Cloudy water, water chemistry seems fine

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
Milky pool water, white, pink, brown, purple, black cloudy water.
gwebb
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Cloudy water, water chemistry seems fine

Postby gwebb » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 09:55

Started about 3 weeks ago. Pool started to cloud up. Turned out to be the clogged basket in the pump. My wife removed the drain plug on the pump while opening it, only hand tightened the drain plug once done. Pool started to clear up once the clog was unclogged and I ran the filter for about 3 days, however I noticed a steady stream of microbubbles from the return line. Pool looked on its way after 3 days of continuous filtering so I returned it to it's programmed filter cycle of 6 hours per day and 6 hours per night. After 3 days of this it started to cloud again. I read about air being introduced to the water as a cause of cloudiness, particularly the drain plug in the pump. I tightened the drain plug with a wrench...no more air bubbles from the return. However the cloudiness remains for the last week or so, and I have been filtering 24/7. I've added a small amount of clarifier a couple of times over the last couple of weeks...doesn't seem to help. I have been shocking (1 pound granular packets) about every 3/4 days. Last night I put in 1 shock packet and 1 gallon liquid shock. This morning I still have the same milky water...top foot to foot and a half seems clear, bottom is cloudy (can't see the pattern on the bottom of the pool). My wife calls it green...I think it is the reflection of the trees on the top of the milky water (maybe a slight tinge of green). When a sample is drawn from the pool it is perfectly clear...no hint of green at all. The water appears to be holding chemistry, this morning's readings (from a strip) are:

pH 7.6-7.8 ish
FC 10+ (it was at least 5 prior to the last night's shock)
Tl Alk 100-120 ish
Stb 150 ish (maybe higher)

Last time I took a sample to the pool store (5 days ago) they told me my chemistry was good (pH was high due to shock the night before) and to keep running the pump.

After reading a lot of cloudy threads, my conclusions are:

1. I have dead algae that is not being filtered.
2. I have a calcium problem (given the top looks clear and the bottom cloudy)

I'm thinking my next step is to try floc????

My pool is 18' in diameter and 50" deep. I have a 1hp pump and a 19" diameter sand pump utilizing Zeobrite.

Any comments/suggestions?

Thanks.


Backglass
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Postby Backglass » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 10:14

You most likely have LIVE algae. Your stabalizer (CYA) is 150ppm...50ppm is the normal maximum. With a level of 150+ you would need over 45ppm chlorine to shock and at least 15ppm chlorine just to maintain sanitation! Those number are probably low as you are off Chemgeeks CYA chart. :shock:

You need to stop using any form of stabilized chlorine immediately (pucks, powdered shock, etc). These products all have CYA in them and over time they build up. Unfortunately the only reliable way to reduce CYA is through dilution. Drain a portion of the pool (a foot or two) and refill with fresh...and re-test until it is below 50ppm...30ppm is best.

THEN you can shock using liquid chlorine (Bleach) and things will start to clear up for you.
===============================
I'm no expert...just a long time pool owner. The real experts are at www . troublefreepool . com

Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.
gwebb
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Postby gwebb » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 11:07

Checked with my last pool store chemistry results, CYA was 80 (5 days ago). The test this morning was off of my strips and said 150+. My wife checked for me again after this post and she says the strip indicates "at least 150 and more like 300". Is it possible for the CYA to go from 80 (75 the prior 2 pool store tests) to 150 minimum in 5 days??? The only thing I've added is a 3" puck and some shock (which the pool store says contains no stabalized chlorine).

If the CYA is truly 80, along with the above post what would be your comments?

Thanks.
Backglass
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Postby Backglass » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 12:04

gwebb wrote:Checked with my last pool store chemistry results, CYA was 80 (5 days ago). The test this morning was off of my strips and said 150+. My wife checked for me again after this post and she says the strip indicates "at least 150 and more like 300". Is it possible for the CYA to go from 80 (75 the prior 2 pool store tests) to 150 minimum in 5 days??? The only thing I've added is a 3" puck and some shock (which the pool store says contains no stabalized chlorine).

If the CYA is truly 80, along with the above post what would be your comments?

Thanks.


Hey!

I think it would be practically impossible to go from 80 to 150 in five days without manually adding CYA. One of these tests is wrong. This is why I hate those strips & pool stores...you take the same water in five times you will get five different results. Often the pool store employees are not properly trained on the test apparatus or have trained one another via word of mouth and some critical step gets forgotten. Some of the cheaper pool stores also rely on color matching tests which are very subjective.

ANYWAY...even 80 is much to high and would require 31.1ppm to shock and a 7-9ppm maintenence level. Since your pool is smaller, I would bet draining a foot or so would help. In the meantime head down to wal-mart and stock up on ultra-bleach (which is just un-stabilized 6% chlorine) and try to hit the numbers above until you can get your CYA down.
===============================

I'm no expert...just a long time pool owner. The real experts are at www . troublefreepool . com



Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.
gwebb
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Postby gwebb » Mon 16 Jul, 2007 12:28

Thanks.

I'm going with the pool store results since the last 3 readings for CYA have been 70, 75, and 80. Three different people tested. It's a pretty reliable/busy store and have some automated testing equipment hooked up to computer via some software. At least it seems more accurate than me reading a strip.

A couple of more questions:

1. Chlorine maintained at 9ppm??? Everywhere you look it says keep out if chlorine is over 5ppm.

2. If my chlorine has been so high and seems to be maintaining, do you think I still have an algae problem? I see no evidence of growth anywhere...pool sides and ladder.

3. If not algae, what's your next best guess as to cloudiness?

My plan is to bleach the heck out of it, how do I know when I reached 33ppm if my test kit only goes to 8...will the pool stores be able to give me a result that high? Are there any home test kits that you can monitor 9ppm with?

Thanks again.
Guest

Postby Guest » Fri 20 Jul, 2007 07:16

gwebb wrote:Thanks.

I'm going with the pool store results since the last 3 readings for CYA have been 70, 75, and 80. Three different people tested. It's a pretty reliable/busy store and have some automated testing equipment hooked up to computer via some software. At least it seems more accurate than me reading a strip.

A couple of more questions:

1. Chlorine maintained at 9ppm??? Everywhere you look it says keep out if chlorine is over 5ppm.

2. If my chlorine has been so high and seems to be maintaining, do you think I still have an algae problem? I see no evidence of growth anywhere...pool sides and ladder.

3. If not algae, what's your next best guess as to cloudiness?

My plan is to bleach the heck out of it, how do I know when I reached 33ppm if my test kit only goes to 8...will the pool stores be able to give me a result that high? Are there any home test kits that you can monitor 9ppm with?

Thanks again.


gwebb- a few other things that might help the cloudiness..

first- make sure the eyeball in your pool is pointed down and away from your skimmer basket. when the eyeball points straight out, or toward the surface, you're not getting the proper circulation, and that may be why half of the pool seems cloudy.

the second thing is- if you have a sand filter, when was the last time the sand was changed and also, what kind of sand is in there? if you have DE, it may be good to acid treat the filter.

hope that helps!
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Fri 20 Jul, 2007 11:23

Very good advice. Above-ground pools do not usually have a floor drain so their circulation is typically very poor especially in the lower depths. So pointing the return down should help create more of a swirling circulation pattern. It will still be poor, but better than nothing.

The poor circulation is one reason that using a floc (with subsequent vacuum to waste) is recommended for clearing algae in an above-ground pool whereas in an in-ground pool it isn't normally needed.

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