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
What Kills Algae In A Pool
Use a pool brush to vigorously scrub any pool surfaces covered in algae, including the walls, floors, and steps. Apply a green algaecide according to the directions on the label. Let the water circulate for 24 hours, then brush the pool surfaces again. Vacuum or backwash to remove any remaining dead algae.
Balance Your Pool Chemicals
Once the water is thoroughly clean, test the alkaline, pH, and chlorine levels in your pool using a test kit. You can buy them online or take a sample to the local pool store for analysis.
Adjust chemicals like muriatic acid and use a chlorine stabilizer to maintain your current chlorine levels. Here is a guide for some of the recommended chemical balances in your swimming pool:
- pH: 7.4 7.6
- Chlorine: 1.0 3.0 ppm
- Total Dissolved Solids: 500 5000 ppm
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How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water Fast: 6 Simple Steps
by Pool and Patio Editorial | Mar 18, 2020 | Pool Cleaning Tips, Repair |
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.
More Reasons Why Your Pool Is Cloudy
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Shock The Pool Regularly
As a pool owner, youve likely shocked your pool a number of times in the past.
But exactly how often you shock your pool is important:
- Do it too much and you might get chlorine lock
- Dont do it enough and the effectiveness of your other pool chemicals will suffer
So whats the magic number then?
How often should you shock your pool?
Shock your pool once per week. This keeps your sanitizer levels stable, which keeps your pool cleaner.
Its also wise to shock the water after heavy use, pool parties, or storms to prevent surprise algae takeovers.
Test And Balance Your Water
Because youve removed water from your pool, youll need to rebalance your water chemistry. Test your pool water using test strips or a liquid test kit and adjust your Alkalinity and pH. Once you get those levels balanced, add your chlorine.
Now that youve gotten the cloudy water out of the pool, you can start running your filter system normally .
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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.
Put Your Pools Filter To Work
Now that youve removed debris and shocked the water, its time to filter all the remaining bad stuff out. Circulate your filter on high speed 24/7 until the water is clear, then bump up the number of hours per day that your filter runs at high speed to keep it clear typically around eight hours.
Prior to doing this, its highly important to make sure your filter cartridge is clean and up for the task. If your pool filters are old or dirty, they cant trap fine particles that cause cloudy water. Always clean your filters with a good quality cartridge cleaner.
Blue Haven carries Jacks Magic Cartridge cleaner, a spray-on cleaner that dissolves buildup you cant see, such as sunscreen oils and hair products. We also carry the Filter Flosser, a specialized nozzle that attaches to your garden hose and shoots water deep down into the filter pleats, making the filter cartridge cleaning process much easier. Need an entirely new replacement filter cartridge? We carry those too!
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How Do I Get Rid Of Algae In My Pool Without Chemicals
In the same way that baking soda can be a spot treatment for black algae, household borax does the same for blue and green algae. Simply use the borax to scrub away algae that’s sticking to your pool walls, then use the brush to dislodge it. Follow up by vacuuming up or scooping out the free-floating algae.
Skim Brush And Vacuum Weekly
That handful of leaves and twigs sitting on the pool floor may seem harmless, but something major is happening in the background.
Any debris that stays in your pool, no matter how big or small, eats away at your sanitizer and throws off your chemical levels. And the longer they stay there, the cloudier your water gets.
Thats why making an effort to skim, brush, and vacuum your pool each week is essential.
- Enjoy a consistently clean pool
- Spend less on chemicals
- Reduce your pool cleaning time more and more each week
- Keep your swimming pool crystal clear
For the best results:
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Pool Water Clarifier Ingredients
Liquid clarifiers contain water along with an active ingredient like Aluminium Chlorohydrate . Clarifier tablets use a similar chemical except. Since theyre a dry tablet, they dont contain water. Tablets are often more concentrated than the liquid form.Different Types of Swimming Pool ClarifierPolyDADMAC this is a very common type of pool clarifier and contains ammonium chloride. Just in case you want to show off your chemistry knowledge, the full name for PolyDADMAC is Poly Dimethyl Diallyl Ammonium Chloride.Aluminium Sulfate this is also a very commonly used ingredient in pool clarifiers. Aluminium derivatives are commonly used in water treatment plants around the world to help clear water. Polyacrylamines they often come in gel or tablet form. They are again used in water treatment plants and in other processes like paper making. Natural Clarifiers it is possible to buy pool clarifiers made from natural ingredients. Natural clarifiers can be made from Chitosan. Chitosan is something that is made from crustaceans. So Which One Do You Need?You could use any of these. They are all common in water treatment and have been used safely for many years. We recommend this one here.
How To Open Your Pool In The Spring And Avoid An Algae Problem
One of the most commonly asked questions we get in the spring is how do we clear up this swamp water in our pool?Clearing up your pool water after a long winter can be more frustrating than realizing you are out of coffee on a cold day, but it doesnt have to be. There are a few things you can do to ensure you open your pool with clear water requiring just a bit of cleaning and chemical balancing.
We are a day late and a dollar short on this tip, but adding a winterizing kit in the Fall helps immensely. Much like the veggies in your garden, when the water is cold algae wont grow. Algae is not happy if the water is below 50 degrees. The winter kit chemicals dissipate after a few weeks, but they help keep your chemicals balanced and the pool clear until your water turns into a popsicle.
When should I close my pool? The later in the season you close the better chance you will have keeping your water clear. Your pool water must be clear and balanced before closing, if it looks like an organic green smoothie before you close the pool it will look and smell worse in the spring I guarantee it! A late September or October closing is a great way to set up for success in the spring. If you are already suffering from an algae bloom take care of that before you close.
Pools can be a pain, but a well maintained pool doesnt have to be. These winter tips will set you up for a great pool startup you will be lounging pool side while your neighbors are still trying to clear theirs up!
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Why Is The Pool Cloudy After A Rain
Rain water brings dirt, mud, dust, and other contaminants that contain phosphate, which breeds algae. With the presence of phosphate, the water will start to become cloudy even before the algae begins to grow. If you know a storm or shower is about to come, make sure there is ample chlorine to counter the dilution that rain water will bring, and have the filter running during the rain.
Backwash Your Filter Bi
While regularly cleaning your filter is a top priority, theres one other thing you can do to keep it running at peak performance.
Its more of a quick fix for keeping things in order, but doing it regularly helps prevent debris buildup. And the less buildup, the longer your filter stays clean.
When you backwash your filter, youre essentially pumping your pool water backward into the filter.
Think of it like rinsing your mouth with Listerine the concept is pretty much the same. Its a quick way to rinse off any loose debris in the filter media and prevent clogging/buildup.
For the best results:
- Backwash your pool filter at least once a week
- For busier month, backwash twice a week
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Run The Pump & Adjust Calcium Level
Turn on the pump and let it run for at least 8 hours. Calcium is your friend in the fight against copper, so use calcium chloride to raise the level to 350 ppm if its low.
With calcium chloride, 2 ounces per 1,000 gallons will raise the ppm by 10. So if you want to raise it 50 ppm, use 10 ounces per 1,000 gallons.
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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Can You Swim In Cloudy Water
It depends. If the water is so cloudy that you cant easily see the bottom of the pool, nobody should be swimming in it, let alone diving into it. Severely clouded water poses an increased risk of severe injury or drowning because of the lack of visibility and depth perception. But even if the water is only slightly cloudy, its still not a good idea to go swimming until you understand whats causing it. Cloudy water can harbor all sorts of germs and waterborne pathogens.
Filter And Vacuum Debris
Determine whether the pool filter is running correctly. I recommend that you run it for at least 8 hours per day. If you keep the pool clean and chemically balanced, 8 hours should be enough filtration time to keep the average backyard pool clear and fresh.
Your skimmer will take care of any debris floating on the surface, but to thoroughly clean the bottom of the pool, you will need a pool vacuum.
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Assess The Situation: Do You Need To Drain It
Nobody wants to drain their pool if they can help it. To know whether or not you have to drain, start with this question:
On a scale from a greenish haze to I think a swamp thing lives here?: How green is green?
Ive found, if you can see more than about the depth of a grown mans spread hand into the water, chances are its not a lost cause. That means that you probably wont have to drain your pool. If, however, you cant see that far into the water, you may need to drain, and acid wash it.
You can, however, try to clear the green pool water first, before choosing the nuclear option. You can check your filters here too, and clean them up for the next step if you wish.
How To Use Pool Flocculant
Pool flocculant, also known as Pool Floc, causes the particles to coagulate together, creating large clumps that sink to the bottom of your pool. Pool flocculant is much faster and more powerful than a pool clarifier, but it takes much more work and requires a lot of manual vacuuming.
The coagulated particles cannot be removed by your filter, so you must be able to vacuum the water out of your pool while bypassing your filter media.
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Is It Safe To Swim In Brown Pool Water
No, its not safe to swim in a pool with metal stain. Barack James from Green City in the Sun on April 11, 2020: Before adding chlorine, you need to be sure you are dealing with green algae and not copper metal stains.
How long does it take for brown pool water to clear?
Most likely it will be with what the pool store calls pool magnet. I just had the same problem and it took me about 3 days to turn 10k gallons of water from dark brown to a light green blue. My next step is to get the water clear. However, my pool store told me to wait at least a week before I add any more chlorine.
Is it safe to swim in a pool with iron?
Answer: It is probably safe for swimmers to get in the water. The only real risk is the staining that the metals can leave behind. A metal removing chemical can aid in removing the metals as well.
How do you get tannins out of pool water?
How To Balance The Ph In Your Pool
To lower pH, you need to use a pH reducer , such as muriatic acid or sulfuric acid. Anything below a pH of 7.0 is too low, and apart from turning water cloudy, this environment brings about harmful bacteria causing ammonia and algae.
To increase low pH levels, you need to use a pH Increaser with soda ash.
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Start By Taking A Free Chlorine Reading And Balancing It
The first and most common cause of cloudy water is low free chlorine levels. Low free chlorine indicates you have chloramine that turns water cloudy, smells more of chlorine, and cannot sanitize your pool water by killing harmful germs and bacteria causing algae and ammonia.
As such, if your pool water is cloudy, the first thing you should do is to measure your free or combined chlorine you can get the value of combined chlorine by deducting the value of FC from Total Chlorine.
If you have your FC below 3 ppm or combined chlorine above 0.5 ppm, whether it’s a saltwater or non-saltwater pool, FC is low and you need to shock your swimming pool immediately to fix cloudy water and kill bacteria before you get algae or ammonia in your pool.
If you have a saltwater pool and it’s cloudy, the damage is already done and raising the percentage setting in your saltwater chlorine generator or your pump’s run-time will not help much in clearing cloudy water. You have to shut down your SWCG and shock your saltwater pool manually using harsh chlorine just like non-saltwater pools.