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Thread: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

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    Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    Hello,

    I've been having a problem with cloudy water ever since I cleaned up an algae problem over a month ago. The algae appears to be gone, the water is blue, but I can't seem to get it clear. I have the TF-100 kit and my levels are: pH: 7.6, FC 10, CC 0, TA 150, CH 90, CYA 90. The only thing I can think of is our filters are bad (we have a Pentair cartidge system with 4 cartridges). I've tried rotating them with our spares but it doesn't make a difference. When I vacuum to filter, the water just seems to get cloudier. The pool is an inground kidney, vinyl liner, approx 30,000 gallons. Anyone have any idea besides buying new filters?

    Thanks!
    Seattle Area
    18x36 Kidney Inground Vinyl
    Pentair VS 3050
    Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter
    Pentair Easy Touch

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    Does the following hold true? Water seems to be relatively clear or completely clear down to the bottom, save for a murky layer down there that you can see before you vacuum, then it gets worse as you vacuum, then when you finish the whole pool is murky, yucky, top to bottom?

    What color is the cloudy look, white, or something else?

    I bet what's happening is that you have dead algae left over from your kill that has sunk, or mostly, to the bottom, causing the cloudiness. Then when you vacuum it up, it's getting stirred up, thus a very loosing battle.
    You'll need to vacuum very, very slowly, so slow you can't hardly stand it. When doing maneuvers, or directional changes, come in very slowly with those. One user on here describes it as doing brain surgery, or I would say, akin to controlling the mars rover. The idea is you want to stir up as little of the algae as possible.

    If you can, I would shut down all suction side intakes, except for the vacuum port, that way you have maximum suction on your vacuum head to grab as much of that light, fluffy algae when the head passes not only over it, but near it as you can.

    Another option would be to direct your return jets in the pool, downward, this way you stir up that algae and allow the suction side intakes to carry it to the pump so it can filter through the cartridge. Watch your pressure for rise during this time, clean when appropriate. Don't clean it too often, because remember, a slightly dirty filter always cleans better than a squeaky clean, brand new one. But you should always clean them completely each time, so you are starting fresh and not piling on.

    I don't think most cartridge filters have a vacuum to waste option, but if it does, use it. Otherwise, try the above.
    Also, inspect your cartridges for holes, rips, tears, etc..
    Are you able to wash them completely clean so they are white?
    How is your pressure?

    That's what I have for ideas, the real experts will chime in before long.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    The above is good advice, if it's worse after vacuuming then either you're just stirring it up or your filter isn't catching it. Since your CYA is high, I'd suggest slowly vacuuming to waste if possible, or getting a separate pump and using it to vacuum dirt/water out of the system. That way you'll be physically removing not only the bottom junk but also some of the CYA, which is going to make your chlorine that much more effective.

    Might also consider using some Aluminum Sulfate (alum) as a floculant - it makes the tiny particles clump together and sink so you can vacuum to waste. Only thing is, the stuff on the bottom will be so fine and light that you'll really have to take the advice about going slow to heart or you'll just stir it back up into the pool.
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    Quote Originally Posted by grantorino
    Hello,

    I've been having a problem with cloudy water ever since I cleaned up an algae problem over a month ago. The algae appears to be gone, the water is blue, but I can't seem to get it clear. I have the TF-100 kit and my levels are: pH: 7.6, FC 10, CC 0, TA 150, CH 90, CYA 90.
    When you cleaned up the algae problem over a month ago, did you pass the three criteria to be done shocking? See red lines in my sig.

    If you have not done an OCLT since last month, I suggest you do one. Also, as mentioned, the CYA would make managment of the pool much easier if lowered.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    Thanks for the helpful replies. Well, 2 days after posting, I was dismayed to see the pool starting to turn green. My FC was at 8 ppm, which I suppose with my high CYA wasn't quite enough. Perhaps I never completely got rid of the algae in the first place and was just keeping it at bay. When I dealt with my algae problem a month or so ago, I was sure that CC was 0 and the pool was relatively clear, but not crystal clear. At any rate, I'm shocking it again with bleach, bringing the FC up to 18 ppm and am showing 1 ppm CC.

    I do have a vacuum to waste installed, have done that twice so far but so far I'm not making much headway. I've been running the filter on high and brushing the whole pool every night as well. I still can't understand why the algae or dead algae doesn't appear to be getting caught by my cartridge filters. Pressure has remained constant and when I've hosed them out they don't really look that bad.

    Am I not shocking at a high enough ppm? I'm worried about damaging the liner, which brings up another question. Since my CYA is high, is a high PPM of FC going to damage it, or will it have the same effect as a lower ppm with low CYA? I never thought about that...does a high CYA make bleach less corrosive or "bleachy"? How high can I go safely go in FC with CYA at 90 with a vinyl liner?

    Thanks!
    Seattle Area
    18x36 Kidney Inground Vinyl
    Pentair VS 3050
    Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter
    Pentair Easy Touch

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    Look at the chart:
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    The shock level for your CYA of 90ppm is a FC of 35ppm ... you are only half way high enough to ensuring you kill everything off.

    The CYA buffers the FC such that the active chlorine is actually very low (usually lower than public pools with no CYA). It will not damage your liner if you stay within the recommended ranges.

    BTW, we say it is safe to swim with FC up to shock level ... so after you complete the shock process, you can swim as soon as the FC is below 35ppm {I can only imagine that this seems insane to you ... if so, you should read Pool School a few more times}

    BTW2: You are not likely to do damage to the liner unless you maintain FC above the mustard shock level in the poolcalculator ... that is above 50ppm FC in a 90ppm CYA pool. Also, note that low pH can also contribute to liner fading.
    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
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    Perfect, thanks for the help. I will bump the FC way up then. For whatever reason I never put the CYA level-FC level together as far as "real" chlorine effect on liner and swimmers. I'm also going to work on vacuuming to waste to lower CYA so I don't need to use so much bleach.
    Seattle Area
    18x36 Kidney Inground Vinyl
    Pentair VS 3050
    Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter
    Pentair Easy Touch

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    Note that to get the CYA down from 90 to 50 (just to pick a target), you're going to have to replace 44% of the water. That's a LOT of vacuuming...

    But with a lower CYA, you'll save a bundle on chlorine.
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    gt, you're on the right track now
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water, can't figure out why

    grantorino,

    Sorry about missing the fact that your CYA was 90, the way the text wrapped, I totally missed it.
    It's not like me to miss things like that, I'm extremely detail oriented. Oh well, I'm only human, or as Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer would say, "Chuman".
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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