Perpetually cloudy pool

domct203

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Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
Well, not really. Algae is algae and chlorine kills it. You need to reject the idea that your pool is somehow different.......it's not. So, let's get started on clearing your pool.

1. I think you need to open your filter and deep clean the sand. There is an article in Pool School on how to do that. Secondly, check the level of your sand....it should be about 2/3 full. Once that is done, it will be time to SLAM the pool.

2. Review the SLAM article make sure you plan on keeping the chlorine in your pool until the pool is crystal clear. Keep us posted and we'll help.

3. For emphasis, I want to say again that your pool is like my pool and all the other pools. They need adequate chlorine to stay clean and sanitized......you have not been using enough chlorine.[/QUOTE


Responses:

1. I deep cleaned my sand after I opened the pool (and started having trouble). I don't remember exactly how much sand was in it, so if I continue to have a problem, I'll open up the filter and check again. It wasn't any different than last year, when it worked fine.

2. I slammed at shock level again yesterday with same results that I've had before: overnight test is good (down .5, no CCs), water really cloudy (can't see the robot on the bottom). This has been the case more on than off for weeks. I am continuing to shock (as I did before), but this has been done before without reasonable results.

3. My comment is really to say that this experience with my pool is very different than what it has been for my pool in years past. I really don't think it is just the chlorine levels, but I will keep trying. Here are some other areas of concern:



A. I backwashed the filter before I started this round of shocking. It was dirty (ran the backwash for about a minute and a half), BUT there was no increase in the pressure. I thought maybe there was a problem with the pressure gauge, so I bought another one. Same result today: No change in the pressure even after filtering the pool for 24+ hours. So, maybe this is sand too low? Or maybe it needs something (DE) to filter out what I think are actually white paint particles? Need to stop backwashing and get the sand dirtier so that the filter works? Something else?

B. Pressure at returns is lower than it was last year.

C. Last year, I changed the spider gasket, but had a lot of trouble getting the glued rubber off of the track. I thought it was ok, but maybe it didn't really stick?


I appreciate your help.
In regards to your response #2, If the water is not clear (cloudy) you are to continue the SLAM.

There are three criteria to completing a SLAM:
1) Pass OCLT (pass)
2) CC's at 0.5ppm or less (pass)
3) Clear water (fail)

I believe you are prematurely ending the SLAM.

You also reported a CYA of 45, there is no 45 on the scale & you should round up to 50 as the CYA scale is not liner.

At 50ppm CYA your FC shock level for the SLAM is 20ppm and must be maintained there until you pass all three criteria.

After that you need to never let your FC drop below your minimum. I have many kids in my pool, and I am under two large trees so I maintain a target 2ppm above the recommended. If I don't, my water will begin to cloud up, which is fixed by using chlorine.

Are you 100% positive that your FC never reached your minimum level for your CYA?

Maybe you just need to maintain your target FC 1-2ppm higher than what you do currently (once you complete a SLAM).

Dom
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
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Real pain in the neck to do, but if you are going to take filter apart to deep clean again, remove sand and check laterals for cracks, you already checked impeller. Spider gasket could be part of problem also. especially the fact that your waste leaks water when Multi port is set to filter. After that you have checked all parts of your filtering system. I think, but also think Dave is probably on the right track.
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
In regards to your response #2, If the water is not clear (cloudy) you are to continue the SLAM.


You also reported a CYA of 45, there is no 45 on the scale & you should round up to 50 as the CYA scale is not liner.

At 50ppm CYA your FC shock level for the SLAM is 20ppm and must be maintained there until you pass all three criteria.


Dom
I'm using Pool Math, so for my pool and a cya of 45 mustard shock is at 27. That's why i'm running out of testing chemicals fast!
 

domct203

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Jun 3, 2015
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I'm using Pool Math, so for my pool and a cya of 45 mustard shock is at 27. That's why i'm running out of testing chemicals fast!
If you are reading 'half way between 40 & 50' as 45 that is not correct as the scale is not linear. Round up to 50.

Mustard shock level is only supposed to be held at for 24 hours, and not start until after a successful standard SLAM.

Pool School - Mustard Algae

Dom
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
New question related to cloudiness: Today I checked the pressure at the filter again. It has not changed at all. Just for kicks, I opened the backwash line with the filter on (not backwash setting). Water poured out the backwash line. Is this a problem with my multiport? Or is it normal to use the ball valve at the backwash line to keep the water from exiting the backwash line?

The cloudiness hasn't improved a bit. No pressure increase at filter. I feel like the dirty water may just be going in a circle without ever getting filtered. Is this possible? Where should I start looking for a solution? Could it be the gasket or do i need a new multiport?
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
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No expert here, but this is a real problem with multiport, I have no valve on my waste line and no water flows when in filter position, site glass even empties.
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
No expert here, but this is a real problem with multiport, I have no valve on my waste line and no water flows when in filter position, site glass even empties.
Super. The ball valve has always been there, but everything on the pool was old and has needed replacing as we've gone along. I've never had fabulous pressure in the basket, although it has filtered the pool in the past. Not sure why it's messed up now. Of course, we're having 22 people over for a party next week...
 

txnole

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Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
This is going to make me sound like a jerk, but... here goes: your posts read as if you're selectively following the process as you see fit and are frustrated by the lack of results. Unless I'm missing it, I don't see anything about you actually doing the SLAM, holding at 27, brushing, and continuing at 27 until clear.

You could have some issue with your filter - sure - but the SLAM done properly is ultimately the correct resolution.
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
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Central, NJ
From what I remember, you have already ordered a new spider gasket for this year as well as replaced it last year, the new gasket may solve the problem if you have it, I would check it and be sure to get the silicone grease recommended when you install the new one, also follow the lines to be sure the valve is plumbed properly. While I would con't on SLAM (or start again if you are not slamming), I would also con't to look into the waste line leaking water, but Txnole is probably correct, the most common cause of cloudy water is algae and need a SLAM to solve it. Just my disclaimer here I am no expert yet so take my opinion for what it is worth. Also I am not sure why anyone would put a shut off valve on a waste line, maybe someone will address that.

PS txnole, you do not sound like a jerk to me just someone trying to help,you did take the time to read the post and post, and I think you may be correct. It still needs a SLAM, I just thought OP was slamming all along.
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
If you are reading 'half way between 40 & 50' as 45 that is not correct as the scale is not linear. Round up to 50.

Mustard shock level is only supposed to be held at for 24 hours, and not start until after a successful standard SLAM.

Pool School - Mustard Algae

Dom
Can you help me understand why I can't use 45as a CYA level? I understand the word linear, but I don't think I understand how this concept works in my pool. I'm plugging in 45 to Pool Math and it gives me a different reading than 40 does. Isn't that enough?
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
I have continued to slam at above my normal slam level apparently. It continues to hold overnight. However, the cloudiness does not get any better. There is very little movement through my skimmer, although there is pressure below it. My filter pressure remains unchanged after multiple days of slamming.

I finally got my gasket for the multiport, so I'll try that today and see if it makes a difference in pressure/cloudiness.

Thanks for the help.
 

Vickery

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Feb 22, 2009
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Perfection, NC
If the pump is running correctly and you aren't getting water movement, something is blocking the flow. If you had flow last year and not this year, something has entered the system since last year. Water shouldn't be coming from the waste line if it is set to filter - (which is why I also have a valve on my waste line until I change the filter out after I close my pool.) If the pressure gauge isn't showing correct pressure then the blockage is in front of the gauge. Is the pump cavitating? (It will sound like rocks passing through it.) It sounds like you have restricted flow that is preventing water from passing through the filter- or at least enough water- so you can't get ahead of the paint particles and collection of dead algae accumulating from the chlorine. If the water was just recirculating and bypassing the gauge, you would still feel the water flow from the returns.
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
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What is the pressure on the filter now? What is the pressure on the filter when it is clean? When is the last time you cleaned it?

You may use whatever CYA level you wish to use, you are in charge of pool sanitation in your pool. We recommend rounding up to the next 10 because it is not a linear scale. So, halfway between 40 and 50 is not 45, it might be 47 or 43. Look at the graduations on the tube, it is pretty clear that it is not a linear scale. The difference on FC level from 45 to 50 is not much. Not sure what you're trying to avoid by using 45 vs 50. But, use 45 if you want.
 

Pool Amateur

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Again no expert here but if water is coming out waste/backwash hose when set at filter there is a definite problem. I believe water may be bypassing the filter and thus the pressure gauge would remain at the clean filter level or a little below depending on whether the returns restrict water or not. Inserting a valve into the waste line to close the the flow of water would not necessarily solve the problem and the water may still be bypassing the filter and just diverting to the returns. The 2 possible problems I can think of are spider gasket (most probable) or incorrect plumbing of valve, not likely, but possible as when OP inherited pool the valve was in the waste line. I do not think either problem is a big deal to fix and can be done in an afternoon once you have parts and knowlwge. My spidergasket changes in about 10 minutes, but it is integrated into the valve itself so have to pay about $50 to change but very easy. Plumbing with PVC not hard either although may need new multivalve (about $100 online). but can change it in a few hours.

There is very little movement through my skimmer, although there is pressure below it. My filter pressure remains unchanged after multiple days of slamming.
How many bottom drains and skimmers do you have? If gauge pressure has not changed and water is flowing out returns or waste line and pressure is constant on gauge, it is getting water from somewhere. I would close off all drains and skimmers but one and I will bet you will see some movement then but your hand near the intake line and it will probably suck real hard, just be sure you do not clog it while doing this or will starve the pump of water which can do damage. But my thought is the pump is getting water from somewhere in the pool.

I hesitated to bring this up because I have recommended it several times recently, and I know that a properly working filter system does not need it but I use a slime bag during my initial slam and a subsequent slam this year and it really does collect the algae you may have to clean 2X/day. It may help get pool ready for party if you get it fast enough, also you do not have to buy from slimebag. There is a guy on the forum who bought a diesel fuel filter bag and modified it himself and a significant savings in cost. if I ever by another I may go this route as I think it may be easier to clean. I have sand filter, do not use DE and occationally use slime bag to "polish" my water.
 

Kiss4aFrog

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May 22, 2013
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Hudson, WI
If you want to use 45 it should work just fine. People here are used to rounding up to the closest number.

When you chcked the impeller for an obstruction did you also try turning it ?? Wondering if it's somehow slipping on the shaft ??

Check inside the multiport to see if there are any cracks or missing chunks of the dividers when you have it open to do the new gasket. IMHO it seems your water just isn't going through the filter from the way you explain it.
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
Update from Saturday: Multiport spider gasket completely mangled! That explains something, right?! I replaced it, lubed it and have it sitting for 24 hours without pressure before I start up again. Sand filter looked good, not much debris, good level of sand. Keep your fingers crossed. I may have this pool up and running by the weekend party.

- - - Updated - - -

Is a slime bag the same as the sock you put over the skimmer basket? I've used those from time to time just to keep all the sludge out of my sand filter. They work great, but I have to check and clean them frequently so they don't block water flow.
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
What is the pressure on the filter now? What is the pressure on the filter when it is clean? When is the last time you cleaned it?

You may use whatever CYA level you wish to use, you are in charge of pool sanitation in your pool. We recommend rounding up to the next 10 because it is not a linear scale. So, halfway between 40 and 50 is not 45, it might be 47 or 43. Look at the graduations on the tube, it is pretty clear that it is not a linear scale. The difference on FC level from 45 to 50 is not much. Not sure what you're trying to avoid by using 45 vs 50. But, use 45 if you want.
Ok, now I get it. You round up as insurance because you can't tell exactly what the in between number is. That makes sense. I thought ballparking it made more sense, but really going to the high side ensures that you have enough chlorine to slam effectively. Thanks for explaining.

- - - Updated - - -

If you want to use 45 it should work just fine. People here are used to rounding up to the closest number.

When you chcked the impeller for an obstruction did you also try turning it ?? Wondering if it's somehow slipping on the shaft ??

Check inside the multiport to see if there are any cracks or missing chunks of the dividers when you have it open to do the new gasket. IMHO it seems your water just isn't going through the filter from the way you explain it.
I didn't check the dividers. Is there one between each "pie slice"? While I'm waiting for everything to dry, I think I'll go back and check. Thanks.
 

neutral0

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2014
55
Stamford, CT.
I put everything together yesterday, backwashed and rinsed the filter and started the pump. From the returns came a HUGE cloud of white dust into the water. The cloudiness seems no better overnight. I had the pool down for 36 hours while doing the work and chlorine levels only dropped 3 points from the original slam levels. Slammed again last night. This morning, levels had dropped by 7. There is a powdery white/grey substance on the steps this morning (where my robot doesn't go). I noticed this on the floor of the pool when the pump was shut down and the water was still. I touched it and it floated away -- at least it isn't sand.

When the multiport gasket was mangled and I would rinse, nothing would come out, only clear water. Once I fixed it, rinse showed significant cloudiness for a few minutes and then I backwashed again. Was the massive white cloud algae that was trapped somewhere? Is it the calcium in the Powder Plus I am using to slam?

My plan is to continue slamming, change to bleach (I was using Powder Plus, because my calcium was very low), vacuum to waste, keep brushing. Party on Friday! Let me know if there is something else/different I should do.
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
The cloud may be your powder... and it sounds like it may have been clogging your filter and not dissolved. I would agree to discontinue and re-read directions in total before using again. (Perhaps it needs to be fully dissolved in a bucket before adding?)

As far as SLAM goes, SLAM every day and continue posting test results. Brushing, etc. every day at least once!
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
611
Central, NJ
I think TXnole is on the correct track, I assume there is now no water coming out of the Waste/Backwash line even when the valve in the Waste/Backwash line is open but the multivalve set to filter. Also has your CH increased by the amount you expected from the addition of the powder plus? If it hasn't, it sounds like TXnole is correct. The only thing you have not checked is inside the filter (although you did do a deep clean of filter, and may have checked it Sunday but did not mention). From what I understand there are 2 common ways a sand filter works. The first is use of laterals, If a lateral is broken below the sand line, you should see sand coming into the pool from the returns. If it is broken above the sand line, it can just bypass the filter. Just something you might want to think about checking since you only have a few days left before party. It does not take me to long to get into my filter, but that may not be the case with your system.