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Thread: Cloudiness won't go away...

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    Cloudiness won't go away...

    I'm helping a woman with her pool. She just lost her husband who always cared for the pool. The pool hadn't been opened in two years, and wasn't closed properly. Needless to say, it was a swamp when I got to it. Loads of leaves, brown-black water. I started the system, and shocked the heck out of it. I spent the first few days netting the leaves off the bottom, and keeping the chlorine as high as possible. The pool went from brown-black to pale cloudy blue after about two days. When I wasn't finding large piles of leaves with the net, I started blind vaccing on waste, and adding water. After about a month of constant filtration and vaccing twice a week, I could finally see the bottom in the shallow end. A few days later I could see half-way down the slope. Two weeks have passed, and the clarity hasn't improved since. I opened up the sand filter and checked the sand. I ended up removing it, and putting it back in (I ran into a problem when I cracked the stand pipe). I have been adding DE to the filter to help things along, but I'm not really seeing much improvement. I've used Clarifiers, but they haven't made a difference either.

    Is there anything I am missing? Chemicals have been balanced since the first week. Does anyone have any other tricks to try?
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    Are you still following the SLAM process by maintaining chock FC levels?
    Did you fix the filter stand pipe?
    Have you check the backwash valve to make sure stuff is not bypassing the filter?
    The DE should be helping.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    Please post a complete set of water test results. Also, how has the filter pressure been behaving? Does it go up regularly?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    I let up on the FC levels when I was seeing progress, but I hit it hard again when I saw it wasn't improving. FC levels have been between 5 and 10 ppm, higher when I shock.

    I did fix the stand pipe issue, and I'm fairly confident that nothing is bypassing the filter. I should see DE blowing back in when I add it, if anything is getting past the filter. I'm getting cloudy backwash water, but with DE in the filter its hard to tell if its the DE making it cloudy. During weeks when I didn't use the DE, backwash water was still cloudy.

    I don't have an accurate list of test results, but I can give you a pretty good ballpark.

    FC greater than 5
    pH at times a little bit low, but usually around 7.4-7.6
    TA around 100
    CH not sure, if anything its low.

    If I can I'll get a better set of numbers next time I'm there, but that probably won't be until mid week.
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    You have not been following the SLAM process. [slam:34h3fhgy][/slam:34h3fhgy]

    It is important to know the CYA so you know the correct FC levels. And OCLT could help determine if there is still stuff in the water consuming FC and causing the cloudiness or if it is just a filter issue at this point.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    So all we really know is that the filter is catching something at least part of the time. That isn't much to go on. It would be a good idea to get a reliable CH reading, to rule out calcium clouding, to pay some attention to the filter pressure, and to do an overnight FC loss test. The three main possibilities are that there is still living algae, the filter is broken, or there is calcium clouding. But without more information to go on it is difficult to narrow it down much.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    Jason, can you give me a few ideas for what to look at to determine which it is. For Algae, it sounds like a FC drop test is the answer.

    For calcium, what am I looking for? I would imagine high CH combined with high pH and TA.

    As far as filtration, what would cause a sand filter not to filter effectively?
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    CH over 400 suggests calcium clouding. Overnight FC loss suggests algae, and filter pressure not going up suggests a filter problem.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    How quickly should I expect to see filter pressure rise? What could be wrong with the filter that would cause poor filtration?

    Thanks for your response.
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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    Re: Cloudiness won't go away...

    So this pool was clearing up, although slowly. I could see the bottom in the deep end, but the water was still slightly hazy. I figured another week, and it would look great. The owner of the pool neglected to put in more chlorine tablets and within a day or two, the pool had clouded up. Last week (Wednesday), I shocked the pool using trichlor (all I had at the time) and I added algaecide. The pool clouded up even more, and a layer of foam formed on the surface, which behaved almost like it was solid. It broke into little plates like ice or something. I went back Saturday and checked on it. FC had dropped back down, and it was still just as cloudy. So at that point I decided it was time to stop screwing around and get some liquid chlorine.

    I went back this morning and tested the water.

    FC= 3.5
    CYA=60
    CH=50
    TA=70
    pH=6.8

    I added 10 gallons of liquid chlorine (12%). This should have brought my FC up to about 55. I'm hoping this will give me FC levels in the Shock range until Wednesday, when I can get back there again.

    I'm fairly convinced that I'm not having a filtration issue here. I'm getting good cloudy backwashes every time, and it did clear up, although slowly. I'm suspecting I've been fighting algae the whole time. I probably got the FC levels just high enough to start killing off algae, but not high enough to do it quickly.

    Can anyone else see something that might be holding me back?
    TreeFiter

    Pool Technician
    Saugerties, NY

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