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Thread: One week in and already cloudy

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    One week in and already cloudy

    So grateful I found this site. We are total newbies. I don't even know if my info is detailed enough for help.

    Our pool was completed Aug 29th (we are in Ontario, Canada). Our pool company got us up and running on the Thursday so we could have our long weekend to swim, they put in all the chemicals. (We had water brought in with trucks, not sure if that matters)
    Water was great all weekend. They told us to shock it on Sunday night with 4 bags of shock (we had a pool party the Sunday)
    The Company was set to come back the following Thursday to give us our pool instructions.
    I tested the water the night before to get an idea of things. There was 0 Chlorine, and the PH was 7.8 (I'm using the testing kit they gave us, will get the recommended one for next season!). I didn't even bother checking the Alk because I thought I was doing something wrong. Water was crystal clear!!
    Pool company came. Chlorine was at 0, we burned through it with all of the people we had on the weekend. PH was 7.8 and Alk took 10 drops to clear - he put in some muriatic acid (the granular kind). He was shocked the pool was so clear. We vacuumed, backwashed, filled the chlorinator. Said if it did become cloudy to put in 2 bags of this shock we had.

    So we put plastic solar cover on the crystal clear pool that night.
    Get up in the next morning (Friday, one week and a day). Test. Still 0 Chlorine. Called them, said it could take some time get the levels up.
    Took the solar cover off about 4pm so the kids could swim....it's cloudy. No problem. They told me to put in 2 bags of shock. Do that. Doesn't clear it up.
    Cover back on again that night.
    Test the following afternoon (today) Chlorine is between 1.5 and 3 (not very accurate testing). PH 7.6, Alk took 10 drops to clear (he said normal is between 8-15)
    Put another 4 bags of shock in.

    Still cloudy.

    We have the cover off tonight. Not sure if that did something. Or the fact that it probably had no chlorine for a couple days and it's playing catch up. We don't want to fool around with it too much. Do we give it 24-48 hours to clear, or shock again?
    Our filter is running 24/7

    Again, not sure if you can help with these details. Didn't know if we are safe to wait until Monday. Can't believe our pool was cloudy in 1 week.

    Thank you!!
    26,417 gallons (100,000 liters) 20x40, Pentair 24" Tagleus Silica Sand Filter, IG, Vinyl, Pentair 1 HP superflo pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Outside of using this "shock"..how are you normally chlorinating the pool? What kind of "shock" are you using?
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    We add 6 of those chlorine 'sticks' to a chlorinator and have the level set at 3. It goes from 0-10.
    These are the packages of shock we have used. I copied the details from a website.

    BioGuard® Smart Shock®
    Smart Shock is the best way to shock, oxidize, buffer and clarify your pool's water. Multi-functional Smart Shock also kills bacteria and contains blue algae killing crystals. Swimmers can re-enter the pool quickly after treatment.
    Kills bacteria, kills algae and clarifies
    Maintains brilliantly clear water
    Treat and swim in as soon as 15 minutes
    Preferred shock for the BioGuard Care System
    For use in all pool types
    Contains blue algae killing crystals
    26,417 gallons (100,000 liters) 20x40, Pentair 24" Tagleus Silica Sand Filter, IG, Vinyl, Pentair 1 HP superflo pump

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Welcome to TFP!

    The BioGuard Smart Shock contains chlorine in the form of dichlor, which raises the CYA (stabilizer) level, as well as a copper-based algaecide as shown here: BioGuard Smart Shock MSDS. I would discontinue using this product immediately.

    There is a relationship between chlorine and CYA: Chlorine CYA Chart. The CYA level is something every pool owner must know in order to determine the proper chlorine (FC) level. The higher the CYA level, the more chlorine is needed to provide proper sanitation. Chlorine gets used up as part of doing its job sanitizing your pool. Therefore, chlorine must be replenished regularly (usually daily during the swim season). However, CYA does not get "used up"; it accumulates. Continued use of chlorine containing either dichlor or trichlor will raise the CYA level which will require more chlorine to provide proper sanitation. Since most powdered "shock" products contain dichlor and most chlorine tablets contain trichlor, this results in an "un-winnable" vicious cycle that usually ends with either cloudy water or an algae bloom. This is why we recommend plain unscented liquid bleach as the primary chlorine source as it does not contain stabilizers.

    The copper in the Smart Shock could result in metal stains with continued use. We never recommend copper-based algaecides and rarely recommend algaecides in general. Algaecides are not needed in a properly chlorinated pool.

    Since the chlorine level dropped to zero for about a day, you got cloudy water which could be the early signs of algae. To clear it up, you need to go through the The SLAM Process. Since your pool was just filled and presuming the only chlorine products you added are the 10 bags of shock mentioned in your post, the "pool sticks", and allowing for 4 bags of shock that the pool company added as part of their chemical "start-up" , we can estimate your CYA level to be around 35-40 ppm. Therefore, you need to bring the chlorine level up to 14-16 ppm and keep it there until you pass the criteria outlined in the SLAM article. Once you pass that criteria, the ongoing maintenance FC level for the current CYA level will be 4-5 ppm.

    Would strongly recommend following through on your intention to get one of the Recommended Test Kits for next year which will help you prevent a recurrence of this problem. Also would suggest reading all of Pool School, but would start with these articles: ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Basic Pool Care Schedule, and Recommended Pool Chemicals.
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Welcome to the forum. If you follow Bo's advice, you will dominate this pool, instead of the reverse.

    Nice post Bo.
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Thank you Bo. I will stop using the shock that they provided and figure out SLAMming. I just never thought we'd have to SLAM so soon. It was alot clearer this morning, but not crystal like before.
    I'm going to read every post in the off season so we're ready to go for next summer.
    26,417 gallons (100,000 liters) 20x40, Pentair 24" Tagleus Silica Sand Filter, IG, Vinyl, Pentair 1 HP superflo pump

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Sorry, one more question....for now
    The chlorine sticks that we are using at called Stingy Sticks by BioGuard.
    It says it controls bacteria and algae and it has guaranteed Trichloro-s-triazinetrione - 100% and Available Chlorine Content - 90%.
    You mentioned our shock had copper and to stop using it.
    I read somewhere that if the chlorine is dual action, that it contains copper. It doesn't say anywhere on the container that it contains copper but I'm not sure.

    And...if I'm understanding something correct...Trichclor increases CYA. so we are putting chlorine and increasing our CYA with this product.
    Now I don't trust what our pool company has said since they recommended the shock. Is there a pure chlorine tablet that we can put in the chloirnator. I searched online but the few I saw had Trichlor. Or is the only way to get pure chlorine to use the liquid or bleach as I see in the BBB method.

    Thank you so much. I don't know if I'm grasping this or just getting more confused.
    26,417 gallons (100,000 liters) 20x40, Pentair 24" Tagleus Silica Sand Filter, IG, Vinyl, Pentair 1 HP superflo pump

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    There is no pure chlorine tablet. All chlorine in granular or solid form has to be stabilized with either CYA or calcium.

    Too much CYA or Calcium leads to problems.

    This is why those who adhere to BBB method use chlorine in the form of plain old, unscented bleach.
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    You will begin to understand, read Pool School a few times. Then read some threads with real rld examples. What they are telling you that is not obvious to many of us newbs is that Chlorine is unstable and it cannot be made into a solid without either adding calcium or CYA (dichlor and trichlor though pool stores call it by fancy names to confuse you)

    So what they teach here is to only use bleach also called liquid chlorine, unless you have a salt water chlorine generator. By monitoring the CYA you know exactly what your CL PPM should be to kill everything bad. And yes, you also want to know TA and PH and CH, put for right now CYA, CL and PH are what you need to get a handle on. Pool store guys are clueless when it comes to CYA, when your pucks become ineffective they will just tell you to drain and refill. And sell you algaecide when their method fails.

    You can do this.
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom2PoolMonsters
    Trichclor increases CYA. so we are putting chlorine and increasing our CYA with this product.
    Correct. BTW, here is the material Safety Data Sheet on the Stingy Sticks: BioGuard Stingy Sticks MSDS. The active ingredient is Trichlor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom2PoolMonsters
    Is there a pure chlorine tablet that we can put in the chloirnator.
    No. Tablets contain either CYA (most common) or Calcium (a.k.a., cal-hypo). Too much of either can cause problems as Wildcat and GuinnessPhish alluded to. Liquid bleach will chlorinate your pool without any undesirable side effects. BTW, while we are on the subject, never mix trichlor tablets with cal-hypo tablets in a chlorine feeder or you risk an explosion. In fact, never use cal-hypo tablets in a chlorine feeder that is not specifically made for cal-hypo tablets (most feeders aren't).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom2PoolMonsters
    I don't know if I'm grasping this or just getting more confused.
    Based on your questions/statements, I think you are getting it. As I often have stated, if you understand the chlorine / CYA relationship, you will avoid the majority of water chemistry problems that plague most pool owners. It really is that simple.
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Thank you.
    The water looks great today. Crystal clear. I'm thinking because our CYA was so low, and all of those shock packages we put in may brought the FC up pretty high. I'm hoping anyway. We still have not SLAMmed. My husband is traveling to Detroit on Wednesday. I'm trying to see if there is a pool store where he can pick up the recommended pool testing kit so we can do the proper testing when we do it.
    I went to the store to have the water tested. These are their results
    FC 3
    PH 7.6
    Alk 105
    CYA 25
    Calcium 220
    I was shocked by the CYA being so low. I'm thinking for the rest of the season (couple more weeks) I will continue using the chlorine pucks. The CYA will be increased a little by that. Then liquid chlorine for us next season. Our pool store has it. They were a little taken back with all my pointed questions. And, they didn't try to sell me a thing.
    Reading and learning alot!! Also learned the pool company put our solar cover on upside down. Glad I read that post!!!
    26,417 gallons (100,000 liters) 20x40, Pentair 24" Tagleus Silica Sand Filter, IG, Vinyl, Pentair 1 HP superflo pump

  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Be careful, pool store CYA measurements are often inaccurate. You need a reliable test kit, commonly not found in pool stores. PS don't understand the CL/CYA relationship.
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    The store in Detroit will most likely not have to proper kit, and he may have trouble getting it across if he found it, but I don't know border regs.

    If he is flying...He CANNOT fly with it legally even in cargo, that I assure you. He might get away with it, but if it leaks or gets found out, it could be big trouble. Please! Do not let him carry a kit in luggage or carry on. I don't think kits from Taylor can be shipped to Canada, but I may be wrong. You may have to find a Taylor distributor up there. Someone here will answer this latter question, but sorry I can't be certain on that.
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    There is one and only one source of FAS-DPD test kits in Canada.

    Here is a quote from another furum:

    I would recommend Piscines-Apollo. I have had dealings with them and they are very reliable and knowledgeable.
    The sad news is that the Taylor kits are much more expensive in Canada. There is only one master distributor there, Lowry & Associates in Ontario. Not sure why there is such a big price discrepancy between Canadian and US prices but the Canadian distributor probably has a say in that.
    I have heard that there is some arrangement between Taylor and Lowry, which is why US retailers cannot ship to Canada.
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Just checked out that site, thank you Charlie_R. It's $123.
    And thanks Brushpup, I don't want my DH sitting in airport jail for a test kit
    26,417 gallons (100,000 liters) 20x40, Pentair 24" Tagleus Silica Sand Filter, IG, Vinyl, Pentair 1 HP superflo pump

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Why can't the tf-100 test kit be put into checked luggage? How would anyone know that it's not permitted?
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    It would be considered unapproved HAZMAT.
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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by GuinnessPhish
    Why can't the tf-100 test kit be put into checked luggage? How would anyone know that it's not permitted?
    Part of my work requires me to deal with shipping lots of different chemicals and samples. I have certification that permits me to ship HAZMAT by ground and air. Thats how someone might know.
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    glad I didn't bring my tf-100 on the plane up to MA a few weeks ago....

    I meant, how would an average person know that it was not safe to bring something as seemingly innoccuous as a pool testing kit in their checked luggage....
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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    Re: One week in and already cloudy

    Welcome and glad to see you're learning how to control your pool. The best advice I've learned this summer (my first year of pool ownership) is to get the TF-100 test kit and use it a lot at first to keep track of your water numbers. I keep a log on my phone. Then use the pool calculator to determine how much chemical to add to the water. It's been spot on so far.

    I've two bouts of cloudy water in the beginning, both times because I didn't check chlorine for a day or two and it dropped to 0. If that happends, SLAM time. Stock up on unscented bleach, I get mine from costco.

    The next thing to do is don't listen to the pool store chemical advertising. There is a lot of false promises written on those containers. My local pool store carries a brand of chemicals that tries to make it "easy" for the average dummy- each jug or pail is labeled with a big number instead of what it actually contains. So you get your water tested, unload a few hundred bucks and fill the car with chemicals.

    So far all I've needed is bleach, baking soda (once), borax (once), and a lot of stablizer here and there to keep CYA up.

    I recently went with a salt water generator, so no more adding bleach. Life is good!
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