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Thread: Unable to see bottom...

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    Unable to see bottom...

    I have a 5k gal above ground with large cartridge filter and 2 stage pump (1hp & 2hp). I took a sample to Leslie (monday 9 june) for confirmation of my own results using a Taylor kit:

    Water very clear and bright
    ok Chlorine 1 & 1
    low pH 7.0
    low alkalinity 80
    OK Cyanuric 60
    low calcium hardness 70

    they provided additional tests
    High Phosphates 1000
    copper 1

    so they had me use metal free and it caused the water to turn slightly milky. Called them and the had me to add another 8 oz. Told me not to correct pH or Alkalinity and not to chlorinate until we got the copper out...this continue for 3 days, taking sample in each day getting the same copper readings...by now the chlorine went to 0. I called Natural Chemistry, the maker of Free Metal and they said that it was only a chelating agent and the copper readings would not change. I shared this with the tech at Leslie and he couldnt believe it.

    He had me to adjust my alkalinity with sodium bicarbonate and it is now 110, but the milkyness was still there.

    Yesterday, Shocked with 1/2# chlor bright (sodium diclolor s tra dih 99%) and oxidized with 1 #pool breeze (potassium monopersulfate 44.7%) and 1# Fresh'N'Clear (potassium peroxymonosulfate 38%) , and attempted to alter pH.... added 1.5 lbs sodium carbonate.....After 4 hours, no change to pH and no chlorine reading and still slightly milky, so they had me to add 4 oz Ultra Bright clarifier "blend of polymers" ....that did not do anything

    I used the other half of the 1lb bag and put to 3" tabs in the skimmer...and added another 1.5 lbs sodium carbonate

    This morning I had 3&3 (total and free), and pH of 7; took sample to Leslie's and they confirmed my own test readings

    Free&Total: 3
    Cyanuric: 60
    Alkalinity: 110
    pH still 7.0

    they also tested
    Hardines: now 120?
    Phosphates : now 500 ( but i think this diff is test strip reading variation)

    They had me to add an algae control (poly[oxyenthylend(dimethylimino)ethylent(dimethyliminio)ethylene dichloride] and that is when my pool went totally milky...cant see the bottom of pool, they also had me to add 2 lbs of sodium carbonate

    Now 4 hours later I have totally milky water with, ok alkanlinity, 7.0 pH and chlorine at 1 & 1


    Help

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Welcome to TFP!

    This is a classic example of why one should not listen to the typical pool store and should instead come here first, so glad you found us. If the Metal Free product the pool store had you use was Natural Chemistry® METALfree, then that product is an acrylic copolymer that is completely incompatible with the Polyquat algaecide they had you use. The METALfree is a long negatively charged molecule and the Polyquat is a long positively charged molecule and you probably remember what happens when you've got opposite charges next to each other -- they attract. So what you've done is create a cloudy precipitated mess.

    The good news is that this will filter out so run your filter 24/7 and it should clear on its own. Do NOT add anything else to the pool except that you need to raise your chlorine level higher. If you do not have a Taylor K-2006 test kit, then you need to get either that, or the TFTestkits TF-100, or if you have a Taylor K-2005 then supplement your Taylor kit with the TFTestkits FAS-DPD kit.

    With your CYA at 60 ppm, you do not want your FC level to get below 5 ppm otherwise algae can grow. Because you had copper in the pool before, that probably prevented algae growth, but you can use chlorine alone less expensively for preventing algae from growing.

    I'm assuming that the cloudiness is only from this chemical reaction and not from algae so I'm not going to have you SLAM the pool yet. Just get the chlorine at or above 5 ppm. If your pH is above 7.5, which it might be with the sodium carbonate you added, then lower it -- you can add the chlorine to get to, say, 8 ppm FC and then test the pH and if it's high then lower it to around 7.5 using Muriatic Acid.

    Unfortunately they got your Total Alkalinity (TA) higher and it was fine where it was initially, but that can be dealt with later. First and foremost, let's get circulation/filtration to clear your pool, get your chlorine up to prevent algae growth, and then we can tackle additional items later.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Thanks Chem Geek for the reply,

    Just to make sure I am clear....

    I need to get my FC at or slightly above 5ppm...is this a single event or do I keep it there regularly? and do i get up to that level using a superchlorlination method/product ?

    I dont think I understand the relationship with a CYA at 60 FC should be at least 5ppm...

    the pump has been running 24/7 for 4 days....

    I use a skimmer diper/sock very fine nylon mesh that is white, I just clean it and it was showing a slight green tint....algae?? or the copper (never had green show up before) and the copper is from an algaecide that I used before.

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    It's not a single event. 5 ppm FC is the MINIMUM FC you should have with your CYA level at 60 ppm in order for the chlorine to prevent algae growth. Right now, raise the FC higher so it won't drop below 5 ppm (well, keep reading because you should probably SLAM your pool). The relationship is that when CYA is present in the water, most chlorine is bound to it and is ineffective at killing algae (or bacteria). Only the unbound chlorine is "active". Roughly speaking, the unbound amount is related to the FC/CYA ratio so at higher CYA you need a higher FC to have the same effective chlorine strength to kill algae. The Chlorine / CYA Chart in the Pool School shows you this relationship.

    Start reading the Pool School and learn about using bleach or chlorinating liquid as your primary source of chlorine so that you don't continue to raise the CYA level. With your low CH level, Cal-Hypo would be another chlorine option at least for a while if you wanted/needed to do that.

    OK, if the pump has been running 24/7 for 4 days and it still isn't clear then maybe the cloudiness is now algae starting to grow. If that is the case, then you do indeed need to SLAM your pool to kill the algae. I'd lower the pH first to around 7.2 and then raise the FC to 24 ppm and hold it there by adding chlorine to maintain that level. If the pool starts to clear, then the remaining cloudiness was algae that started to grow.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    I think that the term "stabilizer" may have mislead my understanding of CYA. So why do use CYA... and is there a "cross over" point. Can you reduce the CYA to that level if there is such a point.

    I Just ordered the Taylor K2006.

    Tomorrow is father's day and I have 1 wife, 2 daughters, 1 son, 3 granddaughters, and 2 son-in-laws enroute to Pop's house....any advice on using the pool tomorrow??

    Thanks a million for your help--!!!

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    If you can't see the bottom of the pool, don't use it. Nothing you can really do to turn it from completely cloudy to clear overnight, but if you follow the advice you get here you will have a crystal clear pool for them to use next time.

    As for CYA, and all appropriate levels, those can be found right HERE. Information on what all the chemical and tested levels mean are also found in the Pool School. Grab your drink of choice and give it a read through, it will really help you understand what is going on with your pool and how to get it clear and keep it that way.

    And welcome to TFP
    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
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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Note that this poster has also posted in this thread at The PoolForum. Just so you have all the relevant info. Ben's advice of doing a drain/refill for this 5000 gallon pool may be the fastest way to a solution if this pool has poor bottom circulation.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Also, CYA and Stabilizer and Conditioner are all one in the same. They all do the same job and your FC has a very close relationship with the CYA. They work together, just like TA works with pH.

    Do NOT swim in a cloudy pool. It is down right dangerous. I would drain it and refill it if it were mine and start off with the TFPC. So sorry you were pool stored like that!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Double Post....Bottom

    Thanks chem geek

    I was so "gun shy" that I actually wanted multiple inputs and quickest response possible so I posted on two sites; I posted over there before you had responded.

    I have a ClearWater II 2hp (they have 1.5 on current models??) two speed with 125 sq ft filtration area cartridge (10-15 micron) that is now 1yr 1 week old. I have used filter cleaner twice (last time 5 days ago--you guessed at the recommendation of the pool store).

    I had been running the pump motor on high rpm and that creates water movement around 6-8 mph hour....timed my duck dispenser making laps around the circumference...I wouldn't bet my life on my calculations/measurement/timing , but the water is moving fast and strong....it moves me just about the same speed as my duck.....it creates a whirl-pooling effect-- where all debris ends up in a neat tight spot on the bottom. I am convinced that the circulation is not an issue, but maybe the filter bypass is an issue at high rpm/pressure.

    The good news is that I can see the pool bottom this AM. Still very cloudy/milky but significantly improved. The only difference is 18 hours of filtering and using low speed. Just to re-baseline the initial cloudy (slight cloudiness -a 2 on a scale of 0-10 if yesterday was a 10)...was noticed about 18 hrs after adding the Metal Free.....stayed that level for 2 days until the algae control was added, and almost immediately went to a 10 (cant see bottom).. pump was on high during the entire time. So now about 18 hours after reaching a 10 the pool is at 5-7 cloudiness...I can see the outline of sml leaves on the bottom but not color or distinctive shape of the leave.

    The filter pressure at low rpm is 3 psi and hasn't changed...what ever the particles are, they are very very small....btw the normal pressure at high rpm is 13-14 psi and has only increased 1-2 psi from brand new pump,motor and filter. My current "guess" is if I have bypassing it is normal for the design/quality of the system and well within reasonable expectations. But I may have a "worn" filter, but visual inspection does not show any cracks or openings in the creases but does show some discoloration on the sidewalls which I have assumed to be expected after filtering.

    I tested FAC and pH this morning.....FAC = 8 (down from 11-12 yesterday afternoon) and pH was 7.2 right after I add the red phen...but then after letting it set 3-4 minutes it read 7.8ish....does that happen with pH.? (btw I understand that the pH test should be done after FAC is in normal range)

    ..I have not SLAMed...went with your initial advice: do not do anything more .....

    Cant find my post from yesterday??

    Topics merged. JasonLion

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    I am getting so much conflicting advice.....The Above Ground Pro guys says under no conditions should you drain your above ground vinyl lined pool.....it will shrink and never properly function; it most likely tear at the seam or cave the top of metal as the vinyl pulls down......

    SO FRUSTRATED

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    just cleaned filter and it has a green color that I cant wash off

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    See How to clean a cartridge filter. Though you could probably wait to get rid of the green color later.

    As for water replacement, there are ways of doing that without damage. First, one can do multiple partial drain/refills. Second, one can turn off circulation and drain from the surface at one end while filling in with water at the bottom of the other end. Third, one can use the plastic sheet or tarp method where one puts a large sheet over the pool (large enough so that it could line the pool and still be over the edge) and removes water from underneath while putting in fresh water on top having the tarp move down until it reaches the bottom after which you remove it. However, since running your pump at lower speed seems to be clearing the pool, you could wait to see how that goes.

    Since you seem to be clearing better at lower speed, your pump may be oversized for your filter and it may have been blowing through particles, but maybe has created tears/holes in the filter. A 2 HP pump sounds pretty huge (HP alone isn't a consistent indicator, however) especially for your smaller pool. Before I got my variable speed pump, I has a 1 HP pump for my 16,000 gallon pool.

    How many returns do you have in the pool? Is it just one return and one skimmer? If the water flow out of the return just moves the water in a circle, then that does NOT clear the bottom of the pool. You have to point the return diagonally DOWNWARDS in order to stir up water at the bottom of the pool. Otherwise, you are just filtering water closer to the surface.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    is it normal to have the pH climb after setting in tube for 3-4 minutes? and I have pointed the eyeball down to make sure that there is max agitation and put the "creepy crawler" in for suction from bottom...will alternate every hour or so.

    What is your best guess or science that explains the original slight cloudiness/milkiness we encountered after the addition of the Free Metal product....Looks like the pool is about back to that condition after kicking off the algae control total cloudy/milky condition.

    I have reached cognitive disequilibrium....I am not sure now what I am supposed to be doing if anything....FAC is still at 8; down from yesterday's high of 11-12

    thank you for the time you spend trying to help us...

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Quote Originally Posted by 7Iron View Post
    is it normal to have the pH climb after setting in tube for 3-4 minutes?
    The pH can climb if carbon dioxide outgases from the water sample. Usually that would be seen when the TA is very high, not so much with your TA level unless the water was getting agitated. At any rate, you measure the pH right away after adding the drops. You don't wait. Another factor is that chlorine can oxidize the pH reagent making it turn purple. That happens when the FC is high and with CYA in the water this process can be slow so perhaps that is what you are seeing. Again, just don't wait before measuring the pH.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7Iron View Post
    What is your best guess or science that explains the original slight cloudiness/milkiness we encountered after the addition of the Free Metal product....Looks like the pool is about back to that condition after kicking off the algae control total cloudy/milky condition.
    Overuse of metal sequestrants, just like overuse of clarifiers, can cause cloudiness. See HEDP Overdose and Clouding, Slightly Cloudy Water, Pool Stain Treatment cloudiness cure?, and Major chemical setback with Water Clarifier where the latter had the combination of a polymeric metal sequestrant with a polymeric clarifier/algicide. So you aren't the first one to be going through this. Polymer (long chain) chemicals have a saturation limit so if you overdose they can become visible and of course some combinations of such chemicals are incompatible as you found out. That's the main reason that the philosophy of water care on this forum is to use the minimal amount of chemicals necessary. It is the exact opposite approach of most pool stores that want you to use algicides, phosphate removers, clarifiers, flocculants, metal sequestrants, enzymes, etc.

    Part of the reason people are suggesting replacing a good deal of the water is that you have put so much junk in your pool it's hard to know what's really in there and whether it can be readily removed. Also, 5000 gallons is an amount that isn't exorbitant unless water prices are very high in your area. Nevertheless, since your slower pump speed does seem to be allowing the filter to better clear the pool and your return and creepy crawler are agitating the deeper water to help get it filtered, you could see how clear this gets this way. As a bonus, your pump electricity cost will be much lower running at the lower speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7Iron View Post
    I have reached cognitive disequilibrium....I am not sure now what I am supposed to be doing if anything....FAC is still at 8; down from yesterday's high of 11-12
    As for your FC level, you don't want it to drop below 5 ppm. I'd keep it on the higher side until things clear up. It doesn't sound like you've got algae, but you could Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) which would let you know if you've got things to oxidize in your pool water (algae, chemicals). If you have more than 0.5 ppm FC overnight loss (since you aren't at SLAM level your loss should be lower), then you could SLAM the pool to accelerate getting rid of whatever is consuming chlorine (if you decide to SLAM your pool, lower the pH to 7.2 first).

    The most important thing is to not add anything else to the pool except chlorinating liquid or bleach (do NOT use Trichlor or Dichlor) to keep its level above the minimum and any pH adjustment chemicals such as Muriatic Acid to keep the pH from getting too high (keep it from getting above 7.8). Patience is the best prescription at this point. The previous time adding chemicals and having the pump on high you can just write off and put it behind you.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    I think I have it....do not raise the CYA any higher...keep FAC at least 5 and maybe a little higher, continue 24/7 filter to see if the cloudiness goes away in a day or two....if not come back here and yell HELP...

    The pool is now a 1-2 on my cloudiness scale...10 being yesterday when I couldn't see the bottom and 0 is where it has been for a year (except one flair up of algae...and I used a copper based algaecide--)

    It rains in Mobile often and heavy...so within the week I will have 2-3 inches of rain water to drain and when I do I will let it drain to the bottom of the skimmer and refill to maximize the diluting benefit ---(should lower my CYA and then I can lower my FAC).... and then I will come back here and yell HELP...

    No more pool store advice....even if it is solid..

    thanks for the help
    PS my k2006 wont be here until Tues..so I will wait for it to perform the OCLT....apparently my k2005 doesn't have the fidelity needed.

    My phosphates is some where between 500-1000...do I care (I don't right now) and if so what will I do after everything else is stable

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Quote Originally Posted by 7Iron View Post
    I think I have it....do not raise the CYA any higher...keep FAC at least 5 and maybe a little higher, continue 24/7 filter to see if the cloudiness goes away in a day or two....if not come back here and yell HELP...
    :
    PS my k2006 wont be here until Tues..so I will wait for it to perform the OCLT....apparently my k2005 doesn't have the fidelity needed.

    My phosphates is some where between 500-1000...do I care (I don't right now) and if so what will I do after everything else is stable
    Yes, you've got it. And yes, you need the K-2006 (or TF-100) to do the OCLT since it will require accuracy.

    Don't worry about the phosphates. As long as you keep your FC at or above the minimum for your CYA level, then chlorine will kill algae faster than it can grow.

    As for your CYA level, you don't want that to get too low because you'll lose more chlorine as a result. Even though it's counter-intuitive, a higher CYA level with a proportionally higher FC level actually loses less absolute amount of chlorine. This is due to the fact that the unbound chlorine amount that breaks down in sunlight is related to the FC/CYA ratio which isn't changing and the higher CYA apparently shields lower depths from the UV of sunlight (at least that's what we think is happening, but we're not sure). Usually 50 ppm CYA is reasonable for pools exposed to sunlight, but in very sunny hot areas a higher CYA level may be more appropriate, but not more than 80 ppm as the risk gets too high if one does get algae and needs to SLAM.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    The pool is clear this AM.

    The FAC is 6ish; using the K2005 and half of the beaker with pool water (4.5ml) and filling to the 9ml level with tap water I get 3ppm . (using a full 9ml of pool water is above the 5ppm color)

    The pH is 7.1/7.2, so I think that I need to increase using sodium carbonate....but do I wait until FAC has been reduced to 5ppm and then test and adjust?>

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    If I understand the "pool math" I would need ~9oz of sodium carbonate (soda ash) or ~19oz of 20 Team (borate) to achieve 7.6/7.8 pH. But the ash would raise my already high TA by 13ppm and the borate would raise the TA by only 7 ppm.

    What is the downside of introducing 1.5ppm of borate to my pool.....?

  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Pretty much none.
    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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  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Unable to see bottom...

    Congratulations on getting the water clear! So it would appear that your pump is oversized and you should instead run it on its slower speed. At high speed, it apparently blows through material through your cartridge filter and that isn't good. Keep your return pointed diagonally downward to ensure good bottom circulation. The main downside is that you might not get the best skimming action but that's the tradeoff having only a single return and skimmer and not having anything for bottom circulation in the pool.

    You could also just aerate the water to raise the pH with no change in TA. If you use chlorinating liquid or bleach, the pH will likely slowly rise over time so you don't have to worry so much about the 7.1/7.2 pH at this point. Personally, I'd leave it alone and see what happens over time. If the pH doesn't rise, then you can always add some Borax to raise it, but even Borax will raise the TA some -- just half as much as sodium carbonate.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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