cloudy pool is making me crazy

hemieli

Active member
May 30, 2010
33
hello i have a 16ft. x 32ft. inground pool 3ft to 8ft. it has a sand filter and i use 3in. trichlor tablets through a feeder. when i shock my pool i use cal-hypo 63% most of the time(other times its the 73%). my problem is that i have been fighting a cloudy pool most of the season i had it clear for about 3 weeks this whole summer. it took me about 3 weeks to a month for me to get it fully clear(where i can see the bottom of the deep end). well i neglected it for about 4 days(just with the cleaning) and i had i nice green film along the bottom of the whole pool, but it was still clear. i started to vacuum the algae from the bottom of the pool and the water started to get a cloudy green which i knew would happen. that was about a week ago. since then i have been shocking and cleaning the pool everyday if not every other day. the water is back to blue but now im fighting the cloudy water(same as the first month of me opening). for me the problem isnt getting the green out of the pool but getting the pool clear again. anyone with suggestions please help im hoping on having it clear by the weekend and its getting rough. i try to run my pump at least 6 hours a day, lately its been a bit more. just tested the water here are the results.

fc: 5.5
cc: 0.0
ph: 7.5
ch: 180
alk: 160
cya: 20

if anyone knows of a quick, easy, and cheap way of getting my pool clear, can you please help it would be much appreciated.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
22,958
SouthWest Alabama
How are you testing? (Kit, strips, pool store, etc)

Have you read pool school on how to properly shock your pool?

Using Trichlor it's hard to believe your CYA is only 20

When shocking or trying to clear a cloudy pool you should be running the pump 24 hours a day!
 

hemieli

Active member
May 30, 2010
33
pool store for testing. yes i have read that and i use the pool calculator when shocking. and i have been running the pool atleast 8 to 12hrs if not more a day lately
 

duraleigh

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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
This is a carbon copy of what bama just said.....couldn't agree more....especially about the CYA
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
22,958
SouthWest Alabama
Get yourself a good test kit! The TF-100 is the best and once you get it you won't be sorry.

It's hard to believe the pool store numbers when we've seen how wrong they can be.

Once you have the kit we can help get your pool crystal clear. While waiting on the kit run your pump 24hours a day.
 

hemieli

Active member
May 30, 2010
33
well i wont be getting a testkit anytime soon, so if u got any other suggestions that would help i would love to hear them
 

Melt In The Sun

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Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Without reliable test results (I seriously doubt that those are accurate), we can only speculate. So, here we go:

You have algae because don't have enough chlorine in your water. You almost certainly have too much stabilizer in your water (from your trichlor tablets). You almost certainly have too much calcium in your water (from your use of cal-hypo). You almost certainly need to partially drain and refill your pool to get your stabilizer and calcium down. You will continue to have problems if you don't change your pool care routine.
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
Everyone here is going to recommend a test kit because that is what really liberates you and your pool from these issues.

That being said - Your cloudy water can be caused by many things. The biggies are

Live or Dead algae or other organics - not enough chlorine
Calcium Clouding - Cal-Hypo can cause clouding (I had this issue very badly, but have much harder water then yours)
Some sort of Filter issue - a very long list. (Since you've had this problem all summer it's a possibility.)

If you can't invest in a test kit you could try the following :

Shock your pool hard with liquid chlorine (Pool store stuff, grocery store bleach, etc.) Use the Pool Calculator and CYA/Chlorine chart to determine some quantities. Guestimate your CYA at something highish - 60? 70? This will probably take a few days to a week.

If it clears up you can eliminate the Filter issue. If you shock it with something other than Cal-Hypo for a week or two and there's no change in your water then you should look at your filter.

As others have said, most likely the issue is inadequate sanitation (Chlorine). The algae gets started, you kill it 75% of the way with cal-hypo, get cloudy water and then go back to pucks/low Chlorine levels. The algae rebounds and the process starts all over again.

good luck
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
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Nov 5, 2008
2,598
If you can't get a decent test kit, at least take some water to a different pool store for testing. If the results come back much different then you have to wonder if either of them is correct. Watch the test carefully, how accurately do they count? Do they use strips? Do they let the strips wait the correct time before reading? If you are using cal-hypo and trichlor tablets, then CH and CYA must go up not down, FC may be anywhere due to consumption, TA should be the same. If the next test shows anything other than that sort of result, then you cannot trust them.

Ideally, take two identical samples to 2 different stores at the same time, each should be less than one hour old. Then look at the differences between the tests. With that knowledge, you can decide whether starting with an accurate test is worth the $.

Meanwhile, start running the filter 24/7. With the FC up high enough to kill organics then you need enough filter run time to clear it from the pool. I have no idea of the relative size of the pool vs the filter and pump but in summer a run time of 10 to 12 hours is probably needed depending on location (sun intensity and temperature) and equipment details.
 

hemieli

Active member
May 30, 2010
33
so bottom line is "stop being a cheap ******* and get a good test kit" hahaha.

for the mean time i will dial down the chlorine feeder, lay off the cal-hypo shock, and switch to liquid chlorine.
main thing is to use chlorine with no cya in it since my pool is basically flooded with it at the moment. checking the pool calculator it says 5 gal. of pool store liquid should raise the fc by 30 that should be enough to shock my 21000 gal. pool for now right(if its guestimated that my cya is 60 to 70 like lighting guy said)?
 

anonapersona

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Nov 5, 2008
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Well, the TF-100 that I use is $68 plus shipping. http://www.tftestkits.net

There's a lot to be said for knowing how much of each thing you need in the pool. If your CYA is way low you can bleach out a liner, if that is what your pool is, with FC too high above shock level.

We still have not heard what sort of pool you have, if it is plaster it can be damaged from CH too high or too low. If it is fiberglass or vinyl the numbers are different but too high is still a problem. CYA protects chlorine, but it can be too high or too low. Too high and your chlorine cannot fight algae, too low and there is not enough to fight algae. Strips are poor indicators of many levels, particularly CYA, the range is too wide to be useful.

Without a test kit, it's kinda like learning how to cook without ever measuring anything. It's pretty hard to do that all alone for the first time. I remember the first time I tried to learn how to make gravy for Thanksgiving. Mom said, "A scoop of shortening and a fistful of flour and some salt and some spices and stir it then add the stock." Yeah, like that's gonna work. So what you are doing now is sort of like me telling you that's how to make gravy, over the internet, and you have no measurements of anything. How much flour? How much salt? How much heat? How dark to brown it? You gotta measure it.

Later on you can tell when the FC is off because the pool isn't sparkling right. But even then we still test.
 

hemieli

Active member
May 30, 2010
33
well got new test results from the pool store today. i do think its a bunch of Crud but maybe a bit closer.
ff 6.5
cc 2.3
ph 7.5
ch 210
alk 200
cya 10
i know the cya is bad but i dont think the fc and cc are wrong
for anonapersona i have a 16ft x 32ft inground pool going from 3ft to 8ft it has a vinyl liner, a 1/2hp pump hayward, sand filter, and a erosion feeder.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
Assuming those test results are accurate, you need to start working on lowering TA/alk (though shocking will take priority). High TA levels can lead to calcium clouding, which might be a portion of your problem (though it can't account for everything).

That CC level isn't at all good, assuming it is correct. You need to shock the pool until CC is 0.5 or lower.

Having a good test kit will more than pay for it's self in chemical savings and avoided problems by the time you clear up the pool from this one problem, and then save you more over what is left of the season.
 

crek31

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Jun 28, 2009
877
If you trust the cc, you need to shock. Anything over .5 cc requires shocking. Remember, shocking is a process -- you need to add bleach to get to your shock level on FC and keep it at shock level by testing and adding more bleach throughout the day. The only way to know what shock level is, however, is to know your CYA. As you've found out, trusting the pool store's result on this is iffy. Getting your own test kit will let you accurately test your CYA level and then you will be able to shock. Getting your own test kit will also put you in a position to successfully complete the shock process because you'll be able to test FC and CC at home, as frequently as necessary, and more reliably than the pool store. You need to know both FC and CC because you won't know for sure you are done shocking until you lose 1FC or less overnight; AND have cc of .5 or less. You can order a test kit from TF-Test Kit, linked in Bama's signature, above.

Well, I see Jason was typing at the same time as me. I'll go ahead and post mine, but to the extent Jason and I differ on anything, go with what he says!
 

hemieli

Active member
May 30, 2010
33
well i ordered my test kit today(after going to 3 different pool stores and getting 3 totally different results). hopefully it will be in by monday. till then ill be vacuuming the pool on waste to get any algae out and try to lower some of my levels by replacing the water. so hopefully ill get there soon. i will keep everyone post on my progress over next few days. thanks for everone's input.
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
Good for you on taking the plunge with the test kit. It'll feel like information overload at first - but that will pass and you'll be in control of your pool.

While you're waiting on the kit - are you shocking with liquid chlorine or bleach? Keeping some chlorine in the pool is essential so the algae doesn't get a chance to rebound.

If you are shocking - post a description of how the water is changing day to day.

Out of curiosity - did all of the pool store tests indicate low CYA?
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
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Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Heckpools said:
I would add 15 large bottles of bleach after you vacuum to waste & let the filter run non stop
Heckpools, was that based on some assumption of the volume of her pool? I'm guessing that given what was said about the length and width you can judge that?

I"m curious what the ppm might be for that volume if that last posted CYA of 10 is correct. Going way over shock level might not be the best answer for a vinyl pool.
 

hemieli

Active member
May 30, 2010
33
lightingguy said:
are you shocking with liquid chlorine or bleach? Keeping some chlorine in the pool is essential so the algae doesn't get a chance to rebound.

If you are shocking - post a description of how the water is changing day to day.

Out of curiosity - did all of the pool store tests indicate low CYA?
ill be using pool store liquid chlorine since the cal-hypo has been clouding my pool. but ill will most likely wait till i get the test kit.

one of the pool store results for cya was 84 but for fc and tc there readings only go to ten. the other store always ranges between 10 and 25 and there fc and tc only reads up to 10 ppm. and the third store didnt give me my cya, they test the water and just give you a list of products and instructions. the pool stores around here are to busy trying to sell you stuff. and since cya is the most expensive chemical.
so at this point i kind of figured that my cya and my alk are to high. thats why ill be vacuuming to waste, so i can throw the algae straight out and lower my cya and alk at the same time. hopefully the kit comes in today.
 

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