Cloudy Water, High TA...

jj

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Aug 13, 2007
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Hi to All,
Our first pool's been cloudy for a month now. Can’t see the bottom. White cloudy.
We have exhausted the advice of our local pool store, that isn’t really a pool store:)
We have a arsenal of chemicals on hand (Pool Life).
Yesterday we drained a third of the water and refilled. Still can’t see the bottom.
The pool is 12x24, 52", oval, above ground, sand filter, 1½ hp pump, 7700 gal, 48" water depth.
Here are this mornings numbers. I am sure hoping for some help as my hub is ready to pull the rest of his hair out:) What should our next move be? We have all the paper work from testing every week and what all we added for the past month but I hesitated to go into all that, if not necessary. We've not added anything to the pool today and are anxiously awaiting instructions:) My/Our thanks, jennifer
8/26/07 am
FC 5
CC .5
TC 5.5
PH 7.5
TA 160
CH 290
CYA 40
Temp 82*
 

duraleigh

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Hi, Jennifer,

Welcome to the forum. All your test results look very good...excellent, in fact. This may take a little thinking. My first guess is something you have added has caused your cloudy condition.
We have a arsenal of chemicals on hand (Pool Life).
we may discover something there.

What have you been using for your source of chlorine? Not that I suspect that, but just want to know.

Secondly, what type of test kit are you using? Those look like good results from a "drops based" kit, but please confirm they are not results from a test strip. I am particulary interested in the CH test.

Have you put any algaecides in your pool? If so, tell us the ingredients.
 

JasonLion

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There are unfortunatly quite a few possibilities. Do you remember what, if anything, you did right before it turned cloudy?

Have you backwashed the filter in the last month? Are you sure the main valve is in filter position?

If the filter is working correctly the particles causing the cloudiness must be quite small. Have you tried using clarifier?
 

jj

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Aug 13, 2007
71
Source of chloriine was Trichlor Tabs
Test Kit - TF100
Algeacides - PoolLife, Super AlgaeBomb 60, Poly[oxyethylene(dimethlyliminio)ethylene-(dimethyliminio)ethylenedichloride]

Right before it turned cloudy the TA was low, the CYA was high. The pool store had us go to unstablized chlorine and TA Plus. We were given half of the dosage on the TA Plus cause they were araid it would cloud the water if the whole dosage was used at once. I thought the sparkle was gone then. The next week we added the other half. And it turned opaque white. It is "better" now but you can't even see halfway down into the pool. It's like vacuuming blind.

The filter didn't need backwashing but yes. Once in the last month. The pressure didn't show above normal at that time but it is one pound above normal now.

Yes, the main valve is in filter position.

Yes, we tried clarifier one time. Along with sand filter cleaner.

Thank you so much for your replies. I hope this isn't too long winded an answer. Thanks so much, jennifer
 

duraleigh

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Jenn,

What was the unstabilized chlorine....Calcium hypochlorite?

I am assuming the TA plus was sodium bicarbonate....Is that correct?

Your replies are helpful and pertinent....not long-winded
 

jj

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Aug 13, 2007
71
Unstablized chlorine. Here is a description I copied...Poolife CHLORINE CAPLETS - CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE - 68% AVAILABLE CHLORINE

And this is the Alkalinity Plus description from PooLife. ALKALINITY INCREASER - SODIUM BICARBONATE 5-lb container - Poolife Alkalinity Plus - to balance your water, to prevent rapid changes in pH, to preserve the life of your pool and equipment.

We were just using what they recommended from their computer printout.

My thanks again for your consideration...jenn
 

duraleigh

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Yeah, the combination of those two chemicals has clouded your pool....I'm pretty sure. Each can have an affect independently but when they are combined, the effect seems to be very bad.

The good news is I'm fairly sure it will eventually clear on it's own. The bad news is I am pretty clueless as to what you can do to clear it quickly. I would suggest this:

1. Don't put any more chemistry in the pool. You'll need to keep chlorine in there but just use clorox for the time being.

2. Try a clarifier in your pool. I have no experience using them so others may help more but I believe if you follow the directions on the label it's pretty straightforward. I think the clarifier is a 12-24 hour process.

3. If that doesn't do it, you may have to simply wait it out. Meanwhile, I emphasize not to put any chemistry in your pool except bleach. Your other test results are fine and bleach is all you should need for the rest of the Summer.

4. Keep posting your progress. There's a lot of folks on here smarter than me and if you continue to post, someone may come up with just the right things to clear the pool quickly
 

JasonLion

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This is sounding very much like calcium clouding. You can almost always clear calcium clouding with acid. If you lower the PH to say 7.2 that might well take care of the cloudiness (if we have guessed right and it is calcium). Since your TA is high a couple of cycles of lowering TA wouldn't hurt (lower PH to 7.0-7.2, aerate to raise PH, repeat as needed). So the acid can serve two purposes. You can aerate with spa jets, a waterfall, fountain, aiming a return up so it breaks the surface, air compressor, kids playing, etc.

You never want to raise TA and use a calcium product on the same day. It is a little unusual for the clouding not to clear on it's own over a week or two. Which rasies the possibility that it is really more complex, but lets leave that possibility for after trying some acid.
 

duraleigh

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Jenn,

I like Jason's idea of the acid before trying the clarifier. I wouldn't think with a pH of 7.5 that the calcium would've manifested itself but Jason knows this stuff better than I do plus I've never been a big fan of clarifiers....al;ways felt like they were sort of a last resort. The acid will add absolutely nothing harmful to your pool (although that may sound strange) and you will/should see some improvement pretty quickly.

If you need more explanantion of lowering that T/A thru aeration, post back and someone will help.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
jj's numbers in the first post give a Calcite Saturation Index of around +0.2 which by itself would not have cloudiness, but is still slightly over-saturated. So when you add any product that adds calcium (such as calcium chloride or Cal-Hypo) or carbonate (such as Allaklinity Up or pH Up) or increases pH (such as pH Up, hypochlorite of any kind), then this can lead to cloudiness because locally in the area where the chemical is added, one creates a much higher saturation index. If one adds one or two chemicals that combine at least two of these listed effects, then cloudiness almost always occurs in a saturated pool.

I used to add pH Up to my pool (years ago when I first got it) and if added quickly could not only have it be cloudy, but could form hard calcium carbonate chunks that fell to the bottom of the pool. If one adds Cal-Hypo, then that both increases Calcium Hardness (CH) locally and, most especially, increases pH (as the chlorine gets used up, the pH will drop back down). Also, Cal-Hypo dissolves rather slowly so some cloudiness comes from that (i.e. suspended Cal-Hypo particles) as well. Pre-diluting Cal-Hypo in a bucket of pool water helps reduce this latter effect.

Eventually with good circulation the cloudiness will dissipate unless the saturation index is quite high (probably above +0.5 or maybe higher). Lowering the pH via acid is a good suggestion to speed up the clearing process as this will lower the saturation index.

Richard
 

jj

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Aug 13, 2007
71
Good Morning,
I haven't been gone, just lurking:) I didn't want to bore you with 'thank you, thank you' and I don't know enough to even discuss it.
We can see the bottom step of the ladder now.
We added chlorine as per the Calculator.
We have areated it once again now.
The pump has always run 12 hours a day, or more.
We haven't put the bottle of clarifier in that we have. We did that one time and if didn't work.
We are excited learning the BBB method as it seems something more in our control (once we learn).
My hub is afraid of muriatic acid. It but it must be some faint memory in his head of working with it somewhere?
I thought Richard's mention of saturation sounded familiar, in our paperwork. I'll have to go back and look.
We were told to quit shocking it. We had been shocking it once a week. So it's been two weeks since it's been shocked.
Should we shock it now?
Here are the last night's numbers.
FC - 1.5 (adding more chlorox tonight)
CC - .5
TC - 2
pH - 7.8
T/A - 160
CH - 300
CYA - 40
Temp - 88*
Does it look like we are going to be forced to add the muriatic acid? We'll get the one from the pool store if so, unless you can change my hubs mind:)
We can still put the bottle of clarifier in too if you think we really should. We still have it:)
What do we need to do now?
I scanned all our paperwork on a page if you care to look. Oh, and a before and after pic too.
http://jj-poolstats.blogspot.com
Yep...thank you! jenn
 

JasonLion

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If muriatic acid bothers you, you can use dry acid (PH Down, Lo'N'Slo, etc) instead. One way or another you should bring down the PH at least a little and best would be to lower the TA by doing the whole acid, aerate, repeat cycle a couple of times.

Muriatic acid can be a little much to handle for some people. It isn't that bad if you avoid the fumes and are careful not to spill any, but it can damage concrete, plaster, vinyl, etc if you spill significantly and you really don't want to get any in your eyes.
 

jj

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Aug 13, 2007
71
Well, we've/he's:) added 9 oz. of Muriatic acid twice now. I think he just hated the idea of it (not afraid of it) he's worked with too much 'stuff'.
We can see the bottom of the pool.
It 'ain't' beautiful but it's 'seeable' again.
We thank you all very much! jenn