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Thread: Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

  1. #1
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    Default Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

    Hi everyone! I am very happy to be here!
    We got our first ever above ground pool. It is a 12x39 from walmart. I have had such a problem getting the chemicals right.
    I bought those test strips, but I only see a change on them when I shock.
    They always say I have high PH,and alkinity, no chlorine...I bought ph minus and have used the rec dosage a few times, no change.
    I have only had the pool up about 2 weeks, and I am getting my second attack from this white slimy snotty looking stuff floating in the pool. I just shocked the pool Wed....less than 4 days ago! The water is cloudy also.
    This morning I put in ph minus, calcium hardener, and super clarifier.
    I put a new cartridge filter in yesterday.
    We have swam in it(when it doesnt have the snotty stuff) and we have been fine...no burning eyes or skin, or anything else.
    Why can't I seem to get my water balanced? I keep chlorine tabs in, but it shows 0 for my chlorine on the strips.
    How come I have put ph minus in it, but my readings stay the same?
    Why the snotty stuff?
    PLEASE HELP ME!!!

  2. #2
    CarlD's Avatar
    CarlD is offline Super Moderator Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
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    Default Re: Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

    Hi, Star and welcome!

    You have come to the right place and you have been given some TERRIBLE guidance.

    1) throw away the calcium hardener and super clarifier. The first isn't for vinyl pools and the second rarely does any good.
    2) put away the pH Minus and whatever you are using to shock the pool unless it's plain, unscented laundry bleach.
    3) go out and get a simple drop test kit, called an OTO test kit from either a pool store or Walmarts or K-Mart. Try to find one that measures chlorine to 5 and Bromine to 10 (you won't use the bromine side) rather than the usual ones that go to 3 and 6. Measure your chlorine and pH levels with THIS and report it here. Forget the strips. They won't give you valid information. They seem easy but are VERY difficult to read correctly--half the time you can't anyway. IMHO, the BEST OTO kit is the Taylor K-1000. If there is a Leslies store buy their OTO kit, as it's probably the K-1000 rebadged with Leslies name on it.
    4) Forget everything the pool store tells you about what the correct levels are.
    5) Go to our sister site at PoolSolutions.com and take about an hour to read and absorb what's there. Pool care is actually simple, but you need good test information and a realization of what to do.
    6) If you can drain and refill it might be easiest to start anew with a clean pool and fresh water, but, if not, I'm going to guess your pool is a 12' round with about 3' of water. That means it has 339 cubic feet or 2500 gallons.
    7) If you can, take a water sample to the pool store to be tested but don't buy anything just yet, no matter how hard they push. First post the results here and we can advise you on what you need. Be careful: Pool stores make tons of money by scaring people, particularly novices, into buying stuff. Ten to one says they try to get you to buy phosphate removal. You don't need it.

    For now, pour in 2 quarts of bleach after sunset and keep the pump running. Yeah, bleach. And post the the tests from the OTO kit. Test in the morning after adding the bleach, and be prepared to add two more quarts.

    Once we get some numbers we'll either help you clean your water or, if you go the refill route, help you keep it clean with nothing more than bleach, borax, baking soda, your pH down, and ONE chemical from the pool store called Stabilizer.

    Carl.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter; Hayward 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; hrs; PS 233; PF:6.3

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

    Thanks for the help! I will go get some bleach in a little while. Is it okay to swim in before I put the bleach in..or should we wait? Sorry if that is a silly question, I am so new to all of this! I saw a dropper test at home depot...would that be okay? Thanks again!

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    Watermom is offline Super Moderator Quark Inspector Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars Watermom 4 stars
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    Default Re: Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

    I don't think I'd want to swim in white stringy snotty stuff! YUCK! Don't know exactly what the dropper kit is that Home Depot sells but if it is one that has yellow and red drops (and maybe a few other tests, too) that should be fine.

    The OTO kit Carl suggests you buy is only a temporary aid for right now immediately. You should actually get a good kit. The one we recommend is the Taylor K-2006 or 2006C which is the same kit but larger bottles of reagents. You can get it through the Amazon link in my signature below. If the seller doesn't show as Amato Industries, wait a day or two and try again when they restock. Some other sellers are not sending the right kit.

    Welcome to the Pool Forum!

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    CarlD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

    Watermom is correct, but I didn't want to overwhelm you just yet. Still the $50-$70 you spend on the K-2006 will be the best investment you make in your pool. We all use either that or an equivalent kit. Still, when things settle down you'll use the little yellow and red kit for your daily testing and the full kit once a week.

    Ultimately, it will all come down to 3 things:

    How much chlorine you put it, using mostly just bleach. This is to keep the water sanitary.

    What the pH is and how to adjust it. This is to keep the water from being to acid or alkaline and irritating skin and eyes, or even damaging the pool.

    How much stabilizer you have, which acts like sunscreen for chlorine, but also slows the chlorine's effectiveness down. The level of stabilizer determines the level of chlorine you need.

    That's it. That's ALL pool maintenance comes down to. Sanitation and pH--and things that affect that.

    Carl
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter; Hayward 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; hrs; PS 233; PF:6.3

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    Okay, I put the bleach in last night. I went this morning to Home Depot and got the dropper test.

    I read the charts on there, and it is saying I need to put alot more ph minus in it than I was doing.
    I was going by the test strips and only putting 6 dry ounces in at a time. This says I need around 9 cups! Wow! I have not put the new dosage of ph minus in it yet.
    The water does look clearer today. The white stuff was just in the beginning stages this time, so it looks like the bleach might have knocked it out.
    So, will I stiil be able to use the chlorine tabs I got? They cost alot and I really don't want to waste them.
    So, what do I need to next to my water?....thank you so much for the information!!!!! )

    I did the dropper test this morning.
    Readings were:
    Chlorine:3.0 to 5.0
    ph: 8.2
    alk: 360
    Now I just went and checked it and it says almost no chlorine.
    My pool holds 2,150 gallons.
    I know now I need to put alot more ph minus in then I was using.
    How much stabilizer should I put in and how often?
    How much bleach per day, and can I still use my chlorine tabs?
    The test says I need to put 9 cups of phminus in.
    What order to do these, and best time of day?
    Thank you so much! )
    Last edited by Watermom; 07-17-2011 at 01:43 PM.

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    aylad is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars aylad 4 stars
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    Default Re: Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

    The reason you have almost no chlorine is that you don't yet have stabilizer in the water to keep the sun from consuming it. So..until you have enough stabilizer registering (which is going to take a couple of days), you'll need to add bleach 2-3 times a day to make sure you always have at least 3 ppm of chlorine in the pool. In your pool, if you'll take 6 oz of stabilizer and put it in an old sock and tie it in front of a return, it will dissolve slowly over a couple of days. You can give the sock a squeeze a couple of times a day to help it dissolve faster . This should target your pool for about 20 ppm. You really want to get it up to about 40 ppm, but if you want to use the trichlor tabs, they also increase CYA, just not fast enough for an initial dose. So...use the 6 oz to get "some" in the water, then you can use your tabs until it gets up to 40 or 50 ppm. Your pH will probably fall a little due to the CYA addition, but will definitely fall due to the trichlor tabs, so keep an eye on it. For right now, I would go ahead and lower the pH a little, but not lower than 7.6 or so. I would start with a couple of cups at a time, not 9 cups all at once. Add it slowly through the skimmer, breaking up any clumps, give it a couple of hours to recirculate, then test and add more as needed.

    Take a look at your trichlor tabs, and make sure they're not labeled "dual actions" or have copper listed in the ingredient list. If so, then take them back if you can, because you don't want to use anything that contains copper in your pool. If they are copper free, then you can use them in a floater--just make sure the floater doesn't float to the edge of the pool and sit there, because concentrated pockets of chlorine and low pH can fade your vinyl.

    So...go ahead and add your bleach, then add your pH minus, then hang your CYA sock. If you have non-copper containing tabs and a floater, then you can go ahead and add those too. But for the time being, check your chlorine at least 2-3 times a day and add bleach if needed to keep your chlorine between 3-6 ppm at all times.
    Janet

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    Default Re: Cloudy pool/white stringy(snotty) stuff?

    Thankyou sooo much Janet! I will be doing all this this evening! )

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