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Thread: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

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    Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    We just bought a new house this past spring and it came with a pool.
    Unfortunately neither my fiance or myself know anything about pools and this situation is giving me pool remorse.

    A little bit about our situation:
    ~We live in Cincinnati, OH.
    ~We have been getting a bit of rain lately.
    ~Our Pool is Plaster
    ~Apprx 20,000-25,000
    ~In-Ground Pool
    ~1 Skimmer w/ 2 returns
    ~Sand Filter

    The previous owners had let a substantial amount of water and debris collect on the tarp on top of the pool (which during the time of purchase was frozen).
    [attachment=1:1ykb4xxa]pool 1.jpg[/attachment:1ykb4xxa]
    We came to find that the water had weeds growing in it along with long green fuzzy plants. It was quite impressive actually. After siphoning off the majority of the water we began to pull back the tarp to find that it had multiple gigantic holes/rips/tears in it. All the algae had just been receding through those holes into the pool all winter and we could actually see algae spilling through the holes. This left us with a muddy lake like color to the water. For the first week or two while we were trying to figure out what to do we actually had a couple of mallards come visit our pool-lake a few times a week. It was quite pathetically sweet.

    The first thing we did was take our leaf net skimmer thing and scoop along the bottom of the pool to remove leaves and debris. There was quite a bit of accumulation. This did nothing to improve the water color or murkiness (which was you could not see the concrete steps going into the pool.

    The next thing we did was visit our local pool store (leslies) and we decided after much discussion to try to rehab the water. So we purchased a few shock treatments for the pool and left. During this time frame we had run into problems with the pool pump which lasted about 2 weeks and we ended up having to replace the motor. Back on course. So we shocked it twice and it turned this murky mint green color. Now we could see down into the pool.
    [attachment=0:1ykb4xxa]pool 2.jpg[/attachment:1ykb4xxa]
    "Hey, Theres the steps honey!"

    We could see the first step rather clearly and the water gradually got cloudier till we could see the third step but not the bottom. About this time the hubby had to go away for a job so I was left to figure out the next step. I went to the pool store and got some chlorine free oxidizer added that to the pool. After running the pool all night and most of the day for each day no change.

    I went to walmart after doing some internet research and got hth green to blue I and II. From my readings most people said they had the best results when they put it in at night and let it do its thing all night to come out to a crystal clear blue pool in the morning. So I thought it was worth a shot. Well after adding that this morning (mid morning) nothing. No change in the water color or clarity. However there is a yellowish scum floating on top of the pool all over the place. It looks most like cooled down grease on top of water in your leftovers. I tried scooping it out with the leaf net skimmer but it just seems to get a pooled up and when I lift the skimmer out of the water it goes right through the net back into the water. So right now I have the filter going to hopefully get that stuff more concentrated so I can again try to scoop it out or something. From more research it could be any number of things: Pollen; Oil; etc...

    So the water is still dark cloudy mint green now with a nice layer of **** on top.

    I do have a test kit and have tested the water each time I am about to put shtuff into the pool but the results seem to come out within the normal ranges. I don't have any of my old results but I can test again and post if needed.

    Help me please...

    Also be gentle my hubby and I are pool newbies.

    Thank You!
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    20-25K gal., IG Plaster, Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Ultra Vac

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Hello and welcome - please read the articles in Pool School about the ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, How to shock your Pool and Defeating Algae. You need to order one of the 2 recommended test kits, and begin to shock your pool.

    From the sound of your description there is a good possibility that pool wasn't even opened last year (or longer).

    Please do not take Leslie's advice. You will spend a fortune and still have a murky green pool.

    Chlorine kills algae. You simply haven't been given proper advice yet - so study up and post back with any questions
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Tell us what kind of test kit you have and please post current numbers. We'll be happy to help. Don't add any more miracle chemicals yet!
    Would recommend you get about 15 to 20 jugs of plain old bleach on hand to start the shocking PROCESS properly. Read pool school a couple of times to familiarize yourself.

    Welcome to the forum!
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Also be gentle my hubby and I are pool newbies.
    Welcome to the friendliest forum on the net.

    Everyone here was a newbie once so we understand completely.

    YOu need to clear your pool with more chlorine. You have made progress but there is no "magic bullet" potion out there that will make your pool crystal clear. Chlorine and precise testing is the answer we teach.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School and when absorbed, read "How to Shock Your Pool". That'll give you the background to get started and what you will learn here will be an absolute eye-opener. We won't "fix" your pool for you but we will teach you how to manage your chemistry through education and understanding. Crystal clear water all swim season is the result.

    PS -
    I am about to put shtuff into the pool
    was that a typo or a freudian slip? I think it is perfect. If you put things into the pool and dose carefully and know what the result will be, that's "stuff"....if it's a vague magic bullet from the pool store, it's "shtuff"
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    mandyzdandy06:

    Welcome to TFP
    Quote Originally Posted by mandyzdandy06
    Also be gentle my hubby and I are pool newbies.
    No worries there...many of us have been there before and we're here to help out.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandyzdandy06
    So we shocked it twice and it turned this murky mint green color
    +1 to what others have posted about reading the Pool School articles and getting the proper test kit. You will learn that shocking is a process, not a product. When performed properly, the shock process will clear up your pool.
    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: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Alrighty then... So I booked up in Pool School and learned a bit .
    Okay so the pool has been filtering since I made the original post. I had an older test kit that was left by the previous owners.
    They had two:
    -Leslie's Chlorine/Bromine Pool and Spa 4-way test kit.
    -hth 5-way test kit
    Neither of which, now looking back, tested for FC separately only total Chlorine. So I think thats where part of the problem comes in. We've been thinking we were in normal ranges when we were way way off. I just tested today using a new hth 6-way test strip kit I got and wowzers. We are seriously lacking. Here is the count:

    FC-0
    PH-8.4
    TA-40
    TH-(between 200-400)
    CYA-0

    I am going to compare this to the chart provided in pool school and see how we scored. I'm pretty sure it is a big fat 'F' haha.
    Needless to say even I know that we need to add a lot more chlorine. I did go out to wally world and bought 4 gallons of liquid chlorine to start.
    Think I'll need more? I have a feeling I'll need lots more. What brand of bleach is best to use as a cheaper alternative? We have an Aldis near by so I thought I'd check it out.

    Here is what I have in stock:
    4 gallons hth liquid chlorinator
    hth 3" chlorinating tablets (3.5 pounds)
    Leslies Soda Ash
    Arm & Hammer Clear Balance
    5 pounds DE

    I want to add DE to the filter to help speed up the process but I don't know when I should do it. Should I wait till my levels are right or can I do that right away? The filter is needs to be backwashed today (its off right now) so if I could do it now then might as well.

    *After looking at recommended levels I see that FC, TA, and CYA need to go up and PH need to go down. TH probably needs to come down a bit as well. Oh fun*
    20-25K gal., IG Plaster, Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Ultra Vac

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    It was kinda touched on above, but I'll reiterate:
    Strips are worthless. To do this right, you really need a good, drop based test kit
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Welcome!

    Murky green to mint green sounds like it's progressing.

    Sadly, the only thing you have right now that is immediately useful is the liquid chlorine. What you need to get in there right now is muriatic acid to bring the pH down to 7.2~7.3. Cyanuric Acid aka Stabilizer to bring CYA up to about 30 hanging in a sock in front of the return, and then enough of that liquid chlorine to take it to 12ish. That is, if you trust those readings...

    Keep on reading pool school. Hold off on adding the DE to your filter until the water turns grey and cloudy. Otherwise you'll be backwashing constantly. The pucks will keep a long, long time if they're kept dry. Save them for vacation. Soda Ash will also keep. I've never heard of the Arm&Hammer stuff before.

    Some inspiration:
    my-pool-experience-with-algae-t58756.html
    a-little-encouragement-for-those-with-algae-and-new-to-bbb-t57137.html
    testimony-this-is-why-you-should-do-bbb-t58451.html
    first-time-shocking-with-bleach-t45074.html
    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.
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    The Arm & Hammer Clear Balance is used to keep pH and TA up when using chlorine tablets. I know I have used it before, but don't know what is in them. I assume it is mostly Borax and Baking Soda.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Good luck with your pool. Please takes pictures of your progress and post them. We love the 'green to clean' threads. Listen to these guys and your pool will be crystal clear soon.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Update:
    Since the pool store was on the way during my errands I stopped in with a water sample. Here are the updated results:

    FC <1
    PH 7.2
    TA 70
    TH 150
    CYA 0

    So I'm glad I took it in to get a free water testing because those strips were def. wrong. At least now I know for sure.
    I now have a total of 12 gallons of chlorine for shock. Hardness Plus and Additional Soda Ash.
    Backwashing the filter and adding the Soda Ash today then tomorrow adding the Hardness Plus and Chlorine. Hopefully we get clearer water and can start the DE process.
    20-25K gal., IG Plaster, Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Ultra Vac

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    To reiterate again, pool store testing is only slightly more reliable than the strips ... you will not know anything "for sure" until you have one of the recommended test kits (see link in my signature).

    There is no need to add soda ash. Your pH is fine.

    If your CYA numbers are to be believed, you need to raise it up to 20-30ppm and then go through the shock process:
    Defeating Algae
    Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis
    Shocking Your Pool
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    I'd wait on doing anything to the CYA until you get your own test kit and can confirm the number for sure. CYA is the test pool stores are the worst at.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Hi and welcome!

    Have you ordered a test kit yet? That is really the most important item in pool ownership! The TF100 is amazing! You can test chlorine levels up to 50ppm with that puppy! And it's accurate!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    So yesterday evening I went out and gandered at the water I could sort of see the bottom (mostly outlines of some larger debris). I backwashed the filter started her up again and added the Soda Ash recommended by the pool store.

    I know what many will say "Pool Store Bad..."

    This morning after filtering all night (again) the water is getting clearer. I can see the steps all the way the bottom and see that there is build up on the pool floor. It still quite cloudy but I can see to the bottom(not in the deep end)! I added the Hardness stuff and am letting that run for a few hours before I shock it with Chlorine. 12 gallons in liquid bleach form (clorox). Hopefully that'll do it.

    Getting optimistic.

    [attachment=0:30l4fjcd]pool 3.jpg[/attachment:30l4fjcd]

    You can see down to the bottom of the pool. Still cloudy but visible. The green is build up on the pool floor. The pool Vac is getting serviced today.
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    20-25K gal., IG Plaster, Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Ultra Vac

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Quote Originally Posted by mandyzdandy06
    So yesterday evening I went out and gandered at the water I could sort of see the bottom (mostly outlines of some larger debris). I backwashed the filter started her up again and added the Soda Ash recommended by the pool store.

    I know what many will say "Pool Store Bad..."

    This morning after filtering all night (again) the water is getting clearer. I can see the steps all the way the bottom and see that there is build up on the pool floor. It still quite cloudy but I can see to the bottom(not in the deep end)! I added the Hardness stuff and am letting that run for a few hours before I shock it with Chlorine. 12 gallons in liquid bleach form (clorox). Hopefully that'll do it.

    Getting optimistic. I'll post todays pic soon.
    12 gallons all at once is waaaay too high. That will drive FC up 51 PPM!! But it's your pool.
    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!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Richard how much would you recommend? I kind of thought I'd do it in spurts of about 4 gallons.
    20-25K gal., IG Plaster, Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Ultra Vac

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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Are you adding DE to the filter after backwashing?
    23K Gallon Freeform Tile Inground
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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blue
    Are you adding DE to the filter after backwashing?
    Not yet. It was recommended to me above to wait till the water gets a little clearer to use the DE otherwise I'd be backwashing quite often. So I think if its any clearer tomorrow I may start the DE process.
    20-25K gal., IG Plaster, Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward Ultra Vac

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Completely at a loss... Murky Dark to Mint Green

    12 gallons is not going to do it. Mandy is going to be waiting a loooooooooooooong time to swim if you keep at it this way. You can't "shock" the pool in a day, or even a weekend, especially a pool looking like that. It's not only the floating green stuff that is gonna eat that chlorine, it's the "build up" you can see on the floor. If you aren't able to test FC above 5PPM, you are going to be flying blind trying to complete the shock process for your pool. Maybe i missed it, but have you addressed raising your CYA level yet? Have you scooped up all the muck you can get out of the bottom of your pool? Is your skimmer basket full, skimmer not working well, or are the floating leaves/debris just a constant battle?


    Edit: Read this very short thread 0-fc-after-adding-so-much-bleach-t59392.html
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