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What To Do When Your Pool Is Cloudy

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Treating A Cloudy Pool Isnt Hard But It Can Be Complicated

Why Your POOL WATER Is CLOUDY (And How To Clear It Up) | Swim University

The most important thing to know is, why the pool went cloudy in the first place. And to do this, we use a computerised water test. After analysing the water test results, buy the chemicals recommended for your type of pool, follow the process here, and you can return to swimming as soon as possible.

Step one

Add the chlorine, the algaecide and the clarifier to three different areas of your pool. Remember, these chemicals can discolour the pool surface if left to settle. So make sure they are well dissolved into your pool.

Step two

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?

What Makes For Cloudy Pool Water

Having cloudy pool water could be as simple as needing to change your pool filter. Or, it can be a sign of something more serious like a faulty filtration system.

But the most common cause of a cloudy pool has to be improper chemical levels. If your pH is imbalanced then your pool can become alkaline making it cloudy.

If your chlorine level is low, this can also lead to cloudiness since chlorine is used to kill bacteria and algae in your pool. If the chlorine level in your pool drops especially low, then it can become a health hazard and you will need to shock your pool right away.

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Causes Of Cloudy Pool Water

There are several different causes that can cause the clouding of pool water. Let us take a closer look at them:

Imbalanced chemicals: An imbalanced chemical composition is one of the major causes of clouding up of pools. There are different imbalances that may occur such as calcium hardness, alkalinity, pH, chlorine level imbalance, or changes in cyanuric acid composition.

Faulty filter: Faulty filters cause poor filtration of the water. This can happen due to worn out or clogged cartridges of the filter or if there is scaling on the filter.

Mineral deposits or other environmental factors: The cleaning process of the pool water can also be impeded by the build-up of leaves, pollen, or dust. Other environmental contributors to the cloudy pool water are bird droppings, run-off water, or insects. Outside chemicals like silicates, sulfates, phosphates, and nitrates are often carried into the water by the runoff water causing cloudiness of the pool.

How To Fix A Cloudy Pool

Cloudy Pool Water: Why &  How to Remedy

The good news is that, in most cases, the fix for how to clear a cloudy pool is fairly simple. All thats normally required is the administration of the correct dose of a water clarifier and/or flocculants.

I recommend this clarifier and this flocculant here.

Remember the two important things about the particles? Theyre small, and they repel each other because theyre all negatively charged. The way that clarifiers and flocculants work is that they neutralise the electric charge so that the particles bond together into something either big enough to be filtered, or else heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the pool for later vacuuming. The important thing, however, is DONT USE TOO MUCH. Using too much wont just neutralise the electrical charge, it will reverse it. The result will make the pool even cloudier.

For Dull/Flat or Hazy Water:

  • Start the pump running.
  • Adjust the pH to between 7.2 and 7.6.
  • Add the recommended dose of clarifier for your pool size.
  • Keep the pump and filter system running for 12 hours.

For Cloudy Water:

  • Adjust the pH to between 7.2 and 7.6.
  • Add the recommended dose of clarifier for your pool size.
  • Keep the pump and filter system running for 8 hours.
  • Turn off the pump and allow the pool to rest for 8-10 hours.
  • Vacuum the pool thoroughly, and run to waste.
  • Run the pump for another 4 hours.

You can read our in-depth article on flocculant here.

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Run The Pump And Filter The Water

Verify that the water is able to properly complete its journey through all the circulatory equipment, and the filter pressure is at normal levels. Once youve achieved good circulation and filtration, let the system run before you give the pool a test swim. The amount of time the equipment will take to totally clear the water will vary depending on what type of filter you use anywhere from a few hours if the filter uses diatomaceous earth, to several days for a sand filter. As a general principle, change out paper cartridge pump filters regularly. You can make these filters last longer by washing them out with a hose and soaking them overnight in a bucket of white vinegar or bleach. If you use a sand filter system, be sure to perform a back flush according to the manufacturers recommendations.

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.

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Why Is My Pool Cloudy How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water Fast

We all desire to swim in a pool with crystal clear waters but, often, the pool turns out to be dirty in one way or the other. In most cases, the pool can become muddy or cloudy which makes it unfit for a swim. In such cases, finding out whats causing the pool to be cloudy helps a lot in clearing the pool out.

Some of the causes of cloudy pool water include chlorine issues, calcium imbalances, hydrogen imbalances, too much rainfall, pool shocking and many others. It all depends on your prevailing conditions and how you clean your pool. At times, the water filter might be the reason.

When it comes to clearing cloudy water, it can be hectic and time-consuming. To do it fast, you need to test the water to establish the cause of the cloudiness then decide on the best method to clear it out. While clearing the water, you need to give it some time before jumping in for a swim.

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Why Did My Pool Water Turn Brown

Episode 1 Cloud And Clear: How to Clear a Cloudy Pool

High metal content in your pool water can result in staining and unwanted buildup. Iron or manganese is the most common culprit when your pool water has turned an ugly red, reddish-brown or brownish-black. If you have filled your pool with water with high metal content, the source of the water is often the cause.

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What Do I Do If My Pool Water Is Cloudy

What do I do if my pool water is cloudy?

Is cloudy pool water safe to swim in? Cloudy water is a drowning risk because it makes it more difficult to see swimmers who may be struggling or suspended under the water. If you can clearly see the drain at the bottom of the pool in the deepest area, it is safe to swim. If you cant, stay out of the water.

How do I make my pool water crystal clear? In theory, if you have a cloudy swimming pool, you can add chlorine to shock it and clear things up. Chlorine will get the job done. But, the amounts may vary and you may have to really pound the pool with chlorine to get the water totally clear.

Does too much chlorine make pool cloudy? Excessive levels of pool chemicals can cause your water to become cloudy. High pH, high alkalinity, high chlorine or other sanitisers, and high calcium hardness are all common culprits.

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How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water Fast

We go more in detail further in the article, however, this is how to get rid of the cloudiness in your pool water in a nutshell:

  • Test your chemical levels and pH!
  • pH should be in a range of 7.2 to 7.8.
  • Sanitizer levels should be in-between 1-4ppm for chlorinated pools, and 5ppm for bromine pools.
  • Make the necessary adjustments to get levels back within appropriate range.
  • If algae is the cause, brush the pool then use an appropriate shock treatment.
  • Use a clarifying or flocculant agent.
  • Backwash or tear-down and clean your filter, then vacuum the bottom of the pool.
  • If cloudiness persists, consider calling a professional service for an assessment as there may be a greater issue than water chemistry imbalance.
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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.

    Get Your Water Tested

    How to Deal With Cloudy Pool Water

    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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    Two Important Details About The Cloud

    To help you better understand how the treatment works for cloudy pool water, lets look at the two most important characteristics of the particles responsible for creating cloudy water.

    1. Theyre Small

    The particles introduced into pool water range in size from 0.5 to 5.0 microns . So these particles are too small to be caught by the filter and filtered out properly.

    2. They Carry a Negative Charge

    These particles also have a negative electric charge that causes them to repel each other and hang in isolated suspension in the water.

    So to effectively treat these tiny particles that repel each other, treatment often involves changing the particles electric charge so they will stick together and become large enough to be caught by the filtration system and properly filtered out of the water.

    Clarifiers and flocculants are pool water treatment chemicals that neutralize the particles electric charge, so they bond together, get filtered out, or sink to the bottom of the pool to be vacuumed away.

    Which Pool Clarifier Should I Use

    You may have noticed a few different types of clarifiers, but they can all be split into two coagulator categories.

    • The clarifiers: Coagulated particles can be collected by your filter.
    • The flocculants: Coagulated particles sink to the bottom of your pool to be vacuumed.

    Pool clarifiers and flocculants are sometimes referred to as water clarifiers. Chemically, pool clarifiers and flocculants do the same thing, but the results are different.

    If youre not sure whether to choose a pool clarifier or flocculant, let us explain the differences for you here.

    Some of the best pool clarifiers are:

    The type of water clarifier you can use also depends on what filtration system you have set up.

    Pool clarifiers are good for all filters, whereas flocculant is good for sand filters and diatomaceous earth filters.

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    Vacuum Waste Out Of Your Pool

    An important piece of pool equipment, your pools skimmer will help clear particles from the upper layer of the pool water. However, it doesnt help remove the cloudy particles from the other layers, specifically the bottom.

    To fix this, either open your bottom drain valve or simply use your manual vacuum cleaner, but this time, place it at the bottom of the pool and turn it upside down. This will ensure that your filter gets access to the water at the bottom of the pool and releases clear water at the top.

    Time For Some Shock Therapy

    Why Your Pool Gets Cloudy

    If your free chlorine levels are low and your combined chlorine levels are high, its time to shock the pool with a super high dose of chlorine. You can also use non-chlorine shock. The added chlorine goes to work breaking down the chloramines and killing off any algae, another source of cloudy pool water. If algae are the main cause of your cloudy pool water, you may have to shock the pool two or even three times to kill it all. Make sure you wait to reenter the pool until the free-chlorine levels have dropped back below 4 ppm.

    There are other options that are a little less drastic than shocking the pool. If the pool isnt too murky, you can usually use pool clarifying agents or flocculant to get it clear again. Both of these chemicals work by binding to the organic compounds that are floating in your pool and causing cloudy pool water. The difference is in what they do after they attach themselves to the compounds. Clarifier binds to the tiny organic molecules and clumps together to form larger chunks, which the pool filter can more easily remove. Flocculant works by clinging to the organic compounds and them causing them to sink to the bottom of the pool. Once the flocculant has gathered at the bottom of the pool, you will need to vacuum up the debris.

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    So How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water Fast

    Before, we discuss, some of the effective and less time-consuming ways, I just wanna know whether were on the same page or NOT.

    Moreover, getting success in fixing cloudy pool water problems to a large extent depends upon how successful have you been in finding out the root cause.

    Anyways, I would be walking you through some of the best ways to fix cloudy pool water.

    Water Testing

    In fact, no one can guess the exact reason behind the pool water becoming cloudy including me and you.

    So, whats the solution?

    Well, the problem isnt as complex as it seems to be.

    All you need to do is to use a highly effective yet affordable pool water testing kit just like this one to find the root cause of the problem.

    The good thing about the aforementioned testing kit is that it will allow you to measure a variety of factors that might affect the quality of your pools water so that you can find a solution such as chemical balance, etc to the problem.

    Generally, youll find two options when it comes to testing the water.

    Either you can purchase test strips that you can dip in your pool water and find out the readings for pH, calcium hardness, alkalinity, chlorine, etc.

    OR, you can purchase a test kit that also includes reagents which you can add to your pool water.

    The reagent will make the water turn colored based on chlorine present or pH level.

    It totally depends upon your preference and as per my knowledge and experience, both will give you the result.

    Pool Clarifier

    Pool Floc

    What Makes Pool Water Turn Cloudy

    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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