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Thread: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

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    wjaneala's Avatar
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    Question Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Our pool has been crystal clear for about three weeks, since we opened it. Yesterday, the deep end suddenly became cloudy. I called my "pool guy," and took him a water sample. He said that I had phosphates in the water. Sold me a $26 bottle of stuff. I added said stuff. Nothing happened. Now he is saying I may need to shock it, but he already told me that my chlorine is a little high. I know I need to get some specific numbers for you all to give your advice, and I am going to do that today, but in the meantime, any ideas?
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Yeah ... fire the pool guy and invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits.

    Worrying about phosphates and talking about "shocking" but the chlorine is too high ... the guy has no idea what he is talking about.

    You need to know your CYA level and then follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process

    Seems I should get into the pool service business ... do an OK job keeping the pool clear, then if it goes bad, charge more to fix my screw up. Sounds like a great business plan
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    That useless $26 bottle of stuff would pay for half of a Taylor K-2006 test kit online.

    The permanent solution is what Jason just said. Fire the guy and get your own test kit.

    But that will take a few days and you want to deal with this ASAP, I'm sure. Did soon-to-be-underemployed pool guy give you any readings so we can try to guess how much bleach you should add or if it would even help?
    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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    wjaneala's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    OK, just got back from getting my water tested:

    Saturation Index: -1.4
    CYA: 60
    Total Chlorine: 1.3
    Free Chlorine: 1.3
    pH: 6.7
    Total Alkalinity: 46
    Adjusted Total Alkalinity: 28
    Total Hardness: 204

    I was told to:

    1. Add 50lbs of baking soda (16lbs, wait 2 hours; 16lbs, wait 2 hours; 18lbs, wait 2 hours.
    2. Add 2lbs of Balance Pak 200, for pH
    3. Add 7oz. of Natural Clarifier every three days until the pool is clear

    Also, the water around my steps is now taking on a green hue.
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    We do not trust pool store testing. You need to invest in your own as I previously posted.

    I hope you did not buy any of that over-priced and unnecessary stuff.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    The chlorine is way too low.

    PH definitely too low to swim in

    Hardness should be fine

    CYA could be a bit lower but likely fine as is.

    There is no way to tell if these numbers are actually correct without a proper test kit, but if it were me,
    I'd order a test kit right now, then make a trip to the store immediately and buy many many gallons of bleach to get the chlorine up
    before it gets worse.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    I don't really trust those results, but they're something. You need to halt that green before the whole pool turns to sludge. You have a BIG pool, so it's going to take a lot of anything to shift numbers.

    My advice: 4 jugs of chlorox 8.25% bleach into the return stream with the pump on. As soon as that is done, order a proper test kit. You're working blind without it. All that bleach will only raise FC to maybe 10, which is scarcely above routine daily target for 60 CYA and far below shock level. And tomorrow probably the same again. About the best you can even hope for is that it won't get worse than it is. Beyond two days, without a test kit it's a waste of chemicals, so you might as well just fill it in.
    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: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    OK, thanks. So no baking soda is needed? What about the pH and alkalinity?
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Quote Originally Posted by wjaneala View Post
    OK, thanks. So no baking soda is needed? What about the pH and alkalinity?
    We don't trust any of the test results, really.

    I'm just trying to stop the green from taking over your pool. Emergency first aid. Forget pH and all the rest for the moment.
    You're thinking of cosmetic surgery while we're trying to prevent you from bleeding to death.
    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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    wjaneala's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    I just plugged my numbers into the PoolMath calculator, and it's telling me to add 144oz. of bleach (at 8.25%). That would only be like a bottle and a half. Am I doing the calculations wrong? sorry, I am a total novice. Never owned a pool before!
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    What gallon capacity is your pool? I'm not seeing that above - unless I missed it.
    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
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Quote Originally Posted by wjaneala View Post
    I just plugged my numbers into the PoolMath calculator, and it's telling me to add 144oz. of bleach (at 8.25%). That would only be like a bottle and a half. Am I doing the calculations wrong? sorry, I am a total novice. Never owned a pool before!
    I'm estimating about 32000 gallons for a rectangular pool 20' * 40' * 5.5 average depth. What are you using for your volume? And what did you set the FC target?
    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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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Also, the only FC reading I see above was 1.3 which we know wasn't from a recommended kit. Is that your NOW *starting FC) level?
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Also, the only FC reading I see above was 1.3 which we know wasn't from a recommended kit. Is that your NOW *starting FC) level?
    No. I figure with a green pool and the time lag it's got to be zero by now.
    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: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Volume is 36K. Yes, starting is 1.3, as of about 3 hours ago. The only green is by the pool steps...

    - - - Updated - - -

    I set the FC target at 4.
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Quote Originally Posted by wjaneala View Post
    Volume is 36K. Yes, starting is 1.3, as of about 3 hours ago. The only green is by the pool steps...

    - - - Updated - - -

    I set the FC target at 4.
    For now, yes. But that cloudiness in the deep end is bound to start turning green if you don't kill it quick. That's why I targeted 10.
    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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    wjaneala's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    OK. I'm adding the bleach. Will order the test kit tomorrow first thing.
    So, for future reference, how do I avoid this situation again? As in, what should I be doing EVERY DAY to maintain my pool? And please don't be afraid to talk to me like a 2nd grader. I am completely new to this. THANK YOU!!!!
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Quote Originally Posted by wjaneala View Post
    OK. I'm adding the bleach. Will order the test kit tomorrow first thing.
    So, for future reference, how do I avoid this situation again? As in, what should I be doing EVERY DAY to maintain my pool? And please don't be afraid to talk to me like a 2nd grader. I am completely new to this. THANK YOU!!!!
    Once you get the test kit and take control, by the time the pool is sparkling, you'll know what to do. It's really not much harder than keep pH in line and maintain adequate chlorine. Many of us have gone years without seeing green.

    But here's the breakdown Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
    You'd do well to study the ABCs and Recommended Chemicals and Poolmath and How to Chlorinate articles. too.

    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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    wjaneala's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Thanks, Richard!
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Pool Suddenly Cloudy in the Deep End

    Does the pool have a "main drain'? ie;a fitting at the deep end from where the filtration system can draw water to filter? If so, is the valve open? Is the pump strainer clean? Filter clean? While I agree with other's observations re; water chemistry, circulation is mighty important too. I assume you run your pump 24/7? You need to.
    Watch out for trying to do too much adjustment at once. the pH is off-the-charts too low - baking soda will bring that up - and it will take quite a bit. The total alk numbers don't make sense, a new pool with a fresh fill sure shouldn't have a total alk as low as 46, and what is "adjusted total alk"? Did someone adjust it even lower? Ouch. Soda ash (sodium carbonate) is used to bring that up, in a liner pool it should be at least 80, I usually like to see around 120 or so. You'll need a lot of that as well. I'd make it a priority to concentrate on getting the pH and total alk up where it should be - liner pool should be close to 7.4 (the pH of your eyes). Low pH wrinkles liners and takes the life out of them quicker than necessary. The trouble with this is, it will take more than a few days to stabilize the pH and especially the total alk adjustments, and like ohers have said, you don't have much time before the water turns. So - I'd also add at least a quart of some good quality ($26/qt.) algaecide - the killer, not the preventer - and hit it with a couple of cases (8 gallons) of liquid shock. Remember - liquid chlorine shock is heavier than water, add the majority of it close to the break near the shallow end so it doesn't hang out in the deep end and bleach the liner. I know, a lot of stuff to dump in, and the water's going to be out of whack for a few days or better, but this water is pretty out of shape!

    Be sure the pump and filter are working as they're supposed to! Good luck.
    27' round 20,000 gallon AG pool, hard (vermiculite) bottom, center dished to water depth of 5'6" with main drain. All inground equipment; Sta-Rite 3/4hp Dura-Glas pump, Sta-Rite stainless steel "bullet" 100 sq. ft. cartridge filter, RayPak RP2100 LP gas heater, Sani-King chlorine erosion feeder. Custom return opposite the skimmer, Barracuda Alpha-1 suction side cleaner, 4 grandkids to stir up the water.

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