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Thread: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

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    Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Hello everyone, this is my first post. A couple months ago my girlfriend and I were offered by her parents to rent their old house that has a 25K gallon pool. It took some time but we just now got in here. I have been researching everything I can about pool maintenance, which is how I came across the BBB method. I had unfortunately forgotten about it when we took a sample of our water to the pool store on Saturday and they roped me into buying about $50 worth of extra chemicals. The pool has a sand filter that I can't identify because the labels have all been worn off. The pressure gauge reads 10 PSI and I think my girlfriends father said the "recently backwashed pressure" was about 8 PSI. I guess the best way to do this would be to break down what's been done over the past few days.

    Thursday - Girlfriends father added 2 gallons of liquid chlorine (12.5%) to algae infested pool.

    Thursday evening - Pool blue and cloudy. Brushed and vacuumed pool and left the pump running all day and all night. Pump automatically shuts off at 4AM.

    Friday - Pool still cloudy; turned the pump on around 9AM. Brushed and vacuumed and left the pump running all day and night until auto shutoff at 4AM.

    Saturday - Woke up and pool was still cloudy but much clearer; turned pump on around 9AM. Went to the pool store and purchased 4 pounds of CHLOR-BRITE and various other chemicals to clear up the cloudiness. A few minutes after we got home I remembered reading about the BBB method and that essentially you shouldn't be putting anything other than chlorine in the pool to clear it up. I decided to just call it a loss on the other chemicals we bought and not use them, so I just put in the four bags of CHLOR-BRITE. FC level jumped above 10 and killed all remaining algae. Left pool running all day and night again until it shut itself off at 4AM.

    Sunday - Woke up to a mostly clear pool and turned on the pump around 8:30 AM. There was still some slight cloudiness left but after about 4 or 5 hours it was completely clear. I checked the chemicals and everything was in a good range and the chlorine was at about 6 or 7 ppm.

    Sunday evening - FC levels at about 5 and pool completely clear. I got in and scrubbed down the whole pool with the wire brush and it was looking amazing. I went to bed and the pool was still looking great. Pump automatically shut off at 4 AM.

    Monday morning (today) - Woke up to a completely clear and beautiful pool. Checked chemical levels and everything looks good, but chlorine is a bit on the low side 2 - 2.5 PPM FC. Today was the day to get the BBB method into action! Around 11:30AM I went around and turned the pump on. Upon walking back around the pool I could see that the water was turning cloudy from the water from the fountain and aerator. My girlfriends father came over for something and took a look at the pool. His response was to dump 3 gallons of my liquid chlorine (12.5%) into the pool. I told him that it was perfectly clear last night and this morning before turning the pump on, but his reaction is to always dump chlorine in no matter the problem.

    I just looked at the pool and it's definitely not getting any worse, and it might be slightly better.

    So that is where I am at now. Could this be a problem with the filter? I don't want to just shock the pool if it's going to do the same thing the next time I turn the pump on.

    Sorry, I know this was long but I wanted to be thorough. Thanks in advance!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Since you are new, please take a look at the ABCs of Water Chemistry so we can talk the same language.

    Your pool may be a little better, but I am sure there is still algae in the pool. You need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process to eradicate everything in the pool (her father is almost correct). You should leave the pump running 24/7 while clearing up the pool.
    What test kit are you using? You will need one of the Recommended Test Kits to understand the pool and what it needs.

    What kind of filter? Have you cleaned it? What is the pressure? What is the clean pressure?

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you in the future.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    That's just some expensive dichlor shock. You're much better off using dad's liquid chlorine. The dichlor adds cya which may or may nor be a problem for your pool. You really need a good test kit to wean yourself from the pool store. Most of your chemical requirements can be purchased for less than what you'll find leslies wants to sell you them for. You'll want to use the lowest cost per calculated oz of liquid chlorine. Regular 8.25% unscented bleach for chlorine, 20 Mule team borax to raise pH, baking soda to raise TA, and Stabilizer/cya can all be bought at Walmart at decent prices. None of which you'll be able to deploy effectively without a good kit. We recommend either the tf-100 of the Taylor k-2006, which can be found at tftestkits.net. This will pay for itself in just one or two trips to Leslies to get your "free" water test done and purchasing all the chemicals they'll tell you have to put in your pool that of course you have to buy right now or all your water will turn inside out and your cats and dogs will die etc etc. Jk But you already have had that experience?
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Ah thank you, those are excellent resources. I've added the 3 gallons to the pool, but I do not have a test kit capable of a FAS-DPD chlorine test (yet). I planned on ordering one tonight at midnight from Amazon when my paycheck clears (Taylor K-2006). Right now I am just using 5-way test strips from Leslies.

    As I said in my post, unfortunately I have no idea what filter I have. I can definitely read PAC-FAB on the side, and "T" something at the top, like "TP" or "TR", but then the rest is cutoff. After looking on this website: http://www.pentairpool.com/products/...ilters-183.htm, this seems to be the one, and the name "Triton" confirms the "TR" I am seeing.

    My girlfriends father said it was recently backwashed and that the pressure rests at about 8 PSI after backwashing. It's currently at 9 or 10.

    Thanks for all of the advice, I will order that test kit tonight and until then keep the chlorine level high. I will also go update my signature.

    Thanks again!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    I would recommend the TF-100 kit ... order from poolsupplyworld.com and you will get it faster than from tftestkits.net. The K-2006 does not come with enough of some of the reagents and you will require you to order refills very soon.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Ok, thank you everyone for your responses. I ordered the TF-100 kit this morning from poolsupplyworld.com. I noticed that the refills for the TF-100 are cheaper as well from tftestkits.

    I turned on the pump this morning and it shot out some cloudy water again but not nearly as much. I poured another 2 gallons in after I tested and noticed the free chlorine had dropped to around 5 or 6 ppm. It is at about 9 or 10 ppm right now about 12 hours after adding the chlorine. I am going to add another 2 gallons tonight and go pick up another 4 gallons tomorrow from the store.

    Without a proper test kit I am just going to have to keep the chlorine level up and when the cloudiness stops coming out of the filter when I first turn it on, I will do the overnight chlorine test with my strips.

    Thanks again everyone for your help. I will update again soon; hopefully when I see no more cloudiness.
    25K Gallon, IG Pebble, Triton or Triton 2 sand filter, Barracuda G3 suction cleaner, TF100

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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    The longer this goes on, the more I think this is a problem with the filter. It occurs every time the filter has sat overnight 5 or 6+ hours. If I turn the filter off for 30 minutes then turn it back on, nothing comes out of the returns, but if I let it set a bit the returns gargle and shoot out bubbles then shoot out a greyish brown material for about 25 seconds. I'd say within a minute the air and this "mystery material" stop coming out and it dissipates into the water turning the water cloudy. After a couple hours most of the material very visually settles on the bottom and the water clears up. After a few hours it's very easy to see where the vacuum has gone because it leaves little clean paths along the bottom.

    Last night I had the idea that maybe the pressure was so high it was shooting out the dirt from the filter. My setup has three knobs on it, 1 for the aerator, 1 for the fountain, and 1 that seems to control the pressure. I turned the pressure knob to about 1/3 of "all the way on", but this morning it still shot out this material. There is definitely less pressure though because I stuck my hand next to the return and it's a lot softer than it was previously.

    My TF-100 is still shipping (the tracker says it is still processing actually) so I can't do a proper overnight chlorine loss test, but with my test strips it looks like the chlorine level hardly drops at all overnight.


    Does anyone have any ideas or theories? Maybe air is somehow getting into the filter overnight and when the pump is pushing it out it forces dirt with it?
    25K Gallon, IG Pebble, Triton or Triton 2 sand filter, Barracuda G3 suction cleaner, TF100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Sounds like there is a leak somewhere that lets the water drain out of the filter overnight. Then when it turns one, all the air and dirt is somehow pushed out.

    Do you see any water coming out anywhere? Do you see any air in the pump basket after priming?
    Can you hear air gurgling in when you turn the pump off?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    As a matter of fact, I do see water coming THROUGH the fiberglass. I just noticed water coming from the top of the filter like it was leaking from the top cap with the pressure gauge on it. I checked the o-ring and everything looked normal so I stood there and watched after I turned it on. This sounds weird, but the water seems to be coming through the fiberglass.

    I haven't ever primed the pump to be honest. I didn't realize that was something I had to do until just now when I looked it up. I can say that when I first turn it on there is air in the pump basket, but it seems to work itself out fairly quickly for the most part. There is one large bubble left at the top that never seems to go away.

    There is definitely gurgling from the filter and pump and the return jets when I first turn it on. After about a minute it stops though and I don't really see any more bubbles. Your message prompted a closer look though and I just noticed I can hear a consistent gurgling from the automatic cleaners filter basket (at the skimmer). I can even see little air bubbles being introduced in. I assume that means my hose has a hole in it.

    Do you think air being introduced into the filter could cause all that material to pump out when I first turn the pump on? The material shooting out does seem to happen along side the air, and when the air stops the material stops coming out. The fiberglass "leaking" kind of concerns me. It's definitely not from any connection and it is not just in one spot. The filter looks like a cup that's "sweating".

    Thanks for your fast response jblizzle!
    25K Gallon, IG Pebble, Triton or Triton 2 sand filter, Barracuda G3 suction cleaner, TF100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    So, once the pump is basically full of water, it is primed (it should prime itself like you are seeing). But, it should not empty when the pump is off unless air is allowed into the system somewhere when the pump is off.

    If air is being sucked in to the pump (from the hose) then that could accumulate in the filter and be compressed. When the pump turns off, this would push the water backward through the filter back to the pump. That is one issue.

    The other is that apparently your filter is leaking. And if water can get out, then usually air can be pulled in when the pump is off. If it is coming through the filter body, that is not good and may point to the need for a new filter.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Yes that is very worrying. I am thinking now that maybe it is coming from the top connection where the gauge is. It's very hard to tell because of the fiberglass casing which absorbs water and makes it hard to find the source. I guess for now I should focus on getting a new hose and a new o-ring for the top connection. The o-ring currently on there looks fine but is a little squished so maybe a new one would help. If that doesn't resolve anything I guess the next step would be to call an expert over to check exactly what is wrong and then maybe start looking at new filters.

    I think it may also be a good time to backwash. I was reading in the pool school that a clean filter pressure of 10 PSI should be cleaned when the pressure reaches 12 - 13. When we first started maintaining to pool about a week ago the PSI was about 9 or so and today it's sitting at 13.

    Here are some pictures of the filter:







    I replaced the o-ring at the top with an extra one I had for the pump filter. It is the same diameter but it is thicker so I was able to get a tighter fit. I'm going to leave that on for a bit and come back to check how wet everything is.

    Based on these pictures does anyone know how I would back wash the filter? There is no multiport valve.

    Thanks again for all the help.
    25K Gallon, IG Pebble, Triton or Triton 2 sand filter, Barracuda G3 suction cleaner, TF100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Sorry, I can not see your pictures for some reason. Could be a firewall problem.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Sorry, I can not see your pictures for some reason. Could be a firewall problem.

    Sorry, they should be visible now. I replaced the o-ring with a thicker one and it looks like the leaking stopped around the top cap, but I'm pretty sure the casing itself is leaking.
    25K Gallon, IG Pebble, Triton or Triton 2 sand filter, Barracuda G3 suction cleaner, TF100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    You back wash by pulling up on the plunger valve ... you may need to turn it first (I am not sure).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Ok great, thank you. So I assume there is no "rinse" function or anything with this setup?

    I noticed the hose for the Barracuda cleaner looked much older than the cleaner itself so I looked for the box it came in and what do you know, the hose that came with the new cleaner is still in the box brand new! I guess they have just been using the old one. I'll get the new hose on and backwash the filter then go from there. I have a feeling we are going to need to replace this filter soon but for now I'll see if this solves anything.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    25K Gallon, IG Pebble, Triton or Triton 2 sand filter, Barracuda G3 suction cleaner, TF100

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy water immediately after turning pump on

    Nope, you just have backwash and filter.
    Bonus finding a new hose. Good Luck
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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