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Thread: Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

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    Join Date
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

    I wasn't sure if this should go in testing, pool opening, or algae forum - but since my numbers are weird, I thought I'd post here.

    I think I'll go in chronological order, so the current stuff is at the bottom. Sorry this is going to be long I think, but want to give complete history.

    BTW, I am using a TFT-100 test kit, bought about a year ago, stored inside the house. Pool is 17K gal. IG vinyl liner, Hayward sand filter. Northwest Florida (Pensacola).

    Started to work on opening pool 2 weeks ago - green swamp. It hasn't been maintained over the winter due to having no work here so had to go out of town.

    Mostly worked on getting leaves from the bottom, pH was high so added powder to reduce that. Put in liquid chlorine after a couple of days of general cleaning. I don't have those numbers anymore, and the process got interrupted.

    8 days ago, tried again. I think most of the leaves and debris from the bottom are gone. Can't see, water green. The numbers I wrote down from my own test were TA 50, pH was above 7.8, CYA 31. No chlorine. Last year I had really good results from a bag of shock I got at Wal-Mart, and I so I tried using powdered first. I went to Leslie's and (yeah I know, probably stupid to listen to them) used 2 pounds of Coral Yellow Out - supposed to kill algae), waited half an hour, and used 1 pound of Leslie's Power Powder Plus (Cal hypo 73% available chlorine). 12 hours later, another pound and a half of Power Powder Plus. The entire time, running filter and scrubbing pool 1-2x daily. Saw ZERO effect.

    Leslie's tested my water then, their results are FAC 0, CH 60, CYA 40, TA 90 pH 8+, Acid 5, Copper 0, Iron 0, TDS 800, Phosphates 200. They recommended a bunch more stuff, which I didn't buy.

    I went back and got liquid chlorine 12% and started SLAMing per instructions. After 1 day, the pool had gone from dark swampy green to a light cloudy grayish green. Kept scrubbing, filter 24/7, kept chlorine around 16. After 2 days, not using much chlorine anymore. The water became just slightly clearer - I can now see the outline of the 3rd step in the shallow end - just barely, and when it first turned grayish green I could only see the 2nd step. About two days after it turned grayish I got a thin layer of white foam (tiny bubbles or just white "scum") on the surface.

    I've continued with the SLAM, basically scrubbing daily, keeping chlorine back up to 16 when it gets low (I add 2-3x a day). It's never gone below 4-5. Filter on constantly. I added a little DE to the filter 4 days ago (in skimmer basket). The water looks the same for the past 5 days now. Cloudiness not really going. Backwash does show dirty water. Still getting very small amounts of leaves with rake every few days.

    I did a full test today. Tested around 4pm, last time we added chlorine was about 22 hours ago.
    pH 7.2
    FC 9.5
    CC 2.5
    TC 12
    CH 30
    TA 80
    CYA < 20 (this part seems weird - the tube was full and I could still see the dot, but after almost 24 hours and a sunny day, seems more chlorine would be gone if it was that low - and we've had a little rain, backwash, water going in with rake, but there is no way we've changed enough water to lower the CYA that much in a week?)

    I guess the CYA could have been artificially high at first because the water was so cloudy/dirty with algae, but it's still impossible to see through in the pool (it looks clean in the sample - a week ago the sample was slightly greenish).

    I also can't figure out why my pH has dropped THAT much - I added the stuff to lower it two weeks ago, and it didn't seem to lower it that much, but now it's going down down down.

    Of course, what I want is clean water. I haven't done the overnight test since the water isn't clear, but I can if I need to. I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing. Without being sure of the CYA, I'm not sure I should keep the chlorine levels so high (16). And I have no idea how to clear the cloudiness. It's going to be a few weeks probably before it's warm enough to swim, so I'm not in a desperate hurry, but I don't want to damage any of the equipment or waste money by keeping more chlorine in there than necessary, but I don't want to let it drop just in case, and end up with more algae.

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated, and if this needs to be moved, please do (or I will repost if needed). If I've left out any info, please lmk. Thanks SO much!!!

    (And btw, following the advice here and with my test kit last year, I successfully SLAMed the pool on opening, with liquid chlorine only, and it worked just fine - and I do remember it cleared faster, but it was warmer too. If any info has changed in the last year, I might have missed it though.)

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

    Welcome to TFP !
    By the sounds of it you've got a pretty good swamp going on and has gotten somewhat better. It's going to take sometime to get it nice and clear. The other junk you added could be causing some problems also.
    I would add enough CYA to get it up to 30 and maintain your FC at 12-14. The key is to keep the FC levels up. Follow the SLAM process to the T. Your done when all 3 criteria are met. You've already successfully SLAMed before. It'll come around. If it was pretty bad it's going to take some time to clear. Sounds like you have a sand filter which can take a little longer to clear cloudiness.
    If you could add all your pool and equipment info to your sig that will help us better help you.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

    Welcome to TFP!

    You are making progress. I know it feels slow. You made some missteps at the start, but it sounds like you are on the right track now.

    The Yellow Out didn't help anything. It probably slowed things down by a few days and is the most likely source of the CC reading.

    You want to bump up the CYA level by about +15. I'm not too worried about the CYA level going down. That test is +-15, so it is possible the CYA level hasn't changed at all and it is just natural testing variation.

    The focus now is on making sure the filter is doing it's job. How has the filter pressure been behaving? Have you had to backwash/clean the filter? If not, now is probably a good time to do so. You should also run the filter 24/7 until things clear up.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post

    The focus now is on making sure the filter is doing it's job. How has the filter pressure been behaving? Have you had to backwash/clean the filter? If not, now is probably a good time to do so. You should also run the filter 24/7 until things clear up.
    Thanks so much!

    Filter has been 24/7 and I was back washing every day just because. After I put in the DE stick, it said not to backwash for 3 days, so I didn't. Pressure of 10 is normal, it got up to 11 with 3 days waiting. We did another backwash (water was dirty) and pressure is back down to 10. It stays at 10 if we backwash every day.

    I wonder if the filter is not being effective ... ? I would have expected the DE to cause it to go up more than that, but I've never used it before.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

    It sounds like you are backwashing too frequently, the opposite of what I suspected. Sand filters work a lot better when you let them get a little "dirty". Try not backwashing the filter until the pressure goes up to 13 psi and see how that goes.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    It sounds like you are backwashing too frequently, the opposite of what I suspected. Sand filters work a lot better when you let them get a little "dirty". Try not backwashing the filter until the pressure goes up to 13 psi and see how that goes.
    I did not know that. Thanks very much, will give that a try too!

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    Re: Some weird numbers, cloudy water - also SLAMing

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrstrk View Post
    Welcome to TFP !
    By the sounds of it you've got a pretty good swamp going on and has gotten somewhat better. It's going to take sometime to get it nice and clear. The other junk you added could be causing some problems also.
    I would add enough CYA to get it up to 30 and maintain your FC at 12-14. The key is to keep the FC levels up. Follow the SLAM process to the T. Your done when all 3 criteria are met. You've already successfully SLAMed before. It'll come around. If it was pretty bad it's going to take some time to clear. Sounds like you have a sand filter which can take a little longer to clear cloudiness.
    If you could add all your pool and equipment info to your sig that will help us better help you.
    Thanks for the reply. I guess I need to be more patient. Last year I know it took a good 3 weeks to get the water looking reasonably clean, but what I think I remember is that I did see continual progress, so being pretty much stalled for 5-6 days with only a slightly increased visibility had me wondering if I should be seeing something different. Though the numbers, chlorine use, and how the pool looks is a little different this year. I'll try to get that added in a signature too, thanks.

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