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Cloudy Pool Water -- New pool owner -- Help Please! - Swimming Pool Help

Cloudy Pool Water -- New pool owner -- Help Please!

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

Cloudy Pool Water -- New pool owner -- Help Please!

Postby arpadt2 » Tue 07 Jul, 2009 20:28

I have a 20' round, 48" deep round above ground pool. When I initially filled the pool the water was great. I am unsure why the pool is cloudy, and adding PH minus, and PH plus have done no good getting rid of the cloudy water I have. I use HTH 6 way swimming pool test strips, and currently the reading on the strip is:

Total Hardness (TH) ppm: 400
Free Chlorine (FC) Bromine ppm: 1/2
PH:7.5
Total Alkalinity (TA) ppm: 180
Cyanuric acid (CYA): 0

I've kept up the (FC) between 1/2 2/4 and I've added some PH minus due to reading on test strip. I was told baking soda might help make the water clear, so I added two pounds, but it did nothing. I don't know how critical the readings above are (relative to each other, or by themselves) ... so I can really use any advise to clear away the cloudiness (milkiness, not green like algae). Can anyone help?
arpadt2
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My Pool: 20 Foot by 48 inches round above ground

Cloudy Pool Water -- New pool owner -- Help Please!

Postby chem geek » Wed 08 Jul, 2009 01:32

Since you are apparently using test strips since they can only measure Total Hardness and not Calcium Hardness (CH), it's hard to know if your number are correct. You can use The Pool Calculator to calculate the saturation index which is around 0.3-0.4 so on the high side that could account for the cloudiness.

If your Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level is truly zero, then if your pool is exposed to direct sunlight it will lose half of its FC level every half hour or so. Either that number is wrong or your pool gets low in FC during the day letting algae grow which can make the water cloudy (initially).

I strongly suggest you get yourself a good test kit -- either the Taylor K-2006 you can get at a good online price here or the TF100 from tftestkits.net here with the latter kit having 36% more volume of reagents so is less expensive per test.

Try lowering the pH and see if it clears the water at all. If it does, then the water is probably over-saturated with calcium carbonate and you'll need to either do a partial drain/refill to lower the CH level or will need to lower the TA by following the procedure described here. If, instead, you have algae, then you can get rid of it by following what is described here.
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Cloudy Pool Water -- New pool owner -- Help Please!

Postby arpadt2 » Wed 08 Jul, 2009 21:35

Chem Geek

Thank you much for the words of wisdom! I appreciate you taking the time, sharing your knowledge and experience. I don't doubt my number may be off for the CA, if it is off, I don't believe it is off by much ... I tried shocking the pool repeatedly, adjusting the PH down (using PH minus product) adjusting the PH up (PH plus product) letting the pump run continuously, not running the pump at all, aerating by pointing the nozzle of the skimmer pump straight up, adding baking soda, adding clarifier (liquid stuff looks dark blue) ... all to no avail. According to the test strips, the readings are not far off at all from how the water should read, yet I still have very cloudy water. I did notice particles at the bottom of the bottom (barely could see the particles through the cloudiness of the pool) .... not sure where to begin. I will pick up a better water test kit tomorrow. The FC has not been far off the mark relative to the readings the test strip box indicates the readings should be (i.e. I dip a test strip, the reading on the strip indicates the FC is 1/2 2/4, and the box indicates the ideal setting should be 2/4); similar for the other readings, with the exception of the TA, the box indicates the reading should be less than 180 (120 is ideal I believe the box indicates). You mentioned hard water (CH); the water inside our house was pretty hard, consequently I installed a water softener to help solve the problem (it did); if the kit I purchase tomorrow indicates I have hard water or the CH is too high, have you a recommendation to address it (e.g.add something to address the high CH)? Again, I sincerely appreciate your advice. I've been trying to fix the cloudiness for two weeks now, and the kids are about bonkers (I won't let anyone in the pool with potential to be unsafe) ... scorching hot here too ... safety first though. Thanks again Chem Geek.
arpadt2
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: July 2009
Location: Illinois
My Pool: 20 Foot by 48 inches round above ground

Cloudy Pool Water -- New pool owner -- Help Please!

Postby oilersrule05 » Thu 09 Jul, 2009 00:39

I have a problem with cloudy water to. I took my pool water sample to my local chemical dealer. He tested it and all the numbers were good. Now I have to shock it every week. I used the shock that I normally use and it cleared up the pool and it was clear. How it got cloudy was when I turned on the vacuum part of the pump and all the cloudy water shot out from the returns. I backwashed it before I shocked it so I don't know what the problem is.
oilersrule05
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Location: Arizona

Cloudy Pool Water -- New pool owner -- Help Please!

Postby chem geek » Thu 09 Jul, 2009 00:50

arpadt2,

What kind of chlorine have you been using? Trichlor pucks/tabs? Dichlor powder/granular? Cal-Hypo granular? Chlorinating liquid or bleach? I doubt your zero CYA level. If it's truly zero, then you need to add some or your water will not hold chlorine for long during the day and algae can grow. The cloudiness may be algae. If your CYA is truly zero, then you can add both chlorine and CYA by using Dichlor, but I wouldn't use too much (not more than 30 ppm for now). I suggest you then add chlorinating liquid or 6% unscented bleach after some CYA is added (from the Dichlor, for example). And please get a good test kit; otherwise you are shooting in the dark. The links I gave describe how to shock the pool which is probably what is needed right now, given the low chlorine level.
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