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Thread: New Pool - cloudy water after adding sodium bicarbonate

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    pm7600's Avatar
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    New Pool - cloudy water after adding sodium bicarbonate

    Hello, and first - thanks to everyone for all the great info on this site! I'm very happy to be a part of this. I've researched this a lot on this site, and haven't been able to find any clear information on why my pool water has gotten cloudy.

    We just got the pool (12x24 oval AG) filled with water for the first time on 07/01/14. We then put in 2 small bags of gravel that had been previously used in a pool, to hold down the base of the ladder that we have inside the pool.

    The sequence of what happened is: I had been adding 8.25% bleach as the sanitizer, but hadn't added any stabilizer yet. I had been checking the pH and FC levels as I was going along the first day. I began adding baking soda/sodium bicarbonate to the skimmer to start to raise TA, and within about a minute, the water coming back to the pool from the return was milky-looking. I presumed that it was just some fine particulate, but over the course of about an hour, the entire pool had clouded up.

    Readings at the time of my adding baking soda:

    FC 3
    TA 10
    pH6.8
    CH 25
    CYA 0

    I have removed the gravel bags, which had a good amount of brown, silty water coming from them when I pulled them out, and have been letting the pump run continuously. I performed an OCLT with 0 loss. I've begun adding CYA at this time, the filter pressure has been unchanged since startup, and my current readings are:

    FC 5.5
    TA 100
    pH 7.2-7.4
    CH 25
    CYA <20

    My assumption is that the cloudiness has something to do with the gravel bags, although I'm not sure why the water clouded immediately after adding the sodium bicarbonate. If this is just dirt/silt, will it just clear on it's own? I have a robo vacuum that I have just started using, but haven't hooked it up today. The liner isn't gritty or slimy at all, and the water feels fine, just looks crappy.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    7700 Gallon, 24x12 oval AG pool; Doughboy "AquaView" 20" sand filter.; Doughboy "Powerline XP" single speed 1HP pump; "Aquabug" robotic vaccum; Installed 6/30/14; TF-100 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool - cloudy water after adding sodium bicarbonate

    Welcome to TFP!

    What kit/store are you using for water testing? And how confident are you of that CH test result? What you describe would make total sense if CH was actually over 400, but seems very unlikely with CH at 25.
    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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    pm7600's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool - cloudy water after adding sodium bicarbonate

    Thanks for the quick reply. I'm using the TF-100 kit, and Salem, Oregon, where I live has very soft water. I've had a spa in the past with similar readings before adding any calcium. I repeated the CH test just now, and got 25 again (1 drop of R-0012 reagent to change sample from red to blue). I have not added any calcium at this time.
    7700 Gallon, 24x12 oval AG pool; Doughboy "AquaView" 20" sand filter.; Doughboy "Powerline XP" single speed 1HP pump; "Aquabug" robotic vaccum; Installed 6/30/14; TF-100 test kit

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    pm7600's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool - cloudy water after adding sodium bicarbonate

    I backflushed the filter yesterday and will recheck when I get home from work this morning. I'm thinking about going ahead and shocking if I don't see any improvement - would that be recommended? I'm running the filter continuously, and my most recent numbers are:

    FC: 6
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 100
    CYA: 30
    CH: 25

    Thanks
    7700 Gallon, 24x12 oval AG pool; Doughboy "AquaView" 20" sand filter.; Doughboy "Powerline XP" single speed 1HP pump; "Aquabug" robotic vaccum; Installed 6/30/14; TF-100 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool - cloudy water after adding sodium bicarbonate

    It seems like you aren't having any problem maintaining an FC level, so SLAMing is probably not called for. It would be good to do an overnight FC loss test to be sure, but I doubt that is really the issue. If you have been having trouble maintaining your FC level then ignore this and SLAM away.

    How has your filter been behaving? Does the pressure go up more quickly than normal? Or to put that another way, is the filter slowly clearing away the cloudiness, or does it seem to be staying exactly the same despite filtering?
    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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