Help: how to clean cloudy water with ash/dirt

leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
I am new to pool maintenance since this year. The pool water become cloudy in the late summer, especially after the prolonged wildfire in CA.
The water Ph, alkalinity and Chlorine level are good. CYA is somewhat high (around 100).
The two pictures shows the pool water and the small dirt (or ash I am not sure) on the steps.
I have let the pool bump and cleaner run for hours. It did not help.

One month ago, my bump failed and did not run at all for 2 weeks. Interestingly, the pool water became much clear (almost as clear as before it got cloudy). So my theory is that some tiny particles in the water settled down to the bottom without filtering for 2 weeks.
After I fixed my pump and turned it on, the water is cloudy again.

I would like to know
1. How to get rid of the small dirt in the pool? My current polaris 280 cleaner cannot pick them up well.
2. How to get the water clean?

Appreciate any suggestions.
IMG_8884.JPGIMG_8883.JPG
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,338
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Welcome to TFP.

Tell us what type of filter you have.

Also tell us about the rest of your pool and equipment by creating your signature
 

leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
Thanks, Allen. I added my signatures now.

My pool uses a cartridge filter installed a year ago. I cleaned a few months ago because of algae problem. Do I need to clean it again?

Happy holidays!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,338
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Show us some pics of your equipment pad and plumbing.

Can you vacuum to waste?

You really need to replace your test strips with a good test kit. Taylor K-2006 or TF-100 Test Kits Pool Test Kits - Further Reading

@mknauss @Texas Splash I have some ideas that are not usually recommended but before I go there let’s see what some others say.
 
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leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
@ajw22 and @mknauss, Thank you. I don't see the vacuum to waste in my filter system. To make sure my understanding is correct, I took a couple of pictures of the equipment.
I am getting the test kits and will do an overnight chlorine loss test and get back to you later.

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,798
Laughlin, NV
Sounds good. You have a cartridge filter thus no way to send to waste. Not needed anyway. Your filter should clear that debris easily.

I assume the blue thing on the return is a puck feeder? Odd looking one.
 
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Lilypad

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 12, 2016
272
Plano, Texas
I assume the blue think on the return is a puck feeder? Odd looking one.
It is one of the early Nature 2 mineral cartridges. I removed mine when I found out
from many of you, here at TFP, that they are fairly worthless and add undesirable
metals/chemicals to the water. Also, the housing will eventually leak
at the top after the cartridge is depleted. Highly recommend removal.
 
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leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
Thank you. I had no idea what the blue line is. Never touched that before. Sounds like I should remove it.

Shall I consider to clean my filter/or replace it in the meantime?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,798
Laughlin, NV
Clean your filter cartridges when your filter pressure rises by 25% over clean pressure. If you do not know what clean pressure is, then clean your cartridges and find out. I would suggest using an RPM around 2000 for seeing your filter pressure.
 

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Lilypad

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 12, 2016
272
Plano, Texas
I would proceed with the guidance you are getting from mknauss first. I just wanted to give you
my experience with the Nature 2 that you have inline. It's a simple fix to do later. The test kits
you have on order + the great support you will find here will help you immensely.
 

leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
My tf100 test kit arrived this week and I did a CYA test first as I know my pool's CYA may be high.

Following the instruction, the black dot became obscure before the water level reached 100. So the reading is above 100 for use.
Then I only kept 1/2 of the mixed water ( pool water sample + the R-0013) in the bottle and added 1/2 tap water. The reading is about 90. Is my CYA about 180?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,798
Laughlin, NV
Do an extended CYA test.
100 is the limit of the CYA test, so you have to do a diluted test. Mix 50% pool water with 50% tap water. Use this mixed sample as your test water. Multiply the result by 2 for your CYA level.
 

leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
Thank you!

I did the extended CYA test today. My CYA level is around 150-160.
So I am wondering whether I should continue to do Overnight Chlorine Loss Test or try to lower CYA level first. IIUC, if CYA level is so high, there won't be much Free Chlorine even adding liquid chlorine.

If I should first lower CYA, my understanding is to replace big % of my old water with new ones. I plan to
1. purchase a Submersible pump. any recommended product?
2. call my local water department to see if there is penalty or anything for the excessive water usage
3. calculate the amount of water to be replaced
4. pump old water and adding fresh tap water at the same time. Pump old water from one side of the pool and adding fresh water from the other end.


Does the high-level plan sound good?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,798
Laughlin, NV
In your area, I would think you can safely do a drain and refill. What is your CH level?
Todo a quick drain, rent a sump pump from Home Depot. They should have hoses too.Find out where you are supposed to put the drained water. Once empty, start filling immediately.
 
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leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
I finally got the overnight chlorine loss test results.

I added 1 gallon of liquid chlorine before sunset and ran the bump for 1 hour.
Test results: FC 5ppm, CC 1ppm
The next morning: FC: 4ppm, CC 0.5ppm

Does this mean my water is okay? Then what is the cause of the cloudy water?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,798
Laughlin, NV
With your CYA level of 160, you need to drain and refill this pool with fresh water.

I now see this is a fiberglass pool. In most areas of California you can still drain it. But not knowing what part of California, your earlier description of doing a water exchange may be better. It will take more fresh water.
 

leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
Renting a sump pump from Home Depot will cost 40-50 bucks per day. Does it make more sense to get one? I saw some pumps on Amazon is about $50? Do you have any recommendation regarding the brand and model?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,798
Laughlin, NV
The rental pumps at Home Depot can drain your pool in about 6-8 hours. A $100 sump pump off Amazon will pump at about 6-7 gpm, or 400 gph. It will take ~2.5 days to drain your pool what that. But, as I said, depending on where you live, it could be problematic to drain a fiberglass pool. So the Exchange would be best. It will not be perfectly efficient as your pool water and fill water will be about the same temperature.
 

leohan

Member
Dec 24, 2020
12
CA
Thanks. I agree water exchange may be safer in my case. I know there are underground water near my area (not sure whether any under my backyard).

Regarding the pump, I would admit I have not use any pump before. I found a pump here at homedepot. It claims it can moves up to 2220 Gal. per hour. I noticed that the word "up to" though.
 
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