No Free Chlorine, pool is cloudy...high phosphates

tenentwick

Active member
Jun 6, 2010
32
Canfield, OH
I am back again as I have not been able to resolve my problem. No free chloring, pool is cloudy. I took a pool water sample to my local store and got the following:
TDS: 800
CYA: 40
Total Chlorine: .1
Free Chloring: 0
pH: 7
Total Alkalinity: 96
Adj. Total Alk: 84
Total Hardness: 299
Phosphates: greater than 2500

Last weekend, prior to this test, I added 16 gal of chlorine over 8 hours and finally got a (surprisingly high) purple chlorine reading on my stick. I thought everything would be OK, then a day later, NO Free Chlorine again.
A gallon of Phos Free was added and a gal of Sodium Hypochlorite 12.5%.
3 days after this is when I got the test done (results above)
The store is telling me to purchase 23 bags of Super Shock.
They also told me I may have to drain my pool.
CAN ANYONE HELP ME?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,062
SouthWest Alabama
First thing you need to do is "Ditch the Sticks" and get yourself a good test kit.

Since your pool is cloudy and you have no FC you need to shock your pool with liquid chlorine, either 12.5% from the pool store or 6% bleach. Use the Pool Calculator to figure out how much to add. Read the article in pool school on how to shock but basically you need to bring it to 15ppm FC and test and add as often as every hour.

I don't see anything that says you need to drain your pool.
 

coloeb

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2009
226
Try to get some chlorine in your pool thats the first thing. Go to the pool school link at the top of this page and read everything. Read it again . You have to check chlorine every day under normal conditions and as much as every hour during the shock proccess.
You need a good test kit, test stips dont even make good coffee stirrers. The tf-100 sold here is the one I use they offer 2 kits. The gas money you save alone is worth the cost.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
It's most likely that you have algae starting to grow in your pool and your SWCG is not able to keep up. The best thing to do at this point is to get a test kit so you can test multiple times a day (recommend the Taylor K-2006 or TFTestKit.com TF-100). You need to bring your chlorine up to shock level (16 ppm for your CYA level) using bleach or liquid chlorine (just double strength bleach) and HOLD IT THERE testing hourly at first if you can adding enough chlorine to come back to shock level.

You may need to add chlorine several times a day to stay at shock level. While doing this, brush the pool paying special attention to ladders, steps and corners (or any area that you see algae.) You'll also need to run your pump/filter 24 hours a day and leave the solar cover off if you have one.

Read How to Shock Your Pool in Pool School and ask questions and post numbers as you go along. After you get the pool clear from shocking, we can start to deal with getting you SWCG adjusted so you maintain the appropriate FC level to prevent the problem in the future.
 

duraleigh

Admin
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Apr 1, 2007
31,713
Sebring, Florida
tenentwick,

You did not shock your pool long enough. You must hold you chlorine at very high levels until the pool clears by continually adding chlorine as it drops.

Shocking is a process rather than a one-time dosage. Read the Pool School article suggested above and your pool will clear.
 

tenentwick

Active member
Jun 6, 2010
32
Canfield, OH
High Phosphates

I have very high phosphate reading (Phosphates: greater than 2500). Can I overcome this condition with adding liquid chlorine. I tried to shock the pool with 16 gal of Chlorine over the weekend but still have no free chlorine. I am told the phosphates continue to eat the chlorine?
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Re: High Phosphates

Follow the advice to your other post and phosphates won't be an issue. Basically, if you use chlorine to kill the things in your water that feed on phosphates, the level of phosphates in your water won't matter.

Might want to try to keep your questions to one thread to make it easier for us to follow and not miss something too.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
Re: High Phosphates

Nope. Disregard the phosphates. At some point, you will either have to follow the pool stores advice or the advice on the forum........2 sets of instructions make it very difficult to get your pool clear. We hope you choose our advice because we know it works but, regardless, you should go one way or the other. (Of course, there's might work also but phosphates is not your issue.)
 

tenentwick

Active member
Jun 6, 2010
32
Canfield, OH
Thanks for all of the advise. I have been getting my liquid chloring from walmart (pool section). It there a higher concentrate available or a cheaper way? Should I stick with liquid?
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
For me, Sam's Club bleach is the best value at 6%. Some folks have pool supply stores that stock 12.5% in bulk and use refillable 5 gallon containers, but no one around me carries that. I'd use whatever is the best value in your area and would definitely use liquid chlorine to shock.
 

tenentwick

Active member
Jun 6, 2010
32
Canfield, OH
Update with problems still existing:
I have been following the Pool School shocking instructions. In addition, we have cleaned the filters but he pool is still very cloudy. We started the shocking last Friday at 1PM, at this writing it is 12:40PM on Monday. We have added liquid chlorine as needed to keep the FC reading strong. We noticed on the Jandy control screen that our saline reading is 3.8. Could this be a part of the problem?
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Do you have the SWCG off while you're shocking? I'd turn it off until you've passed an overnight FC loss test. If the overnight test shows less then 1 ppm loss and you have .5 ppm or less CC you're done shocking and need to either let your filter catch up, or check if there is a filtration issue (do you have cartridge, DE or sand filter, I couldn't find it in your post, might want to add that to your signature.)

I'm not familiar with the Jandy, but I didn't see a salt reading for your pool. Do you have test strips to see what the level is. If the level is too low or high for your SWCG, then it won't produce chlorine and could have been the root cause of your problems.

So, here's what I would do:

1) Test salt level and post results.
2) Tonight, perform overnight FC loss test and post results.
3) Brush pool and clean filter as necessary.
4) Open a couple of cans of POP (pool owner patience).
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
23,062
SouthWest Alabama
How are you testing the FC?
What's your target for the FC?

You've only been shocking for three days and sometimes it takes longer than that. Have patience and keep it at shock level and you'll get there soon.
 

tenentwick

Active member
Jun 6, 2010
32
Canfield, OH
I am still testing with a strip. I didn't have time to runout this weekend and get a kit, which is what it seems everyone is recommending that I do.
The saline reading is 3.8 (according to the Jandy control panel)
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Until you have a good test kit (Taylor K-2006 or TFTestKits.net TF-100), it's going to be hard to tell if you're passing the overnight test. The strips are notoriously inaccurate. My personal recommendation (for the overall value) would be to order the TF-100. It ships quickly and the results from it will allow you to accurately care for your pool. I'd also recommend you add the Aqua Chek salt test strips to your order as well (this is the only time where strips are the best option.)

In the meantime, keep shocking and brushing.
 

tenentwick

Active member
Jun 6, 2010
32
Canfield, OH
Where do you recommend that I get the TF-100? My saline is high I think 3.8 ppm. Is that the root of my problem? How can I lower my saline reading?
Should I add clarifier or is that just something pool companies try to sell us? I have not been back to the pool store for over a week while I am trying to TFP for assistance.
Thank you.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
TF-100 is only sold online at www.tftestkits.net. It's put together by one of the forum members and even without that, is the best value test kit. The Taylor K-2006 can be found online. Don't confuse it with the K-2005. The K-2006 has the drop chlorine test (FAS-DPD) that you need.

I'd expect your saline reading to be 3800 ppm, not 3.8, but the Jandy could be rounding that. I'm not familiar with that SWCG, but I know that most operate at only in a specific range. If you're too high OR too low, it won't generate chlorine. Until you have some test strips to accurately measure that and without knowing the range your SWCG requires, it's a guess as to whether you need more or less salt. (Helpful, I know.) Do you have the owners manual? That should give you it's operating range (or someone will be along that already knows it.)

A pool store test for salt may be of some use until you can get your kit, but pool store readings are often inaccurate as well.

Clarifier can have it's place, but normally is not needed. It won't work if you still need to shock and if you're finished shocking, the filter should clear everything up. I don't recommend clarifier until you have a good test kit an can verify that there are no water quality issues causing the cloudiness. Even then, it's rarely recommended.

My two cents is to order the TF-100 and salt test strips and then keep shocking your pool until they get there (it will be quicker than you expect.) After that, post a full set of numbers and we'll get your SWCG operating efficiently and you should have an easy rest of the season.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
tenentwick, your SWG is probably displaying in g/L rather than ppm, which isn't a big deal (1 g/L = 1000 ppm, so 3.8 = 3800 ppm). Check the manual for your SWG to see if that's too high; if so you will need to drain and replace a little bit of water to get it in range. :goodjob:

You almost certainly won't be able to find a test kit with a FAS-DPD chlorine test in stock anywhere. You can save yourself time by ordering one online ASAP, rather than going out to look, not finding it, then having to order it online anyway (you'll save money over anything else with the TF-100).

Assuming the pool store test is correct, you don't have enough CYA (40 according to your original post); your SWG manual probably will recommend 60-80, 70-90, or something like that. You don't need to worry about this now, but it's something to remedy once you have the pool clear again.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Your salt level is not causing cloudiness.
You need a good test kit, in order to complete the shock process properly. Your pool will clear when you have finished shocking. But without a good kit you won't know when that is, so you'd have to keep it at shock level until the pool is clear. But you are guessing as to your shock level if you are using strips.