Cloudy Water Please HELP!!!!

ADuthie

Member
May 16, 2019
9
Pauline, SC
I own a Intex 16x48 above ground pool and after opening my pool almost 2 weeks ago I cannot get my water clear. We started with a green pool of course, we shocked and used algaecide and after 24 hours it turned to a cloudy somewhat milky color. I can actually see like white flakes floating around in the water after brushing the bottom. I feel like I have tried everything to clear this water up and at this point am debating on draining and refilling the pool!! Yesterday evening I used HTH flocculant to see if that would make the stuff sink to the bottom so I could vacuum it up. I poured that in at around 6:30 pm and as of 7:30 am this morning it is still cloudy. Please help as I don't want to drain my pool and this weekend is supposed to be a hot weekend and my kids are dying to go swimming!!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome! :wave: I can give you a road map to fix that water, so here we go:
- Post a full set of water test results. Not from test strips or the pool store. They must be from a reliable test kit. Either a TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C. See Test Kits Compared. I highly recommend the TF-100 XL Option with speedtir.
- Stop adding floc and other stuff like algaecides to the water. They will not kill algae. In fact, do not vacuum the floc to your filter or you will ruin the filter. Vacuum to waste if you can.
- Speaking of that, update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info.
- Read our ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, SLAM Process, PoolMath, FC/CYA Chart links to understand what tools & references you'll need.

Maintaining crystal clear water isn't hard, but it does require the proper test kit and some effort to understand a few basic principles. Once you do that, it's very easy. Let us know if you have any questions.
 

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,438
Greenville, SC
If I told you there were ~magic~ chemicals you could add to your pool that would keep it clear all summer but cost $10/week would you buy them? The test kit is cheaper than that and lets you know exactly what the water needs. Otherwise you are blindly throwing in chemicals and powders ($$$) and just hoping they work.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
483
Columbus, Ohio
What do you have now for a test kit? Are you matching colors or using strips? The best choice is a complete test kit. The minimum is the FAS-DPD test kit that you can purchase separately. You need to be able to measure PH. You need to be able to measure your CYA level. CYA is the most difficult. Pool stores vary in ability. I trust the guys at mine because their results match mine. They sell more than pool stuff so they don't pressure me to purchase unneeded chemicals. I had other places push stuff I didn't need. I said that because a pool store can measure your CYA level if you can't afford the test kit. I'd use them if I had too but I wouldn't buy anything without getting a second opinion like you will find here.

Tell us what you have to test with and we can see if we can work around your budget.
 

ADuthie

Member
May 16, 2019
9
Pauline, SC
I have been using the test strips. They are the clorox pool strips. I did have a test kit where you got the water and put in the drops for the Ph and Chlorine but that is all that it had with it and not to mention can't find it now. I was thinking about getting the HTH testing kit from walmart. Just so you know we didn't cover or winterize our pool I will take a picture of what it looks like this evening when I get home from work to show you what it looks like. I also use the Clorox pool shock from WalMart but after reading a bunch of stuff on here, I am guessing I need to be using the Liquid Chlorinator or bleach.

Here are the strips that I have: Clorox Pool&Spa My Pool Care Assistant Test Strips, 25-count - Walmart.com
Here is the kit I was thinking of picking up today after work: HTH 6-Way Test Kit for Swimming Pools - Walmart.com
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
483
Columbus, Ohio
I've never used this test kit so I can't comment on the CYA test portion. It says it will test for CYA so that's a start. The color blocks will let you test PH. The problem with these kits is they won't test high levels of chlorine. The color portion of the chlorine test is very subjective as well. That's why I said you need the FAS-DPD test kit. To follow the process recommended here you need to be able to bring your chlorine levels up and hold them. You just can't do that with the color block test kits. $20 for the HTH and $30 for a FAS-DPD and you are getting close to just buying the whole thing. That's your call.

Otherwise you are just guessing at the chlorine level. Guess wrong and your pool stays cloudy. Add too much and you just spent money you could have used for the test kit. It's a tough call. I've had a pool for twenty years. The last six have been following the methods suggested here. I've never been happier and in the long run I've spent less money on chemicals.

I purchased the FAS-DPD kit to go along with the kit I already had. It's a good start. The next season I upgraded. Throw the strips away. The are a waste of money. Read this size when you have time. Pool school will help you understand the chemistry and why you are getting the advice you are.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The HTH is okay in a pinch for a short-tem, immediate test, but you'll definately need to get the TF-100. You get much more reagents and you can't beat the accuracy. Anything else and you're just spinning your wheels, going in circles. Nothing is more frustrating, believe me we know. The test strips ... Ugh ...... those don't help at all.

For chlorine (aka regular bleach), make sure you get plain/regular. Nothing splashless or scented. Stay away from Clorox brand bleach because of polymer additives. But you can use Walmart's Great Value laundry bleach (regular 6% strength) or their Pool Essentials in the outdoor section (10%).
 

ADuthie

Member
May 16, 2019
9
Pauline, SC
ok so I need to purchase the FAS-DPD kit then?
Can you send me the link? How long does it usually take to get these kits in? Any hope we can do something so my kids can swim in the pool for the weekend?
 

ADuthie

Member
May 16, 2019
9
Pauline, SC
The HTH is okay in a pinch for a short-tem, immediate test, but you'll definately need to get the TF-100. You get much more reagents and you can't beat the accuracy. Anything else and you're just spinning your wheels, going in circles. Nothing is more frustrating, believe me we know. The test strips ... Ugh ...... those don't help at all.

For chlorine (aka regular bleach), make sure you get plain/regular. Nothing splashless or scented. Stay away from Clorox brand bleach because of polymer additives. But you can use Walmart's Great Value laundry bleach (regular 6% strength) or their Pool Essentials in the outdoor section (10%).
I was going to grab the pool essentials one. Any idea how much to start using?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Any idea how much to start using?
Without the proper test kit, I'm afraid not. We do know you have algae, and we know that in your 6K gallon pool, the PoolMath tool tells me that it takes 23 ounces of that 10% chlorine to raise your FC from zero to an FC of 3 ppm. But that's just an everyday requirement, for a SLAM Process to remove algae it will be higher. For now, I would simply add 2-3 cups per day until you get the right test kit. We don't want you to go to high or too low. But just do that for now until we can see a full set of good results, then we can really help you accurately.
 

ADuthie

Member
May 16, 2019
9
Pauline, SC
Without the proper test kit, I'm afraid not. We do know you have algae, and we know that in your 6K gallon pool, the PoolMath tool tells me that it takes 23 ounces of that 10% chlorine to raise your FC from zero to an FC of 3 ppm. But that's just an everyday requirement, for a SLAM Process to remove algae it will be higher. For now, I would simply add 2-3 cups per day until you get the right test kit. We don't want you to go to high or too low. But just do that for now until we can see a full set of good results, then we can really help you accurately.
Do you think this would clear my water up so my girls can go swimming this weekend?
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
483
Columbus, Ohio
The CYA level determines how much chlorine you need to clear the water. It also determines how much chlorine you need to maintain the water which is why everyone is telling you to buy the kit. In the short term we don't have good answers for you.
 

justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
591
Texas
Do you think this would clear my water up so my girls can go swimming this weekend?
Adding chlorine to the water is definitely a start to clearing it up. Pat gave you a "safe" amount to add while you await your kit, but until you have tested the water, I wouldn't let the kids swim. You want to make sure it's safe. Start adding bleach now to start the process and then go into full SLAM mode when you get your kit.