One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
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ybl84f1
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One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby ybl84f1 » Sun 21 Aug, 2022 22:17

Thanks ahead of time for any help or suggestions. I’ve been in this house for 4 years and never had an issue opening the pool and getting it going, but this year has been a disaster. I opened it late on July 6, shocked it and it started clearing. About 2 weeks into it (it was still slightly cloudy) I had pump and plumbing issues and shut it down. The pool turned Shrek green and after fixing my issues I started opening it again on 8/16. I used Leslie’s opening kit along with their Ultrabrite chlorine and it started to respond immediately. I’ve been brushing, vacuuming (in the blind), swapping [new] filters (cleaning one set while running the other) but after 4 days it has just been stuck in this light turquoise color and can’t really see past the second step.

See pool here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mzvctYdWwPDSm1wg7 . Note the patio is under construction.

In the last couple of days I have tried an algicide and Leslie’s Ultrabright Clarifier. No visible effect.

I have used a Taylor test kit for 4 years and my most recent reading (as of this afternoon on 8/21) is:
FC=2.6; CC=1.0; TA=100; CH=270; pH=7.2; CYA=80.

I’ve always, and only used this test kit for 4 years which seemingly has served my well, however I decided for the first time ever to have Leslie’s test my water. Their readings – one hour later – were:
FC=2.9; CC=0.97; TA=58*; CH=183; pH=7.3; CYA=107; Iron=0.2; Copper=0.1; Phosphate=17ppb; TDS=1100.

*The TA is noted as “being adjusted due to the effect of CYA on tested TA”. The guy at the store said with a CYA that high you typically subtract around 30 ppm.

So the first key learning is that I probably have never really known my real TA since my CYA has always been high. The second key learning is that I should probably use Leslie's water testing more often.

So per their directions based on the test I added approximately 19 lbs of Leslie’s Alkalinity Up.

So it will be one week tomorrow and I have had that light turquoise for several days with no changes. I have been running my pump 24x7. I don’t think much muck is on the bottom – both my vacuuming and my robot bring up very little. My filter pressure with clean filters is about 8 psi, and when I vacuumed today it only went up to around 13 (and I swapped in clean filters again) and it's at 8 now and will likely stay that way. Tonight with nothing left to try (well, I haven’t tried a floc yet but don’t think that will help since a clarifier did nothing) I upped the FC to about 15 and I'm thinking I’ll keep it there for a couple of days.

Am I too impatient? The issue is I see no positive trending whatsoever as measured by how many steps I can see each morning. Is something different this year than previous years? Is there something wrong with the water and I need to drain and have water delivered?

Any help, thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated.

INFO
Gunnite w/plaster, 20 years old, est 30k gallons.
Leslie’s pool chemicals
Hayward pump, Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter C2020, Hayward CL220 Off-line Chemical Feeder


Denniswiseman
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby Denniswiseman » Mon 22 Aug, 2022 08:51

With a CYA of 107 you should be targeting 15 as you say you are
When your clean pressure goes up 20-25% you should backwash so it seems you may have some algae if it keeps going upand you may need to Slam (Shock Level and Maintain)
Excessive CYA renders your chlorine ineffective and you have to use more to get the same sanitation
For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it also increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 6 ppm.
For every 10 ppm FC added by Dichlor, it also increases CYA by 9 ppm.
For every 10 ppm FC added by Cal-Hypo, it also increases Calcium Hardness (CH) by at least 7 ppm
To reduce your CYA you have to do a partial drain and refill
Continuous use of Trichlor/Dichlor will raise your CYA which means you have to raise your chlorine level as well
Use these common products to balance your pool
Liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite or plain bleach) Liquid chlorine only adds salt
Muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) to lower pH and TA
Bicarbonate of soda to raise TA
Aeration will raise pH only
Soda ash will raise pH and TA
You are more likely to get better test results with your Taylor kit than a random person at Leslies
Teapot1
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby Teapot1 » Mon 22 Aug, 2022 10:23

Are you too impatient, probably, most of us are. Your test kit could just be old and out of date reagent wise. One of the biggest issues for me with customers is out of date test kits that read wrongly and mean additions are made when not required or vice versa.
Sadly Leslie's talked you into adding 19lbs of bicarbonate of soda (alkalinity up) forget the silly marketing names its just cheap bicarbonate of soda (Arm and Hammer is perfectly suitable). Did you need to add it? Thats questionable as with higher levels of Alk you get quicker pH rises and that means buying more pH minus so you get.a see saw of silliness. This completely bypasses the elephant in the room! You should do a partial drain and refil to lower your CYA and then stop using packaged granules, pucks etc and switch to liquid chlorine that will not raise your CYA all the time, just another pool industry trick to get you back to the store. You have a cartridge filter so flocculent is out, you'll clog and ruin the filters.
I may not give you the answer you want to hear, but I will give an honest opinion of your situation as you decribe it.
ybl84f1
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby ybl84f1 » Sat 27 Aug, 2022 06:54

Thank you for your quick and informative responses, I really appreciate the detailed information above, including the CYA information and also what to get at the super market instead of Leslies! Your posts help tremendiously.

This is my first pool and in the back of my mind I have been thinking about accumulating CYA over the last 4 years but it was never an issue and I honestly never knew people periodically drained out their pools. Well apparently this year it caught up with me.

Quick update - in about an hour I have 18k gallons of pool water being delivered. I'll come back afterwards to post the results hopefully with a positive conclusion.
Teapot1
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby Teapot1 » Sat 27 Aug, 2022 14:44

Thats good, please keep us posted
I may not give you the answer you want to hear, but I will give an honest opinion of your situation as you decribe it.
ybl84f1
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby ybl84f1 » Tue 30 Aug, 2022 06:58

I received ~18k gallons of pool water on 8/27 via 3 x 6k gal trucks. ($350/truck). Water source is the municipal water supply. After that the pool was relatively clear (no turquoise color!), just slightly murky but you could see the bottom everywhere but the deep end. The water was just below the skimmers so I could not run the pump. From my Taylor test kit I measured:

FC=0.8 ; CC = 0.4; TA = 90; CH=170; pH=7.2; CYA=50

It appears that I replaced roughly half the water and that the CYA was cut in half.

As it did not quite top off the pool so it took me another 2 days using my water supply and going slowly as to be mindful of my well. I could still see the bottom in the shallow and medium sections however it appeared the water was a little murkier and now slightly green, and now a layer of sediment was visible on the bottom.

Once I got the pump running (filter pressure = 10 psi) I shocked it with 12 gallons of bleach from the store which should be around 30 ppm. After letting that circulate for several hours I vacuumed the entire pool, visibly sucking up that layer of crud on the bottom. Filter pressure was about 14. My (partial) readings 5 hours later were:

FC=20 ; CC=1; pH=8.0

I added approx. 6 lbs of dry acid, and after that a minimum dose of clarifier. Three hours later my readings were:

FC=17 ; CC=1 ; pH = 7.0

The pump was off last night. This morning the water is a light pale green, I can see bottom in the entire pool although the floor drain is a little hard to make out. There are a couple of spots that I missed with the vacuum. This morning I will swap out the filters with clean ones (I have two sets).

So here I am about 24 hours later and it feels like I'm headed the right direction. So thoughts on next steps? Do I need to keep the chlorine level elevated? Will the pale green go away with some more time and circulation? Vacuuming? Clarifiers?

Thanks ahead of time!
Teapot1
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby Teapot1 » Tue 30 Aug, 2022 17:44

You really should not have added the dry acid. As you are shocking the pool the pH will be a bit higher but this is only temporary as the chlorine dies back so the pH will lower. Also it really doesnt matter at a pH of 8 if you have CYA in the water that is more governing of sanitiser than the pH, this is another area where the pool industry got it wrong for years but cannot bring itself to tell the truth as they make a geeat deal of money from pH +/- sales. pH 8 is still fine provided you have no metals in the water.
With your shock level of 20 green should quickly change to blue grey and cloudy as that is dead algae. If its green and clear then I would suspect metals in the pool water.
Top up the chlorine and see what happens.
I may not give you the answer you want to hear, but I will give an honest opinion of your situation as you decribe it.
ybl84f1
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My Pool: In-ground, gunnite w/plaster, 30k gallons, Hayward VS 1.5 hp pump, Hayward C2020 cartridge filter, Hayward CL220 chemical feeder.

Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby ybl84f1 » Wed 31 Aug, 2022 08:00

Okay - hopefully my final update - in a good way. Firstly big thanks @Teapot1 and @Denniswiseman, appreciate you taking time out of your schedules to be on this forum and help folks like me.

After the aforementioned vacuuming in the update above I swapped out the filter cartridges which were a really disgusting dark brown / dark rust color. I added 4 gallons of bleach, let it circulate for a few hours, and vacuumed again. The water was a light pale bluish but was continuing to clear as the floor drain was fuzzy but more visible. My readings from my test kit were:

FC = 19; CC = 1; TA = 100; CH = 150; pH = 7.2; CYA = 58. (Of course the CYA test is somewhat subjective and differs slightly from above)

After this test I immediately went to Leslie's for a water test which returned:

FC and CC similar to above; pH = 7.2; TA = 79; CH = 101; TDS = 800. (They recommended raising the Alkalinity).

Back to these results in just a second...

So I brushed and vacuumed the entire pool last night and left the pump on all night. I am very happy to report that this morning when I woke up the water is crystal clear with every detail on every part of the pool floor visible and the water a normal light pale bluish. I might pop some champaign tonight! This has been a nightmare season starting with my pool company disappearing this year, not being able to find a new pool company, the air relief component on my filter failing, my pump not priming, finding my specific ball valve for replacement, and dumping out half my pool water. Of course its close to the end of the season but having to learn to repair everything by myself I'll treat this as a major learning session where I now know a lot more about maintaining my own pool.

One lingering question regarding my test kit* results versus the Leslie's testing - why the discrepancy in TA and CH, and which do I use? My just-learned understanding is TA needs to be adjusted for CYA (the Taylor test kit instructions do state - which I admittedly missed - to subtract approx 33% of the CYA reading from TA) which therefore gets the two readings very close. However the CH is still very far apart (as it also was the first comparison in the prior post). Any thoughts on why CH is so divergent?

* FYI I started the year with fresh agents/reagents. My understanding is that some online sellers are selling old stale product, sometimes expired or about to expire, and that for Taylor products if the product number ends with a letter it is old stock as Taylor has changed their numbering scheme to now begin with a letter. This appears consistent with products and feedback I've seen on Amazon.
Teapot1
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby Teapot1 » Wed 31 Aug, 2022 10:36

Different reagents get affected from different things in the water so if the taylor instructions say subtract then thats their chemistry so run with it and Leslies are wrong and if your pH is stable then leave the TA where it is. Less TA less pH drift but adding acid youll need a lot less or adding a chlorine puck which are very acidic will move your pH down quickly.
More TA less pH drift also because the water will want to get to pH8.1 where it will also be very stable and hard to shift downwards.
Good to hear the news that its cleared, thats what we are here for (Dennis and I)
I may not give you the answer you want to hear, but I will give an honest opinion of your situation as you decribe it.
ybl84f1
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My Pool: In-ground, gunnite w/plaster, 30k gallons, Hayward VS 1.5 hp pump, Hayward C2020 cartridge filter, Hayward CL220 chemical feeder.

Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby ybl84f1 » Wed 31 Aug, 2022 16:34

Oh one more thing for @Teapot1 - I mentioned during the shocking that I added approx. 6 lbs of dry acid to drop the pH from 8 to 7; you mentioned I didn't have to do that. The reason I thought I should drop the pH down was from several articles I read regarding the link between pH level and the activity of chlorine. I've read the lower the pH level the more active free available chlorine there is to kill the viruses and bacteria.

Quoting from: https://norlexpoolspa.com/guidance/abou ... lance/safe

Depending on the pH of the water, the hypochlorous acid (HOCl) will partially dissociate to the hypochlorite ion (OCl-). Both hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite (OCl-) disinfect water but hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a more effective disinfectant.

Looking at the graph in the article of HOCl and OCl versus pH, HOCl availability drops dramatically after pH = 7.0.

My thinking was to maximize the HOCl in the water hence the dry acid to drop the pH from 8 to 7. I'd be interested in feedback on this.

Thanks!
Teapot1
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Re: One week into opening and still a beautiful turquoise

Postby Teapot1 » Thu 01 Sep, 2022 01:03

Yes we were all trained in the industry on this. In reality HOCI does drop off a lot by the early pH 7's but this is only true of pool water without CYA stabiliser, so mostly indoor pools. When CYA is present it is the dominant controller of chlorine so to get a major sanitising effect there must be sufficient chlorine over the CYA level and when you compare the graphs at various pH's the difference is tiny in sanitiser strength. I have posted the article several times on here but will post it again when I can find it again. Suffice to say pH is a bit irrelevant in the presence of CYA but having the right ratio of chlorine to CYA is crucial.

The problem with lowering the pH as you have done is as the chlorine subsides back to the more normal levels the pH drops lower also and fittings,screws pumps etc are the being attacker by corrosive water. And of course its back to the pool shop for pH+ or so the industry hopes. In reality on here we go to the grocery store.
Report.

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I may not give you the answer you want to hear, but I will give an honest opinion of your situation as you decribe it.

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