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Thread: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

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    Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Hi.

    First, I should introduce myself. My name is Del and I'm a complete beginner, although I'm learning.

    I am in the process of opening my pool and have shocked the water and backwashed the filter many times.

    I own a vinyl above ground 13' x 26' x 48" 'Splash Superpool' that came with the house we purchased 3 years ago. I have never been able to maintain clear water and it's mostly because I was too cheap and too busy to buy the appropriate test kit/chemicals and to do what was necessary. I've now decided that I'm going to do this right if it kills me.

    Anyhow, last year, the Hayward Pump/Sand Filter quit on us, so I am using an Intex Pump/Sand Filter that I had to buy converters for to rig up. I had the Intex rig when I owned an Easy-Set pool. It always did the job on that thing.

    In the past, I mostly relied on advice from the local pool store when setting up/maintaining. This worked fine when my pool was only 4,000 gallons, but now I own a pool that's just over 10,000 gallons.

    I recently purchased a Taylor K-2006 Complete Test kit and have tested my own water.

    These are my initial readings:

    FC=7
    CC=1
    PH=7.4
    CYA=20 (The pool store's last test said 70, I don't understand this discrepancy)
    TA=185
    CH=475

    My pool water is cloudy, but I can 'see' the outlines of a yellow-ish silt on the bottom. This silt never goes away completely, no matter how much I filter/vacuum

    I am wondering if my filtration system is large enough. The one I replaced was much larger, but that system was for pools up to 25,000 gallons. This system I have now is recommended for pools up to 12,000, and should work, but I fear it is insuffcient. I know I should also probably shock again to do something about that Combined Chlorine level.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Your numbers don't spell disaster right off the bat. I see your TA is high, and your CYA could be raised. Have you done a SLAM?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here are the instructions
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/125-slam-shock-level-and-maintain-shockingl
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Defgufman View Post
    Your numbers don't spell disaster right off the bat. I see your TA is high, and your CYA could be raised. Have you done a SLAM?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here are the instructions
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl
    You are absolutely correct. This isn't a 'disaster.'

    I think the CYA is a misreading on my end. I just added 2 1/2 pounds of CYA last week and I have Trichlor tabs in a floater. I'd really want to wait for another CYA reading especially considering that the pool store's test said I was at 70 just a few days ago.

    Yes, TA is high. I can add some Muriatic, but Vinyl pool can tolerate a TA that's high, but not off the charts, correct? Same goes with Hardness. The water is naturally very hard here in these parts, even after conditioning before I add it to the pool (I have a water softener)

    How much sanitizer should I add? Did I reach breakpoint yet? That may be the key, or replacing my filer pump system might be. I'm just not sure. Thanks for the help.

    -Del

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    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Can you test your cya this morning and post it again?
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

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    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    The problem you might get with high TA And high CH Is scaling. I would try and lower the TA, but maybe the experts can speak better to this.
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Hi, welcome to TFP! TA helps to control how fast the pH rises, and it helps to control the possibility of scale formation in pools with very high calcium levels. I have a few questions for you.
    1. Did you add CYA after the pool store reading of 70ppm? Recommended CYA level for non-salt pools is 30-50ppm.
    2. How did you add the CYA? Did you put it in a sock or just scatter it on the surface of the pool?
    3. Have you backwashed the filter since adding CYA?
    4. What product are you using to "shock" the pool?
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Hi, welcome to TFP! TA helps to control how fast the pH rises, and it helps to control the possibility of scale formation in pools with very high calcium levels. I have a few questions for you.
    1. Did you add CYA after the pool store reading of 70ppm? Recommended CYA level for non-salt pools is 30-50ppm.
    2. How did you add the CYA? Did you put it in a sock or just scatter it on the surface of the pool?
    3. Have you backwashed the filter since adding CYA?
    4. What product are you using to "shock" the pool?
    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    I added the CYA last week. The pool store readings are from Wednesday. My readings are from Friday. I added the CYA through the skimmer as stated in the instructions. It didn't completely dissolve as I still see a bit of it floating on the surface. Yes, I've backwashed the filter and cleaned the skimmer a few times since then, but not for 2 days after adding the CYA.

    I am using Zappit 73 Cal-Hypo to shock the pool. I shocked the pool again this morning with 3 pounds because of that CC reading.

    As far as the CYA test, all my other readings are pretty much in line with the pool store's readings, so I may have done something wrong there. I can test again. It's been raining all afternoon here.

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Just did another reading. I'm not touching anything else until I hear something. Thanks.

    FC = 16.5
    CC < 1
    PH = 7.6
    TA = 170
    CH = 475
    CYA > 30

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Ok, yesterday I did nothing but add 3 oz of CAL-HYPO sanitizer. After all this rain, the pool is quite full. I'm sure the rain affected the numbers a bit. I tested again this morning and my numbers are:

    FC = 11.5
    CC = .5
    PH = 7.4
    TA = 150
    CH = 450
    CYA > 30

    The water is still cloudy. It's obvious that this Intex Sand Filter Pump isn't doing the job. I think it doesn't circulate the water well enough to filter properly. It has to push the water an entire 26 feet and it just isn't cutting the mustard.

    I think the pump is 1/2 HP. It takes 55 pounds of sand. It's a crappy set-up for sure.

    Just bought this today and 150 pounds of Zeosand:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/400903006170...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    The pool might not be clear yet, but it's safe to swim in, right? My kids start getting out of school Thursday. This new Pump/Filter combo should be here by the end of the week and should resolve my issues with the cloudiness. I think I'll drain the pool and add a bit of fresh water to control the hardness. Doesn't look like the Cal-Hypo is doing me in, but I'm open to a different sanitizer when I run out, which won't be for awhile.

    Thanks again.

    -Del

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Ok, at this point I'm just adding 3 oz. of my chlorinator to the pool each day.

    This morning's readings:

    FC = 7.0
    CC < .5
    PH = 7.4
    TA = 150
    CH = 450
    CYA = 40

    Looks good. Water still cloudy. No more updates until I receive new pump/filter/filter medium and have installed on my pool. Thanks.

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    I guess I must being doing good since I don't have any responses. Just using this thread as an archive of water chemistry at this point, I guess.

    Still cloudy, new pump/filter system hasn't arrived yet. Water looks as good as it ever has, though. It's started raining again after a few days break. Only adding 3 oz. of Zappit 73 daily and Tri-Chlor floater continuously.

    Here are my latest readings:

    FC = 5
    CC = 0
    PH = 7.4
    TA = 150
    CH = 440
    CYA = 40

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Hi Del,

    It does sound like the new filter setup will help. Did you at any point pass all three criteria for completing a SLAM? As a rule, swimming in cloudy water isn't recommended. If I were in your boat, I wouldn't add any more product (floater pucks) with Cya in them. Some of the cloudy could be from the Cal-Hypo. You might consider switching to Bleach to see if it would help get you clear. It could be you just never finished getting clear as part of the SLAM.
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Hi Del,

    It does sound like the new filter setup will help. Did you at any point pass all three criteria for completing a SLAM? As a rule, swimming in cloudy water isn't recommended. If I were in your boat, I wouldn't add any more product (floater pucks) with Cya in them. Some of the cloudy could be from the Cal-Hypo. You might consider switching to Bleach to see if it would help get you clear. It could be you just never finished getting clear as part of the SLAM.

    I agree. You have a vinyl pool and your CH is already over the recommended level for vinyl pools. You need to switch over to liquid chlorine bleach. Stop the trichlor and perform an OCLT as outlined in Pool School.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Hi Del,

    It does sound like the new filter setup will help. Did you at any point pass all three criteria for completing a SLAM? As a rule, swimming in cloudy water isn't recommended. If I were in your boat, I wouldn't add any more product (floater pucks) with Cya in them. Some of the cloudy could be from the Cal-Hypo. You might consider switching to Bleach to see if it would help get you clear. It could be you just never finished getting clear as part of the SLAM.
    Received through Fed-Ex the new Radiant 22" Filter/Pump system just yesterday.

    Now, I like to make my better half that I've been married to for more than 20 years think that I'm 'Superman' or something, but little does she understand of the 'Sausage-Making' aspect of the 'Magic.' I'm not being sexist or anything by saying that. I 'make it happen', that's what she likes.

    With that said, this was an incredibly hard day, at least for a 40-something, like myself. haha, yeah, I'm a whiner. LOL.

    First of all, I had to tear down a leaning structure that was housing the original pump. This **** thing was made to look like a 'house' but it blew over really quick when I 'attempted' to destroy it and my 'Kung-Fu moves' made me proud that I basically destroyed something that had deteriorated into 'paper-thinness', but the top part of this pathetic structure was strong and wore my 'old' self out. haha.

    After that, I had to wire the new filter/pump beast. I actually have PVC conduit under ground going from my breaker box to the pump and inside of that old aging structure existed a switch. I did away with that. I chose a hard-wired connection. We now turn this off at the breaker. I rewired everything and waterproofed, of course, everything done within local codes.

    When that was completed (It went smoothly), I added the Zeosand. 4 - 25 pound bags and and 10.5 pounds measured on a digital scale. I added 110.5 pounds to the 220 pound sand filter (I accounted for some spillage) as required in the documentation.

    I backwashed/rinsed as suggested by the manufacturer and I switched to filtration. Before filtering, I shocked the pool again. I'll give you my readings tomorrow.

    The backwash cycle that Zeosand initially requires took a lot of water out of my pool and I had to replace it. I'll post my water Chemistry after this recent shock has run it's course.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by DelRiley View Post
    ... Before filtering, I shocked the pool again.
    ...
    Can you clarify what this means?
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bruce View Post
    Can you clarify what this means?
    I added 2 lbs. of 73 Cal-Hypo. It's what I have, so I'm stuck with using it at this point. I know some folks have mentioned switching to liquid bleach, but that isn't an option right now because I'm already invested in 50 pounds of this stuff.

    To me, it made sense to shock the pool after adding this pump/filter system, because, like I said before, I don't think that the water was getting enough circulation before and I am of the opinion that pool chemicals work best when they are well circulated, right? The side furthest from the pump and return was the cloudiest before I got this new system.

    The new pump/filter was installed on Thursday. The water was still cloudy on Friday. I didn't have enough time to post my readings from Friday, but here they are:

    FC = 10.5
    CC = .2
    PH = 7.4
    TA = 145
    CH = 420
    CYA < 30

    Today (Saturday) it's been raining again. It also rained a bit on Friday. I haven't backwashed or added anything since shocking it again. I've brushed the bottom and the sides, though.

    FC = 5
    CC = .2
    PH = 7.4
    TA = 140
    CH = 420
    CYA = 30

    The pool is finally clearing up. I can clearly see and make out details on the bottom of the pool now. It doesn't have a 'polished' appearance, but it's no longer 'cloudy.'

    Looks like the new pump/filter system is doing it's job.

    Now that all of that is out of the way, what to do now? My levels aren't perfect, sure, but if 'this ain't broke, I ain't fixing it.'

    Thanks!

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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    By the way, the Tri-Chlor in the floater was exhausted days ago. I am not using anything but the Cal-Hypo. Also, I believe all this heavy rain has actually been a benefit as TA is taking a hit right when it needs to and CH has gone down as well. I had to drain some water to waste later in the day, Saturday, because it was about an inch from the top. That's all I have to add for now.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Welcome to TFP!

    If you want to clear up your pool once and for all then you need to SLAM Your Pool

    Here are some intro Pool School articles to read.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals to maintain your pool and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    If you want to clear up your pool once and for all then you need to SLAM Your Pool

    Here are some intro Pool School articles to read.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals to maintain your pool and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
    I've learned a lot in just the past week. I've finished the SLAM. I installed a new filter/filter media/pump system, as well. My water is finally clearing up. TA and CH are still a little high. I will maintain Chlorine levels and adjust as necessary. What to do about TA and CH at this point? I've posted all my readings from the past week.

    I'm thinking about investing in Scale Inhibitor and just doing regular water replacement to get both levels down. I had 'black' water with a bed of tree leaves on the bottom when I started and my water is now clear all the way to the bottom. That took quite a bit of Cal-Hypo and I think that's why CH is high. I think since my usage of Cal-Hypo goes down from here on out, I will be able to control Calcium Hardness with water replacement.

    Someone tell me what I'm doing wrong? I'm playing the long and patient game, taking all factors into consideration.

    Should I do 'Acid Slugs' to bring down TA and continue with water replacement to bring down CH and just maintain FC? That's my thought at this point.

    Thanks.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just Getting Started - Pool Water Still Cloudy

    Your CH isn't all that high, if your fill water is lower then you can let it come down over time.

    Here is the process for Lowering Total Alkalinity
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