From Green to Clear....er..Please help with cloudy pool

Mar 28, 2017
9
LaPlace/La
#1
Hi everyone,

Semi new pool owner here. We bought the house last year, the pool hadn't been tended to in over year. We had it acid washed and made it through last summer and most of winter with no problems. Then we got lazy.

So, we ended up with an algae problem. After getting test results from our local pool store, we purchased shock, stabilizer, clarifier etc. Basically, we spent about $100 and the pool still wasn't clear.

I decided to start doing some research since I am clueless when it comes to pool maintenance, and this forum has been very helpful thus far.

I'm going to post some pictures of what the pool looked like when I started and where I am now after shocking, backwashing, scrubbing, vacuuming.

The only issue I seem to be left with is the cloudiness. It seems to be getting a little better each day, which is why I'm not sure if I should let it be or treat it.

I ordered one of the test kits you all all rec and will receive it next week sometime, but would like to know what, if anything, I should be doing until then.

I have some sample results from the pool store today, along with their instructions on what I should do, but I felt I'd be better off getting advice here.

The results:

FC .6
TC 5.0
CC 4.3
pH 7.0
Alkalinity 61
CA 30
Copper, Iron and Hardness are all OK.

Instructions are to add alkalinity plus, then shock, then stabilizer, then clarifier.

I've been reading about this BBB method as well and it sounds like I can save quite a bit of money testing myself and treating myself.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,096
Franklin, NC
#2
My first suggestion is to stop going to the pool store. Their only response it to sell you something.

I will tell you, it didn't turn green overnight and it will take time to clear. But, we can teach you how to get it sparkling and keep it that was for a lot less money than the pool store.

Not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. But, what can you do?? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit which you have ordered - GOOD JOB!

While you wait for it to get delivered, you have a homework reading assignment. Start with ABCs of Water Chemistry and Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis

How big is the pool (gallons?) so we can tell you how much bleach to add daily until your test kit arrives.

When you say CA, is that calcium or CYA?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,230
Evans, Georgia
#5
No matter what you put in there that caused the cloudiness, the cure and what your pool needs based on your "pool store test results" is bleach. You're way too low now and those CCs (combined chloramines..aka "cooties") are way too high.....IF we can believe the store? Which we don't but.... <shrug>

I would suggest pouring in half to one jug of household plain bleach (121oz size) daily and brushing, keeping the pump and filter going and the retest when your test kit arrives. I need to know how big your pool is, as well as all the details about it to be sure if 1/2 jug is appropriate or a whole one is.

Do you have any fountains or water features that you can run? Those will raise your pH just fine on their own without having to add yet another chemical.

Yippee :flower:

Addendum: saw the pics- that's a full jug of plain, unscented, no special type (ie no splashless, thickened, outdoor) bleach. 8.25% to 10%, avail at Walmart. Per day. With brushing. Ok?
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#6
Hi everyone,

Semi new pool owner here. We bought the house last year, the pool hadn't been tended to in over year. We had it acid washed and made it through last summer and most of winter with no problems. Then we got lazy.

So, we ended up with an algae problem. After getting test results from our local pool store, we purchased shock, stabilizer, clarifier etc. Basically, we spent about $100 and the pool still wasn't clear.

I decided to start doing some research since I am clueless when it comes to pool maintenance, and this forum has been very helpful thus far.

I'm going to post some pictures of what the pool looked like when I started and where I am now after shocking, backwashing, scrubbing, vacuuming.

The only issue I seem to be left with is the cloudiness. It seems to be getting a little better each day, which is why I'm not sure if I should let it be or treat it.

I ordered one of the test kits you all all rec and will receive it next week sometime, but would like to know what, if anything, I should be doing until then.

I have some sample results from the pool store today, along with their instructions on what I should do, but I felt I'd be better off getting advice here.

The results:

FC .6
TC 5.0
CC 4.3
pH 7.0
Alkalinity 61
CA 30
Copper, Iron and Hardness are all OK.

Instructions are to add alkalinity plus, then shock, then stabilizer, then clarifier.

I've been reading about this BBB method as well and it sounds like I can save quite a bit of money testing myself and treating myself.
Welcome!

Wow, you must have quite the swamp going on with a CC of 4.3ppm (if that is accurate).

Have you read the SLAM procedure yet? This is guaranteed to clear your pool, if you follow it precisely.
Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

DId the pool $tore have you use any algaecide?

Can you tell us what the actual copper & iron level is, or does the test just say "ok"?

We'll get you on the right track once your test kit arrives. Nice to have you with us.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,096
Franklin, NC
#7
I am not sure how many gallons it is. How can I find out that information?

CA is Cyanuric Acid.
There is a calculator on the bottom of Pool Math to figure gallons.

Please list testing like this:

FC Free Chlorine
CC Combined Chlorimines
pH
TA Total Alkalinity
CH Calcium Hardness
CYA Cyanuric Acid

Please edit your signature and add the following information so we can better frame our answers to you.


  • The size of your pool in gallons
  • If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
  • If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
  • The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge)
  • If you know, tell us the make and model of your pump and filter.
  • List any other equipment you have: SWG, second pump, etc.
  • Please mention if you fill the pool from a well or are currently on water restrictions

Information in your signature will show up each time you post and it makes advice more accurate as we know what equipment we are dealing with.
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 28, 2017
9
LaPlace/La
#8
Will add a gallon of bleach tonight and continue to brush. Are you all telling me I spent all that money on pool shock when I could have been using regular old bleach? :bowdown: And now I shall refrain from eating for the next week to make up for the unnecessary loss of money. (jk)

I did read about the SLAM method. Is that still necessary given the green is gone? I did use algaecide about a week ago, but the shocking until I started to see it turn seemed to be what really made the difference. I spent all weekend babying it and I'm scared to death to go back to Swamp Land. (I do live in Louisiana, but I don't want actual swamp in my back yard;))

I put all pool info in my sig. I hope it worked. The pool is 11k gallons.

Here are the test results per the requested format:

FC-0.6
CC-4.3
pH-7.0
TA-61 (*she has with stabilizer correction in quotes so who knows what the real results are until I get the test kit)
CH-250
CYA-30
Copper-0
Iron-test not run

Pump Questions: Should I continue to run the pump constantly and if so, when can I turn it off?

Assuming my gauge is correct, I'm usually at 10 PSI, but lately it's been at or around 21 PSI. Pool store said that means to backwash. Well, I've backwashed more than I feel any human probably should, could something else be causing this reading? Should I keep backwashing?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,230
Evans, Georgia
#9
Yeah..... plain ole' bleach would have been all you needed :roll:

Pumps are built to run non-stop, so its ok. But it does sound like you may need to clean your sand filter which is a bit more of a process than just backwashing. Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

Have you poured that jug of bleach in yet? :poke:

Do you have a sump pump perchance? Since I don't see a water feature, sometimes using a sump pump sitting on the step of the pool but shooting the water back into the pool provides the aeration enough to raise that pH.
 

Attachments

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,080
Central Minnesota
#10
Just to chime in a little on whether a SLAM is still needed if the pool is only cloudy, not green anymore...

The answer is yes! Cloudy means there is likely still lots of dead algae, perhaps some still live and the SLAM process eliminates and prevents algae from growing. You must maintain the elevated FC levels required for a SLAM while your filtration system removes the dead algae, until the pool is sparkling clear. Then you can reduce FC levels to normal maintenance after you've passed the SLAM criteria.

The guidelines for backwashing a sand filter are: once filter pressure rises 25-30% above your clean pressure, it's time to backwash. Filtering out dead algae during a SLAM will require frequent backwashing at first and will reduce as the pool clears. If your clean pressure is 10 psi, you need to backwash at 13 psi. If your clean pressure (what it is immediately after sufficient backwashing) is actually 12, then backwash at 15-16 psi.
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 28, 2017
9
LaPlace/La
#11
I will see if I can enlist the help of my husband for the cleaning of the sand filter. I know the sand was changed last year when we bought the house, but I guess it won't hurt to take a look.

I have a job, so I'll get the bleach taken care of when I leave and will continue to loom over this pool until I get the required results lol.

I don't have a sump pump. :(

Will SLAM pool when test kit comes in. Until then, will continue to maintain where I am and, once again, thanks for all the help!
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#12
A SLAM is maintained until you meet three conditions:

1) The water is clear, and free of any algae, dead or alive.
2) Your CC is <0.5ppm
3) You pass an OCLT (going overnight with 1ppm or less FC loss)

The OCLT explained

You will need your new test kit to check #1 & 2.
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 28, 2017
9
LaPlace/La
#13
Question I was unable to post on the deep sand filter cleaning thread: If the sand filter isn't dry and empty like in the video, is it ok to just fish out large debris blindly and gently move the sand around and let it overflow until the water turns clear or must the filter be unplugged and completely drained first?

The other question: Once the water is clear, do we just then reattach everything then backwash and rinse?
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 28, 2017
9
LaPlace/La
#14
I did put my gallon of bleach in last night. Pool is looking less cloudy everyday, for whatever reason.:) Can't wait to get my hands on that test kit. Still a little concerned about the pressure reading, but I have a feeling once we clean out the filter, that may help immensely, because when I backwash I'm still getting a lot of debris in my pump filter basket. My neighbor has a huge oak tree that has been really problematic throughout this whole process. :pth:

Also still burns my butt that we dropped $100 at the pool store, but at least my instincts told me there had to be a better way before it got any worse. :goodjob:
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,096
Franklin, NC
#15
Also still burns my butt that we dropped $100 at the pool store, but at least my instincts told me there had to be a better way before it got any worse. :goodjob:
Sadly, there is a whole industry built around selling chemicals that are very often not needed and other at twice the price you can pay at big box stores for "generic" chemicals, like plane old bleach.
 

Chrissykr

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2014
448
Rogers, AR
#16
If you can turn your returns point them up that will help with PH.

Stay the course this method works I am going on my fourth year using TFP and I have been to the pool store twice. Once for handy lube and a second time to pick up some paperwork.
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,080
Central Minnesota
#17
I did put my gallon of bleach in last night. Pool is looking less cloudy everyday, for whatever reason.:) Can't wait to get my hands on that test kit. Still a little concerned about the pressure reading, but I have a feeling once we clean out the filter, that may help immensely, because when I backwash I'm still getting a lot of debris in my pump filter basket. My neighbor has a huge oak tree that has been really problematic throughout this whole process. :pth:

Also still burns my butt that we dropped $100 at the pool store, but at least my instincts told me there had to be a better way before it got any worse. :goodjob:
Are you backwashing until the sight glass on your MPV is clear? Are you rinsing for at least 30 seconds after completing a backwash, before turning back to Filter?
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 28, 2017
9
LaPlace/La
#18
Yep, backwashing until clear. Really, it has been clear every time I do it lately and I am also rinsing for a half a minute after each time. It really seems like the sediment on the bottom of the pool that comes up when I brush is the only reason the pool isn't clear, aside from chemical adjustments that need to be made.

The water looks good, I just need to get it completely clear and figure out why my pressure is off.
 
Mar 24, 2014
2,091
Greenville, SC
#19
That sounds perfectly normal to me. If you stir up sediment, it will go into your filter and the pressure will rise. If your post backwash pressure is 10, you should backwash when it gets to 12-13. The more you can keep that stuff stirred up and filtering out, the quicker it'll go. 2x post backwash pressure is way too much.