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Thread: UPDATE...HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

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    UPDATE...HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    I am having some problems and here is a little background...about 3-4 weeks ago my pump went out. My (cheap) husband who is really super busy said he would fix it vs me just going ahead and calling a pool repairman. So 2 weeks later (my pool is sitting stagnant this whole time turning a nice forest green and harboring who knows what kinds of creatures), my husband gets around to looking at it and finds out that yes it needs to be replaced. He then calls his "pool friend" to get a new pump and that took another week to get and have installed. We get it installed and start trying to get the water clear. I got the green out but could never get rid of the cloudiness. Furthermore, the DE pressure would rise and the flow rate would diminish. I kept telling my husband I thought something was wrong and that someone needed to come look at it and then I lost my patience and just gave up dealing with it. So, the pool went green again, even with everything running and so this weekend, I started once again working on the water. We also took apart the DE filter and washed down the grids. I noticed that within 1 1/2 to 2 hours of doing this and backwashing the pressure would rise from between 12-15 to 35 and my flow would diminish. So, I started having to backwash every 2 hours and we have taken apart the filter several more times to wash it off.

    This weekend the pool store had me put Powerfloc in the pool, which I followed the instructions to a T and it didn't work. After almost 24 hours of sitting, my pool was so cloudy that you couldnt see what/if there was sediment on the bottom and I vacuumed to waste, but I couldn't see what I was vacuuming and my pool is just as cloudy as when I started. To give you an idea, when I was vacuuming, I ran into a dark metal pot that was in the deep end (which is only about 5 feet) and I couldn't even see it!

    On 6/20/2009 before I powerfloc'd over the weekend, my numbers were:

    pH - 8.8
    TA - 115
    FC - 3.1
    TC - 4.3
    CH - 236
    CYA - 0 (that is correct...they tested several times)

    I vacuumed to waste 2x and lowered the water level by about 6-7" and then refilled.

    Then today my numbers are:

    pH - 7.4
    TA - 85
    FC - 1.6
    TC - 1.6
    CH - 143
    CYA - 0


    I am having a difficult time keeping chlorine in the pool, it just gets burned up and my CYA is at 0..which they have tested several times and it keeps coming up at zero.

    So after the above #'s, the pool store wants me to do the following:

    1. Add 13lbs of baking soda (which I did about 30 min ago)
    2. Wait 2 hours and then add 2 cups of acid
    3. Wait 15 min and then add 4lbs of stabilizer (which I am not sure about if I should do...especially since I am having to backwash so often and I didn't know if there is a better way to go)
    4. Add 3lbs of smart shock (again..not sure if this is the best way to go)

    Any advice or instructions would be greatly helpful.

    Thanks.
    Jen

    16000 gallons; DE; IG plaster; Sta-rite max-e-pro 2hp pump; filter flow rate 60sqft

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    one more thing to add...while there was a tiny bit of green algae in a few spots, I brushed this morning and overall my water is a cloudy turquoise color.
    Jen

    16000 gallons; DE; IG plaster; Sta-rite max-e-pro 2hp pump; filter flow rate 60sqft

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
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    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    Quote Originally Posted by jenifah
    when I was vacuuming, I ran into a dark metal pot that was in the deep end (which is only about 5 feet) and I couldn't even see it!
    Wow that must've been SOME party. But anyway.

    You are having major chlorine loss from sunlight because of no stabilizer (CYA). Because it's so cloudy and you will keep needing to backwash, you don't want to end up with undissolved CYA in the filter, because you'll just backwash it out. The most common trick is to put it in a sock or knee-high or whatever, tie off the top, and then put that in the skimmer (as long as it doesn't block the water flow) or hang it in front of a return jet somehow. It will take a day or two for it all to dissolve. We don't recommend testing for CYA for a week afterward, just to make sure it's all in there.

    Using liquid chlorine (or regular bleach, which is the same stuff just lower strength) is the fastest way to get chlorine active in the pool. The powders will add either CYA or calcium depending on what kind it is; because you're adding stabilizer already, don't use the chlorine that says "dichloro-blahblah" in the ingredients. Calcium hypochlorite would be okay because your CH is on the low side. Long term, though, liquid chlorine or bleach works best.

    No more baking soda or acid. If there are any issues in that department they can wait until your pool is cleared up.

    For today, do the CYA-in-a-sock thing, then add enough chlorine to get your FC up to say around 10. In 16k gallons that would be about 1.5 gallons of liquid chlorine (which comes in 10% and 12.5%) or about 3 gallons of regular unscented bleach (Clorox, Target, Aldi, Walmart, any of the big-name big-box store house brands is okay). Do the same thing this evening after the sun is off the pool; that way the chlorine will have the maximum chance to work overnight without getting burned off by the sun.

    Hm, didn't see you mention a test kit, are you getting all your tests done at the pool store? It's really worthwhile to invest in your own good kit. With the kind of chlorine levels you're going to need, your best bet is one of the kits mentioned in this article. In fact all of Pool School is a great idea, once you have a chance to catch your breath.

    Stick with it, the pool can be a happy place again!
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    First, I'd read and re-read pool school (the big button in the upper right-hand corner of the forum). There is a lot of great information, there, but specificall check out the article "defeating algae". I'm definitely no expert, but the pool needs some shock-level chlorine, sustained over the length of time it takes for the shock level to hold overnight. The article suggests testing really frequently while shocking...like every hour or so if you can, and adding chlorine to get the pool back up to shock level each time the test indicates that it drops. With no CYA, I'm thinking I'd shoot for a chlorine level of 10 to shock.

    Second, to do what "defeating algae" says, you need a good test pool kit, one that tests higher, shock-level values of chlorine. I have the TF100 (http://www.tftestkits.net/index.php?act ... roductId=2) -- ships fast, lots of reagents, etc., etc. Don't rely on pool store #s. You'll more than save the cost of the test kit in unneeded chemicals once you know what's going on in your pool. And you can't shock accurately if you don't know what your chlorine level is.

    You do need CYA -- the sooner the better. Add it now by putting it in a sock and hanging the sock in front of a return so the water flow helps dissolve it faster.

    I might be missing something, but it seems like your other numbers aren't that bad and could wait until you get the algae under control.
    Nikki in IL
    18'x33'x52" AGP, 1.5hp Hayward pump, 200# Hayward sand filter, Aqua-Trol SWG
    "Intex graduate" from a 5400 gal, 18'x48" Intex quick set, crystal clear everyday (with the original Intex equip)for 3 seasons thanks to TFP and BBB

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    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    thanks for the advice. I am off to go get some stabilizer. I have been just testing at the pool store, but I know I need to go ahead and invest in one of the recommended test kits. I did get a 6 way strip test kit, to hold me over until I order. A friend of mine told me about this site over a year ago and I keep procrastinating because I have a hard time understanding all of the "chemical" stuff and up til now, I really haven't had too many pool troubles.

    Do you think it would be better to invest the extra money in a liquid stabilizer to help get my CYA raised quicker?
    Jen

    16000 gallons; DE; IG plaster; Sta-rite max-e-pro 2hp pump; filter flow rate 60sqft

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    Once you have your chemistry right and the FC holds overnight it may take several days for the cloudiness to completely go away. This year at opening our pool was green on steroids with algae. Just run the system 24/7 till it clears - and it will. Trust me! Remember when you have added the things you should add to bring the water chemistry in specs ... be sure to add a 55 gallon drum of pool patience!
    20x40 30,000 gal IG Liner, Pentair II Sand

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    do they sell patience by the pallet somewhere because I think I am out
    Jen

    16000 gallons; DE; IG plaster; Sta-rite max-e-pro 2hp pump; filter flow rate 60sqft

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    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    Yes, POP (pool owner patience) is one of the most important ingredients.

    Speaking of which, liquid stabilizer will act more quickly but costs a lot more. Up to you.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    Don't bother paying for the liquid, you have been Pool Stored enough. I can't believe they told you to add baking soda, and then told you to add Acid. Ridiculous advice.

    The CYA will dissolve in a day or two, there is no reason to pay for the liquid.

    Hang in there, pretty soon this will all click for you and you will have a trouble-free pool.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    Quote Originally Posted by jenifah
    one more thing to add...while there was a tiny bit of green algae in a few spots, I brushed this morning and overall my water is a cloudy turquoise color.
    That sounds to me like your need for POP will be somewhat less! Turquiose is a good color, sure beats green.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: UPDATE...HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    So, persistence and a little patience has paid off. I added the 3 gal of bleach and I've got knee highs in my skimmers with the CYA. I have been checking my filter PSI's every 30 minutes and have been backwashing every hour (when I backwash my psi goes down to 13/14 and then within the hour had been rising to 30/34). When I just checked it last, it had only gone up to 24psi within the hour, so progress! The water in my spa is super clear, I dare to say it would be sparkling if the sun were shining and I can actually see the dark spot of the drain cover in the deep end. I also found a couple of dog toys and a small tree limb in the pool that I couldn't see earlier today! I plan to check it again in an hour and then call it a night...I'll let it run overnight and check in am.

    I have had to add a little water because of all of my backwashing, so I would bet I will have to add more chlorine tomorrow??? I'll test tomorrow and post results to get further chemical advice.

    Thank you to everyone with their helpful comments today! I really thought I was going to have to commit pool suicide, but I can now see a light and possibly even swimming at the end of the tunnel!
    Jen

    16000 gallons; DE; IG plaster; Sta-rite max-e-pro 2hp pump; filter flow rate 60sqft

  12. Back To Top    #12
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: UPDATE...HELP! Cannot get water clear from cloud & algae!

    HI again, if you are backwashing that often, alot of your newly added CYA is going with it. I'm thinking maybe you should move the stockings so that they hang in front of a return instead....

    Yes, chlorine is constantly being consumed so you'll need to add it daily, and several times a day when tackling algae/cloudy water. Even if you weren't replacing water you would have to add more chlorine tomorrow.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Am I on the right track finally?

    Merged for history. Butterfly

    So, thanks to everyone yesterday, my pool did a complete 180 and looks like an entirely different pool. This morning I woke up to a cloudless pool (found a couple more dog toys at the bottom!), I did find a couple of small patches of green algae, I couldnt tell if it was new growth or some that I had missed brushing the other day, nevertheless, it was green and needed to go. I used my pitiful test strips (which I did order a test kit late last night..can't wait to get it) and guesstimated my numbers to be:

    FC 3
    PH 7.5
    TA 120
    CYA 0

    note..yesterday evening I added 4 lbs of CYA through a kneehigh..started out in the skimmer and then moved to hang in front of a return jet and I let my pump run all night. I input the above numbers into the pool calculator and came up with that I needed to add 1 qt 1oz of bleach..which I did. Was I correct in doing this?

    I waited about an hour and a half and then took a new sample to the pool store and these are the numbers that they gave me:

    CYA 51
    TC 6
    FC 4.5
    pH 7.5
    TA 153

    Since I just added the CYA last night, I don't know how trusty that number is???? I did input those numbers into the pool calculator and it doesnt look like I really need to do anything right at this moment. Does this all sound like I am on the right track?

    Thanks,
    Jen

    16000 gallons; DE; IG plaster; Sta-rite max-e-pro 2hp pump; filter flow rate 60sqft

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Am I on the right track finally?

    Does this all sound like I am on the right track?
    Yes. Like you, I am a little surprised at the CYA test result but perhaps yours actually dissolved into the water that quickly.

    I think if you just put in a little bit of Clorox each evening (I would suggest enough to raise your FC by 2ppm) until your test kit arrives, you will find your numbers looking pretty good.

    It may turn out that you will want to shock your pool but I would not do that until you had a set of good, reliable test results.

    It certainly sounds like you have gotten a good grasp of pool chemistry in a very short period.....very nice work!
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  15. Back To Top    #15
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Am I on the right track finally?

    I'd do as Dave suggested....and when you get your test you can confirm if their numbers are accurate. They show your CC is 1.5 which would require shocking. But go ahead and do the 'wait and see' approach. Stay on top of the chlorine though!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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