Cloudy pool - should I SLAM?

nwsurfer

Member
Jun 27, 2022
8
PNW
Hi everyone,

I am a new "adult" pool owner (i.e. my family owned a pool growing up). Over the last couple of days I have been trying to learn as much as I can. The previous pool owner told me about the 3 B's of pool maintenance and I found this amazing website after a google search. The previous pool owner used test strips which I threw away and went and picked up a Taylor K-2006 test kit yesterday. The pool has been cloudy over the last couple of days (e.g. I can't see the bottom of the pool) which I want to clear up before the kids jump in. I tested the pool last night:

Free Chlorine - 2.2
Combine Chlorine - .4
pH - 7.2
Total Alkalinity - 80
CYA - 70 - 80

I apologize for the long introduction. Here is my question. I know the Combine Chlorine is high but it doesn't appear to be high enough to SLAM yet, right? Because the pool is cloudy, should I SLAM or should I just add cyanuric acid (reduce the CYA) and liquid chlorine (increase the free chlorine)? The cement pool is approximately 23000 gallons and we are in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you in advanced for the help.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2014
40,915
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
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Surface
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Welcome to TFP! :wave: You seem to have a few warning signs that it's time to run a SLAM Process:
1 - Elevated CC
2 - Cloudy water
3 - Low FC level as compared to the CYA when referencing the FC/CYA Chart.

I foresee a SLAM Process coming. You should definitely add some liquid chlorine now for an FC goal of about 7-8 ppm. Try to keep it in that area all day and do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test this evening. That should confirm it.

More at our Pool Care Basics page.
 

nwsurfer

Member
Jun 27, 2022
8
PNW
Thank you both again for the help. I started the SLAM process on Thursday morning and haven't stopped. I check the pool every one to two hours to add more liquid chlorine if needed. This morning the FC dropped less than 1. The pool cleared up quite a bit but my kids went swimming it the pool today and it became cloudy again. Should I continue to SLAM? Could something else be wrong, perhaps with the filter? Thank you in advanced for the help.
 

nwsurfer

Member
Jun 27, 2022
8
PNW
Hi all,

I am following up on this thread because I have a follow up question. I have continuously followed the SLAM procedures for a little over two months now. I have passed two of the three rules to know when you can stop but my pool is still very cloudy. The reason why I think my pool is still cloudy is because I have an undersized filter. My filter is only 100 sq and my plaster pool is approximately 23000 gallons. Based on my research on this site, the filter should be at least 460 sq ft. I don't mind continuing to follow the SLAM process but I'm concerned about the long term effects of maintaining the pool at SLAM level. Is it okay if I continue to SLAM or should I let the FC drop down to reasonable levels and let the small filter do it slow and painful process?

Here are my most recent numbers:

FC - 15.5
PH - 7.6
TA - 90
CYA - 40

Thank you in advanced for any help. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have this website as a resource.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,915
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
While crystal clear water is certainly one of the SLAM criteria, you have been doing the SLAM for a very long time. But I will also say that my pool is about 18K and I have a single cart Hayward C-1200 and it does just fine, I just have to clean it more frequently. Are you careful about cleaning yours frequently? Any chance unusual pool store chemicals may have been added to the water in teh past effecting the filter itself?
 

nwsurfer

Member
Jun 27, 2022
8
PNW
Thank you for quick response @Texas Splash. I appreciate it. Great questions.

To be honest, I'm not sure what the previous owner did to the pool. I don't remember the pool looking awful when we went to see the house but then again, I don't know if I looked that closely. He may have used something to make the pool look decent when he went to sell it. Given that he didn't do much maintenance on the house, I'm guessing he didn't do much to the pool.

About 2 1/2 months ago, I realized that the filter could be the reason why the pool wasn't cleaning so I took it out and tried to clean it. Because it was such a mess, I bought a brand new one. Generally, I clean the filter about once a week. About a month ago, I tried to clean it every two days for about two weeks but because it was such a pain in the (you know what) to take it apart (it is an old cartridge filter that has a clamp on the bottom) and it didn't seem to clean the pool any faster, I decided to switch to every week.

Thank you for the information about your set-up (pool size and filter). I'm fine with cleaning it every week or so especially if I get a new which will be much easier to take apart. Because I am limited in space, I was trying to find a big enough filter to fit my space but it was difficult.

I have a Sta-Rite Posi Flo Filter Model # 100 GPM.
 

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nwsurfer

Member
Jun 27, 2022
8
PNW
Absolutely but I have to warn you, the set up might make you cringe. It is serious a mess of pipes going everywhere. At the bottom, the four intake values are, starting from the left, hot tub, far skimmer, main drain, and near skimmer. The far skimmer is completely shut. I'm not sure why. The pipe with the blue valve handle goes to the drain. I'm currently vacuuming which is why I'm only pulling from the near skimmer. The fourth picture is the second step of the pool. It is clearing very slowly.

I'm chlorinating the pool with the Walmart Pool Essentials Liquid Chlorine jugs.
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,915
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
I have to warn you, the set up might make you cringe.
Ha. Yeah, it's a bit outdated. :) All in good time. Still odd that the water isn't clearing up after passing the OCLT on more than one occasion. Can't help but wonder about that filter now. :scratch:
 

jesse-99

Gold Supporter
May 2, 2021
309
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
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Given that he didn't do much maintenance on the house, I'm guessing he didn't do much to the pool.
Oh geez. That sounds exactly like what I walked into 2 years ago. I think the owner was one of those who probably never did an oil change on his car(s) -- ever. The house seemed maintained (lack of) the same way. AND.... unfortunately, the pool.
 

nwsurfer

Member
Jun 27, 2022
8
PNW
Ha. Yeah, it's a bit outdated. :) All in good time. Still odd that the water isn't clearing up after passing the OCLT on more than one occasion. Can't help but wonder about that filter now. :scratch:
@Texas Splash Thank you for the help! I'll continue to try to figure out how to replace the filter. I had a pool construction company come out and give me an estimate but he wanted to just replace the whole pad for some $$. I'll try a couple of more companies. I think the problem I am going to run into is that it is a tight space. The current filter is only 15 by 15. I would rather not spend the dough right now to replace the whole pad to give it more space if I don't have to, especially since there are many other things around the house I should spend the money on.
Oh geez. That sounds exactly like what I walked into 2 years ago. I think the owner was one of those who probably never did an oil change on his car(s) -- ever. The house seemed maintained (lack of) the same way. AND.... unfortunately, the pool.

@jesse-99 You are absolutely right. The really ironic thing is that he is the one who told me about the "BBB method" which is how I initially found this wonderful website. Obviously, he wasn't practicing what he preached. :LOL:
 
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