Six Ways To Turn Your Pool Green
Why would you want to turn your pool green, you might be asking. Well, hopefully, you dont want to turn your pool green. But like most pool owners, taking care of a pool becomes an afterthought during the busy days of summer, and neglect can easily lead to a mini swamp in your backyard. But it isnt all bad news, because with a little preventative maintenance and a solid routine, keeping your swimming pool crystal clear can be incredibly easy.
So how easy is it to keep your pool clear? Read the six ways to turn your pool green, and if any of these steps sounds like something you do, then it is time to change your pool care habits.
How Green Is Your Pool
Because if it’s too green, these six steps wont be enough you may need to have the pool drained and acid-washed, instead of shocked. I have seen many pools that were not just green, but black. In severe cases like this, it is more cost-effective and less time-consuming to simply drain the pool and have it acid-washed, even though it costs money to refill the pool.
This is my general rule for determining whether the pool can be treated chemically or needs to be drained: if you can see at least six to eight inches below the surface of the water, most likely the pool can be treated chemically. An example is in the photo below you can see the top of the first stair down into the pool.
Once we establish that the pool doesn’t need to be drained and can be treated chemically, we can go from there.
An example of green pool water that can be treated chemically.
Fixing Cloudy Green Pool Water
There is some water worth fixing and some that is too far gone. You can fix green pool water by using appropriate chemicals and filtration if it has not been green and cloudy very long as in weeks .
Your pool may be a better candidate for a drain and acid wash if:
1.) It is a dense and dark green where you cannot see more than a foot or two into it.
2.) It has algae built up on the walls and surfaces in a carpeting affect.
3.) It has more than a few contractor size trash bags of debris at the bottom.
4.) You have a sand filter.
If you have #1 or #2 going on then I would suggest a drain and acid wash right off. If you have #3 and / or #4 can mean it takes a lot more time and money to turn it around and that money and time might be better spent on a drain and acid wash if you can get that done for just a little more.
To fix cloudy green water:
1.) Make sure your filter is running properly and the pressure is not too high. Backwash it if you have that option before starting this process.
2.) Make sure the skimmer baskets and pump basket are empty.
3.) Set your pool to suck from the main drain. Try to get approximately ½ the suction from the drain. You may need to shut off the skimmers ½¾s of the way each to pull more from the drain. This is important to get the cloudy water pulled out of the pool and through the filter.
4.) Shock the pool and add some algaecide or yellow out depending on the color of algae.
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Shocking Your Pool Only When You Start To See Algae
Along with brushing the pool once per week, you should be shocking your pool once per week as well. Algae in poorly-circulated areas of the pool can become immune to the slow-dissolving chlorine from tablets, and you will eventually notice algae blooms throughout your pool even with an appropriate chlorine residual in the pool. Shocking weekly can help eliminate this threat, as well as shocking after every heavy rain and every heavy bather load. To ensure maximum shock effectiveness, you should always shock after the sun has set to reduce the amount of shock eliminated by the suns UV rays.
Returning The Water Back To Normal
Firstly, check that the filter is working correctly. Then make sure that it is running for an adequate amount of time, for example 4 hours per day in winter and 8 hours in summer. If the filter is not performing as expected, call for professional help.
Secondly, if the discoloration is caused due to water imbalance, then you need to take the pool water for testing. About 1 cup of water is enough for the test, but make sure it is less than an hour old when you submit it.
Remember to not collect water from the top surface layer of the pool. Instead, take it from about an elbows length down. The shop will check the water balance and give you advice on which chemicals are needed to get rid of the algae.
In all likelihood, you will have to treat the pool with large quantities of algaecide and chlorine. Within 24 hours of mixing these substances in the water, all microbes should be effectively killed off. You can also use a phosphate remover to clean out any phosphorous present in the water.
But if the swimming pool remains green even after the chemical treatment, you need to call in a professional pool expert to help resolve the issue.
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I Shocked My Pool So Why Is It Still Cloudy
If your pH is not too high, filtration issues are likely the cause of your cloudy pool. The issue may depend on the type of filter.
- If you have a sand filter, it could take a week or more for the pool to completely clear. That’s even if it’s a working sand filter.
- If you have a cartridge filter, it needs to have a good cartridge. A cartridge can only handle so much. If your pool is cloudy, the cartridge needs to be cleaned DAILY until the pool is clear.
- If you have a diatomaceous-earth filter and the pool is cloudy, then
- Either the pump is not being run on a long enough cycle
- The DE is not fresh because its not being backwashed
- Or the filter is defective and not working properly.
So remember, a cloudy pool can be caused by a bad filter.
If the pool is being filtered properly, you won’t need a clarifier solution. In some cases, you can use a flocking agent, a product called “drop out” or “drop and vac,” that will bind small particles together and sink all of the algae to the bottom of the pool, where it can be vacuumed up as waste.
Green, Cloudy Pool
Brushing Your Pool Only When There Is Visible Dirt Or Algae
If you are waiting to brush your pool until there is something visible to brush, you are not effectively preventing algae from blooming. There are millions of invisible spores of algae in every ounce of clear water, and these spores are attaching themselves to the surface of your pool. If you are not routinely brushing your pool at least once per week, even if there is nothing visible on the surface, you are allowing algae spores to bloom the moment chemical conditions in the pool become ideal. To prevent algae from having a chance to bloom, it is imperative that your pool be brushed at least once per week.
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Winter Pool Cover Problems
If you want to open to a blue pool every year, I have a simple solution. Install a solid safety cover, without drain panels.
Ive opened 1000s of pools in my time, and those with a solid-solid safety cover would always open up blue, and usually crystal clear. Keeping out winter air pollution, pollen and dust, by blocking all rainfall and snowmelt keeps the water in balance and conserves winter chemicals.
Raised Walls: For pools with a raised wall, for a raised spa or higher deck level, there are two ways to install a safety cover in-the-wall or up-and-over. In-the-wall installations may not fit so well, and fill with leaves during winter. Its always best to go up-and-over on pools with raised walls.
Floating solid pool covers, with water bags, can be a very good cover, if they are conscientiously pumped off, and kept clean. They are prone to easy holes however, from sticks or animals, and when they get a hole in the middle of winter if you arent maintaining it very well, a sinkhole can develop and spill dark green matter into your pool.
The problem with floating solid covers, is that they never fail to fail, right in the middle of winter, or when youre struggling to remove that last bit of mucky water from the surface rip! there goes a seam, or a small hole opens up to a gash.
How Long Does It Take For A Green Water Pool To Clear Up After Treatment
The answer to this question will depend on how green the color of your pool is. However, if your pool is still green after a day after you treated it, it might be a chemical issue.
For instance, high phosphate levels can cause algae problems in your pool. Phosphorus, or phosphate, can enter the pool by leaching out of leaves or organic debris in the pool.
This is why its important to consistently skim the water for debris and dirt.
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Getting Ready To Treat The Pool
Why Your Pool Is Still Green After Shocking
- |December 5, 2020
Its a beautiful summer day. You feel like going for a swim. You go to your backyard only to be greeted with a pool that looks like its been on a week-long bender.
Thats right. Youve got a green pool.
So you do some research and are told to shock the pool to clear it up. But the pool is still green after shock is applied.
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My Pool Turned Green Overnight: What Should I Do
It can be a nasty shock when you discover that the normally clear, sky-blue water in your pool turned green overnight. Why is my pool green? Typically, algae is the source of green pool water, and its certainly possible that it took over quickly, even overnight. This is especially likely if it is very warm outside, since algae blooms more rapidly in warmer temperatures. It is even more common, however, for there to have been an ongoing, undetected chemical imbalance in your pool water that enabled algae to grow.
As a rule of thumb, the deeper the shade of green, the more algae has bloomed. If your pool has just a mild green tint to it, thats a good thingit means youve likely noticed the problem before it has gone too far, which should make it easier to treat. The first step toward getting your pool back to normal? Determining the cause of the algae growth.
Too-low levels of chlorine are the likely culprit of a chemical imbalance that leads to algae. When there is not enough chlorine in your pool water, green algaewhich can float freely or attach to the walls and floor of your poolcan grow. Thus, in many cases, the most efficient way to get rid of algae is by shocking your pool water with chlorine.
Lets take a look at the process of shocking your pool as well as other reasons that your pool might have changed color.
Let The Filter Do The Work
Shocking your pool removes exactly zero algae. What it does is kill it, so you can then let the filter clean it out. No matter what type of filter you use, be it a cartridge, sand, or diatomaceous earth youll need to clean it out several times while it clears the water.
If you have a DE filter, you need to backwash it before you start the process, and add fresh DE.
Allow the filter to run for at least 24 hours, after the treatment. Then, you can scrub the pool when you clean the filter, and then let it run again. You are going to repeat that process until the pool is clear.
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Can You Prevent Algae
The experts are clear: the best way to prevent algae growth is keeping an eye on the chemistry keeping an eye on the chemistry. Once a month, especially at the start of the season, take a water sample and bring it to a pool specialist, advises Paquette, who also recommends checking the chlorine and pH levels twice a week with a home kit. You can also use a preventive algaecide on a weekly basis to destroy any algae present in the pool, says Carrière. Effective prevention is the best way to avoid finding yourself in murky waters.
Maintaining Your Pool In Balance
Tips for maintaining your pool:
How often to clean your filter:
- DE filters: Backwash once a month.
- Sand filters: Backwash once every two weeks. Be sure to backwash your sand filter for a minimum of four minutes otherwise, you will see filthy water shooting back into the pool.
- Cartridge filters: Clean it every three to four weeks, unless you see algae in the pool, in which case you should clean more often. Here’s more about how to clean a cartridge filter. Soak in trisodium phosphate every three months.
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Brush The Pool Walls And Floor
Rather than just your usual, regular pool brush, its best to use an algae brush for this task. Algae is tough, and will stubbornly cling to the pools surfaces, so a heavy-duty brush works better than soft nylon bristles to remove it.
Use the brush to scrub the pool walls, floor, steps, and any other surface the algae may be clinging to.
Note: You may be wondering, why dont you brush the pool first, then vacuum it? Dont you want to vacuum up the algae? No. No you dont. You want to kill the algae, and it still has to be in the pool for you to do that. Trust us.
But It Could Be Copper
Issues with metals being present in the water, specifically copper, can be the reason your beautiful pool looks unwell.
Its similar to historic buildings with green roofs, or The Statue of Liberty theyre actually made of copper. Their prolonged exposure to oxygen resulted in oxidation of the metal, which gives them the green look were familiar with.
Well water in particular is susceptible to this problem, as it contains high metal levels. A relatively cheap solution is to use a bobby hose filter when filling up the pool, which is a mono-filament propylene material and the same kind found in a pools DE filter.
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How To Prevent Pool Algae Tips
How can you prevent pool algae? Maintaining a clear and clean pool requires effort upfront to avoid pool algae infestations. Balanced pH is essential, so your sanitizers and pool algaecides achieve maximum effectiveness. Proper pH eliminates an environment that pool algae can thrive in by killing algae spores and bacteria.
The same goes for your filtration system. An adequately sanitized filter will effectively remove algae spores and bacteria in the water. Your pool filter needs to run at least eight hours per day to ensure most bacteria are cleaned out.
A sanitized filter paired with constant water circulation prevents pool algae and bacteria from settling in or standing still. Proper water circulation works to thoroughly mix sanitation chemicals and pool algaecides so it can clean algae from your pool.
Rinse and sanitize anything that enters your pool to effectively eradicate algae spores that have stowed away on swimsuits, toys, and pool equipment. Have swimmers rinse off before entering the pool to reduce the quantity of debris and bacteria from being transferred into the water. This will eliminate a nutritious food source for algae to feed on.
Set up a weekly cleaning and shock treatment schedule to maintain a beautiful, algae-free pool.