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Thread: Water keeps getting cloudy

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    Water keeps getting cloudy

    Hi,
    A question I hope someone may help me with ...

    First I have a 20x40 IV pool. Aqua-rite SWG and Hayward DE filter.

    Last weekend we had a bunch of kids swimming in the pool and by Monday afternoon when everyone finally went home I noticed that it looked a little cloudy. I up the output on the SWG and covered it over with the solar cover. Monday it was really cloudy so I took off the cover and shocked the pool with bleach. My CYA was about 30 - still trying to raise it this year - and I shocked it up to about 20. It looked like I had a CC of .5. I added some more stabalizer as well. The pool cleared and it held the chlorine overnight. I still had a CC of .5 but I thought since the chlorine is still up there, it should keep working on that. By the way, when I shocked the pool with bleach I shut off the SWG. Since I was up to shock level and I wanted to acurately read if the FC was moving, I didn't want to keep adding CL. It's Sat. and I have not added any more CL and it's still at 9.5 with many a sunny day behind us. I thought I would have drifted down more than that by now. No CL added since Monday. Anyway, we did some swimming today - even though the CL is a little high - and the pool is cloudy again this evening. We did have some rain move through today, but nothing long term - just quick showers. I checked the CL and it's still up around 9. I don't want to add any more as I was hoping it would drift down to about 5 and then fire up the SWG and keep it at that leve. Why does it keep getting cloudy. Last week I backwashed the filter and the pressure is fine. Here are the rest of my numbers ...

    FC: 9
    CC: .5
    TC: 9.5
    PH: 7.2
    ALK: 90
    CYA: 35 and rising

    All the equipment seems to be working correctly. I would have thought that if I was fighting something it would eat the CL. Also, why can't I get the CC back to 0? Most of the week it stayed at shock level. BTW, this is the first year with the solar cover - a clear one - and at first I thought it was just getting the hang of using it but my CL never dropped below 3.

    Thanks for any help you may be able to provide!
    24k gallon IG, Stonescape Tahoe Blue, Hayward Super II pump with 2 speed motor, giant sand filter (zeobrite), PS-8 w/ Aqua-pod2 remote. SWG. Austin, TX.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    KurtV's Avatar
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    Re: Water keeps getting cloudy

    Swim,
    It's probably just from too much pee in the pool from those munchkins. If it doesn't clear up with continued shocking over the next couple of days consider these:

    What is your calcium hardness level? High levels could be causing calcium to percipitate.

    How long are you running your filter pump per day? Insufficient filtration could cause this problem.

    Have you had your water tested for metals (specifically iron)? (I think this one is a longshot but...)

    Do you see any bubbles coming from the returns (especially when the SWG is NOT running)? This would indicate a suction side leak.

    Cheers.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    The other thing it could be is tree pollen, I have had a lot of trouble with that this year. I find that it causes some very fine particles that the DE will not take out. When I throw my blue pearl in the filter bag removes the fines and the pool clears up.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    according to Bens Best Guess Chart, if you have a CYA level of 35, you should be shocking at 15ppm. That gets the CC down if I am not mistaken. I am totally not a pool chemistry genius though, but that is what I would do.

    [align=center]Bens Best Guess Chart

    Stabilizer . . . . . . Min. FC . . . . Max FC . . . 'Shock' FC
    0 ppm . . . . ... . . 1 ppm . . . . . 3 ppm . . . . 10 ppm
    10 - 20 ppm . .. . . 2 ppm . . . . . 5 ppm . . . . 12 ppm
    30 - 50 ppm . .. . . 3 ppm . . . . . 6 ppm . . . . 15 ppm
    60 - 90 ppm . . .. . 5 ppm . . . . . 10 ppm . . .. 20 ppm
    100 - 200 ppm....... 8 ppm . . . . .. 15 ppm . .... 25 ppm
    [/align]
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Thanks for the replies!

    Considering how many times the little ones got out to pee and drag pool water through my house, I can't imagine they were adding anything to my water! Everything is blooming here in the Northeast so the pollen could definitely be a factor - Hadn't thought of that. I think the pines are due to drop pollen soon and we have a bunch of those in the backyard.

    My CH is about 190. I think that's low enough not to give me a problem. I thought about metals as well as we fill from a well. I tend to run the fill water through the skimmers so it goes through my filter before ever making it to the pool. I read some where that helps with any metals. We have not had a problem with metals in the past and I think our highest metal is iron. I thought the pool would go green if that were an issue or cloudy when the FC was high. I will have to take a sample to a pool store and have it tested for metals. I have a good Taylor kit at home - got it before I saw the one on this sight - but I can't test for metals.

    The FC stayed above 15 for most of the week. At least through Wed. Since it was holding CL and it was clear, I thought we were good to go. Maybe I just don't understand this and I have to do some more reading.

    Pump time was another question - I was at 8 hours a day and then bumped it to 11 hours a day. I don't see any bubbles or anything like that and I thought that was sufficient time to run the pump. Maybe I will bump it up a little. Since it's usually clear I didn't think I had to run it 24/7 at this point.

    Again thanks for all the replies!! It's nice to have this site - it's such a GREAT resource!
    24k gallon IG, Stonescape Tahoe Blue, Hayward Super II pump with 2 speed motor, giant sand filter (zeobrite), PS-8 w/ Aqua-pod2 remote. SWG. Austin, TX.

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    Swim cap,

    Based on your description, I would doubt metals. I think you need to run your filter more hours, as you have already started. Give it a couple of days and I think it will clear.

    If not, I would next try a SMALL dose of floc to see if that helps. I don't like flocculants much but it might be approprate in your case. Remember, SMALL dose and wait for im[provement.

    PS - To my knowledge, running your water thru the filter first will have no affect on any metals in the water.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    I was thinking pollen as well...my pool was cloudy for a day or two before I figured out what it was. Do you have "socks" in your skimmer basket? I just bought a pack this afternoon, but for the past two weeks, I've been using (don't laugh) pieces of an old pair of pantyhose...I couldn't believe how much pollen it would collect in just a few hours. Once I started using them, the pool cleared up tremendously.
    ~30K IG vinyl w/Hayward DE filter; inline chlorinator; Hayward gas heater; Polaris 280

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    mbar's Avatar
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    Swimcap, I agree with duraleigh, I don't think you are dealing with metals either. For those of us who are , one reason to run fill water through the skimmer first when using well water is if there is high chlorine along with high ph, and not enough sequestering agent in the water, the metals will fall out and stain the filter first before getting in the pool and falling out on the surface of the pool. It doesn't mean it will get all stain, but it will help a little. It is always a good idea when adding fill water from a well to add it with lower ph, and add a dose of sequestering agent. If you have metals in the water and there is no sequestering agent, or not enough in the water, it doesn't matter where you add the water, you can get staining if the ph and chlorine are high . Hey when dealing with metals, any little thing helps
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    I see from the posts so far the people from NJ suggesting pollen. That was my cause of cloudy water a week ago. I had to backwash 3 days apart. Skimmer socks had 1/4" of pollen coating them a day.
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Thanks again! We have had a whole bunch of rain today and there is a layer of yellow pollen coating the solar cover and everything around. I peeled back the cover and the water looks pretty clear. I could see the bottom pattern pretty well. I couldn't get the cover back enough to get a good look at the drain. I usually judge the clarity by how much detail I can make out on the bottom drain. I did turn on the SWG - 25% - and the FC is holding at 7.5. I still have a CC of .5 but maybe that has to do with the fact I have the solar cover on and I'm not letting the sun get at the water right now - although no sun today! We have had a drop in temp. so I would like to keep the solar cover on to keep as much heat in the pool as possible. I'll keep the CL at 7 for now. That's still high but it's pretty close to 5 and that's what I usually shoot for. When the miserable weather passes, I'll work on getting to 5. I increased the filter to 12.5 hours. Hopefully that will do it for now.

    The weather is supposed to get better by the weekend and we are planning a gathering for Sun. I will peel back the cover on Wed. and hopefully that will give the filter enough time to deal with the pollen coming off the cover.

    Thanks again for all your help and advice! I'm so glad to see the leaves on the trees again, but I can't wait until everything stops blooming!
    24k gallon IG, Stonescape Tahoe Blue, Hayward Super II pump with 2 speed motor, giant sand filter (zeobrite), PS-8 w/ Aqua-pod2 remote. SWG. Austin, TX.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    KurtV's Avatar
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    If you still have a combined chlorine level of 0.5 you likely didn't shock high enough or long enough or both. Pollen can certainly be a factor in cloudiness but it's also something that will consume chlorine and keep the available free chlorine from attacking other things it needs to fight; things like chloramines (aka combined chlorine), bacteria, algae, etc. In other words, even if pollen is the primary cause of your cloudy water, the most effective course of action will be to shock to 15ppm and keep it their until your combined chlorine is zero, the pool holds the same chlorine level overnight, AND the cloudiness is gone.

    From reading your posts I'm not sure you understand what we mean by holding chlorine overnight. If all the bad stuff is gone from your pool, the water will have exactly (or very, very close to) the same level of free chlorine in the morning, before the sun comes up as it did after the sun went down the night before, without adding any additional chlorine (like from an SWG). In other words, to know if the bad stuff is really gone, you should test your water after sunset and after shutting down the SWG and then retest again in the morning before the sunlight hits the water. If the level of free chlorine remains the same, you've probably gotten rid of whatever your problem was. If the chlorine dropped overnight, it's still fighting something and you need to keep the pool at shock level. It's not good enough that just that some free chlorine remains, it has to be all of it.

    Sorry if I'm being overly pedantic. I just want to make sure you understand this crucial point about shocking.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    I have a CYA level of 35 and I shocked up to 20. I believe that's above the recommended shock level. I added the bleach in the early evening and checked my numbers in the AM and they held overnight. Pool was clear. That was Monday. I had turned off the SWG when I added the bleach. By Sat. the CL was still 9.5 - with nothing added all week and lots of sunshine. Since the CL held overnight and the water was clear, I thought I was good to go. It stayed above 15 till about Wed. night. That's shocking it for about 3 days. When I checked on Sat. the CL was 9.5 and I had a .5 CC. The kids went swimming and that evening - after a passing shower it got cloudy again. I didn't notice the cloudiness before but I wasn't looking for it and it was a thunder storm so we were getting the kids out fast when the storm started.

    Anyway, I have increased the time the filter runs, the pollen is really falling right now, and the solar cover is on. I read somewhere that there can be something that causes the .5 but is easily burned off by the sun. Since the solar cover is on, I believe that inhibits it. I believe that was from Chem Geek on the pool forum website.

    I appreciate all the responses. I think I understand shocking and holding it there, but is there something wrong with my explanation? Maybe I just think I understand

    We had REALLY bad storms today but it's supposed to be better tomorrow. I'll take the cover off tomorrow and let the sun do it's work. I have some vacuuming to do now as well. Hopefully it will be good to go by the weekend.
    24k gallon IG, Stonescape Tahoe Blue, Hayward Super II pump with 2 speed motor, giant sand filter (zeobrite), PS-8 w/ Aqua-pod2 remote. SWG. Austin, TX.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    KurtV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwimCap
    ...

    Anyway, I have increased the time the filter runs, the pollen is really falling right now, and the solar cover is on. I read somewhere that there can be something that causes the .5 but is easily burned off by the sun. Since the solar cover is on, I believe that inhibits it. I believe that was from Chem Geek on the pool forum website.

    I appreciate all the responses. I think I understand shocking and holding it there, but is there something wrong with my explanation? Maybe I just think I understand
    No, it sounds like you have a really good handle on it and did everything right. I just wanted to make sure.

    We had REALLY bad storms today but it's supposed to be better tomorrow. I'll take the cover off tomorrow and let the sun do it's work. I have some vacuuming to do now as well. Hopefully it will be good to go by the weekend.
    As others have said, pollen may be the culprit.

    Here's a list of 100 things that can cause cloudy water. Do any of these seem applicable?

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