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Thread: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

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    Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Greetings from sunny Singapore!

    I chanced upon TFP while scouring the web for the possible causes and solutions to my hazy pool issue, and I must say, it's been very informative and useful in terms on pool maintenance and issues. Having tried a few options out (after quite some research), I've decided to post my questions to this forum to hopefully find something more definitive, in terms of possible causes and solutions.

    We get year round sunshine in Singapore, so our swim season all year long. So it's almost of "full time" job to keep the pool clean and running well. We've had the pool for >20 years now, and had recently (> 3 years ago) changed the DE filter system to a sand filter system, and re-tiled the pool. Since then, the pool has been running nicely, but we've never been able to get the water to "sparkling" quality (like we did when we had the DE filtration system). For a few months now, we've been trying ways and means to get that clear water quality - ie rebalancing the water chemistry, adding Alum (with Soda Ash) to the sand filters (supposed to improve filtration of minute particles), brushing, increasing filter pump activity (24+ hrs), vacuuming every other day - stopping short of completely replacing the water in the pool.

    The water is of a hazy quality, we can see the bottom in the day, but it's not truly clear. The turbidity is more apparent at night when the pool lights come on. Below are the readouts from the pool chemistry test I just did today:

    FC - 2ppm
    TC - 2ppm
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 80ppm
    Water Hardness (at least this is what it's called in the test kit) - 200ppm
    CYA - 60ppm

    We just added about 3lbs of Sodium Bicarbonate last weekend to raise the TA (which was at 70ppm). Based on the PoolMath calculator, I need to add an additional 4lbs of Sodium Bicarb to get my TA to 100ppm. Will doing this improve with the haziness of the water quality? I had avoided adding the full 7lbs simply because there appears to be a little bit of a light white coating on the tiles on the top of the pool edge when they are dry in between pump activity. I'm not sure if adding more Sodium Bicarb would exacerbate this.

    Is it possible to determine what the cause of the water haziness? I've been told (by the local pool "experts") that it might be Calcium Chloride precipitation due to the Chlorine we use (had previously used Cl granules (trichlor) to maintain the FC levels, and now it's mostly Cl tablets); another reason is that the sand filter is not filtering everything, so we added Alum (aluminum sulphate) to hopefully increase the efficiency. I just read about adding DE to sand filters, is this more effective than Alum? I've also held off adding a pool clarifier, as I'm not a fan of adding unnecessary chemicals to the water. Other reasons for haziness include dead algae, or too much sodium bicarb, too much CYA etc.

    Would greatly appreciate any advice you might have in terms of the possible causes of the haziness of the water quality, and what I can do to solve it? Am at a loss, as I'm getting pretty confused :P

    Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you
    15.7K gal, Outdoor IG Tile, 1.5HP Challenger Pump, Sand Filter (Aster 99, 20-inch diameter), overflow pool with balancing tank, Pentair Pro-11 Test Kit

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Lyn, Welcome to TFP.

    If you can get a TF100 or K2006, do so. The TF100 is a better deal but of you can't get it go with the K2006. You can look at them here Test Kit Comparison.


    I would recommend you read these educational links found in Pool School:

    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Chlorine CYA Chart

    The very super short answer to your problem is lack of chlorine. Your use of trichlor is driving your chlorine demand up, up and away. Please read these links to fully understand what it is, I just said. Any questions, just ask.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Hi Casey

    Thank you for your speedy reply. I had read the links you provided before posting, but I had some questions pertaining to some of the info in those links. First, is the use of granulated and/or tablet chlorine not recommended? Should I be getting liquid chlorine instead? Is there a way to use what I already have (granules and tablets) to maintain my FC levels without affecting pool clarity?

    Secondly, for the Cl-CYA ratio, with my CYA at 60ppm, the table indicates that I need a minimum of 5ppm FC (that's a whole lot of chlorine!). Does this mean that the solution for this is to lower the CYA ppm? And based on the PoolMath calculator, to bring the CYA down to 40ppm would mean changing out 33% of my pool water with new water.

    Third, will adding Alum or DE to the sand filter help to filter out the particles in the water causing the haziness? Should it be Alum or DE? (We just threw out our remaining DE :P )

    Thanks again!

    Lyn
    15.7K gal, Outdoor IG Tile, 1.5HP Challenger Pump, Sand Filter (Aster 99, 20-inch diameter), overflow pool with balancing tank, Pentair Pro-11 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    It looks like you have read and understand the CL-CYA ratio. You are right in that you need a MINIMUM of 5ppm FC with at CYA of 60. With you having so much sun it is up to you if you want to lower your CYA (by draining water). I keep mine at 40 to give me wiggle room when we go out of town and use tablets.

    Yes you should be using plain ole bleach/chlorine. Anything else adds MORE CYA to your water. The higher you CYA the more chlorine you will need to get your pool clear.

    I also have a sand filter as do many of the members of TFP. It is suggested to add DE to the sand to help get the final bit of stuff out of the water. It sounds like you would be a good candidate for this. I have not heard of Alum so cannot speak to that.

    You can save the other products you have for when you go out of town and cannot add the daily dose of chlorine.

    I see you have the pentair Pro-11 test kit. At least you are not relying of the a pool store. I will tell you that I like the TF100 better due to the fact it can test over 10 FC. My siggy has a link to the test comparison.

    Good luck clearing up your pool. I bet with the use of chlorine it will be clear in a short while!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Hi Kim

    Thank you for clarify the questions I had.

    On the issue of CYA level, I was hoping to bring the level of CYA down to about 40ppm just so that I don't have to keep my FC level at such a high level. Am assuming that with a lower CYA, lesser FC (and less $$) is needed to maintain a suitable FC level, in the light of the year-long sunny tropical weather. Please correct me if this is wrong

    In terms of chlorine, I've only ever used the solid (granules and tablet) forms to chlorinate the pool, so using store-bought bleach will be a whole new experience for me :P I'll have to check the local supermarkets to see if there are generic/local liquid bleach (5-6%) that can be used. Is liquid chlorine something that pool supply stores would normally carry?

    Secondly, just out of curiosity, would anyone have an idea as to what exactly is the particle that is causing the haziness of the pool? Is is precipitated calcium or CYA or just plain ol' sodium bicarb or something?

    And finally, on my earlier question about adding more Sodium Bicarb to bring the TA of my pool to 100ppm (which is the recommended amount when trichlor tablets are used -> http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels), should I continue to try to up my TA to 100ppm (or what is the recommended level for my situation)? Will adding Sodium Bicarb add to the haziness of the water? And should I get the chlorine levels up first (to solve the haziness issue) and then work on the TA, or vice versa, or it doesn't matter?

    Thanks heaps again

    Lyn
    15.7K gal, Outdoor IG Tile, 1.5HP Challenger Pump, Sand Filter (Aster 99, 20-inch diameter), overflow pool with balancing tank, Pentair Pro-11 Test Kit

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Lyn,

    I'm surprised you went from a DE filter to a sand filter. I'm not trying to be a filter snob, but sand filters underperform on particulate size filtration.

    Your hazy pool water could be particulates of almost anything including the new sand in your sand filter. Adding DE to your sand filter can help and others have posted the link for that.

    I would definitely hold off on adding anymore Alum. Yes it's marketed as a flocculant that is "supposed" to increase filtration but I've never seen anyone here post definitive results that show that to be true.

    Pool stores do sell liquid chlorine typically at 10% or 12.5% concentration but you should compare that to local laundry bleach (no scents or additives) to see if it's a good deal. Calculate as price divided by (volume X %) to compare.



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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    I hope this helps:

    -You are correct! Lower CYA (40ppm is where I keep mine here in sunny Florida) will mean less FC needed to clear the pool and to keep it clear from here on. Mine is so clear I can tell if the a coin is heads or tails!


    -See what was said above about chlorine/bleach.



    -Not sure WHAT it is other than yuck! It should clear up with a good SLAM (see siggy below). I will tell you that once it looks clear during the day you might still be able to see some "stuff" at night with the light on. NO water is without something in it.



    -work on the high CYA then move to the SLAM. The other things should be worked on once your pool is clear

    -Good luck! You can clear up your pool! Let us know what else you need.


    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    R.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Your TA is fine, I'd leave it right where it is.
    18 x 48 Intex Ultra Frame
    2500 gph cartridge filter
    Intex SWG

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Thanks so much Kim, SunnyOptimism and RJ for your advice and help.

    It's really interesting to see how different pool experts in different countries provide advice and solutions to the same problems - e.g. no one has heard of adding DE to sand filters (which I'm planning to do) in Singapore, they only add Alum; adding liquid chlorine or store bought "no goo" bleach (which I'm also going to try) is gasp-worthy, as they use mainly Trichlor and Calcium Hypochlor to maintain the chlorine levels here.

    Will set out to try to dilute the pool with fresh tap water (which is not hard water) early next week and hopefully this will help solve my haze issues. Thanks again and have a great weekend!

    Lyn
    15.7K gal, Outdoor IG Tile, 1.5HP Challenger Pump, Sand Filter (Aster 99, 20-inch diameter), overflow pool with balancing tank, Pentair Pro-11 Test Kit

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Got started on the water replacement n SLAM process.

    Took out and replaced about 1/3 of the water as recommended by the PoolMath Calculator to drop the CYA level to 40ppm. Added in about 16 litres of Chlorox (4x4.2 qt bottles) to takr the pool to the recommended Shock level about 15ppm of FC, with hopefully a CYA level of 40ppm. And scraped n removed as much organic matter and algae from the overflow drains.

    Woke up this morning to a nice sparkling blue pool! Water is clear and I'm hoping it will get to the sparkling state sometime soon 😃 will vacuum the pool in the evening, but managed ti get a quick test on the levels in this morning:

    FC - >10ppm (test kit only measures till 10ppm. The recommended TF kit is not available in Singapore, so I'll have to guess-timate the FC levels above 10ppm)
    TC - >10ppm (Not testable with kit)
    pH - 7.7 (taken with 3 drops of Chlorine neutraliser)
    TA - 80ppm
    Water Hardness - 150ppm
    CYA - 35-40ppm (YEAH! &#128516

    Is it normal for the pH to increase during a SLAM? Since it looks like the water quality is good, I guess I'll just wait till the FC levels drops some more till within the DPD #1 range to determine if I have any CC. Appreciate any advice or guidance, especially if I'm headed in the wrong direction.

    Thanks heaps again!

    Lyn

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    pH reads artificially high when FC >10, I won't be too worried.

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    Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Lyn,

    Is there no local source of the DPD-FAS test? It is really critical that you measure your FC accurately.

    pH will temporarily rise due to the alkaline nature of bleach. However, AbigailK is correct, the pH indicator solutions don't work properly when the FC is above 10ppm. That is why the SLAM process starts off with lowering your pH as the first step.

    For FC, you could try diluting your pool water with distilled water (sometimes sold in the infant section of stores for mixing dry baby formula). Then multiply your results by the dilution factor (1:1 means you multiply by 2, etc). The results are less accurate with dilution but you really NEED to know that FC/CC number or else you are flying blind.

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Thanks SunnyOptimis., will give your FC testing suggestion a try.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Been trying to guess-timate the FC levels and it's not easy without a FAS-DPD kit. Tried looking on Amazon and other pool supplies site for just as FAS-DPD kit, specifically the Taylor K-1515 A or C (since I already have a pro kit from Pentair), most (if not all) do not deliver to Singapore. And the LaMotte version will cost me US$100+ for a set to be delivered in 2-3 weeks! :'(

    Not to be deterred, I've just added another 3 bottles (4qt bottles) to the pool to raise the FC to SLAM levels again, as it had dropped to about 5ppm by Fri (started first SLAM last Sat with a FC level of 16ppm). Hopefully this round will knock out the remaining algae bits in the pool. The water had been nice and clear until my last brush and vacuum on Thurs.

    Also, need advice on what to do cos I added too much DE to my sand filter (really stupid noob error) and the pressure is crazy high. Been backwashing-rinse-filter-repeat like crazy, but the pressure drop is painfully slow Help! Is backwashing repeatedly my only solution or have I busted my sand filter?

    Lyn
    15.7K gal, Outdoor IG Tile, 1.5HP Challenger Pump, Sand Filter (Aster 99, 20-inch diameter), overflow pool with balancing tank, Pentair Pro-11 Test Kit

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    Re: Hazy about Solutions to a Hazy Pool... :(

    Best to do a deep clean of the filter. There is a tutorial about it. Pretty easy, and very effective.
    the link:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-a-Sand-Filter
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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