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Thread: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

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    Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    CYA = below 30
    PH = 7.2
    Cl = 0.5
    TA = 230
    CH = 270

    My pool has been looking good all summer. A few weeks ago it didnít have the sparkle that it used to have. Recently it has been looking a little cloudy (not green, just cloudy) and very recently noticed some light brown stuff on the bottom of the pool. It has been like this for about a week now. Not knowing anything about pools all I had been doing is putting in the chlorine pucks (trichlor) in a floating dispenser and testing the levels of chlorine. Recently I havenít been able to get the water to hold any chlorine. So I found this forum and read up on things and came to the conclusion that the pool probably has too much CYA because of all the trichlor so I needed higher chlorine levels to fight off the algae. I canít get the recommended test kit so for now I just got the 6-way HTC kit. I was expecting to drain half the pool and replace with fresh water but to my surprise the CYA was well below the kits range.

    My plan of attack is to add stabilizer to get the water in the correct range of CYA and proceed with shocking the pool.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Am I headed in the right direction?
    Intex Ultra Frame 26'x52"
    Intex 2,500 gal/hr pump with Unicel cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    Welcome

    The CYA is a little surprising based on the use of pucks. Is this a recent fill? How many pucks have you used?

    IF the CYA is correct, then you may have been loosing the FC to the sun faster than the tablets were dissolving.

    Start low on the CYA (~30ppm) as you will need to go through the shock process as outlined in Pool School ... to do this correctly it is best to have the FAS-DPD chlorine test. This can be purchased separately if you like ... check out tftestkits.net

    The other thing of note is you high TA. When you stop using the tablets (which are acidic), your pH is likely to rise fairly often. You will need to add acid to keep the pH in range. There is a procedure for lowering the TA in Pool School, but do not worry about this until you have completed the shock process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    The CYA surprised me too, I'm 100% sure I did the test correctly though. I've had the pool filled for about 2.5 months now. I've used an entire bucket of Aqua Chem 3" tabs (Trichloro-Triazinetrione). I'm assuming this is trichlor. There is probably 8 pucks in the bucket.

    I will procede:
    Get the better test kit,
    Start with CYA on the low side,
    Shock according to pool school.

    I did my homework so am familiar with the procedure for lowering TA. (Even as a newbie it gets old reading posts with questions easily answered in pool school.) I will worry about that after shocking.

    I will let you know how it goes! Thanks for the GREAT site!!
    Intex Ultra Frame 26'x52"
    Intex 2,500 gal/hr pump with Unicel cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    How heavy was the bucket of tablets? Depending on the size, you could have added up to 400ppm of CYA.
    Have you been replacing a lot of water that could have lowered the CYA?

    I am having a hard time explaining to myself how it could be so low.
    There are some reports of a bacteria that converts the CYA to ammonia which shows up as high CC, but that is typically over winter in a closed pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    Welcome to tfp, krazykrames

    Another Minnesotan, joining the army that is taking over tfp

    If you added 8 standard 3" pucks, they are about 8 ounces each and should have raised your cya by 48 ppm...right where you would want it assuming you started at 0.

    How does your water look?

    If you water look crystal clear, then get some chlorine in there stat...with a cya of 30 ppm for now, poolcaculator.com gives me a normal FC range of 2-6 ppm (but never less than 2).

    If your water looks cloudy, or you as you seem to suspect there is something going on in it, then raise you FC level up towards your FC shock level (poolcalculator.com gives me 13 ppm FC for 30 ppm cya) and do a Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT)>
    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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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    I am a newcomer to this site also and just successfully cleaned up my very frustrating and impossible to clear up cloudy pool. Now I swear by the TFP approach. I shocked the hades out of the pool using cheap liquid chlorine bleach, religiously cleaned (then replaced) my filter, and used muriatic acid to get my pH of 8 down. All of this was easy and effective. After one week, all is so sparkling clear that friends are commenting on the clarity of the water. I, too, thought my cya level would be sky high, but it was not. I had been regularly using pucks, but the shock I had been using ALOT of was cal hypo and the same chemical as is in Borax, sodium tetraborate pentahydrate, neither of which contribute to cya. What a pleasant surprise to have a pool that will hold a chlorine level day after day, instead of the way it was before, which was dissipated shock after 8 hours. This is fun!!! Don't give up. Pool School had all the info I needed.
    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 jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    Oh, either me or linen is reading the post wrong ...

    are there 8 pucks total in a new bucket? ... so that is how many you have used
    or are there 8 pucks left in a much larger bucket? ... so you have used many more than 8
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    Quote Originally Posted by krazykrames
    I've had the pool filled for about 2.5 months now. I've used an entire bucket of Aqua Chem 3" tabs (Trichloro-Triazinetrione). I'm assuming this is trichlor. There is probably 8 pucks in the bucket.
    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Oh, either me or linen is reading the post wrong ...

    are there 8 pucks total in a new bucket? ... so that is how many you have used
    or are there 8 pucks left in a much larger bucket? ... so you have used many more than 8
    EDIT: Nevermind OP clarified - 8 pucks total.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    jblizzle
    Sorry for the confusion. I've used around a total of 8 (3") pucks over the last 2.5 months. I haven't added much water since the first fill up, maybe a few hundred gallons.

    linen
    The water is a little cloudy, I can still see objects on the bottom but they are a little blurry. The current CYA is somewhere under 30. The test kit I have goes down to 30, I filled the sample container all the way to the top and could still see the black dot pretty easily while looking down from the top.
    Intex Ultra Frame 26'x52"
    Intex 2,500 gal/hr pump with Unicel cartridge filter.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    Your low cya reading is a bit of a mystery.

    Cloudy water is almost always a sign of something growing in your pool. I would start the shocking process.
    As you will read in the link, to be most efficient you will need to measure FC and CC. You can only measure TC (total chlorine) with the OTO chlorine test you have and you can't measure CC. I highly recommend an appropriate test kit. If you use TC as a corollary for FC (and ignore CC), then doing a dilution can work. For example, mix 1 part pool water to 2 parts non-chlorinated water (most municipal water has chlorine) and do the OTO test, then multiply the result by 3. Not very accurate or precise but it might show if you are having high overnight chlorine loss.
    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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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?

    Well another success story! Water is crystal clear and sparkly! Chlorine levels are holding and CC is 0. This process truly works and is cheap. Thanks for all the help and for this great site!

    On a side note, I had a fun time at the pool store. I couldn't find any stabilizer at walmart so had to go to a pool store to get what they call UV Sheild. They asked what I used for chlorine and I said bleach and their mouths dropped. They were shocked I would put something like that in a pool and swim in it. They tried to lecture me on how bad of an idea that is. I can say I was grinning the whole time knowing I knew more about the pool chemistry than they did. It was quite funny watching the 2 of them stumble their way through something they didn't know enough about. I tried to tell them that it's the exact same thing as their liquid chlorine but they just couldn't grasp the concept. They also tried to sell me algaeside and some stuff that softened to water and made it smell like flowers or something to cover up the chlorine smell. I said I won't have a algae problem by keeping the FC levels up and won't have a chlorine smell by keeping the CC levels at 0 with my bleach...again...a look of shock on their faces.

    Again thanks for saving me time and money and keeping the family happy.

    One question do I have. When not in use I keep my pool covered. With the easy set pool and the cover I use that wraps over the inflatable ring, the pool is completely sealed in tight, absolutely no air can get in or out. Is that a bad thing or doesn't it really matter?
    Intex Ultra Frame 26'x52"
    Intex 2,500 gal/hr pump with Unicel cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track to clear up cloudy water?



    The cover is fine. Will reduce evaporation and help protect the FC in the pool. You may notice your CC continue to register due to the sun not able to help break them down, but the FC will still do it's job.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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