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Thread: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

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    danimal67's Avatar
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    High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Opened pool, water was clear, but lotsa dirt on the bottom. Vacuumed... got cloudy, shocked it. Waited a couple days.
    3500 gallon vinyl pool.

    Used testkit:
    PH 7
    FC 0
    TC .5
    TA 300
    Calcium 240
    CYA 25

    Added a little PH UP as I like to keep it around 7.4.
    Also added about 5% new water to top off the pool.
    Next day, total cloudy.

    I'm aerating the pool now, and used some PH down.
    Still cloudy after a day.
    Any suggestions?
    gonna keep filtering and see what happens.

    thnx

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Welcome to TFP!

    A couple of follow-up questions:
    1. What type of test kit did you use to test the water?
    2. What type of product did you use to shock the pool? If it was calcium hypochlorite, the water will appear cloudy for a few days after using that product.


    The fact that FC=0 combined with cloudy water concerns me. You may need to SLAM the pool, but you will need a FAS-DPD chlorine test to be able to do that (see Recommended Test Kits).

    But let's start with responding to the questions above and we'll take it from there.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Welcome to the forum!

    I actually came to this forum a few years ago thinking cloudy water was related to my high TA as well. Thanks to the reading here I found out that wasn't the case at all and I needed to SLAM the pool.

    Read the info Bo posted above, that will help you understand why and how to work on it.

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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Welcome to TFP!

    By far the most likely possibility is that the low chlorine level is allowing algae to get started. If so, there is a big advantage to starting SLAMing right this moment, before the algae gets totally out of control.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?




    If you don't get that FC level up above 10 fast and keep it there until things clear up, your pool will stay cloudy and probably turn green. A couple good hot days and you'll have a swamp. And then it will take enormous quantities of bleach to return the water to clear. A gallon now will save five or ten a week from now.

    What you need is the SLAM process - Shock Level and Maintain. The Maintain is the critical part. Pay attention to the prerequisites in the article.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    The FC=0 combined with cloudy water has not only concerned me, but others as well - and rightly so. While I would like answers to the two questions I've posed, I would operate under the assumption that the cloudy water may be a nascent algae bloom unless your answers convince us that the cause may be something else. For your 3,500 gallon pool, I would add 63 oz of plain unscented 8.25% bleach - this is the most commonly available concentration and is readily available at the supermarket (I got the dosing amounts from Pool Math). This will give you an FC of 12. Be aware that if the cloudiness is in fact caused by algae or some other organic matter, the FC will drop precipitously. Therefore, supplemental bleach additions will be necessary.

    If you don't already have one of the Recommended Test Kits, I would get one immediately. I, along with most others on the forum, use the TF-100 kit as it gives you the most bang for the buck. You can order them from http://tftestkits.net/. If you order it today, we can get you by with rough dosing estimates to prevent things from getting worse until the test kit arrives. You will need one of these kits (with the FAS-DPD chlorine test) in order to perform the SLAM properly - there are no short-cuts with this.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Hi folks!
    Thanks for the quick responses! Just got home from work and I'm ready to get to it.

    So, first to Bo (Love the Burt Reynolds Smokey & the Bandit pic!)
    1. I am using the TF100 kit I purchased late last summer.
    2. I used the HTH Super Select Shock Treatment.... 54.44% Calcium Hypochlorite.

    I also have the non-chlorine shock, but didn't think about it making a difference which one I used.

    I may not have made it clear as I was in a hurry when I posted, the water wasn't cloudy at all until a couple days after the shock.... I added the PH UP and the new water, it then got cloudy overnight.

    Initially I thought that I over-PH-Upped, it went to about 8.2, and that combined with the new water I added (which i forgot was also high in PH to begin with) may have added too much to my already very high TA level... which is... also making my calcium level kinda high?

    Last year my TA level was always around 120-140, now suddenly upon opening its at 300? How is this possible? I tend to add PH-Up weekly in the summer, about a cup or so as the PH level is always dropping. I keep the pool covered and it stays between 80-85 degrees in the summer, it's about 70-75 right now, uncovered.

    The sides of the pool are not slimy at all, I did put in a large amount of winterizing stuff in it, perhaps the algicide has burned off by now, but wouldn't an algae bloom feel slimy to the touch? Today it's a *little* clearer... nothing encouraging, so I'm off to the store to buy some bleach and get to slamming... unless you think there may be a different culprit at work.

    I started aerating as I read that helps lower TA, even when I get this cloudy thing fixed, my TA is still around 300! How can I fix that?... other than dump out water in our California drought?

    I'm going to go run the tests again and re-post them. Back soon!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Aerating only raises the pH. That then allows you to add acid to lower both the pH and the TA.

    How are you normally chlorinating? It is VERY unusal for the pH to continually drop unless you are using tichlor or dichlor which we do not recommend as the sole source of chlorine.

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Hi JB!

    Added San Diego, CA to my profile. It's warm, pool water is 75.
    Well I've read a lot about differing opinions on aeration lowering TA, seems like it couldn't hurt to try it.
    I've disconnected it now though, as it seems to also bottleneck my pump, which means i haven't been filtering at 100% capacity the last 2 days.
    Here are my new readings as of just now:

    PH 7.8
    FC 1.5
    CC 1
    TC 2.5
    TA 220
    CH 375
    CYA 25

    Let me say regarding the chlorine, that inbetween seeing the cloudyness, and posting here, that I added about 3 cups of powder chlorine to the skimmer (diluted in a bowl of water first), and about five 1-inch chlorine tablets in the floater. That explains my current chlorine level. I use both the HTH Chlorinating Granules from Walmart, and the 1 inch tabs from Home Depot. It seemed to work fine last summer. I did read about using regular bleach/borax etc, last year too, but this is my first pool and honestly it just seemed easier to use the pre-labeled stuff. I do intend to migrate to bleach at least, the cost alone is motivation.

    - So, the 1 inch tabs from yesterday have not fully dissolved yet, not even half way. Would this be an indicator that there is NOT an algae presence desiring to gobble it up? Should I still commence to slamming?

    I've also read from this site: "Potassium monopersulfate (a common non-chlorine shock) will show up on FAS-DPD chlorine tests as CC. There is a special reagent you can get to neutralize the potassium monopersulfate so you can get a true CC reading."
    - Question is, how long will that show up as CC in the test? I did use non-chlorine shock last year, could that still show up in the reading?

    Both my calcium and TA have doubled since last year though. I was reading about using muriatic acid to lower TA, or should I just use some more PH Down?

    Thanks folks!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Algae will have no influence on how fast the tablets dissolve ... water flow does.

    That long ago I would not think the MPS would still show up as CC.

    I would commence with following the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process using bleach. You are going to need to watch your CYA if you keep using tablets or some powdered chlorine.

    Ignore the TA ... very low importance.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    danimal67:

    Thanks for your responses. Good job on getting out in front of your pool care with the TF-100

    While the calcium hypochlorite may be contributing to the cloudiness of the water, the fact that the FC dropped to 0 as tested with the TF-100 makes me much more inclined to believe that the major culprit is algae on the verge of "going green". The SLAM is the answer.

    Seconding what 'blizzle stated, ignore the TA. Job One is to get the pool water cleaned up.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Thanks for the reply Bo,

    I added a bit too much bleach last night and the Free chlorine level went to about 16 before bedtime. Is too much gonna make things worse?
    When i got home from work today, FC is about 6, and CC is still about 1.
    And the water is just as cloudy, no clearing at all.
    I added about half a gallon of bleach, scrubbed the sides and will vacuum in about an hour.

    I suppose that in such a small pool, using the shock, and the powder chlorine which have the calcium hypochlorite has made my CH level rise to where it is.
    Ignoring TA for now, plus I've read how I can get that down with PH down and aeration if i really want/need to.
    But the CH at 375, from what I've read that's way too high and could cause cloudyness.

    The thing i don't understand is what triggered it all of a sudden?
    If it was the algae, why didn't it get cloudy over time?

    Was it the combination of the high CH and then shocking again, and then adding PH UP, adding new water, and also vacuuming all at the same time?
    Cuz i've done all those things before, with no issue.
    The only real thing I did different was add TOO MUCH ph Up this time, and like I mentioned, it went to over 8. Would that trigger algae?
    Trying to figure out what NOT to do next year!

    I've read this slamming process can take days, i'm OK with that, problem i when I'm at work and the FC level is dropping below the target 10-12. Then what?

    Thanks folks, like many people here I really appreciate the help. Without it I'd probably still be adding shock to my pool and making things worse!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    High CH (which yours is not) does not cause cloudiness in itself.

    Adding a bunch of cal-hypo and raising the pH could certainly have cause the calcium clouding (if that is what this is).

    Algae starts due to inadequate FC levels.

    You need to lower the pH to the lower 7s and then start the SLAM process. Check and adjust the FC as often as you can ... at least before work, after work, and before bed.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    You have very clear and obvious signs of having algae. There are other things that could also cause cloudiness, but right at the moment algae is by far the leading candidate.

    CH at 375 would be fine if your TA level wasn't so high. You never want PH, TA, and CH to all be high at the same time. CH is only mildly high, but TA is way high, so you need to keep the PH low to compensate. If you can't keep TA at more reasonable levels, you are going to need to stop using cal-hypo. You can't afford to have both TA and CH really high at the same time.

    When FC falls below the target it is time to add more chlorine. In the first day or two it really helps to do that as frequently as possible, up to once per hour. After that you can slow down, but still need to raise the FC level at least twice a day.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Thanks guys,

    I did get the PH down to 7.2 before I started my slam. So after i get algae under control I'll work on getting TA down.

    I've already decided to discontinue use of cal/hypo.... bummer cuz i bought a box of 5 shock packs online last year and planned on using them this year.
    =(
    Live and learn eh?

    Oh, what affect would rainwater have? We didn't have much rain here, but it pooled on the cover a few inches deep, before the cover decided to give out and fall into the pool!
    Last edited by danimal67; 03-25-2015 at 04:53 PM. Reason: testing signature

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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    If you remove water and replace it with rain water most of your levels will go down a little. But if water evaporates and you replace it with rain water it won't have any effect.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    rainwater usually has very little effect on the chemistry unless you get LOTS of rain that would dilute some of the levels.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Previous FC had dropped from 16 to 6.
    Added about 30 oz bleach which raised FC to about 12, with .5 CC now.
    Still cloudy of course, but I'll keep at it.

    OH, one more thing.... my crappy Intex 1000gph type A filter system seems to blow back dirty water into the pool as i'm vacuuming, i can see a dirty cloudy stream coming from the return even after i put in a new filter.
    - Wondering what effect this might have on the slam process?

    I plan on getting a low end sand filter soon, the INTEX 1200 GPH Krystal Clear Sand Pool Filter Pump Set seems to have good reviews/ratings. Certainly must be better than what I have now. They also have it in a 2100 GPH version, would that work better/faster? Or would it blow my tubes out? Should I post this question in a different forum?
    Thanks!
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Throw away the Type A Intex cartridge and get one of the Unicel ones ... much better. Search the forum and you can find the part number.

    Many members find the larger pump and sand filter to work much better.

    Best to keep your questions and story together.
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    Re: High TA, now cloudy water... suggestions?

    Unicel.... ok thanks, i'll investigate that tomorrow.

    For tonight, i checked the FC just before dusk (i sleep really early) and it was the same as a few hours ago.
    FC = 12 , and CC = .5
    I was expecting it to be a bit lower after a few hours, no?
    Cloudyness the same.

    I'll check it before work at 1am (i rise really early too) and post results.
    Sleeeeeeeep
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