Cloudy Salt Pool...Please Help

by Shari

My pool is 27 round, 54 inch ht. And alkalinity was zero and pH was 7.0.

Pool guy told me to add 10 lbs sodium bicarb slowly in a slurry then in 4 hours 10 lbs more. Did this and now my pool is very cloudy. I have a DE filter that is also very sluggish now.

In fact I tried to bump it and nothing cane out so now I fear all the bicarb clogged it? I'm set now to add 15 lbs ash next in 4 hrs then 2 lbs shock 4 hrs after that.

My pool WAS crystal clear prior too this but we had just killed all algea, shocked and shocked then clarified etc so I knew the balance was "off" so I took in a bottle for analysis.

This is what I got.


Thanks for the question Shari

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper).

It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster. You can get this done at your local pool store.

The way you added the bicarb will raise the pH and might have some affect on the total alkalinity (TA). Also, you MUST wait for one full turnover of the water before testing or making another adjustment. This is normally about 8 hours.

You might take a sample from a spot that hasn't been treated. This will give you a false reading. If you make another adjustment you've just doubled up and may have caused a bigger issue.

You can raise the alkalinity and pH using baking soda. I would recommend not using soda ash as the pH will rise on its own. If it's 7.0 or 7.2, leave it alone and focus on the TA. Don't buy any TA up or pH up as this is only baking soda. You can get this from your grocery store for 1/3 the price.

You raise the TA with the pump motor off. Add the bicarb straight into the pool and allow to sit for about 4 - 6 hours, then start the pump and allow for 1 turnover, then retest. This is where patience comes into play. Make adjustments in the evening then retest in the morning.

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

Raise the pH with the pump on. Make a slurry and broadcast it around the pool.

Swimming Pool pH Levels

Pool pH

Again, if the pH is around 7.0 or 7.2, DON'T add soda ash. The pH is fine and will come up.

The bicarb may have clogged the DE filter. If the pressure is high, above 8 - 10psi over "just backwashed" pressure, you may need to clean the grids and recharge with fresh DE.

Before you possibly waste money to shock the pool, give me a complete list of chemical readings. As for the cloudiness, it will dissipate through backwashing and filtering, but it may take some time.

And watch the clarifiers as well. These kinds of products don't address the issue of why the pool is cloudy. It's just another expense you don't need.

Do You Really Need All These Chemicals For A Pool Or Are They Just Trying To Get Your Money?

Hope this helps.


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Jun 19, 2014
Cloudy Saltwater Pool Water
by: Anonymous

Newly divorced & 1st time dealing with this salt water pool. Current limitor went out on pool & it was down 2 weeks. Up & running now, but pool water is cloudy. Just added stablizer & water hardner approx. 34 hrs. ago. Put control up on Superclorinate for all this time. Pool sample ok except there was very little chlorine & some reason I had to add water hardner. I'm frustrated & got kids wanting to swim. Do I just need to give it more time & re-check my levels in a day or so? Please help!

Thanks for the question Dawn

First, I'd like to have 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 along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs. It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster. A cloudy pool is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

Without these numbers I'm just guessing at what the problem is.

An issue that jumped out at me is when the question says "for some reason I had to add water hardner". Are you being told to do this or is this something that you learned on your own? The reason this concerns me is that you need to know what each chemical is used for, the amount to use, and the exact reason for using it. This is where many pool owners get into trouble and it costs them hundreds of wasted $$. They also get bad information from people who simply don't know what they're talking about.

Get back to me with the chemical numbers and I'm sure I can help or you can go to my site and make a donation of your choice and talk to me directly. I will take the time to ensure all your questions are answered. I have nothing to sell so you know I'm not biased. I don't have a flat fee because I want people to have access to me regardless of the amount.


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