opening a pool with no success after a month. Water still cloudy

Thomasleverich

New member
Mar 26, 2019
3
East TN
So helping a family member open a pool that has never been clear in years in fact they gave up on it for 2 years and last year hired a "professional" with no success on a swimmable pool after they worked on it all summer.
This year I thought I would take it on. spent a lot of time researching before i started to work on the pool spent the first week bringing the ph down and alkalinity up opposite from what i hear most people have. After that was adjusted i added dichlor to shock the pool and to bring the cya up from 0 and have kept the water at shock level (slam) with chemicals all in balance for about a week. Pool passed the oncl test and i let the cl come down to 5. Waited a few days for the water to clear no success could only and still can only see about 6 inches down. So i thought to slam the pool for another week just in case.
Week later I'm wanting to bring cl down however I've tried everything to get the water clear including adding flock twice with no effect. Bought DE to add to the filter and filter socks. The filter socks kept getting clogged with what looked like sand however after looking closer it appears to be the same stuff covering the walls of the pool
Around the entire pool at least 2 feet into the water (and expected to cover the floor) is what appears to be sand stuck to the walls. Same color and texture. Read about sand algae and calcium build up although looks nothing like calcium build up pictures ive seen. However, was told to scrape some off to see if it dissolved in viniger and it does.
Any tips for a clear pool that hasn't seen the bottom in 4 years greatly appreciated. Pool has been vacuumed and brushed almost daily for just shy of a month. Seems to be clear of debris.
FC — 17
CC or TC — .5
pH — 7.2
TA — 90
CH — 190
CYA — ~ 35

First picture shows the "sand" attached to the top in brown then under water looks like white specs or eggs that extends deep into the pool.
Second photo is looking at the second step inches in the water barely visible.
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
4,462
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

I really wish you would have said hello before you added that flock. Flock doesn't clear up cloudy water. It just gives you a gooey mess. My guess is that is what is stuck to your pool walls. And probably stuck inside your sand filter. You have a difficult mess to get cleaned up now.

When was the last time the sand filter was opened up? You may need to Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter multiple times to get things cleaned up.

Note what the clean filter pressure is and clean the filter whenever the pressure rises by 25%.

pH tests are not reliable when FC is over 10. The only test you need to do during a SLAM is FC/CC test.

If the CYA test dot disappears between the 40 and 30 line you call it 40. We always round up. You can;t eyeball values in between the lines because the scale is logarithmic, not linear. With a CYA of 40 your shock level to maintain during a SLAM is 16. See FC/CYA Chart

SLAM can take more then a week. There are 3 criteria for the exit of a SLAM and you did not meet it. You may want to review this - Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis

You need to follow the SLAM process exactly, step by step. Maintain that shock FC level. Take a pic of the steps every day or so and you should see small improvements in what you can see after a few days. You will also need to stay on top of your filter and keep it clean.

Are you brushing the pool a few times a day? You have to brush to break up the biofilm on the algea to allow the chlorine to be able to attack it.

Are you at the pool full-time. Clearing up a pool like this requires full time attention for a while.

Be patient. There are no shortcuts and no magic potions to clearing up the water.

Do you have an option of draining the pool and starting fresh or doing a water exchange?
 

Thomasleverich

New member
Mar 26, 2019
3
East TN
So with the flock, both times it was added, despite not seeing it work, I vacuumed the entire pool to waste just in case. The grit was stuck to the pool prior to the flock being added.
About 2-3 years ago the pool was emptied all but 8 or so inches scrubbed clean and refilled. Sand was changed out and everything looked good there. At this point if we knew about slamming the pool and everything I would imagine the pool would have been so much easier to maintain however, the owner gave up on it the cover never replaced and the pool never winterized. Needless to say the pump/filter required a little TLC last year.
As for a deep clean, I have a tool on the way to open it back up this week and planning to deep clean the filter. Hoping this will help as well!
The psi, the gauge was replaced this season and seems to be giving around 9 psi clean so its been back washed around 15 psi every time, or pretty much daily. (I'll start to do this more often)

Slamming the pool we brought the shock level up into the 20s initially and the first 3 days the pool received a lot of attention to keep it above 16. and over time required less chemicals to be added to where the owners would pour chlorine in for me but with it still being checked periodically to ensure it was maintained at shock level until we had the .5 CC and a loss of 1 ppm over night. During this time the entire pool was scrubbed and vacuumed often to ensure all the algae was exposed and if any debris/dead algae remained it was collected.

Recently I brought the CL levels up to continue the SLAM in case anything was missed however the entire week the chlorine has been steady at night with a loss of less then 1 and cc .5 (this being the second slam mentioned)

Unfortunately I do live 30 minutes away but have been spending a good 3 hours or more with the pool a day brushing vacuuming and checking water chemistry
Would love to know thoughts on the sand paper grit stuck to the wall. Any test to run on it like dissolving it in vinegar to tell what it is.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
4,462
Northern NJ
What type of pool are we talking about? Plaster? Liner?

Sandpaper grit sounds like calcium scale.

You saying filter pressure goes from clean 9 to 15 in a day? I am not a sand filter guy and don’t know exactly which way to tell you to go with the filter. But sand filters operating normally dont clog up that quickly.
 

Thomasleverich

New member
Mar 26, 2019
3
East TN
This is a liner. I wanted to feel the bottom of the pool today so I hopped in with the vaccume and it was clean. I few leafs here and there and in areas loose grit which vaccume out no problem. At least that's what I felt with my feet.
The grit runs from about 2-3 inches from the surface to the curve at the bottom of the pool all the way around.
As for the filter I will agree however that grit comming loose quickly clogged the skimmer socks and I think that's the same thing clogging the filter

Its attached pretty well and will most definitely require a lot of elbow grease to clean up by brush.
 

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