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Thread: High calcium, everything else in check but water is cloudy?

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    High calcium, everything else in check but water is cloudy?

    good morning!
    Been struggling with our pool all summer long. We had a green algae outburst and kicked it about 2 weeks ago. Since then our water has been so cloudy that we cannot see the bottom. The only problem I can detect is that the calcium is sky high (around 600 ). It is a vinyl above ground pool. Yesterday I finally caved and added some clarifier to the water, gave it a good vacuum and shocked it last evening. I see not one ounce of a difference this AM. Should I continue this regimen until the water clears?
    Filter has been running 24/7.
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Welcome to TFP!

    It's hard to advise without knowing the rest of your water chemistry and what kind of equipment you have. To correctly shock a pool takes a day or more and isn't a one time action. We refer to it as SLAMing to help explain the process and differentiate it from the pool store method. You can read about it Here
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Right...sorry about that.
    We have a cartridge system. Pump seems to be working spot on. No leaks. Cartridge was just replaced when we kicked the algae issue.
    This morning's reads are:
    CYA 50
    FC 6
    PH 7.2
    TA 120
    TH 600
    TC 8
    We have been SLAMing the pool since the algae was kicked out as well. Yesterday after seeing no difference in the water is when I decided to try the clarifier and I added an application of granular shock last evening (as opposed to the bleach we had been using).
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Other than the hardness, the problem I see is that you have FC of 6 and TC of 8 leaving your combined chlorine at 2ppm. That would seem to indicate you need to maintain an elevated chlorine level (20ppm for your CYA level) for a while longer. Is your pool by any chance covered?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    No, it's not covered.Not shaded. Full sun all day. We don't even use the solar cover.
    It has, however been SUPER hot and humid here for the last couple of weeks. Real feel temp today of 100 with high humidity. (I'm so very excited about that!)
    I will get to work on the chlorine level and get it to hold. Thanks!
    Should I say goodbye to the clarifier in the meantime?
    So frustrating! We have never had an issue with our pool in the 4 years since we have had it installed and I always use basic care, not fancy expensive "pool store" chems. This site is absoultely fabulous!
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    OK...overnight my readings held after SLAMing. But the calcium hardness did drop.
    CH 250
    CL 10
    FC 20
    PH 7.6
    TA 120
    CYA 50

    Water has not cleared one bit. I did go ahead and add 4 oz of clarifier and will give it a vacuum in a bit. Hoping this will help. Is there anything else I might be missing?
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    You have a testing error somewhere, either yesterday or today. Calcium does not disappear from the water, the only way to get rid of it is to drain and replace with lower CH source water. Also I'm not sure what the CL 10 is supposed to be. Clarifier will not help at this point if you are dealing with the remains of an algae bloom.

    Have you brushed the pool wall and floors and cleaned any ladders, light niches or other nooks and crannies where algae can be hidden?
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Been brushing and vacuuming every day very thoroughly, paying close attention to one side of the pool that seems to be a problem area.
    I think there was definitely a read error on the Calcium on my part. I did it twice this morning and had my teenage son double check me to verify it the second time.
    And my apologies...it is the Total Chlorine is registering 10.
    I actually ordered a better test kit because this one is a pretty basic and I am not trusting it. Hoping it will be here tomorrow or Monday.
    What else do I need to do in order to try and clear the water? Do I continue SLAMing it even though the chlorine levels are holding?
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Oh, Oh, Oh, I think I figured it out! Are you using test strips? If so, that explains everything. Test strip accuracy is, well, questionable.

    That would explain your changing CH readings, and the strange number you gave where your FC is 20 and TC is 10 (not possible, TC is always equal to or higher than FC).

    If you aren't using test strips then it doesn't answer those questions, but getting a better test kit is a good idea. Which one did you order, the TF-100 or K-2006? Either way I say keep the SLAM going until you get the new kit so you can do an OCLT and find out if you are truly done. If the numbers are holding well then it shouldn't be a problem to keep them elevated, and you should be noticing some clearing taking place.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    I ordered the TF-100. Just checked the tracking and it should be here tomorrow.
    We were using strips originally, but pulled out our cheapo kit. It is very hard to read/differentiate. It doesn't have CC, only FC and TC...etc.
    And another typo. UGH! Bromine was at 20, FC was at 10. 2 issues here, a teenager double checking my numbers and me not actually looking at what I wrote down. Also, the kit that I went back to is 2 years old. Is it possible that the solutions aren't working properly?
    I have a houseful of kids today and it's 100 degrees. Is it safe to send them out to take a dip and stir things up a bit? I mean, the pool is clean, and if the numbers look good and the water is just cloudy?
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    You will love the TF-100!

    If you can see the bottom of the pool then they can swim if your FC level is 20 or under (your shock level). We are feeling the heat here in Ohio too, our pool water is like bath water so I will just stick to the indoor air conditioning myself

    EDIT: It is possible that the solutions aren't working right, but at this point just use it until your new kit gets there. When it does do a full batch of tests and post the results, we will give recommendations from there.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    You don't have a bromine pool, so you don't have to worry about that.
    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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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    And no...you cannot see the bottom, just down the walls almost to the bottom. Considering that the pool is only 18 round and 52 deep, it's pretty cloudy. Not really a milky cloudy, just not clear in the least.
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Quote Originally Posted by burghblonde
    And no...you cannot see the bottom, just down the walls almost to the bottom. Considering that the pool is only 18 round and 52 deep, it's pretty cloudy. Not really a milky cloudy, just not clear in the least.
    That's cloudy! That's super cloudy. If it was a public pool, the health department would shut it down.

    Once you get the test kit and get a handle on this, you're going to be amazed. My pool is over 8' deep and i can tell from the deck that the screws holding the drain cover on are phillips head.
    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!

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Richard....I had my oldest jump in with his goggles. He says you can see the bottom fairly well from the top of the water (just by putting his face in) and my pool floor is in fact there, the nice blue pebbled pattern that I have come to love. And when he went down about 2 feet the water was clear at the bottom. I don't know. I had no desire to look for myself. Crazy!
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    Re: High calcium, everything else in check but water is clou

    Ut-oh! Just found out that the algae treatment that was added to my pool was copper based. Now what? Could this be the cloudy water issue and how do I treat the water, and what with, to get rid of any metals/remnants suspended in the pool?
    I wish I would have known this sooner, but my husband added it and I just saw the bottle in the shed.
    I think that it is most definitely time to cry now....
    My GOOD test kit should be here today. Still waiting. And I hate to take a water sample to my pool store because I refuse to go back there, but will I need to in order to check for copper?
    8K ABG, Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Pittsburgh, PA

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