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Thread: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

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    Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    Hello
    As usual, I took my pool water for analysis to the nearby store, which has always been reliable and trustworthy. They told me I needed to buy alkaline, which is their word for "your ph is low"; I also needed a little chlorine, so I bought a 2.5 gallon jug. SInce their prices for alkaline is a little high, I bought Home Depot's product, Pool Time pH Up, which contains Soda Ash (sodium carbonate). So I poured the chlorine and the 6lb container of soda ash in my 16k gallon pool, and let the pool vacuum circulate. Within 2 hours, my water became cloudy to the point that I cannot see the main drain; before the pour, it was crystal clear.

    Am I reacting too quickly? Is the cloudiness normal? No, right? Did I buy the wrong product? The store's version of "alkaline" is sodium bicarbonate, so since ph UP contains sodium carbonate, I figured it was the same thing.

    THanks
    16,900 gallon inground pool (16x30 with spa bench)
    Sta-rite cartridge filter
    Diamondbrite surface, redone in 2017.
    1.5hp Hayward Super Pump
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    Quote Originally Posted by nabril15
    Hello
    As usual, I took my pool water for analysis to the nearby store, which has always been reliable and trustworthy. They told me I needed to buy alkaline, which is their word for "your ph is low"; I also needed a little chlorine, so I bought a 2.5 gallon jug. SInce their prices for alkaline is a little high, I bought Home Depot's product, Pool Time pH Up, which contains Soda Ash (sodium carbonate). So I poured the chlorine and the 6lb container of soda ash in my 16k gallon pool, and let the pool vacuum circulate. Within 2 hours, my water became cloudy to the point that I cannot see the main drain; before the pour, it was crystal clear.

    Am I reacting too quickly? Is the cloudiness normal? No, right? Did I buy the wrong product? The store's version of "alkaline" is sodium bicarbonate, so since ph UP contains sodium carbonate, I figured it was the same thing.
    First - You added the wrong thing if you really needed to raise pH. You added Baking Soda - it probably said Alkalinity Increaser right? But if the store told you to raise Alkalinity that's OK - however Washing Soda which is what pH up is raises both pH and TA whereas Baking Soda raises TA and has little impact on pH.

    Using this site: www.poolcalculator.com and a good set of test results will do more to help you than anything else. Do you have a complete set of test results - even pool store tests are better than nothing.

    Here's what the impact of 6lbs of Soda is on a 16K gallon pool:

    6lbs Washing Soda raises pH by 1.3 and TA by 42 (Commonly called pH Up)
    6lbs Baking Soda raises pH by 0.05 and TA by 27 (Commonly called TA Increaser)

    You can buy both of these in the grocery store on the laundry isle btw. Typically this is cheaper than buying the dedicated pool product despite being the same chemical.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    thank you UnderWater.

    1) How do I correct the cloudiness? Or just let it be? I need to lower my ph with some acid, right?

    I dont have numbers, but I will take the water to pinch a penny which does give you numbers.
    The product I added states pH Up, "Soda Ash for Increasing ph."

    From your comment "But if the store told you to raise Alkalinity that's OK - however Washing Soda which is what pH up is raises both pH and TA whereas Baking Soda raises TA and has little impact on pH.", I extract that next time I am told that I need to buy Alkaline, I need to clarify what they intended to mean, right? I need to ask if I need to just raise alkalinity (use baking soda) or raise my ph (washing soda). Correct?

    you mention that i can buy both in the laundry aisle. You mean I can just buy regular Arm & Hammer baking soda? I read in some other post to not use it.
    16,900 gallon inground pool (16x30 with spa bench)
    Sta-rite cartridge filter
    Diamondbrite surface, redone in 2017.
    1.5hp Hayward Super Pump
    Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner with V-flex kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    I would suggest that "next time" you would be better off using your own good test kit and not relying on the notoriously inaccurate test results that pool stores supply.

    The recommended pool chemicals article in Pool School explains what to use for which affects and how to add it to the pool.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    Quote Originally Posted by nabril15
    1) How do I correct the cloudiness? Or just let it be? I need to lower my ph with some acid, right?

    I dont have numbers, but I will take the water to pinch a penny which does give you numbers.
    Pool store tests are notoriously inaccurate - the way to see this is to take in multiple samples and pretend they are from different pools - or just ask for multiple iterations on one sample. Typically the repeatability is not there and this throws into question the accuracy. HOWEVER any numbers are better than NO numbers.

    Right now we have no way to advise you as we do everything with data here. Your CH (Calcium hardness) could be too high and with a too high pH that could start cloudiness. But there are tons of other options. Get the test data - consider getting your own test kit - and come back with some info we can work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by nabril15
    The product I added states pH Up, "Soda Ash for Increasing ph."
    I may have misread the chemical then. Soda Ash is the same as Washing Soda and would increase pH and TA as indicated in my post.

    Quote Originally Posted by nabril15
    From your comment "But if the store told you to raise Alkalinity that's OK - however Washing Soda which is what pH up is raises both pH and TA whereas Baking Soda raises TA and has little impact on pH.", I extract that next time I am told that I need to buy Alkaline, I need to clarify what they intended to mean, right? I need to ask if I need to just raise alkalinity (use baking soda) or raise my ph (washing soda). Correct?
    Yes - but better still - get the results from your own kit (or if you must their test) and then use PoolCalculator.com to get the advice on what to do. You need to setup the pool - gallons at the top, surface and type of chlorination at the bottom. Following the advice of pool stores is fraught with peril. The best intentioned stores have mixed skill employees, the worst only want your money. You have your pool's best interests at heart and will do a good job maintaining the same skill levels and techniques across time - which means more consistent results.

    Quote Originally Posted by nabril15
    you mention that i can buy both in the laundry aisle. You mean I can just buy regular Arm & Hammer baking soda? I read in some other post to not use it.
    Jason pointed you to the right area - Recommended Chemicals.

    While you are there - check out the entire Pool School Getting Started section.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    Just to be clear:

    Sodium Carbonate is pH Up / Washing Soda / Soda Ash - available in the laundry isle as Washing Soda available from Arm & Hammer and perhaps other less well known brands.
    Sodium Bicarbonate is TA Increaser / Baking Soda - available in the laundry isle as Baking Soda typically available from Arm & Hammer but probably lesser known brands as well.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    Ok, the numbers.
    Tc 5
    Fc 5
    Ph 7.8
    Acid demand 6
    Ta 75ppm
    Calcium h 200ppm
    Stabilizer 80ppm

    I gave them 2 samples, and ph and chlorine coincided on both; they didnt do full analysis on second.
    16,900 gallon inground pool (16x30 with spa bench)
    Sta-rite cartridge filter
    Diamondbrite surface, redone in 2017.
    1.5hp Hayward Super Pump
    Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner with V-flex kit

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    Quote Originally Posted by nabril15
    Ok, the numbers.
    Tc 5
    Fc 5
    Ph 7.8
    Acid demand 6
    Ta 75ppm
    Calcium h 200ppm
    Stabilizer 80ppm

    I gave them 2 samples, and ph and chlorine coincided on both; they didnt do full analysis on second.
    LOL - the one's I was most concerned with were the others. Oh well. But at least their TC/FC/pH came out consistent. Sounds like the test person was reasonably consistent. What type of test - drops or strips?


    pH is a touch high but reasonable. Calcium Hardness is probably fine with that level of TA and pH - what is the temp of the water? You can put all those values into the Pool Calculator with your pool surface type and get a CSI index - if it's not lower than -0.6 or higher than +0.6 you're OK as far as scaling - not sure about cloudiness but my impression is that unless it's close to 0.6 it isn't likely.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Cloudy water for no reason...help please

    Can't tell you exactly what your cloudiness is but do have some suggestions. I'm guessing you do not have a salt water chlorine generator as I didn't see it mentioned?
    If not, your chlorine level that you need to maintain based on a stabilizer level of 80 would be 9 with a minimum of 6. Are you using pucks for chlorine? They slowly add stabilizer over time as well as chlorine. See this chart: pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    So your chlorine is actually low and needs to be raised. You could either shock, again using the above chart that would be a chlorine level of 31! Or you could get your chlorine to 9, test daily and add bleach to keep it there using the pool calculator to give you amounts, run your pump constantly until your water clears. Then you can decide on what to do about your high stabilizer levels.
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

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