Please frustrated!!


New member
Aug 1, 2020
North Carolina
OK so we got our first pool this year (Coleman 22'x52") using the pump that came with it that is 2500 GPH. We clean the cartridge daily and have a skimmer basket installed.
We were doing great with the water balancing/chemistry until we got a different ladder from a friend. It had not been used in a couple years, we took it and cleaned it up, they didn't use it long before building a deck so it was close to new. Its the confer 7200 I believe. Anyway about a week after putting it in we started getting hazy water (didn't even think it could be from the ladder) so we started treating and testing and shocking....until a few days ago we thought to take the ladder out. The water that came out of the ladder smelled awful and since then we have shocked the pool and treated with algaecide and used clarifier a couple of times. We have also used a Phosphate remover because of the results of the water test at the pool store. The pool stores test showed these #s prior to treating with the algaecide or phosphate remover:
Total Chlorine 3.38
Free Chlorine 3.06
PH 7.0
Alkalinity 38
CYA 89
Calcium Hardness 32
Phosphate 1391 ppb

Today the test strip showed this...
Total Chlorine is 5
Free Chlorine is 3
PH 6.2
Alkalinity 40
Stabilizer 0
Total Hardness is 110
I know our #s are awful!!
We no longer seem to have any type of algae and the water is very blue but very very cloudy. We run our pump non-stop, we also took advice from a friend that said to leave a vacuum upside down in the bottom of the pool for more circulation...we did that for 2 days but I took it out today because nothing has changed. I have no idea where to go from here. I read that if I shock the pool it raises the ph so I don't know if I should fix the alkalinity and ph and stabilizer 1st or shock 1st then correct the others...also should I use a flocculant? We just want to be able to swim again and I have no idea what to do after getting so much different information from the pool store and the clorox company 😫



Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
Southeast Michigan
Welcome to TFP.
The cloudiness is from the algae that got in your pool from the ladder. Even though you've "shocked" it, the algae is not completely dead.
So a couple things:
1) the test strips are not accurate in testing the water and neither is the pool store's testing. There are too many variables that effect the results. You will need to get an accurate test kit. has the TF-100 kit that is accurate.
2) You will need it, because you are going to have to take the water to SLAM = shock level and maintain it there until the water clears. Your filter will take some time to clear the water.
Start buying liquid chlorine/bleach without additives and add 5ppm until your test kit comes in.
My signature has a link to read about the SLAM process.

Do not use the flocculant. It will gum up your cartridge and you'll have trouble getting it out, or maybe unable and have to replace the cartridge.

There will probably be more experts on this forum that will chime in - they will all say the same thing - test strips and pool stores are not accurate with results or advice. Stay here with your questions and you'll get answers to help you clear your pool.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
Central California
Welcome to TFP! You're already getting excellent advice, and others will be here to help you, too, no doubt. Here's my standard spiel: don't mix and match pool care advice! You're getting some from your pool store, some from a neighbor, some from here. Just follow what the folks here tell you to do, and ignore all the other sources (especially the pool store!). You might get more than one person helping you here, but they'll all tell you same thing, so any advice on this forum counts as one. This forum is not for debate, it's for teaching and learning a very specific set of pool care procedures (that work!). Pool stores are all over the place and their advice is based on selling you product (you've already fallen for some of that, I'm afraid). We'll get you straightened out fast in a minimum of time at a minimum of expense. Advice from here is based purely on science.

It sounds like you're out of the pool for now, but just in case... pleeeeeeease don't run your vacuum while people are in the pool, ESPECIALLY UP-SIDE DOWN (assuming yours is a suction type, not pressure type). That is an open suction port in your pool and can lead to a potentially dangerous entrapment (life-threatening). A pool vac won't circulate water all that well anyway, unless it is the type that crawls around on its own, in which case it'll circulate better if left right side up. Pushing water moves it around, pulling (sucking) not so much at all. A good example of why you can safely ignore all advice except from here.

I'm not sellin' ya anything. Folks here saved me and my pool and I like to see others reap the same rewards. Good luck!