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Thread: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

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    Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Okay...so I am new here, I am not a pool owner. I am however doing side jobs for a lady that lost her husband and he used to maintain the pool, when he died 2 years ago she left the pool open and it FILLED with leaves then she was forced to close the pool professionally WITHOUT removing the leaves, etc.

    Now late in this summer I removed the cover (that one they show an elephant walking on) and she insisted getting it running immediately so I threw the chlorine tabs she had left into the strainer and spent the last 40 hours removing leaves with a net basket on a pole. Finally I got 95% of the leaves removed over the course of the last 2 weeks, the next day after we opened it she bought a 25lb bucket of shock...we have been feeding it 5lbs a day as I remove the leaves and this went on for over a week we have less than half a bucket left of shock and this is our second bucket so we have almost put 50lbs of shock into this pool in 10 days testing daily and it is high but stripped by the next day when I return...last week she also dumped half a bottle of this mustard stuff in the pool she had left from years ago that was suppose to help clear the water and also we put a whole bottle of pH-up in over the course of 48 hours and it is now on the higher side of the low end on the test strip (nobody is really using it this year anyway she just wanted it opened, cleaned and cleared then closed).



    This is her pump system (sand) they installed it because it was easier to maintain and close the pool, as you can see they blocked off one of the inlet tubes.



    One of the tubes to the furthest skimmer busted underground in the past so they just capped it and they are down to one skimmer inlet since it was going to cost her thousands to repair (does not make sense to me it can be done for far less).



    We have been getting advice from everyone including a pool company nobody has a matching story, I used a brush and kicked everything up for days and let it run with high chlorine so it would kill the algae it did kind of turn from green to more of a teal color and is still getting lighter but so foggy. The last few days I have been vacuuming the bottom and it is getting lighter but **** how long does this take to clear?

    I was back-washing frequently then everyone told me not to unless the pressure goes up...well the pressure never rises above a steady 11psi and it's only about 6psi when vacuuming. We let it go 2 days and then back-washed today the water in the bubble window was very dark, it always clears then I rinse and it clears more. The question now is how often should I be back-washing until the water is clear?? I would think the sand needs to collect the dead algae then it needs to be washed out or else where is all this algae carcass going to go?? One guy said it works better when it starts to get plugged up...





  2. Back To Top    #2
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Welcome to the forum

    We recommend backwashing/rinsing filter when psi increases about 20 to 25% over clean pressure psi.

    If you/she really wants to take control of the pool, I suggest you order one of the recommended test kits pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison
    TF100 is the fav kit. More bang for the buck, excellent customer service, fast shipping, and start reading Pool School - big white button top right of each page.

    The pool needs the SLAM process.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    With the high amount of "shock" product you have used in the pool, you probably have a rather high CYA or CH, depending on what type of shock it was.

    Can you tell us what the ingredients are from the label of the buckets?
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    I will look at the ingredients this evening and post.

    She usually buys a test kit every year but with the pool not staying open this year she did not bother. If the pressure never raises why does the bubble get so dark when back-washing? Is it dark because the filter is full of dead algae? It just does not make sense to me where this dead algae is going to go now if it's just being blown back into the pool.

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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    If you are collecting debris in the filter (and you are because your backwash water is dirty) and your psi never goes up, then the gauge is broken.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Its a brand new gauge 2 weeks old, when the skimmer gets clogged the pressure goes up so it is working. I can match the tone of the pump to the gauge...water was really dark I just backwashed it a few min ago first time since yesterday. It gets really dark then clears, rinse makes it dark again then it clears again.

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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    when the skimmer gets clogged the pressure goes up so it is working.
    To clarify, you mean the pressure goes down, correct?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Hey PFE,

    I don't know how you'll ever get that pool clear w/ only a single skimmer as the suction source. But then, I don't understand how folks get their pools clear w/o a main drain. I would try throwing the vac head into the pool and sucking water off the bottom into the filter. The vacuum plugs into the skimmer, right? So you'll still have only a single suction source, but that's all you've got now.

    You're running the filter 24/7, right? Chlorine kills algae & sanitizes water, but filtration clears water.

    Where are you? Is "city water" readily available at a reasonable price? You've added either lots of CYA or calcium (probably CYA) using that granular shock. I would probably drain & refill 50 or 75% of the water to speed up the clearing process.

    These are just my 2 cents. I'm no expert, I'm more of a realist, but I've maintained my current pool for 20 years & I've been a member here at TFP for ~5 years, so I've got some experience.

    Good luck!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    With the high amount of "shock" product you have used in the pool, you probably have a rather high CYA or CH, depending on what type of shock it was.

    Can you tell us what the ingredients are from the label of the buckets?
    I don't remember exactly how much but $70-$80 a bucket...she has dumped between chemicals and my labor at least $500 into it and is only closing it in a few weeks I feel bad, I am the only person she is keeping it open for this season and until the water is clear I am not getting into it haha for all I know her dead husbands body is at the bottom (just kidding).



    There are no inactive ingredients on the back :/



    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    when the skimmer gets clogged the pressure goes up so it is working.
    To clarify, you mean the pressure goes down, correct?
    No man, it stays right here this is clean operating pressure 10.5 psi (that I have observed) I installed this gauge for her 2 weeks ago we bought it from the pool company that has been opening and closing her pool for years with all her files on record. Her old gauge was a sideways style and filled with water so I picked up one with a rear I/O for direct reading, usually reads 6psi when vacuuming and up to 15/18psi when the strainer(s) are clogged (pool side and/or pump strainer).



    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    Hey PFE,

    I don't know how you'll ever get that pool clear w/ only a single skimmer as the suction source. But then, I don't understand how folks get their pools clear w/o a main drain. I would try throwing the vac head into the pool and sucking water off the bottom into the filter. The vacuum plugs into the skimmer, right? So you'll still have only a single suction source, but that's all you've got now.

    You're running the filter 24/7, right? Chlorine kills algae & sanitizes water, but filtration clears water.

    Where are you? Is "city water" readily available at a reasonable price? You've added either lots of CYA or calcium (probably CYA) using that granular shock. I would probably drain & refill 50 or 75% of the water to speed up the clearing process.

    These are just my 2 cents. I'm no expert, I'm more of a realist, but I've maintained my current pool for 20 years & I've been a member here at TFP for ~5 years, so I've got some experience.

    Good luck!
    I know but the company that closed that second strainer told her it would be okay and she has been using one for years (of course never leaving it closed full of leaves for 2 years) and she has always turned it on and shocked it and the water was clear in 24 hours with this sand filter they installed long after the pool was built. I told her I can fix it for wayy less then a few thousand they quoted her, the pool is surrounded by concrete padding so I was thinking if I pulled the skimmer enclosure out of the concrete somehow and make a 2" deep troth to the edge of the concrete I could run a new pipe without jack hammering out tons of concrete then lay less than an inch or so of concrete over the pipe to be flush since they are professionally draining the system of water before the winter you wont have to worry about cracking the pipe with an inch of concrete over it? Then from the edge of the concrete the pipe can be buried in dirt to the filter unit which is the easy part...

    Se said something about leaving the vac in the bottom of the pool even when not scrubbing to suck water from the bottom, yes single suction source we have two options...use the plug cap that goes into the top of the side skimmer so that the basket can collect or pull the basket out and put the tube directly into the suction hole on the bottom of the side skimmer which leaves only 1 basket which is at the pump itself (that config works the best since the ends are under water and the ends leak a little bit slowly de-priming the system when above water using the skimmer cap). I could always de-cap this tube for the second skimmer and fit it for the vac hose so I can suck from the bottom and top skimmer 24/7??


    Your absolutely right about the filtration clearing the water, unless dead algae breaks down in the water somehow lol. City water if very available we have back washed so much that we are adding water constantly and as a minor of fact she left the hose on in the pool last week while I was gone for 2 days and the overflow was draining just as fast as water was being added haha for 2 DAYS STRAIGHT! Even with that the water is still not clear go figure and she has always been told she can not drain this pool or else at this point ($) she would have gladly drained the water 100% and refilled. Maybe I should vac the bottom directly to back wash??

    I really think there is some misinformation between pressure reading the knowing when to back wash...no sound difference, no pressure reading difference, but the filter is dark as %&!# I vac until the jets start dumping brown water back in the pool which really does not take long when I hit dark spots (the few I can see). I could back wash ever hour on the hour for days and I am willing to bet it would be dark every time in the bubble, you can see some tiny tiny bits of leaves or something in the bubble usually (not much) and some air bubbles which all clears to solid clear by the time I am done rinsing. An hour later it will be dark again I am wondering if there is some filter/sand damage because this is a bit crazy at this point or the pool company is underestimating how bad the pool really was, if we let the chlorine go zero for 12 hours during this process (over night when we cant add any) does it feed the algae to reproduce twice as fast or something?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    and up to 15/18psi when the strainer(s) are clogged (pool side and/or pump strainer).
    That's backwards from what you should be seeing. Anytime their is a restriction placed on the suction side of your system (vacuum, clogged skimmers, clogged pump strainer basket) the psi will go down....not up.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    First I'd like to say that there are probably thousands of us who keep our pools perfectly clear with only one skimmer and return.

    If the pressure goes up when the skimmer or pump strainer basket gets full of debris something is wrong. There's no way that can happen unless they are on the discharge of the pump. Or the pump is sucking in air and when the baskets get clogged the air leak seals off and the pump actually works better thereby creating more pressure. If that's the case, you need to find and fix the leak(s).
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Why would it be reversed? Is it a faulty gauge itself? This sounds like it could be a lot of guess work.

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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Just to clarify, your gauge indicates a psi drop in vacuum mode (correct) and a psi increase when the skimmers are clogged (incorrect).

    All other variables remaining the same, that really is not possible so I wouldn't even know how to guess..
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Yes drop when vac and raised when skimmer are clogged.

    Darn Darn Darn

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Have you confirmed that the gauge is working? Does it read 0 when the pump is off?
    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: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    I hesitate to even mention it but would this be a case where using flocculent might be of some benefit?
    "The early bird might get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." ~ W. Rian Adams
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    Relative's IG Vinyl | 16x32 | ~18,600 gals | Hayward 3/4hp Pump | Hayward S244T Filter | Pentair Model 300 Chlorinator (not used) | Polaris 180

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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski
    Have you confirmed that the gauge is working? Does it read 0 when the pump is off?
    Yes it does 0 when off, 10 when running, 6 when vac, 15+ when clogged. Something is not right her pool still looks the same

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    nedchavez's Avatar
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    Are you maybe confusing skimmer with filter? When the filter is clogged, pressure will go up. When the skimmer is plugged the pressure will go down. The skimmer and filter are separate components.
    16' x 32' IG vinyl liner w/ hopper bottom (12,500 gal), Single-speed 1 HP Sta-Rite pump, and 300# Cristal-Flo sand filter, TF-100 test kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    No lol when I vac and there are leaves they get stuck in the skimmer basket next to the pump, the pressure goes up. When the filter gets clogged the pressure stays 10 it just starts shooting foggy or brown water.

  20. Back To Top    #20
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    Re: Water will not clear!! Aghh!

    When the pump strainer basket is NOT clogged do you notice an air pocket swirling under the clear plastic cover or any air bubbles coming out of the pool returns? During normal filtering mode (10psi), if you run water over/around the clear plastic cover and pump body below as well as all the pipes, fittings, plugs, and valves on the suction lines feeding into the pump does the filter pressure reading change at all?

    <edit>

    Is this a crack, or something else?

    [attachment=0:32to7kfs]closeup.jpg[/attachment:32to7kfs]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "The early bird might get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." ~ W. Rian Adams
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    Relative's IG Vinyl | 16x32 | ~18,600 gals | Hayward 3/4hp Pump | Hayward S244T Filter | Pentair Model 300 Chlorinator (not used) | Polaris 180

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