grad party in 6 days!

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
Milky pool water, white, pink, brown, purple, black cloudy water.
reluctant pool owner
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grad party in 6 days!

Postby reluctant pool owner » Sun 01 Jul, 2007 19:56

I have tried SOOO many things and just NEED HELP!!!

- Opened around pool Memorial Day weekend.
- Noticed stain in shallow end (and then it grew). It was brownish in color. Water tested fine and was clear.
- The store clerk at one store said it was a metal stain and gave me a BioGuard Stain Remover.
- For three attempts, it would remove the stain, but then resurface after a few days.
- She then had me try Sparkle Up and Scale Inhibitor.
- Frustrated, I went to another local store. They said that I needed to inhibit (I think that was the word) the metal and gave me a product (SUPER-QUEST) to pull out the suspended metals after I used the Stain Remover.
- I followed their instructions and the next day, my pool had never been so cloudy. It was a milky cloudy so much so that I couldn't even see the bottom of the shallow end.
- They then said it was because that last product ate all of the free chorine and I need to add double the amounts of shock to clear it up.
- That was a week and a half ago. I've shocked the pool more times than I can remember. It is no longer a milky cloudy, but more of a darker color- dark blue. I can clearly see the shallow end, and the sides of the deep end, but not the drain in the bottom.
- The chlorine pucks in the skimmers haven't really been used up since this started.
- I vacuumed yesterday (Saturday), and there was all this creamy looking stuff (sandy-like) that I kicked up and then it got even cloudier again.
- I backwashed and saw little particles shooting out of the return (leaf-like things) as well as the "creamy/sandy" looking water.
- Today I vacuumed to waste adn it looked like it helped, but, of course, it's still that "thick" dark blue color. I waited a few hours, and did it again, getting whatever I missed the first time. (still the same color).
- I was given a product called Revive! (a phosphate killer, supposed to clear up my water). I'm hesitant to do it b/c nothing has worked so far, and I wonderif there's merit to seeing how things settle tonight after I've done the vacuuming, but I don't know.

What should I do next?


Curt
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need numbers

Postby Curt » Sun 01 Jul, 2007 22:39

What are your pool chemistry numbers? ALL of them! cyanuric acid, pH, alkalinity, hardness, free chlorine, total chlorine, dissolved metals if available.
What kind of shock? look at the ingredients label.

For now, STOP using calcium shock. liquid shock or lithium shock. Use ONLY dichlor shock until the problem is identified.
reluctant pool owner
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numbers

Postby reluctant pool owner » Sun 01 Jul, 2007 23:42

Curt-

Saturation index: 0.9
TDS: 700
CYA: 140
Total Chlorine: 9.5
Free Chlorine: 8.3
pH: 7.2
Total Alkalinity: 182
Adj. Total Alkalinity: 140
Total Hardness: 342 (we have very hard water, it's always high. and it's never been a problem before)

That's all I have for numbers on the pool- is that enough? Am I missing something? I haven't shocked in the last 48 hours, and will not do so unless told to do so again. Thanks for your help!
reluctant pool owner
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p.s.

Postby reluctant pool owner » Sun 01 Jul, 2007 23:43

And it was a "calcium hypochlorite" shock.
Curt
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can be done

Postby Curt » Mon 02 Jul, 2007 14:40

Reluctant, stop using the calcium hypo shock. The LAST thing you need is more mineral in the water.
The water is certainly saturated with carbonate, thus the cloud of precipitated minerals.

CYA is way too high. For now, stop using stabilized chlorine tablets until the CYA is under 50.

Use dichlor shock for chlorination. It is almost pH neutral and dissolves very quickly. Liquid shock and lithium shock is OK but they will raise the pH and LOW pH will help keep the calcium dissolved.

The saturation of .9 indicates cloudy and scaling conditions.
This is what I would do. Drain water. It is the only way to reduce the cya. Draining and refilling will dilute the cya and the hardness/alkalinity/metals.

I assume the new water is softer than the current pool water.

Replace the water untill the cya is under 50, TA under 120 and, if able, calcium hardness under 200.

When that is done and pH is low, add a metal sequestering product for the staining.

One suggestion you should seriously think about, have the water delivered by truck if your water supply is very very hard and do not use any calcium hypo shock EVER.

Hurry up, only 5 more days till the party!
chem geek
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Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Mon 02 Jul, 2007 15:10

The advice of using Dichlor is absolutely positively wrong! For every 1 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) introduced by Dichlor you also get 0.9 ppm Cyanuric Acid (CYA) and your level is already way too high at 140 ppm. With Trichlor tabs/pucks, for every 1 ppm FC you get 0.6 ppm CYA.

You indicated a saturation index of +0.9, but that is incorrect given your numbers. At a pH of 7.2, TA of 182, CYA of 140, and Calcium Hardness of 342 (you said Total Hardness which is irrelevant and your true Calcium Hardness is probably less, maybe 200-250) gives a saturation index near zero.

So if the above numbers are correct, then your cloudiness is most likely due to a nascent algae bloom. At a CYA level of 140 ppm, you would need to keep an absolute minimum of 10.5 ppm FC to keep away algae (7.5% of the CYA level) with a normal target of 11% of the CYA level or 15.4 ppm FC. It would take HUGE amounts of chlorine to kill the algae in your pool because your high CYA level will bind up most of the chlorine. I suggest you do a partial drain/refill to get your CYA level lowered and can do this while vacuuming to waste to get rid of some of the algae as well. Curt's advice is right on for this.

You should stop using stabilized chlorine products (Trichlor or Dichlor) since they add CYA to your water. And Curt is right that adding Cal-Hypo will tend to cloud up water if it's saturated, but in your case you've got an algae bloom to deal with. I agree that you shouldn't use Cal-Hypo because your Calcium may already be high (depends on Calcium Hardness vs. Total Hardness), so use unscented bleach or chlorinating liquid instead. And to keep your pH low, you'll have to have Muriatic Acid as well. The hypochlorite sources of chlorine (bleach, chlorinating liquid, Cal-Hypo, lithium hypochlorite) are all pH neutral after their chlorine is consumed (the pH goes up when added, but goes down when the chlorine gets used up) but with your high TA level your pool will outgas carbon dioxide which will make the pH tend to rise.

It's going to be very, very hard to clear your algae bloom at your high CYA level. It will take lots and lots of chlorine.

And please, please, get yourself a good test kit -- the Taylor K-2006 (not K-2005) .

Richard
Curt
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My Dichlor Mea Culpa

Postby Curt » Mon 02 Jul, 2007 17:12

Never too old to learn.
My assay of dichlor shock is wrong. You WILL have to drain and replace some water tho.
Thanks for the Chem lesson Chem-Geek!

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