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Thread: New Salt Water Chlorine Generator; cloudy water, bored kids, please help...

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    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Zionsville IN
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    New Salt Water Chlorine Generator; cloudy water, bored kids, please help...

    This is my first post. I have been searching the site for quite a while and have learned a lot, but I haven't found our exact problem. Not knowing exactly how all the levels interact, I'm not comfortable making assumptions from kind of similar situations, so I would very very much appreciate input from you all. (I have 4 kids under 6 who REALLY miss their pool!) We are very new pool owners (moved to house in November) and we converted what was a cloudy chlorine pool to saltwater at the end of May and all seemed fine and the water was crystal clear. Our automatic pool cover broke 2 weeks ago and so the pool was closed and unused (and chemicals unchecked) for about 10 days. Cover was replaced on Friday, opened the pool on Saturday and the pool is very cloudy and a bit on the greenish side.
    My husband did the following things:
    -Saturday - Tested chlorine level that showed very little chlorine so he turned the SWG to super-chlorinate for 24 hours and used the Polaris pool cleaner
    -Sunday - chlorine still low- put in 12 pounds of granular shock (SWG remained on); added algaeside and Leslie's Perfect Weekly; brushed the pool
    -Monday - Pool sample to Leslie's (sample was in a bottle for several hours, I assume this reduces validity...)
    FAC- 0 (!)
    TAC- 0 (!)
    pH- 7.2
    TA- 160 (High? treat?)
    AA- __ (? not tested?)
    CYA- 40 (is this low for a SWG?)
    Calcium Hardness- ___ (? not tested?)
    TDS- 4700 (is this too high?)
    Salt- 3300
    Cop/Iron- ____
    Phosphates- 200 (High)

    -Monday Continued - Leslie's told him to turn up the chlorinator to 100%
    -Tuesday- Sample to Leslie's (sample again was in a bottle for several hours)
    FAC- 0 (!)
    TAC- 0 (!)
    pH- 7.2
    TA- 150 (high)
    AA- __ (? not tested?)
    CYA- 30 (low?)
    Calcium Hardness- ___ (? not tested?)
    TDS- 4900 (higher?)
    Salt- 3300
    Cop/Iron- ____
    Phosphates- 300 (higher?)

    -Tuesday Continued- Leslie's questioned the SWG chlorine production, BUT my husband then talked to Hayward and went through diagnostics which indicated the cell was working properly and Hayward's said that the phosphate level (feeding the algae) was using up the chlorine, so they had him backwash the filter (it was greenish) and add commercial grade PhosFree
    -Wednesday- vacuumed and brushed the pool, backwashed (appeared clear) and added more PhosFree
    The test strips still indicate that there is no Chlorine and the pool water is still cloudy (but is a bit better than yesterday).
    Is this an algae problem? A pool chemical balance problem? Is the pool water too old (we don't know when it was last drained)? Do we just need to keep shocking it?
    I hope I've provided all the information needed to get help. Thank you in advance for helping because the people at Leslie's and Haywards are saying VERY different things and we are totally confused...
    36,000 gal, outdoor, in ground, 20X40 ft. plaster
    Hayward saltwater chlorine generator Swim Pure Plus (converted to salt water on May 27, 2015)
    Gas Heater; Sand filter; Automatic Pool Cover; Polaris Robotic pool cleaner

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New Salt Water Chlorine Generator; cloudy water, bored kids, please help...

    Hi and welcome to TFP!

    You might be making FC, but the SWG may not be making enough to keep up with the Algae Bloom. It could be malfunctioning and not producing, but without a proper test kit you will never know. I would politely suggest that you order a proper one, get away from the pool store and start managing your own water. Only in the most extreme cases are phosphates an issue, and they are actually irrelevant in a properly maintained pool. Free Chlorine will kill algae, and if it's dead, it cannot use the phosphates as nutrient. The removers are a crutch, excuse, and often a scam to just sell you more product. Order a proper kit today, and we can help learn to beat this. We will show you how to cure this issue and never have it again with just a little effort on your part.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: New Salt Water Chlorine Generator; cloudy water, bored kids, please help...

    Thank you. I appreciate your patience with me. That's what I had thought about the PhosFree. Actually the guy at Leslie's said what you did. It was the SWG tech at Haywards who insisted that the phosphate was the problem, which makes me suspicious. We do have a proper test kit, but were afraid that we weren't reading it correctly since the water wasn't clearing and FC level wasn't going up. We intend to SLAM it to help with the algae so that hopefully the SWG will be able to keep up unless you have a better suggestion. We'll have a SWG service tech come to make sure it is properly functioning if we still don't have increased chlorine levels. While we had fully intended to managing our own water but with 4 kids under six (including 1 year old twins) it just might not be in the cards. 3 of them are screaming right now. I digress. So other than testing the water ourselves, do you have any other suggestions? Just Chlorine, brushing and testing? Right? Thanks again.
    36,000 gal, outdoor, in ground, 20X40 ft. plaster
    Hayward saltwater chlorine generator Swim Pure Plus (converted to salt water on May 27, 2015)
    Gas Heater; Sand filter; Automatic Pool Cover; Polaris Robotic pool cleaner

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    Sandra B's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Shreveport, LA
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    Re: New Salt Water Chlorine Generator; cloudy water, bored kids, please help...

    Hi Manda and welcome. To slam you first test your ph and adjust it to about 7.2, then start maintaining your chlorine (bottled bleach) at slam level until you're clear. Read the slam article in pool school for the finer details. While slamming you can turn the swg completely off as you'll supply all your chlorine via liquid, so just save the generator. When the slam is complete and you let your chlorine drop back to your normal level, then turn the swg back on, I'll bet you find it can keep up with your needs in a clean pool. Don't give up on maintaining it yourself yet; it really is easy and takes about 5-10 minutes a day max once you have it cleared.
    18,000 gallon freeform inground plaster
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump & .75 hp booster pump
    Aquapure SWG
    Pentair Triton II sand filter
    Legend pressure-side vacuum

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: New Salt Water Chlorine Generator; cloudy water, bored kids, please help...

    Quote Originally Posted by MandaBrook View Post
    Thank you. I appreciate your patience with me. That's what I had thought about the PhosFree. Actually the guy at Leslie's said what you did. It was the SWG tech at Haywards who insisted that the phosphate was the problem, which makes me suspicious. We do have a proper test kit, but were afraid that we weren't reading it correctly since the water wasn't clearing and FC level wasn't going up. We intend to SLAM it to help with the algae so that hopefully the SWG will be able to keep up unless you have a better suggestion. We'll have a SWG service tech come to make sure it is properly functioning if we still don't have increased chlorine levels. While we had fully intended to managing our own water but with 4 kids under six (including 1 year old twins) it just might not be in the cards. 3 of them are screaming right now. I digress. So other than testing the water ourselves, do you have any other suggestions? Just Chlorine, brushing and testing? Right? Thanks again.
    Can I ask exactly what test kit you have? K2006 or TF100? I know you think you cant test with them but its actually easier than you think... Get one of these, walk out to the pool dip in down to your elbow and come back in the house... sit at the table and do all your tests.. You will need to go outside to read the CYA test but that is the only one..
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New Salt Water Chlorine Generator; cloudy water, bored kids, please help...

    Quote Originally Posted by MandaBrook View Post
    Thank you. I appreciate your patience with me. That's what I had thought about the PhosFree. Actually the guy at Leslie's said what you did. It was the SWG tech at Haywards who insisted that the phosphate was the problem, which makes me suspicious. We do have a proper test kit, but were afraid that we weren't reading it correctly since the water wasn't clearing and FC level wasn't going up. We intend to SLAM it to help with the algae so that hopefully the SWG will be able to keep up unless you have a better suggestion. We'll have a SWG service tech come to make sure it is properly functioning if we still don't have increased chlorine levels. While we had fully intended to managing our own water but with 4 kids under six (including 1 year old twins) it just might not be in the cards. 3 of them are screaming right now. I digress. So other than testing the water ourselves, do you have any other suggestions? Just Chlorine, brushing and testing? Right? Thanks again.
    Ok, which kit are you testing FC with? I'm sorry to say it, but another poster had a SWG tech support tell them the same thing about Po4 removers this summer, maybe a few, but it seems a common excuse. Let us know about the FC method you are using, and we can work on it from there.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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