Cloudy white water

Clive64

Member
Aug 29, 2019
5
United Kingdom
I have been maintaining my own small pool for 43 years with just a FC and pH test kit, using just stabilised chlorine with added algaeside and clarifier, and a 3-monthly dose of “long life algaeside”, without any issues, and constant crystal clear water, but recently my 8,000 gallon pool got out of control. I had to get new tablets for the test kit, and, the original make being no longer available, I got a different make of tablets, which I don’t think give accurate results. As a result, I found myself trying to raise the pH constantly from 7.1 by adding lots of “pH plus” which is Sodium Carbonate. Then I found that I was needing to add loads of Stabilised Chlorine (as I didn’t even possess shock chlorine), struggling to keep the FC level even at 1.5ppm, and the water went cloudy (white). Then, I was away for the weekend, and when I returned the pool was green - the first time this has happened to me in 42 years (I had some issues in my newbie 1st year). From going on the internet, I realised that I probably had too high TA from putting all of the “pH plus” in, and also high Cyanuric Acid from using so much stabilised chlorine, so I bought a “proper” test kit (LaMotte ColorQ Pro7) which measures 7 things, and a load of shock chlorine. The assumptions were right, with TA at 146 and CA off the scale (I have estimated it at about 135, because I drained the pool to 70% and re-filled, and got CA of 95). Having only discovered your excellent website yesterday, I realised that my initial way forward was to dump loads of shock chlorine into the pool, which I did, and my latest readings are: FC and TCL - off the scale (over 10ppm, I estimate 13ppm or more from how much shock chlorine I added), pH=7.2, TA=110, CH=369, CA=82. The water is no longer green, but it is very cloudy still. I have added pool clarifier, and some algaeside (shock dose)(to help keep the algae dead). This was only 8 hours ago. Will the water naturally clear now, and how long will it take, or should I be doing something else? With CA so high, I don’t want to do a SLAM yet as it will use so much shock chlorine. Do I have no alternative but to drain more water and re-fill as the next step?
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,747
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

What type of filter do you have? Please put details of your pool in your signature. It helps us help you better.

You have created quite a chemical stew. With CYA in the 80s you need to get it down to 30-50 to be manageable. Thats about a 50% water replacement.

How do you intend to chlorinate the pool going forward?

We don’t recommend using clarifier and rarely recommend using algaecides.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,628
Evans, Georgia
Clive, welcome to Trouble Free Pools. We're glad to have you join us! :wave:

You've added a bunch of liquid shock (chlorine) which has caused algae to start to die. It can make the pool cloudy looking as it is dead but still present. The filter is going to step in and help clear that up.
But...
You've added clarifiers which can gum up your filter and cause it to not work well. But hopefully you've gotten away with using it this time? If so its just a matter of time continual chlorine dosing and filter maintenance to clear the water.

You *do* need to perform the SLAM process if you're going to move on and be assured of clean, clear water. SLAM Process

I wil say that all those years of algaecides which some probably contained copper, CYA or calcium containing puck use and this current problem would make a drain and refill more tempting.

You could start again and maintain water our way.....perhaps you'll be surprised by just how gin-clear a TFP can be! Many people do come back and tell us they *thought* their pools were clear but until they managed them the TFP way they had no idea how clear a pool could be!

Maddie :flower:
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
The clarifier might have gooed up your filter which could make your filter... not filter. It wouldn't be a bad thing to open it up and take a look. If it's gooed up and has channels, you can do a deep clean of the sand and replace it, or if you want and don't care about the cost, just get new sand.

Also, I see that you say you don't want to SLAM because it will add calcium. If you look at the SLAM Process, it does not involve calcium hypochlorite to chlorinate (shock), but regular liquid chlorine. Bleach or pool chlorine (sometimes called pool shock) is what you will use for a SLAM, not powdered shock product. I think I recall that bleach is low percentage in the UK, but if you can find 6% bleach (no additives, scents, splashless, no nothing extra regular bleach) that will work just fine.

You will want to sort out how to get a proper test kit, and there's information here in the forum about how to get a kit in Europe.

As for the SWCG, try looking outside of the UK, there are members here in other countries using SWG, they had to have found them somewhere.
 

Clive64

Member
Aug 29, 2019
5
United Kingdom
Thanks frogabog. I have found some liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) at 15% online, so have ordered that, and will use that from now on, whilst I look for a suitable SWCG. I do have a proper test kit now - a LaMotte ColorQ Pro7.
 

Clive64

Member
Aug 29, 2019
5
United Kingdom
If I move to a SWCG, would I have to drain the pool completely and fill with fresh water, or could I just change over to a SWCG with the existing water (assuming that I had got everything under control by then, and had clear water again, with good TA and CY levels)?
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
You likely have some salt in your water already since chlorine residual is salt, so no. Just test for salt, then add what you might need for the SWG, adjust CYA, and away you go.