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Thread: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

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    Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Hello everyone,
    We have a 19,000 gallon above ground pool. We had a bout of algae and successfully killed it. The pool
    has been cloudy ever since. We have tried Pool First Aid, Ultra Bright, and anything else the pool store
    recommended. According to them our chemistry levels are perfect as of yesterday:
    FAC: 3
    TAC: 3
    Calcium hardness: 280
    Cyanuric Acid: 50
    Total Alkalinity: 80
    pH 7.4
    TDS: 1100

    We have never had this problem before. We have always used liquid chlorine but this year my husband switched to powered shock
    and I think that may be part of the problem.

    Our pump works fine and our filter is brand new. We have cleaned it every few days as we have tried to clear it. And do we not have a ladder so
    algae can't be hiding there.
    Does anyone have any advice on how to clear the water?
    Thank you!
    Krista

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    Re: Why noone mentions Liquid Chlorine ?

    I think I'm getting "pool store'd" now. We have always used liquid chlorine but this year they recommended Power Plus powered chlorine (Leslies) Our pool has
    been cloudy for a month and we have tried EVERYTHING they have suggested. We killed any algae we had and its never been the same. Any advice on how
    to restore our clear pool?? My chemistry is balanced according to them:
    FC: 3
    TAC: 3
    CH: 280
    CYA: 50
    TA: 80
    pH 7.4
    We have a 18,000 gallon 27 foot round above ground pool Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    THank you!
    Krista

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Do you have a sand filter? Most seem to have a problem filtering out dead algae. If it is sand, try adding a little DE to the filter so the pressure rises by 1 PSI and see if that helps.

    But your FC is a little low for the CYA. Are you sure you killed the algae? For a CYA of 50 ppm we recommend 6 ppm of FC:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Hi,
    No I do not have a sand filter, it is a cartridge filter. I'm pretty sure the algae is dead. The water is not green at all. We do not have a test kit to do the overnight
    FC loss test. Which kit do you recommend.

    I have a bottle of 12.5% liquid chlorine. Should I start by getting FC up to 6 or up to shock levels? I would love to try to solve this myself before I spend $100's
    on hiring a pool service. I'd really like to swim this week b/c I'm on vacation!
    thanks,
    Krista

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Krista, welcome!

    If you are ready to take control of your pool and get away from the pool store (who obviously aren't helping), you've come to the right place. TFP has a wealth of information available! I suspect you are correct with your assumption on the change in chlorine delivery methods BUT we will get to that in a minute.

    If you poke around and read the articles and many of the forum posts, you will find that pool store testing just doesn't cut it for accuracy. Test strips are totally unreliable too. This is the very basis of the TFP method - knowing what is in your pool water and how everything reacts together to give you a clear, sanitized pool. Also, once you've mastered the TFP way and a problem arises, you will have the "know how" to fix it without expensive powders and potions offered up by your local pool store business.

    So, let's get started with some informative links. Read them and then read them again. I promise they eventually make sense.

    Test Kits Compared - A good reliable test kit is an investment for your sanity and a trouble free pool! Many here recommend the TF-100 (it's what I use) or the K-2006.

    Getting Started - the beginning...If you would be so kind as to update your signature with your pool specifics. It helps to not have to search for that information each time someone offers advice.

    Some definitions and abbreviations to get you familiar with the language - when I first came here, CYA meant "cover your ***" to me. It's actually something entirely more useful and specific to pools!

    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - teaches you what's actually in there!

    Chlorine/CYA (ha!) Chart - how much chlorine you maintain really is dependent on the CYA factor. This is a great reference.

    How to Chlorinate Your Pool - chlorine comes in several forms. This teaches you that not all are created equal.

    Recommended Chemicals - self explanatory

    Recommended Levels - Based on type of pool, this is great resource.

    Pool Math - Best feature ever! Just plug in your pool information and it spits out what you need to add. How handy is that?

    SLAM - Shock Level and Maintain - it's a process, not a single task. If you do not have clear water, this is for you. You will have to maintain higher chlorine levels than what simple colormetric can measure - hence, the good test kit. SLAM has a beginning and ending lasting from hours to days depending on how horrid your pool is currently. (PS we love pictures around here!)


    So go forth and educate yourself! If/when you have questions, please post them back to this thread so that we may have a history to reflect upon. Oh, and order the test kit today...it takes a few days to get to you!
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by krisjean View Post
    According to them our chemistry levels are perfect as of yesterday:
    If you read around here a little you will see that not much credence is given to pool store testing. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing.

    TFP is a method of pool care where accurate testing is the basis of what we add to our pools. We don't add as you say "anything else the pool store recommended". Please don't take that as a negative comment about you. Almost all of us showed up here with similar stories of how "traditional" pool care left them with a lingering problem. The pool stores usually have two solutions; sell you a different magic potion or tell you to drain your pool and start over.

    As Mark has eluded to, most cloudy pools are the result of a chemistry problem not a filter problem.

    To follow the pool care methods taught here you need to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to care for your pool.

    The tools are not limited to the brushes, vacuum hoses and other stuff you use around the pool, but include the most important item - one of the recommended test kits. You can buy a kit at a pool store, but again the pool store kits generally won't cut it. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. All these kits contain that test while very few other kits do. Think of it this way, do you see a doctor blindly prescribing drugs without seeing the patient or having tests run? Here at TFP we are going to ask for photos so we can see the condition of the water and are going to ask for a full set of test results.

    The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School link at the top of every page.

    It is a great community here, but we do ask that you read and try to understand the information being taught. Questions are always welcome and folks will try to direct you and teach you the methods. We want you to learn to take control of your pool for yourself.


    So, welcome to TFP!!
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    If you can't clear the pool with a cartridge filter, either the filter is bad or you still have an algae bloom which is more likely. Follow these instructions:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...efeating-algae

    As for a test kit, you can order one here: http://tftestkits.net

    or you can pickup a Taylor K-2006 at your local pool store or here: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Complet.../dp/B0002IXIIG
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Thank you! I am ready to take control of my pool! I will get the required kits and get to work!

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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Its a good idea to put the details of your pool in your signature. Like size, type of pool and relevant equipment specs.
    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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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ok I have purchased the test kit and my test results are different in some important areas!
    FC = only 0.8 ppm
    CC = 0.4 ppm
    ph = 7.2
    TA = 70 ppm
    CH = 350 ppm
    CYA = 60 ppm.

    I am going back to pool school to read some more but any and all advice is welcome!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    The only troublesome number is the FC level .... WAY too low for your CYA level. See the FC/CYA Chart.

    You need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process to clear up the pool since you likely still have algae growing.

    BTW, use 10ml of water for the FAS-DPD test so that the drops are 0.5ppm ... saves your reagent. Although, I assume you bought the K-2006 equivalent and thus you will need to get some FAS-DPD and CYA reagent refills very soon.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by krisjean View Post
    thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ok I have purchased the test kit and my test results are different in some important areas!
    FC = only 0.8 ppm
    CC = 0.4 ppm
    ph = 7.2
    TA = 70 ppm
    CH = 350 ppm
    CYA = 60 ppm.

    I am going back to pool school to read some more but any and all advice is welcome!
    That was pretty fast on the test kit! Which one did you get?
    30,000 plaster in-ground pool with spa; 2.5HP single speed Centurion pump; Raypak RP2100 propane heater; Polaris 280 with pump, waterfall with separate pump, Triton II commercial sand filter; TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    I got one available at Leslie's, the Taylor K-2006. We have started the SLAMing process. Wish me luck!
    27 Foot Round Above Ground Pool with about 18,000 gallons.
    Cartridge Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Post up your test results (FC and CC) each time you test and adjust so we can see your progress.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Post up your test results (FC and CC) each time you test and adjust so we can see your progress.

    Ok, I put in 3 gallons of 12.5% liquid chlorine as soon as the sun went down. I put in one bottle every 30 min or so. I tested again
    and not much has changed FC = 1.0 and CC has gone up to 1.0! Do I need to wait longer to test?

    I do have a question about the test kit. It says you can use a 10 mL sample or a 25 mL sample. But the directions say to add 2 "dippers" of the chemical
    that turns pink. Do you do that amount regardless of which sample size you choose? Also when you test for CC it says to add 5 drops of the chemical, do you do that regardless of the size sample?

    Is there a limit to how much chlorine I should put into the pool? I used the Pool calculator and it said to raise form 1.0 to a target of 24 to put in 3 gallons which is what I did. How long should it take for the readings to go up?

    Thank you!
    Krista
    27 Foot Round Above Ground Pool with about 18,000 gallons.
    Cartridge Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Use PoolMath to calculate the amount of bleach required to reach your shock level target. Then add ALL of it, wait 30-60 minutes and retest.

    When testing use the 10ml water sample, and then 1 heaping spoon is plenty. If the water turns and stays a pink, then you used enough powder (you can not use too much, but can use too little and have problems). Yes always add 5 drops for the CC test.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    You are off to a wonderful start!

    Testing-Add what Pool Math tells you to add. Wait 30 mins. and test. If your FC levels have dropped add chlorine, Wait 30 mins. test again. Repeat as needed. If you are not seeing a big drop in FC you can start testing every hour.

    -Pump-leave your pump on while you are doing the SLAM.

    How much chlorine-add what Pool Math tells you to. For overnight you can shoot for the Mustard algae levels. The more you can get and leave it at SLAM level the faster your pool will clear.

    Higher CC-that is telling you there is something still in the water. Once it is dead, dead, dead you will be closer to a CLEAR pool!

    Keep it up! If you want to really "see" the progress pick a spot like the stairs or ladder and take a pic once a day. We will all be able watch it with you. We LOVE pics!

    Good luck!

    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: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    I think we are making progress! After another three gallons my FC is at my target shock value of 24 ppm and CC is 1.0 ppm. I'm hoping I wake up to some progress! Too dark now to take a picture but I'm optimistic that tomorrow things things will be clearer I love this forum and I'm so glad I found it. The support has been amazing and I thank you all for helping this relatively new pool owner take control!
    Krista
    27 Foot Round Above Ground Pool with about 18,000 gallons.
    Cartridge Filter

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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Ok, so no progress visually overnight. Looks the same, maybe even a tad worse. My FC stayed exactly the same at 24 and the CC stayed at 1.0. However, it appears my CYA has gotten worse. It's up to 100. According to the pool calculator, I need to replace 50% of my pool water. Should I do this?

    Thanks,
    Krista
    27 Foot Round Above Ground Pool with about 18,000 gallons.
    Cartridge Filter

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    Re: Cannot clear up a cloudy pool, have tried everything!

    Are you still using powdered shock? The increasing CYA level suggests that you are.

    Yes, we would advise a water replacement before attempting to SLAM the pool.

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