Cloudy Pool Water & Algaecide..Need Help

by Clint
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I live in CT and just opened my 23k gallon in ground pool 2 days ago. I added 2 gallons of liquid shock and then a quart of algaecide.


Tried strips & liquid test kits and one showed pH low and the other showed pH high? There is some greyish staining on the vinyl liner around the main drain in the deep end that won't come off?!? I added some pH raiser and more algaecide & now the water is cloudy and there some kind of foam floating on top.

I have a DE filter which the pressure looks good on. I did backwash it numerous times just in case. What do you think/recommend?




Hi Clint

With a 23k gallon pool be sure your hitting the super-chlorination level. Without that you can't kill any of the algae, bacteria, or foreign matter in the pool. I have 2 good pages on chlorine. This one is a good starting point:

Adjust Your Swimming Pool Chlorine

As the for algaecide, be sure it's of high quality. This could be causing your foaming issue. Normally there are four reasons why pools foam up: Soap- Rinse toys and swimsuits before allowing them in the pool.

Algaecides- Inexpensive "...alkyl-dimethyl..." type algaecides will foam. Use a non-foaming "poly" type. Also, avoid copper algaecides to avoid the green hair. A foaming algaecide in the pool should break down and go away.

Pool Algaecide

Organic matter- If you can see algae it has already been growing in the water for a while. This can foam if the water is churned up (aerated). Use a good dose of chlorine shock as this should burn-off the organic matter.

Air leaks- Be sure the pump motor and plumbing are working and you have enough water in the pump. If the pot is drawing in air you might have an air leak in the plumbing somewhere.

For your test strips and liquid test kit I always highly recommend a FAS-DPD Taylor Reagent K 2005 or 2006 test kit, not the yellow test kits.

Water Testing Kit

It's what I use at the YMCA, for my customers, and what the Oregon state health board uses when they come and test the water. This kit will give you the most accurate reading.

For the greyish stain by the main drain it could be stubborn algae. Be sure to super-chlorinate your pool properly.

Pool Shock

Brush any residual algae that you can. Test your chlorine level after the shock to be sure to have gotten to the super-chlorination level.

Be sure your DE filter is in good order and has no tears or rips. Also re-coat the grids each time you backwash. the cloudy water should clear up if everything is working properly.

DE Pool Filters

Hope this helps and let me know if there's anything else I can do

Robert

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Aug 13, 2015
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Cloudy forever
by: Anonymous

Thanks. It's been 4 days. The I can tell the water is starting to clear up when everything settles. I can also see a few dark shadows underneath which I'm assuming is still algae. I stir it up every few hours since I only have the skimmer that feeds into the filter. Since I don't have a lot of debris falling into the pool, I have taken the chlorine basket out of there and weighed it down a little bit to catch particles that don't quite make it to the surface. All numbers are holding steady. After the first day with good numbers I could see the accumulation on the filter where before I did not. I'm on the fence with the clarifier right now. Question - when I add liquid chlorine does it sink? I know it dissipates somewhat right away, but I'd like to add it to my pool over those shadows if I can for better results

Aug 13, 2015
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cloudy pool water solutions
by: Anonymous

After super shocking the pool and also adding the algaecide, be sure to backwash your filter thoroughly. If the pool is still cloudy it could be due to small particles that the filter can't pick up. Use Clarifier and that will solve the problem. The clarifier helps the particles congeal into larger pieces that the filter can pick up. Our pool people kept telling us to use more shock and after realizing that wasn't doing the trick, we tried the clarifier and our problems were solved. We now have sparkling pool water all the time, the cleanest in the neighborhood.

Aug 09, 2015
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Cloudy forever?
by: Anonymous

Thanks! Couple questions though...
Is it ok to use the stabilizer while the chlorine level is already high?

Liquid chlorine- are you talking about household beach or a pool specific type?

I also need to add water to the pool soon. However I won't if I cannot add the metal remover. We did replace the filter for our well water so the quality should better than when we first filled it. Should I hold off on the new water?




You should fill the pool to the proper level then start the procedure. Amazon is good when ordering. Get the Jack's Magic ASAP so the water won't turn a clear emerald green when you add in the chlorine. Liquid chlorine or bleach will work. Just remember that bleach is slightly less strength than chlorine so use 1/2 gallon more to compensate for it. If you use 2 gallons of chlorine then use 2.5 of bleach.

Once the water level is good add in the stabilizer and be sure the filter is perfectly working, then proceed with clearing up the pool. After it's clear the water will also be balanced and that's what you're going after, a clear AND balanced pool. Remember I also have eBooks and consults available.

Robert

Aug 09, 2015
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Cloudy forever?
by: Anonymous

Ph is currently at 7.4, chlorine is above 10, little to no stabilizer, alk. Is at 80, I will have to get the others to you at a later time as I don't have tests for them, but I believe that the water we used to fill the pool is not hard water. We did have an issue with metals upon our initial fill which was remedied with an hth brand metal remover. Did not use any algecide, just shock. Filter is a new Intex filter and appears to be working normally. I did used a total of 4 oz of clearifier after adding the phosphate remover, 2 oz at a time.




Thanks for the readings. First I'll start with the filter. I assume it's a cartridge. Be sure it has less than 2000 filter hours on it. They only last about that long. Get a new one if needed. Now for the CYA/stabilizer. It's low which is rendering your FC ineffective. I don't have the size of your pool but what you need to do is get some CYA in there. Get liquid stabilizer because the granular is put in the skimmer and takes a few days to dissolve. It gets caught in the filter but you're going to need to spray it out every 12 hours. Just follow the directions on the bottle to get your CYA to 30ppm. Once it's there stop using it.

Now it's time to shock the pool. This means maintain a FC level of 12 - 14ppm. Use 1 gallon of chlorine per 10k gallons of pool water. If you're at 12k gallons use 2 gallons of chlorine. If it's 22k gallons, use 3 gallons. You must hit the FC mark of 12 - 14ppm or it won't work. Broadcast it around the perimeter of the pool and sweep very well. Do this AM and PM. You MUST maintain a high FC level to kill the algae. Anything lower won't work. Spray the filter out every AM and PM until the water clears. It will go white cloudy then clear but it will take a few days. Again, you must be consistent with using liquid chlorine every AM and PM and cleaning the filter.

The pH and TA are fine so don't do anything there. No floccs or clarifiers are needed. For metals, I'd encourage you to use Jack's Magic line based on 1-Hydroxyethylidene-1, 1- diphosphonic Acid, a.k.a HEDP for the metals. Jack's Pink or purple stuff works well. You can find it on Amazon and some Walmarts.

Robert

Aug 09, 2015
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Cloudy forever?
by: Anonymous

Hi,
We had just returned from a 2 week vacation to find our above ground index pool filled with green algae. I immediately put in some shock. The next morning it was cloudy. I tested the water it showed no chlorine, 7.2 ph, 50 alk. I brought a sample to the local pool store. Their testings verified mine and tested for phosphates as well, which tested off the charts! She sold me on a phosphate remover. I came home used the phosphate remover and got a milk cloud on the bottom of my pool. Since I don't have a bottom filter I stirred up the cloud a little bit to get the filter to clear it up. By evening the algae started back. I looked online and decided to adjust my alk. to 80. Then I triple shocked the pool. (Ph holding steady at 7.2). Come morning I see that not all of the algae is gone on the bottom, alk has dropped to 70. Still cloudy. I increasd the alk again, and shocked once more. I have mixed up as much as I could of the remaining algae to make sure it is exposed to the shock. I have white "flakes" floating through this soup that breakup as soon as they make contact with something.

What should I do next? Chlorine levels have remained above 5 since the second shock treatment.




Thanks for the question. I need your complete chemical readings, the actual numbers:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used. It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster. Green water is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. I also need the kind of filter you have and if it's working properly. If it's not working it must be fixed in order to clear up the pool. I also need to know the size of the pool.

Shocking is a process, not an event. The trick is to get AND keep the chlorine above 12 - 14ppm for a period of time. You'll need to manually dose the pool with chlorine to keep it at 12 - 14ppm ppm. Make the adjustment at night, then retest in the morning. Be sure to have the pump running 24/7 and backwash once per day. You can easily maintain a high enough FC level with grocery store bleach.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone and/or SKYPE consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias. If you purchase a personal phone consult you'll get all 3 eBooks for free.

Pool Consultation

Clear Blue Pool eBook

How To Clear Up A Green Pool eBook

Swimming Pool Resources

Robert

Jan 18, 2015
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Chlorine & Tablets In Portable Floating Device
by: PJ

I have been putting in liquid chlorine and using about a 1/2 gallon a day, especially on hot or rainy days. I dont have a chlorinator.

Would the tablets in a portable floating device last longer?




Thanks for the question PJ

Yes, I always encourage pool owners to use a tab floater. If you keep them full of Trichlor tabs your pool will have a constant flow of chlorine and stabilizer throughout the week.

Just put the tabs in the floater and test your chlorine level weekly, maybe even twice per week. These tabs do have cyanuric acid (CYA) in them. You'll want to keep that level between 30 - 50ppm.

It's important that you check this level as well because it needs to be balanced with the chlorine. And you don't want the level to get away from you. The only way to reduce the CYA is to drain 1/3 - 1/2 of the pool water, refill, and balance out the chemicals.

The chlorine is 7.5% of your CYA level and that's 30 - 50ppm. I'd encourage you to get a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit. It's the best and the one most pool professionals use.

If you have your pool water tested by your local pool store, chances are this is the kit they use.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

You're asking some great questions and I think that people are not going to see them because they're getting buried in one post. Another visitor that is looking for information about chlorine tablets won't think to look on a page about cloudy pool water and algaecide.

I would ask that if you have more questions, you can go to the corresponding pages and ask them there. This question might be a good one for the chlorine tab page:

Chlorine Tablets

Just scroll down and ask your question. This way it will be a page by itself and I can post it on the pool Q&A page.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

I don't have a category for chlorine tabs yet, but this one might be a good start. I'm thinking about leaving this answer on this post for about a week, then making it into a page for chlorine tabs. Thanks for visiting my site and hopefully you're getting the information you need.

Robert

Jan 18, 2015
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Algaecides For Preventive Measures
by: PJ

Sould algaecides be used as a preventive measure, or should you just maintain the pH and chlorine levels? I am new to all this, so step by step/frequency would be very helpful.




Thanks for the question PJ and I hope you see this answer. This is my take on the algaecide issue. You can go to the About Me page to see my history:

About Me

The short of it is this: I had a route of 50 pools in Arizona for years. I had to be right and on the money every time because there were 100 other pool guys ready to take my place.

This is where I had my pool training; in 110 degree heat in people's backyards for months at a time. I've been the pool operator for the YMCA for the last 3 years. And now I deal with the Oregon Board of Health.

That being said, I believe that algaecides are a little overdone. If you keep your chlorine level between 1.5 - 3.5ppm and stabilizer (CYA) between 30 - 50ppm, there shouldn't be any reason for an algaecide.

Algaecides are used for preventative measures only, they're not meant to get rid of pool algae or green water, regardless of what anyone who works at a pool supply store says. You can go to this page to get all the links you need to have a great looking pool for the least amount of money:

Swimming Pool Chemistry

Maintain your pH level between 7.6 - 7.8ppm and chlorine between 1.5 - 3.5ppm and you'll be fine. Check out the alkalinity and calcium hardness pages in the link above. If you do feel the need to use an algaecide, be sure it's a PolyQuat 60. This has no metals and is safe for vinyl pools.

I believe most call for weekly doses of algaecide maintenance. Hope this helps and have a fun and safe swimming season.

Robert

Jan 18, 2015
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Pool Algae-Algaecide & Liquid Shock
by: Jenny

Can I put algacide and liquid shock in at the same time?




Thanks for the question Jenny

Yes you can use a pool algaecide and shock and the same time, but let's talk about what each one does. A pool algaecide is used for preventative measures. A liquid or granular pool shock is used to get the chloramines out of a pool (regular maintenance) or when you have an algae problem.

If you're thinking about shocking your pool you can go to the chlorine and shock links above.

Adding an algaecide when you're doing a regular shock is just a waste of money. You'll need to have the cyanuric acid (CYA) between 30 - 50ppm. The links above talk about that. Now you can use an algaecide after you shock the pool if you're trying to kill an algae bloom.

The algae will consume most, if not all, the chlorine and adding an algaecide is a good backup while you're getting the CYA level in line, but don't rely simply on an algaecide to keep algae forming in the pool. It's the chlorine that kills the algae, not the algaecide.

Hope this helps

Robert

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