Help! Cloudy pool!

godzilla

Member
May 25, 2009
5
Cupertino, CA
the pool was cloudy before i went on a trip for 2 weeks. while i'm out, the water dropped below the filter intake, so it wasn't filtering for weeks. and also run out of chlorine tab for sure.

i came home to this green pool that i can not even see my first step, which is about 1 ft deep ...
so i backwashed the filter, put in the DE. after i turn on the pump, there's a lot of white deposit coming out from the water outlets (for about a minute) and they even form a floating layer with kind of white flaky material.

after i shocked the pool, added algaecide, and ran the filter for days, the water lighten a bit, and now i can see 3 ft deep in the pool. but water is now milky with a green tone. and it's been like that for week.

is it possible that i put in too much DE and muddy up the water? i backwashed couple times now, trying to speed up the cleaning process. there's one time that i forgot to flip the back wash switch before i put in the DE from skimmer, will this damage the filter? should i try to run filter without putting more DE after backwash?

here's my water test result today,

Total Hardness: 1000 ppm
Total Chlorine: 0 ppm
Bromine: 2 ppm
pH: 7
Total Alkalinity: 120 ppm
Stabilizer: 50 ppm

could you advice me on how to save this pool?
thanks you so very much,
 

godzilla

Member
May 25, 2009
5
Cupertino, CA
one more question that i forgot to ask. my DE filter start at 20 psi when it turned on, but hikes up to 30 psi after 5minutes in operation. is this normal?
thanks a lot for your help,
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,537
Sebring, Florida
Your pool is laden with algae because the chlorine is all gone. Chlorine kills algae and will clear up your pool.

Start Reading two articles in Pool School

1. ABC's of Pool water Chemistry

2. How to Shock your pool

When you have finished those post back up....I'm sure you'll have some questions. Then, we'll get you started shocking your pool properly and getting the water crystal clear.

Do not expect it to get cleared up with just one dose of chlrine or overnight. You will read that shocking properly is a process which will take you several days. We can help get your pool back to perfect if you are willing to learn how.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
godzilla said:
one more question that i forgot to ask. my DE filter start at 20 psi when it turned on, but hikes up to 30 psi after 5minutes in operation. is this normal?
thanks a lot for your help,
Yes, its normal for a DE filter to clog quickly when the pool is full of algae.
Follow Dave's advice
If you have a "recirculate" setting on your filter so you can bypass it while you are shocking that would be good.
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
Godzilla (Nice name :) )

Pool school is definitely the place to start. Sounds like you have a lot of algae to clean up and this process will take awhile.

Couple questions :

What are you using as "shock" - that CH level is quite high, you should avoid Cal-Hypo.

What are you using for testing?

My DE filter tends not to backwash very well when it gets really dirty. If you've backwashed and added DE and the filter PSI is significantly higher than you remember you may be overloaded with DE. I've had this happen even though the backwash water ran clear.
 

godzilla

Member
May 25, 2009
5
Cupertino, CA
thanks for all the reply.
after i finished up my posting yesterday, i realized that
1) my chlorine is gone ;-(
2) my calcium is very high ;-((

i'm now trying to bring up the chlorine before other things. but wondering is it time for me to replace my water since my calcium is so high? if i really need to replace my water, then i might just stop all these work on clearing the pool up and take the dump ...

thanks for all your patient on nice reply. i'm pouring chlorine and studying up the ABC now ...

what will be an indicator for time to change water?

thanks again
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
If it's any consolation my CH is 1100 and it's manageable - though I wouldn't recommend it. Check the CH level of your fill water - if that is really high then there is only so much you can do. While you are deciding a course of action keep your PH on the low side - 7.2ish. As your PH approaches 7.5 and above calcium scaling becomes an issue.

Even if you empty the pool you'll need to shock it properly - there's algae growing in every crevice, pipe, filter, etc.
 

godzilla

Member
May 25, 2009
5
Cupertino, CA
i use dichlor as shock and trichlor for the floater. i'm suspecting that my calcium hardness come from DE. in a desperate effort to clean this pool up, i backwash it weekly, and fill buckets of DE afterward. every time after backwash, there's this continuous stream of whitish powder jet out from the sprout. but what surprise me is that this whitish thingy happen even when i didn't add DE after backwash ...

anyhow, after pouring couple big jars of clorox and running filter for all day, the pool condition does starting to improve. now i can see 4' deep!

while here suggesting that i shock the pool and maintain chlorine at 15 ppm, my test kit (DPD Deluxe Test Kit from Leslie) only go up to 5ppm. what test kit can read out chlorine to 15 ppm?

another thing is that i also pour 36oz of 50% algaecide, and think this should help. but the pool is actually turn a bit more cloudy afterward. is algaecide any good? especially while i try to shock the pool and maintain it at 15 ppm of chlorine?

last question (for this post ;-), i'm thinking about replace DE with fiber. which one actually filter better? is there any particular fiber brand better than others?

thanks you all very much,
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
DE has nothing to do with your Calcium level (CH). Most likely you have very hard fill water and a lot of evaporation so the CH level builds up over time.

In terms of filtration DE is the best filter you can get for a pool. It has the finest level of filtration (1 micron). It's downside is the maintenance of loading the DE when you clean it. If you dont add DE after you backwash your filter is not doing anything. It needs the DE to work. In fact running the pump in a dirty pool for any period of time without DE can damage the grids.

Algecide has it's uses - but in this case it's not going to be doing you much good.

Keep up with the Chlorine and spend some more time in Pool School - button upper right. There's some recommendations for test-kits and a whole lot of other information you need. It'll be confusing at first - let it sink in and stick with it.

If your pool is getting cloudier that's most likely a good thing. That's all the dead algae not being filtered by your unloaded DE filter :wink:
 

godzilla

Member
May 25, 2009
5
Cupertino, CA
my pool is clear!!! thanks for all your help.

i "think" (after reading up and all the help here in the post), my problems were my DE filter and FC level.

apparently, i don't know how to properly shock the pool. after dumping a lot of clorox and running the filter over night, the pool starting to clear up.

while i try to switch filter material from DE to fiber, i realized that i've never coated DE properly. i didn't mix DE with water before i put them into skimmer ;-( but this is not a problem anymore, since i don't need to do this with fiber.

i feel so proud of myself when my kids swimming in the pool yesterday! all numbers (pH, FC, CC, TA) are in the range now.

one more question, for algaecide (i used algaecide 50), should i test for any additional chemical number to make sure it's safe to enter the pool?

thanks again for the great help,
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Post the active ingredient in that algaecide...if it has copper you can test for that, but otherwise just stop using it. Algaecide (polyquat60) is good insurance, but it won;t keep water sanitized. That's the role of FC...if you manage you FC properly, there is no need to add alagecide to your water :goodjob:
 

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