New pool owner new to TFP need help with milky water and water chemistry.

Jeffndebrus

Member
Apr 30, 2017
19
Jacksonville/ Florida
13,000 gallon AGP 21 ft round 54" deep. Filter is cartridge pentaire with 1 hp 2 spd pump.
I have a new Taylor k-2006 test kit. Jacksonville Florida
We have never been in this pool.

The pool was filled and sat with no chemicals for 1.5yrs. The water was clear but had a blanket of algea on the bottom. I used a leaf rake and cleaned the bottom as best I could. I used a combination of chemicals from one pool store and then switched to another pool store nearby the house. I have been getting my water tested and he has been having me add 1.5 gallons of liquid chlorine per week and using pucks in a floater. Every week he sells me something else for 30-60 dollars to throw in the pool. However, my pool has remained cloudy to the point you cannot see the bottom. If I turn my pump off for a few days the water is clear except there is a cloud on the bottom of half the pool.
I started getting frustrated and pouring a gallon of pool 10% bleach in every day and adding a container of chlorox extra blue shock, which I have since learned from reading here is dichlure
When my test kit came the other day, I started trying to test my water. Free chlorine 27/ CC-1/ PH-I don't know because it immediately turned purple/ TA 150/ CYA-over 100.

I have read here at TFP that my only fix for the CYA is to drain half my water and refill.

I would very very much appreciate your help in getting this pool ready for the swimming season.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,428
Bedford, TX
Jeff,

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all pool owners that have been Pool $tored... :wave:

No magic here, you need to drain and refill your pool in order to lower your CYA level. I would suggest you drain 3/4 or 1/2 of your pool and retest CYA. Keep doing this until you get the CYA to about 30 ppm.

The cloudiness is the dead algae. To remove it you have to run your pump 24/7 and keep your filter clean. It will fill up with the dead algae pretty quickly, so you will have to clean it out often.

The problem is that once you get algae, it will often reproduce faster than you can kill it. And, with a high CYA level, you often can't add enough chlorine to keep up the killing.

Once you have reduced your CYA we can walk you thorough how to perform a SLAM to ensure all the algae is gone. SLAM link.. https://www.troublefreepool.com/content/125-slam-shock-level-and-maintain-shockingl

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,407
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Welcome! :wave:

We can get you fixed up. You're already on the right track --- you have the test kit and you've accepted that you're looking at a partial drain and most important of all, you're stepping off the pool store merry-go-round.

First thing is the drain. How much? Depends on how high the CYA really is. "Over 100" could mean 110 or it could mean 200. So start with the dilution test in Pool School - CYA, step 9. Also, you don't want to empty the whole thing lest the liner shift and wrinkle. So no matter what you calculate, you have to leave a foot of water in the shallow end no matter what.

Do you have a vacuum? If not, get one. Doesn't have to be fancy. I got my head, pole, and hose at Lowes. You have a cartridge filter, so there's no "waste" setting. You can either remove the cartridge and leave the drain open so what you vacuum spews out (messy), or use the siphon method. Attach the hose, set the vacuum in the pool, and slowly feed the hose in while keeping it vertical so you purge all the air in it. Then cover the end with your hand, haul it out and over as fast as possible and get it below the water surface. Once the siphon starts, you can slowly move the vacuum around and the loose crud will hopefully leave with the CYA saturated water.

After refilling, let it all mix for half an hour or so with the pump on and retest CYA. If you're good, move on. If not, replace a little more.

Moving on means adjusting pH and attacking the pool with bleach.

It's all in the SLAM instructions.

The purple pH is normal and expected with superhigh FC. Nothing to be alarmed over.
 

Jeffndebrus

Member
Apr 30, 2017
19
Jacksonville/ Florida
Another thing I have a question about is that when I was vacuuming I could see the white cloud coming off the bottom and coming right back into the pool through the return eye. Is it too fine to get trapped in the filter?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,407
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Another thing I have a question about is that when I was vacuuming I could see the white cloud coming off the bottom and coming right back into the pool through the return eye. Is it too fine to get trapped in the filter?
Sounds like the cartridge isn't seating properly or it has a tear. A working filter will strain out stuff that's too small to see with the naked eye.
 

Jeffndebrus

Member
Apr 30, 2017
19
Jacksonville/ Florida
Removed photo
I was looking at Google images of Pentair filters and realized that my assembly has no center tower. All this time I have not had filtration. Buying a used pool stinks.
Now, I have to identify what to purchase.
 
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Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
607
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Not nice, but it could be a good opportunity to look also into sand filters if the replacement cartridge tower is too expensive.

You are on the right track, keep at it!

Felipe
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jeff, while you wait for your parts to come in, if your filter housing is disconnected and you can't move water, you can still add a little bleach and brush it around manually. Not the ideal way to do things, but it may help. Also, don't forget to update your signature so we can see all of your equipment info (to include test kit) each time you post. Your set-up looks very straight-forward like mine, so once you get everything hooked-up again your SLAM should go fairly well. Have a great day.
 

Jeffndebrus

Member
Apr 30, 2017
19
Jacksonville/ Florida
So, my center core came in. My wife rinsed out the cartridge and we reassembled the filter and restarted the pump. I vacuumed the pool and then we did water testing. Please see the attachment for our chemistry results. Ph 7.2/ fc and cc were zero/ TA WAS 180/ CH WAS 220 AND CYA WAS 38.
Very happy to report that our cya level is now down to 38ppm. Based on the pool app, I added 65 oz of 10% bleach. I also need to add 6 lbs of borax. I added 3 lbs but need to go shopping.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jeff, I'm not seeing an attachment, but if you tested CYA and round-up to 40, then your SLAM FC level would be 16. The SLAM (link below) to help you clear the milky water and algae. Remember before starting a SLAM and increasing the FC, adjust pH to about 7.2. Then start the SLAM and maintain your FC SLAM level until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria. I wouldn't adjust too much else at the moment. Just focus on the SLAM. Hope that helps.
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,495
Tucson, AZ
Please don't add any more borax - it will make it hard for you to lower your TA - Total Alkalinity - (if you end up needing to bring it down). We can talk about borates once the pool is nice and clear and you've stabilized your pH and TA.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Okay Jeff, so we can say with accuracy that you "technically" started your SLAM yesterday when your center core came in and filter was operational. By maintaining that SLAM FC level, you should continue to see organic matter get killed, change to white, and become filtered. Watch your filter pressure and clean when pressure increases by 20-25%. Now is also a good time to really inspect everything that may be in the water (behind lights, ladder, steps, etc). Those places are notorious for hiding algae. Over the weekend you might also consider double-checking your CYA if the sun is out just to ensure you're at the correct FC level.

Other than that, continue the great job of frequent testing and maintaining the FC level. Brush the pool surfaces as much as you can and don't forget to take a pic each day of your water so you can see the changes. Have a nice weekend.
 

Jeffndebrus

Member
Apr 30, 2017
19
Jacksonville/ Florida
MAY 13 2017 0800
Fc= 16
Cc= 1
Cya= 40
Water is now clear except for a couple large pillow clouds lying on the bottom. These appear to be dead algae mixed with regular pool dirt. I have rinsed the cartridge filter out 4 times in two days due to rapidly rising pressure on the filter gauge. Each time, the cartridge is full of really really slimy stuff.
 
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