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Thread: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

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    IowanPool's Avatar
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    Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    I'm still doing a lot of reading here and trying to learn, but I'm hoping for some quick feedback as I learn. When I opened my pool a few weeks ago it was amazingly clear. I vacuumed, shocked, and cleaned and the water was as clear as I've ever had it. Over memorial day weekend the chlorine feeder went empty. I was raising the water temp and overnight it went from crystal clear to cloudy. Not green, but I couldn't even see the bottom.

    I got some 12% liquid shock from my local store and have been trying to get it back in shape. I put in 4 gallons in the evening (I didn't measure the total, but it was over 11ppm) and by the morning it was back down to 1ppm and the water looked worse (cloudier).

    In the past We've found that getting the pH up has helped, so I put in 5lbs of pH+ and this morning I can at least see the bottom of the shallow end.

    This morning's test:
    FC=.4
    CC=.4 (down from 2.6)
    pH=7.4
    TA=170
    CH=220
    CYA=50

    I put in 2 more gallons of 12% in this morning.

    I have family in town this weekend and we were really hoping to use the pool. Is there any hope?
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Iowanpool, you CAN get your pool crystal clear, but to use the TFP method you need to remember a few things:
    1 - The use of in-line chlorinators or bags of shock is frowned upon because they increase your CYA; Stick primarily to "regular" liquid bleach
    2 - With the warmer temp, very low FC, and previously high CC level, I suspect you have awoken the algae beast. Be prepared to SLAM. See SLAM and chlorine/CYA chart links below to get that FC level up to where it needs to be based on your pool

    SLAMming can take a few days depending upon the condition of your water. You wouldn't want anyone in the water during this SLAM process because of the high chlorine level, so I don't suspect it will be ready by tomorrow. Also suggest reviewing the Recommended Levels chart link below to assist you in making sure you other levels are where they need to be.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    IowanPool's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Thanks... The in-line chorinator came from my installer and I didn't really know anything different. Without a SWG does that mean manually adding liquid bleach daily to maintain FC levels? That isn't very practical with our hectic schedules!

    Should I use any algaecide to help things along?

    I'm reading about SLAM. I think I'm going to have to get more.

    After doing some reading would it make sense to drain off some of my pool and lower the CYA to make this process more effective.
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    I don't believe you need to drain to lower CYA at this point. 30-50 should be fine, although CYA takes about a week to fully register. So if you used any pucks or powers recently, check it again in a week or so. Just stay away from anything other than regular liquid chlorine. My pool came with an in-line chlorinator as well, and it wasn't until TFP that I realized it was the worst thing to use. Those pucks and bags of power destroy your chemical balance, and the stores don't advise you any differently. Also, do not spend any more $$ on algaecides, Pool Perfect, PoolAid, or anything else like that. They don't work. Regular chlorine (bleach) works great w/ next to no residual effects! Once you finish a SLAM and get your pool balanced properly, you might only need to add a little bleach each morning or evening to meet your "Recommended FC Level" and you'll be good-to-go. If you have any other questions, just ask us.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    First, welcome to TFP!

    I wouldn't say there isn't hope for the weekend, but it will take some serious dedication over the next day and to follow the SLAM procedures PERFECTLY.

    Read the SLAM article through twice to make sure you know exactly what is needed, bring your FC up to the proper level for your CYA (20 in your case) and if you can test and dose often, as much as hourly for the next day, then you just might have a shot. Draining any water will only slow the process, CYA of 50 is just fine.

    DO NOT add algaecide. If does not help with an algae bloom, it is only for algae prevention. It's not even needed in a properly chlorinated pool, I haven't used any in years, but that is a discussion for later. For now, get your FC up and see what happens.

    One last thing, remember it is perfectly safe to swim up to SLAM level. So if your pool is still in the double digit FC when you have family over, don't worry one bit. I promise they won't even notice.

    Edit: I see you have a sand filter. Once your FC is holding fairly steady and you will be around to monitor your filter pressure you can Add DE to really speed up the clearing process. This will only help once you have killed the majority of the algae though, don't try to do it from the start.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    No, do not add algecide. Algecide is a preventative product, not a reactive product to defeat algae.

    It's up to you on a drain, 50 CYA takes quite a bit of chlorine to SLAM.

    Once you get the pool in shape, at that point you will need to look into other forms of automated chlorination if you are too busy to add a little each morning. Salt Water Chlorine Generators and automatic chlorine pumps are available. A pool is like a pet, you have to take care and feed it every day - even if you don't plan on playing with it.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Thanks for all the feedback. I just got home with 20 gallons of chlorine and I'm going to work on keeping the chlorine up. I only added a couple gallons before work, but the water is getting clearer. According to PoolMath it will take a little over 4 gallons of Cl to raise up to 20ppm. I'm going to do that now and monitor until bed time. I'll hit it again in the morning if it drops. Does it do any good to put more chlorine in before bed to make sure the FC level stays high over night?

    On a related note I have boxes of clarifiers and algaecide that were recommended when I bought the pool. Now I have no intention of using them and have a figure out what to do with them!
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Yes, test again later and add more bleach. Go a little higher if you lose a lot of FC in the next few hours.
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Good Progress since yesterday. I've been watching it much more carefully. I had it up to 20ppm+ last night. Today it was at 8.4. I used PoolMath to figure out how much CL to add. Another 2.5gal!

    On a very positive note I can see the drains at the bottom of the deep end now and the shallow end is much more clear. I'm hopeful that I will be in good shape very soon. It is nice that the chlorine loss is slowing. I assume that is a good sign.

    There is so much to take in here, but I'm learning a lot fast!

    Thanks everyone for your help.
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Quote Originally Posted by IowanPool View Post
    Good Progress since yesterday. I've been watching it much more carefully. I had it up to 20ppm+ last night. Today it was at 8.4. I used PoolMath to figure out how much CL to add. Another 2.5gal!

    On a very positive note I can see the drains at the bottom of the deep end now and the shallow end is much more clear. I'm hopeful that I will be in good shape very soon. It is nice that the chlorine loss is slowing. I assume that is a good sign.

    There is so much to take in here, but I'm learning a lot fast!

    Thanks everyone for your help.
    It does sound like you are making progress, but stick with it! Many fall into the trap of, it's looking better so I don't have to work as hard. Don't stay on top of it until the end.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Yes, that is great progress. Keep the momentum. Scoop out anything you can see. Brush at least once or twice a day, brushing algae off the pool walls kills it faster.
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    The good side of having a solid cover is very little can get in the pool. I've been monitoring to make sure it is staying clear though.

    So, today it is still cloudy. I can stand in the deep end and clearly see the drains (and some toys the kids left in there that I couldnt see before). I'm still seeing significant CL loss overnight. I bumped it high last night (26ppm) and this morning it was down to 16ppm. There isn't much in there, but is it okay to put a robot in the pool when SLAM-ing to stay ahead of anything in the pool? Or is it better to wait? The robot is my primary way to clean the bottom of my pool.
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Rrobots and equipment are fine if the FC is at or below SLAM level. Probably fine a bit over too, but SLAM level is a good rule of thumb.

    If you are losing 10 ppm of FC overnight then there is something significant still in there. Sounds like you might have caught a major algae situation just before it got really bad.

    From my HTC One via Tapatalk
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Red face Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    More updates and good news. I think I turned a corner here. I added the chlorine this morning, backwashed, and let the robot run for 3 hours. The water is very close to being crystal clear, but just a tiny bit cloudy. I would even say I think it looks better now than it did this morning. I think in the past I might have just called it good here.

    My numbers this afternoon:
    FC=16.5
    CC=0 (first time, but I haven't tested this much until now)
    pH=7.2
    TA=170 (no change)
    CH=220 (no change)
    CYA=30 (down from 50)
    SI=-0.1

    I did backwash and vacuum today, but I can't explain why my CYA number would have gone down. I did add fresh water to bring the operating level up to a good level after back washing, but not enough to change that much. This is probably the first time I tested in bright sunlight. Maybe I can just see the black dot better today!

    New questions today:
    • Should I turn off my heater when SLAM-ing? It occurred to me that heating my water might not help my cause!
    • Do I have to wait for a good OCLT before I'm done SLAM-ing or is there a daytime verification (i.e. keeping my cover closed for several hours)?
    • Do I trust my new CYA number for the amount of CL to add or stick with my old number since I have been having success?


    Finally a big shout out to everyone who has helped on this thread. I was feeling a little defeated earlier this week and not making progress. I didn't realize what it really took to get the pool clear. My PB was telling me to put 10gal of CL/day. I think it would have worked, but cost a lot more money!
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Cloudy Water - Learning the Ropes

    Wait until you get it TFP clear! You will be able to know if a quarter is heads or tails!

    Keep going. Do NOT stop now. Here is a link to show you when you can say you are done!

    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    -Is your water clear?
    -Did your pool pass the OCLT (link above)?
    -Your CC is at or less that .5

    If you can say yes to all three above you are done!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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