Cloudy AG pool, HELP

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
Milky pool water, white, pink, brown, purple, black cloudy water.
Jennifer
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat 15 Sep, 2007 12:50
Location: Florida

Cloudy AG pool, HELP

Postby Jennifer » Sat 15 Sep, 2007 13:06

I've recently put up an above ground pool (new pool owner!) and for the past 4 wks we've had major trouble with it. I had a baby shortly after we put it up so we didn't really tend to the pool for 2 weeks (I know, very bad) We had a huge algae growth, killed it but now it's so cloudy! My filter has been running non-stop for the whole 4 wks .. can't wait to see that electric bill! Anyway, I took my water to have it tested yesterday, everything looked good but the ph/alkalinity. That's what they said anyway. I'm wondering about the stabilizer levels. They seem a little on the high end to me, but what do I know right? Here are my water readings:

TC - 3
FC - 3
CC - 0
pH - 7.2
Acid Demand - *
Base Demand - 6
TA - 75
Stabilizer - 100
TDS - 1100

I did add some alkalinity up last night and the girl said it should be clear within a few hours. Didn't work!

I guess I should add that it's a vinyl above ground 18'x4'. The pump is a 1500gph. Is the pump not big enough maybe?

Please, if anyone can help, please do :D


User avatar
mr_clean
Swimming Pool Superstar
Swimming Pool Superstar
Posts: 398
Joined: Thu 16 Aug, 2007 14:32
Location: So Cal

Postby mr_clean » Sat 15 Sep, 2007 14:42

what type filter do you have?
How big is it?

If you have a cartridge filter, your going to have to clean it and soak it it a good cleaner then rinse. A good idea when cartridge is small is to buy a backup so you can switch and let it soak.

If sand filter, backwash and add a little DE powder which is cheap to help keep cleaner. You add this after backwashing through skimmer.

If you have DE filter, clean it.

your PH is a little low, but if you use liquid chlorine it will rise using it.
Do you float chlorine tabs in pool? I suggest not to sense your CYA level is at 100 and tabs have this in it. When CYA level is above 100 it makes chlorine less effective. A good level would be 60-80 and can be lowered by emptying some water. Low TA does not make water cloudy, You can shock pool and keep chlorine level above 20ppm until clear.
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Sat 15 Sep, 2007 18:36

As mr_clean said, your CYA is too high. Unless you maintain an FC level of at least 7.5 ppm, you can get algae again and in fact your pool is either cloudy as left over from the previous bloom or the algae is starting to grow again. First, get your FC level up higher by adding unstabilized chlorine. Then, do a partial drain and refill to get your CYA level lower. Do not use stabilized chlorine again unless your CYA drops very low (say, below 30).

You do have another more expensive option if you do not want to drain/refill to lower the CYA level. You can use some sort of algaecide, such as a weekly maintenance dose of PolyQuat 60, to prevent algae from growing. You could also use an expensive phosphate remover. What I told you in the first paragraph above is just the least expensive option, not the only one.

Richard
Jennifer
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat 15 Sep, 2007 12:50
Location: Florida

Postby Jennifer » Sat 15 Sep, 2007 20:09

Thankyou both so much for your replies!

To answer a couple of your questions.

I'm assuming I have a cartridge filter (tubular with pleats, right?). I've been rinsing it every couple hours during the day but haven't soaked it in any kind of cleaner. Didn't even know there was something like that to use. What would I soak it in? A bucket of chlorine or something else?

Yes, I use chlorine tabs. I've actually been using both the tabs and liquid chlorine to shock it every couple of days. So I'll definitely stop using them and just used the liquid.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to drain and refill, what would you say? About 1/3 of the pool?

After I drain, what should I keep the chlorine levels at until the cloudiness is gone? Still 20ppm? How much chlorine/bleach would I have to use to reach that level? (I think the pool has about 5400 gal)

Thankyou both so much for helping me with this! :D
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Sat 15 Sep, 2007 21:32

Since you have a small pool (is it an above-ground Intex?), you need to be careful about lowering the water level too much. Since it's not that much volume, you could just do a continuous drain/refill by draining from one end while filling from the other. This does take more water, however. If you do a non-continuous drain and then refill, I'd only go a little below the skimmer level -- perhaps 1/4th of pool depth -- of course with the pump off. And yes, try and keep the chlorine level up at 20 the entire time.

You do not soak the cartridge filter in chlorine -- that would destroy it (if it were concentrated). You use a detergent instead -- there are special cartridge cleaners you can get from the pool store or you can use dishwashing detergent such as Cascade or Electrosol. However, for just clearing the algae, you may clean the filter more than once so just a strong rinse from a hose should get the bulk of the junk out.

If your pool does not have a floor drain (I doubt that it does), then if the cloudiness isn't easily brushed to the skimmer (i.e. if it doesn't circulate to the filter), then you may be better off using OMNI Liquid Floc Plus instead. This will settle the dead algae to the bottom of the pool and you'll then need to vacuum to waste (make sure you have the ability to do that before using this technique).

20 ppm FC is a decent shock level for a CYA level of around 50 ppm though will also work, albeit more slowly, for higher CYA levels. For 5400 gallons, it takes 28 cups (2-1/3 96-ounce jugs) of 6% bleach (Clorox unscented Regular or off-brand unscented Ultra) or 13.8 cups of 12.5% chlorinating liquid. However, if you are still fighting algae, which you can tell if you find you have a drop in chlorine levels overnight, then you will need to keep adding chlorine to maintain the 20 ppm FC level. This means you have to have a test kit that can test above 5 ppm FC and that means a FAS-DPD chlorine test kit such as that found in the Taylor K-2006 you should get (most pool store's do NOT carry this kit).

Also, when adding any chemicals to your pool, but especially the liquid form of chlorine or acid or Cal-Hypo, you must add it very slowly over a return flow with the pump running and for extra safety brush the pool where you added. Bleach and chlorinating liquid are denser than water so you want to make sure they get well mixed in the pool water and not settle to the bottom.

Richard
Erin

Postby Erin » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 15:27

Just to be sure...you said "pleated tubular". Mine is like that and it is a DE filter, so you have to coat it with DE powder for it to clean the water. I assume you have something else, but since you are new to pools, I thought I would mention it.
gerald payton
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat 22 Sep, 2007 09:03
Location: WINSTON SALEM NC

Postby gerald payton » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 21:31

Chem Geek
I have an Intex .My vaccumn works off the filter if I take the catch bag out off the skimmer hook up and remove the hose that returns to the pool and drain to the yard isn't this vaccumn to wastealso if you leave the pole and vac hooked up when the hose is hooked back up you can filter from any where in the pool middle bottom anywhere
GP in NC AG 18buy4
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Wed 26 Sep, 2007 01:42

Yes, if you hook up a hose to the suction side of the pump, say through the skimmer as you described, and have the pressure side of the pump going to a hose to waste rather than through the filter, then that is "vacuum to waste". It's very effective, but also takes out a lot of water very quickly so if one has a multi-speed pump, then using a slower speed is better for this. Otherwise, having one person doing the vacuuming and another at the pump to turn it on and off will prevent removing too much water.

Richard

Return to “Cloudy Pool Water”

Who is online at the Pool Help Forum

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests