White sediment cloud when brushing??

Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
Hi all - New on the forum and need some help diagnosing a weird white cloud that is getting kicked up when I brush my pool. Here's the story.

I've been using chlorine bleach for the last few years to maintain FC, as opposed to tablets of any sort. In the last month I discovered the Chlorinating liquid from Walmart that has a 10% concentration versus the 6% in household bleach. I've been using that with no issues for about a month.
On Sunday I checked my FC after a few days away and it was at 0. So naturally I dumped a couple bottles of chlorinating liquid (from WalMart) in to start the SLAM process. I started brushing and noticed this weird white cloud coming up from the bottom of the pool - keep in mind the water was clear prior to this.
Of course I ran out of R-0871 titrating reagent yesterday and haven't been able to check the levels. Since Leslie's Pools doesn't carry it (and tried to sell me something else in it's place - cue eyeroll), I have just been trying to keep the bleach level up until my replacement R-0871 comes from Amazon tomorrow.
I can't figure out what would be causing this white cloud when I brush though.

I've researched a bit and found a few possibilities:
1. Calcium build up - not likely since I've been using chlorine bleach instead of tablets.
2. Dead algae - never seen this before even when I had black algae last year - is this possible?
3. DE - Can't imagine how a filter grid would have torn. I'm due to backwash, but PSI is still in the normal range.

Any ideas or thoughts on where to start once I get the ability to test FC tomorrow? Hoping it's safe to still swim on the 4th!

Thanks in advance!
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,932
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
How bad have you been slacking with the brushing prior to this?

I can raise a cloud when I let the brushing go too long. It's dust. And it sticks to the walls rather than settling to the floor. I shouldn't be surprised --- dust can stick to the ceiling fan blades despite them spinning.
 

Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
How bad have you been slacking with the brushing prior to this?

I can raise a cloud when I let the brushing go too long. It's dust. And it sticks to the walls rather than settling to the floor. I shouldn't be surprised --- dust can stick to the ceiling fan blades despite them spinning.
That’s a fair question. Admittedly I’ve been slacking. Probably been a couple weeks, mostly because it just looks so clean and clear I kept putting it off. It’s mostly coming up off of the floor, rather than the walls. Could it just be Built up sediment then? If so how long should it take to go away? I’ve had the pool cleaner going daily for at least a couple hours and would think that would have kept stiff off the floor... maybe that’s a bad asismption?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,544
Is the pool painted?

If yes, does the paint rub off on your hand?

What are the chemistry readings?
 
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Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
I believe it was painted at some point in time before I bought the house. Not sure how to tell if this is paint coming off or not.
When I run my fingers along the side they are coated in what looks very much like white paint. It’s a milky substance.

I’ll be running all the readings when I get some replacement chemicals today. Bad timing to run out...

I cranked the pump up this morning to let the cleaner run all day.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,544
Paint used to use strong solvents. But, the solvents evaporated while the paint was drying. Some people didn't like that and they forced the manufacturers to switch to a "Low VOC" formula. Without the strong solvents, the paint can't be made to hold up under water.

If you see "Low VOC" or "VOC compliant", the paint is weak and not worth using.

If the label says "Easy Cleanup" that's another good sign that the paint is weak.

A really good paint will say something like "Don't even try to clean the brushes or rollers. This paint is never coming off. Just throw the brushes and rollers away and buy new ones!"
 

Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
Just took my readings. Definitely overdid it with the bleach yesterday, not sure if that throws the other readings off...

Most look normal except Calcium Hardness(always high with our water), FC (my bad), and CYA which has been at 40 and recently dipped to 30.

Any thoughts? Should I be concerned with my readings?
If it’s paint- what can I do and can I still let folks swim tomorrow?
 

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borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,332
Pacific NW
Good call on the paint. I had a painted pool and whenever I brushed a bit would come off the walls.
The floor was worse.

But it was definitely MUCH MORE when I had an algae outbreak. Dead algae from bleach, brushed off = cloudy water.
I knew my slam was getting near the final stages when I would do the daily brushing and only a little paint would come off instead
of massive cloudy water.

I don't think it is related to ch.
 

Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
Paint used to use strong solvents. But, the solvents evaporated while the paint was drying. Some people didn't like that and they forced the manufacturers to switch to a "Low VOC" formula. Without the strong solvents, the paint can't be made to hold up under water.

If you see "Low VOC" or "VOC compliant", the paint is weak and not worth using.

If the label says "Easy Cleanup" that's another good sign that the paint is weak.

A really good paint will say something like "Don't even try to clean the brushes or rollers. This paint is never coming off. Just throw the brushes and rollers away and buy new ones!"
Ah I see. Unfortunately I have no idea what kind of paint was used or when it was done. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was done to sell the house. That was 3years ago.
So if it’s paint, do I need to be concerned?- is it dangerous to swim in or can I push through the summer and repaint/plaster in the fall?
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,332
Pacific NW
It's fine and mostly cosmetic.
I would not paint a pool, but if you can't re-plaster then go for it.
Expect it to look ok for 1 maybe 2 years.
 

Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
Oh
Good call on the paint. I had a painted pool and whenever I brushed a bit would come off the walls.
The floor was worse.

But it was definitely MUCH MORE when I had an algae outbreak. Dead algae from bleach, brushed off = cloudy water.
I knew my slam was getting near the final stages when I would do the daily brushing and only a little paint would come off instead
of massive cloudy water.

I don't think it is related to ch.
interesting. So maybe it’s a combination? If it’s related to algae, how can i clear it up and how long should it take? Water has been at or above Shock since last night
 

Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
I guess I mean
It's fine and mostly cosmetic.
I would not paint a pool, but if you can't re-plaster then go for it.
Expect it to look ok for 1 maybe 2 years.
- with the paint apparently dissolving into the water, is there a safety concern? Or is it just purely annoying to have the cloudy water?
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,332
Pacific NW
It varies, but for me it was 2 weeks from start to finish on the slam.

Keep the shock level up...if it goes down too far, it's like starting over.

Brush every day. twice if you can manage.

Run the pump 24/7, check the psi gauge often. --I had to backwash 3 or 4 times I recall.

follow the SLAM procedure outlined in the pool school area....to the letter. Any deviation means starting over...extending algae issues.

I went through 36 gallons of 8% bleach but some of that had to do with the cya being 70.

This was for a 20k gallon plaster pool at the last home I owned.
 
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Brenskip55

Member
Jul 2, 2019
10
Palmdale, Ca
It varies, but for me it was 2 weeks from start to finish on the slam.

Keep the shock level up...if it goes down too far, it's like starting over.

Brush every day. twice if you can manage.

Run the pump 24/7, check the psi gauge often. --I had to backwash 3 or 4 times I recall.

follow the SLAM procedure outlined in the pool school area....to the letter. Any deviation means starting over...extending algae issues.

I went through 36 gallons of 8% bleach but some of that had to do with the cya being 70.

This was for a 20k gallon plaster pool at the last home I owned.
Thanks for the help. A few questions:
Can I trust all my other readings since they were taken when’s FC was 24?
I think I’ve read you can still swim during a SLAM, but I know that’s dependent upon the water being clear - my water is clear once it settles after brushing-does that count?
Also, I read in another thread that it’s safe to swim as long as FC is below shock level, but isn’t the point of a SLAM to maintain shock level??
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,868
Laughlin, NV
You can safely swim in a pool as long as the FC is above the minimum and at or below SLAM level based on your CYA. You must also be able to see the bottom of the pool in the deep end of the pool.

It is for safety to be able to see the bottom of the pool.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,544
The paint has been made so "environmentally friendly" that you could probably drink it straight from the can. LOL.

But seriously, I don't think that it's super hazardous.

There's not much that you can do other than drain and replaster.