Cloudy Mess AGAIN

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
60
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Hi everyone. As you can see, this is my first post. Thanks for having such a great forum! :)

We opened our pool for the summer a few weeks ago. The water looks like watery old milk, and doesn't want to clear up. So far, I have only used test strips and the store to get chemical readings. (just ordered a test kit today!)

My question involves the stabilizer. My CYA reading is pretty high. So high I don't even want to tell you. Well it's 141.

Does that mean I have to use an astronomical amount of chlorine to kill all the beasties in the water? I would ideally like to get the CYA to a comfortable level, and I realize that means an exchange of water.

Can I use just chlorine, filtering, brushing, vacuuming to clear up the cloudiness? I know there are fancy clarifiers out there.... what exactly do they do?

Can't wait to get my test kit....

Thanks!

Susiejax
 

RobbieH

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
Welcome to TFP!

Yes, you will need an elevated FC to keep your water sanitized. And to perform SLAM, it's going to have to be really high. I strongly suggest a drain and refill of at least half your water. Just don't let the water get below 1' above the shallow end of your pool.

Use Pool Math to help you figure what your additions will be
http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
Wait for that test kit to arrive and test your CYA. Pool store CYA testing is no better than test strips. You may even have to dilute your water 1:1 with tap water and perform the test if you get >100 with the first test. If you do the 1:1 dilution test, multiply your result by 2 to get your CYA level.

It's not very practical to clear a pool that has CYA over 100 just because of the sheer amount of chlorine that would be required. Plan on a drain where you only leave 1 foot of water in the shallowest part of the pool and a refill. Maybe even another partial drain depending on how high it actually is.
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
One caveat on draining, find out where your water table is. If you just dump all the water' you may end up floating your pool. Dropping to 1 ft may be the answer ultimately, but I wouldn't run out and do it until I understood what is the impact of your water table.
 

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
60
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Thanks for the input all --

I'm actually kind of bummed because last summer, we did a partial drain and refill early in the spring because of the horrible cloudiness. Shortly after, the pool store told me my CYA was low and had me add a certain amount of stabilizer. I wish I recalled the levels at that time. I bet the whole thing could have been avoided. Live and Learn!

Will check back with you after my test kit arrives. It's like Christmas :rolleyes:
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,963
Evans, Georgia
Hey there Susiejax :wave: I'm sorry you're having these problems.

How exactly are you sanitizing your water normally? Pucks?? And have you put anything else in the water like algaecide??
 

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
60
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Hey there Susiejax :wave: I'm sorry you're having these problems.

How exactly are you sanitizing your water normally? Pucks?? And have you put anything else in the water like algaecide??
Hello!

My normal routine includes 3" Chlorine Tabs in a feeder, 4 oz. Bioguard Back Up Algaecide and 1.5 lbs of Bioguard SmartShock weekly.

So far upon opening, I added the "startup dose" of Algaecide (1 quart bottle), "startup" dose of Scale Inhibitor (2 quarts) and a ton of the shock. Vacuumed the swill to waste and keep brushing. After a test at the store, was advised to add 3 lbs of Balance Pak 200 to raise the pH, which was at 6.8.

Before dinking around anymore, I decided to check here to see if there was any advice, beyond taking things into my own hands and to quit relying on the store.

Thanks!
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
The pucks are the reason your CYA gets out of hand. For every 10 FC that you add using trichlor pucks, you add 6 ppm of CYA. The CYA never goes away unless you drain. That pound and a half of "smart shock" which is dichlor, is adding 4 ppm of CYA every time you use it as well. That ton of shock added a ton of CYA too.

Also, the reason your pH was so low is that both trichlor and dichlor are acidic. Over time, they deplete your TA and you have to add that or your pH will fluctuate all over the place.

Check out Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals for the best and most economical chemicals to use for FC, lowering pH, raising pH, raising TA and raising CH.
 

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
60
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Update:

Added liquid bleach (12.5%) and raised the FC to way above what registers on my strips. Test Kit hasn't arrived yet -- I can't wait!!

Continued filter 24/7, cleaned filter sand, replaced O-rings at all pump junctions, brushed until my arms fell off, vacuumed and backwashed several times this week, scrubbed the scum-line and inside of the skimmer. Also turned off chlorine feeder so no more CYA from the pucks would be added.

I don't have an accurate reading of pH or FC or CC at the moment.

Water is clearing -- I can finally see the print on the liner in the shallow end.

Not sure if it will be safe to swim in this weekend, cloudy or not.
FC - Purple Square on the strip is almost black
CYA - 151 at last reading from pool store

Will post true reading when my kit arrives! THANKS so much for all your help and feedback.

- - - Updated - - -

I should add that I intend to do a partial drain and refill this season to dilute the CYA. I think the elevated stabilizer is the root of most of my problems. Also, will convert to TFP procedure when I get my test kit and get on track.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,475
Sebring, Florida
I am late to this thread but just want to encourage you to hang on. You have taken the big step by getting this kit and your eyes will slowly be opened wide as you find out how simple this is and how you will stay out of the Pool Store.

All we teach revolves around the test kit so we'll all be waiting to help get you going.

Welcome to the forum. :wave:
 

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
60
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Hello again!

My test kit arrived today!! Yay! It is the TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD . Is this an ok one to use? I hope so.

After trying it out, here are my numbers. They are a little wonky, I'm sure due to the elevated FC and ultimately the CYA.

FC: 21.5
CC: .5
PH: 7.2
TA: 300 (I had to redo this test, adding an extra drop of the first reagent, due to bleaching). After 12 drops added to the 10mL, it turned red. Was this correct? I'm sure the Alc is high but this seems outrageous.
CYA: Black dot was obscured way below the 100ppm mark. Last reading at the store was 251.

Water is clear all the way to the drains, after adding a total of 13 gallons 12.5% bleach over a weeks time. Brush, vacuum, backwash, filter 24/7.

I really want to do a partial drain, but I am unable to perform it right now. But I will. I promise. That CYA is way too high, I know.

What is a good step to take in between? Will go punch the numbers into the calculator right now. Thanks so much --

Susie
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
You can get an idea of your actual CYA by diluting your pool water 1:1 with tap water and testing it. In your case... maybe 1 part pool water, 3 parts tap water then multiply the result by 4 instead of 2 like at 1:1 dilution... Might not even be worth measuring until you drain at least half the pool... save reagents that way.

Your FC minimum at 251 CYA (assumed) is about 19 ppm... not real practical.

That's a good test kit, you just might have to order reagents a lot sooner than if you had gotten the TF-100. Can only do maybe 3 CYA tests with the K-2006 while the TF-100 you can do about 20, iirc.
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
Also on the TA, that's a possible number but still very high. Have you tested your tap water for TA? Tap water in my area is 250-280 ppm... Otherwise it has to have been increased by a chemical addition. Some brands of powdered shocks or trichlor add sodium bicarbonate to their products to counteract their acidity but those are usually close to a net no change in TA unless they are poorly designed/manufactured.
 

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
60
Fort Wayne, Indiana
I re-tested and came up with some new numbers.

FC: 21.5
CC: .5
PH: 7.3
TA: 136
TH: 325
CYA: 136
temp: 78

I think I will order some more CYA reagent right now :) Thanks for any input!
 

BuckeyeChris

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2014
821
Buckeye AZ
with any luck you will only need to test CYA a few more times. Drain half of your water, refill, check, and proceed.
You are probably going to use a lot of the FC drop test reagent though. If you have to SLAM the pool to clear it, that requires getting your FC up high and frequent testing, which will use a lot of drops.

Another reason to get that CYA down to 30 or 40...fewer test reagents used. If water is cheap...
 

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
60
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Good morning!

My pool has seemingly held the FC level (albeit a necessarily high one, due to my CYA) for some time now, so I performed the OCLT last night.

9PM: FC 14 CC 1

7:30AM: FC 13.5 CC .5




Thanks for all the advice! I am so relieved and happy to have switched to the TFP method. The water smells better, feels better, and looks better than before.
When my schedule calms down a bit, I will drain and refill to lower my CYA (maybe a few times!)

Best wishes to all with struggles, and many thanks to those who guide us through them.