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Thread: newbie with green murky water

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    wilson5186's Avatar
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    newbie with green murky water

    I just took over the care of our easy set set pool as of this morning. Last season, we shocked the pool once a week and it stayed crystal clear all summer. This year, we tried to fill the pool using our well water once again. We started dragging up brown, yucky water so stopped that immediately. We paid to have water brought in and the pool is now a mess! We should have drained the yucky water first but didn't. Anyway, right now it is light green and murky. It has been shocked (maybe double shocked) on 2 consecutive days with the HTH powder stuff. DE powder was added to the skimmer. This seems to have helped catch the algae in the filter cartridge. Each time I clean it, it is now a light brown color. About 2 lbs of baking soda was added to the pool. It has been vacuumed and brushed down daily. I ordered a real test kit THIS MORNING and plan to begin using BBB as soon as it arrives. For now, I will post the numbers that I got from those silly test strips. They are difficult to read, bare with me. I am doing my best:

    TH 100-200
    FC 3
    pH 6.8?
    TA 40
    CYA 0-30?
    Bromine 20

    Where do I start? I am running the pump non-stop and cleaning it every hour or so. Does anything need adjusted? I have read and re-read the pool rules so many times that I am starting to get dizzy with all of the information. I really don't want to loose too much water as we paid to have it put in. I'm simply overwhelmed at this point.
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Hi. I know it can be overwhelming....You'll get this, don't worry!

    You need to raise your PH with Borax, if you have any on hand. Do that first.

    (The alternative is Soda Ash/Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, or pool products like "PH Up". Soda ash will also raise your TA.)

    You can continue to use the Baking soda if you have it, Baking Soda and Borax will both bring the TA and PH into the recommended range. But do the PH first, it's more important.

    After your PH is 7.2-7.6, you can add more chlorine. Shock your pool to a FC of 10. Hold it there as best you can with frequent additions of bleach. Use the strips if that's all you have to confirm the FC is holding at 10.

    CYA - there is a big difference between 0 and 30. It means everything. When you say "HTH Powder stuff" can you tell me the ingredients? That would help us determine if you have any CYA or not.

    Ignore references to Bromine since you are using Chlorine.
    Hardness is also fine to ignore since you have a vinyl pool, your level is ok.

    Remember those cartriges that go with the pool are disposable. They last for only 1-2 weeks with "normal" use. If you have green, murky or algae water, you need to just chuck em and replace when dirty. You will go thru ALOT to clear your water, so stock up next trip to the store. I don't advise DE with cartride filters, just sand filters. DE can clog the cart and make it work less efficiently.

    This is a good starting point. Ask any questions at all.

    Do you know how to use the Pool Calculator? It helps you figure out how much of each product to add, you don't want to follow the lame/vague package instructions.
    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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    wilson5186's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    I'll pick up some borax and bleach today. We are going camping this weekend but will be close enough for me to come back to add bleach as necessary.

    They previously used the HTH super shock n' swim (Calcium Hypochlorite) in the pool.

    I've got lots of filters. I am cleaning them hourly and changing them daily until this mess gets cleaned up.

    No more DE powder. That was a recommendation from a neighbor.

    Once I get the pH up and add the bleach, how long to I keep the FC at 10? Til the water is clear?

    I am trying to use the pool calculator. Thanks!
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Yes, till the water is clear. Once you have your kit you can perform an overnight FC loss test to confirm your FC is holding.

    Since the Powder was cal-hypo you need stabilizer in your water or the sun will destroy all your FC.

    You can raise your CYA level by buying stabilizer seperately or using Dichlor powder, very sparingly. Use the Pool Calculator to determine how much Dichlor to raise your FC to 10, and then the "effects of adding chemicals" section will tell you how much that Dichlor addition will raise your CYA by. BE careful you don't want to overuse the Dichlor or raise your CYA above 50.

    As your CYA level increases, so does your recommended FC levels - refer to the CYA chart.
    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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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    So can I add stabilizer and borax at the same time? Then when the pH is up go ahead and add bleach?
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Yes, the stabilizer will go in a sock and you tie the sock off in front of the return and leave it to dissolve there. The borax can be predissolved in a bucket of water and poured into the return flow. Retest the PH after 30-60 minutes. Repeat the Borax if necessary.

    When the PH is in range, then add the bleach, pouring slowly into the return flow. Try floating the bottom of the bottle on the water surface, with the opening a few inches from the water, and pour slowly, this helps prevent splashing.
    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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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    OK, I bought one of those cheapy test kits for the meantime.

    Stabilizer and borax have been added. The pH is registering a beautiful 7.5. Off to add some bleach and pray for a miracle!

    Thank you!!!
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    I added the recommended dose of bleach per the pool calculator. I am temporarily using the cheapo test kit and strips but the FC seems to have remained at 10 ever since. I will retest one more time tonight before bed and first thing in the morning. Should I be looking at any other numbers or just focus on the FC? The CYA appears to still be below 30. More stabilizer?

    I just got an email that my good test kit was shipped today!
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Wait for the Stabilizer - it takes about 5 days before it fully dissolves and registers on tests. You should have your kit by then.

    Just keep the FC up, the PH in range. Let us know where things stand tomorrow, but tomorrow will probably be a repeat of today, keeping the FC up to 10. Once you get your kit, things will be more accurate and precise, and progress better.
    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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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    OK, we have returned home from camping and the water looks better, but it is still not clear. I was able to come home each day to add some bleach, brush the pool, and change the filter. We could not let the pump run the whole time that we were away. Anyway, here are my current stats:

    FC - 10 (no bleach added since yesterday)
    CC - .5
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 100
    CH - 100
    CYA - 28

    Stabilizer was added last Thursday. As I said, the water doesn't really look terribly green anymore, but it still isn't very clear. At this point, do I continue to keep the FC at 10? My poor kids just want to swim!
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    I'd still keep the FC up around 10. Also, are you able to run your filter all the time now that you're back? That will help, too.
    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: newbie with green murky water

    The FC has slightly dropped and I need to add some bleach. Should I increase my shock FC to 12? I have been aiming for 10 but my CYA reading this morning was 28 (first time with my new test kit!). I added stabilizer last Thurs so I'm not sure if that CYA number is 100% accurate yet.

    The pump has been running non-stop since we returned.

    I'm looking for some POP too. I feel horrible that my kids can't even swim in the pool in the middle of summer. Such a bummer!
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Yes, since your CYA is close to 30, I'd raise the FC shock value to 12, as the CYA/chlorine chart suggests.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Let them swim. Allow the FC to drop slightly below shock level during the day and then bump it back up to shock at night after they are done swimming.
    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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    wilson5186's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    BIG improvement overnight! Here are some pictures:




    The reflection of the clouds kinda distorts the pictures but you get the idea. Here are my results from this morning:

    FC - 11 (was 11.5 last night)
    CC - .5
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 90
    CH - 120
    CYA - 30

    I'm going to go vacuum now and retest the FC. Hopefully it came down a bit so the kids can swim today!
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Looks great.

    Kids can swim. Your FC is up there but it will fall rapidly today and it's already below shock level so no issues with swimming.
    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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    wilson5186's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Thanks so much! The kids swam yesterday and had a great time. I added bleach last night and my FC held perfectly at 13 overnight. The pool looks nice although I'm not sure that it is "crystal clear". Would you suggest maintaining shock level all day or just overnight again? Here are my stats from this morning:

    FC - 13
    CC - .5
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 90
    CH - 120
    CYA - 30
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    No...that's probably just the pathetic intex filter...if your FC held there is no reason to keep shocking. Just give the filter time to clear it up....it will be painfully slow.
    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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    wilson5186's Avatar
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    Re: newbie with green murky water

    Thank you so much. A new pump is already down as a necessity for next year!
    Intex Round Easy Set 18' x 48"
    635 Intex cartridge pump (1500 gph)

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