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Thread: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

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    Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    I looked and saw maybe 100 threads on cloudy water but almost 99% of them didnt seem to match what I have so I wanted to ask just to make sure.

    Pool info is in sig line. Pool was crystal clear and 84 degrees prior to a 10 day vacation. Got home and there had been record heat and almost no rain. Pool water level had dropped to where the skimmers weren't working well (still had water in them though) and water had risen to 94 degrees. There was algae in the pool in my "normal" spots. I say normal because I have two areas that dont get much water circulation, one in a far corner and one just under my Poolskim device. If we're swimming every few days or I run our cleaner than it never surfaces. If I let it sit over a week or two it will just start showing up. This time there was a decent amount of green algae in those two spots along with some accumulated pollen and dust/dirt on the pool bottom.

    I tested the water and it was the same as normal day to day.
    FC - 3.0
    CC - 0
    PH - 8.0
    TA - 80
    CYA - 70

    My PH is always that high. I can add acid and it will be down a day or two and drift right back up. It never seems to get too high so most of the time I leave it and have read from a few threads and articles that some pools just have a higher PH.

    So the first thing I did was run the robot, backwash the filter and brush the whole pool down. That really clouded up the water. I also set the SWG to Super chlorinate setting. This was all on Saturday. I've been testing the pool daily and the numbers havent budged other than the FC only went up to 3.5 after the Super Chlorinate run. I had two bottles of bleach left over from the Spring so dumped those in Sunday night. I also added in a half cup of DE to my sand filter as that really helped this Spring to make the water super clear from all the pollen we had.

    Yesterday we went swimming - water still tested the same as the top numbers. The water just isnt "clear". It has this quality to it almost like doing a CYA test, it is a whitish cloud almost hazy looking. Normally I can see clearly from one end of the pool to the other wearing a mask (40') and right now I cant see the other wall at all, I can only see maybe 3/4 of the way across.

    Last night I did the OCLT. I shut down the SWG but left the pump running as normal. I tested it at sundown last night.
    FC - 3.5
    CC - 0

    Tested it at 8:00AM this morning
    FC - 3.0
    CC - 0

    I am only testing to the 0.5 degree of accuracy using my FAS-DPD kit. Should I be doing the 0.2?

    Water is still hazy. I have backwashed twice since being home on Sat and the water just looks milky from the DE that I add each time. Algae hasnt come back. Water is still hot at 94 degrees. Only thing new I tried today is I took out the regular filter screens on my Dolphin and added in the super fine pleated filters and am running it now. The other filters did pick up a lot of the pollen gunk but I was told these pleated filters are even better (Dolphin is new so this is my first time trying them).

    Any ideas? I can SLAM it but my OCLT shows normal plus now that we are home my kids really want to be in the pool pretty much all day! I am a bit worried my FC is so low with the SWG cranked up higher than normal. I went from 40% to 80% and it really only gained 0.5. I may clean the cell to see if that helps since I have a lot of muriatic acid right now.

    Is it the PH being at 8.0? I honestly dont know if it is much higher, the color test only reads to 8.0. Normally if I get worried I just add in the min amount of acid on the calc and that drops it so I have to think it isnt much higher if any than 8.0. Has anyone ever tried the digital PH testers? Thought that may get me closer but as I stated earlier I read a few articles that some pools just like higher PH's naturally and there isnt an issue.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Hi, first thing I would recommend is that you get your Ph in line. What is your ch level? You mentioned that algae in its normal spots ... algae should not be "normal" I would think that once Ph is in line a SLAM is needed.
    20,000 gal, 18 x 36 IG Vinyl, 1.5 HP Hayward 2610x152S two speed, Sta-Rite S870 sand filter, Raypak 265,000 BTU P-R26A-EP-C, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    The experts will be along shortly. But if I had to guess you are going to need to get more chlorine in there. With a CYA of 70 your FC should be at MINIMUM 3. I would shoot for more like 5 or maybe even higher with your usage. Sounds like SWG might need some love. You can always use bleach to supplement the SWG for those higher than normal usage times.

    ph will rise with SWG use. Just drop some MA on it to lower it. Really shouldn't be over 7.8 I would shoot for 7.5

    Remember PoolMath is your friend!
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    The ph; add enough MA to get to 7.5 from 8.0, wait 30 mins then retest. If you are still high add MA again to target 7.5. That will help indicate just how high you really are. You didn't report your CH levels, but if they are high coupled with high ph scaling may happen and cause the cloudiness. See if that helps the clarity. If not then retry OCLT (below).

    Since you know there was algae you will probably need to SLAM until it is clear. But to be sure, raise your FC to around 10 ppm (with bleach) then retry the OCLT. The elevated levels of FC will help determine if there is something growing. There probably is since your increased SWG run time added very little FC. The 0.5 accuracy should be fine, but you can test at 0.2 for the OCLT if you prefer. It's just a little more accurate because of the larger sample size. As you know, the DE will help to filter the dead stuff and won't stop anything from growing. If you end up needing to SLAM target 7.2 for ph after the FC drops below 10 ppm.

    Good luck.

    Oh and don't be sorry - people enjoy helping.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    I agree with the FC concerns. Keeping the FC around 3 (minimum) is a dangerous place to be. Having been away for 10 days only to find the water level low as well was probably all it could take before an algae bloom began to take hold. As noted above, algae should never been relied upon as normal in any areas. Also remember that as nice as a SWG can be to assist in care-free maintenance, it is designed primarily to "maintain" your desired FC level. If your water is "sick", it may not be able to keep up with the desired FC load.

    I would definitely consider a SLAM at the moment. After passing all 3 criteria, consider the following:
    1 - Maintain a higher level of FC on a normal day (at least 5-6, maybe even 7-8) to keep pace with that SC sun.
    2 - See if you can angle your returns to improve circulation around your pool to get those "trouble spots". Pool activity certainly helps.

    But remember, algae is a sign of poor chemistry, not so much filtration, so always keep that FC at or slightly above your target FC.

    As for the PH, do what you can at the moment to bring it down to 7.2 in preparation for the SLAM. After the SLAM and your FC is back to the normal 5-7 range, check it again. You may find your TA going down slightly as well with the acid treatments, and that should be okay. The TA buffers your PH as well, and some pool owners find that even 80 is a bit too high to keep their PH stable. You might find more PH consistency if your TA is at/around 70. Just something to consider. You can read more here in TFP on tat subject. Good luck!
    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: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Do you have a main drain? If yes make shore that it is in use. To improve the water circulation you can direct the return jets so that you have a good flow everywhere. Even without a main drain it is possible to achieve a good circulation by directing one or two return jets towards the bottom of the pool.
    South of France inground rectangular 17k pool - ruber membrane. Sliding dome, black thermal blanket covering 75% of the pool surface. Aqualux 3/4Hp pump, glass media sand filter, Zodillac robot, 110W UV-c lamp, Hayward brominator, Caliente 12kW heat pump.

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    CHD DAD,

    You have to SLAM the Pool. That doesn't mean throw some powder in it and be done....it means SLAM the pool. There is an article in Pool School that articulates the SLAM process and you should start it sooner rather than later.

    Lower your pH to around 7.4 using muriatic acid and PoolMath to help you.

    SHUT OFF your SWG during the SLAM and don't turn it back on until you have completed the SLAM

    I am being intentionally abrupt because I want you to get a message that you are pattycaking around the edges of your issue and you must attack it head on with a SLAM.....that's why we came up with that acronym.

    Shut off that SWG gather up more bleach than you think you will ever possibly need and start the SLAM process......because it works.

    I really apologize for being so brusk but I want to get you on track so you'll have a clear understanding of what to do.......the rewards are amazing.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Dave - I bought 16 jugs of bleach this morning which was all Walmart had on the shelf. According to the calc I need 14 to get it up to FC 28 from my 3.0 level.

    My reason for not starting the slam is the OCLT test came back as normal.

    I will lower the PH throughout the day and test it to see if it stays put. I have 2 gallons of acid on hand.

    I have SLAM'd the pool in the past. Two years ago when the pool was new I let the chlorine go over the winter and we had a green pool in the spring. SLAM worked great. Just bummed since my pool was crystal clear before the trip.

    Regarding the jets and algae. I have the two areas that have almost no circulation. I have tried aiming a jet to no avail, the one corner just doesnt get flow and after days of none pool use the green will start forming on at the wall/floor area. It is also the shadiest part of the pool so that doesnt help things. The other area is directly below my Poolskim device. I cant aim that. I could take it out but it really works well, it works much better than my dual skimmers actually. We get these nasty little flying ants and it does great in cleaning those off the surface.

    In answering another question, I have two main drains and both are working.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    If jugs are 8.25% and 121oz, you need 8 jugs to go from 3 to 28 ppm in a 26,000 gallon pool. If they are 96oz jugs of 6% then you do need 14.

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    The forum was down for me for over a day so I just went ahead and did the SLAM. Had a 0.5 loss again overnight just like before I did the SLAM so I stopped after the one treatment. It is still pretty high today.

    Water is much clearer after the SLAM, running the fine screens in the Dolphin and repeatedly backwashing and adding more DE to the sand filter. Still isnt quite as clear as prior to the trip but it is very close and I can see from one end of the pool to the other.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but the OCLT is only one of three criteria for a SLAM. You also need a clear pool and <0.5 ppm CC.

    It's an "and, and, and" sort of thing, not a '70s Meatloaf song. Two out of three ain't good.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
    The forum was down for me for over a day so I just went ahead and did the SLAM. Had a 0.5 loss again overnight just like before I did the SLAM so I stopped after the one treatment. It is still pretty high today.

    Water is much clearer after the SLAM, running the fine screens in the Dolphin and repeatedly backwashing and adding more DE to the sand filter. Still isn't quite as clear as prior to the trip but it is very close and I can see from one end of the pool to the other.
    There is no "one treatment" in a SLAM. It is a continuous process where you continue to test and add chlorine to get back to shock level. The .5 loss overnight is only one thing you have to pass before you stop as Chris pointed out.

    Brink it back up to shock level and hold it there until all three of these statements are true:



    • CC is 0.5 or lower;
    • You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    • The water is clear.

    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: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    CC is 0 and was 0 to start
    OCLT was 0.5
    Water is much clearer after all the brushing, vacuuming and backwashing

    Forgot to add, I lowered my PH to 7.4 prior to the SLAM. It is currently 7.6.

    To be 100% honest with you guys the "cloudiness" looks like DE floating in the water. It never had any tint to it what so ever, it was just a slight milkiness to it after I had cleaned up the pool getting home and added the DE to try and help. I am not going to be adding any more DE after I backwash it this afternoon to see if it helps.

    Was my FC too low? Probably and I am going to clean and crank up the SWG a bit. Can I fix the water flow issues where I have dead spots in the pool where the algae likes to show up? Nope. It is just a design issue with the pool. I have tried different angles and even different styled eyeballs in the returns and nothing helps. If I do get some flow to the dead spots then I lose flow somewhere else. I'd also have to lose my Poolskim which works better than my two normal skimmers which is also a design issue. I am not convinced my pool was laid out quite right when it was installed but that is a long story and is something that I cant just - fix - at this point.

    So I can have the Poolskim working and dead spots that used to like to grow algae
    I can remove the Skim and have stuff just float to the bottom of the pool and hope to get better flow but that isnt a guarantee by a long shot

    As for the dead spots and algae growth I am hoping that raising my FC level up will eliminate that but it still wont help the low flow spots so we'll have to see.

    Do I think my pool needed a healthy shock to the system? Absolutely after seeing it after 10 days of non use.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Well then CHD, we wish you the best and hope your water stays clear for a terrific swimming season. If for some reason you encounter a problem with the water in the future, you'll have this thread to look back upon for advice. Enjoy your summer!
    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: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    It sounds like you really didn't finish the SLAM. If you are happy with the water then that it your choice. In a properly maintained pool, dead spots will not cause algae to start growing. If that was the case, pool lights would be a problem on every pool. If you routinely get algae outbreaks, it is a sign of letting FC get too low too often.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Also, remember that high pH degrades your chlorine's potency. So maybe your pool, in the fact it tends to drift high, means you need to maintain a slightly higher FC daily balance than the CYA chart recommends... Seems odd with your lowish TA that your pH still keeps climbing. Maybe have to lower TA a little bit more to keep it more inline?
    ~19k Gal, IG Vinyl, Hayward SP2607X10 1hp pump, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, built in 70s, has 8 deep end with diving board, 1 skimmer, 1 return, 1 low hole, Polaris booster pump PB4-60, old Polaris robot not sure model, Rheem P-M266A-EN-C 266,000 BTU heater, solar cover, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Speedstir

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Been trying to update the thread but this forum has been down for days (for me at least).

    Did the one day SLAM. Trying to keep the pH down to 7.6-7.8 which is where it seems to be somewhat stable if I leave it a few days. Backwashed the DE out of my sand filter. Left everything else alone.

    Pool is crystal clear again with zero algae or cloudiness. I am trying to keep my FC around 4-5 right now but it keeps drifting down with zero CC. I think my salt cell is dying or not working correctly. I cleaned it and I have it cranked up to 80% where normally I kept it around 50% and I cant get the FC to stay above 4.5 unless I add bleach to supplement. Early this year it was staying at FC of 6 when I had it turned up too high initially. It's producing bubbles and clicking on when I turn it up but I just am not seeing the same output. Salt is at 3000.

    The tell will be the weekend - its getting warm and sunny again and we're going away again to see a sick relative. Wont be back for several days. Water is balanced, pool is brushed and ran the robot. FC is at 4.5 currently and I turned up the SWG to 90% for the trip. We'll see how it looks when we get back.

    Do appreciate the help even though some replies seem to imply I am idiot... 99% of the time I can find the info needed by searching.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Sorry, another Cloudy water thread...

    Update #2. Went away for the long weekend. Today is day #5 of not touching the pool. Pool looks great! Havent had a chance to test the water yet but zero algae, zero cloudiness. Only thing that happened is a few stray leaves settled to the bottom and my skimmers picked up a few stray frogs.

    Still plan on cleaning the cell just for maintenance and I'll test the water later today.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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