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Thread: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

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    Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    I have a 15'x48" above ground vinyl pool. I'm using the BBB method and I do a full test every 24-48 hours and a chlorine test every morning and evening. My water clouded up a bit about a week ago and I haven't been able to get it to clear up. I don't want to add unnecessary chemicals is I don't need to so I haven't done anything aside from adding bleach as usual. My test numbers have been steady for a few weeks. As of last night they where:

    PH - 7.5
    FC - 6-7 (have to run a dilution since my tester only goes to 5)
    TA - 110
    CH - 170
    CYA - 40

    The pool temperature drops to as low as 75 degrees at night and usually averages 78-82 by the mid-afternoon. I don't know if the temperature swing can cause a problem, but I don't know how else to combat that; it's just a part of living in the desert. I don't notice any algae growth on the walls and I am getting solids at the bottom requiring me to vac daily. I clean the filter (the cheap-o paper filter system that came with the pool) daily and make sure it is moving enough water through. The pump runs for about 8 hours a day on average, sometimes up to 12 hours. The water isn't entirely cloudy, but underwater visibility is only a couple of feet tops.

    Any ideas?
    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    Your numbers look pretty good, but this jumped out at me a little..
    and I am getting solids at the bottom requiring me to vac daily.
    Would you say it is more than can be attributed to just dirt and stuff from the air?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    Those cheap paper filters are next to useless. Clearing up the water with one of those filters can easily take weeks. In the meantime, I suggest you run the pump/filter 24/7 to speed up the process.

    The main thing is to be very sure you don't have live algae. FC around 6 to 7 is enough to prevent algae from getting started, but it isn't high enough to kill algae if you already have it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    Welcome to TFP!

    Quote Originally Posted by fmjnax
    PH - 7.5
    FC - 6-7 (have to run a dilution since my tester only goes to 5)
    TA - 110
    CH - 170
    CYA - 40
    I was going to ask what you are using to rest with, but I think I have the answer based on your results. Since your FC tester only goes to 5, you are using either a DPD or OTO chlorine test. Strongly recommend getting a FAS-DPD test which used a powder and liquid reagent. You can purchase the individual FAS-DPD test here: http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlori...-test-p47.html

    Quote Originally Posted by fmjnax
    I don't know if the temperature swing can cause a problem,...
    Temperature swings alone will not cause the water to turn cloudy. One weather-related thing that can is windy conditions that will kick up dust and other debris, although much of the debris will settle on the pool floor or on top of the water vs. suspended in the water. Did you experience strong winds recently?
    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: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    Thanks! I did forget to mention that I have shocked twice in the past 3 weeks or so at 20ppm.

    It very well could be that it is just dirt and junk. It more reminds me of the cloud that comes out of the vac bag (it's just one of those cheap-o hose vacs with the mesh bag) when the debris is too fine to be caught in the bag. I'll see if I can get a picture to turn out.

    And that leads to what Jason mentioned about the paper filters. It seems possible that my filter simply can't filter all the junk out; especially the fine cloud of debris the results from running the vac, especially since I have to clean the filter daily due to flow restriction. It gets gunked up bad enough daily that the outflow just about stops entirely. I'll try running the pump constantly and see if it helps any. I'll most likely have to clean out the filter multiple times a day, but I'll still see how it goes. The plan is to purchase a DE or sand filter after vacation so really I only need this thing to last a few more weeks.
    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    Re: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    BoDarville,

    I am using an OTO chlorine test (which I guess means I am testing TC rather than FC?).

    And yes, we experience wind CONSTANTLY out here. 10-15mph wind from sunrise to sunset is pretty much the norm. The past few nights, and on-and-off over the past week, we have had 15-30mph. There is also a high amount of dust that blows around. Again, I'm literally in the desert (Grand Junction, Colorado). Perhaps I should try covering the pool when not in use?
    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    Re: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    Here are some pictures. Don't mind the mess.

    The ring out of the water...

    The same ring dropped straight down. About 40" (I have the water drawn down a little)


    The ladder from 1/4 the pool away


    Various locations

    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Can't seem to get crystal clear water...

    I think the wind is the culprit. If you can cover the pool, that would definitely help.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmjnax
    I am using an OTO chlorine test (which I guess means I am testing TC rather than FC?).
    Correct. Still recommend getting the FAS-DPD test. If you ever have cloudy water that is not due to dust/dirt, ever need to shock, ever need to determine CC, or need to do an overnight chlorine loss test, you will need the FAS-DPD test.
    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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