3 weeks of cloudy water

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
Milky pool water, white, pink, brown, purple, black cloudy water.
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Location: Cleveland, OH

3 weeks of cloudy water

Postby kathyb0608 » Mon 25 Jun, 2007 20:42

I've been a pool owner for over 15 years and have never encountered the situation I'm in. I have a 24000 gallon inground, vinyl liner pool with a cartridge filter ( no heater). Opened the pool 3 weeks ago, slightly green, some leaves. At the suggestion of my local pool store, I've added over 15# of Power Powder shock, trying to get rid of the cloudiness, with no luck. I've switched to liquid shock 12%, and 10 gallons later, still have milky, pale green water. Have soaked my cartridges in cleaner, changed them twice a day, run the filter 24/7 for a week, brushed, vacumned. Tried clarifier today, no change. Very difficult to vacumn, since I can't see the vacumn head, even in the shallow end, but when I do, I don't seem to pull in too many leaves.

Chemistry is as follows:
Free chlorine 5 (have had it as high as 20)
Total chlorine 5
pH 7.4
Total alkalinity 140
Calcium 400
Cyanuric acid 0

Local pool store that specializes in inground pools tells me my water chemistry is fine and doesn't know what more to tell me. I'm at my wit's end, as well as the end of my wallet. Have been reading similar posts and wonder if its the powdered shock I used in the beginning, Is the cloudiness due to all the Power Powder shock? If so, how do I get rid of it? Any advice will be very much appreciated. We have beautiful weather for Cleveland, and can't even use the pool.


Postby pool » Mon 25 Jun, 2007 23:30

Your situation sounds very similar to what I have been dealing with this summer. Have you gotten in the pool? I finally did that and discovered that there were pockets of algae and tree buds that were on the floor of the pool and keeping it so cloudy I couldn't even see them. I thought I had scooped out all the junk in the bottom, but had not.

I got them out and can finally, after hundreds of wasted dollars of chemicals and countless hours of cleaning the filter, I can see the bottom of the pool.
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Postby Buggsw » Mon 25 Jun, 2007 23:44

I'm pretty surprised you don't have a CYA reading with all that shock added.
It must be cal hypo which doesn't have stabilizer but puts calcium into your pool.

Well, yes the cal hypo is probably what is making it cloudy. I wouldn't use any more of it as your CH is already at 400.

Your Alk is a little high, for my liking but not so terrible.

Keep your chlorine up to shock level. Sounds like you are still fighting algae if the water is staying green. With no CYA, you should only have to bring it up to 10 to shock, but you need to keep it at 10 day & night, so you may have to add more chlorine throughout the day a few times to keep it there. Without CYA it will burn out very quickly. So keep it up there until it stays there all night long. Once it stays all night long, you can let it lower, but still keep a close eye because of no stabilizer. Anyway, once it stays all night, it means there is no more algae eating it up. It takes 2 gallons of 12% to bring your volume of water from 5ppm to 10ppm.

With no CYA, the chlorine level will disappear really quickly. You could switch to a dichlor or trichlor based shock and tablets which will add CYA if you are sure the reading is 0. Watch that your pH doesn't go below 7.0 These products are acidic and tend to lower pH. Whereas liquid chlorine will raise pH a bit. The dichlor or trichlor shock will raise your CYA .9 ppm for every 1 ppm of free chlorine it adds. Ideal level of CYA is 30 - 50, so as you can see, it may not take long when you use a lot of these products. Use Trichlor tablets in a feeder during the day while your CYA is low, to help keep the FC up and it will also add a little CYA.

If you prefer not to switch, then you need to add CYA to your pool. It will take a week for it to show up in your test readings - so don't go overboard because too much can be as big a problem keeping free chlorine. You will need about 6 lbs of it to reach 30ppm in your pool. Put it in a nylon stocking and hang it off a ladder near a return. It takes a long time to dissolve - so don't broadcast it in your pool and don't put it in your skimmer.

How old are your cartridges? It may be time to replace them if they are old, sort of worse for the wear or damaged.

Keep running your pump 7/24. Keep trying to vacuum it up - vac to waste if you can and replace with fresh water.

Let us know how it goes.

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