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Thread: Need help clearing the water ?

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Need help clearing the water ?

    Hi all!

    OK, I moved all the detailed info below, but the quick answer I'm actually looking for is this: The water is blue now, but still slightly cloudy. I think the algae is being killed, but some is still suspended in the water. I'm hoping to use the pool before it gets too cold, so I'm wondering if there is a way to speed up the process of clearing that out? Or if I don't need to wait to swim in it, though I assumed I did need to wait.


    Anyway, here's the details of where I am, how I got here, and what I've done so far.

    I had to be out of town for a few weeks and left someone else in charge of pool. It was a tad greenish when I got home, but I was told it had just started to do that (and the person taking care of it had a medical emergency, so it's possibly true).

    Tested before beginning.

    TA was 110
    pH was 8.2
    CYA was not measurable - guessing maybe 10?
    Chlorine was near 0

    It's getting late in the year, and I wanted to use the pool before it gets too cold, and I had other stuff on hand and couldn't get to the pool store for a couple of days, so I started with what I had.

    I scrubbed the pool, and added 1-1/2 bags of blue Shock-plus from Wal-Mart according to directions - broadcast over the deep end (the powder kind that's supposed to shock, kill algae and bacteria, and clear the water). That was Monday night, almost 5 days ago.

    Continued with scrubbing the pool twice a day from there on. Pump has been running 24/7. I've tested the chlorine only once a day, since it hasn't dropped much at all during the process.

    On Tues. I added the rest of the chlorine, which had been left in the jug outside, so I don't know if it was any good anymore anyway. Vacuumed the bottom.

    Wednesday I made it to the pool store, came home and added powder to lower pH (they couldn't tell me what it was - it's not labeled either). Put stabilizer in a sock and hung it in front of the eyeball. Gave it a GOOD dose of chlorine - probably too much, but I've started a SLAM before with more than that amount. I added 1-1/2 gal 10% bleach.

    Vacuumed the bottom once again on Thurs, and seems that I got most of what was there.

    The water today and yesterday (Fri and Sat) is pretty blue, but still cloudy. I plan to vacuum to waste again when it settles from the last scrubbing.

    What's weird ... I'm using very little chlorine. Las time I SLAMed, I had to add gallons at a time several times the first few days. I'm going to add some more right now, but I haven't added in two days. Thursday it tested off the scale. Friday it was still off the scale. (Using the yellow drops - I'm out of the stuff to measure it accurately). It's stayed very dark, well more than 5. Now, three days later, it's finally down a little to maybe 4.

    The pH is now 7.6. I haven't tested the CYA again, since I read I should wait a week, and I'm running low on test chemicals. It holds chlorine far better than it ever has before. The last time I did a SLAM I was having to add gallons a day at first, several times a day.

    I'm getting a bit of what might be algae growing on the side. I don't know what else it could be. I scrub it off. Though I'm questioning if it COULD grow when I'm scrubbing the pool twice a day (at least) and keeping the chlorine that high? Though without knowing the exact CYA (I didn't add enough stabilizer to raise it over 25 or so at the most) of course I'm not sure how high it needs to be.

    I'm still getting a little settling on the bottom every other day and vacuum it out as soon as it can be seen.

    I'm debating ordering more test chemicals. If I don't have great need of them over the winter, I may wait until spring if I can so they will be fresher. Trying to get by with what I have in the meantime. I'll order more if I need to in order to finish this cleaning.

    But it seems to be going exceptionally well. I've had to SLAM my pool 3 times already - once for opening, once because of a flood into the pool, and once because it got out of hand, so I'm fairly used to how things go. And this time it's looking extremely good, extremely fast compared to the other times. Maybe it just wasn't too bad yet. The pH and CYA were so bad it probably made matters worse, so getting that fixed might have helped too. Like I said, right now I just want to swim a few more times before it's too cold. Last year we had maybe 2 weeks beyond this time before it was too cold, and today the water FEELS pretty cool going down the steps to get a deeper sample.

    I want a wetsuit, LOL.

    Thanks!
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    Adding a little DE to the sand filter will help it catch more suspended particles. The best thing to do would be to order more of the reagents you are out of so you can accurately dose the pool until time to close. If you keep your test kit in the house the reagents should be good for around 2 years.
    You can swim up to shock level provided you can see something laying on the bottom of the deep end. If your pool is too cloudy to see anything on the floor of the deepest part of the pool it is not safe to swim.
    TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    Thanks for the info.

    They sell a solid DE stick to be placed in the skimmer - they said I would need at least two of them? Will these work? They also said you backwash it out after 3 days? I didn't buy one because I usually backwash more often when I'm clearing the water (she said I couldn't backwash for 3 days). Anyway, I don't know much about those things.

    I'll probably get more reagents then. I do keep them in the house so they'll be more stable. Probably need to get only certain things since there are a few I used much more of.

    I can see outlines of a leaf or the drain but it's not very clear. If that means it's ok, I'll probably give it about two more days then maybe start swimming on Monday or Tues, as long as no new problems arise.

    Thanks very much!
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    I'm not aware of a solid DE stick for the skimmer basket. I tried a search and all I came up with was deodorant! There are solid chlorine sticks that sit in the skimmer but they do not add DE. The solid chlorine sticks are stabilized and add CYA to the water. DE is sold in powdered form and it needs to be filter grade, not food grade.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    I've never heard of a DE stick either. I don't think it exists. 😎
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    Well, they are little white sticks that sell for $2.25 at the local pool store. It has a little display. Don't recall the name. The display just says it clears the water. I asked the employee if it was a DE product and she said that it was. You're supposed to put (more than one?) in the skimmer and let it dissolve, it's supposed to "boost the filtering" and you backwash after 3 days and it's supposed to flush it all.

    No idea how accurate any of that is. But since y'all haven't heard of it, then I won't get it. It probably isn't a very standard kind of thing if y'all have never seen it. Thanks for the comments.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    Hi Trishana,
    the DE sticks are are talking about wont work well in helping the sand filter get the water more clear. You need powdered DE.
    You add it to the skimmer.
    Add only enough so that your pressure on the filter rises about 1 psi.

    If you backwash, then you will have to add it again if you want to.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    DE will help a ton. You can buy it at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Employees will know it as diatomaceous earth, probably not as DE. It will last for years so don't worry about buying a big box. Here are some specific instructions:

    Backwash your filter and afterward, make a note of your filter psi. Put 1/2C DE at a time slowly into the skimmer and check your psi 1/2 hour later. Repeat this process until psi rises by 1 from your original reading. Make a note to yourself as to how much in total you added. Then next time you have to backwash, add that total amount. (No need to redo the 1/2C at a time).

    Keep an eye on your psi when first using it. It will grab a bunch of the finer particles and you will need to backwash more often. Once the water becomes balanced and clean, you can still use DE and the need for frequent backwashing will stop and return to normal. It will keep your water very clean.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    Thanks for the info on the DE and how to use it. I think it would be worth it to improve the filtration. I'm glad I didn't get the sticks.

    Thanks again.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    Your water will look great if you keep it up over time. No more "floating dust"! Best of luck with everything!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Need help clearing the water ?

    How are things?

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