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Thread: Cloudy Blue Pool

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    Cloudy Blue Pool

    Bear with me, as I'm sort of flying blind as I wait for my Taylor K2006 kit to arrive.

    Here is the recent history of our 17,000 gallon, black plaster pool, cartridge filter:
    It was green and terrible (after months of neglect) and my husband and I went to Leslie's with our sample a couple of weeks ago to fix it. After a week of shocking, it was still green and we had spent quite a bit of money. Oh, and they had us add 2.5 pounds of CYA. I did some research (boy, I really wish I had done this earlier) bought a cheap test kit from Walmart and added 6% bleach. Lots of it.

    Our chlorine levels were seeming to hold (5+ on the OTO, strong 10 on the dip strips) but our pool, while blue, is cloudy. I can barely see the second step in the shallow end. I checked the chlorine this evening and it had dropped to 3, so I added bleach (6.4 gallons) to get it up to 20 ppm.

    The numbers which I know are:
    FC: (hopefully at 20 at this point)
    pH: 7.5
    CH: 350
    CYA: 70 (ugh!)
    TA: 100

    The pump has been running 24/7, I have a sock in the skimmer, running our Polaris 380, and brushing the pool at least once a day. Have changed and cleaned the cartridge a couple of times this week. I haven't vacuumed to waste because we don't know how to do it. I took a look at the pumps and can't figure out how to get it to drain. Another mistake we made was putting some scented bleach in the pool. Most of what has gone in has been unscented 6%, but my husband bought some of the bad stuff and poured it in. I didn't catch the mistake until he had put in 4 x 96 oz of the stuff in there. I'm thinking this may be part of the reason that the pool isn't clearing. I have a bottle of Floc, but haven't added it at this point. I'd rather get the pool to clear with bleach.

    Any suggestions?
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    Re: Cloudy Blue Pool

    clever username!

    I think you're doing everything right,,,you just need to do more of it. Chlorine will clear your pool. Continue to bring it right back up to 20+ppm (I'd dose it to 25ppm) and then bring it right back up the very next day. The method is to keep your chlorine levels VERY high until your pool clears and it will.

    Secondly, the best way to get the gunk out of your water after the chlorine kills it is by using your filter. Tell us what kiond you have and if you've backwashed/cleaned. Also tell us about your filter psi....when your filter pressure goes up, that's a good indicator your water is being cleaned but you then must clean the filter so it can go back to work.

    There's nothing alarming about your test results......you simply need more chlorine....plenty more over the next few days....not just a one-time application.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Thanks!

    Since I have no idea how much chlorine I lost last night (it is 5+ and a strong 10 on the strip this morning), I'll shoot for an additional 8 ppm this morning, thinking that at worst I lost 5 ppm and that will bring me to 23.

    We have a cartridge filter system, which is running at about 30 psi right now. I don't know if that is high or not. We haven't backwashed it because we don't know how to do that. We do have two filters so we are able to switch them out and power wash them. Looks like our spare isn't getting very clean though.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    Cleaning is all you can do with a cartridge...they don't backwash. No problem, tho. Keep them as clean as you can and note your pressure when it's clean. After you get a 20% or so rise in filter pressure, it's time to clean again. (you'll be doing a lot of that)

    30 psi is fairly high so it sure sounds like you need to get a clean one in there. Again, it's not as important what the pressure is but understanding when the pressure rises, it's time to get a clean one.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Cool. We'll switch it out tonight. Now besides using a high pressure hose washer, is there anything else we can use to get our filters clean? The inside of the filter is white, but the exterior after the last rinsing is still pretty green.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can measure higher chlorine levels with the cheap kits by diluting your pool water with distiled water before doing the test. Since you are trying to get the FC level up to 20 try mixing one unit of pool water with three units of distiled water and then multiplying the result by four. A shot glass works well for measuring the water, one shot of pool three shots of distiled, stir and put into the test cell.

    It can take the filter several days to a week to clean up the mess after you have killed the algae. Keep at it and it will all be fine. The sign that you have killed the algae is when your chlorine level stays the same, or nearly so, overnight. The more often you test the water and add more bleach the more quickly you will kill the algae.

    Good 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

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    Jason,
    Thank you so much for your post. I'll do a test with a diluted water sample this evening when I get home. I am determined to conquer the beast!
    -Jennifer
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    I'm updating this thread so I can keep track of my numbers. Pool was actually a little less clear than it was yesterday. Probably from running spa jets and flushing out a bunch of brown gunk from those pipes.

    This morning
    FC: 12
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 100
    CYA:70

    Didn't test for hardness. I was a little worried about my pH dropping from 7.5 to 7.2. I'll keep a close eye on that. I'm wondering if the chlorine levels in my sample are bleaching the results. I added 5 jugs of bleach to get back up over 20 ppm for FC and switched filters.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    This morning I awoke to the following numbers again:

    FC 12
    pH 7.2
    CYA 70
    TA 100
    CH - didn't test today. Couldn't do the CH test because there was too much bleach in the sample so I didn't get an initial read.

    Skimmer sock was so full of algae that the basket bowed and cracked in a couple of places. After switching it, the pressure on my filter immediately jumped from 24 to 30. So, as soon as Mr.AlgaeH8er wakes up, the filter will be replaced. I'm adding 4.2 gallons of bleach as soon as we turn the filter back on. (I want to get FC to 25 so it doesn't drop too much below 20 while I'm at work. We have been switching and cleaning the filters two times a day.

    This is such a pain. I'm never, ever letting this pool go again. I guess this is where the POPP becomes important.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    Possible improvement. Pool retains blue color, only about 8-12 inches of clarity, but the filter isn't going up to 30 psi overnight.

    Raised FC to 25 last night. Woke up to 20. Added remaining bleach (96 oz) I have until we can get to the store when it opens. Shooting for 30 during the day to make up for chlorine loss due to sun. Gave the pool a good brushing and skimmed what I could that came up from the bottom. There is still a lot of debris in the deep end. Haven't been able to vacuum yet - the kids had a tball game and party last night and didn't get home until late. Plan is to pick up a leaf rake and get more stuff up after work tonight then vacuum.

    Such a shame the pool isn't clean yet. It was 90 degrees yesterday and it is bound to be a scorcher today as well.

    Taylor kit still hasn't arrived. Hopefully, there will be one on my doorstep when I return from work today.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    Good news. Keep us posted as you progress forward.
    MIKE

    21K Inground Custom w/ Spa (Gunite/Plaster), SWCG, Hayward Northstar, Polaris 280, Hayward Color Logics, Jandy PS-8

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    I bought a new basket for the filter because the sock had blown it open. Also got a leaf rake and was able to get quite a bit of stuff off of the bottom of the pool - notably several pine cones. I'm on my lunch break so I didn't have time to do a complete sweep of the pool. The pool seems brighter blue today, but still very little clarity. The filter is holding stead at about 18 psi, which is good.

    I added just under 400 oz of bleach to raise the FC back to 25.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    Hit a snag, or rather a clog.

    We vacuumed this morning for the first time. I thought I had gotten everything up with the rake. I was wrong. I started another thread in the beginner section regarding this.

    Otherwise, my FC has held overnight, the clarity of the pool has improved by a few inches. My pH is under 7.2 but above 6.8. I would like to bump this up with Borax, but I have to wait until we clear the pipes. I think that now that we have the vacuum running the pool will clear faster, as long as we get the filter up to speed quickly.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    I've decided to wait on adjusting the pH. It is still registering a weak 7.2, but it occurred to me that the high chlorine levels might be bleaching out the test. So, for now, I'm going to wait until the pool clears and adjust it when I can bring the chlorine down to maintenance levels.

    We snaked the clog and it has worked itself out. We have good pressure now. Chlorine was down to 20 and I brought the chlorine back to 25 ppm. We will vacuum in the morning, and with our new leaf cannister, I'm no longer worried about clogged pipes. I'm certain that our lack of vacuuming has been the reason for the delay of our pool clearing.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    The chlorine appears to be staying over 20 and the clarity is slowly, slowly improving. I can see the third step of our pool and can make out the bottom of our spa. I vacuumed the pool again and didn't get much leaf material up, so I think I have gotten most of the algae food off of the bottom. There is lots and lots of sand in our pool. This is what happens when your backyard fence backs up to a junior high school track.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Sounds like you are headed in the right direction!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    I hope so. I vacuumed again today because there was a lot of sand in the spa. I got a lot of sand up, but when the spa refilled, the water was cloudy again. I'm guessing when the water settles it will be clearer. We switched up the filter after vacuuming.

    The chlorine levels fell during the day to 12, so I bumped it back up to 25.
    pH is weak 7.2, may even be lower. I'll work on that later.
    TA is up to 120.
    CYA: 70
    CH: couldn't test.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    The chlorine held overnight, the pool is still cloudy but slowly improving. Do I allow the chlorine to go down to maintenance levels? Or do I keep it at shock level until the pool clears?

    Also, there is lots of fine sand in my spa. I think it came back in after I vacuumed it up. I am going to try putting a sock in the leaf canister to see if I can catch it before it goes to the filter. Any other suggestions?
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    Taylor kit arrived yesterday. Yay!

    I got some odd numbers on CH and TA. I'm going to retest them tonight accounting for high chlorine numbers and I'll will post those results tonight.

    Last night FC was at 19 and CC were 2. This morning, FC was 21 and CC was 1.5. I added enough chlorine to get back up to 25. Clarity is continuing to improve. I can almost see the bottom of the shallow end. I can see the bottom of the spa. I'm cautiously optimistic that the pool will clear by this weekend. One can dream, right?
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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    The FC held to 25 last night, but I still have a CC of 1. I'm going to add 2 ppm, to account for sun loss and see how it goes today.

    Clarity continues to improve, the spa is perfectly clear, the shallow end is almost perfectly clear and I can see the bottom, the deep end still needs a lot of improvement. My husband tweaked something with the filter and it is working better now. The pressure jumped from 16 to 28 overnight, so we think it is catching more stuff now. We switched out the filters this morning, I brushed down the pool, and plan on vacuuming tonight. There is still a lot of sand in the pool.
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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