Rid Your Pool of Cloudy Water

Even some of the best kept pools end up getting cloudy from time to time. The two questions that are on every pool owners mind when this annoying problem comes up are 'what caused this?' and 'how do I get rid of it?' There are various reasons this pesky problem can crop up but, luckily, finding the solution isn't as difficult as you might think.

Common Causes

Inconsistent pool chlorination - Pool owners that are not conscious about the importance of timely and consistent pool chlorination often end up with a cloudy pool. Lack of proper chlorination will cause algae growth, which leads to cloudiness.

Too many people in the pool - An unusually crowded pool can deplete the sanitation and disinfecting capabilities in place that would normally prevent cloudiness. Residue of human skin, bacteria, lotion and cosmetics can contribute as well.

Filtration problems - If a filtration system is overtaxed or malfunctioning, the result is generally a cloudy pool. Additionally, an underpowered pool pump can cause a lack of circulation which can lead to murky water.

Pool Heater Settings - If a pool heater's temperature is set too high, it can rapidly deplete the sanitizer that is used to keep the pool clean. Without enough sanitizer to accommodate the increased heat, cloudiness can result.


Check the pools filtration system - Ensure that your filtration system is appropriate for the size of your pool. If you do not know the correct size for your specific pool, consult a pool expert. Replace the system if necessary. If the current system is adequate, clean out the filter (clean the cartridges or backwash) and empty the pump basket and skimmer baskets to re-establish proper flow to the pool.

Balance chemical levels - Test the pool to make sure the water is balanced. Test for free chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, and phosphates. After adding the necessary chemicals, allow the filter to run for a day and recheck the pools chemical levels the following day. It might be necessary to take a water sample in to a professional for analysis or have a pool professional out to test the pool if you only have a basic test kit.

Shock the pool - When the pool is extremely cloudy or there is a large amount of algae and/or other organic material, it will most likely need to be shocked. The amount of chlorine needed to shock the pool will depend greatly on the size of the pool and the overall chlorine demand. This can be anywhere from 5 or 6 gallons to 25 or 30 gallons. The following day, test the free chlorine level in the pool and add more chlorine as needed.

When it comes to a cloudy pool, the best course of action is to try to prevent the problem from happening all together. Test your pool water frequently, keep the skimmer baskets and pump basket clean, ensure the filter is operating properly, and the circulation in the pool is adequate. Using the techniques above, most pools can become clear in just a few days.

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