For a Friend - HIGH CYA / Cloudy Water

drekar42

Active member
Aug 30, 2017
41
wauconda il
Asking for a friend and I'm trying to help him run the pool the trouble-free style.

Current tests came back at
PH 7.2
Alkalinity 140
CC less than 1ppm
CYA - (I didn't try diluting it but lost the black dot about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way to the 100 mark)

It's a 20x40 - approx 17000 gallons.

It used to be maintained by a pool service that seems to run with a high CYA and they told him to add 2 bags of shock every weekend and just keep the alkalinity in check with muratic acid. They have a chlorine dispenser with tabs.

So..... moving forward, I know the way to lower CYA is to drain and refill but my question is, can we do anything to hold him over.

My concern is that even if it got cleared up by keeping the alkalinity in check and adding the shock, the CC levels would have to be so high to keep in clean.

Thoughts?

Dave
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,725
NW Ohio
If the water is cloudy then the SLAM Process would be the only real solution. However, if the CYA is 200 (which is hard to say without a diluted test, could be less but could even be more) it would require an FC level of 80. That's just not realistic, he needs to lower the CYA level first.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,053
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Asking for a friend and I'm trying to help him run the pool the trouble-free style.

Current tests came back at
PH 7.2
Alkalinity 140
CC less than 1ppm
CYA - (I didn't try diluting it but lost the black dot about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way to the 100 mark)

It's a 20x40 - approx 17000 gallons.

It used to be maintained by a pool service that seems to run with a high CYA and they told him to add 2 bags of shock every weekend and just keep the alkalinity in check with muratic acid. They have a chlorine dispenser with tabs.

So..... moving forward, I know the way to lower CYA is to drain and refill but my question is, can we do anything to hold him over.

My concern is that even if it got cleared up by keeping the alkalinity in check and adding the shock, the CC levels would have to be so high to keep in clean.

Thoughts?

Dave
Alkalinity doesn't have anything to do with clarity, so just ignore that for now.

Trying to kill the algae with CYA up at 200 is impossible. You'd be trying to get to 80 FC, which is higher than any tester can measure! And even if it was only 50 FC, the first load of bleach and all the test reagents you'll need will exceed the cost of the water.

If you're having a hard time convincing him but yet you still can't just walk away, tell him it's caused by high TDS. That's the line the pool stores use and people seem to believe it.

 

drekar42

Active member
Aug 30, 2017
41
wauconda il
If the water is cloudy then the SLAM Process would be the only real solution. However, if the CYA is 200 (which is hard to say without a diluted test, could be less but could even be more) it would require an FC level of 80. That's just not realistic, he needs to lower the CYA level first.
Based on this - how was the pool maintenance company maintaining clear water with such a high CYA. I'm guessing they could get it clear without draining it. How would they do it?
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,725
NW Ohio
It's stayed clear based on luck, luck that has run out. What makes you think they wouldn't drain it? That's exactly what they would do, most likely after attempting several other costly solutions, they would blame TDS or chlorine lock and force him to drain the water. Oh, they might dump in some sodium bromide for a quick fix, but that will screw a bunch of other things up and within a few months make this go from a partial drain to a complete dump and refill situation. Maybe they will drop in a bunch of copper to make the algae go away, then charge to remove the staining later on.

The bottom line is: there is no magic cure. Any temporary fix will just make it worse long-term.
 

drekar42

Active member
Aug 30, 2017
41
wauconda il
So... he had the pool company out and was told that there were some phosphates in the water and his chlorine was low.

They put something in for the phosphates and added chlorine. They told him the pool will clear up in a day or two.

Let me put this disclaimer that I love the trouble free pool way and use it myself but when I posed the question on this forum for the answer to how they are maintaining with such CYA, the answers were basically, they can't for long and they will have to drain the pool. The truth is, they haven't had to drain the pool, and they got it to clear up. I'm just curious if anyone can speak to that.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,725
NW Ohio
Like I said, temporary fix. I specifically said there were ways to clear it up, but clearing it up does not fix the problem. You aren't even supposed to use phosphate remover in a cloudy pool, something the pool company doesn't seem too worried about. The CYA is still high, the chlorine they added may well have increased it further.

Here's my question: how much did the company charge your friend for this "fix"?"

EDIT for second question: If you took your car in to the mechanic because the exhaust was loud, and they found the exhaust pipe corroded and leaking and just duct taped it back together, would you consider that fixed? They fixed the problem you brought it in for, it's quieter, but is the issue really fixed? That's where the disconnect is here. We are looking at the overstabilization as the problem, you are considering the cloudiness the problem. We are explaining how to fix the root problem which will also correct the noticeable symptom caused by it, the pool company is just making the symptom go away enough that your friend considers it fixed. I don't consider that a solution, I consider it a shady business practice.
 
Last edited:

drekar42

Active member
Aug 30, 2017
41
wauconda il
"That's where the disconnect is here. We are looking at the overstabilization as the problem, you are considering the cloudiness the problem."

I couldn't agree more with this statement, I guess my question is not why it's bad or how to fix. I know how to fix it!!!

My question is why would a pool maintenance company allow for a CYA to get so high and run the risk of it going south. Regardless of what products they sell or how they do their business, it seems like they would run the risk of their pools getting out of balance very easily and even worse, take a long time to get back.

Dave
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,053
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
My question is why would a pool maintenance company allow for a CYA to get so high and run the risk of it going south. Regardless of what products they sell or how they do their business, it seems like they would run the risk of their pools getting out of balance very easily and even worse, take a long time to get back.

Dave
Because they make more money.

If you brought your car to a mechanic with a specific complaint and he charged you and said it was fixed, you'd be right back in his shop demanding he fix it for free if the problem returned two months later. Pool guys get away with shoddy work. You pay for a fix and you pay for it to get fixed again. And again and again and again. Pool stores, too. They sell trichlor and then weekly shock, and then algaecides and clarifiers and everything else and when the pool won't clear, announce that the problem is TDS is too high and a drain is called for. And they get away with it,
 
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Bvacchiano

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2018
158
Sugar Land, Texas
My buddy is having a similar problem. I went over with my TF100 kit and first question he asked me was “what kind of a kit is that?” I said well what do you have? He showed me the Taylor PH/Total Chlorine cylinder. This is ALL the pool company left him after “Pool School” and told him this is all u need. Anyways he chlorinated with Trichlor pucks. We had SO MUCH rain at the beginning of May for two days (13” of rain) that my CYA dropped from 70 to 20. Anyways I measured his CYA and best I could see was it was at least 100. Think about that how high his CYA is/must have been. Anyways pool company came by and told him don’t worry about it just add more Chlorine and lower PH. Lol. Pool has algae everywhere and in cloudy. Point is pool companies are CLUELESS. I don’t think it’s even an issue of them trying to sell you something it’s more they just don’t know.

We will be draining water at some point.
 

Fast7

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2018
113
Plainfield, IL
My question is why would a pool maintenance company allow for a CYA to get so high and run the risk of it going south
I think it just boils down to what's practical. There is simply no way pool company will be visiting all their customers every day, to test and add liquid chlorine. They would rather load pucks or throw a bag of shock and be done for a week or two. As we know this would lead to CA or CYA go off the charts after some time.