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Thread: Cloudy, milky pool- FRUSTRATED!!!!!

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    Cloudy, milky pool- FRUSTRATED!!!!!

    OK. Here is the situation. We are new pool owners so this is the first time opening our above ground pool. (25ft round, 4ft deep) I know we haven't been doing things right, because the pool is not getting any clearer and I swear if I talk to one more person who tells me to just shock it and it will be clear tomorrow I am going to scream!

    The pool levels are this:
    TH-100
    FC- 3/6
    PH- 6.8
    TA- 120
    CYA- 0

    I have no idea what any of this means....PLEASE HELP! Where do I go from here. Do I shock it again, do I put clarifier in, do I floc it? I just don't know where to go from here. Can someone please give me pool opening/ maintenance instructions "for dummies"

    I would really appreciate it! Thanks for your help in advance!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    What does "FC- 3/6" mean? Is the level 3 or 6 or something else?

    How did you do the tests? Pool store, or what kind of test kit? A top quality test kit would be a wonderful investment in your pool, if you don't already have one. I recommend the TF Test Kit, the Taylor K-2006 is also good.

    A good place to start is the BBB for Beginners article in the May 2008 issue of the newsletter, just below the Meet the Members introduction.

    You should try to keep PH between 7.2 and 7.8. You can raise PH with borax or PH Increaser or soda ash.

    Avoid clarifier or floc. It is very rare that they are required.

    The key to fighting algae is consistent chlorine levels, and that takes a good test kit.

    You are going to want to raise your CYA level, if the number you have now is reliable.
    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

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    I am using test strips that I bought at Walmart. (Are they not accurate?)

    The FC is the free chlorine which is reading 3 and the 6 is the bromine reading- according to the test strip package.

    I have PH up so I will add some of that this morning. I have done that in the past and the PH did go up.

    To get my CYA up what do I need to add?...is that the stabilizer? How often do I add that? What do my chlorine levels need to be at?

    Thanks for your help, I don't mean to sound ignorant I just want to make sure I am doing this correctly. I am getting very frustrated!

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    In the Industry

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    Most folks in this forum use drops-based tests, either the TF-100, Taylor K-2006, or something similar. As Jason said, a good test kit is an investment in your pool! (Some of us call the strips, "guess strips," and I think that says what you need to know!)

    Typically one has to order one of these test kits, tho there is a 6-way drops based test kit, usually available at Wal-Mart, that will do in a pinch, while you're waiting to get a better one. That one's about $15-20.

    CYA is known as stabilizer, conditioner, enhancer, something like that. Make sure to read the ingredients; it should be cyanuric acid. I don't think it's usually available at WM, but you can find it at Lowe's or definitely at a pool store. 30-50 ppm is your CYA target. It doesn't dissolve easily, so you can either pour it into the skimmer or put it in a sock and hang that in front of a return. Give it about a week to dissolve completely. If you pour it into the skimmer, don't backwash for a week.

    Don't bother with clarifier; plenty of chlorine, plus your filter action, will clear the water. Read the stickies and the article Jason recommended.
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    No, the test strips are not accurate enough. You will get much better results and save money in the long run with a top quality test kit.

    Ignore the bromine reading, you are not using bromine so it doesn't mater.

    To raise CYA you use stabilizer/conditioner/cyanuric acid (it is sold under various names). Test strips tend to be particularly bad at measuring CYA and it is difficult to lower the level once it has gotten too high, so best to only add enough to raise the level by 20 ppm for now.

    The correct chlorine level depends on your CYA level. With CYA very low, FC should be between 2 and 5.

    Don't worry about how you sound, we all started out not knowing anything at some point.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    CYA is called 'Stabilizer' at Wal-Mart. It usually takes a good week to dissolve enough before you can re-test it, maybe someone here can give you the best way to put it in a AG pool.
    Use Jason's Pool Calculator (under his signature) to figure how much of everything to add to adjust your chemistry. You definitely need to know how many gallons (approximately) your pool holds to do the chemicals. You should be able to get the desired chemical levels you want to aim for from your pool's owner's manual or on this forum (see the Stickies for alot of good info.)
    AND Welcome to the forum!
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
    Spa: Hot Springs Sovereign, 355 gal., ozone/ion
    The most helpful tool you'll ever have for your pool:
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Welcome. Pick yourself up a TF-100 and test again.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Thank You everyone so far for the good info.

    I have printed the article and read it thoroughly a few times so far. I have added the stabilizer and also ordered a test kit that was recommended. I am on my way to getting things going and hopefully to a clear pool. I will certainly be back in touch if I have any more questions. You ALL have been a great help thus far...

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

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    saraiks's Avatar
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    In general to clarify the water from Milky to Clear in any pool the following things need to happen:

    1. There should be no active algae bloom.
    2. The Water chemistry must be balanced for the type of pool you have.
    3. The Pump and the filter need to run constantly till the water is clear.

    The only thing that clears the water is filtration. Other two just ensure that it stays clear and that there are no active culprits to cloud it up again...

    my 2 cents
    16,000 G in ground Gunnite (plastered) with attached Spa, Gemini 3 NG Heater, Sta-rite cartridge filter, Aquabot Mark V, TF test kit

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