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Thread: Initial numbers of a cloudy pool

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    Initial numbers of a cloudy pool

    Quick background .. we bought this house in December. The previous owners had entirely neglected the pool, it sat stagnant most of last year and from what the neighbors are telling me even when it was cared for it was done very poorly. I finally worked up the nerve to open it a week ago, it was massively infested with algae and debris and some wildlife in various stages of life and death. We removed all of the leaves and what not; unfortunately the water got so stirred up that we could not see the bottom anymore. We also had to add about a foot and a half of water. Finally we hooked up and turned on the filtration system and started the process of shocking, filtering, and backwashing regularly. I initially shocked it with six Walmart Ultra Bleach containers (8.25 gallons 6%) and have been using three per night since then. The water is at the cloudy grey stage now but has not progressed much the last few days.

    My first testing numbers with a Taylor 2006K kit:

    FC = .8
    CC = 5.0
    pH = 7.5
    TA = 230
    CH = 230
    CYA = < 30, probably basically nothing, the sample did not cloud up at all.
    Water temp is around 65 at the moment.

    I have a skimmer sock on that is consistently gumming up with brown crud I assume to be dead algae. I'm backwashing the filter fairly often although I must say I don't notice much dirt coming out when I do so, and the pressure is never rising above around 20 or so on the pump. I had one suggestion to let the pool sit over night with the filter off and let some of the stuff settle in hopes of being able to vacuum it up, which I have not tried yet. I am waiting on adding CYA until the water clears up since I was told not to backwash for a week after adding it. I'm not sure what else to do at this point other than continue to shock / filter / backwash the system. I saw one fellow claiming adding some polyquat 60 at this point cleared his pool up over night, although I'm a bit skeptical.

    Oh, this is an above ground 24' pool with around a 13,000 gallon capacity or so. I'm using sand filtration.

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    Join Date
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    lebaige,
    Try to get as much of the debris out as you can, if you have not already done so. You can get a leaf bag and rake "blind" to get a lot of it out. If your posted numbers are correct, your CC is way high. You need to shock to a higher FC. Some people have said that holding 25 ppm FC for several days resulted in fading the liner, and others said their liner didn't fade. I would say take it to 15-20 ppm and hold as close to that as you can. This is assuming you have 0 cya (btw, cloudy water will interfere with the cya test, as it measures turbidity). Algae and organics are going to consume your FC very quickly. So check/add FC 2-3 times a day if possible. Also brush 2-3 times a day if possible, to stir the algae up into suspension. Add a batch of chlorine late in the day or at night before bed. This will allow the chlorine to work overnight without being burned off by the sun. When you reach a point where your pool does not use any chlorine overnight, you've won the battle. All that's left is to carry away the casulaties (the dead algae) by filtration. It may take several days, even a week or more to get the water clear. During this time, backwash only when circulation becomes unacceptable. With sand filters (and I assume with all filters), a dirty filter actually filters better.
    Poor Man's Pool
    Doughboy 18 ft round above ground
    7600 gal with center drain
    Pentair sand filter, 1 HP pump
    50 ppm borates
    "I know just enough to be dangerous"
    Pool Calc Ver 1.41 (Excel)

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    Join Date
    May 2007
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    I should also add to keep a watch on your pH because (at least for me), liquid chlorine tends to move my pH up. Also if you hold a lower pH, the chlorine will work even better (assuming 0 cya), but don't go below 7.2 pH.
    Poor Man's Pool
    Doughboy 18 ft round above ground
    7600 gal with center drain
    Pentair sand filter, 1 HP pump
    50 ppm borates
    "I know just enough to be dangerous"
    Pool Calc Ver 1.41 (Excel)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,887
    I would put some trichlor tabs in a floater or the skimmer. They will start adding CYA without the backwash issue and lower your PH so that the chlorine will be a little more effective. Another way to add CYA would be to put it in a sock and hang the sock in front of a return. Right now you are losing any chlorine left after attacking the muck overnight to sunlight during the day. Even a CYA of 10 will help dramatically there and allow you to start also adding bleach in the morning. The more often you can bring the FC level back up to shock levels the faster everything will go.

    In the mean time you need to keep up the bleach and continue getting as much junk out of the water as possible. Vacuming, even if you can't see the bottom, is a great idea as is trying a leaf vacum.

    Best of luck!
    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
    Well .. I decided to go ahead and vacuum as the water just wasn't making any progress at all. The bottom is still covered with leaves as it turns out. So we have a ways to go.

    I've also added about 3/4 of a 6lb container of CYAvia a sock over the return line, which in theory should be plenty. I guess we'll see though, the water is an absolute mess right now. Stupid leaves.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    FC = .8
    CC = 5.0
    pH = 7.5
    TA = 230
    CH = 230
    CYA = < 30, probably basically nothing, the sample did not cloud up at all.
    Water temp is around 65 at the moment.
    I'm thinking there may be an error in your FC and/or TC test. CC's of 5.0 (which Ithink may be in error) would call for a really big dose of Cl to clear them up. Check your test results again. If they are indeed as you post, you need some Cl and lot's of it. (Actually, as the posts above indicate, you need a big dose(s), anyway)

    I would not hesitate to bring your Cl up to 15-20ppm just at dusk then test it again the next morning and bring it back up to the same level. Do that procedure daily and I think you will see some remarkable progress in your water over the next couple of days.

    Not to oversimplify, but Cl is the answer to 95% of pool water problems and it sure sounds like it will work for you based on the test results you posted, whether they're incorrect or not.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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