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Thread: Pool rookie needs some help with murky water and not able to maintain chlorine

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    Pool rookie needs some help with murky water and not able to maintain chlorine

    Hi guys...go easy on me, we're 3 years into this pool thing and learning as we go. We've learned a little more each year but still have a ways to go. Last year I discovered this forum and finally got into a system and thought I had things figured out. But over the winter, we left our pool uncovered, so lately I've been dealing with...

    - A few weeks of vacuuming up all of the dirt, sand, and grime that accumulated on the bottom (vacuuming on waste then refilling with the hose...done this probably a dozen times slowly chipping away at the grime)
    - 2 algae explosions
    - Can't maintain chlorine (no CYA I guess?)
    - Stains that are green/orangey

    Our pool used to be sparking clear and a beautiful turquoise blue because we had to empty and refill it the last 2 years, but since leaving it open this winter we are dealing with a murky, green look. No leaves or debris, but walls and the pool floor are slightly slimy to the touch. Over the winter I would maintain a decent clear look by throwing in a gallon of bleach here and there. Once spring came, I started the year with a good pH and Alkalinity, no chlorine, and no CYA (I've never ever done the CYA test and not been able to see the black dot at the bottom). Obviously I've just kind of been winging it, but it's time to get it under control and safe for consistent swimming.

    Test results this morning were:

    Chlorine Drop Test - No chlorine...did not turn pink after adding powder
    pH - 8.2
    Alk -70
    CYA - Could never not see the black dot

    I have the TF-100 kit and am at a loss as to what to do from here. Do I need to SLAM? I've never done this, as I don't think I have the correct test material for the OCLT. About 2 weeks ago I had a full blown algae bloom and added few bags of shock left over from our pool store days, which helped for a day or so, but then right back to no chlorine showing. Do I need Stabilizer? Do I continue to keep trying to vacuum the remaining junk up? I brush the pool almost every day and there is always a lot of stuff that moves around, but then it just settles back and I feel like it's a never ending cycle.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    ~22,000 Gallon Dark Plaster IG Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter - Sand replaced in 2013
    Breeze 540 SWG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    South Carolina, USA

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Pool rookie needs some help with murky water and not able to maintain chlorine

    Have you ever added CYA or measured a value >20?

    Adjust your pH to 7.2. Your pH may be even higher than 8.2 as that's the top limit of the test so fairly safe to add full amount of muriatic acid to target 7.2 in Pool Math. Wait til you get your pH to that number (you may have to do a few MA additions, testing), then add a few gallons of bleach, wait 30 minutes and test. Make sure you test for CC even if it doesn't turn pink after powder. You should test for CH as well as you have plaster.

    Read more Pool School. Then also read up on the SLAM procedure in your future.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
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    Re: Pool rookie needs some help with murky water and not able to maintain chlorine

    Welcome to the forum.

    You have what you need in the test kit to get your pool clear......no worries.

    Read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School....it's important to have working knowledge of the basics.

    Use PoolMath above to calculate all your dosages

    1. Drop your pH to 7.4 or so using muriatic acid

    2. Purchase CYA at HD, Lowe's, Walmart, etc. (it's also called stabilizer, cyanuric acid, etc) get enough to get your pool to 50 ppm----put in 1/2 of it so you will have 25 ppm to start.

    3. Start the SLAM process. You must follow the article to a T....it is not one dose.

    Ask lot's of questions....we'll all help.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool rookie needs some help with murky water and not able to maintain chlorine

    Awesome, thank you both for laying out some steps to start with. I'll purchase the muriatic acid and CYA tomorrow and get started...will probably be back in 2 or 3 days with more questions! Thanks!
    ~22,000 Gallon Dark Plaster IG Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter - Sand replaced in 2013
    Breeze 540 SWG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    South Carolina, USA

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