New pool owner. Need help with cloudy water/chems

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Whit
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New pool owner. Need help with cloudy water/chems

Postby Whit » Thu 19 Jul, 2007 09:38

I have an inground liner pool, approx. 22,000 gal cap. Pool water is cloudy and no shock trt is working. Maybe added to much backing soda about 5 days ago (added 2 lbs. since Alk was low) & I think cl pucks contain CY acid. Sand filter should be good (replaced 2 years ago).

Readings:
Tot hard = 400 (high due to fill water)
Free CL = 5 (high since I've been shocking).
ALK = 180
ph: 7.25 exactly (have meter at work). It was 7.8 2 days ago, but added about .8 qt of Muratic acid last night [broadcasted it].
CYA: 150 (way high) IS THIS DUE TO THE PUCKS?

The water has never been clear (always cloudy) & I am ready to use a backhoe to fill it in!
I just spent $50 on "FIRST AID enzyme"; going to use after my water is balanced - friend said it cleared his pool up.
Have found good info. on this site, but specific info. is desparately needed.

Thanks in advance.
Whit


mamcwifey
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hmm...

Postby mamcwifey » Fri 20 Jul, 2007 14:03

whit-- how long are you running the filter per day?
*mamcwifey
mamcwifey
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Postby mamcwifey » Fri 20 Jul, 2007 14:05

also- the cya is definitely high, and that would be due to the pucks.
*mamcwifey
Cheri
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Postby Cheri » Fri 20 Jul, 2007 16:34

I would take the pucks out. They contain a high amount of stablizer or CYA.

Backwash and rinse the filter. You may need to drain a few inches of water out (no lower than the bottom of the skimmer line) and fill with water. This will help lower the CYA levels. But this is the extreme solution.

What are the %'s on your shock and what is it made of? Di-chlor, cal-hypo? I know for a fact that the shocks you get at Wal-mart, Lowes and Home Depot, contain CYA as a filler. If you can find Cal-Hypo (calcium hypoclorite) this will be much better. It will raise your calcium level in your pool, but that is not as bad as having high CYA levels.

When the CYA levels are high, it binds up the chlorine so it can't do its job. Recommended CYA levels are usually 25-50 ppm. Anything higher and the chlorine won't work properly.
Whit
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still need to know what steps to take...

Postby Whit » Fri 20 Jul, 2007 18:08

I've taken the pucks out since I actually read the label, which says it contains CYA.

I don't know exactly what my shock has in it, but yep... bought at Walmart & have been using a lot of it since I wasn't aware that CYA can reduce Cl effectiveness. I guess I've been going overboard in all the junk I've been adding; now things are really screwed up.

I'll stop using that shock (buy other shock) and see what happens. Have a pool guy coming out to get me going. I'd do anything right now - including renting a backhoe & fillin' it in with no-need-to-clean DIRT!!!

What about Muratic acid? Can I use it to reduce my ALK in my liner pool? I've been adding small amounts in 1-2 areas of the pool, waiting 30 min. then turning on pump & polaris. I read that this will lower the ALK without lowering pH to much since my pH is already 7.2. OR Should I just try & get the CYA levels down before doing all of that? What order of steps should I take.
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Fri 20 Jul, 2007 19:32

Whit,

The proper way to lower Total Alkalinity is described in this post though with your vinyl pool I'd use a lower pH target of 7.2 and then add more acid when the aeration has the pH rise to 7.4. Only aeration at low pH will lower the TA. Just adding acid will only lower both pH and TA together and if you then add any base to make the pH go up, then pH and TA both go back up together. It is a myth that the method of acid addition affects how pH and TA change -- this was proven by both theoretical calculations and by experiment and is described in this paper .

Richard
Whit
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new owner

Postby Whit » Mon 23 Jul, 2007 09:13

I have been adding Muratic Acid slowly over 4 days & got pH down to 7.05 (tested with meter from work). The TA is still a little high, but not worried to much with that right now. I'm keeping the chlorine up (since I learned that lowering pH will increase CL utilization), sweep, and aerate according to the above directions. I'm going to keep the pH around 7.1 right now and hopefully this will clear up my algae/murky water. VERY FRUSTRATING. ONE thing I LEARNED is to NOT get pissed & go overboard in adding any chemical. I got pissed 1 night with slightly murky water, had about 6 beers in me (2 weeks ago) and added to much baking soda; haven't seen the bottom SINCE!!!

I'm also going to add 1st Aid to rid the dead algea (friend of mine said it worked in his above ground pool). Does anyone have experience with 1st Aid enzyme?

ANY other suggestions or directions?
Thanks!
Whit
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Mon 23 Jul, 2007 11:59

If this link is what you are talking about then yes, it's an enzyme, but that just accelerates the breakdown of certain organics, typically suntan lotion and other contaminants that cause a scum line or that float on the water. Breaking down algae, on the other hand, is relatively easy and doesn't require an enzyme. The enzyme might make it go faster, but it's the chlorine that does the breakdown. In other words, you can get it if you want, but it's not necessary. In general, you can minimize the chemicals you add to your pool -- enzymes, clarifiers, flocculants, etc. are not necessary if you have patience and maintain chlorine levels. If you don't mind spending money and want things to happen faster, then they are useful. But if you don't maintain enough chlorine to kill the algae faster than it grows, then the enzyme isn't going to help (it's the chlorine that breaks down organics and kills algae, not the enzyme -- enzymes simply speed up or catalyze chemical reactions, they don't "do the work" themselves).

But don't forget that you've still got a pool high in CYA so even if you clear up the algae you will keep getting it unless you use a weekly dose of an algaecide, the best being PolyQuat 60. At 150 ppm CYA, you would need to maintain a target of 17 ppm FC with an absolute minimum of 11 ppm FC. To shock the algae would take a lot more chlorine than that (at least 30 ppm FC). But the better thing to do would be a partial drain/refill to lower the CYA level of the pool. It will be much easier to maintain with chlorine alone (or possibly with a small amount of PolyQuat 60 each week as insurance). I suggest you start on the partial drain/refill to lower the CYA. That would also reduce your TA unless your fill water is high in TA.
Whit
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getting there?

Postby Whit » Tue 24 Jul, 2007 13:44

I got the pH down to 7.05 this morning and won't go any lower due to a liner pool. The CYA has fallen (taken out the pucks & have drained a little water 3 times) but the water is still murky green. I'm keeping the chlorine up and backwashing often. I aerated yesterday and got pH up to around 7.3, then added acid last night. The TA is still high (100), but the chems seem to be coming into balance slowly; BUT... the water seems to be getting murkier (is that a word). Is this because the chlorine is now starting to work on the algae since the CYA & alkalinity have fallen?

Guess I'll just take it slow (aerate, then add acid) & see what happens. I don't think it will ever get clear again. I'll NEVER have another pool again.
TW
Backglass
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Re: getting there?

Postby Backglass » Tue 24 Jul, 2007 14:37

Whit wrote:I don't think it will ever get clear again. I'll NEVER have another pool again.


Hang in there and keep at it. If you follow chemgeeks advice it will be crystal clear in under two weeks. THEN with your new knowledge it will only take 5 minutes every other day and you will learn to love your pool.
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