Clearing the Cloudy Waters

Minolwen

New member
Oct 2, 2021
4
Brandon, MS
Greetings,

My family and I purchased a home with an IG pool two weeks ago. When we moved in the pool was green (for 7-8 days) because the pump was unable to prime, which we've since resolved. At that time I SLAM'd the pool but honestly got a bit impatient (new home, new pool, two kids) waiting for the cloudiness to clear up and so I've brought the FC level down to a number that's safe for swimming (7, CYA 32). I'm certain the right thing to do at this point is to begin the SLAM process again after they finish swimming today but I do have a few questions.

  1. The weather here has been cloudy with scattered showers for the past week, the entire time I was going through the SLAM process. This was nice because I didn't need to battle as much with keeping FC up but I'm starting to wonder if that has any impact on the pool staying cloudy?
  2. I did, against TFP and my better judgement, use cal-hypo (powder shock) to SLAM the pool. I believe heavily in bleach for maintaining but I've had a very difficult time sourcing 10% bleach in my area lately. It looks like it's carried but everyone is out... permanently. I've read this could also be a reason for the cloudiness.
  3. Another issue could be that I went from 0 CYA to 32ish within two days using powder/granule CA. I used to use the sock method but again, I really wanted the pool open for the kids.
As of today, I am losing minimal chlorine overnight but each morning we do see built up residue (dead algae I hope) on the bottom of the pool that we promptly vacuum through the filter. We've been doing this for 4-5 days now and it seems to be just as cloudy as it was 4-5 days ago. I am really starting to wonder if we're just vacuuming it into the filter but the particles are too fine so they're pushed right back into the pool.

Is it possible to add something to the filter to ensure it traps the fine particles and not harm the filter? I did use one dose of Clorox Clarifier out of desperation but I don't know that I see any improvement; I have avoided Floc because I've only heard scary stories. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Chemical Levels:
FC: 7
pH: 7.6
TA: 100
CH: 90
CYA: 32
Borate: 10
CSI: -0.27
 

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HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
2,890
Katy TX
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Welcome to TFP and enjoy your new home and pool.
At TFP we recommend not to interpret CYA between 2 decade marks and to round up to the higher decade mark which would be 40. The SLAM level for that is 16ppm and you can safely swim up to that level.

Since it is a new beginning for you, I would recommend you backwash the sand filter to clean it of any old algae or whatever since it was last done. In addition to SLAM chlorine level, a clean filter helps clear that cloudiness also. Some have added a small cup of DE to the sand filter but I would backwash it first, especially if you do not know when it was last done.

The chlorine supply issue has raised its ugly self in several states so use what is available. Next to LC, cal hypo is fine. Stay away from pucks as that drives CYA but also very slow to bring up chlorine levels. Remember to lower your pH to 7.2-7.4 before SLAM.

Stay away from other additives. It appears you are not that bad so focus on the SLAM Process to take you to the end.

Brush good several times a day if possible. Also, with the lower angle sun and possible overcast skies in your area, you will not lose as much FC to UV - which is a good thing.

Good Luck.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,681
Spring Valley, NY
As @HermanTX said keep the slam up and do not stop till done.Rain has little effect on a slam. A half slam will do nothing except invite back the no good. Swimming with FC at or slightly below slam would be completely safe barring you can see the floor at the deep pool end. Not being able to see clearly the floor in the deep is a hazard trying to find someone down there.
 
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Minolwen

New member
Oct 2, 2021
4
Brandon, MS
Thank you both for your responses.

I will lower the pH to 7.2 and raise the FC to 16 using bleach (or cal-hypo as a last resort) and leave it there until the cloudiness subsides and I can pass the overnight FC loss test. Should I go ahead and bump the CYA up closer to 40 since we're rounding there anyway from the lower 30s, or leave it alone?
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,681
Spring Valley, NY
Don't bump the CYA any higher but figure a CYA of 40 and keep slam accordingly. After topping up the FC wait 15 minutes to check if it reached slam level. If not hit it again till the test shows slam level achieved. Keep slam atleast minimum 3 times a day with pump on 24/7 along with brushing twice daily. Keep an eye on filter pressure.
 
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reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
403
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
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Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
Thank you both for your responses.

I will lower the pH to 7.2 and raise the FC to 16 using bleach (or cal-hypo as a last resort) and leave it there until the cloudiness subsides and I can pass the overnight FC loss test. Should I go ahead and bump the CYA up closer to 40 since we're rounding there anyway from the lower 30s, or leave it alone?
Just a note that plain bleach from Walmart, Aldi, etc is 6-7% and perfectly fine for a pool provided it’s just plain, unscented bleach.
 
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Minolwen

New member
Oct 2, 2021
4
Brandon, MS
I have now backwashed the filter that was at around 20 PSI and it is now around 12-14. I have lowed the pH to 7.2 and raised the FC to 16 to begin the SLAM process again. The water actually seemed a bit more clear this morning despite our hours of enjoyment in the pool yesterday.

Two things I intended to ask originally but had forgotten:
  1. One of the pictures attached shows sediment that's at the bottom of the pool each morning. It's yellow-ish and looks a lot like sand although we have no sand anywhere near (other than in the filter) and I don't believe it is because there's no sand in the pump and if I vacuum to fast you can see it dissipate the way algae would. Is there any chance this is mustard algae that takes a more focused effort or just dead algae from the SLAM? There's no build-up on the walls that I can tell (even when sweeping) and the steps only have specks each morning, the top step specifically (warmth?).
  2. The other picture shows a PVC adapter on our return that the previous owner had in the pool to run a sort-of fountain, he said it cools the water off in the hot summer. My question is: Are these above waterline returns going to result in a constant pH battle? It is my understanding that aerating will increase pH.
Thank you all again for your help thus far, I appreciate it!
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,890
Katy TX
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The other picture shows a PVC adapter on our return that the previous owner had in the pool to run a sort-of fountain, he said it cools the water off in the hot summer. My question is: Are these above waterline returns going to result in a constant pH battle? It is my understanding that aerating will increase pH.
You are correct that aeration can increase pH slowly over time. So in the summer, you get the benefit of cooling effect to water but consequence of increases in pH. You should be able to unscrew the device from the return outlet and store till next summer.

Great work on cleaning the filter. By the decrease in filter pressure, it was clearly dirty. Good Job!!!!

I let someone else comment on mustard algae as I have never had that.
 

Minolwen

New member
Oct 2, 2021
4
Brandon, MS
You are correct that aeration can increase pH slowly over time. So in the summer, you get the benefit of cooling effect to water but consequence of increases in pH. You should be able to unscrew the device from the return outlet and store till next summer.

Great work on cleaning the filter. By the decrease in filter pressure, it was clearly dirty. Good Job!!!!

I let someone else comment on mustard algae as I have never had that.
I apologize for what seems like a dumb question but if I remove the device, I should have some sort of "eye" to put in there to maintain circular circulation, right?
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,890
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I apologize for what seems like a dumb question but if I remove the device, I should have some sort of "eye" to put in there to maintain circular circulation, right?
Yes. I would have hoped they left you that part. It should be able to screw directly on to the pipe when you remove the "cooler"
 

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