Cloudy pool problems

Rawhide

Member
Jun 24, 2018
5
Smithsburg/MD
Hi guys...I am brand new to TFP, in fact I’m brand new to not just following blindly what the pool store recommends. For the first time, it’s July 14th and we’re yet to use the pool. The water is very cloudy, there is no green. Without boring you with the details, I’ve been to the pool store twice...spending over $120 each time, and we still can’t see much more than 1 ft below the surface. They said just bring water samples in once a week and we’ll eventually find the magic potion to get it clear. I’m beginning to be skeptical of their resolve. I found your guys site and liked how well you seemed to tackle people’s pool problems and decided, what the heck.

So, I’ve read every article in pool school and believe I probably know just enough to be dangerous. I ordered my TF-100 test kit and performed the first full round of tests. Just for the record, I stopped dosing the pool with the pool store concoctions 5-days ago. Daily for the last 4-days (not including today), I’ve added 1-gal of Walmart 6% bleach...I read that on one of your forum replies. So here’s the test results.

pH = 7.2
FC = 22 (44-drops of 0871 till clear)
CC = 1 (2-drops of 0871 till clear)
TC = 23
CH = 1250 (50-drops of 012)
TA = 110-130 (11-drops of 009 to pink, 13 to reddish)
CYA = 100

So, my take from the results is that the pH is okay. The TC is high, but probably not so bad considering it’s been shocked for the past 4-days. The CH is at least 3 times greater than recommended. The TA looks okay. The CYA is nearly 2 times the recommended levels.

Additional info: We run the pump about 12 hours per day (off at nighttime). The chlorinator is empty (not using hockey pucks containing CYA buffer). We maintain pool water level from the garden hose which comes from a public water supply.

Your recommendations are greatly appreciated.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
37,621
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Welcome to the forum! :wave: Having the TF-100 is HUGE! Good job. From your first set of tests, the first obstacle is the CYA. Have you tried a diluted CYA test yet? If not, try one using the TFP Pool School - CYA page starting at step #8. If your CYA is more than 100, it will be good to know.
CYA Testing:
Proper lighting is critical for the CYA test, so you want to test for CYA outside on a bright sunny day. Taylor recommends standing outside with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. If it helps, pour a little, look away, then look back and pour some more. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading. If you are still questioning your own results, have a friend or two do the same test 2-3 times. Share your results only after everyone is done to see if you came up with the same average results.
Once you confirm the CYA, exchange the desired amount of water to get the CYA lower - preferably between 30-50 so that you can follow that with doing a SLAM Process to get rid of that algae once and for all. All of the links you need are below in my signature. Give that a shot and let us know if you have any troubles.
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
1,230
San Jose, CA
Also test your fill water for pH, TA, and CH to see what adding water will do for you. You CH is very high, but since it looks like your CYA is high too, they will both come down with a partial drain and refill. You're looking at draining at least 50% of your water if your CYA is really 100 after the diluted test. If it's higher, you should drain enough water to get your CYA down to 50. Depending on your fill water's CH, your CH will drop once you refill the pool as well. Hopefully you can get it down at least into the 700's or so because you can easily manage your water balance with it there. Once you get over 1000, it gets really difficult.
 

Rawhide

Member
Jun 24, 2018
5
Smithsburg/MD
Thanks guys...here’s the additional testing you recommended.

BTW...the pool is still being filtered about 12 hrs a day. There has been no chemicals introduced for 2 days. It’s my intent to follow your BBB method, if you think that’ll work for my pools conditions.

Fill water source tests:
pH = 8.2
FC = 1
CC = 0
TC = 1
CH = 250
TA = 110
CYA = 0

The latest pool tests:
pH = 7.2
FC = 12
CC = 0
TC = 12
CH = 575
TA = 120
STD CYA = 100
DIL CYA = 80

It looks like the CH may be approaching a manageable level. Running the diluted CYA test also produced a better result.

Where should I go from here...Thanks again for your time and assistance.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
The reason I ask about water exchange is that on 7/14 you show CH of 1250ppm and on 7/16 you show a CH of 575ppm. CH doesn't go away on its own without water replacement.

I'd consider your CYA to be 90ppm and go from there. With that, you want to do at least a 50% water exchange. Take a tape measure and measure how deep the water is about a foot out from the wall. Drain water level to half this height and then refill with a hose. This assumes a flat bottom pool without a deep end. After you drain & refill, let the water circulate for 30 minutes at least and then do another CYA test (undiluted).

Then post up test results for
pH
FC
CH
CYA
 

Rawhide

Member
Jun 24, 2018
5
Smithsburg/MD
Okay...sorry for the delay getting back, we’ve had some serious weather here and the pool took a back seat.

Here’s where we’re at.
Drained about half the pool. In the process we backwashed the filter and vacuumed the bottom.
07/26 - Filled the pool to proper level and added 1 gal of bleach. Left the pool filter run over night.
07/27 - Checked the levels at midday:
pH = 7.5
FC = 9
CC = 0
TC = 9
CH = 575
TA = 110
CYA = 55
The pool is actually more cloudy since we turned the filter back on (can’t see the bottom). While it was sitting between draining and refilling it got relatively clear.
So...what do you think?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
It's good to see your CYA down towards a more manageable level. You can live with CYA of 60 (55 rounded up) for now. CH is a bit high, but the only way to lower that is drain water and replace. As you use the pool and winterize the pool, both will go down. I'd leave alone for now. Next year will be good to go.

The other numbers look good for now.

Per the [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA], you need to maintain the FC between 7-9 ppm and never below 5ppm.
I'd increase FC to 10ppm and do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test. This will help determine if you have organics in the water. Do you see any hint of green or algae?

The cloudiness likely went away because the particulates settled on the bottom with the still water. The filter will get this out, but it may take a while.
To help circulate the water better, I like to put the manual vacuum in the water on the opposite end of the pool from the skimmer/return. Leave it there to help pull water from the opposite end as the return.

Once we decide if you need to do the SLAM Process process, then we can work on the cloudiness.

Only add bleach, nothing else.
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
Keep working the plan, sand filters can be low.

If the FC is resolved with no loss overnight, only the filter that will remove the junk.

How clean is the filter media? Sand doesn't "wear out" but if its too clean, it's slower to filter.
 

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Rawhide

Member
Jun 24, 2018
5
Smithsburg/MD
Thanks...
There is no hint of green or algae.
I will do the OCLT as soon as possible...weather is going bat sh$t crazy right now.
Also, using liquid bleach, how do I know how much to use? 1 gal, 1/2 gal, 2 gal? Daily?
Thanks again.

BTW...When we first opened the pool, the pool store sold us calcium hydrochloride. We used a boatload of it. Might explain high CH.

- - - Updated - - -

Filter media is very clean...I’m letting it run 24/7 for a while.
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
How much can be calculated by using the PoolMath above

I know for my pool a jug of 10% bleach gives me an FC increase of 10 FC, or 13 oz for 1FC

The PoolMath makes the adjustment for your pool and the type of bleach you're using.

I know I buy whatever is cheapest or easiest depending on where I am shopping. I am just as likely to buy 4 jugs of WalMart bleach as 2 boxes of 10% from HomeDepot.

I have not followed this thread for long enough, ASSUMING (confirming) your not loosing FC overnight, it sounds like a pound of DE or cellulose into your sand filter may speed the filtering process. This idea can be controversial for some here.
 

Winnie-the-Pool

Gold Supporter
May 31, 2018
183
The Sandhills of NC
Thanks...
There is no hint of green or algae.
I will do the OCLT as soon as possible...weather is going bat sh$t crazy right now.
Also, using liquid bleach, how do I know how much to use? 1 gal, 1/2 gal, 2 gal? Daily?
Thanks again.

- - - Updated - - -

Filter media is very clean...I’m letting it run 24/7 for a while.

I always had a DE filter and crystal clear water, but we recently moved and this pool has a sand filter. It takes sand filters much longer to clear up a pool, especially if your filter is very clean. The very small particulate matter in the water that makes it look cloudy gets through the filter and back in the pool.

Try adding a little DE to your filter through the skimmer, directions here:
https://www.troublefreepool.com/content/133-add-de-to-a-sand-filter
You don't need much, ~1 cup each time you backwash. Hopefully your local Walmart still has it in stock so you don't have to visit the pool store.

Also if you have a smartphone or tablet install the "Pool Math by TroubleFreePool" App, it's great to help you figure how much liquid bleach to add.

Good Luck. Let us know how it's going!!
 
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