Cloudy Pool no matter what I do.

Ok I'm going nuts here...
My in ground pool is cloudy, I can barely see the bottom of the shallow end of the pool (roughly 15 x 30). I have been maintaining it, keeping the chlorine and pH levels in check, at least I think I am...
I have three test kits, two strip based tests and one solution/drop based. The problem is the two strip based tests are consistent with each other but give me completely opposite results from the solution/drops based test. Usually the strips tell me my pH is too low (~6) and the solutions tell me the pH is a bit high (~7.8+). Which one do I go with??
Here's the kicker, I brought a sample of the water to my local pool store (a fairly popular chain) and their results on that particular day agreed with the solution based test. Problem is they said everything was fine, coloring and pH levels were fine and the guy's best guess for the cloudy water was to "shock" it was 40% algaecide. I have put the 40% algaecide in the pool, according to volume and instructions. No improvement.
I vacuum it regularly. As of today, chlorine levels are fine and pH is a bit high according to the solution test and too low according to the strips. I decided to go with the solution result and added a pH- product. I have added a clarifier product many times (in the form of tablets that you drop in the skimmer), still to no result.
Really need help here, going absolutely nuts.
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Have you checked your filter for holes or leaks?
Bob

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Here's something. Clarifiers, when overdone, will cause cloudy conditions also. Who'd a thunk it? I've had good results with the concentrated liquid form of clarifiers, mixed and applied according to directions. Tom
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Testing the water is fine. When did you last test/clean/service your filter? Clarifier only coats the media in the filter and renders it useless. ( my experience ) Me thinks you clarifier the filter into "service time" As another poster mentioned the dissolved solids may be an issue
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How many hours per day are you running the filter? Backwashed lately?
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tell you what you need to do. they test for many more conditions than the usual test kit does....good luck :>)
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I have had similar experience with strips not agreeinng with solution tests. I trust the solution tests over the strip tests. I believe they are more sensitive.
I would try a clarifier to get rid of the haze.

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How old is the water? What's a total dissolved solids (TDS) test show?

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Early in this thread someone suggested checking your filter for holes. If you have a DE filter I urge you to do this. I've had DE filters in which a very small tear occurred in just one of the filter elements. Enough DE was able to pass back to the pool so that after running the filtration system for 4 to 6 hours the water was rendered cloudy. No amount of chemistry will correct this. Only replacing the filter element solved my problem, and I suspect you have the same problem. It's a dirty job but can be done in a Saturday morning.
Bob wrote:

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I am also new to the pool world. And noticed my pool seemed to have allot of partials in it ( especially at the night with lights on) I was cleaning the filter ( cartridge type) once a month a pool service guy told me not to clean that often. I guess a little dirt on the filament helps filter the small partials. So it's been about 3 month the pressure is about were it started 15 PSI the pool looks great. Are you are having your water checked about once a month? I also was going to a large pool supply a fairly popular chain as you say starts with les ends with lee. That was my first big mistake.

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There's nothing wrong with Leslie's. They sell, you buy. Please don't blame them if you don't know what to buy or how to use it. Any free advice they dispense is worth what you pay for it. I have bought pool chemicals and equipment from Leslie's for the better part of thirty years with excellent results.
Boden
Sacramento Dave wrote:

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Boden wrote: There's nothing wrong with Leslie's.
Well, I'd have to disagree with you on that one. The kids they staff the place with in my town have no concept of record-keeping, and if you order something, you'd better watch them write/enter it. Forget phoning in any special orders. In-stock chemicals and parts are all that I will purchase from them, nowadays. Tom
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On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 22:31:20 -0700, tom wrote:

I always mail-ordered from Leslies. They did put a store in town, but it was significantly more expensive than by mail.
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in the wrong direction twice each time getting about $80 out of me. Plus 3 of my neighbors with pools said they are not the place to go so it's just not me.
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Look for minerals, and disolved solids.... but really look at the Calcium Content... .
Any "good" pool supply store can test your water ...key work is "good" . My pool is now over 30 years old and it really has been almost problem free over all those years but in almost every instance when my pool colouded up all of a sudden it was fromt he lack of calcium ...heck one year I needed to dump close to 100 pounds in it to get it clear...never did figure that one out...
I may test my pool maybe 3-4 times a Summer...and I use strips only because they are easier to use....I am in my 60's and will admit that reading the color off these things is kind of a guess....is it red? no maybe reddish orange?.. heck its not brown anyway.... I do own a couple of soliution based kits but I can not remember the last time I even used one...long enough that I would want new reagents if I did...
Bob G.
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On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 13:13:51 -0700, Bob wrote:

Total alkalinity?

You need to know what they're testing. One is likely testing total alkalinity and the other pH. My guess is that you have the alkalinity way outta whack (have you been adding bakin soda?). I had a similar problem once. My pH was down around 6.8 and it wouldn't come up. The pool store told me to add 3/4 gallon of muritatic acid, which I thought was nutz! Sure 'nuff, the next day the pH bounced up to 7.6 and stayed pretty much there as long as I owned the pool (another ten years).

Have you tried a flocking agent? I had a bacteria problem one year that wouldn't go away. It was *eating* chlorine. The flocking agent cleaned it right up.

Try a flocking agent. It should stick the stuff together so your filter can clean it up.

As you've noticed, pool chemistry is pretty much a black art. ;-) Goood luck! (glad I got rid of the pool!)
--
Keith



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Is there construction in the area? The dust from earth moving (you can't even see it) can eat up available chlorine. THe pool-o-rama guy told me this. He said shock everyday until they are done with the subdivision a block away. SUre enough as soon as the earth movers were done my pool clarity came back.

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Hi;
Thanks for everyone's replies and suggestions. I have a Sand filter, but did check for holes and leaks, didn't find any.
Regardless, I was able to fix the problem, although it was through dumb luck... I read up on the subject in a number of websites and older ng threads, among the solutions/causes, it seemed water imbalance was always the #1 reason, so I just took a chance and dumped about 800 grams of pH - in the pool, even if the solution test and the store said my pH was fine. Well, whatever it was, it went away and the pool cleared up crystal clear within 4 hours and has pretty much stayed that way since. I'm no longer thinking of dumping cement in it. <g>
It's pretty pool closing time now here, so I was just trying to maintain it because I heard from a few sources that if you can maintain it before closing it, it will be less of a bitch to open next year. And since we're on the subject... the previous owner of the house/pool said he never put a cover/mesh on the pool for the winter. He just made sure the pick up the leaves/debris before it froze, then left it like that. Is that a good idea? I mean, do you think he did that strictly for an economical reason (which I don't see why since a mesh for my pool size would "only" be about $100) or was there another reason to avoid covering the pool in winter? I live in the great white north (Canada), so we get a ton of snow.
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