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Thread: Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

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    Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

    Hello all fellow tfp'ers. I've been doing great with my pool this year until just 2 days ago it started to look like the water was turning cloudy. My chlorinator ran out of 3" tabs for a couple days while i was out of town. Any suggestions? Should I shock it, I have only shocked it once and that was at the beginning of the year. I do add super clarifier on a weekly basis as well, but that didn't help this. It's never looked like this before.

    21,000 gals. 33x16 with 8ft. deep end to 3 1/2ft or so shallow.

    CYA = 100
    tot. chlorine = 0.3
    free chlorine = 0.3
    ph = 6.6 ( have borax ready )
    tot alk = 71 ( have baking soda ready )
    tds = 1200
    tot hardness = 319

    the only other concern i have, is that my sand filter normally runs at 22lbs after i backwash. now, no matter what, it's 24lbs after a backwash. how often should i be backwashing as well? i do it quite frequently.

    thanks for any help,
    james

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

    Hi dba72,

    Your CYA is too high and your pH is too low!

    My suggestions:

    1. Raise the pH to at least 7 or 7.2 (and I would do it now!),

    2. Do a series of drains and refills to lower the CYA down to at least 60, then retest TA & pH & adjust

    3. Use liquid chlorine (bleach) to shock your pool

    4. Turn off the chlorinator (this is what created your CYA problem),

    5. Please add all your pool and equipment info in your signature. Go User Control Panel (top left under TFP logo) & select
    "Profile", then "Edit Signature." This will help members give you better advice!

    Now, all that said, how much longer is your swim season?

    If it is VERY short, you may choose to ride it out using liquid chlorine (bleach), but it will take a lot w/CYA of 100 (or maybe even more than 100).
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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  3. Back To Top    #3
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

    I agree with Joyce, see the CYA chlorine chart for the corresponding FC levels. Also see the article in pool school about recommended levels for your pool. You will see your current numbers are way off the mark....so depending on how much longer your swim season is....you've got some work to do. If you winterize your pool and drain a few feat down anyway, you may decide to wait till then. But if you do it's gonna take ALOT of chlorine.....
    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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    Guest

    Re: Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

    thanks for the replies, i got the alkalinity and ph in check now. i just don't understand WHY or HOW this happened. Everything was just fine all year, but then this happened. What might have caused the problem? What did I do wrong?

    Also, I have used the chlorinator all season long and have kept everything nice for levels of chlorine. Should I just be using bleach when necessary, and not the 3" tabs in the chlorinator?

    Thanks again.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

    The tablets the chlorinator uses are made out of trichlor. Trichlor contains CYA. Over the course of the season the CYA level goes up. Higher CYA levels require higher FC levels to provide the same level of protection. If you keep using trichlor you CYA level eventually gets high enough that you no longer have enough chlorine in the pool to keep the algae away.

    Using bleach, or liquid chlorine, doesn't add any CYA, so you don't have that problem.

    The key is knowing your CYA level and only using trichlor when you need to raise the CYA level.
    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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    Guest

    Re: Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

    Thanks again for the replies guys. I'm understanding more and more now. Last night I added borax and baking soda and also 4 jugs of 6% bleach from walmart. So by looking at the chart you provide (Chlorine / CYA Chart), I am currently trying to achieve the 100 mark which might make it impossible I guess by the amount of bleach needed. I didn't do any draining or refilling because basically if I did that, the water is going to go from about 80 degrees and plummet. That would even shorten the swimming season sooner. We probably really only have about 1 month (maybe month and a half) or so left here in central Illinois. The weather has been cool lately (low 80's during the day).

    I still need to research on how to use bleach to do my chlorine now instead of the tabs. I have the borax and baking soda down now I believe, just don't know how to do the bleach.

    My levels for chlorine went up instantly when adding the bleach and I checked again this morning, and they were:
    tot. chlorine = 8
    free chlorine = 25
    ph = 7.0
    alk = 100

    What next? Do I basically have to drain and refill to get the CYA down? Is there an article on how to take care of the pool with bleach instead of tabs?

    Also, what about "The Liquidator"? Is that my solution to bleach instead of tabs?

    Thanks,
    James

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Water is now cloudy/milky, water tests included

    Quote Originally Posted by dba72
    Thanks again for the replies guys. I'm understanding more and more now. Last night I added borax and baking soda and also 4 jugs of 6% bleach from walmart. So by looking at the chart you provide (Chlorine / CYA Chart), I am currently trying to achieve the 100 mark which might make it impossible I guess by the amount of bleach needed. I didn't do any draining or refilling because basically if I did that, the water is going to go from about 80 degrees and plummet. That would even shorten the swimming season sooner. We probably really only have about 1 month (maybe month and a half) or so left here in central Illinois. The weather has been cool lately (low 80's during the day).

    I still need to research on how to use bleach to do my chlorine now instead of the tabs. I have the borax and baking soda down now I believe, just don't know how to do the bleach.

    My levels for chlorine went up instantly when adding the bleach and I checked again this morning, and they were:
    tot. chlorine = 8
    free chlorine = 25
    ph = 7.0
    alk = 100

    What next? Do I basically have to drain and refill to get the CYA down? Is there an article on how to take care of the pool with bleach instead of tabs?

    Thanks,
    James
    I hear ya. I'm near Chicago and we haven't been in the pool all week because of the mild weather. What a waste.

    FC plus CC equals TC so your Total Chlorine can't be 8 if your FC is 25.... is your TC 25 and your CC 8? Then your FC would be 18? We need to sort that out.....

    What kit did you end up with? (saw your earlier posts.)

    With a CYA of 100, if it's not higher, you need to keep your FC between 7 and 12 and NEVER below 7. (The test vials go up to 100, but very often the real result is much higher, and we don't find that out until you drain 1/3 of your water and the result again comes to 100. Sometimes people will do 2 or 3 partial drains and it finally goes below 100 so in reality their CYA was likely much higher than 100. This happens very often with the use of dichlor and trichlor products)

    Do you know how to use the pool calculator? You test, and enter your FC result in the "now" column (be sure to enter your pool gallonage) and then in the "goal" column you put your target, say 12. Then "calculate" and the handy little tool will tell you exactly how much 6% bleach to add, or 12.5%, etc., to bring it to your target. That's basically how to add bleach daily, or every other day.... There's an article called BBB for Beginners....here

    It's good to know if you do have CC's what they are, if your cloudiness is gone you may have caught it time, but you may still need to shock which would be an insane amount of bleach. So confirm your test results, cause what you posted seems not right to me...? If you have cloudy water and a CC of more than .5 you should probably shock.

    Tonight, after dark, test your FC. Record the result. Tomorrow morning before sun hits the pool, test it again. Compare the results. IF you lose less than 1ppm FC, you do not have live algae, and you are done shocking. IF you lose more than 1ppm, you need to shock to 40ppm. According to the Pool Calculator, that would be 15 small jugs of Clorox . If you have a source for 12.5% chlorine, that would probably be cheaper and easier to manage....


    Hope this makes sense....
    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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