Cloudy Pool After Adding Sodium Bicarb.

by Janice Bartee

Pool was a little cloudy, but I could see the bottom.

I followed the suggestion to add Sodium bicarbonate as calcium level was high--at the top of the tester and pH was lower than could be read on the tester.

After I added to sodium bicarbonate, the water got more cloudy.


Thanks for the question Janice

I'm kinda at a loss here because I don't have all of the information I need.

What is the chemical reading for the calcium hardness? What's the bottom reading on your tester for the pH? What kind of tester are you using? Strips? Yellow OTO test kit?

How big is your pool? How much bicarb. did you use? Did you have the pump running? Did you make a slurry of the bicarb.?

It's hard to answer a question with so few details.

But, if you did make a slurry of the sodium bicarb. it will dissipate in time and be filtered.

With the pump running, you'll be increasing your pH level, but again, by not knowing the size of your pool, nor the amount of bicarb. used, it's a little difficult to say with any degree of certainty that the amount you used will increase the pH level.

If you can give me more details of what exactly you did, how you did it, the pool size, amount of bicarb. etc... I'm sure I can help out.

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.


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Foam In Swimming Pool After Cleaning Cartridge Filter

After commercial filter cleaning of my cartridge filters we are getting foam on water and in the skimmer.

Filter company says it's just conditioner and will go away. It's now two weeks and the foaming is still there.


Thanks for the question

Yes it does sound like the reason for the foaming is the cartridges were not cleaned well enough. It's hard to say how much residual cleaner is on the cartridge.

I had this happen at the YMCA when I degreased the sand filter. Too much degreaser was left in the filter. The hot tub water started to foam and turned yellow. I had to drain and refill it 5 times before all of the degreaser worked its way out of the sand.

I think this is what you might need to do because to the best of my knowledge there's no way to get a cleaner or degreaser out of a pool filter or the pool water other than diluting it with fresh water.

Turn off the pump and put a water hose on the bottom and in the shallow end of the pool. Add water until the pool overflows. Once that happens if you can't filter to "WASTE" on a cartridge filter system, you might need to get a submersible pump to get the water out, then repeat the process.

That could take much of the problem out of the pool.

You can also use an enzyme treatment to help decompose any remaining foam. Try some spa antifoam treatment.

Hope this helps and good luck


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Cloudy Water After Adding pH Up

by Chris

This morning, as every weekend I vacuumed out the pool, clear water, tested Ph.. alkalinity, clorine levels, hardnes etc.

All was fine except the Ph was 6.2. I have above ground pool 18 X 4. I added 1 lb Ph up as I have many times in the past and the water instantly turned white cloudey.

What happened?

Thanks for the question Chris

This sounds like a case of over-saturation of calcium carbonate. The three kinds of carbonate for pools are potassium carbonate, calcium carbonate, and sodium carbonate.

The water might clear up through filtering 24/7 but it does sound like the water is now over-saturated. The saturation index (SI) is used for the Langlier Index for balancing pools. This takes into account the temperature of the pool along with the pH and alkalinity.

You said everything is fine, but what is the CYA level. If it's too high or low the chlorine will be ineffective.

The only cure for an over-saturated pool is a partial drain and refill. Many pools need to be drained and refilled every 3 - 5 years because of this. The water gets so thick and heavy with chemicals that a partial or full drain and needed. We do this every year for the Y pool.

How did the pH get so low? Was this from continued use of Trichlor pucks/tabs? If this is the case your CYA might be too high, above 70ppm. This will require a partial drain. CYA range is between 30 - 50ppm.

To raise the pH you can also use 20 Mule Team Borax. This will affect the pH but not the alkalinity. Sodium bicarb is baking soda and can be purchased at your grocery store for 1/3 price of pH Up.

If you would like personal assistance, I do phone consultations for a donation of your choice. It makes things go much faster. If you choose to not go that route, we can correspond by email.

Contact Me


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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