"Sticky" Water?

ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#1
Hi All!

Newbie here trying to figure everything out! We have been handling our pool on our own for about 2 weeks now. Things have been going well, especially now that the dust and dirt kicked up by the construction has been vacuumed out of the pool. The PB gave us a basic 3 way test kit with the PH and Chlorine levels. They are in the "Ideal" range. The water looked just a hint cloudy, but otherwise appearances are fine. We got in the pool the other night and noticed the water felt a bit "sticky" for lack of a better word. I know I need to get on the ball and order a better test kit, but any ideas on sticky water and what that could be? I've heard of adding salt to a chlorine based pool to improve water feel...is that a good idea? If so, can anyone give me some hints on figuring out the appropriate amount, etc? Thanks! :)
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#2
Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to really know what is going on with your water without a full set of results from one of the recommended test kits. With swimming season approaching quickly, a TF-100 (or Taylor K-2006C) test kit is just what you need. I would do that before wasting money on various other products that just leave you lighter in the wallet and frustrated.

When is comes to salt or any other chemical, simply use the Poolmath calculator (link below in my sig and at the top of the web page) and it will give you accurate dosage amounts based on your pool type/size.

Hope that helps.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,514
Tucson, AZ
#4
They are in the "Ideal" range. The water looked just a hint cloudy, but otherwise appearances are fine. We got in the pool the other night and noticed the water felt a bit "sticky" for lack of a better word.
I embellished the part of the post that is most important. If the latter bold description is true, then the former underlined statement is absolutely not true. You can not have water that is "a hint cloudy" and have all the chemicals in the ideal range.

Very simply, you are likely on the verge of an algae bloom. No one can tell for sure because you don't have a good test kit to give you (and us) the results that will help you determine that. That could also explain the "stickiness" you feel - water that is cloudy from algae starting to replicate is full of live and dead algae. That will definitely come out with you on your skin and feel "different" (some might feel it as sticky, others as slimy, others not at all...).

The best thing you can do at this point is to get yourself one of the test kits that are recommended by this forum and then post up test results so the mods and experts can help you. While you wait for the test kit to arrive, add a half gallon of 8.25% liquid chlorine (aka, regular, no scent laundry bleach) each day and brush your pool. Anything else at this point is just guesswork...
 

Sammy2

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
378
Riverside, CA
#5
Re: "Sticky" Water?

Adding salt to a manually chlorinated pool is fine from what I've read elsewhere on this site. While looking around for Muriatic Acid the other day, I saw some sort of a purple stuff that said it would make your water "feel better" on the label. They forgot to put on the label what was in the bottle. Whatever you do, don't and I repeat DON'T put it in your pool or anything else for that matter. For the most part you need chlorine, which can be in the form of standard, unaltered, bleach from the store; Muriatic Acid and Cyanuric Acid. You might need a bit of calcium chloride or some baking soda too but probably not and we need to see those numbers to tell and to determine how much of each is needed to get your pool into balance.

- - - Updated - - -

Like Joyfullnoise says, BLEACH. Add it now! There's no substitute for a properly chlorinated pool. That comes first. If it ends up too high, it will correct itself given time and sun but if it is too low, you'll have serious problems in a heartbeat so get it today.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#6
Just to reiterate what others have said, it is very likely that your pool is not properly sanitized right now. The algae will bloom in vivid green if you do not do something about it, and that something is bleach, aka liquid chlorine. 20oz of 8.25% bleach will raise your FC by 1ppm. A large (96oz) jug of laundry bleach will add 4.8ppm of FC to your pool.

If you wish to take control of your pool, you will need a proper test kit. You've been a member for a few months now, I'm sure you have seen the benefits of a proper test kit in numerous threads on the forum by now.

How do you normally chlorinate the pool?
 

ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#7
Re: "Sticky" Water?

Thank you all! I am off to Target to get some bleach and then to order a good test kit!

P.S. I agree with the assessment that if the water is a hint cloudy it is not in the "ideal" range. Darn cheap starter test kit! :rolleyes:

- - - Updated - - -

Forgot to respond to you domct203! We use 3 inch chlorine tablets (still using brand provided by PB).

Just to reiterate what others have said, it is very likely that your pool is not properly sanitized right now. The algae will bloom in vivid green if you do not do something about it, and that something is bleach, aka liquid chlorine. 20oz of 8.25% bleach will raise your FC by 1ppm. A large (96oz) jug of laundry bleach will add 4.8ppm of FC to your pool.

If you wish to take control of your pool, you will need a proper test kit. You've been a member for a few months now, I'm sure you have seen the benefits of a proper test kit in numerous threads on the forum by now.

How do you normally chlorinate the pool?
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#9
Re: "Sticky" Water?

.......Forgot to respond to you domct203! We use 3 inch chlorine tablets (still using brand provided by PB).
For every 1ppm of FC added by those tablets, you are also adding 0.6ppm of CYA (stabilizer). Eventually the CYA will build up, requiring higher levels of FC to keep the pool sanitized.

For example, lets say you start the pool with the minimum recommended CYA of 30ppm, you target 5ppm daily, and do your best to stay above the FC 2ppm minimum. For the next 90 days you add 3ppm of FC each day, but with that 3ppm comes 1.8ppm of CYA that does not dissipate.

After the first 10 days you will have added 18ppm to your CYA, making it rise to 50ppm. At 50ppm CYA the minimum safe FC is 4ppm, so you are ok for now if you continue to target a FC of 5ppm.

Another ten days go by, another 18ppm of CYA added. Your CYA is now 66ppm (30+18+18). At 66ppm CYA (round to 70ppm) the minimum safe FC is 5ppm, with a daily recommended target of 8-10ppm.

At day 30 you will have added another 18ppm of CYA for a total of 84ppm (round to 90ppm). Now the absolute minimum safe FC level is 7ppm, your 5ppm target is now well below the safe minimum FC level.

At the end of 90 days you will have added another 54ppm of CYA, making the CYA level 138ppm (round to 140ppm). That will require a minimum FC of 10.5ppm to keep the pool sanitary and free of algae and bacteria/virus.
 

ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#10
Trying to Figure this out...

I am anxiously awaiting my test kit and borrowed a slightly better one from the neighbors in the meantime to try and figure out this water balancing thing. Here is what I got from their kit (not TF-100):

FC: 3
pH: 7.5
TA: 10
CH: 0
CYA: 20

Now what do I do? :confused:
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#11
Wait for the good test kit. It is impossible for your TA to be 10, pH 7.5 and CH to be 0.