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Thread: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

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    wjaneala's Avatar
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    Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    I just added about 80 oz. of washing soda to my pool (dissolved in water, poured in front of the return valve), and my pool is now milky white. It was sparkling clear before I added the WS. Ugh! I added it because my pH is 6.8, and PoolMath told me to add 276 oz. I'm glad I only added the partial amount! I also just added two bottles of bleach (per the PoolMath recommendation).

    Please tell me this is normal and that the white will filter out over night...

    - - - Updated - - -

    TA 120
    TC 0
    FC 0
    pH 6.8
    CYA 60
    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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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    Not uncommon. It should go away.

    I've noticed you never test your CH. A vinyl pool doesn't care if CH is low, but it can still grow scale if it's high. Have you tested the Ch recently?
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    oops, forgot that one. CH is 204.
    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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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    Are you testing your water using one of the recommended test kits (Tf-100 or the Taylor K2006)? I see that your Calcium is 204 and that sounds odd. The better kits test in 25 ppm increments.

    If you are using a good kit then your FC is a bit concerning...it should be 5 - 7.
    39YO 13K gallon former SWAMP/MONEY PIT, concrete bottom/Fiberglass Walls, Ecotech VS pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Dolphin DX5 Plus, Loop-Loc safety cover and YES, I have a TFT-100 test kit!

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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    It's a Taylor kit; I haven't ordered the TFT-100 yet.
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    Here's what it looks like today:

    pool 061915.jpg
    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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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    I can't tell. Is it clear or still cloudy?
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    It is opaque, milky white.
    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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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    Quote Originally Posted by wjaneala View Post
    It is opaque, milky white.
    Just keep the rest of the chemistry in balance and wait for it to clear.

    It was washing soda, not Arm & Hammer laundry detergent, right?

    VS
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    Right. It was the Super Washing Soda, looked exactly like the picture on the left.
    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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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    have any of you guys experienced this? How long should it take to clear?
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    This seems to happen sometimes with white powdery stuff, but I am unsure why. My sister had a similar issue adding some borax last year, turned the water cloudy for a couple of days. From there forward, I had her use a sock (similar to what is suggested for adding CYA) and she never had the issue again.

    Agree with Richard, keep everything in balance and see if it begins to clear.
    Dedicated TFPer since 2012 with recommended test kit
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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    I have had the exact same problem...it will sort itself out. I think mine took 3 or so days. I did add some Muratic acid as well. I do believe it is just CaCO3 precipitation.
    39YO 13K gallon former SWAMP/MONEY PIT, concrete bottom/Fiberglass Walls, Ecotech VS pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Dolphin DX5 Plus, Loop-Loc safety cover and YES, I have a TFT-100 test kit!

    Shock Level and Maintain - CL/CYA Chart

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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    This is normal when adding pH Up / Washing Soda / sodium carbonate to water that is already near-saturated with calcium carbonate (or if you add a lot of product). When the product is added, the local TA and pH rise significantly and cloud the water with calcium carbonate. If I assume your pool is 33,000 gallons, then given your initial number 80 ounces would raise the pH to 6.95 and the TA to 137 ppm.

    With your already high TA of 120 ppm you should not have added this product. You only wanted to raise your pH, not your TA. So you should have aerated the water to get the pH up or possibly added some 20 Mule Team Borax to raise the pH. However, something doesn't seem right with your TA being 120 ppm but your pH being so low (6.8 or below). Also, having the washing soda cloud the water when it started out with a saturation index of -0.7 doesn't sound right. It might cloud locally a little, but should have cleared rather quickly if the pH was really that low. Maybe you should test your tap water to make sure your pH reagent is still good and measuring properly.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    The pool is 36K, I believe. I put all of my numbers into PoolMath, and it told me to add 270oz. by weight of washing soda. I only added 80. So I should NOT have done this?
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    Quote Originally Posted by wjaneala View Post
    The pool is 36K, I believe. I put all of my numbers into PoolMath, and it told me to add 270oz. by weight of washing soda. I only added 80. So I should NOT have done this?
    Correct. PH will rise with aeration on its own. You can aerate by pointing a return jet towards the surface of the water.

    If your TA and Your PH were both low then you would add the washing soda since you would need to bring TA up too.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    OK, then I am confused. I should *not* follow what PoolMath tells me to do???
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    PoolMath says "Changing your pH will also change your TA." If both your pH and TA were low, then adding pH Up / Washing Soda would have been OK, but in your case your TA was already high.

    PoolMath is not an "expert system". It's just a calculator. That means you still have to know enough about pool water chemistry parameters to understand what to do. PoolMath just does the calculations for you in terms of dosing. It is not a flowchart for what to do. For that, if you have questions, you can post here and ask if the answer isn't in the Pool School or if you are unsure.

    Nevertheless, something seems odd about your situation since I would not expect cloudiness to last very long at all if the pH were truly that low. Retest your pH again now. If it's still low, then test tap water. I couldn't find a water quality report for Cullman, but for Birmingham it looks like the pH is in the 7.6 to 8.7 range. If your test measures low for tap water, the pH reagent may have gone bad. It is unusual to have water sources be low in pH, especially from water districts, since it would tend to corrode metal piping faster.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    PoolMath says "Changing your pH will also change your TA." If both your pH and TA were low, then adding pH Up / Washing Soda would have been OK, but in your case your TA was already high.

    PoolMath is not an "expert system". It's just a calculator. That means you still have to know enough about pool water chemistry parameters to understand what to do. PoolMath just does the calculations for you in terms of dosing. It is not a flowchart for what to do. For that, if you have questions, you can post here and ask if the answer isn't in the Pool School or if you are unsure.

    Nevertheless, something seems odd about your situation since I would not expect cloudiness to last very long at all if the pH were truly that low. Retest your pH again now. If it's still low, then test tap water. I couldn't find a water quality report for Cullman, but for Birmingham it looks like the pH is in the 7.6 to 8.7 range. If your test measures low for tap water, the pH reagent may have gone bad. It is unusual to have water sources be low in pH, especially from water districts, since it would tend to corrode metal piping faster.
    Thanks. So, as far as next steps? I just need to wait it out?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry, just saw your additional comments. I will test my pH now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry, just saw your additional comments. I will test my pH now.
    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: Milky White Water after Adding Washing Soda

    New readings

    pH: 7.5
    FC: 3
    TA: 130

    Tap Water

    pH: 7.2
    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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