a lot of bleach!
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    Thanks for the prompt replies!
    Sounds like I may need a new test kit. I am currently using the hth 6-way test kit. I don't know how to answer which clorine (total, free or combined) results I am reporting as I don't think my test kit specifies.
    I am not loyal, by any means, to hth. I am open to using any products (grocery store, harware, etc.) We live in a very small town and don't have a pool supply store, etc. So, I shop at Walmart and, being a swimming pool novice, simply headed to the pool section where all they seem to sell is hth.

    I have used Borax to raise ph (and loved the results). I went to buy some today and they were out of stock so I bought Arm & Hammer Super Soda Wash (soda ash). Will buy more Borax when it is back in stock.
    Last summer the ph was very easy to maintain but this summer I have had some difficulty raising it.

    This is the first issue we have ever had so it sounds like I will have to step up to bat and change my ways. Up until now all I have ever done is float chlorine tabs, shock every 2 weeks and add Borax when needed (maybe every 1-2 weeks). I guess I got spoiled (or lucky) until now.

    I just went out and removed the chlorine flaoter & I will read up on the proper way to shock the pool. Wish me luck!

    Thansk again.
    1. 55,000 gallon pool with 10 ft deep end
    2. Sand Filter
    3. In ground
    4. Vinyl
    5. Triton II, Model TR-100, Filtration flow rate 74, Filtration Area Sq Ft 4.91
    6. Pool intall date - ? (15+ years ago)

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    If you have a fountain, waterfall, aerator, etc., that will lower pH.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    If you have a fountain, waterfall, aerator, etc., that will lower pH.
    I think you mean "raise" pH, right?
    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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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    Whoops, yep! I'm confused!!! My A/C went out Friday night (of course!), Saturday it was 107 outside, and I'm literally sweating about the cost of a new system!

    Back on topic, I don't know how your pH is getting low! I think we might have a better idea when you have truly accurate test numbers we can trust. Strips can be notoriously inaccurate.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    No, we do not have a fountain, waterfall, etc. but thanks for the comment.
    1. 55,000 gallon pool with 10 ft deep end
    2. Sand Filter
    3. In ground
    4. Vinyl
    5. Triton II, Model TR-100, Filtration flow rate 74, Filtration Area Sq Ft 4.91
    6. Pool intall date - ? (15+ years ago)

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Vette's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    Whoops, yep! I'm confused!!! My A/C went out Friday night (of course!), Saturday it was 107 outside, and I'm literally sweating about the cost of a new system!

    Back on topic, I don't know how your pH is getting low! I think we might have a better idea when you have truly accurate test numbers we can trust. Strips can be notoriously inaccurate.
    I'd be living in my pool then! Just leave your cell phone by the water and get a pizza delivered for dinner!
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    We were in the pool from noon to midnight on Saturday, and that's not an exaggeration. Have a window unit going in the bedroom so we can sleep.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    I'm sure your fingers were just slippery from sweat and just slid off the keys while typing :~}
    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.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cloudy, won't hold chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by Camdenmom
    Last summer the ph was very easy to maintain but this summer I have had some difficulty raising it
    Were you using as many tablets last year as you are this year? Trichlor (which is in the tablets) lowers ph.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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