Milky, murky pool water

Problems relating to pH and total alkalinity.
Increase ph, increase TA. Reduce pH, reduce TA.
pH chemistry advice and techniques for the pool.
LnMnMnS
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Joined: Sun 15 Jul, 2007 22:21

Milky, murky pool water

Postby LnMnMnS » Sun 15 Jul, 2007 22:43

This is our 4th summer with our pool. The past 3 seasons we have had no problems whatsoever - clear water, etc. This summer we have had increasingly cloudy water and now it is milky/murky to where we can't see the bottom at 4 ft and barely see it at 3 ft. These are our current readings according to our last pool sample at the pool store:

40,000 gallon pool, in-ground
TDS: 1500
CYA: 0
Tot. Chlorine: 0
Free Chlorine: 0
pH: 7.4
Tot. Alkalinity: 223
Tot. Hardness: 278
Optimizer +: 0

We've been shocking it alot...last Wednesday (4 days ago), which was 2 days after a double shock treatment, the water was almost clear. By Friday (2 days later), the water was the murky/milky stuff it is now. The test results listed above were taken that Friday afternoon - being murky/milky. The pool guy said that our pool is not holding chlorine and to shock it again that evening, after cleaning our cartridge filters again. We did both. The water is still the same murky/milky quality today. We use a granular oxidizer for the "shock" treatments with ongoing chlorination via chlorinator with silky sticks.

The pool guy seems to think that we need new cartridge filters (which we probably do...this is the 4th season for them as well...though they are definitely clean now) and that that will fix our problem.

I need someone else's take on this. I'm new to any type of problems with pool water and have been just adding whatever the pool guy tells me to add. What is your advice and is the pool safe to swim in with O free chlorine?

Thanks for any help you can give me.
LnMnMnS


Backglass
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Postby Backglass » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 10:00

#1 - Get a new pool guy, or better yet...become your own. Your filter has nothing to do with your chlorine.

You have zero chlorine so things are growing in your pool as you read this. No...it is not sanitized or safe to swim with zero chlorine. If your pool was a public pool, it would be shut down by the local health department!

You also have zero CYA (Stabilizer) which means that any chlorine you DO add to your pool will disappear in a matter of hours thanks to the sun.

The first thing you need to do is get your CYA to 25-30ppm. Then take your pool to shock levels and keep it there for 24 hours. Run your pump & filter 24/7 until it clears. This should have been the first thing your pool-guy did...I would question his pool wisdom.

You also have high TA which you can work on once things start to clear.

I have no idea what "Optimizer" is. :?

And if you don't already, invest in a good test kit like the Taylor K-2005 ...don't buy strips as they are notoriously inaccurate.
===============================
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Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.
LnMnMnS
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 15 Jul, 2007 22:21

Postby LnMnMnS » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 12:33

Thank you! What do you mean by taking my pool to "shock levels"?

LnMnMnS
steve101

Postby steve101 » Sat 04 Aug, 2007 23:06

everything he said is TRUE i would just like to add if your still cant get a good chlorine level (2-4) you should check your pool for phospates, what phospates are is the food for an algae and they will soak up any chlorine you add yo your pool. i work for leslies pools and we give out (phos free) to get them out. i think what he ment by shock levels is super chlorinate the pool which shocking it does
annette

no chlorine reading

Postby annette » Wed 02 Apr, 2008 14:10

i had the same problem for years look into phos flock it works
chem geek
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Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Wed 02 Apr, 2008 16:39

Using a phosphate remover is just one of several ways of controlling algae growth and it is one of the more expensive ways. Regular use of PolyQuat 60 algaecide is another approach, also expensive but not as much. Keeping a Free Chlorine (FC) level that is at least 7.5% of the CYA level (figure 10% for safety) will also keep algae from growing up to a phosphate level of around 3000 ppb (which is very high) and is the least expensive approach if you use chlorinating liquid or unscented bleach as the source of chlorine since it will not increase CYA levels. It does take more diligence so one can see the use of a phosphate remover or algaecide as "insurance" in case you let the chlorine get too low.

There is no question that without any CYA in the water, the chlorine will be used up very quickly as half the FC level will get used up in half an hour during noontime sun.

If you use Trichlor tabs/pucks as your chlorine source, then for every 10 ppm FC that it adds, it will also increase CYA by 6 ppm so this builds up quickly over time. If your pool uses 3 ppm FC per day, then your CYA will increase by around 50 ppm per month unless you have significant dilution from having a smaller pool and frequent backwashing. Most pools that develop algae either have no chlorine or have chlorine levels that are too low relative to CYA (they usually have high CYA levels). Algae growth at first looks like high chlorine consumption -- only when such growth becomes substantial does the water turn dull, then cloudy, and finally into a full-fledged green bloom.

By the way, if the original poster was using regular chlorination using "silky sticks" then this sounds like BioGuard Silk Sticks (shown here ) which are Trichlor that only dissolve when there is water flow (so are safe in a skimmer). They will increase CYA so the reading of zero CYA from your pool store is almost certainly wrong and instead your CYA may be well over 100 so there is no question algae growth can occur and not be easily killed even with lots of chlorine. The water must be diluted to get the CYA lower or you can use the more expensive approach of a phosphate remover (or even a copper algaecide, though that has other side effects of possible staining if the pH rises).

Richard
marie in oliver

milky pool water

Postby marie in oliver » Wed 28 May, 2008 10:17

we have been shocking the pool for about 2 weeks now and nothing happens. the water is still milky. we have tested the ph levels and they are good but can't seem to keep the chlorine levels up. what are we doing wrong?
chem geek
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Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Wed 28 May, 2008 12:41

marie in oliver,

Yours sounds like a new post. Shocking a pool with chlorine does not get rid of algae nor cloudiness. You need to maintain a shock level of chlorine at all times until the pool clears. The specific level of Free Chlorine (FC) that is required depends on the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. If the CYA is very high (above 80 ppm or so) it is usually better to do a partial drain/refill to lower it. If the CYA is near zero, then chlorine will break down in sunlight and not hold.

So you really need to get yourself a good test kit such as the Taylor K-2006 kit you can get at a good online price here or the TF100 kit from tftestkits(dot)com here .

If you have been maintaining an FC level and the pool is not green but is cloudy and not clearing after running the pump 24/7, brushing, and cleaning the filter (backwashing, if appropriate), then you can use a flocculant such as OMNI Liquid Floc Plus assuming you have a way to vacuum to waste.

You can read more about clearing a pool here .

Richard
lushman

cloudy water

Postby lushman » Tue 22 Jul, 2008 07:39

You should also try to use a Clarifier like polysheen blue

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