Reasons Your Pool Has Cloudy Water And How To Fix It
Frustrated with cloudy pool water? Here are five reasons its happening and proven fixes so that you can get back to enjoying your pool.
In the course of owning and trying to enjoy your pool, its almost inevitable that you are going to run into the problem of cloudy pool water.
There are several primary reasons that the pool water has gotten cloudy.
Here are the principal offenders:
- Insufficient chlorine.
- Debris and contaminants in the water.
- Inclement weather
For new pool owners, cloudy pool water can be a little intimidating. I get it. Theres lots of lingo and sciencey words involved.
Phosphates. Cyanuric acid. Calcium hardness. Science, science, and more science!
But fear not.
Once you get a clear idea of how your pool works and what it needs to function optimally, cloudy pool water will become a thing of the past.
Heres what you need to know about fixing cloudy pool water.
Why Is My Pool Cloudy After Shocking
Adding pool shock to an otherwise perfectly clean and balanced pool can even cause temporary cloudiness. This is common and it will dissipate over time as your filter runs. This can also happen if you use a cheaper shock. Be sure to use cal-hypo shock and read the instructions for the proper dosages.
Why Is My Pool Cloudy
Just as there are any number of sources, there are any number of reasons why these particles suddenly appear. And, very often, theres not so much a single reason as a number of different reasons which combine together and feed off one another, with the end result that your pool water turns cloudy.
Mechanical ReasonsVery often, the reason that your pool is cloudy is simply because it is receiving insufficient filtration.
Youve probably noticed after a day of heavy pool use, especially after a pool party, the water is looking a dull or hazy. The reason is the pools chlorine has been fighting to cope with all that sun screen/suntan lotion, body oils, hair oils, and bodily fluids including, especially, pee! What happens is that the chlorine reacts with all of these , the insoluble waste products of which process are called chloramines. Chloramines dont just make the water slightly cloudy, they give it that unpleasant and all-too characteristic chlorine smell.
Environmental ReasonsIf its in the air, or on the ground anywhere near the pool, whether it comes from Mother Nature or from a nearby construction site, the chances are its going to get into the water.
Also, if youve recently treated your pool for an algae infection, the water will be cloudy. Thats because what youre now seeing is dead, white algae. To be sure, dead algae are a lot better than live algae, but your pool will be cloudy until you vacuum it away.
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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 .
Why Is The Pool Water Still Cloudy After Shocking And/or Adding Algaecide
In most cases, your pool water may still be cloudy but FC is fine or high. Cloudy or milky water after shocking is normal, and the water should clear up within an hour or so. Just make sure your pump and filter are running properly.
If you add algaecide, keep in mind that some algaecide contains copper, which can actually make a pool cloudy. If the cloudiness persists 24 hours after shocking, then it’s possible that you used a poor-quality chlorine shock. In this case, you should take another reading of free chlorine and do the shocking again using liquid chlorine .
You should also check that all chemicalsespecially pH, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardnessare within the recommended levels. Remember that calcium hypochlorite chlorine shock and chlorine tablets are not recommended for daily pool sanitization, because they raise calcium, pH, and cyanuric acid in your water. You need to be extra careful when using them, or else these chemicals will get off the chart, causing cloudy water, algae, or ammonia in the long run.
Finally, debris could cause continued cloudiness in the water even when chlorine level is fine. You can try using a water clarifier to send all the particles to the filter, or you can use pool floc to gather all the debris together and then vacuum it up using a manual pool pump.
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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?
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How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water Fast: 6 Simple Steps
Your swimming pool water might get cloudy and unclear which might be an ugly, unappealing sight. With this guide, youre going to learn, in 6 easy steps, how you can bring back the 100% transparency of your pool for better enjoyment of your leisure time.
Before we pounce on it, let learn some things about cloudy pool water. They say the easiest solution to a problem is finding the cause, and that seems to hold true for every situation. If you have a cloudy pool, you may clear it, and after some time, the problem will come up again because you didnt address the cause. If you find out what is causing the cloudy pool and rectify it, youre sure to stay longer without having a recurrence. That is why in the next section, we are going to learn some of the causes of the cloudy pool.
What’s The Difference Between Free Chlorine Combined Chlorine And Total Chlorine
Free chlorine refers to the available chlorine that can sanitize your water. It differs from “combined chlorine,” which is chlorine that has already been used up, oxidized, or diluted with the ammonia and nitrogen compounds in the water. Unlike free chlorine, combined chlorine is ineffective after disinfecting and killing microorganisms. Total chlorine is the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine.
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Best Steps To Fix Cloudy Pool Water
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Imagine the days warm and sunny, perfect for swimming, but your gorgeous pool water has turned murky and unappealing.
So, where do you go from there?
As pool owners, weve encountered our fair share of this, so we made it a point to seek out cloudy pool water solutions to ensure if there is a problem, its fixed fast.
We dont want you worrying any longer, so lets take a look at how you can handle the situation so you can see the bottom of your pool again.
Cloudy Pool Water: Causes Treatment And Preventive Measures
Cloudy or milky swimming pool water is caused by seven main issues: improper levels of chlorine, imbalanced pH and alkalinity, very high calcium hardness levels, faulty or clogged filter, early stages of algae, ammonia, and debris. This article will cover the seven main ways to clear that cloudy water and get your healthy pool back.
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Why Is My Pool Cloudy When The Chemicals Are Balanced
When all the pool chemicals are fine but your water is still cloudy, there is a good chance that you have particles in your pool. In this case, a water clarifier is used to collect all the fine particles so that they can be picked up by the filter.
Alternatively, you can use pool floc , also known as a super floc, which is a chemical that is used to bring all the clouding particles to the bottom of your pool forming a large cloud that you can then vacuum up using a manual pump. The particles collected using a pool floc will not pass through the filter like they would if a water clarifier were used. Make sure that your filter is set on the backwash or waste option when you are vacuuming to avoid any damage that may happen to the filter as a result of clogging.
How Long Does It Take To Clear A Cloudy Pool
If you maintain your pool and do what is needed to keep it clean, you might be able to clear your pool of cloudy water in as little as two or three days. Running your filter continuously and making sure your waters chemical levels remain in balance are the two best ways to keep your water looking its best. Removing debris and vacuuming your pool daily is the first step in preventing your swimming pool water from becoming cloudy.
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Provide Assistance To The Filter
The most likely location for placing a pool filter is at the top. While this works wonders when it comes to removing the floating particles, the same wont apply for the debris particles at the bottom.
To prevent the pool water from turning cloudy, consider lending some assistance to the pool filter. You can enable it to run more efficiently by:
- Using a pool brush to slowly stir the water to force the debris particles trapped at the bottom to rise to the top
- Vacuuming the pool. Placing the pools vacuum cleaner at the bottom or at the center of the pool that doesnt have any drains will cause it to imitate the motions performed by a bottom drain.
Not many people, including the most daring ones, will be enthusiastic about swimming or diving in a cloudy pool. You can ensure the water doesnt become cloudy by testing it routinely, changing the chemical levels, and running the filtration system a few hours each day. If you require professional pool maintenance help, get in touch with Clearwater Pools of Atlanta today!
Is It Safe To Swim In A Cloudy Pool
You shouldn’t swim in a cloudy pool for several reasons:
- If you can’t see the bottom of the pool, struggling swimmers will also be hard to spot, making the risk of drowning much higher.
- Cloudy pools are full of bacteria and pathogens that can cause urinary tract infections, stomach problems, and eye irritation. The most common bacteria found in cloudy or dirty pool water is E. coli.
- It’s just plain disgusting. A cloudy pool is an indication that the water contains high amounts of dirt, body oil, sunscreen, spit, urine, sweat, and other gross particles.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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Improper Chlorine Or Ph Levels
Second to a dirty filter is improper chlorine or pH levels. When the pH levels are imbalanced, it renders the free chlorine ineffective and the levels decrease. Too little free chlorine forms chloramine and it is this combined chlorine that results in your pools cloudy appearance. It is recommended the combined chlorine level should always read below 0.5 ppm or just under 0 ppm.
A water pH excessing 7.8 will also cause the chlorine to be ineffective at killing bacteria and other natural organisms further affecting the waters quality and risking the overgrowth of things like algae.
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.
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Check The Chlorine And Ph Levels
It is very common for your pools chlorine levels to get unbalanced. Once you ensure that your filter is clean and operating correctly, next you will want to use your pool water test kit to check the chlorine and pH levels. These kits are designed to read the chemical levels in your pool and identify which ones are off. The test strips will be able to tell you if any chemicals need to be balanced or not. Chlorine levels in particular should be between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million . For pH levels, 7.6 is the ideal balance. If this isnt the case, you should use a pH increaser or reducer to reach this level.
Get Your Water Tested
That’s where a pool water testing kit can come in handy.
A testing kit lets you measure a variety of factors that affect the quality of your water so that you can balance your water.
Usually, you have two options when it comes to testing your pool’s water.
You can purchase test strips, which you dip into a water sample to measure pH, chlorine, total alkalinity and calcium hardness.
Remember that high alkalinity, high pH, and high calcium hardness can cause cloudy water.
Another option is to purchase a kit that includes reagents, which you add to the water. The reagents cause the water to turn colors based on the chlorine present or the pH level.
Whatever type of test method you use, it’s important to source the water from your pool correctly.
A good idea is to pull a sample of water from 18 inches below the surface. It’s also ideal to catch your water in the morning before the sun has had a chance to burn off any chlorine.
If there is a problem with the chlorine, pH or other chemical levels in your pool, adjusting those levels can be enough to correct the cloudiness.
For example, if your pool water is too basic, you can add hydrochloric acid or sodium hydrogen sulfate to lower the pH.
If the water is too acidic, you can use sodium carbonate to raise the pH.
Be sure to also use chlorine stabilizer to protect your chlorine levels.
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How Can I Prevent Cloudy Pool Water
Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent cloudy pool water from occurring. This not only includes cleaning the pool frequently but also checking that you have the right about of chlorine and that your TA levels are correct. This will help make your water more stable against pH fluctuations.
Using quality products in your pool is also a vital component of preventing cloudy water. For example, discount brands often have weaker quantities of chlorine and this will mean you have to use twice as much to achieve the desired levels.
If youre unsure of your pools chemical imbalances or the types of products you should be using to maintain a clear, sparkling pool than engaging the help of a professional maintenance team will be money well spent. It will not only save you time, it will also mean you and your family are able to swim in a healthy pool more often.
For more pool advice and tips, visit the pool section of our Learning Library.