pool water not like before


Active member
Jan 5, 2017
sydney, au
Hi all,

I have a saltwater pool. I've been mostly happy with it. Lately, the water is not nice. By that I mean, when the water goes up my nose it feels yucky. I didn't have this problem before. Before, it was like swimming in the ocean. Could it be one of the following:

-a new saltwater chlorine generator that I installed?
-a different brand of salt to the one I used before?
-fine dirt on pool floor that I should vacuum to waste far more often?

Much Thanks


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

I would assume it is more likely algae... That fine dirt, may not be dirt... :p

We don't like to guess, so what I need from you are the following chemical levels..



Jim R.


TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
Yucky how?

Is the water cloudy?

Is the water crystal clear and sparkling?

Is the water blue or some unusual color?

Do you have algae?

Does the water taste different?

Does the water feel different? Maybe slippery or otherwise different?

Did you add borates?

Can you list all recent chemical additions including exact product chemical name and brand?


Active member
Jan 5, 2017
sydney, au
hi all, I'm certain that this is not algae, i really wish it was. I've shocked the pool numerous times hoping that it was algae. Th dirt/dust at the bottom accumulates because it is too fine for the sand filter. The water is yucky when it goes up my nose, feels yucky and you don't want it going up there again. It feels like there's something in it, which makes it uncomfortable when going up your nose. I've also asked my nephew and he too said the same thing, that it's not like it was once before. Before, it was like swimming in the ocean. Clearly, something has changed. I use two chemicals in my saltwater pool like most people. I use the bioguard brand and the two are Lo and Slo, and Balance Pack 100. I've also used something only in the last 6 months or so called extreme burnout instead of liquid chlorine. Could it be that? The link is here:

Burn Out Extreme - Poolside

The water is clear. Haven't added borates to my knowledge. Water is not cloudy. Water is not slimey.

I'm thinking that it could be the granular shock? I never had this problem before trying that product. Or not vacuuming often enough?

I'll post some numbers up in a day or two (the numbers will be good I believe).



TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
Tucson, AZ
Let's come full stop here.

Without a full set of testing numbers, as requested above, nobody can say whether it is algae or something else.

You've been shocking repeatedly and using trichlor, both of which likely added large amounts of CYA to your pool. Higher CYA means you need more chlorine to prevent algae and bacterial buildup. You say you're sure it's not algae - without proper testing, you don't know if it is or not - and nor do we.

Please provide us with a full set of testing numbers in the format requested by Jimrahbe above, and we'll provide you with the solutions you need to have a sparkling, comfortable pool to swim in. Meanwhile, stop with the burnout and other solid chlorine products and start using liquid chlorine or plain, unscented concentrated bleach to avoid further CYA increase while we figure this out. :)


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
NW Ohio
The shock you are using is trichlor powder (probably with a bit of baking soda to counter the extreme acidity of trichlor) which will raise your CYA level. If you have been using that regularly then your CYA level may be too high for the FC level you are maintaining to keep up. Unfortunately it sounds like you are relying on pool store testing, which we have found to be extremely unreliable, so we won't be able to tell you much based on the numbers you return with. It's strongly encouraged that you do your own testing with either a Taylor K-2006 or an equivalent FAS-DPD kit from Clear Choice Labs.

On a probably unrelated note, Lo 'n Slo is sodium bisulfate. Using this product adds sulfates to your pool which can build up and reduce the life of your salt cell. We really recommend using muriatic acid to lower pH, especially in salt pools. Also using both Lo 'n Slo and Balance Pack 100 is an old pool store trick to rip you off. They want you to keep your TA high but with an SWG that causes your pH to rise. So you add acid to lower your pH, which also lowers your TA, so they have you add more Balance Pack and keep you in an endless cycle of purchasing these products. Also Balance Pack 100 is just baking soda with a price premium. Allowing your TA to drop will reduce the pH rise and decrease the amount of acid you need to add to your pool.


TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
When you say "yucky", do you mean like a chemical reaction or do you physically feel something, like a grit?


Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
Sandfilters are more than capable of filtering out visible particles, you most likely have the beginnings of an algae bloom. Algae spores are microscopic. As they start to reproduce, some will die from the chlorine and begin to clump together. Eventually reproduction will overcome death and the algae will clump together while alive (that familiar green cloud).

Do you own a FAS DPD test kit? and Overnight Chlorine Loss Test would tell quite a tale .......


Active member
Jan 5, 2017
sydney, au
hi all, here are the numbers:

saturation idx 0

tds 5900 ideal is <2500

stabiliser 51

tot chlorine 13.2

free chlorine 12.9

ph 8.2

tot alk 141

adj tot alk 141

total hardness 37 ideal is 175-225

salt 5110 ideal is 5000

copper 0.1 ideal is 0

iron 0.2 ideal is 0

Looks good to me, just needed to bring the ph down.

Not much is clearer from these numbers as to what it could be.



Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2017
Twin Cities, MN
Have you considered getting your own test kit? None of us trust pool store testing, they are in business to make money and a free test is a good way to get you in the door. Many of the folks on here have reported different results and advice from various stores with the same sample of water. Clear choice labs is the best place to get a quality test kit over there. Here is a link to the salt water pool test kit: Total Pool Water Testing Kit, Salt Water Clear Choice Labs

Do some reading in pool school when you have a chance. ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry is a good place to start.


Active member
Jan 5, 2017
sydney, au
With that kit or similar, how do I know how much chemical to put in? So, I look at the online calculator here, can I just grab any chemical brand and throw that amount into the pool?



LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jan 18, 2015
Bunbury, WA, Australia
First things first, you really need to get hold of the test kit from Clearchoice Labs. The numbers will give us a good idea of what your issue is.

Throwing chemicals into the pool based on some questionable numbers from a pool store at best is what we don't encourage.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
the pool store guesses your ph is high so you should throw this in
next week they guess something else
when i first bought my house with a pool
i was pool stored to several hundred dollars over a few weeks
then i found tfp
i had to wait for my kit so still had store test my water
one time they told me i needed something and i said i had some at home and would add it when i got home
following week they said it was fine, however i hadnt added anything