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How Do I Get My Pool Water Clear

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Wait Just How Cloudy Is Your Pool


Cloudy is a pretty vague term, and you should know that there are different stages of cloudy pool water. And yes, it goes from bad to worse.

Personally, Id break cloudy water into three categories:

  • Flat. The least severe form, in that your pool water still has its color but it doesnt have the sparkle it once did.
  • Hazy. The water is starting to lose its color and its now difficult to make out small details on the pool floor.
  • Milky. The water is no longer translucent, meaning the pool floor is not visible at all. This is pretty much as bad as it gets.

Clear Pool Water Yesterday But Cloudy This Morning What Changed

Swimming pool water doesnt just turn cloudy overnight. It takes a while for this to happen. At first, you may see some signs of cloudiness that are easily blown off. Waiting for the water to turn completely milky means a lot of work and effort will need to go into clearing it. What could have occurred to cause the water to turn cloudy?

How To Clean Your Own Pool

This article was co-authored by Rob Litman. Rob Litman is a Landscaper, General Contractor, and the CEO of Vitoli Inc., a landscaping, hardscaping, ecoscaping, and swimming pool design company in Los Angeles, California. With over 20 years of experience in construction, Rob specializes in energy-efficient and drought-tolerant landscaping. He holds General Building Contractor and Registered Pool/Spa Contractor Licenses. In 2007, Rob won House of the Year in Gardena, California.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 12 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 385,612 times.

If you have your own swimming pool, you may want to save money by cleaning the pool yourself. It takes quite a bit of work to clean a swimming pool and you’ll have to monitor chemical levels at least three times a week. However, it’s worth it to keep your pool clean and safe for use.

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Get Your Water Checked Before You Go

Take a sample of your pool water to your local pool store and get it professionally checked.

Make sure when you get it checked that you correct any issues before you go. You want to make sure that your pH and alkalinity are properly balanced and your sanitizers levels are correct.

  • pH: 7.4 to 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 100 parts per million to 150 ppm, with 125 ppm being ideal
  • Calcium Hardness: 175 ppm to 225 ppm, or 200 ppm to 275 ppm for concrete and plaster pools
  • For Chlorine Pools: 1 ppm to 3 ppm
  • For Bromine Pools: 3 ppm to 5 ppm
  • For Biguanide Pools: 30 ppm to 50 ppm
  • For Salt Water Pools: 0.5 ppm of chlorine
  • For Mineral System Pools: 0.5 ppm of chlorine

Also, make sure your pool is clean and crystal clear before you leave.

How Much Chlorine To Use

How To Fix and Clear Cloudy Pool Water

If I test the water and there is no chlorine present, which there usually isnt. I add 5 gallons of chlorine per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Liquid chlorine will raise your pH and Alkalinity, so if those are already high, use powdered chlorine.


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Test The Kiddie Pool Water Regularly

After the first day of leaving the chlorine dispenser in the water, make sure you test the water.

This will let you know if you need to adjust the dispenser for more chlorine, or if a different water chemical level is off.

Speaking from personal experience, the pH and alkalinity shouldnt be too off when youre filling from a hose to your small kiddie pool.

If your pH and alkaline levels are way off, either extremely high or extremely low, youre going to want to balance those out. Be cautious, because with such a small body of water, you wont need to use much chemicals to balance out the water.

Low pH can cause swimmers eyes to sting, skin to itch, and wont let chlorine do its job.

High pH can also cause those effects, as well as wear and tear on swimwear and goggles.

After all of this, you might still be wondering

Balance Your Pool Water Chemistry

Once youre sure your water is as clean as it can be, test it or take a sample to your local pool store. To test it yourself, just use either test strips or a liquid test kit. Test strips are easier and quicker to use but are less accurate than a good liquid test kit.

Adjust pool chemicals as needed until your water is balanced. Use a chlorine stabilizeralso called cyanuric acidto protect your chlorine levels.

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Test Balance And Sanitize The Pool Chemistry

Once youve gotten the cloudy water out of the pool, you can start running the filter system again for 8-12 hours a day . Then, you should test the pool water using test strips, a liquid test kit, or take it to your local pool store.

Adjust your Alkalinity and pH first. Once you get those levels balanced, then you can add your sanitizer of choice .

After that, you should be good to go!

How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water

How To Clear CLOUDY POOL Water FAST! | Swim University
  • |October 13, 2020

I hate cloudy pool water as much as I hate cloudy lemonade . Theyre ugly, dirty, and generally not ideal for swimming thanks to a number of potential health risks.

The worst part? Cloudiness can strike your pool in a matter of hours, leaving you scratching your head as to what exactly went wrong.

In this article, Ill walk you through the exact steps to identify, clear and prevent a cloudy pool for both inground and above ground pools.

Need a quick answer? The cause is either chemical imbalance, circulation/filtration issues, or environmental effects. To fix it, youll first want to test your pool chemistry to make sure everything is in balance, then throw in some clarifier or flocculant to clump the debris. Your filter will take care of the clumps and voilà clear water.

Skip to:

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Can You Swim In A Pool With Cloudy Water

If you suspect that the cloudiness is caused by a lack of chlorine, avoid using the pool until the water has cleared. The bacteria and algae causing the cloudiness in the water can be harmful if ingested and can make you sick.

If your water does have a good chlorine level however you can most likely swim in a cloudy pool. If the pool has a chlorine level above 1ppm the cloudiness is almost always related to filtration or poor water balance. In this case the cloudiness is caused by harmless minerals and other fine particulate.

Why Cant I Get My Pool Water Clear

by swatms | Jun 6, 2019 | Pool Maintenance

One of the most common questions we get during this time of year is: Why is my pool still cloudy? Why cant I get my pool water clear? When you are a pool owner, you want your pool to be ready at any time for swimmers. You want your water to be clean and clear and problem-free. Sadly, there is no magical pool fairy that will come and clear your water. However, here are some suggestions if you have a cloudy pool.

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Could It Be Ammonia Or Algae Starting Up

In rare circumstancesespecially during the beginning of summer when swimming pools are opening after closing for winteryour pool may have severe cloudy water that is difficult to clear. FC and cyanuric acid levels drop to zero or close to 0 ppm, there are very high CC levels, and there is a high demand for chlorine in your water, but FC levels will not rise easily, even after adding a lot of chlorine. If you notice these signs in your swimming pool, you have ammonia and you need to use a lot of chlorine to get rid of ammonia in your pool.

Early stages of algae make pool water look cloudy and dull. To be sure it is not algae starting up, perform an overnight chlorine loss test , which is done by adding chlorine to pool water in the evening when the sun is down to avoid depleting FC and taking the FC reading the following morning. If FC levels drop by more than 1 ppm through the night, the result is positive, and you have algae starting upand the sooner you get rid of the algae the better. Ammonia and algae come as a result of low FC levels, and the only way to keep them away from your pool is to maintain proper FC levels.

Cleaning A Very Dirty Pool

How to clean a neglected green swimming Pool
  • 1Remove debris with a leaf net. If you have a pool that’s dirty to the point the water is green, it will take some extra effort to clean. For starters, there will likely be a layer of scum on the surface of the pool. Do not use a skimmer to remove debris as this will stir scum into the water and make the pool look worse. Instead, use a leaf net to remove debris from the pool surface. If you do not have a leaf net, you can purchase one at a local hardware store.XResearch source
  • 2Adjust the chemicals. A very dirty pool is likely swimming with unwanted bacteria. You need to adjust the chemical levels until the pool water is safe for use.
  • Test and adjust the water’s pH levels. When attempting to clear a green pool you may find it best to first lower your pH to 7.2. This is in part because many pH tests are invalid at high chlorine levels. It will probably take a few days, and some trial and error with pH reducer and increaser, to get the pH levels to a safe level. In addition to pH reducer and increaser, you may need to add alkalinity increaser to the pool.XResearch source Again, a good pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8 however when cleaning a green pool it’s best to lower pH to 7.2.XResearch source
  • 3Run the filter for 24 hours a day. You’ll need to run the pool filter 24 hours a day for a few days. This is clear out unwanted bacteria and debris that have gathered in the pool.
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    How To Know If Your Chlorine Is Imbalanced

    The wider the range between free and total chlorine, the more combined chlorine is present in the water. Combined chlorine should always read below 0.5 ppm or just 0 ppm, if possible. This means you should test chlorine levels on a daily basis and adjust it as appropriate before there’s excess chloramine, especially during the summer when it’s hot and the pool is used heavily.

    Safe pH Level for Swimming

    The correct level of pH in a swimming pool should be between 7.4 and 7.8, with 7.6 being the ideal level.

    What Makes Pool Water Cloudy

    Lack Of Chlorine

    Cloudy pool water can be caused by several things. The most common being a lack of chlorine. Without enough chlorine, algae and other bacteria begin to grow within the water, causing it to look hazy, and eventually to turn green.

    Fine Particles

    Another common reason why pool water turns cloudy is a build up of fine particles in the water. At their very best, sand filters only filter down to around 20 microns. Anything finer than that isnt able to be easily filtered and will generally pass right through the filter and back into the pool. As these particles build up they will cause the water to look cloudy.

    Poor Filtration

    Another cause of cloudiness in pool water is poor filtration. When new, the sand used in pool sand filters is full of sharp peaks and valleys . Dirt, dead algae and other particles larger than 20 microns are trapped in the valleys as water passes through the sand.

    As water passes through the filter, those peaks and valleys are gradually worn away however. The more these peaks and valleys are worn away, the less effective the filter is at trapping debris. Eventually, the sand is now longer able to effectively keep the water clean and needs to be replaced. Typically pool filter sand needs to be replaced every 5 or so years to stay effective.

    If your pool has a cartridge filter, you face a similar issue. The paper filters found in pool cartridge filters degrades over time and should be replaced every 5-7 years.

    Pump Run Times

    Dead Algae

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    What About Saltwater Pools

    Many people think that saltwater pools are cloudier than chlorine pools. However, that is not the case. Your saltwater pool should be just a clear as a chlorinated pool. The water is usually a different color than a chlorine pool, however. If your saltwater pool is cloudy, your first job is to check the chemicals. Often with a saltwater pool, there is too much calcium, which causes the pool to cloud up.

    Administer Shock And Algaecide Weekly

    How to make your pool water clear

    Even if you maintain proper chlorine and pH levels in your pool, the water may need a little boost to keep it clear and sparkling. Once a week, you should shock or super-chlorinate your pool to kill any lingering bacteria or algae that may be growing. Shock treatments are available at your pool supply store make sure to read the package instructions carefully to know how much shock to add to the water since it varies based on the size of the pool. If youve noticed algae growing on the walls of your pool, you should also treat the water with an algaecide, a product designed specifically to kill algae. Algae can turn your pool water green, yellow or cloudy, so its important to prevent the growth.

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    Measuring Is Knowing: Be Careful With Chlorine

    To keep your Intex pool clear and clean, chlorine tablets are often indispensable. However, you should use them with caution and follow the directions for use carefully. Too much chlorine can damage your health.

    When adding chlorine, you must always measure carefully to achieve a sufficient level of chlorine. The normal chlorine value is between 1 and 2 ppm / litre. If there are algae in the swimming pool, the chlorine level may be increased to 3 ppm / litre. This can also be measured with test strips. Excessive chlorine can be counterproductive. Bound chlorine is chlorine that has been used up. It is still in the water, but it is no longer available for disinfection. This chlorine smells and causes irritation to eyes and mucous membranes. So be cautious with chlorine, too high a concentration can have unpleasant consequences. Therefore, always follow the guidelines, as supplied with the chlorine products.

    Get The Pool Water Tested

    A simple glance at the water will tell you its murky and unsightly. But it isnt possible to know whats wrong with it without proper testing. For this, you have to get a pool water testing kit.

    With the kit, it becomes possible for you to measure numerous factors likely to affect the water quality. You also get an idea of how to easily balance the water.

    When it comes to water testing, you will have two options:

    • Acquire test strips that you will need to dip inside a sample of water obtained from the pool. Use the strips to measure the pH levels, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and chlorine levels.
    • Obtain a testing kit containing reagents to be added to the cloudy pool water. The water will change colors depending on the pH levels and the amount of chlorine present.

    If you establish there is a problem with the chemical levels, pH, or chlorine levels, making changes to these levels will cause the cloudiness to dissipate.

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    Final Tips: Keeping Your Pool Water Clear Of Algae For Good

    If you want to keep the green murk held at bay for good, your best bet is testing. Test a lot, test every day, or every other day, when the weather is changing or you have a lot of people using your pool. Testing once a week may be enough, but the more you test, the more you know.

    Finally, testing is not beneficial if you dont also fix what needs fixing keep your water balanced, your sanitizer optimized, and your filter clean and fit to control algae for good.

    Extreme Cases Of Green Pool

    Cloudy Pool Water: Swimming Pool Care, Instructions ...

    If you have an extreme case, with a ton of algae and leaves on the bottom of the pool. As in cases where the pool has been closed for the winter, or for multiple seasons, or even worse, the cover has fallen into the pool. You should attempt to vacuum the pool to waste before proceeding with the above instructions.

    If there is to much debris, and you cannot vacuum. You have no choice but to leaf rake the entire pool with a leaf net. Continue removing debris with leaf net until you can make a pass, and only catch a few leaves in the net. You may have to let the pool settle, and then leaf rake the entire pool again.

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    Learn How To Clear A Cloudy Pool With Baking Soda Like A Pro

    One of the most frustrating occurrences for any swimming pool owner is to have their pool water turn cloudy on them. Even though the pool water is most likely still OK to swim in, its cloudy appearance makes people apprehensive to go in the water.

    So what can a homeowner do when their swimming pool water suddenly turns cloudy? For many people, the answer to that question is simply to add the proper amount of baking soda to their swimming pool.

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