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Thread: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

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    Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    I joined hoping for some help that I am not finding locally.

    I have a 12000 gallon above ground pool. At the beginning of pool season we discovered our filter had stopped working, which lead to a very swampy pool.

    We have since treated it for algae, shocked the heck out of it, got all of our chemicals in balance and yet I cannot get the water to not be cloudy.

    We are cleaning and manual vacuum frequently. I don't know what else to do at this point.

    Our sand filter is probably a mid 80's era. I have no idea if the sand has ever been changed, as far as function it seems to be working as expected. We used a cleaning agent a few weeks ago hoping to clear this up.

    In the last week we have seen slight improvement, we can now see two steps down on our ladder from barely seeing the top step.

    Help? Suggestions? I can do pictures and chem readings..........
    Carrie
    24' round doughboy w/ 3/4 hp pump and 150lb sand filter.........newbie with lots to learn!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    [center:2n8iv2ab][youtube:2n8iv2ab]vtSmfws0_To[/youtube:2n8iv2ab][/center:2n8iv2ab]
    A full set of test readings is where we start. It's critical to know the CYA readings, because without that, we won't know what shock level really is for your pool. Then we need to know FC & CC. Knowing these numbers will tell us if you need to perform the shock process.

    Sonner or later, depending on your readings, the shock process will be done, and if the pool hasn't cleared then, we worry about improving filtration or circulation.

    You'll probably want to start in so what I've just posted makes sense.
    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: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Will do very shortly, thank you.
    Carrie
    24' round doughboy w/ 3/4 hp pump and 150lb sand filter.........newbie with lots to learn!

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    jcglaird:

    Welcome to TFP

    Well Richard320 beat me to the punch (and with A/V aides to boot!). Since I have this written up, I will post anyway...

    First things first: A complete set of test results would be of great benefit.

    The term "shocking" a pool is widely used and often misunderstood. See the link The Shock Process in my signature below. This covers the proper way to shock a pool. You also need to know your pool's CYA ppm level in order to determine your target chlorine shock level (see Chlorine/CYA Chart link in my sig).

    Even following the process discussed in the above-referenced articles, getting your pool to crystal clear can take a while. There are so many variables that impact how long the shock process will actually take that I hesitate to throw out a time estimate out of concern that some may interpret that as a “De Facto” universal standard and run with it. The shock process definition of “Done” is:
    1. Combined Chloramines (CC) is 0.5 or lower;
    2. An overnight Free Chlorine (FC) loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less;
    3. And the water is clear.

    There are some actions you can take during the shock process to speed it up:
    1. Maintain the FC at the target shock level according to the CYA level of the pool until you have met the three conditions above. All other factors being equal, the more diligent you are in maintaining the target FC shock level, the sooner you will meet the criteria of “done”.
    2. Remove as much debris (leaves, bugs, etc.) from the pool as possible. The fewer organic matter that is in the pool, the quicker the FC will do its job of sanitizing.
    3. Brush the entire pool at least once a day.
    4. Run the pump 24/7 until the shock process is complete. Be sure to keep an eye on the filter pressure and clean/backwash as needed.

    After you pass the CC and overnight FC loss tests (steps 1 & 2 in the first list above) you may still have some dead algae which will appear as fine whitish/gray particles that should get filtered out fairly quickly (within a day or two). If it takes much longer than that, then I would suspect your filter may not be working as well as it should.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    So here is what I have (test strips right now, but I realize I need to get a dropper kit, yes?)

    CYA 50 ppm
    Is total chlorine the same as combined chlorine? Right now 3ppm
    FC is 10 or over, since that is as high as my test strip goes
    my alkalinity is 120ppm

    I need to read the shock instructions, I was taking instructions from our local pool place and making less progress than we have in the past week since I stopped taking him samples.
    Carrie
    24' round doughboy w/ 3/4 hp pump and 150lb sand filter.........newbie with lots to learn!

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jcglaird
    I was taking instructions from our local pool place and making less progress than we have in the past week since I stopped taking him samples.
    It's really depressing how often we hear that theme.

    So Total Chlorine is Free Chlorine (The good stuff) + Combined Chlorine (The kinda bad stuff). So Total chlorine can never be less than Free Chlorine. You can never have Total chlorine of 3 and Free Chlorine of 10. If that is the reading you are getting off the strips then something is mixed up. Strips just are not very accurate which is why we encourage people to invest in a proper test kit.

    As to your filter - sand filters are notoriously slow to clear cloudy pools. You can speed that up by adding a bit of DE or Fiber media to the filter. This will help the filter catch finer material - but will also increase the frequency you need to backwash considerably.

    Bottom line - you want to keep your chlorine levels at shock level based on your CYA, keep filtering 24/7 if you can, backwash the filter as needed and the pool will clear. The easiest way to do this properly is with a good test kit and some time spent in Pool School.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Join Date
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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Hi jcglaird and welcome to TFP!

    I'll put it like this...go and order you a TF-100 test kit right now and this will give you control over your pool that you want (without dealing with the pool store!)
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html
    or here:
    http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/poolsupp ... TF-100.htm

    Go read the instructions here and we all can help you succeed!
    what-we-need-to-know-to-answer-your-questions-t10341.html

    This is what I did and the best thing I ever did for me and my pool!
    I was scared to death as I just didn't understand this chemistry thing at all!
    I was ready to get rid of my pool at the time until I found Trouble Free Pool.
    With the unbelievable amount of help here I was able to master this in a very short time. It will become very elementary soon, as the science taught here works!
    Do lots of reading here and if you like a mod, go and read all their posts as they are very smart!
    You have found the right place... now just do it!

    Chuck

    Oh by the way...I did get rid of the pool (Intex 15x48) but for the right reason, To get a BIGGER one!

    1st pic: First pool after finding TFP!
    2nd pic: New rebuilt 21' pool!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Don't worry about your sand in your filter at this point. At most it probably only needs a simple rinsing with the hose to break apart any channels that may have formed from years of use. Just stick the hose in the top and do some swishing around with the water and sand... careful at the bottom so as not to harm any laterals or fingers, and with the age of the filter that could occur even more easily.

    Get your test kit ordered and read through pool school a few times. It might seem like a lot of information right now, but as soon as you start applying what you've learned it will become easy.

    Get some chlorine on hand... lots of it. If you don't need it all for the shocking process, you can use the remainder to maintain your chlorine level for the rest of the season.

    Once you've got your test results, feel free to post them here and many will be along to help you interpret them and tell you what you need to do to get the shock process under way.

    While shocking... brush daily, vacuum and backwash as needed, and watch your pool clear up.

    Once you've passed all 3 criteria for shocking....
    Enjoy your sparkling water!
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    I've ordered my test kit, if I'm lucky I'll have it by Saturday. So unfortunate that we are unable to enjoy are pool in the anticipated 104 degree heat this weekend. I wish I had found the site sooner and I appreciate all the great educational info. I've learned a lot in the past couple of days.

    Thanks for all the great input I'll post results as soon as I get my kit.
    Carrie
    24' round doughboy w/ 3/4 hp pump and 150lb sand filter.........newbie with lots to learn!

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Supertune, I have that liner. It is AWESOME in my opinion.
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Me too!
    Mine is a 72" expandable with a deep center, what I now know after doing this install myself, I would dig more slope to the center and go 6' 4" as this liner was very expandable and wouldn't have been no problem to do.

    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    8' but seriously. Knowing what I know now, I would have went to 7' minimum and I have the 72" also. We didn't even stretch it into place. There was so much liner, and it was hot mind you, it fit the hole with 2' overlap, without stretching. Just laying it in there. But it has a bunch of wrinkles on the slopes of the deep end, not unbearable, but with such clear water (thanks ftp), you can see them. But it's beautiful looking and the pool is awesome. Not diving board awesome, but pool side awesome and awesome.
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    I did the deep end/shallow end. And couldn't ask for anything else, but deeper. When we replace the lumber, we will go deeper. Hopefully that is in 2022 though.
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    I got the 1HP 2 speed also. Sorry to hi-jack the thread guys. To the op, just do what the guys say and your pool will be unbelievable. Good luck.
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Woo hoo, test kit is in. I hope I did all the tests right, I am sure you will all be able to tell by my numbers if I screwed something up.

    First, thank you for all the valuable info and the pool school section. In one week we have made vast improvements while being fairly conservative on chlorine based on not having the test kit. Last week I could barely see the top step of the ladder. Today I can see the bottom of the pool, though not clear it is so encouraging after two months of screwing around with an occassional bag of shock per the pool guy.

    So here we go:
    CYA = 90ppm
    FC only 3ppm
    CC = .6
    PH may be slightly low, I see 7.0 but it's very hard to tell between 7 and 7.2
    Alkalinity is 120 PPM.

    Input? I know i need to get my FC up to the chart levels for my CYA readings. I also understand I have to keep it at that level until such time that I see an overnight decrease of less than 1ppm and the water is clear.

    Going to get more bleach!
    Carrie
    24' round doughboy w/ 3/4 hp pump and 150lb sand filter.........newbie with lots to learn!

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Hi again,
    I would redo your CYA test today in full sun with your back to the sun and make sure you mix and let stand 30 seconds and mix again then add to CYA tube. You also could do the test with 50/50 of tap water and CYA reagent, then double the result. CYA test are harder to do at close to 100 readings.
    IMO, if the second test does test again close to 90ppm then I would drain and refill at least a 3rd of the water to get it down under 60ppm depending on how hot and how much sun directly on the pool you get each day.
    As you can see in the chart here:
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    Your way below minimum value of 90ppm which is 7-10ppm which I feel is way to high for a non-swg pool to maintain.
    I run my non-swg pool at 55-60 CYA and maintain 5-8ppm FC and pool is always perfect and can handle heavy swimmer load, lots of heat and sun, and plenty of sudden outbursts of heavy rain here in FL.
    With your .6 of CC (combined chlorine) and cloudy pool water you need to be doing a shock process.
    35 ppm FC would be the minimum for that!
    So with some draining and getting it down to 60ppm CYA or less with would be much easier to complete the shocking process at 24ppm FC or less.

    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Oh,
    pH is ok for now, as it's fine to start a shocking process with close to 7.2 rather than 7.8-8.0.
    TA is fine. I run mine at 100.
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Ok, we will drain and refill some. I was only able to get my FC up to 14.4 with the bleach I had on hand, CC is down to .4. Will get to work on this today and to bring down CYA. I did a repeat test in the sun and it looks more like 80 ppm, still high so we will drain some.

    Thanks so much!
    Carrie
    24' round doughboy w/ 3/4 hp pump and 150lb sand filter.........newbie with lots to learn!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    Are you doing the 10ml test sample for chlorine or the 25? You only need to do the 10, that's enough accuracy for what we are doing here.
    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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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Frustrated By My Cloudy Pool

    I was doing the 25 but I started using the 10 after i read your post. Much easier. We are making good progress, although we still need to drain some more water to get the CYA down a bit more. Still at 80. I went out of town and gave my husband some instructions on bleach but we didn't keep the FC high enough while I was away. Regardless we are still seeing improvement daily. I can see the bottom for the first time this year!
    Carrie
    24' round doughboy w/ 3/4 hp pump and 150lb sand filter.........newbie with lots to learn!

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