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What Causes Cloudy Pool Water

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Shock Those Clouds Away

What Causes Cloudy Pool Water and Why

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.

Cloudy Water After Bowel Movement

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How To Fix Cloudy Pool Water

When it comes to fixing your cloudy pool water, many solutions have DIY fixes and dont require extra assistance. However, there are a few essential items you will need to have in order to successfully fix your cloudy pool water problem. These items include:

  • Pool water test kit and strips
  • Water clarifier
  • Non-chlorine shock
  • Calcium hypochlorite shock

Most typically, cloudy pool water can be attributed to an imbalance of some kind when it comes to your pool chemicals. Thats why we suggest having the items above on hand to properly diagnose your pool waters chemistry. Once you have these on hand you can begin testing and trying various methods for fixing your issue. Here are the things you should check first in order to fix your cloudy pool water problem.

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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.

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What Causes Cloudy Water In A Swimming Pool

7 Causes of Cloudy Swimming Pool Water and How to Clear it ...

There are three main causes of cloudy water in a pool:

  • The chemicals in your pool: Believe it or not, too much chlorine in a pool can cause a cloudy pool! Other levels could be too high such as: pH, Alkalinity & Calcium Hardness.
  • The environment: Your pool lives in a hostile environment. Everything around a pool is against good quality water. This includes weather, birds, construction dust, trees, leaves, sun and people!
  • Your Sand Filter: If your pool is not filtrating properly your sand filter cannot filter out small particle matter so they stay in the pool water. It is recommended you run your filtration for at least 8-10 hours a day.
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    Let The Bottom Drains Do Their Job

    Make sure that any debris that your vacuum missed is properly flushed out by turning on your bottom drains, and wave that gunk goodbye. If you have a super-efficient robotic cleamer like the Blue Torrent MyBot In-Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner, you can probably skip this step.

    Only an in-ground pool has bottom drains, but if you have a manual pool vacuum, you can flip it over on the center of the bottom of your pool to suck out debris that way instead. Nice trick, huh?

    How Do I Know Which Pool Chemical Is Imbalanced

    In order to verify which of these chemicals might be imbalanced, you need an accurate, fast, and easy-to-use test kit. I use the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 11 digital water test kit. It saves me lots of time as it is easy to use and very effective for frequent use. It tests pH, free chlorine, combined chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, and other metals including iron, copper, biguanide, and biguanide shock all at a glance.

    I then use PoolMath by TFP to find the exact amount of each chemical to add. Ideally, the recommended chlorine levels should be around 3 ppm, which should be the same as the total chlorine if chloramine is at 0 ppm.

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    Lots Of Swimmers May Lead To Cloudy Pool Water

    Cloudy pool water can occur when a lot of swimmers enter the pool at one time, introducing more organic matter into the pool than the sanitation system can handle. Salt water pools are especially vulnerable to high numbers of swimmers because these systems can rarely increase chlorine output quickly enough to keep up with chlorine demand. There are several ways to increase the waters ability to handle higher organic loads. The chemical-based solution is to increase the amount of chlorine in anticipation of the greater number of swimmers. The non-chemical solution is to install an ultraviolet disinfection system. Ultraviolet is extremely effective at eliminating organic matter, not to mention microorganisms. A UV pool system will take the load off your chemical sanitation method and help prevent cloudy pool water. Although not eco-friendly, another solution for a pool that is cloudy is to super-chlorinate the water with 25-30 ppm free chlorine. Ultraviolet pool systems eliminate the need to super-chlorinate and are considered the greenest method of pool sanitation available to pool owners.

    Test And Balance Your Water

    Cloudy Pool Water, Causes and Cures

    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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    Foreign Particles Or Debris

    Foreign particles, debris, or dirt may cause your pool water to turn cloudy or look dull. Always before assuming any cause of cloudy pool water, take an accurate reading of FC and make sure it’s 3ppm.

    To clear cloudy pool water caused by debris faster, use Pool Clarifier to remove all the particles in your water through the filter and then backwash your filter to clean it.

    You can also use poolfloc to collect all the particles at the bottom of your pool then vacuum up the pool to remove the particles, the choice is yours.

    Have You Shocked Your Pool Lately

    • Powerful chlorine shock treatment that is great for regular maintenance
    • Quickly eliminates algae, bacteria, and other harmful contaminants from your pool water

    Sometimes, the best way to correct issues with the water in your pool is to “shock” it.

    If you notice that your pool has a powerful chlorine odor or if the levels of combined chlorine are higher than they should be when you take a water sample, shocking the pool is in order .

    Shocking your pool raises the chlorine to up to 10 ppm, and the super high dose of chlorine leads to the breakdown of dangerous chloramines .

    The high level of chlorine also kills bacteria and pool algae in the pool or pool’s filter system.

    An undesired aftereffect of shocking your pool is this: it can cause cloudy pool water.

    In some instances, the cloudiness is a temporary thing .

    Running your pool’s filter right after shocking can help it quickly clear away the particles and debris that cloud the water.

    The condition of your pool’s water before you shock it can also play a role in whether or not it ends up as cloudy pool water afterward.

    For example, if the water is fairly basic, with a pH over 7.6, shocking the pool can disrupt the solution of bicarbonates in the water.

    To keep that from happening, test your pool’s pH before you shock and only use the treatment if the pH is 7.4 or lower .

    Having hard water in your pool can also present a problem when you go to shock it.

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    What Makes Pool Water Cloudy

    Lack Of Chlorine

    Cloudy pool water can be caused by several things. The most common being a lack of chlorine. Without enough chlorine, algae and other bacteria begin to grow within the water, causing it to look hazy, and eventually to turn green.

    Fine Particles

    Another common reason why pool water turns cloudy is a build up of fine particles in the water. At their very best, sand filters only filter down to around 20 microns. Anything finer than that isnt able to be easily filtered and will generally pass right through the filter and back into the pool. As these particles build up they will cause the water to look cloudy.

    Poor Filtration

    Another cause of cloudiness in pool water is poor filtration. When new, the sand used in pool sand filters is full of sharp peaks and valleys . Dirt, dead algae and other particles larger than 20 microns are trapped in the valleys as water passes through the sand.

    As water passes through the filter, those peaks and valleys are gradually worn away however. The more these peaks and valleys are worn away, the less effective the filter is at trapping debris. Eventually, the sand is now longer able to effectively keep the water clean and needs to be replaced. Typically pool filter sand needs to be replaced every 5 or so years to stay effective.

    If your pool has a cartridge filter, you face a similar issue. The paper filters found in pool cartridge filters degrades over time and should be replaced every 5-7 years.

    Pump Run Times

    Dead Algae

    Reasons Why You Might Have A Cloudy Pool

    Fix Cloudy Pool Water Fast

    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.

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    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.

    The Filter Is Your Friend

    Oh, pool filter… where would we be without you? For clearing up cloudy water, this part of your pools greater circulation system is huge. Give it the boost that it needs by deep cleaning it out by backwashing your filter , or replacing your filter media before running it againand the best time to do this is after youve shocked your pool to make sure the extra sanitizer has reached your filter.

    Is water not pushing through your filter properly because your pumps flow rate is weak? Try a booster pump like the dual-voltage Universal Booster Pump to increase performance. According to customer Jerad Wilson, Great pump, quick delivery, and great pricing. Would buy from here again.

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    Cloudy Pool Water: Causes & Cures

    This video covers some of the most common causes of cloudy pool water. There are only a handful of common reasons why your pool water will become cloudy. Once the problem is corrected the pool water will return to a clear state within a matter of a few days.

    I am often asked if a clarifier is needed and in most cases, you won’t need one. I use them very sparingly on my route and will add it when a customer is having a party or if I need to clear the pool up quickly for an event. I know pool stores push this product a lot and they do work if you need to clear it up quickly. Sometimes if you have a sand filter a clarifier will help clump the particles together and allow for better filtration.

    #1 Cause: No chlorine in the pool. Seems like a simple thing but it happens all the time. If you get busy and forget to check the pool, unusually hot weather, heavy rain or a pool party all can zero out your chlorine level.

    Simply bringing the level of chlorine up to 10 ppm in your pool will reverse the cloudy water – known as “Shocking the pool.” Also, run your pool for a longer time to help speed up the process.

    #2 Cause: Combined Chlorine. Ever smell a chemical like smell at a hotel or the local YMCA? Chlorine has no odor and what you are smelling is Combined Chlorine. Chloramines are what is now in the water and not only do you get an ammonia smell but the water will be cloudy. Again, raising the chlorine to 10 ppm will cure this.

    Cause Of Milky Pool Water

    CLOUDY POOL WATER REPAIR (Causes and troubleshooting)

    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.

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    Common Causes Of Cloudy Pool Water And How To Clear It

    Cloudy pool water can be unappealing and uninviting. But whats even worse is that it can be a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria and can cause serious damage to your pool.

    Hence, if you want to avoid spending big money on expensive repairs, you need to know what are the causes of cloudy pool water. Lets have a look.

    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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    Causes And Solutions For Cloudy Pool Water Problems

    After a long hot day at work, nothing sounds more refreshing than diving into your refreshing swimming pool. You come home, slip into your bathing suit, and step outside, but instead of a sparkling oasis youre met with cloudy pool water. You may find yourself asking how this could have happened and what you can do to fix it. Dont worry, the experts at Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance are here to walk you through fixing this problem.

    Increase Your Pool Circulation

    How to Clean Cloudy Pool Water

    Your skimmer located at the surface of your pool cant get to the debris or cloudy water at the bottom of your pool. To help all of your pool water pass through your filter, you can increase your pools circulation.

    • Position your return jets. Point your return jet down at a 45° angle and all in the same direction. This will help churn the cloudy water up from the bottom of the pool to the top where your main skimmer can get it into your filter system.
    • Use your bottom drains. If you have an inground pool, make sure the main drain at the bottom is on and is pulling water from the bottom of the pool into your filter system. This will speed up filtering and clear the pool water faster.
    • Turn your vacuum upside down. If you have an above ground pool with no main drain, you can hook up your manual vacuum cleaner and turn it upside down at the bottom of the pool to mimic a bottom main drain.

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    The Correct Level Of Ph

    Your pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8.

    pH determines whether water is acidic or basic. The ideal range for pool water is between 7.2 and 7.8. Within this range the water is safest for bathing and best at holding chemical additives used for sanitation and maintenance.

    Whichever sanitation method you choose to use on your pool, levels must be maintained regularly by adding more amounts of the chemical. Regular testing helps pool owners adjust their chemicals accordingly to avoid low concentrations which lead to algae growth and cloudy water.

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