Extreme Phosphate Milk Filled Pool

Oct 20, 2020
18
Florida
Hi everyone. I had to treat my pool for iron staining. The treatment removed all the stains, but unfortunately it was a phosphate based chemical and now the pool is over 2,000 on the phosphate scale. The pool store told me to get a phosphate remover. I have tried all kinds, but the best I was able to do was get them to sink the the bottom one time and as soon as I try to vacuum them out, they filled the pool with a milky haze again. I can't even see the steps. I have been trying to filter them out for a week now, with no success. I have dumped $300 worth of phosphate removers, clarifiers and flocs in there, but can't get them to filer out through my cartridge. It stays mostly like pure milk. What can I do other than have the pool drained and refilled?
 

Attachments

moore887

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 14, 2018
311
CAPE CORAL
Hi,

Once you mentioned Floc and Clarifier and the fact that you have a cartridge filter, I know what has happened. I see this all the time on my pool route when people use Floc to drop stuff to the floor of the pool. You can't use that stuff if you have a cartridge filter. It clogs it right up. I carry a portable pump/filtration system so I can vacuum that stuff out. You may have to replace that filter asap.
 
Oct 20, 2020
18
Florida
The filter pressure has yet to change. It's stayed the same. I didn't use floc until this last day, as nothing else was working. The floc got all the milk to the bottom, but I could not even vacuum any of it out before it spewed everywhere again. I tried phosphate removers and clarifiers per the instructions multiple times. Nothing made a dent. Only today did the floc get it mostly to the bottom of the pool, but as soon as I tried to vacuum it out, it just spread everywhere in the pool. It never even made it to the filter. What should be my next step? How do I resolve this without emptying out the pool?
 

moore887

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 14, 2018
311
CAPE CORAL
Ideally, you would want to be able to vac the milk out to waste. One thing you could try would be to take off your filter lid, remove the filter and then vacuum the bottom of the pool. The water will overflow out of the filter. Obviously you won't get it all because a lot of it will get kicked up. You will also have to work fast as you will be losing a lot of water. Another thing to look out for is if the overflowing water is drowning your pump. I have seen on one occasion where the overflowing water casued the motor to switch off.

Once that's done, you can wash your filter. If there is slime in your filter pleats, you may have to soak the filter in dawn solution to help degrease it but it's pretty much shot. The filter pressure may not rise as the water is not flowing through the filter, it's just going around it. You will absolutely need a new filter.

Don't concern yourself with phospates. I have probably tested for phosphates once in the last year just because someone gave me test strips to try out. Keep your pool at shock level. If you post up a full set of test results we can help you here.
 

moore887

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 14, 2018
311
CAPE CORAL
You can absolutely work with those numbers. How are you testing or are those numbers from the pool store? You local leslie's pool store (if there's one nearby) will test your water for free. Most are using the waterlink spintouch (they should all be using it by the end of next month) but some are still using the Taylor testing method, which I personally prefer. However, it's best that you test your own pool water using either a TF100 test kit or a Taylor K2006. Both are extremely good and easy to use. You can then put your numbers into the pool math app and it will tell you how to dose your pool. Don't worry about Enzymes, phospate removers or any magic potions. Keep it simple and you will save a fortune. Just don't let off the gas once you start getting your pool back in shape with liquid chlorine. I would run the pump constantly, washing the filter every day or every second day and have a new filter ready to go in.
 
Oct 20, 2020
18
Florida
You can absolutely work with those numbers. How are you testing or are those numbers from the pool store? You local leslie's pool store (if there's one nearby) will test your water for free. Most are using the waterlink spintouch (they should all be using it by the end of next month) but some are still using the Taylor testing method, which I personally prefer. However, it's best that you test your own pool water using either a TF100 test kit or a Taylor K2006. Both are extremely good and easy to use. You can then put your numbers into the pool math app and it will tell you how to dose your pool. Don't worry about Enzymes, phospate removers or any magic potions. Keep it simple and you will save a fortune. Just don't let off the gas once you start getting your pool back in shape with liquid chlorine. I would run the pump constantly, washing the filter every day or every second day and have a new filter ready to go in.
Those are from Pinch A Penny pool store. The pool was very stained from iron. We just bought the house. I treated it to get rid of the stains, which worked great. After that, I could not keep chlorine in the pool even with shocking it. Pinch A Penny tested it and told me the off the charts Phosphates from the stain remover was eating the chlorine faster than I could dump it in there. They told me to put in phosphate remover and that's when the pool turned to dense milk and it's been a battle for 8 days now trying to clear it out. I'm a long way from getting there.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,962
Evans, Georgia
Ouch. You've really made a chemical soup mess out of the water with all those icky potions.

It would be really helpful if you'll fill out a signature line (found under settings) with some specific info about your pool. Its finish, size, equipment, how you sanitize, and ideally with what test kit (of the two we recommend) that you use yourself.

For the records- if you manage your pool properly basing your FC level to your CYA stablizer level....
see this ---> FC/CYA Chart phosphates are not anything to worry about. Generally if testing your water at a pool store its just a scare tactic used to sell you something. (Free water tests are not really "free", y'know?)

As Dave mentioned above, your cartridges are probably glued up with clarifier and FLOC. If you can clean them, great! What options you have to vacuum S-L-O-W-L-Y is the only way to get that FLOC out of there. Otherwise a drain and refill are in order and you being in Florida have to worry about an empty pool floating. So draining is kinda risky. There are ways to do it without emptying the pool- Draining - Further Reading

Keep us posted as to what you're doing, ok?

Maddie :flower:
 
Oct 20, 2020
18
Florida
Ouch. You've really made a chemical soup mess out of the water with all those icky potions.

It would be really helpful if you'll fill out a signature line (found under settings) with some specific info about your pool. Its finish, size, equipment, how you sanitize, and ideally with what test kit (of the two we recommend) that you use yourself.

For the records- if you manage your pool properly basing your FC level to your CYA stablizer level....
see this ---> FC/CYA Chart phosphates are not anything to worry about. Generally if testing your water at a pool store its just a scare tactic used to sell you something. (Free water tests are not really "free", y'know?)

As Dave mentioned above, your cartridges are probably glued up with clarifier and FLOC. If you can clean them, great! What options you have to vacuum S-L-O-W-L-Y is the only way to get that FLOC out of there. Otherwise a drain and refill are in order and you being in Florida have to worry about an empty pool floating. So draining is kinda risky. There are ways to do it without emptying the pool- Draining - Further Reading

Keep us posted as to what you're doing, ok?

Maddie :flower:

Well I had to get the severe staining out, which I did. But those chemicals caused a situation where I could not register above 0 for chlorine, no matter how much liquid chlorine I dumped in and running my salt water chlorinator at max. From that point, I relied on the pool store to guide me (MISTAKE!) So here I am trying to clean up the mess. I am seriously considering refilling the pool. I have looked at the temperature based drain and fill, but I don't think that will work for me as the pool water here in Florida is in the 80's and the tap water is much colder, so the cold tap water will always go right to the bottom where I would be draining the water from. Maybe it would work if I could somehow drain from the top.

Here is a pic from today and it's not any better than yesterday. This is day 9 of trying to get it clear after 3 days of iron out treatment.
 

Attachments

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,838
Laughlin, NV
If your fill water is colder, put water hose at the deep end of the pool and the sump pump on a shallow step. That is described in the article Maddie linked.
 
Oct 20, 2020
18
Florida
If your fill water is colder, put water hose at the deep end of the pool and the sump pump on a shallow step. That is described in the article Maddie linked.
Before buying a pump, I just put my cold water hose on the bottom at the opposite end on my overflow drain. I think that will have the same effect. Cold water coming in at the bottom on one end and warm water running out at the top on the other end.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,696
Atlanta Ga
Well I had to get the severe staining out, which I did. But those chemicals caused a situation where I could not register above 0 for chlorine, no matter how much liquid chlorine I dumped in and running my salt water chlorinator at max. From that point, I relied on the pool store to guide me (MISTAKE!) So here I am trying to clean up the mess. I am seriously considering refilling the pool. I have looked at the temperature based drain and fill, but I don't think that will work for me as the pool water here in Florida is in the 80's and the tap water is much colder, so the cold tap water will always go right to the bottom where I would be draining the water from. Maybe it would work if I could somehow drain from the top.

Here is a pic from today and it's not any better than yesterday. This is day 9 of trying to get it clear after 3 days of iron out treatment.
Ouch, FC of zero is common after a Vit C treatment. It’s a chlorine neutralizer. Took me a week of adding liquid.
Pool stores like to sell stuff :)

that junk is hard to clean off your cartridge filters. I made that mistake before coming here and had to use a pressure washer but have to be careful or can damage the filter.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,419
OV, CA
Hi Extreme...
What a mess I am sure.. I just rescaned the thread and I don't see where you mentioned what metal staining product you used and what phosphate removers and floc product you used. Be specific, you can even include pics of the bottles if you still have them. The more detail you can provide the better we can help. At this point we are all just making suggests based on the general "milky" condition of your pool. some of those products include other incredients besides just phosphate remover and floc. We need more info... as well as you the pool specs in your signature.

In general, using a phosphate remover and a floc will create a precipitate, that is the milky you are seeing. Usually the floc/clarifier will cause it to settle out. But if there is a lot of agitation it will never settle. And it will all end up in your filter. So pull your filter cartridges, if that is what you have and clean clean them over and over. When all is said and done you likely need to replace them if acid washing doesn't take out the goop created by the precipitate. If you have a sand filter you need to deep clean it. It will probably take several cleanings to flush that stuff out of the water.
 
Oct 20, 2020
18
Florida
Ouch, FC of zero is common after a Vit C treatment. It’s a chlorine neutralizer. Took me a week of adding liquid.
Pool stores like to sell stuff :)

that junk is hard to clean off your cartridge filters. I made that mistake before coming here and had to use a pressure washer but have to be careful or can damage the filter.

How much liquid chlorine can I add at once to a 12,000 gallon pool?
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,419
OV, CA
Quite a bit , use the PoolMath to calcuate how much you need. But we should find out what is in your pool already before we start throwing more chems in there willy nilly.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,696
Atlanta Ga
I kept my FC around 2 or 3 for a week to keep staining down but you may have to start with couple gallons a day for a few days. Go buy 8 gallons and start adding it.
How much vit C did add
 
Oct 20, 2020
18
Florida
I have been adding a mixture of Super Blue and water around the pool every 4 hours and then brushing. Before the next treatment, I clean out the filter. Rinse and repeat. By doing this the last two days, I have managed to dump out a ton of the phosphates, bringing the total from over 2,000 down to 100. The pool is now half way to clear and balanced. Hopefully just a couple more days and I will be all set.
 
  • Like
Reactions: markayash

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,419
OV, CA
What is "Super Blue"???
Remember that you're fighting cloudiness from all the chemicals you've added....not from "phosphates".

Maddie :flower:
Is is this?
if so here is the SDS

We really like to know what you are dumping in your pool. I hope your are cleaning your filter often, that is the best way to get suspended particulates out of the water. Clarifies just clump the particulates so the fall to the bottom. Most of the time it ends up in the filter anyway.