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Thread: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

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    Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    This is my first post and I want to start by saying thank you! I have had a pool for two years and with your excellent website, I have never had an issue with my pool. I don't drain my pool in the winter as we don't have freezing issues. I maintain the chlorine and PH chemistry in the pool over the winter and am gearing up for the season.

    I tested (Taylor FAS-DPD) the water on Friday and here were the results:

    FC 5
    CC 0
    PH 7.6
    TA 50
    CH 180
    CYA 60
    Borates 30

    I added baking soda to increase the TA to 80 and it indeed was that on Saturday. Sunday morning, I added what I thought was Calcium Chloride (I work at a university and a colleague in the science department ordered calcium carbonate instead of calcium chloride and I didn't look at the label carefully) to raise the CH 70 ppm to 250. Instead I added Calcium Carbonate and the water immediately turned milky white so I couldn't even see the top step.

    I ran the pump all night and now I can see the bottom step but still not anywhere close to the bottom of the pool.

    I tested the water again Monday evening and here are the results:

    FC I stopped and repeated the test when I got to 30 thinking something must be wrong. I repeated an cannot even measure the FC endpoint.
    CC I obviously can't measure this either.
    PH 8.1 I added the correct amount of Muriatic Acid
    TA 80
    CH 200
    I haven't retested CYA or Borates.

    I see the recommended treatment for cloudy water is to slam my pool to get rid of algae, but I don't think I have algae as I truly have maintained a good water balance.

    Please advise if this is just Calcium Carbonate floating in the water or if something else is going on and what I should do to resolve.

    Also, what could cause the FC to elevate that much???

    Thank you in advance.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    If the clouding occurred right after adding calcium carbonate, then yes it is almost certainly calcium clouding. If you lower the PH down to 7.5 the cloudiness should go away in a few hours.

    You ran the pump all night, and the SWG would have been running during that time as well. I'm not sure why that would get FC as high as you report, but it does account for at least part of the increase, more so if the percentage setting is higher than it would normally be.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    Something's not adding up. If you added a lot of calcium carbonate, the pH, TA and calcium would have increased much more. How much did you add?

    The high fc makes me suspect that you added calcium hypochlorite.

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I added 6# 12 oz and it is clearly labeled calcium carbonate 97+ food grade safe.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    That much should have raised both the TA and CH by about 140 ppm each. It would have put the ph over 11.

    Maybe the product is mislabeled? Can you post a picture of the label and product?

    Another possibility is that the calcium carbonate did not dissolve. If that's the case, I would suspect that it will precipitate out, scale out, get filtered out or dissolve over time. If it dissolves, you should see the ph ta and ch increase as indicated.

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    Here is the photo of the label.Calcium Carbonate label.jpg

    I checked the PH again this morning and it is 7.5. FC is still above 40 (I stopped trying agin). Obviously I have turned the SWG off and have the pump running at maximum. I can see the bottom of the pool by the steps, but just barely.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I agree with JamesW, despite the labeling, that couldn't have been calcium carbonate. The effects it had just don't match up with the effects you would expect from adding calcium carbonate. The effects it had are a much better match for calcium hypochlorite.

    It will likely take two to four more days for the FC level to come down to normal.

    Given the FC level, I am worried that the PH test results are not correct. The PH test is thrown off by very high FC levels. It may be best to wait out the FC level coming down before continuing to work on the cloudiness issue.
    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: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    Try running the fc test to completion. If it was cal hypo, the fc should be 88 ppm.

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    Thank you both and I will do that when I get home.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    To save on your reagents, you can use 5mL sample, and each drop then equals 1 ppm. Not recommended for normal testing.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I just tested again and I stopped at 200 on FC! PH is 7.6. I can now see the bottom halfway the length of the pool and there is a lot of what I am assuming is Calcium Carbonate on the bottom, should I vacuum to waste?
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I think that there has to be some sort of test error happening for the fc test. Are you sure that the test reagents and procedure are correct? Try an OTO chlorine test.

    The label does show calcium carbonate. I would hope that they wouldn't get that wrong. I'm not sure what's going on with all of your tests. Maybe the labeling is wrong or the calcium carbonate didn't dissolve.

    Yes, vacuum to waste.

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I am using the same reagents that I have been using all winter long and have gotten very accurate results. I don't know if this is pertinent, but when I rinse the testing tube, it turns a green/brownish color and I have never had that happen. I did vacuum to waste and it stirred up a lot of the white powder again and now the pool is milky again.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I'm really not sure what's going on. Definitely seems very strange. Try new fas reagents and an oto chlorine test.

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    Is it possible the color change for the FC test is just hard to notice due to the cloudiness of the water?
    30k plaster pool
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  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I was just trying to figure out if it is a false reading because the calcium may be acting as a buffer agains the reagent? And it is not even changing slightly. It remains bright pink even up to the 200 level.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I think there might be some sort of interference. However, I haven't heard of calcium carbonate being a cause of interference. I can't imagine that your fc could be over 200. The colors while rinsing are a concern. I would suggest trying an OTO chlorine test.

    Try testing the fc of your tap water. If you have city water, there should be some fc and cc. That could help verify that your test works.

    Also, try this: get your 10 ml sample, add 2 drops of R-0009, swirl for 60 seconds, add 2 scoops of R-0870 and then add R-0871 until the red sample goes colorless counting the drops.

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    I took matters into my own hands and vacuumed to waste to get rid of some of the white substance (assumably calcium carbonate) and replaced with fresh water to a level higher than I normally keep the pool. New test results this morning:

    FC 20
    PH7.6
    TA 90
    CH 180

    I didn't test CYA or borates, but will.

    At least I am heading in the right direction.

    The water is still milky, but I did stir up a lot when I vacuumed to waste.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Milky water and FC too high to measure!

    Well, it seems that you're back on track. Just keep vacuuming any precipitate as it falls. Keep filtering and clean the filter as needed. I'm not sure exactly what happened with the chlorine test but it's good that you're getting a reading now.

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