How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water
- |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.
Clearing Cloudy Water With Pool Clarifier Long Answer
There are several things you should investigate before using clarifier to clear up cloudy pool water. You want to fix the underlying issue before turning to clarifier.Cloudy water is usually caused by a chemical imbalance, environmental causes such as heavy rain, dust or pollen in the air, swimming in the pool, algae or not enough filtering and cleaning.
If you dont think any of these things are the cause of cloudy water or you need a quick-ish fix, go ahead and use clarifier.
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.
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Reasons Why You Might Have A Cloudy Pool
Before you set about clearing cloudy pool water, it helps to understand what is causing the problem.
In some ways, getting to the source of your pool’s cloudiness requires you to play chemist. We’ll try to break it down for you in plain English, though.
Related: A beginner’s guide to pool chemistry
Take a look at a few of the more common causes of cloudy pool water and then we’ll got over how to clear cloudy pool water.
The Systematic Dolphin M 400
The Dolphin M 400 is a model built for residential pools under 15m, for ultimate cleaning and an ideal pool scrubbing experience. The cleaner is highly efficient in scrubbing the pool surface, which is especially important if youve only recently cleaned your pool from bacteria and algae. This model can also successfully tackle different types and sizes of debris.
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Check Your Pools Water Chemistry Regularly
Ensuring your pools water chemistry is balanced helps to keep it safe , comfortable , and gentle on your equipment .
When you test your waters chemistry, these are the levels you want to look for:
- Chlorine: 2-4 PPM
- Alkalinity: 80-150 PPM
- Bromine: 2-4 PPM
If anything is outside of those ranges, youll want to add water balancing products to get everything back to where it needs to be.
Ideally, you should test your pH and chlorine levels daily and alkalinity weekly using at-home testing strips. You can also have your water professionally tested for free at Total Techs pool store . Well use our computerized water analysis centre and keep your results so we can reference them when we need to.
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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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 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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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.
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.
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How To Clear Cloudy Swimming Pool Water
There are few things that can stop a pool party altogetherone of these things is cloudy pool water. Cloudy water can be potentially dangerous, so never swim if your water looks less than clear. Testing your pool chemistry can determine whether this issue is caused by a chemical imbalance or whether your problem is algae.
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.
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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.
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.
Ideal chlorine and combined chlorine to avoid chloramine in your pool.
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What Does Pool Water Delivery Service Mean
Having pool water delivered to your home by truck is a great way to get clean and balanced water into your pool quickly. These trucks can do much more and provide clean water for many different situations. These include but are not limited to:
- Commercial areas
We’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of service.
How Fast Does Flocculant Work
Flocculant, although fast-acting, will still need around 8-16 hours to work its magic. Its easiest to do this overnight. The pump definitely needs to be off as you want the water to be still. The floc will have settled at the bottom of the pool and will require manual vacuuming to remove the debris.
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The Systematic Dolphin M 500
For a meticulous and extremely thorough pool cleaning experience, you need a systematic robotic pool cleaner. The Dolphin M 500 assures an accurate scanning of your pool, making sure no corner remains uncleaned. With a triple active scrubber, this model is your safe way to know that you can enjoy your clear pool.
When In Doubt Add Clarifier
Even when the tests are normal, chlorine levels are perfect, the filter is clean, and the circulation is good, sometimes your pool water just needs a little boost to stay clean and clear. Add a water clarifier, such as Leslies Ultra Bright Advanced. Clarifiers bring tiny particles together so they can be more easily removed by your filtration system. After adding the product to your pool, run the pump continuously on high speed until your water turns crystal clear again.
When your pool water turns cloudy, its not just an eyesore in your otherwise beautiful backyard its also a safety concern. Never swim in a pool that’s cloudy! Learn why in our recent blog post, “Understanding the Dangers of Cloudy Pool Water.”
A properly maintained pool should always be clean and clear. If its anything less than that, its important to get a handle on it quickly. If you need more help troubleshooting your cloudy water issues, bring a water sample to your local Leslies, and let our friendly associates help you find the right solution.
At Leslies, were here to help you create a safe, sanitary, and enjoyable pool experience.
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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.
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.
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How To Fix Cloudy Pool Water With Pool Clarifier Chemical
Ready to get your pool water back to its former crystal clear glory? This method uses your pool filter system to clear up the cloudy water. But it takes a few days or even longer depending on how powerful your pool filter system is right now.
This is the easiest method for clearing your cloudy pool. Lets begin!
Clean Your Pool Often And Properly
You need to clean your pool for the same reason you need to wash your bathtub. The soaps you use for yourself are good at cleansing your body , but they arent going to prevent debris from accumulating, nor will they stop scum from building up on the floors and walls.
To effectively clean your pool, make sure you:
- Clean the surface of the water with a skimmer to get rid of any matter thats accumulated on or just below the surface. You can choose between two types of skimmers: flat or deep-pocket. Flat skimmers are typically easier to use , though a deep-pocket skimmer will be able to hold more. Most pool owners need to skim once a day.
- Brush the sides to scrub the walls and floors, making sure you really get into those nooks and crannies around ladders and stairs. If you have a vinyl pool liner, look for a nylon-bristled brush. Youll want to brush your pool once or twice per week.
- Vacuum thoroughly to lift any dirt and debris that has fallen to the bottom. You can choose a manual pool vacuum, though an automatic cleaner will make pool maintenance much easier .
Dont forget to look after the areas around your pool as well. If anything has begun to gather in certain spots, make sure you sweep or rake it away before its blown or tracked into your pool. You might also need to periodically clean your deck with a disinfectant so that things like algae arent able to grow and turn into slippery safety hazards.
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How To Clear Up A Cloudy Pool Water Using Clarifier Summary
For those wanting a quick fix, heres a summary of how to clear a cloudy pool using liquid clarifier or clarifier tablets.And detailed instructions can be found further in this article.
You can pick up pool clarify here.
Vacuuming Pool To Waste
This means we are not going to try and filter the water, we are going to pump it onto the lawn, or nearby wood line. This is a recommended procedure when opening a pool with a mesh pool cover. Algae grow in pools with mesh covers, and dirt sifts through the as well. Again, filters were never meant to clean super filthy water.
I use a side vac , meaning I bring my own equipment. I use a Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, a 30, or 40-foot I-Helix Vacuum hose, a vacuum head with bristles, and relief valves. Many pool filters have a waste setting, but you run the risk of clogging the skimmer line with acorns, broken pieces of tile, small rocks, etc. With a hose connected right to the front of my super pump, I dont run the risk of clogging or damaging the customers plumbing.
You can see an example is this, in the short video below. When customers are not around to see how bad the pool looks under the cover. I like to shoot a quick video to show them, and justify my bill! I usually charge 150.00 for a side vac.
The pool in this video, had minimal leaves, so I was able to vacuum the heavy algae and dirt straight to waste. I usually run a garden hose adding water to the pool while vacuuming to waste, even in cases where the pool is overfilled.
With this method. My customer , will have a clean and clear pool by the next day! Watch the next short video below to see complete set up.
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