Pool Opening Cloudy can't get a FC reading

May 9, 2017
18
Galloway, NJ
#1
I'm new to the forum but glad I found it. I'm trying to get my pool open and never had this much trouble.
Background: I have a 20,000 gal in ground pool with vinyl liner. Hayward DE filter, 1-1/2hp single speed pump. I use a solid cover. We had a warm winter and I suspect that's part of this.
A week ago I topped up the pool (using city water). I started the pump, vacuumed to waste. Water was cloudy. Put the pump on recirculate and added 5 gals of 12% liquid chlorine. I left the cover on. Got no FC reading. I charged the filter and started filtering, and added another 15 gallons over the following days- still got no FC. Filter started to build pressure and then went down again. Yesterday I removed the cover. Water remains cloudy- no color just cloudy. I can see the bottom but just. I added 5 more gals, checked 1 hour later and no FC. Added another 5 Gallons and still no FC. I also pulled apart the filter to make sure it was holding the DE and it's ok.
That's when I started searching and found this site. I ordered the tf-100 kit. I've been using sticks and the pool store for testing up till now.

Any ideas? Should I wait until I get the new test kit before doing anything else? Thanks for any help.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#2
Welcome to TFP!

With your situation there isn't a lot I'm comfortable telling you to do before you have some good numbers to work with. Just curious though, what are you testing FC with now?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,395
Sebring, Florida
#3
Yeah, wait for the kit....it'll ship to you quickly.

Meanwhile, you can help your self by simply pouring a gallon of bleach into the pool each evening. That'll help hold algae and germs at bay and you'll be ready to SLAM on the day you get the kit.

We'll help and your pool will get crystal clear if you stick with it.
 
OP
OP
S
May 9, 2017
18
Galloway, NJ
#4
Welcome to TFP!

With your situation there isn't a lot I'm comfortable telling you to do before you have some good numbers to work with. Just curious though, what are you testing FC with now?
Thanks. I'm using test strips. They show no color change/ no FC. I also had the local pool store test it, but they use strips also. I'll wait for my kit and then post actual numbers.
 

Susiejax

Bronze Supporter
May 25, 2016
55
Fort Wayne, Indiana
#5
Once you get your test kit, and practice a few times, you will soon see the light (and the bottom of your pool!) For years I struggled with just the situation you are describing. Cloudy water every year on opening, and and a struggle to keep it clear all summer long.

Throw away the test strips, and say goodbye to the pool store! You can do all of this yourself!
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#6
Don't add more Chlorine in that case. You may or may not need it, but you can't rely on strips. If it were me, I would just wait. I hate telling you that too, but better safe than sorry.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#8
Which Taylor? You need the FAS-DPD chlorine test before we start anything.
Check that pH number ;)

Here is the thing with all the bleach you added, either something used it all up OR the FC is VERY high. The test strips could have been bleach out due to high FC ... the same can happen to a DPD drop test (where you are trying to match pink colors).
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,207
Monmouth County, New Jersey
#12
Congratulations on the kit! People often ask for help when they have problems. The discussion will last for one minute. I explain that if they do not get a recommended test kit, I can not help them. They keep asking questions and I give them the same answer. After about 5X, they finally get the hint.

The only time I visit pool stores is to visit friends that have jobs there. LOL
 
OP
OP
S
May 9, 2017
18
Galloway, NJ
#13
Okay thanks for the ammonia hint. I just tested and my ammonia is off the scale. I'm using a salicylate-based test that measures between 0-8ppm. The color was darker than 8 so it must be at least 10ppm. As I understand it, I should not raise the CYA (it's 10 now) and will need to keep adding liquid chlorine until I cans get a FC reading. Can anyone advise how much 12% I'll need? My pool is 20,000 gals, and i already added 30 gals of 12% over the last week. Or, should I still wait for my TF100 and get all the test results. Thanks.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#14
Wow that is really high. I think there is a way to estimate how much chlorine is needed to neutralize the ammonia but I cannot recall it off the top of my head. I think it is going to take you a lot of chlorine. Almost to the point of wondering if it's worth replacing some of the water before tackling the ammonia.
 
OP
OP
S
May 9, 2017
18
Galloway, NJ
#15
I read it takes 30ppm to kill off 3ppm chlorine. So using the pool calculator that's at least 2000 oz, or 15+ gals of 12%. I'll give that a try and report back. Geez!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#16
Seriously how much is your water? Likely it may only be around $5 per thousand gallons so a full replacement is likely under $100 how much bleach are you going to have to buy?
 
OP
OP
S
May 9, 2017
18
Galloway, NJ
#18
Update. I had 10 gals of 12% on hand so figured I'd give it a try before going through dumping the pool. I added the 10 gals and 2 hours later my ammonia was down to 4ppm. My TF-100 arrived so I did some tests with the following results.
Basic test CL = 1
Basic test PH = 6.8
Drop FC = 3.0
Drop CC = 6.5
CH = 200
TA = 230
CYA = 0
NH3 = 4

Since I dropped the NH3 to 4 I figured I was close. I added 5 more gals of 12%. Three hours later and NH3 is zero and Basic test CL = 3. Pool is more clear but still slightly cloudy (I can see the edges of a couple leaves on the bottom [54" deep] but still not clear).
We are getting a LOT of rain tomorrow so I'm going to let it ride and then test everything on Sunday morning. I'll post those numbers and we can go from there. Thanks again for the help.
 
OP
OP
S
May 9, 2017
18
Galloway, NJ
#20
Thanks. I'll put some stabilizer in the skimmer (filter is running 24x7) and let that process while it rains tomorrow. Do I need to worry about PH yet? I'm a little concerned about playing with it because the TA seems high.