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.
Cause #: Imbalanced Pool Chemicals
If, like me, you didnt pay attention in your school chemistry lessons, it could just be a chemical imbalance in the water.
Having too much of one chemical or not enough of another is your fast-track ticket a cloudy pool, so checking your pool chemistry for high pH, total alkalinity and chlorine levels is always a good place to start. Balance is key.
Got a cloudy pool after opening? If youve peeled back that pool cover after a long winter only to find a mist of cloud has found itself into your pool, it means you didnt winterize correctly. In that case, youd need to go through the same steps of testing and balancing Im about to go over.
Is Your pH Level Right?
The best pH level for your pool water is somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6 on the pH scale, which happens to be slightly alkaline.
Your water wont turn cloudy simply because your pH level is outside of this range, but it will prevent your pool chemicals from doing their job properly, causing particles to linger which will eventually lead to a cloudy pool.
Measuring your pools pH level is pretty straightforward using a decent test kit, so make sure you do that weekly to stay on top of any sudden changes.
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Is Your Chlorine Level Right?
Is Your Alkalinity Level Too High?
Chlorine Is Too Dilute Or Concentrated
Adding chlorine to pool water helps to keep your pool safe for swimmingsimple as that.
Chlorine kills off bacteria and other micro-organisms which cause unpleasant diseases and health problems like athlete’s foot, Legionnaire’s disease and ear infections .
Your pool’s chlorine levels will fluctuate based on how many people swim in it, based on the amount of rainfall you receive, and based on the amount of sunlight that shines on the water. .
The sun’s UV rays can destroy the chlorine , and lots of rainfall will also dilute its levels, giving microorganisms a chance to multiply, which affects the appearance and safety of your pool.
If the chlorine level in the water is too high, it’s also possible for the water to take on a murky or opaque appearance.
As the levels drop, due to swimmers using the pool or the sun’s rays burning it off, the cloudiness should clear up.
You should test your pool’s levels each day to make sure they aren’t too low or too high!
If a lot of people swim in your pool regularly, you might need to test the levels more frequently.
The suggested amount of free chlorine is between 2.0 and 4.0 parts per million .
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Whats The Difference Between Tablets And Liquid
Both the liquid and tablets work in pretty much the same way. With the liquid clarifier, youll need to measure out the amount needed since its in liquid form. Clarifier tablets are easier in a way since you do not need to measure anything. Just drop in the required number of tablets.An added feature is some clarifier tablets are slow-release which means theyll keep clarifying and continuously treat your water.
Use A Pool Clarifier Or Flocculant To Reduce Pollutants
Clarifiers gather tiny particles that pollute the water and bring them together to make larger particles that a filter can pick up with ease. Pool filters cannot always pick up the smallest bits, so clotting them together makes clean up easier.
Using flocculant chemicals is also a quick way to clear up the water by gathering all the particles and sending them to the bottom of the pool. Instead of the clarifier picking it up, use a manual vacuum or pool pump to vacuum the larger debris up with the setting on backwash. Automatic pool cleaners will not pick it up.
Still not sure on the difference between the two? Read my full guide on pool clarifier vs. flocculant.
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What Causes Cloudy Pool Water
There are a number of reasons your pool water can become cloudy, and understanding the potential cause will not only help you fix it, but also prevent it in future.
So lets talk about ways to fix the root of the problem before treating the symptoms because were not about to slap on a bandaid and call it day.
Here we go
Poor Circulation Or Filtration
If chlorine levels look good and there are no other issues with water chemistry, the next thing to check is your pools circulation and filtration system. Clean out the pump and skimmer baskets, and check the pressure gauge on your pool filter. If the pressure reads 8-10 PSI higher than its starting pressure, the filter needs to be backwashed, cleaned, or have the media replaced.
To clear cloudy water, you may need to run the filter 24 hours for a day or so to expedite the clean-up. For sand filters, adding a small amount of Alum acts as a filter aid, and flushes out with a backwash. Both sand and cartridge filters benefit from a chemical cleansing, using a filter cleaner. And when the cleaning frequency increases, filter sand or cartridges may have already lost the ability to trap very small particles.
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How To Prevent Cloudy Water
There are three focus points you always want to remember to prevent algae from coming back to haunt your pool. 1) Pool Chemistry, 2) Pool Circulation, and 3) Pool Cleaning the Three Cs of Pool Maintenance.
Maintaining pool chemistry will be about 90% of your pool maintenance battle plan! You can manage yourself or get a Smart Chemistry system to automate the process so your pool doesnt get out of whack.
Maintaining pool circulation will be the next 5% of your pool maintenance battle plan! Stagnant Water is the Enemy!
There are two huge reasons you will want to circulate water
You need to circulate water through the filter so dirt, pollen, and any other nasty particles that happen to land in your pool are removed and nothing messes up the pool water.
You need to circulate sanitizer throughout the pool to kill microorganisms. If any microorganisms get into the water, they can create problems with the water chemistry, algae can start forming, or worse the water can become toxic to swimmers.
The great thing about these first two Cs if you handle Pool Chemistry and Pool Circulation, then, the last C Pool Cleaning, is a piece of cake.
Maintaining a good pool cleaning schedule will be the final 5% of your pool maintenance battle plan!
Some things you just cant get around, such as monsoons, haboobs, dust storms, bush and tree leaves falling into your pool.
In sequence, we recommend
Can You Use Baking Soda To Clear Up A Cloudy Pool
NO! Baking soda is a base and will hugely increase the level of pH, which actually causes the water to turn cloudy. Some people may suggest using baking soda as a quick fix if alkalinity is high, but it is not a reliable pool chemical. Chlorine should be the only substance used to clear a cloudy pool.
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Shock Those Clouds Away
If there was ever a time , its now. Go ahead and shock your pool to get rid of the excess chloraminesand keep it simple with affordable and effective shock conveniently sectioned into 1 lb. bags. This will also sort out the cloudiness caused by bacteria, algae, and other contaminants.
If youre dealing with algae, get ready to double or even triple the amount of shock youre usingand wait for your water to clear up before swimming, which could take about a day. But at least you know how long itll take ahead of time, and can get to other taskssorry, DMV, jury duty, and every other bureaucratic holding cell.
Environmental Issues Can Cause Cloudiness
Mother nature likes to kick your pools butt from time-to-time with things you just cant get around, such as monsoons, haboobs, dust storms, bush and tree leaves. All of which lead to more cloudy water in your pool.
If this happens, just ensure your chemistry and filtration are good to go, as mentioned above. You will also need to have a brush and/or leaf rake skimmer to remove any large debris in your pool so it does not clog up your filtration system.
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So My Pools Cloudy Does It Even Matter
Uh, yes. It absolutely does matter that your pool is cloudy. And though you might be tempted to, I would urge you not to add some pool flocculent or pool water clarifier and consider the task done. These will only perpetuate the problem, since they treat the cloudiness and not the actual underlying cause of that milky water.
In most cases, a cloudy pool indicates that your chemical balance is way offand that means that the gunk your pool filter is supposed to weed out and/or the potentially harmful bacteria that your sanitizer is supposed to neutralize is largely living unchecked. And thats surrounding you and yours on every swim. Not only is it gross, but its also potentially harmful. The last thing you want is to get sick from your pool. Are you with me now?
What Chemicals Do You Need To Treat A Cloudy Pool
So you want to know how to treat your cloudy pool water? Well, youve come to the right place. First though, lets break down the chemicals that youre going to need to treat that cloudy pool water. First, youre going to need some chlorine. Now, chlorine comes in a range of different types. So, please consult a pool professional like your local Poolwerx. Theyll be able to assist you in finding which chlorine is the best match for your pool, including your pool surface and your pool equipment.
Next, youre going to need pH control, whether thats liquid acid or dry acid. Youll also need algaecide to remove the algae. And finally, youre going to need a clarifier, whether its CrystalClear, 4 in 1, or the Maxi tabs, these will help maintain the clarity of your pool water. Now, obviously these pool chemicals will require you to wear personal protective equipment. Were talking gloves, safety glasses, and of course, protective clothing.
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Help Your Pool Filter
Sometimes cloudy pool water can be the result of your inground swimming pool filter being unable to scoop up large clumps of particles that have sunk to the bottom of the pool.
So if you believe your filters limitations could be the cause of your pools murkiness, then there are several ways you can make the cleaning process less strenuous on your filter.
- Disturbing The Water
Using your swimming pool on a regular basis will often be enough to disturb the water, which will allow the particles to rise to the surface.
However, if this doesnt work, then you can use a brush to remove the debris, which will make it easier for your filter to clean the pool.
- Use The Vacuum
If your swimming pool has difficulty draining the water, then you can use a vacuum cleaner as a means to make the sunken particles rise to the surface.
Just place the vacuum upside on the bottom of the pool and the unwanted debris will soon be swept away by your filter.
- Maintain The Filter
When using a pool filter, it is important to make sure that the product is properly cleaned and maintained. To do this, you should clean your filter at least twice during pool seasons and consider using a premium pool cleaner.
However, if your filter still appears gross or clogged, then you may need to consider a complete replacement.
Problems Related To Filtration:
The poor pool circulation system is the reason due to which a pool looks cloudy. If you are not cleaning the filters properly or not taking care of the pump, the pool water is bound to look cloudy.
The pool circulation system can lose efficiency when it gets old. A worn-out filter is unable to remove contaminants and can cause plenty of gross water problems too.
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More Pool Cleaning Tips
- Chlorine comes stabilized or unstabilized. Stabilized chlorine is coated with Cyanuric acid to prevent Cl2 from evaporating. Unstabilized chlorine, such as sodium hypochlorite, is not treated with Cyanuric acid.
- Sodium hypochlorite, also known as pool bleach, is available as a liquid and is highly concentrated compared to household bleach. Calcium hypochlorite is available as a granular powder or slow-release tablets. Both of these chemicals are used to shock the pool in order to raise the concentration of free chlorine in the water.
- Calcium hypochlorite reacts vigorously with water to release free chlorine but it dissolves slowly. To get the most free chlorine into the water, add it to your pool at night so it wont evaporate as quickly. Youll need to wait 8 hours to use the pool, anyway. The calcium acts as an alkaline buffer.
When in doubt, consult the instructions that came with your pool, or schedule an appointment with a professional to resolve any questions and ensure that your pool provides a clean, safe and relaxing environment for you and your family.
Check The Circulation System
If you are sure enough that chemicals of your pool water are in the ideal range, then you need to check the circulation and filtration system.
- Clean up the debris, dirt, or scaling buildup of the equipment.
- You may also need to replace the broken equipment.
When you find that all the chemicals and equipment are in good condition but the water is cloudy, you just need to add a water clarifier. It works to collect the tiny particles of the water which help the work of the filtration system.
- Follow the manufacturers instructions on how to use the water clarifier.
- Run the pump on high speed continuously until the water turn crystal clear.
The cloudy water is definitely a serious problem that doesnt only make your pool look less appealing but also dangerous to swim, especially when the cause is the imbalance chemicals level. Therefore, you need to take some actions as soon as possible when you experience the case just like the tutorial on How to Clear a Cloudy Pool Tutorial above guide you.
Regular maintenance is always an obligatory job for you as the pool owner to prevent the problem. You can check the level of chemicals regularly simply by using a pool water tester kit.
Keep in mind to always use safety gear like rubber gloves and eye goggles when you are dealing with chemicals like soda ash, sodium bisulfate, or water clarifier since they might harm you. So, lets add this How to Clear a Cloudy Pool Tutorial to your DIY home maintenance list!
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Calcium Hardness Is Too High
Calcium Hardness refers to the sum of all calcium dissolved in the water. High levels of calcium in the water are unstable and will also be affected if there is an imbalance in pH or TA. The desired CH range is between 100-400 ppm and is temperate dependent. If the CH exceeds 400pm, persistent cloudiness will often occur as well as calcium scaling.
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Filter Your Pool Water 24/7
In order for this method to work, you need to keep you pool pump and filter running until the water is clear. Your pool filter is going to do all the work filtering out the tiny particles that are making your water cloudy.
Dont worry, once the water is clear you can go back to running your pump and filter around 8-12 hours per day instead of 24/7.
Note: If you have a D.E. filter, your pool will clear faster. DE Filters pick up fine particles. If you have a sand filter, it will take longer because it doesnt have the same filtering power as a DE filter. And if you have a cartridge filter, thats right in the middle between the two other types of pool filters.
If Caused By Environmental Effects
To fix and prevent cloudy water due to environmental effects, follow all of the best practices below:
- You can use nets to remove visible particles. You can also use a pool clarifier to clear up the water when cloudiness persists. Use a pool flocculant and vacuum the pool to do away with fine particles than cannot be removed by leaf net or clarifier.
- To remove algae, scrub and clean the pool using a large leaf net and vacuum, follow by a pool shock to get rid of any remaining algae. Finally, control the amounts of pH, chlorine, TA, phosphate and other pool sanitizers to prevent algae growth.
- If your pool is in direct sunlight, consider using a chlorine stabilizer and a pool cover when not using the pool.
- If rain has diluted and reduced the chlorine free levels, then test the chemicals, paying close attention to the chlorine levels and adjust them as appropriate.
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