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Thread: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

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    cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Please help,

    I have a very cloudy pool that I can't fix. Just got my test kit in the mail today and my results are as follows.

    pH - 7.5
    FC - 20
    CC - 2
    TA - 360
    CH - 400
    CYA- <20

    I have had my pool since 2008 using SWG relatively trouble free and never required alot of testing/maint. Last fall a disaster with heat pump required drainage of entire pool and replacement of water. I closed the pool shortly after that and opened this spring to crystal clear water with a few worms in the bottom. pH was a little high so I corrected with muriatic acid and added what I calculated would be enough CYA to get to around 80 ppm. pH came down nicely kids swam and unfortunately turned off SWG for a week unknown to me. Opened cover to find white cloudy water. Figured it was chlorine deficiency and began to shock very aggressively in the hopes to clear it as my eldest had a pool party scheduled in 3 days. No success. Still cloudy with high chlorine. I had to cancel the party.

    I have decided to finally work from a position of knowledge. I ordered the TFT TF100 test kit and joined this forum. The results are as above and I don't know where to start. Common sense would tell me that large amounts of CYA would help both with the CYA and TA levels. Common sense has failed me regularly however and I am pretty sure I am wrong again. Frankly don't trust the results that our local pool store (30 minutes away) have given me before. I have no idea about the calcium.

    Please help
    petemoss

    Middlebury,IN

    20k, IG Fiberglass, 1 hp hayward, hayward starclear cartridge cx1200re, compupool cpsc24 SWG,

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Welcome to tfp, petemoss

    Sorry to hear about the party

    Quote Originally Posted by petemoss
    I ordered the TFT TF100 test kit and joined this forum. The results are as above and I don't know where to start. Common sense would tell me that large amounts of CYA would help both with the CYA and TA levels. Common sense has failed me regularly however and I am pretty sure I am wrong again.
    Sounds like your using common sense to me (the test kit purchase shows that)!

    Since your water is not clear and you have measurable CC (>0.5 ppm), you need to do the shock process (or continue it, [s:ndag3nah]since I see that your FC is already almost up to your shocking level of 21 ppm[/s:ndag3nah]). This can take a few days, but keeping your FC level at your shocking level (or slightly higher if you are going to be away form the pool) will get is done as fast as possible. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool

    Don't worry about the calcium for now, if it is an issue (I doubt it is), we can deal with it after you are finished with the shocking process.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Hi, pete,

    Welcome to the forum. You need to shock your pool and it will clear up....we will help. As linen says above, you really are already in shock mode with that high FC so while you are reading Pool School, go ahead and get enough CYA in your pool to get to about 30 ppm. Plan on replenishing your chlorine frequently with bleach for now.

    Post right back if you need help getting the CYA right. Diregard everything else right now except move the CYA to 30 and keep your FC up around 12 ppm but no lower and not much higher. You'll probably have to add bleach three times daily. Post back with questions.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Thanks for the fast response guys. I will keep shocking and keep you posted.
    petemoss

    Middlebury,IN

    20k, IG Fiberglass, 1 hp hayward, hayward starclear cartridge cx1200re, compupool cpsc24 SWG,

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Do as Dave said, raise the CYA up to 30ppm and then maintain a FC of 12ppm ... not sure where linen got the 21ppm number ?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Do as Dave said, raise the CYA up to 30ppm and then maintain a FC of 12ppm ... not sure where linen got the 21ppm number ?
    linen is clueless (trust me I know) edited post...thanks for covering for me jbliz and duraleigh
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    I was also in the same boat just less than a week ago and i had been holding shock level for about 2 weeks with a high TA (300) and CH (320 i believe) and after taking the great advice and having patience after a few more days i could make out my liner patterns and was well over the annoying hump! I am still not sparkling clear, but it is almost there.

    I also added some muratic acid to bring my TA down, and still not sure if i got lucky and that helped or my filter was finally pulling through for me. On a positive note i got my TA down to 160, and raised my ph back up to 7.5 from 7.2 and thats when i noticed a huge change in a day or so!

    So just keep shocking away and before you know it BOOM! then a celebration beverage is a must
    30k inground Kidney 42x22 TF-100 test kit

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Quote Originally Posted by wsop33
    So just keep shocking away and before you know it BOOM! then a celebration beverage is a must
    This is a very good point. It seems like in all the "Defeating Algae" threads where someone is struggling to be patient and it's taking forever and they're just about to throw in the towel, the thing flips overnight and it's all of a sudden beautifully, sparkly clean.
    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
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Thanks again everyone for the advice

    Progress report. It is slowly clearing. keeping the filter on 24 /7. leaving the chlorine generator on as well as I am scared to let the chlorine drop so my level is still pretty high. ing 5 pounds of CYA in socks in the skimmer. Also added some muriatic acid based on wsop comments and turned one of the return jets to the surface to aerate as well hoping this would decrease TA. I am a pretty impatient person by nature and I hope that I am not doing too much at the same time but at this point all I plan to do is continue to filter and shock. Honest.
    Todays #'3
    pH -7.2
    FC- 18
    CC - 1
    didn't test the others as I figured it was too soon.

    As an aside I am developing a lot of sediment on the ledges (no one swimming and the robot won't get to them). filter pressure ran pretty high overnight so I washed it this morning and put it back in. Lower but still not great. At what point do I look to replace a filter.

    petemoss
    petemoss

    Middlebury,IN

    20k, IG Fiberglass, 1 hp hayward, hayward starclear cartridge cx1200re, compupool cpsc24 SWG,

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    You want to be careful when adjusting pH when FC>10. That makes the pH read falsely high.
    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.
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    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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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    As an aside I am developing a lot of sediment on the ledges (no one swimming and the robot won't get to them)
    Vacuum that out. That is consuming chlorine and slowing your shock process.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    If your numbers are accurate, then your CSI is +0.75 due mostly to the very high TA level of 360 ppm. So some of what you may be experiencing may be calcium carbonate cloudiness and you might get some scaling as well. Your pH ended up being lower (if that reading is accurate) so might account for some of the clearing as well. I'd keep your pH low at around 7.0 and do some aeration to lower your TA (see the Pool School article Lower Total Alkalinity) since you can do that while you are shocking except that your pH reading might be off.

    I'm just worried that you'll never get your pool cleared by just shocking if it's saturated with calcium carbonate as the cause instead of it being algae. Since you don't see any green and you've been shocking for a while, I'd figure the algae is dead and you need to address the too high TA level.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Progress.

    Today the pool looks fairly clear. Not sparkling but better.
    Todays Numbers
    pH 7.2
    FC - 19
    CC - 0.5
    TA -320
    CH - 310
    CYA - 30

    I have not run the chlorinator or added chlorine for about 5 days. FC has only come down 2 in that time. I haven't been able to leave the cover open to chew up some of that chlorine as we have a puppy that likes to get in and I didn't want her swimming while the chlorine is so high.

    I have washed alot of whitish material out of the filter that looks like precipitate to me. My thinking is that the last post by chem geek is probably right and the cloudyness is due to the calcium. I am not getting alot of scale though. I am a little hesitant to add alot more HCL not knowing if the pH of 7.2 is a correct reading or not.

    My thinking at this point is to add the acid and assume that that reading is fairly accurate. With a little sunshine maybe the kids will swim this weekend!

    Thanks again for everyone's help.
    petemoss

    Middlebury,IN

    20k, IG Fiberglass, 1 hp hayward, hayward starclear cartridge cx1200re, compupool cpsc24 SWG,

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Since you're already adding acid you can also Lower Total Alkalinity. Be sure to have a few jugs of acid on hand to complete the process.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    You should not be adjusting the pH with the FC that high. The pH test will read artificially high when the FC > 10ppm.

    Perfect example in the first 2 pictures:
    accurate-ph-test-during-shock-levels-with-r-007-t61076.html
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Ignore TA right now. It's easy to fix later. Concentrate on killing algae faster than it can reproduce.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    He's only reading 7.2 even with FC at shock level so that means his pH is probably really low which could be impeding the shock process. I would add Washing Soda or Borax until my pH (falsely) appeared to be at least 7.8 assuming FC was above 10.

    Am I wrong for thinking this?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    You should not be adjusting the pH with the FC that high. The pH test will read artificially high when the FC > 10ppm.

    Perfect example in the first 2 pictures:
    accurate-ph-test-during-shock-levels-with-r-007-t61076.html
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    No, I would leave the pH alone. You don't need it higher to kill algae. And odds are that his pH reading may be correct. When the pH reads falsely high, it's false reading is quite high. It won't falsely read a lower reading. If you get a reading of 7.5 or below, odds are it's a correct reading. It's when it looks like 7.8 or 8.0 or higher that it may not be that high. Remember what Taylor says about this process:

    FALSE READINGS: high levels of chlorine (usually > 10 ppm) will quickly and completely convert phenol red into another pH indicator (chlorphenol red). This new indicator is a dark purple when the water's pH is above 6.6. Unfortunately, some pool operators mistake the purple color for dark red and think the pool water is very alkaline and wrongly add acid to the pool.

    When a sanitizer level is not extreme, only some of the phenol red may convert to chlorphenol red. However, purple + orange (for example, pH 7.4) = red. This error is more subtle as no purple color is observed and the operator does not suspect that a false high pH reading has been produced. Some operators neutralize the sanitizer first by adding a drop of chlorine neutralizer (i.e. sodium thiosulfate). However, thiosulfate solutions have a high pH and, if heavily used, may cause a false higher sample pH.
    The part that Taylor is missing is that the "quickly and completely" occurs when there is no CYA in the water. With CYA in the water it appears that this conversion process takes longer, perhaps 30 seconds or a minute, depending on the FC/CYA ratio. We have just been conservative and simplistic about high chlorine interfering with pH just in case the CYA is low or people don't take a reading quickly. Also, adding a hypochlorite source of chlorine in large quantities WILL raise the pH significantly, especially when CYA is present and borates are not used and if the TA isn't high.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: cloudy water, high TA, hi CH, low CYA, high FC

    Ahh! That is good to know. I've been wondering about that. I'm going copy your response over to this thread about pH readings and high FC.

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    No, I would leave the pH alone. You don't need it higher to kill algae. And odds are that his pH reading may be correct. When the pH reads falsely high, it's false reading is quite high. It won't falsely read a lower reading. If you get a reading of 7.5 or below, odds are it's a correct reading. It's when it looks like 7.8 or 8.0 or higher that it may not be that high. Remember what Taylor says about this process:

    FALSE READINGS: high levels of chlorine (usually > 10 ppm) will quickly and completely convert phenol red into another pH indicator (chlorphenol red). This new indicator is a dark purple when the water's pH is above 6.6. Unfortunately, some pool operators mistake the purple color for dark red and think the pool water is very alkaline and wrongly add acid to the pool.

    When a sanitizer level is not extreme, only some of the phenol red may convert to chlorphenol red. However, purple + orange (for example, pH 7.4) = red. This error is more subtle as no purple color is observed and the operator does not suspect that a false high pH reading has been produced. Some operators neutralize the sanitizer first by adding a drop of chlorine neutralizer (i.e. sodium thiosulfate). However, thiosulfate solutions have a high pH and, if heavily used, may cause a false higher sample pH.
    The part that Taylor is missing is that the "quickly and completely" occurs when there is no CYA in the water. With CYA in the water it appears that this conversion process takes longer, perhaps 30 seconds or a minute, depending on the FC/CYA ratio. We have just been conservative and simplistic about high chlorine interfering with pH just in case the CYA is low or people don't take a reading quickly. Also, adding a hypochlorite source of chlorine in large quantities WILL raise the pH significantly, especially when CYA is present and borates are not used and if the TA isn't high.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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