cloudy water

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
Milky pool water, white, pink, brown, purple, black cloudy water.
Pool Newbie
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cloudy water

Postby katheguard33 » Mon 13 Aug, 2007 22:52

hi i have very cloudy water. there is enough cholrine in the pool but every morning the free chlolrine levels go down to nearly zero. the ph and total akalinty is very high so i am going to by some ph reducer today. i am just wordering if it is the ph and total akalinty making the pool water cloudy. it is an above ground pool and i am using a solor cover. thanks in advance for any help.

chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Mon 13 Aug, 2007 22:57

If the chlorine goes down significantly overnight, not just during the day, then the chlorine is most likely fighting a nascent algae bloom, and losing. The water will start out dull looking, then cloudy (as it is now) and will then develop into a full-fledged green algae bloom.

You need to shock with unstabilized chlorine immediately, preferably with unscented bleach or chlorinating liquid (do NOT use Dichlor for shock; Cal-Hypo is OK, but can make things cloudy and will increase calcium hardness, so bleach or chlorinating liquid is better). How much depends on your CYA level so you should get that tested, but in the meantime I'd just get the chlorine level up to 15 ppm and see if that keeps things in check or improves them and you'll need to keep adding chlorine several times a day (if possible) to keep the chlorine at the high level. If you don't have a test kit that measures above 5 ppm FC, then get one -- the Taylor K-2006 test kit available from Taylor here or from Leslie's here or the even better TF100 test kit from tftestkits here.

It takes 39 cups (3.2 jugs that are 96 fluid ounce each) of unscented 6% bleach (Clorox Regular or off-brand Ultra) or 19 cups (1.2 gallons) of 12.5% chlorinating liquid to raise the Free Chlorine (FC) level by 15 ppm in a 10,000 gallon pool (so a larger pool needs proportionately more). With an above-ground pool that is vinyl, you need to be careful adding chemicals (especially chlorine and acid) to the pool so I suggest slowly pouring the chlorine over the jet flow from the return (in the deep end, if you have more than one return), and I mean slowly. Then after you are done, use a pool brush to brush the bottom of the pool to circulate the water, especially if you don't have a floor drain.

If you do use Cal-Hypo instead (and it would take 31 ounces weight, or about 2 pounds) of 65% Cal-Hypo to raise the FC by 15 ppm), then pre-dilute it in a bucket of pool water before adding it slowly over a return as above.

After you have cleared your pool of algae, you will have some decisions to make, depending on your CYA level and whether you can consistently maintain chlorine levels in the pool. After you get a good test kit, please post your numbers and we can help you some more.


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