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Thread: "cloudy water"

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    "cloudy water"

    So here in Dallas, we got massive amounts of rain through May. My backyard was frequently flooded and I got an awful lot of overflow from flower beds into the pool (I've never seen a skimmer full of tiny snails until now). Was only checking my FC, pH, and Alk for several weeks, and then as of last Friday / 4 days ago, I was adding CYA because I was well below 20 and Calcium Chloride because CH was in the 50-100 range (I was adding 5 drops at a time, and didn't want to go back and re-measure). Since that day, the only additions to the water were bleach through my feeder. Long story short, here's the current status as of today:

    Water is cloudy, can only see the hose of the pool cleaner a few inches down.
    Lots of "sediment" build-up on the steps and tanning ledge (where the Polaris doesn't get) that I'm constantly brushing because it's constantly re-settling there.
    60sqft DE filter (on ~32k gallons) is requiring a soap/acid soak (still need to do this) as pressure builds up 10psi after 24 hours even after hosing the grids down (and grids are brand new as of 3 months ago), so a lot of "stuff" is still in the pool. I put in skimmer socks to take some load off of the filter.
    Earlier this evening, CYA is 30 and CH is 180. pH is 7.5, FC is 12.5, CC is a solid 0, and alkalinity is 75.
    Pump has been on 24/7 over the last month (sometimes high speed, sometimes low)

    So, I don't think the cloudiness is because of CYA or Calcium additions, since those haven't been added in 4 days. And don't think it's because CH is too low (tell me if I'm off base here).
    I don't think it's algae, because my FC is generally over 10, and, before I found TFP , when I had blooms, it was always on rough spots/grouting as that's where it got first hold. I don't have anything on walls or outside of "in the water" and collecting on steps/ledges and it freely gets swept away by just circulating the water above it with my hand. Though I guess it could be dead algae. No, I haven't ran an overnight FC loss test- doing that tonight. A few hours ago I dumped in 4 lbs of 65% cal hypo to get me over 16FC, which will get me very comfortably above the range for shock based on the CYA/FC chart. I'll test the water again before it gets too dark for the overnight test.

    If I fail the overnight test, I've got organics so I'll commence a slam.
    If I pass the overnight, it's either dead organics or "dirt" (it just doesn't look dark enough to be that), in which case it just needs a lot more time to filter.

    In either case, it's going to take time to filter out (and a slam if necessary).

    Anything I'm missing here?

    Thanks for reading!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    The rate those grids load up tells me you have a long fight ahead of you.


    Yours is the one in a million case where a flocculent might be called for. It would get that stuff to settle and you're already planning to disassemble the filter for a thorough cleaning anyway. If you pass the OCLT, then try it. I can't recommend any one in particular, since I've never had to use anything like that.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Tanning ledge that is half a tile-height under the surface, after dragging a hose across the top of the water surface (watering the pots) without touching the (PebbelTec) finish:

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    Scuba_Steve's Avatar
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    The rate those grids load up tells me you have a long fight ahead of you.


    Yours is the one in a million case where a flocculent might be called for. It would get that stuff to settle and you're already planning to disassemble the filter for a thorough cleaning anyway. If you pass the OCLT, then try it. I can't recommend any one in particular, since I've never had to use anything like that.
    Oh snap! That might actually require a trip to the pool store! Plug your ears and don't look anyone in the eyes! You may need to hold your breath too. I hear there is some money eating virus going around there.
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    So update for this morning. I ended up amping up my chlorine last night, so I had a 23FC. This morning, 1.5 hours after sunrise but before "direct light", I was at 20FC with <.5CC (5 drops of R-003 made it just a bit cloudy, but no hint of red; 1 drop of 871 reverts it immediately without stirring). I'm calling this one a fail, and will let it ride and do it again tonight. I'll check levels again around 6pm and make sure I'm well above shock level for overnight.

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    Scuba_Steve's Avatar
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    I realize this is wasting some reagents. You might want to run your tests a couple times each time you do it on this next OCLT. At FC levels that high I have seen people get reading a few ppm apart while doing back to back tests. Just want to make sure your not getting a testing error.
    6425g Intex Ultraframe 18'x48" AG
    Stock 1500gph cartridge filter / Intex SWG CG-28669 with E.C.O.
    Install date: 5/26/2015
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    I have no problem wasting some reagents to make sure I'm getting correct numbers- appreciate the input- will do that this evening.

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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Measure again tonight 9:45pm after dumping a bunch of calhypo in earlier, got an FC of 23 with <.5CC. Measured again, got a 21. Measure again and, ran out of 871. pH was high at 8.2 so dumped in an appropriate amount of acid. Will keep the chlorine cranked until I refill my supplies.

    Could the high FC on it's own cause the cloudiness? It's not any better today. Hopefully pH adjustment helps.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Quote Originally Posted by texasmax View Post
    Measure again tonight 9:45pm after dumping a bunch of calhypo in earlier, got an FC of 23 with <.5CC. Measured again, got a 21. Measure again and, ran out of 871. pH was high at 8.2 so dumped in an appropriate amount of acid. Will keep the chlorine cranked until I refill my supplies.

    Could the high FC on it's own cause the cloudiness? It's not any better today. Hopefully pH adjustment helps.
    Don't do that anymore. During the SLAM, all you worry about is FC & CC. It even says in the instructions: Check and adjust the PH to between 7.2 and 7.5. The PH test isn't reliable during SLAMing so make sure to take care of this before you start.

    Why? Because FC above 10 reacts with the pH reagent and makes it read falsely high. Your pH may have been perfect but reading high and now you probably drove it too low. Pictures that show what I mean

    Cal-hypo is noted for making water cloudy. So is algae. So is suspended dirt that washed in. pH is the last suspect.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Guess it's been a while since I visited the slam page I eyeballed it and only put in enough to drop it .4 (because I was eyeballing it and not actually measuring). Hopefully I didn't shoot myself in the foot with that. Need to spend some time reading that thread you referenced- awesome info- thank you.

    So my plan is, keep FC high, get my refills tomorrow and re-measure tomorrow night for another overnight test (and keep cleaning my grids).

    Appreciate the support!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Thinking I might do a partial drain and fill so the kids can swim this weekend. Any downside to this?

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    Re: "cloudy water"

    So, decided to drain last night, dumped about half of it, then let it filter all night. Just as cloudy this morning, and measured a 18 FC and a <.5CC (barely perceptible). Measured again and got an 24FC. That's pretty wild. Granted, this was at the end of the pool where there's no return jets and as far from the main drain as you can get, so maybe it was a high spot? Just running on the main drain, the filter is a bit below starting/clean pressure (not enough flow through just the main drain line), but I figured I was due for a backwash so I ran one. Then I realized, I really can't get any DE in there without dropping it in the pool in the vicinity of the main drain. Oh well. Thinking at this point the cloudiness is just from all the calhypo I've been dumping in, so I popped in 3 hoses and am refilling. I started soaking a backup set of grids yesterday and will be able to get them in later today. Plan now is, get the pool full, balance the chemicals (thank you Amazon Prime same-day/next-day), let the chlorine drop to a reasonable level, and hope it clears up!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    It would help us help you if you add your pool info to your signature as shown here, Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Fill the pool, let FC come down and then balance the chemicals, add your pool info when you get a chance and filter for a day or two and let us know how it's working for you.
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: "cloudy water"

    pooldv- done.

    Kiss- thanks! will be back home later this afternoon and will post updates.
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    OK! Water level now just an inch or two below where the skimmers will get it.

    FC 1.5-2, CC 0
    Alk 55 (that in-between color at 5 drops and full red at 6)
    pH 7.3
    CYA <20
    130 CH

    I don't keep any Borax around as I've never had to raise pH.

    I put a trichlor floater in earlier as I knew my CYA would be very low (my CYA just got delivered).

    Water is no longer "murky", clarity is improved, but it still has a way to go.

    Just threw in 1.5lbs of 65% calhypo.
    Will wait 30 minutes and add in 5 lbs of baking soda.
    Then I'll swap in my clean grids.
    Will pick up some Borax in the morning and get my pH up, and then CYA after that, and continue to tweak.
    Calcium later in the weekend.

    Good plan or should I get my CYA going sooner? It's the granular and will take time to dissolve; I'll be closely monitoring FC and will fill my bleach feeder back up tomorrow.
    30k gallon IG PebbleSheen refinished 2014
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: "cloudy water"

    No need for borax, ph between 7.2 and 7.8 is ok.

    Adding CYA up to 30ppm right now is good in case you end up needing to SLAM. Get FC up to shock level for your CYA, which is 10ppm and see if it clears up quickly. Here is the chart to determine chlorine level, Chlorine CYA Chart.

    Also, while the FC is at 10 Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) to see if there is anything organic in the pool consuming chlorine.
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: "cloudy water"

    Thanks- got my CYA sock going as we speak. and will run the overnight test tonight. Water a lot clearer this morning.
    30k gallon IG PebbleSheen refinished 2014
    60sqft FNS Plus DE wih Proguard Cellulose, 1.5hp 2speed WhisperFlo
    TFTestKit and Stenner fixed 10gpd on timer with bleach
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