Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 62

Thread: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

  1. Back To Top    #1

    New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    I posted this information on another forum, but it seems to be pretty inactive (though the people there do seem quite knowledgeable).

    Stats yesterday morning
    Free Chlorine 5ppm
    Total Chlorine 5ppm
    Combined Chlorine 0ppm
    pH 7.8
    Hardness 155ppm
    Alkalinity 85ppm
    Total Dissolved Solids 1500ppm

    15,000 gallon in ground pool, plaster walls, sand filter. Water is cloudy white. Pump seems to move the water quite well when on and the pressure is about 10lbs after a backwash.

    Last weekend the guy at the pool store sold me some clarifier and told me to put "this much" in the pool, "this much" being 16 oz. The instructions say to use 3 to 4 oz in a pool of my size on a weekly basis, so I figured that 16oz would be OK. But it got cloudier. About 4 days later with no improvement I decided to floc.

    I brought a water sample to the pool store and got the numbers above. I was told to fix the harness first, so I added 10 pounds of Ram hardness control, let the filter run for 4 hours, and then added 12oz of pH plus to get the pH up to around 8. I let the pumps run for another 4 hours and then added 6 lbs of flocc. I set the timer to shut off the pump in 4 hours (as the instructions say) and let the pump run in whirlpool/recirculate (as the pool guy said to do). This was at about 7 PM last night. 12 hours later, the pool is cloudier than it was last night. I can no longer see the pool drain in the deep end (6ft). I think I'm supposed to wait 24 hours before vacuuming, but I was really hoping to see some results this morning.

    If this is algae, will the flocc help? Can algae even make the pool water cloudy white? Should I have let the pump run longer? How obvious should the flocculated stuff be on the bottom of the pool? I just looked into the shallow end and saw a tiny amount of black stuff on the bottom, but my wife and I were doing some gardening yesterday and I suspect that it is likely just potting soil. I can actually see the 'stuff' floating in the water, it didn't seem to want to settle out like the pool store guy said it would so I set the filter to filter and let it run for a few hours until the pressure went up by about 3 PSI then I shut it down as I don't want it to run overnight right now.

    Since I have 5ppm free chlorine and 0 combined chlorine, is it safe to assume that it isn't algae? Can algae even be white?
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    The floc still hasn't settled to the bottom of the pool. If I measured wrong and I have say 20,000 gallons and I used floc for only 15,000, would the floc not settle out? Would I need to add more?

    This was the pool water before floccing. Now, I can't even see the third step in the shallow end.

    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  3. Back To Top    #3
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Welcome to TFP

    Did they by any chance tell you your CYA/Stabilizer level?

    I've never used floc or clarifier, so not sure what it "should" do. One of the philosphies we teach here at TFP is not to put anything unneccessary in your pool, and both of those products fall into that category. This thread is an interesting read about why floc doesn't always work....

    We advise folks to purchase their own top quality test kit, to do their own accurate testing, so they aren't subjected to (often) bad advice from poorly trained pool store employees, said advice often being to use expensive chemicals that might only make the problem worse.

    Check out Pool School - alot of information there. I think you should order one of the recommended kits and begin to the process of shocking your pool, read about how here.

    Cloudy water can be a sign of Algae. The absence of CCs doesn't indicate that its not algae. That being said, more floc and clarifier likely won't help since it didn't help to begin with. Depending on your CYA level, that may give us more clues to what's happening.

    If I'm wrong, others with more experience on how floc/clarifier are supposed to behave and how to deal with what's happening in your pool will be along to chime in with advice I'm sure!

    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

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    I would start by lowering the PH to about 7.4. If you are having a problem with calcium clouding that will clear it up. Then I would check to make sure the filter is working correctly. If you have a multi-possition valve is it set on filter? The sand might also have become channelized, if the sand hasn't been checked in over a year I would open up the filter and resettle the sand bed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Welcome to TFP! You've come to the right place.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    I purchased a TF100 and should have it hopefully by this weekend. As far as shocking, free chlorine is on the high side and I don't think that it has recently been low. However, I guess shock is only a couple of bucks so I might as well give it a shot.

    I bought a vacuum hose and vacuum head attachment that I don't think I need since the flocc isn't settling anyway. I have a creepy so he should help keep the stuff that settles on the bottom kicked up for the filter to get. I can't find the receipt for the vacuum stuff, so I'm going to go trade it in for store credit. I have about $60 of stuff to bring back to the pool store, that should be more than enough to pick up some new sand, I just need to determine how many lbs of the stuff I need. I can use some of that store credit to get some shock too. The pool is about 5 years old, and the guy we bought the house from owned it for 2 years or so. He said that he's never had the filter open, so it is likely that the sand is original. I don't know if it has channeled or not. If it were channeled, is it obvious? Like would I see a hole all the way through it, or is it more insidious in that it can look OK but still be channeled?

    The pool store didn't tell me what my stabilizer was, but my test strip read 0. I put in a gallon of liquid stabilizer. I'm not 100% sure of what it was but it looked like really thick milk and the bottle said it was some kind of salt. The guy at the store told me not to worry about the stabilizer as the chlorine pucks would raise it up as the water warmed and they were consumed more quickly.

    My valve was set to filter when the cloudiness started creeping up on me. After adding the floc, I had it on whirlpool (recirculate) for a day or so so it wouldn't clog the sand with garbage.

    If I'm going to replace my sand, do I risk messing up the new sand by replacing it before I clear up the water? I understand that it may be impossible to clear the water if the sand is ultimately the problem though. What do I do with the old sand? I think zeobrite you can mix with garden soil... just don't know what to do with sand. Is it OK to put it down a storm drain or is that a no-no? It won't be super easy, but there is a wooded area near my house that I could haul it off to if I must.
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Test strips are notoriously inaccurate, especially for the CYA test. If you were using Trichlor pucks as your source of chlorine in the past, then I doubt that your CYA is zero. You'll know for sure when you get the TF100 kit.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    New test results today, asked the guy to run CYA too

    Free chlorine 5ppm
    Total chlorine 5ppm
    Combined chlorine 0ppm
    pH 7.5
    Hardness 275ppm
    Alkalinity 110ppm
    Cyanuric Acid 90ppm
    Total Dissolved Solids 1800ppm

    I'm going to dissect the filter on Saturday, see if it is channeled. The guy at the store said that algae is pretty much never white unless it is dead, suspended in the water, and then bleached white.
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  9. Back To Top    #9
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    The "guy at the store" is wrong .... Have you had a chance to read Pool School? Your FC is not high at all, it's actually now to low...

    If you added a gallon of liquid stabilizer, you raised your CYA from 75 to 90, which then means your Minimum FC level is 7, and your everyday "target" to keep the FC above that level is 9. Refer to the CYA chart in my sig...

    The higher the CYA, the higher your FC must be to prevent algae. Often the first sign before a totally green pool is the cloudiness shown in the pic you posted above. I'm pretty confident that this is an organic situation that can be cleared by shocking the pool with bleach or liquid chlorine only.

    I would recommend you not use any pool store granulated shock products, as they will either increase your already too-high CYA level, or increase your CH level. I would also suggest you do a partial drain, about 1/3 down and replace with fresh water to lower the CYA to normal ranges, so that your min and target FC levels are lower. If you continue with a CYA that high you will need to reach a shock level of 35 FC...way higher than practical. We recommend a CYA of about 50 for non-swg pools.

    If the sand is not channelled, the follow the instructions for How to shock your pool (once you get your kit )

    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Thanks, I'll see what I can do. Is there any other way to lower CYA? My pump isn't plumed to any sewer and I'd rather not make my neighbor's yard into a swamp. There is a storm drain several hundred yards away, I could buy a massive amount of hose I guess. Hmm... I'm guessing that the drain and refill is the easiest way, otherwise you'd have suggested something else probably. I think I'm going to stop by Home Depot on my way home from work tomorrow and see if I can find a super long hose. There's a storm drain up the street, I think if I can get the water to the street then draining it won't be much of a problem. Hopefully I'll have my kit soon. Wonder what the chance is that I'll have the pool ready by this weekend.

    I've read some of the pool school, but not all of it. I was thinking of printing the whole thing out and putting it in a pool-care notebook. I find notebooks much easier to reference to than pulling stuff up on my PC (which is strange due to how excessively utilize PC's). I'm curious if I should stop using the stabilized chlorine pucks since my CYA is so high, the answer is probably in the pool school so I'll look there instead of asking
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Nope, water replacement is the only practical way... an nope, no pucks right now. Read more in pool school about why....once you get your kit, and read more articles/threads on the forum, this will all make more sense.

    Post back if you have any q's or need clarification.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Last question (I hope) for a bit of clarification. When you say drain down a third, you mean drain out enough to lower the water by 2 feet, not 5,000 of the 15,000 gallons right? So that'd be more than 1/3 of the total water, maybe about half? That should put my CYA at about 45.

    And dang, no hocky pucks. I just bought a massive bucket of them. Guess I'll get to use them eventually.
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cupertino, CA
    Posts
    1,966

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    No, she meant drain about 1/3 of the water, which would lower your CYA from 90 to 60 (give or take). It's still a little high but for a southern latitude like Texas, it's okay. You will lose additional water through backwashing, which will slowly drop the level further, and that's fine.

    I'm in the same boat as you regarding the lifetime supply of pucks. It's okay to use them to maintain your chlorine when you go on vacation, they don't add CYA that fast; but you don't want to be using them all the time.
    --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

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Ok, I just read about a third to half of the pool school, most of what I skipped I think doesn't apply to me (building, upgrades, opening and closing, etc). What I didn't see was whether or not it was OK to pour 7 jugs of 6% bleach into the pool at once when shocking. If so, should I pour them into the skimmer so that it gets dispersed quickly, or should I focus on the deep end but stay away from the skimmer?
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Questions from newbs never end, despite how often they say "last question", do they?

    If I drain out 5000 gallons, do I need to worry about the water table? If so, how do I find out what it is? This is the best information I've found online, but it doesn't look like it has the information I want or need.

    In any case, I'm feeling pretty confidant about my success with the pool now. Here's my plan of attack:
    1. Buy new pool sand from Home Depot
    2. Rent submersible pump (700 GPH max I hope!) from Home Depot
    3. I've ordered replacement O-Rings for my Jacuzzi Laser filter, 2 day delivery. Hopefully the company ships quickly so I should have them Thursday or Friday
    4. Plumb pump to sewer cleanout on back of house
    5. Let pump run for 7 hours
    6. While pump is running, replace sand and o-rings (wonder what 350 lbs of sand... well, 350lbs of sand when dry, elevendybillion pounds when wet... looks like in my back yard)
    7. Buy all the bleach, borax, and baking soda the grocery store has
    8. Thank the guys at the pool store for not being able to help with anything other than making me decide they know barely anything about pools and I'm ignorant for relying on them for help and pushing me towards (ultimately) saving money with BBB
    9. Post pictures of the pool
    and 10. When the pool clears, thank the people of TFP by donating and then think to myself, "I shoulda donated before buying my test kit so I could have gotten $10 off!"
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  16. Back To Top    #16
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Noggin
    "I shoulda donated before buying my test kit so I could have gotten $10 off!"
    I did this too....

    You are learnin' fast. Just don't walk away when draining, as it might go quicker than you expect! Great to be concerned with the water table. You should be fine as long as you don't drain down too far at once, but into the sewer cleanout is probably a good idea (I assume this is legal where you live).

    You can slowly pour multiple jugs of bleach, one after the other, in front of the return while the pump is running. I "float the bottle" of bleach on the water, keeping the opening above an inch above the surface to try and reduce splashing (and idea learned on this forum). Just take your time. Just remember to do a partial drain first so you'll need less bleach overall.

    You know about that sand - you may not need to replace it, maybe just add some? Some people go years and years without replacing it. Do you know how old it is?
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    The only completely reliable way to find out where the water table is, is to dig a hole and see if it fills up with water. However, with some knowledge of the surrounding soil conditions you can make a guess. If your pool is low compared to the ground around it or very near sea level, and/or if the ground near the pool is swampy, you are most likely to have ground water problems. Lots of rain recently is also suggestive of ground water problems. On the other hand, if you live in an extremely arid area where rain is very rare and water scarce, then you don't need to worry about ground water much at all.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    We bought the house last November from a guy that bought the house from the guy that bought the house from the guy that owned the house when the pool was put in. In other words, the date of the install is unknown. However, looking at historic property appraisals of the house and comparing them to the neighborhood, in 2003 the (appraised) value of the home I'm in increased by a whopping 38% while the neighborhood on average dropped by 4%. I'd say that the pool was most likely installed at that time, as well as some other landscaping on the back yard. That being the case, it looks like the sand is about 7 years old. My o-rings on the filter are leaking, I could maybe seal them with some type of grease, but I figured that if I'm going to open it do that then I should go ahead and replace the sand. Sand is relatively cheap at Home Depot, $5 or $6 for 50 lbs or about $40 for the whole thing.

    Here's the other side of the coin.... if I don't replace the sand, I'm going to be doing yard work

    You should be fine as long as you don't drain down too far at once
    100% agree, but the question is how far is too far? Once you go too far, it's too late to find out. I can't imagine that a foot and a half is too far though.

    but into the sewer cleanout is probably a good idea (I assume this is legal where you live).
    Dunno, but I pay for sewage when I pay for water so by golly I'm going to use it! I guess I should look into it though, the last thing I need is some multi thousand dollar fine. I doubt my neighbors would like 5000 gallons of water in their back yard.
    Austin, TX, 15,000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG plaster, 8 Gallon Liquidator

  19. Back To Top    #19
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    All good points. 1/3 is usually safe for most pools.
    Back in the day, when we first filled our pool, we used to be able to call the water company to tell them, so they would waive the sewer portion of the bill by that many gallons, etc., now they don't do that anymore. Don't ya love it?

    We love considerate neighbors!
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cupertino, CA
    Posts
    1,966

    Re: New Pool Owner, Cloudy Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Noggin
    but into the sewer cleanout is probably a good idea (I assume this is legal where you live).
    Dunno, but I pay for sewage when I pay for water so by golly I'm going to use it! I guess I should look into it though, the last thing I need is some multi thousand dollar fine. I doubt my neighbors would like 5000 gallons of water in their back yard.
    Draining into the sewer is required where I live. (Backwashing onto the ground is okay, but draining is not.) Also no meter on the sewer the sewer charge is derived from the water usage.
    --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

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •