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Thread: Help me clear up my cloudy milky water - please.

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    Help me clear up my cloudy milky water - please.

    We have had an intex above ground pool (5500 gal) up since the beginning of May. We have well water and got through the metals changing the color after shocking and have had regular maintenance - vacumming, shocking, testing, etc.

    The water was clear two weeks ago - we had a few kids over and there was a lot of swimming. The water was cloudy afterwards. We vacuumed, shocked and it cleared up. We had a storm the next day and the water was cloudy.

    We added algaecide and chlorine and it got milky starting 3rd. We took the water to the local pool store to be tested and they gave us a regime of 2 pounds of Soda on day one, 5 pounds of hardness plus on day two, and 1/2 liter of Phos Free on day three. We had high phosphates low calcuim hardness and low pH so they thought we had the makings of an algae bloom.

    We did all this and kept our filter running regularly and changed the filter. This did not help! the water was still cloudy and every time we tried to vacuum - we do not have a waste vacuum option so there are small particles which still make their way back into the pool - the water got cloudier. We took water back to the pool place on July 7th our calcium had disappeared and the phosphates had come down. They put us on a regime of 3 ounces of Soda Ash and 8 ounces of black algae killer on day one and 3 pounds of chlorbrite 48 hours after the other items running the filter non stop. We did this and added the water clarifyer block that you put in the skimmer.

    Nothing has worked. We turned the filter off on Sunday to let everything settle and removed the clarifier cube and cleaned the skimmer and filter. Today the water was clear - wow!!! but you could see all the clumps of stuff at the bottom and small particles throughout the water.

    I thought I could vacuum the gunk up and we could shock it and be back in the game....oh, but as soon as I turned the filter on and started vacuuming, the cloudiness came back and the gunk made the water opaque once again.

    What can we do? I tried to vacuum disconnecting the hose on the rentry side of the pool to let the vacuumed gunk drain into our yard, but that did not go over so well and left my yard muddy and the pool opaque.

    Can anyone give us advice on how to get the water clear again? thanks for any help you can provide. we are at our whits end.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me clear up my cloudy milky water - please.

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyak
    We have had an intex above ground pool (5500 gal) up since the beginning of May. We have well water and got through the metals changing the color after shocking and have had regular maintenance - vacumming, shocking, testing, etc.

    The water was clear two weeks ago - we had a few kids over and there was a lot of swimming. The water was cloudy afterwards. We vacuumed, shocked and it cleared up. We had a storm the next day and the water was cloudy.

    We added algaecide and chlorine and it got milky starting 3rd. We took the water to the local pool store to be tested and they gave us a regime of 2 pounds of Soda on day one, 5 pounds of hardness plus on day two, and 1/2 liter of Phos Free on day three. We had high phosphates low calcuim hardness and low pH so they thought we had the makings of an algae bloom.

    We did all this and kept our filter running regularly and changed the filter. This did not help! the water was still cloudy and every time we tried to vacuum - we do not have a waste vacuum option so there are small particles which still make their way back into the pool - the water got cloudier. We took water back to the pool place on July 7th our calcium had disappeared and the phosphates had come down. They put us on a regime of 3 ounces of Soda Ash and 8 ounces of black algae killer on day one and 3 pounds of chlorbrite 48 hours after the other items running the filter non stop. We did this and added the water clarifyer block that you put in the skimmer.

    Nothing has worked. We turned the filter off on Sunday to let everything settle and removed the clarifier cube and cleaned the skimmer and filter. Today the water was clear - wow!!! but you could see all the clumps of stuff at the bottom and small particles throughout the water.

    I thought I could vacuum the gunk up and we could shock it and be back in the game....oh, but as soon as I turned the filter on and started vacuuming, the cloudiness came back and the gunk made the water opaque once again.

    What can we do? I tried to vacuum disconnecting the hose on the rentry side of the pool to let the vacuumed gunk drain into our yard, but that did not go over so well and left my yard muddy and the pool opaque.

    Can anyone give us advice on how to get the water clear again? thanks for any help you can provide. we are at our whits end.
    My friend, you are being Pool Stored. Run, don't walk as fast as you can away from that Pool Store - as they are taking your money and not helping you, not to mention giving you bad advice.

    First, Black Algae doesn't grow in AG pools, especially Intex ones. Also, AG pools don't need calcium.... Phosphates are algae food, but if you maintain proper FC levels according to the CYA/Chlorine chart, they are irrelevant.

    What clears up algae/cloudy water is chlorine, and plenty of it. You don't need soda ash, calcium increaser, phosfree, algaecide or anything else to rid a pool of algae. They have ripped you off, big time.

    It's very simple, really. Read Pool School - specifically Defeating Algae and How to Shock your Pool.

    Do you have a way to test the water?

    Unfortunately with the Intex Filters, once there is a problem, it's very, very hard to clear it up.

    First, you'll need to give us a full set of results, because I want to know why they recommended Soda Ash.

    We need to know your CYA level, so we can help you determine how high to shock.

    You need to stock up on Intex Filters, and bleach or Liquid Chlorine, because that is how you will ensure the algae is dead.

    Once the algae is dead, it's going to take time and ALOT of POP (Pool Owner Patience) for the Intex Filters to clear the water. They are disposable and meant to be tossed after 1-2 weeks of "normal" use.

    If you are clearing your water, you should toss them after a day or two, hosing them off several times a day in between to prolong their use. You'll have to keep brushing the pool to keep it stirred up so the filter can catch the debris.

    Otherwise vacuming to waste as you tried is an option, but you didn't like it much.

    I think someone with an Intex recommended an Aquabroom or something....

    I'm sorry this has happened to you, and I hope we can help you get this straight.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Help me clear up my cloudy milky water - please.

    Thanks - I will read the Pool School. When we went in on 7/3 after the storm the results of the water test were: FAC-3.0, TAC-3.0, pH-too low to register, TA-90, Calcium Hardness-130, CYA-35, Phosphates-500. This is when they recommended the soda ash....

    When we completed their recommendations of soda ash/hardness plus/phos free we took the water back in and got the following results: FAC-0, TAC-0, pH-7.2, TA-120, Calcium Hardness-180, CYA-35, Phosphates-100. This is when they recommended the soda ash/chlor brite/black algae killer.

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    Re: Help me clear up my cloudy milky water - please.

    Any way you can get a longer hose and vacuum out into the street instead of your yard?

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Help me clear up my cloudy milky water - please.

    Okay, the PH/TA are better so the Soda Ash was the only good thing

    If your CYA is 35, then your shock level is 12/13. If your FC is currently 0, you need to add 1.5 small jugs (96oz) of 6% bleach. Then you will need to use the Pool Calculator to determine how much bleach to add to maintain shock level. Try it out, if you need confirmation on the amounts to add, let us know.
    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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    ultra800_96's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Pomeroy, Iowa
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    Re: Help me clear up my cloudy milky water - please.

    In agreement with everyones advice here. And...
    It took weeks for my Hayward sand filter to finally filter out all the cloudiness, after killing the algea from my neglected swamp this spring!! I believed everyone here.. kept at it with the liquid chlorine, nothing else..mine is finally clear. It can take a lot of patience to clear cloudiness. It seemed days sometimes before ANY change in clarity would happen. Yes, it would get partially clear, then I'd vacuum & cloudy again. It's pretty normal I think sometimes. I probably should have changed out my sand since it is 4-5 years old, but I'll do it at closing this year, or opening next year.

    My best purchase by far was the TF100 testkit from Dave!! My second best was the liquid chlorine & bleach.

    Everyone's situation is different, but if I were in your shoes with the cartridge filter & pump situation, I would spring for a decent sand filter with probably a 3/4 to 1 hp pump, at least so I could backwash when needed. It could always be used with a bigger pool if one was ever in the future. My pump originally was a 3/4 for my 12,900 gallons & was the perfect size.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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