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Thread: Pool is cloudy

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    PaulSwany's Avatar
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    Pool is cloudy

    Having trouble getting my pool clear. I've talked with the pool chemical guy at the local pool store and he gave me a clearing agent (not floc) to use... Didn't help at all. The water is cloudy, but not green and has been for about a week after we added baking soda and shock. What can I do to clear it up?

    FC - 2.2 ppm
    CC - 0 ppm
    PH - 6.8
    CyA - 163 ppm
    CH - 122 ppm
    TA - 99 ppm
    15k gallon - 24' above ground vinyl
    16" Sand filter w/ 1hp pump single speed.
    Date Installed: October, 2010

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    Re: Pool is cloudy

    Welcome to TFP!

    The main problem is your Cyanuric Acid (CYA) is too high so with your low Free Chlorine (FC), algae is able to grow faster than chlorine can kill it and that is clouding the pool. Your pH is too low as well so I suspect between the high CYA and low pH that you have been using Trichlor pucks/tabs. These lower the pH and TA and increase the CYA over time.

    I suggest you start by doing a partial drain/refill to lower your CYA level. Start with at least a half drain/refill. While that is going on, get yourself a proper test kit, the TFTestkits TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006 where the former had more volume of reagents you use the most (see also Test Kits Compared). You could also add either some pH Up (if you already have it) or 20 Mule Team Borax to the pool to raise the pH at least to 7.0 but not more than 7.2 for now (it may change when you do the partial drain/refill of water and you'll want it lower when you start the shock process).

    I'd stop using the Trichlor pucks/tabs and add some chlorinating liquid or bleach to raise the FC level to at least slow down the algae growth while you are doing the partial drain/refill. Get it up to at least 10 ppm -- that's no where near shock level, but it should take the edge off the algae growth since apparently it didn't get started until the CYA level got this high. This is just until you replace water to get the CYA lower. At that point, you'll shock the pool as described below.

    Also while you are waiting for your test kit and are doing a partial drain/refill of your pool, you can start reading the Pool School. When your CYA gets lower, you'll shock the pool with chlorinating liquid or bleach to kill off the algae. This is described in the Pool School articles Defeating Algae and The Shock Process.

    If the numbers you reported were from the pool store and not your own test kit (those numbers look like pool store numbers), then you could wait for your test kit to verify the high CYA, but I suspect it is indeed 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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    PaulSwany's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is cloudy

    I just bought the TF-100 test kit. I have a cheapo test kit I used to check the FC, but I can't really distinguish the difference between the 5.0 and 11.0 colors... Anyway, I'm going to do the partial drain and add some bleach during the process...
    15k gallon - 24' above ground vinyl
    16" Sand filter w/ 1hp pump single speed.
    Date Installed: October, 2010

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is cloudy

    Welcome Paul! I don't have anything to add to chemgeek's post, if you follow what he wrote and read the three linked article's you'll be well on your way to a trouble free summer.

    I hope you got the speed stir, if not perhaps you can call and add it to your order, it's well worth it, makes testing easier and faster.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

    Secret Weapon for Pool Chemistry Testing

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is cloudy

    Welcome Paul.

    That's a really high CYA level. You may have to do a few partial drain/refills. Just don't drain the whole pool. Leave a ft or so of water in the pool at the least!!! I also (personally) wouldn't add chlorine until the CYA was back down to 30-50. It's just a waste IMO, especially if you're doing a couple drains.

    Good luck! Keep us posted and welcome to TFP!
    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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    PaulSwany's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is cloudy

    Got my TF-100 kit in and I'm ready to take charge of my pool!

    Drained out about 18" and refilled and added 3 jugs (128 oz) of 8.25% bleach.

    Here's my new numbers:
    FC - 25.5 ppm
    CC - 0 ppm
    CYA - 65-70 ppm
    TA - 100 ppm
    CH - 50 ppm
    PH - 7.2

    I'm going to continue to monitor FC and add DE to my filter. It's still pretty cloudy... I'm hoping it will clear up in a few days at the high shock levels.
    15k gallon - 24' above ground vinyl
    16" Sand filter w/ 1hp pump single speed.
    Date Installed: October, 2010

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    Re: Pool is cloudy

    Chlorine ain't a miracle worker for clearing cloudiness. It will certainly kill off any algae and that can help and it will oxidize some chemicals which usually makes green algae turn white or gray, but removing the particulate matter in your pool (if that's where the cloudiness is coming from) is mostly about circulation and filtration. We usually suggest adding DE to the filter only if you are stuck and do not see regular progress. A sand filter can clear reasonably well and if the slowness in your pool is due to circulation then DE won't help that much. Anyway, see how things to -- it's your call and adding the DE won't hurt, but be sure to watch the pressure since it can jump up a lot of there's a lot of fine material that for whatever reason was slipping through the sand filter alone.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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