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Thread: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

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    I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Hi everybody, I've noticed you've got lots of info on this forum. I could def use some info!

    I've got a clear/cloudy pool.
    Intex 18' round, 4ft deep, 6200 gallon above ground pool.

    I can see the bottom pretty well, but its slightly cloudy. This is my first and I've had it for about 2 months. I've had 2 spells of green algae grow. One time I dumped 190oz of Clorox in and all the green turned white/clear. The second spell, I grabbed a half pound little bag of powder shock in. The green disappeared again. This is where I'm at now. The pool is really close to clear, but a little hazy. I've been leaving the little filter pump on 24/7, cleaning the filter about twice a day. The filter is usually very clean.

    Here's my stats today, taken from the bigger drop test kit from home depot:

    Total hardness=20ppm
    Total hardness should be 200-400ppm

    CL=5ppm
    CL should be 2-5ppm

    PH=6.8
    PH should be 7.2-7.8

    Total alkalinity=60
    Total alkalinity should be 60-120ppm

    CYA=less than 30ppm, it was hard to tell in the jar, but cya is probably 5ppm
    CYA should be 20-50ppm



    sooo, hopefully some of you super pool guys can point me in a nice direction to get a CRYSTAL clear pool.
    Thank you in advance
    ~Chris

    btw, is it unsafe to get in the pool at these present conditions? My mother doesn't want to get in, lol. I told her the specs look fine.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Welcome to TFP.

    You have a few problems.
    1) Your filtration system is woefully inadequate for clearing up an outbreak.
    2) Your test kit is less than ideal to put it mildly.
    3) You're not maintaining your FC properly and that's causing you to have repeated problems.

    Getting a good test kit is the first thing you should do.
    You need to get the pH up to 7.2 or so and then start the shock process.
    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
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Thanks a bunch!

    I forgot to mention, I added a floaty with a chlorine tablet with a couple slots open after the last algae breakout, so the pool is receiving chlorine consistenly as of a week ago. I suppose that makes up for the free chlorine now.

    ok, so I need a better test kit, you say.

    Whats the next level above drop tests? digital meters?

    I did have the ph at 8.2 at one point also. I've been slowly dropping it, but it went a little too far to 6.8. I will raise the PH a bit more using PH+ powder then throw the half pound of shock in. I'll report back, unless anyone has anything to add.

    The calcium and cya look particularly low to me. Any thoughts?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Which model test kit do you have?
    You need something with the FAS-DPD chlorine test.

    If you've been using stabilized chlorine your CYA is surely above what you indicate it is.
    If you're using Cal-hypo then your CH is a lot higher than 20 ppm.
    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
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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Do not worry about CH, as it really does not matter at this point, and will only matter in the future if it is too high (scaling risk).

    Your cloudiness is probably a combo of dead algae, some live algae, and other stuff. As stated before, your filtration is too small to do a good job of clearing the water.

    Shock is a process, not a product. Shocking is taking your free chlorine to a level and keeping it there until you no longer use any chlorine overnight, your combined chlorine is gone, and the water is perfectly clear.

    Do not swim in a pool unless the water is clear, and chlorine is below shock levels. Clear is not really a subjective measurement. Clear means it looks like bottled water. No readily visible particulates, no tint, no cloudiness. Crystal clear.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Hey guys,

    Here's my lil walmart test kit, tests 6 ways: http://www.walmart.com/ip/HTH-6-Way-Test-Kit/17043668

    The CYA test said to fill the jar with the mixture untill I couldn't see the black dot at the bottom. I filled it up to the 30ppm and could still see the black dot quite well. So I estimated that my cya could be 5-10ppm.

    And as far as my Calcium hardness, the instructions said when the mixture turns blue, multiply the drops times 10. Soo, I had 2 drops when the mixture changed while swirling. So I say my CH could be around 20ppm. I've only used 1/2 pound of the cal-hypo, I think that's why it's still low.

    And I completely agree, the pump is tiny. The inlet has a skimmer, so the junk on the top of the water gets sucked into it. It does very well, but we could sure use one of those walking vacuum things.


    ok, so I could def use a bigger pump, or maybe a denser filter?
    I could bring the ph from 6.8 to 7.2 or so
    Maybe I should compare free chlorine to the combined?

    ok, great, thanks for more ideas

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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Do you think filter cartridge pumps are best, or sand pumps are better? Or..?

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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Pardon me for butting in, as I have no business doing that except that I am still up.... But it would help tremendously if you could put specifics I your signature.... The real pros will be able to help you better, quicker... Here's how...

    pool-school/read_before_you_post

    And to answer your 2nd question it seems like sand is preferred around here, but what size, etc.. Depends on your particulars... There are bigger cartridge systems that do fine.... I use what is considered "marginal" at best, but it works for me b/c I follow the BBB method and test and clean (brush!) as prescribed ...

    Here's my post vacation clean up in progress and finished... Second pix could be better ... Had some lens flare shooting into the sun...

    Good luck....



    ~6500 gal 18' x 52" easy set agp, 7th year
    Intex 2650 sand filter, chlorine
    TF100 Test Kit
    Becoming a TFP lifetime supporter and purchasing the TF100 is absolutely the best money I have ever spent! :-D

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    That test kit will do. You threw me off by saying it was a Home Depot kit. So we'll assume the tests are correct. The only problem we have is the total chlorine. We really don't know if it's FC, CC, or a combination.

    A lot of people like the Intex 2650 sand filter pump combo. Until you get a new filter dilute the pool water sample half and half with chlorine free water and keep the TC at 5 in the chlorine test (which will really be 10 ppm). Use liquid chlorine (bleach).

    Don't worry about the hardness. having low or no CH is fine in vinyl pool.
    Add two pounds of borax. That'll bring the pH up and add a little TA.

    Once you get it clear you can add a little CYA.
    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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    oke doke, so I should increase the Chlorine to 10ppm?

    Well it seams the pool is a little clearer today, but no where near your second pic. That's what it looked like at the beginning!

    I threw some PH+ in yesterday, so todays test showed 6.8 moved to 7.2ph, yay

    My CL test went from about 5ppm yesterday, to 7 ppm today. I closed the little holes a bit on the chlorine floaty.

    I got in today, and my hands became a little more dry than usual also.

    That BBB method is interesting. Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda

    My Total alkalinity is around 60. I think 60-120ppm is good. I think a lower TA is good, so the PH is changed so easily, right? SO I probably won't add baking soda

    My PH is 7.2 so I probably won't add Borax.
    And Chlorine test is a TOTAL chlorine test. My Total chlorine is 7ppm at the moment, ya I don't know if it's free chlorine or what.

    Soo, Rambler, you think I should raise the Total chlorine to 10ppm? Will that kill some stuff off? I remember using the 190oz of chlorox and it sparkled!!!, but I really thought it was too much. Then again, the sun is going to destroy the liquid anyway.

    ok so I should shock it with a big jug of bleach?


    You guys are super helpful, I appreciate it, so does my family.
    ~Chris

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Yes I would keep it at 10 ppm.
    I also suggest you order at least a FAS-DPD test so you will know whether you have FC and/or CC. And you'll be able to run an OCLT.

    Use bleach to shock the pool. The pool calc will tell you how much to use.
    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: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    excellent, I'll try 10ppm. And yes I will find a kit that has a FC and CC, because I don't know either. Maybe Ill call "hth" and ask them what exactly the chlorine test is testing.

    I'll use the pool calculator you guys have here. Ill probably dump it in when the sun goes down tonight.

    Thanks
    ~Chris

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    I started with the same HTH kit from Wal-Mart and had the same issues you are having. The HTH test block will only show you CL values up to 5 PPM. When you are shocking your pool to kill off the algae and get crystal clear, you need to keep your CL in the 10-20 PPM range (depending on your CYA).

    HTH doesn't seem to have the FAS-DPD test available from them . This is the one test required to get your high CL values accurately

    http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlori...-test-p47.html

    If you get the above kit, you will be able to accurately determine your FC and CC levels
    -- 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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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Yes, that kit can measure FC up to 50ppm
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    o good plan, I'll grab one. Thanks for sharing, I def need to know what it really is.

    Tonight Ill also be throwing in some liquid bleach.

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    The nice thing about testing is you can stop throwing stuff in the pool, like money for stuff not needed.
    -- 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: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Yaa, I'm def going to grab that little kit to be more precise. That would help a lot. I just threw a couple gallons of bleach in the pool. I went looking for calculators, but got a little lazy. I dumped 2 gallons of 6% bleach in. Ill test it tomorrow, to see where Im at. Might not go swimming tomorrow. Anyway, thanks a bunch

    btw, I was in palmdale last week. I think I went through antelope, I dono, its all the same out here. So we're like neighbors. hah

    ~We're around bakersfield
    ~Chris

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    I think you went through Antelope Valley unless you were on the road between Sacramento and Reno. I am in a suburb of Sacramento, at the top edge of Sacramento County.

    With the new kit, you will be in great shape. Just tonight I did the OTO (yellow block testing) and the yellow color was hard to tell, was it 3 or was it 5?... I broke out the FAS-DPD and I know it was 2.5 ppm. I knew I needed to get to 7.0 for tomorrow heat 102-104 and today was only 100F, It made the different between adding 20 oz to 40 oz 12.5% CL.. hoping for a 7.0. I needed to add 45 oz with my 2.5 result. If I had not done the FAS_DPD testing, i would not have added that extra CL, I would have been down to 1.0 or less and at risk of algae.
    -- 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: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers

    Please be VERY careful "dumping" in chemicals. Two gallons of bleach would have raised your FC by around 21 ppm. Unless your CYA is 50 or more, that is certainly not safe to swim in and could be bleaching out your liner.

    Have you ordered a FAS-DPD kit yet?

    You need to get your CYA to 20 and start the shocking process. It must be done correctly. Dumping in large amounts of bleach once every day or two will not work.

    If this is not something you can commit to, I would suggest draining your pool, scrubbing with weak bleach mixture, refilling, and monitoring your pool correctly from the start. (Add the correct amount of stabilizer to reach 30 ppm and use the pool calculator to keep your FC around 4, never letting it fall below 2.)

    You said you went looking for calculators - if you were trying to find the pool calculator referred to on this site, it can be found at http://www.poolcalculator.com "To figure out the amount of a chemical to use, enter your pool volume in the orange size field near the top, enter your current test results in the "Now" column and your desired levels in the "Goal" column, then hit tab, or press the Calculate button, to see what you need to do to get to your goal levels."
    ~~ Allison ~~
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    Re: I've got a clear/cloudy pool - and all the numbers


    Aug 1, this is what it looks like 15 hours after I dumped 3 gallons of 6% bleach





    Yes, I dumped 3 gallons of 6% bleach in 15 hours hours before this pic was taken. I figured, more would only prove the test to work or not. Yes, I just grabbed this kit: http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlorine- ... t-p47.html , hopefully it will help me to be a little more precise.

    My current PH is 7.2
    My current CL is about 20ppm, I won't be getting in today. I did figure the cloudyness would clear up, but apparently I'm still not understanding something.

    aa, you think I should lower the cya to 20? 2 days ago the cya was 60.
    techguy, that kit sounds like it did you some good.

    Something I should add is, my pool sits mostly out in the open sun, but about 20ft away are massive eucalyptus trees. These trees seasonally have little white puffy balls on them. Basically all eucalyptus trees in cali have these at some time. They're little aphids or tree lice. I believe they eat the leafs then poop out these white balls, then these balls and leaves fall into my beautiful pool. They may be causing some of my trouble too. What do you think?

    any more tips?

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