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Thread: balanced but cloudy :-(

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    balanced but cloudy :-(

    hi,
    I'm new here and so far I was mostly reading and learning. Thank you for this amazing knowledge base!

    I have been struggling with my pool recently and slowly giving up. As far as I can tell the water is balanced ok but the pool is cloudy ( I can just see the bottom but barely) and I occasionally had some green alge on the walls. The pool has been cloudy for a few weeks now. I was monitoring FC levels and it was always at least above 3.

    salt 5000
    CYA 55
    FC 4
    TC 4
    pH 7.8
    TA 135
    CH 120
    phosphates 2.6

    I have been testing water in a local pool shop and following their advice. I think the pool got cloudy after I bumped TA to the current level (they recommend 100-150). I have also been using phosphate remover a few times without much success. The pool is surrounded by trees so there is always something in it. In last few weeks I tried to run pump more, used some blue jelly that is supposed to clear water and worked for me in the past but progressively the pool looks worse and worse. I can see two options now:
    1. shock it. not sure if its is going to help as it seems that there is no CF in the water.
    2. flock it? I don't really like flocking as it requires vacuuming to drain which wastes chemicals and water.

    Any advice?
    it is a concrete (old) salt water pool and I'm located in Sydney. the water temperature is around 23 celsius.

    cheers
    Pawel
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Welcome to TFP!

    Lower your PH to 7.5 and perform the overnight chlorine loss test to determine if shocking is required. Shock is a process and can take some time...below are some links to help you out!

    pool-school/overnight_fc_test

    if you fail the OFCLT, follow the process in below link

    pool-school/shocking_your_pool
    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: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Thank you.
    I don't have a way to test water FC that accurately. If I take a water sample to a pool shop for testing in the afternoon there will be still a few hours of daylight left. I guess I need to get an accurate tester here. I haven't seen the one that you recommend on the forum here but I think there will be something similar available.
    Let's say there is no FC loss what to do then to clear the water?
    Is flocking a recommended option?
    Cheers
    Pawel
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    The test kits we recommend almost always have to be ordered online. Very few local places carry the FAS-DPD test ... or even know what it is in many cases.

    This is your best option to take control of the pool. Pool store testing is just not accurate or repeatable enough.

    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
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Not sure if the recommended kit can be delivered to Australia. All I was able to find on line can be only delivered within US. Probably chemicals cannot be sent overseas.
    Anyway. Assuming I have no FC loss overnight. And the pool is still cloudy. What to do?
    Is my TA too high? I'm going to add more CYA to get it closer to the level recommended on the forum but it is over the limits we have here (30-70).
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    You can order a TF100 kit, our recommended and favorite kit, from http://www.tdchlorinators.com.au/ They're in Brisbane.
    I'd also recommend a speed stir as well.


    Don't add more CYA till you confirm whether you need to shock or not.
    Otherwise you'll need far, far more CL to dump in the pool to keep it at shock levels till the water clears up.
    More than likely, you're going to have to shock your pool. I would be surprised if you don't have to.

    BTW, to do a proper OCLT, you really do need to raise it up to shock levels for your CYA that night.
    The reason you do this is because at the really low FC levels most residential pools operate at, you will often only see a small drop in FC overnight. There just isn't enough buffer there when you have a large demand due to organics in the water, such as algae.

    In my own personal pool I was at an FC of about 3-4ppm, did an OCLT and only lost 1ppm. OK, right? Well, so then I brought it up to shock level, didn't even get to an OCLT as it ate nearly half the CL within 30min after my 1st addition. HA! Big difference. See my sig for how that turned out.

    Do shutdown the SWCG unit before you start this, but run the pump.
    Add all liquid CL slowly in front of a return jet. Return being where water blasts back into the pool.
    After you have brought your pool up to shock level, listed in the CL/CYA chart in PSchool. Proceed to test it 30min later to confirm you're still at your target CL level. If you haven't lost any, proceed with doing an OCLT as outlined earlier. Otherwise if you loose any in that short amount of time, continue the shock process as instructed in pool school.
    Stock up on bleach/liquid CL and keep on it.
    Read all links in that article, especially the one that has "Clearing your swamp" in the title. Or something to that effect.

    Please fill out your pool information in the signature section, as well as your location in your profile. Information on doing this is in the top link in PSchool.

    Lastly, once you get your kit. Stop going to the pool store for advice and testing, use this forum and your test kit instead. You won't be sorry.
    One other thing I should warn you about, you should check all of the products you have added to your pool, check the MSDS sheet on the manufacturers website. What you're looking for is to see if any contain copper. If they do, certain precautionary measures have to be taken prior to shocking in order to keep the copper from oxidizing and turning green due to the high CL.

    If you need help with that, just post a list of all the stuff you have added to your pool since you can remember. A lot of the algaecides have it in them, but there are other "mystery" chemicals that do as well.
    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. 5ft² - 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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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    I know it's a stretch, but what is your reccomended salt level? I have encountered a pool that had 1000ppm over the reccomended salt concentration that was chronically cloudy. Once the water was diluted it cleared right up.
    24' round above ground, 13500 gallons, vinyl liner, 18" Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    What does your SWG call for? Most here want around 3000ppm, but I thought some systems over there wanted higher.

    Either way, salt is not likely the cause of cloudiness .... the ocean is 35000ppm and its perfectly clear in places.

    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
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ
    I know it's a stretch, but what is your reccomended salt level? I have encountered a pool that had 1000ppm over the reccomended salt concentration that was chronically cloudy. Once the water was diluted it cleared right up.
    Could other chemicals like Calcium have gone down during the dilution? As said above the PPM of the ocean is far higher than any pool and clear as tap water in many areas of the world.
    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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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Hello,
    I'd recommend that you manually shock using liquid chlorine. Also what type of filter do you have? What's the condition of filter? What's the PSI on the gauge? If you've had algae in the past how did you kill it? It could be that it's dead algae making it's way back to the pool, or you may be on cusp of an outbreak.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Everything was balanced except for the salt. I did not however check the TDS before I started dilution.
    24' round above ground, 13500 gallons, vinyl liner, 18" Sand Filter

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    thank you for overwhelming amount of answers!
    I will definitely order TF100. thank you for the link y_not!
    the salt level is in the middle of recommended range and It was like that for a long time.

    I was told that sand filters, especially old ones cannot filter very small particles like dead algae. Is it true? Is it possible that I just have dead algae circulating through my filter?

    In the past every time I had algae (and have it like twice a year) I used to add lots of granual chlorine to shock it (dose recommended by a pool shop). It was always just one big dose. And then I used to flock the pool and a few days later vacuum all junk from the bottom to waste.

    My pool is in the middle of a garden, under trees. I have tons of leaves falling into it constantly, and bugs and beetles and even an occasional mouse...
    the pool is old and the sand filter is unknown age. I bough the house 3 years ago with it. PSI gauge on it is not very reliable. quite often it is stuck on 0. I wanted to replace it but was advised agains it (pool shop advice again). I have never had a pool before in my life so I have no experience and so far I had to relay on someones advice. But I'm learning
    at the moment PSI gauge shows 8-9 psi.

    I'm pretty sure flocking it would solve the problem but I really don't like doing it. I have to top the pool diluting it before vacuuming and then re-balance it again. it is too costly.

    Is it possible to vacuum flocked debris through filter and just backwash it after? Or maybe even durin the process if that stuff clogs it fast?

    thank you!
    Pawel
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Can you open the filter and inspect and clean the sand? Just run a house down in the sand and gently move the sand setting letting the dirty water spill out. If the sand is clumped, it may not filter very well.

    And you should certainly replace the gauge. Then you know when to backwash the filter.

    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
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  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    [quote="jblizzle"]Can you open the filter and inspect and clean the sand? Just run a house down in the sand and gently move the sand setting letting the dirty water spill out. If the sand is clumped, it may not filter very well.
    /quote]

    I think I could try. I didn't know there was a way to open it.

    EDIT: after some googling it is a big job to open it. I would need to cut all the pipes and then replace them. Isn't backwashing the same as hosing it the way you described?

    Pawel
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    I did end up opening it.
    the sand is not clumped. How much air should be in the filter? mine had 50% sand 25% water and 25% of air.
    should I top it with water?
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    You should have 1/3 of the filter available for water (also called the freeboard), the rest should be sand. Take a look at the grains of the sand itself and see if they are completely rounded and smooth. If so you might need a sand change.

    [Split by moderator - The debate that resulted from these statements has been moved HERE]. Please try to stay on topic. Thanks, jblizzle]

    Also, most filters have an air bleed valve, look for that. If you have one, open it when you restart the pump ,then close it when mostly water begins to exit it.
    24' round above ground, 13500 gallons, vinyl liner, 18" Sand Filter

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    what's MA? and why should I be careful?
    I will run the pump for like 48h and see if it helps. meantime I will wait for TF100 which I ordered today to do the overnight test.
    thanks
    Pawel
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

  18. Back To Top    #18
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Muratic acid. It is caustic.

    Sent via Tapatalk...
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    I have been reading a bit about cleaning sand and quite often it is recommended to do degreesing first:

    "When cleaning a filter it is important to remember to use a degreaser first. The most common mistake made when cleaning a filter is just hosing it off and washing or soaking in Acid Wash mix. If your filters have oils on them and you add acid they will lock up with a waxy like film. Always, always, always, degrease first and then wash with a muriatic acid and water mix or you will be buying new filters."

    how do I do that?
    Pawel
    16000 gallons, SWG, IG/concrete, sand filter, the pool is 20+ years old probably

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: balanced but cloudy :-(

    Those sound like instructions for DE or cartridge filters. I did not think it was typical to soak sand in acid. You just want to feel if it is clumpy and break it up if you can. If it is full of grease or too clumpy, it could be less hassle to just replace it.

    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
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