Brand New Pool Owner with cloudy water

andrewholtmd

Member
Jul 9, 2021
16
Bartlett, TN
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I am a brand new pool owner as of three weeks ago. I have a 20,000 gallon vinyl liner pool with a Hayward sand filter. I inherited the pool if so so shape. It has never been crystal clear yet. I took the water into get tested and the pH and alkalinity were a little off. I adjusted those and got them with in the normal range and swam a few times.

After about a week, I started noticing worsening cloudy water with a teal tinge to the water. I had been brushing daily, running the motorized vacuum multiple times per day, and had shocked the pool a few times. I bought some 3” chlorine tabs and was using three at a time with a 3 ppm FC target.

I stumbled across your website and decided to start a SLAM about 3 days ago. I ordered a TF-100 test kit which should be arriving today. I bought 5 gallons of 7.5% bleach from Wal-Mart to do the job. I’ve been going fairly blindly with the bleach using some test strips.
So far, I’ve used about 4 gallons of bleach over three days with a FC target of 10 on the test strips. The pool is looking much better. I have brushing and vacuuming twice per day and am encouraged at the results.

I am looking forward to receiving my test kit and getting some actual values and targets (especially for pH, CYA, and FC). I have a strong background in biology and chemistry so the thought process makes sense to me. I am a TFP pool believe. The Pool Math app is legit and I look forward to using it.
 

Snoobug

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jun 2, 2020
794
Iowa
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I've had my pool for 2 weeks now and TFP is the best site I've seen. My pool looks great and yours will too! Hang in there. There are experts on the way soon to help you along just as they did for me. ❤️

If you haven't already, fill out your signature.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,950
Spring Valley, NY
Andrew,
Welcome, it's nice with a biology background but before the test kit arrives don't waste your time or money except for reading. That's called "going it blindly". There's much to be known about the pool chemistry so before making pre slam adjustments it will render you a non slam outcome. As Marty sumed it up, get the kit and do a full set of levels. Come back with as many questions as you have for perfect guidance.
 
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andrewholtmd

Member
Jul 9, 2021
16
Bartlett, TN
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Got my TF-100 test kit in today and used it right away. Water is much clearer but not crystal yet. I have been putting liquid bleach 7.5% daily and my test results are below. Filter has been running 24/7 for the past 4 days. Have brushed and robotically vacuumed twice daily for the past 4 days.

We have had about 4” of rain in the past two days and it is threatening again today. My water level was super high so I manually vacuumed to waste today and got my water level back to normal. Backwashed and rinsed my filter afterwards.

FC 10
TA 210
CH 400
pH 7.5
CYA 35

I know my goal pH during a SLAM is 7.2. I have muriatic acid I bought from Lowe’s yesterday.
Thoughts?
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,982
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Great on getting a proper test kit. Your CYA is 40 ppm. Follow the SLAM Process
 

crimson avenger

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Get your FC to 16, based on pool math calculation. Follow the SLAM process!

Also have a background in chemistry (got my BS in it). It does make it a little more interesting… I actually find managing the pool quite a bit of fun. Some of the old stuff I learned came back and helped me understand what was going on.
 

andrewholtmd

Member
Jul 9, 2021
16
Bartlett, TN
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Rechecked my chemistry after adding 25 ounces of diluted muriatic acid 3 hours ago. New results:

FC 8.5
CC 0.5
pH 7.35
Pool is cleaner than this afternoon.

Planning on leaving everything as is and rechecking everything in the morning unless anyone feels the pH needs to be lower.
 

crimson avenger

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Rechecked my chemistry after adding 25 ounces of diluted muriatic acid 3 hours ago. New results:

FC 8.5
CC 0.5
pH 7.35
Pool is cleaner than this afternoon.

Planning on leaving everything as is and rechecking everything in the morning unless anyone feels the pH needs to be lower.
pH is fine.
FC needs to be 16.
 
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andrewholtmd

Member
Jul 9, 2021
16
Bartlett, TN
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Retested my water before sunrise today. Water is very clear and looking great. I am very uplifted and encouraged (more importantly, so is my wife)!

Results:
FC 6.5 (around 8 yesterday before sunset)
pH 7.4
TA 190
CC 0
CH 375
CYA 30

SLAM is nearly complete. I just need to pass OCLT which I will do every morning this week until passage. Thank you for all of the great advice and guidance.

My pool has essentially direct sunlight all day long and my CYA is low so I believe that is mostly why I am burning through chlorine like I am since my CC is zero.

Should I add some CYA once the SLAM is complete? If so, would my target be?
 

mariane

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,256
Metro Detroit, Michigan
Retested my water before sunrise today. Water is very clear and looking great. I am very uplifted and encouraged (more importantly, so is my wife)!

Results:
FC 6.5 (around 8 yesterday before sunset)
pH 7.4
TA 190
CC 0
CH 375
CYA 30

SLAM is nearly complete. I just need to pass OCLT which I will do every morning this week until passage. Thank you for all of the great advice and guidance.

My pool has essentially direct sunlight all day long and my CYA is low so I believe that is mostly why I am burning through chlorine like I am since my CC is zero.

Should I add some CYA once the SLAM is complete? If so, would my target be?
Welcome to the forum.
You lost FC overnight which indicates algae is still in your pool. (very clear water is not always a good indicator if algae is present or not0
You need to SLAM - Shock Level and Maintain - the FC level until you are not losing any. Even during the day when the sun is out, maintain the FC at shock level.
 
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revitup

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 30, 2019
633
Pawleys Island, SC
Pool Size
8500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
For some reason it appears you are not following the slam protocol. You should be holding FC at 16, checking and readjusting to 16 at least 3 times a day. Your chance for successfully eliminating algae is slim otherwise.
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,950
Spring Valley, NY
Retested my water before sunrise today. Water is very clear and looking great. I am very uplifted and encouraged (more importantly, so is my wife)!

Results:
FC 6.5 (around 8 yesterday before sunset)
pH 7.4
TA 190
CC 0
CH 375
CYA 30

SLAM is nearly complete. I just need to pass OCLT which I will do every morning this week until passage. Thank you for all of the great advice and guidance.

My pool has essentially direct sunlight all day long and my CYA is low so I believe that is mostly why I am burning through chlorine like I am since my CC is zero.

Should I add some CYA once the SLAM is complete? If so, would my target be?
Don't forget to brush thoroughly twice daily till you're clearly out of slam. You can add 10 ppm CYA to shield you from strong uv but then need to maintain a slightly higher slam but it may help you burn off the algae rather than lose it to the uv. Check the filter pressure, 25% rise above clean filter pressure would call for a backwash. You can also add DE to a sand filter giving it a 1 psi rise in pressure to hasten the slam but you may have to babysit the filter incase the pressure increases faster as it's catching more of the impurities passing through.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,950
Spring Valley, NY
Not sure how if you know but when slamming, after putting in the chlorine, give it 20 minutes and recheck FC level. You need to keep adding and checking after 20 minutes to be sure you reached the slam level you're aiming for. Keep at it till it holds the slam level at the 20 minute recheck. Until this is followed you may never have been at slam level.
 
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crimson avenger

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
326
Chicago
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
You haven’t even really begun the SLAM, let alone come near finishing.
Read the article - SLAM Process
Start by getting your FC to 16 ppm.
 
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andrewholtmd

Member
Jul 9, 2021
16
Bartlett, TN
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I was reading the wrong chart. Silly me. Read the article. Added enough bleach to get FC to 16. Will recheck FC in 20 minutes. Thanks.
 

andrewholtmd

Member
Jul 9, 2021
16
Bartlett, TN
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
SLAM is back on track! PH has drifted up to to 7.7ish. Added muriatic acid to get pH to goal of 7.2-7.5. FC has been 13-19 all day long (6 checks). Water is clear and spirits are high. Curious to see what the AM FC will be. Full set of tests coming in the morning.
 
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mariane

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,256
Metro Detroit, Michigan
SLAM is back on track! PH has drifted up to to 7.7ish. Added muriatic acid to get pH to goal of 7.2-7.5. FC has been 13-19 all day long (6 checks). Water is clear and spirits are high. Curious to see what the AM FC will be. Full set of tests coming in the morning.
Great work!
No need to check pH at this time since it will read abnormally high during a slam.
Be careful with lowering pH at this time. Too low of pH for long periods of time will wrinkle a vinyl liner. Also, you don't really need to test calcium since vinyl pools don't need to have it.
 

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