Blue cloudy water, would like help


New member
Jul 7, 2020
Hi all!!

We were bad pool owners and didn't close up over winter. The new home we purchased last summer has an above ground pool and we're clueless. Over the past few weeks I've turned the water from brown to blue - but still cloudy and can barely see the bottom.

I made a spreadsheet to track my levels and my remediation to establish expected results. Here are my readings between 6.27.20 and 7.7.20:
Hardness: 500-600, 500, 700, 600+, 600+
FC: 0, 3, 3, 0, 3
TC: .5, 3, 2, 2, 3
CYA: 0, 0-30, 30, 20-30, 30-50
Alk: 40-80, 60, 80, 40-50, 80
PH: 7.2, 7.2, 7.2, 7.0, 7.2
Above ground 20k gal pool. Sand filter, no heat pump. Running filter 24/7. Running backwash/rinse cycle once a week.

It has been dreadfully hot here lately so I increased the CYA to preserve my FC. My goal was 30-50. I add chlorine tablets to the floater and skimmer when they start dissolving. This might be a bad idea since CYA is going up? I've shocked the pool a few times but always a conservative amount.

Today I purchased some liquid CYA to have on hand and 512oz of liquid chlorine. I read a post on here to get FC to around 10 to kill off the algae, so I added roughly 64oz this evening.

I'd appreciate advice. I've read through the forums and trying to do what I've learned but not sure I'm on the right track - and my wife is getting ******! Lol :)


New member
Jul 7, 2020
I apologize, I forgot to include that. A RUNBO test kit. I can't really afford the TF-100 at the moment but I've read it is suggested. So yes, a $16 bottle of test strips.
I could go to Leslie's again but that's a 45 minute drive and not impressed with their service.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
NW Ohio
Welcome to TFP!

I'm sorry to say, but test strips are the most unreliable testing method there is. We can't possibly offer advice based on their readings. Unfortunately, pool store testing is a close second in the race to the bottom. It is only designed to get people through the door, if it gets you in front a a salesperson its done its job, so accuracy is not really that important and they know it.

We need good accurate test results to offer advice. There's no telling what is going on with your pool when the numbers jump around unrealistically like they are with your test strip numbers. I mean, you are seeing TC numbers lower than FC numbers. That's literally impossible. So to offer advice based on numbers we know for a fact are untrustworthy would be a disservice to both you and our reputation. Pool store test numbers would be just as unusable, so please don't make the drive for those.

All I can say is to consider the investment of a test kit versus the cost of blindly trying to fix the issue. Too often we see people who swear they can't afford a proper test kit but then drop hundreds trying to do it another way only to end up with a worse problem that will cost more still to correct. Not to mention that a test kit isn't just to fix the current problem, but to correctly manage the water going forward and not fall in to the problem (or any problem) again. When compared to how I was managing my pool before, the TF-100 has paid for itself many times over for the past decade. Not to mention the improved water quality. Just throwing it out there, it's your pool and budget to consider.

Thanks for joining us here, hope the information here helps regardless of how you choose to proceed.


New member
Jul 7, 2020
I think that's really good advice and many thanks for taking the time to write out that reply.

You're absolutely right. I've already invested much more than that TF-100 already and gotten no results.

We'll look over finances and will reply back in a couple of days!


Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
Hey Farmpool and welcome !! @Donldson hit it out of the park above. He’s been here much longer than me, but I have still seen countless people come here in your exact shoes. Every time is some variance of ‘I can’t afford the test kit so I spent $250at the pool store’. The first time you *dont* go to the pool store it will more than double your investment back. For the next year or 2 it is gravy money in the bank. When the test kit is used up you will run to replace it.

Once you have reliable testing, we can show you how to go all year with only cheap, generic, over the counter stuff from most stores. Literally $4 bleach, $4 baking soda and a few others just as plain.

In the meantime get a head start reading ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry It’s a lot of terms at first but it’s super simple stuff. Read it a few times with some processing in between. We will guide you until it clicks and there are many sub forums to ask relevant questions in.
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