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How To Treat Cloudy Pool Water

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Accelerating The Aeration Process Using An Air Compressor

Treating and Preventing Cloudy Pool Water: Clorox® Pool& Spa

Using an air compressor at the surface of the water will add more disturbance and speed up the process.

  • Try an air compressor with an end tube that has several tiny holes in it.
  • Place it in the deep end. The small bubbles that escape from the holes produce carbon dioxide, which is released to accelerate the aeration process.
  • Do this with the pump running high.
  • With an air compressor, it may take only a few hours to get TA and pH back to recommended levels.

    Other Common Problems With Total Alkalinity And Ph Levels

  • If your pool has a high level of pH but total alkalinity is OK, pick up pH Reducer and get it down to recommended levels . And remember not to use muriatic acid in this case, since it will lower your TA. I always use liquid pH Minus by Kem-Tek, which is always very effective and quick compared to other brands.
  • If you already know you have low pool alkalinity but pH is OK, get some alkalinity increaser to bring it back up to the recommended levels, and do it fast to avoid corrosion. Alkalinity Increaser by Pool Mate is one of my best options, since it is effective and pocket friendly. I have used it ever since I started in the pool service business, and I have never changed to any other. TA should be kept between 80 and 120 ppm for pools with liners and between 100 and 125 ppm for pools made of plaster.
  • If your pH is high and alkalinity is low in the same water, you may need to add pH reducer/minus and then alkalinity increaser to your pool to lower pH and increase alkalinity respectively.
  • Alternatively, you can naturally aerate your pool while the pump is on 24/7 to raise the level of pH up between 7.6 and 7.8 or higher, which might take a couple of days, and then lower both the TA and pH using muriatic acid slowly and carefully while watching on the pH levels not to go very down: Repeat the process until you get the required levels for both total alkalinity and pH.

    Is Cloudy Pool Water Safe

    So we know that cloudy pool water is not the most luxurious thing, but is it really that bad? If youre not too picky, wouldnt it be just fine to swim in a pool that isnt perfectly clear? Unfortunately, regardless of how picky you are, its never a good idea to swim in water that isnt clear. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , you should check each time you use your pool to make sure the drain at the deepest part of your pool is visible.

    Cloudy water poses several hazards. First, if you cant see the drain at the deepest part of the pool, you might not see a person down there either. Contrary to popular belief, people who are drowning rarely splash or scream. The bodys natural response to drowning is to freeze up and do nothing. So if you cant see well into the pool, theres a serious risk that you wouldnt notice someone who is drowning.

    In addition to the danger of drowning, cloudy pool water often means that there isnt enough free chlorine in the water or the free chlorine is being diverted. It is busy dealing with particulate matter instead of bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms. A cloudy pool may harbor germs such as Crypto , Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, and E. coli.

    So if a pool is cloudy, it is much more than a cosmetic issue. A cloudy pool needs to be cleaned before it is safe to swim in.

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    Cause Of Milky Pool Water

    Milky water is often due to an imbalance in the water. Water can only be clear when the water quality is good. To achieve this, you need to set the pH and the chlorine value correctly. So make sure you have a good tester. This tester immediately tells you what value you should target.

    A sudden thunderstorm can also cause poor water quality.

    How Do You Clear Up A Cloudy Green Pool

    Home Remedy for Cloudy Pool Water

    Maintain the higher shock levels to kill off all the algae. This can take several days and involve multiple treatments to get combined Chloramines and FC levels to the right levels that clear the water. While performing the treatment, brush and clean the pool thoroughly every day to remove dead algae and other dirt.

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    How To Treat Cloudy Pool Water

    • Add one gallon of shock per 10,000 gallons of water, in the EVENING or at NIGHT, when the sun is off of the pool. Run the filter all night.
    • If the water is still not clear the next day, shock again that evening. You may even need to shock a third night, especially if the water started off very dirty. The chlorine gets used up quickly to kill the contaminants that are clouding the water.


    • We recommend changing the sand every 3 to 5 years.
    • Backwash once the pressure reaches rises 8 to 10 psi above the normal start-up level
    • Flock is poured through the skimmer and forms a jelly-like substance in the filter, making the sand more effective
    • When the pool is especially dirty, you will need to bump the filter and change the DE frequently. Bump the filter once the pressure rises 8 to 10 psi above the normal start-up level
    • We recommend taking the filter apart, spraying the fingers or grids with a cleaning solution, then rinsing them off with a hose. A solution is much more effective than water alone.
    • Take the cartridge out, spray it with a cleaning solution, then rinse it off with a hose. A solution is much more effective than water alone.
    • We recommend changing the cartridge when a solution no longer adequately cleans it.

    How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water Caused By Low Free Chlorine

    Low free chlorine levels are caused by heavy usage, heavy rainfall , or hot sunny days when UV light oxidizes lots of free chlorine. If you have an outdoor pool, you can use a chlorine stabilizer, such as cyanuric acid, to prevent chlorine depletion as a result of direct UV light. Remember that cyanuric acid is very strong, and if it exceeds the recommended levels, free chlorine will disappear, and the water will turn cloudy and be at high risk of algae growth.

    In summary, if your combined chlorine reads above 0.5 ppm, your water may turn cloudy and become unsafe for swimming. If this is the case, you need to shock your pool immediately to clear it.

    Liquid chlorine or sodium hypochlorite is the best option for a daily free chlorine boost, because it does not affect pH, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid in your water, which make pH, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid scale high above the recommended levelsleading to cloudy water, metal stains, ammonia, algae, and other pool problems.

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    Six: Run The Filter 24 Hours A Day

    The more you run the filter, the faster the water will clear up. Also, remember that dirty swimming pool water will clog the filter system more frequently during this process, particularly the DE and cartridge pool filters. Because of this, you need to backwash your filter every day to ensure that it operates effectively during the process.

    Note: The more the filter runs and the more it is backwashed, the faster the water will clear up.

    If you have the DE filter, this process may be shorter since the DE filter is more efficient than the sand or cartridge types, but you need to remember to add a new DE after every backwash to facilitate the process.

    Whichever filter you are using, ensure that your system is functioning properly. If the filter system is not working properly, the pool water will never clear up, even after all this effort, and you will have to replace or repair the filter.

    A cleared swimming pool will be blue in color while a clearing pool water will be light green or cloudy white.

    Should I Use Soda Ash And Baking Soda To Raise Ph

    Curing Cloudy Water: Pool Time®

    Last month, a close friend of mine who has a plaster pool informed me that he had a huge drift in pH. I came to realize that he was using soda ash to increase the pH whenever it dropped below the recommended level, and baking soda to raise TA. Some parts of the internet recommend this as a quick fix, but don’t do it!

    Soda ash and baking soda raises alkalinity to abnormal levels, which in turn also increases the pH to a disproportionate amount. When I checked my friend’s pool, pH was at 8.2 and was scaling up higher day by day. Total alkalinity was reading well over 280 ppm when the recommended values should be between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. Luckily, the calcium level did not scale as expected due to the calcium saturation index â it was within the expected range of 250 ppm. Calcium scaling causes cloudy pool water.

    If you have a cloudy swimming pool water or a pool algae breakout, then it is likely caused by high TA and high pH levels and you need to shock the pool to balance everything out again.

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    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 #: Circulation & Filtration Issues

    Pool water that isnt being properly circulated is always at risk of becoming cloudy water.

    Thats because circulation pushes your pool water through your filter system, so without it, the filter cant work its magic and keep your water squeaky clean.

    There are a few moving parts to this, so lets go through them.

    Is Your Pump Powerful Enough?

    A pool pump is a core part of your filtration system as it cycles your water through the filter in order to remove debris and maintain circulation, this prevents the water from stagnating which eventually breeds other problems.

    With that in mind, you need to make sure your pump has the ability to cycle the entire contents of your pool at least once per day. Whats more, youll need a pump that can complete a turnover in an 8 hour period.

    The speed at which a pump completes a turnover is based on two factors:

  • The volume of water in your pool
  • The flow-rate of the pump itself
  • Note: Flow-rate tells you how many gallons of water pass through the pump each minute, and its appropriately measured in gallons per minute .

    To properly size your pump, divide your water volume by 8, then divide again by 60. What youre left with is your pools required turnover rate in GPM. The flow-rate of your pool pump should be at least the same.

    Is Your Pump Suited To Your Filter?

    You wouldnt put all that effort into correctly sizing your pool pump only to neglect your pool filter, would you?

    Are You Maintaining Your Equipment?

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    Will Baking Soda Clear Up A Cloudy Pool

    The answer to this question is absolutely, yes! If the cloudy pool water problem is being caused by the water in your swimming pool having a lower than recommended pH and Alkalinity.

    Baking soda when added to a swimming pool always adds to the pH and Alkalinity of any swimming pool in incremental amounts. How much baking soda you need to add to a swimming pool to balance its pH and Alkalinity will be discussed next.

    Why Did My Swimming Pool Turn Green

    How to Fix Cloudy Pool Water

    The color green in your pool means you have one enemy: Algae.

    Algae is a simple plant, one that thrives in water that offers them food, and a hospitable environment. It doesnt take much for algae to enter your pool. Algae can become airborne, or ride into your pool on debris, a swimsuit, or pool toy. When it finds water with nitrogen and phosphorus, that isnt protected, algae start eating, and the bloom can seemingly appear overnight.

    Interestingly, how deep the color is, ranging from light green sheen to swamp murk greeny-brown, gives you some of the information you need to fight it. Well get to that in just a minute, but more importantly, how did it happen?

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    Stop Cloudy Pool Water Before It Starts

    Clearing up your pool isnt a massive undertaking, but depending on the problem it can cost you a bit in chemicals and elbow grease. But youll appreciate it when you leave the cloudy pool behind and dive back into sparkling water.

    Make sure the only clouds you see are the ones in the sky. Weekly testing and balancing, skimming and vacuuming, basic filter maintenance, and regular shocking will keep your pool healthy and clear all season long.

    Happy Swimming!

    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.

    Read Also: Raising Cyanuric Acid In Pools

    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.

    What Makes Pool Water Turn Cloudy

    How To Clear CLOUDY POOL Water FAST! | Swim University

    Pool water becomes cloudy when large numbers of tiny particles of matter are either introduced into, or fall out of solution from, the water. These particles reflect back light thereby resulting in the appearance of a cloudy swimming pool. The particles themselves can come from any number of sources:

    • Human Sources sun screen oils/lotions, skin proteins, body oils, perspiration, bodily fluids.
    • Environmental Sources algae, pollen, leaf mold, dust, fine sand.
    • Chemical Sources calcium carbonate, calcium hypochlorite.

    There are two important things to know about the particles important because theyll help make sense of how to treat and get rid of them.

  • They are extremely small, anything from 0.5 to 5.0 microns . Since most pool filter systems cannot deal with anything much above 30 microns, they are therefore too tiny to be easily caught by the pools filtration.
  • They carry a negative electrical charge. That means they repel each other, and each particle hangs in isolated suspension in the pool water. Why does knowing this matter? Because some of the treatment methods involve actually changing the particles electrical charge so that they stick together into large enough coagulated particles that your pool filtration system can deal with them.
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    Set A Target Value For Total Alkalinity

    In the same example above, I set my target value of TA at 100 ppm. It is important to note that both the levels of TA and pH reduce when acid is added. A target value of 80 ppm or 90 ppm should be just fine, but I anticipated that the levels of pH would drop way below 7.0 when I add a strong acid, so my experience told me that 100 ppm was ideal for raising the level of pH later on through aeration.

    Use a pool calculator to calculate the exact amount of muriatic acid you will need in order to achieve the target value of 100 ppm for TA, or whichever target value you have chosen.

    In this step, don’t worry too much about the pH yet. The main aim is to lower the total alkalinity to recommended levels. Later on, you can aerate to raise the pH level if it goes much lower than is recommended.

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