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Thread: AG pool with good chemical levels but slightly cloudy water

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    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    AG pool with good chemical levels but slightly cloudy water

    We've had our pool about a month now. It's had slightly cloudy water since week 2 and I can't figure out how to solve it.

    Similar to Intex 12'x30" AG pop-up pool (about 1353 gallons according to Intex's website, but my directions say 1200 gals)
    Filter that came with it is small and uses a Size V cartridge (so small that few places carry it)

    I test the basics every day and the full range about once a week. We have the 6-way HTH testing kit (with drops, not strips).
    Today's test-

    TA - 120
    TH - 110
    pH - 7.5
    FC - 5 (my test only goes up to 5 but I just put Cl in about 20 minutes ago)
    Br - 5 (again, test only goes up to 5)
    CYA - measured 2 weeks ago right at 40

    According to the Pool Calculator, this is all about right. TH is low, but from what I've read this doesn't really matter with AG seasonal pools. TA is high, but not high enough to trip the Pool Calculator into lowering it.

    My feeling is that the filter and pump that comes with the pool isn't big enough so it's not filtering enough. The directions say to run the pump 7-87 hours a day when we're not in the pool, but I've noticed it's a lot clearer when we run it overnight or while we're in the pool stirring everything around.

    However, before I plan to buy a new filter & pump for next year, I'd like your opinions. It's not a big pool so we can dump and refill pretty easily, but I'd rather not if I can solve this otherwise.
    ~Heather~

    off brand Intex 12'x30" AG pool
    about 1200-1300 gallons
    using pump that came with it - Cartridge size V

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: AG pool with good chemical levels but slightly cloudy water

    I'd run in 24/7, at least until the water is clear. The pump and filter struggle to keep up on those pools.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: AG pool with good chemical levels but slightly cloudy water

    1. I think John probably means run it any time you are not using the pool. It is my understanding it is a safety hazard to swim with those pumps going.

    2. Bromide is a different sanitizer than chlorine -- as I understand it you pick one or the other. As a BBB follower (wise move!) you have picked chlorine -- so you don't have to worry about the Bromide side of the testing block.

    3. A problem I had, as a brand new Easy Set owner this year, was that I did not know to "prime" the pump, which resulted in very little flow. You may already be doing the pump correctly and perhaps just need to run the pump more hours per day as previously suggested -- but if you are not priming it, post back and I'll try to help you go through the steps to do that. It will increase your flow a bunch over using it un-primed.

    4. Be sure your filter is cleaned/changed often, especially if cloudy water. What does the filter look like when you check it -- white and slimy?
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: AG pool with good chemical levels but slightly cloudy water

    You can dump and refill, and start to rebalance, or you can confirm if your issue is one of filtration or water balance.

    I suspect a little of both....

    Stock up on the filters, order online if needbe, because they are only meant to be used for 1-2 weeks under "normal" conditions. Once a problem arises, they should be changed more frequently.

    Your cloudy water is likely a result of not enough chlorine - if you look at the CYA chart, have you consistently kept the FC above the "Min" for your CYA level? Each night you test, add enough bleach to reach your "target" FC, and that should be enough to keep you above the "min" for the next day. If you haven't done this, if the chlorine was allowed to drop too low for more than a few hours, it's possible for organics to take hold and you end up with a "nascent" algae situation where you can't really see it but it starts consuming the chlorine as you add it. Then what happens is the water turns cloudy. Then, especially if you stopped adding chlorine, it would turn green. So it sounds to me like you are just a step ahead of green.

    I would recommend you shock your pool, if you don't want to drain. Your shock level is 16, you'll need to use the dilution method to test the chlorine levels. So take one part pool water and three parts distilled (or chlorine-free) water, and multiply the result by 4. Use this method to test up to 20 with your chlorine test. You will lose some accuracy but at least it gives you an idea if you are around your target. Keep shocking the pool, holding 16 by testing as often as hourly and adding bleach if it's below 16, and do this until the water is clear and the 16 holds overnight (as best you can tell with your kit).

    I would change out the filter twice a week until the water clears.

    Hope this helps.
    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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    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Re: AG pool with good chemical levels but slightly cloudy water

    Thank you everyone!

    We've changed the filters twice now and both times they are pretty yucky with brown gunk. (So 3 filters in 5 weeks) I'll change the filter more often until this is cleared up.

    We do prime the pump, got that part down!

    You're right, our FC levels do go below min once in a while if I'm not prompt enough with adding Cl. I'll do the shock treatments and see if I can get it "sparkling". At this point, it's the principle of the thing...I want to be able to keep it clear rather than relying on dumping it.
    ~Heather~

    off brand Intex 12'x30" AG pool
    about 1200-1300 gallons
    using pump that came with it - Cartridge size V

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: AG pool with good chemical levels but slightly cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by operationbabygoal
    I want to be able to keep it clear rather than relying on dumping it.
    That's the ticket.... as long as you maintain the proper FC levels according to the CYA chart, you should be able to avoid problems in the future so dumping won't be necessary. Once it's clear, each night you'll add enough bleach to raise your FC to the "target" on the chart - and this should be enough to keep you above the "min". You can target 1ppm higher just to give yourself some extra cusion if you like.

    Good luck and post back if you need more assistance.
    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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