HELP! Hazy, turned Cloudy, turned Milky

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
1) muriatic acid lowering the PH.

Your high TA level is putting you right on the edge of calcium clouding. When the PH does up you get clouding, when the PH goes down it clears up. If you get your TA level down to something reasonable it should stay clear all the time.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Morning readings:

TC: 2
pH: 7.5
TA: 180

Since TA doesn't seem to be going down, I'm going to bring pH down to 7.0 w/39 oz of Muriatic Acid, per PoolCalculator.com.

Yesterday afternoon, I used the vacuum to try & get some of the powder out, after the pool cleared, but a lot of it seemed to go through the filter & back into the pool; it clouded up pretty quick. I keep rinsing out the filter...
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Not yet, as I wanted to let the acid circulate for a hour or so, first. Just took a look, and the particles have settled to the bottom again. Will add shortly, to bring up to 7, the vacuum after lunch.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Vacuumed again yesterday afternoon. Powder gets picked up, but some goes back into the pool through the return, fogging things up pretty quick; have to vacuum "blind". Seems a bit less after this 2nd vacuuming, though. Have rinsed filter -- looks like there's as much "dirt" as white, now.

Morning readings:

TC: 4
pH: 7.5
TA: 170

To lower TA, will reduce pH to 7.0 with 37 oz of MA, per PoolCalculator.com.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
As now seems usual, water cleared up about an hour after MA was added, with particles settling to the bottom & sides. Instead of using the vacuum, I used the brush to get the particles off the sides. Pool clouded up pretty quick. Morning test results are:

TC: 5
pH: 7.2
TA: 160

Pool was not used yesterday. Will add 10 oz of MA, & let kids splash around, which will hopefully raise pH.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
After adding MA yesterday, water did NOT clear up; could barely see the bottom, in the middle. I took readings, then went to plug'em into the calculator, and accidentally realized that the TA has to be put in, for the pH/MA calculation to work properly!

Maybe the TA should come BEFORE the pH, along with a warning that it needs to be input, before adjusting pH.

This morning:

TC: 3
pH: 7.3
TA: 150

Will add 3 cups of MA and see if the water clears up enough to see what needs to be vacuumed. Am rinsing filter twice a day, have changed twice in the last week and a half.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,226
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Johnathan - have you tried vacuming to waste? You have to go very slow, and you will likely lose and inch or two of water, but you may be able to get rid of alot of the residue.

Take one end of the hose and set it on the outside of the pool where you don't mind excess water flowing. Have the vac head/pole ready nearby (an extra set of hands makes this process easier.) Take the other end of the hose and hold it up to the return flow - this starts a syphon action thru the vac hose. Keep this hose end submerged. Put the vac head under the water and attach the vac hose while underwater, maintaining the 'prime' thru the hose so the water keeps flowing out. Then slowly begin to vacume the bottom. The crud will flow out thru the hose. You have to go very, very slow so you don't stir up everything. if you can do it from the outside to keep the disturbing to a minimum as much as you can. I can vacume my 24' pool this way, losing approx 1-2 inches of water in 30-45 min.

Keep your chlorine levels up - I'm not 100% that your FC level is stable.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Uh, I don't see how that will work here -- if you're saying to use the "siphon" for suction, bypassing the pump -- I don't think there's quite enough difference in elevation to "siphon-vacuum".

Usually, the vacuum attaches to the intake; I could shut off the return valve & disconnect/redirect that hose to outside the pool, but there might be an awful lot of water lost.

Will try one or two more vacuumings before I get that radical.

Will raise FC to 5.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Last night, I added an extra 12 oz of MA around dinnertime, to settle particles down for an extra vacuuming, but then it rained and stirred things up too much. Morning readings --

TC: 4
pH: 7.2
TA: 130

Pool calculator calls for 15 oz MA to bring down pH to 7.0. But it seems that with anything less than 20 oz, the water doesn't clear, so will use 24 oz to bring pH down to 6.9, then vacuum.

FWIW, when I've rinsed the filter the past few days, it seems the residue is more dark than white. When the water clears after adding MA, there is much less "stuff" on the bottom -- I can clearly see the blue/white squares through it. Also, even after kids spash around & stir things up, the cloudiness looks more blue than white. A bit of progress, anyway.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
OK, after using the vacuum, I rinsed the filter and now the residue DEFINITELY looks green. If this is algae, this is my first experience with it -- so I'm going to shock the pool with 102 oz of 6% bleach, per Pool Calculator.

Any algae advice welcome...
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
It's 5am, and I'm up early. It stormed last evening, and the radar shows more on the way, so I've added chlorine to keep the water shocked.

The filter shows a greenish residue -- no more of the white stuff. I assume this has become an algae problem.

After reading through the algae sections/posts, am thinking about adding Borax. My kit doesn't have a test for it, but am thinking I can just use the Pool Calculator.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Mornings readings:

TC: 5++ (Scale only goes to 5, and this is orange, which I've never seen before! Color is usually a shade of yellow.)
pH: 7.4
TA: 130

Filter not as bad as earlier -- plus I can see bottom! Will add 25 oz of MA to reduce TA, after kids have a dip -- think I'll join them, and scrub down the interior sides.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
When I scrubbed the sides yesterday, it definitely clouded up -- couldn't see bottom. As the kids & I went in for awhile, plus a storm last night, I added enough bleach after we got out to keep at shock level. This morning, water is clear enough to see bottom all the way across. Filter cartridge had lots of greenish yuck, don't see any residue on bottom. Readings:

TC: 10-20
pH: 7.0
TA: 120 (Goal: 80, per Pool Calculator)

Not adding chemicals today.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,059
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
JohnathanStein said:
When I scrubbed the sides yesterday, it definitely clouded up -- couldn't see bottom. As the kids & I went in for awhile, plus a storm last night, I added enough bleach after we got out to keep at shock level. This morning, water is clear enough to see bottom all the way across. Filter cartridge had lots of greenish yuck, don't see any residue on bottom. Readings:

TC: 10-20
pH: 7.0
TA: 120 (Goal: 80, per Pool Calculator)

Not adding chemicals today.
Are you sure that's a good idea? Shocking the pool is not a one-time event, but a process. If you don't take it to the finish, it will just have to be done again. I'd check FC again later on and top off the bleach if necessary.
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Richard -- It's been at shock level since Friday night; it's now Sunday, late morning and still at shock level.

According to http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/shocking_your_pool, it says keep at shock level until water is clear -- which it is -- as my test kit doesn't measure FC or have a "FAS-DPD" test.

I have no problem with keeping it at shock level, but for how much longer? Until filter stays clear? Until water doesn't get cloudy when we're in the pool?

Gotta have some basis for a decision...FYI, this is my first experience with a pool problem -- the past 4 years, all I ever had to do was keep tablets in the floaters, with an occassional bag of powdered shock, just-in-case. Never even used the vacuum -- just the net & skimmer, and everything was just dandy.

It's been a bit of an ordeal -- this site has been a great help!
 

JohnathanStein

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
59
NW Ohio
Put in bleach last night, to keep FC at shock level. Water still clear this morning. Readings:

FC: 10-20
pH: 7.1

Nothing to add. Will vacuum a bit later.