Last Updated: March 20, 2020
A cloudy pool can be a scary experience, especially if you’re not sure what caused it to happen, or are inexperienced with clearing it up again. Your water can be cloudy for many reasons, and narrowing down the cause can be quite a chore.
We’re going to try to help by going over some of the most common reasons the water gets foggy and how you can clear it up again in each case.
1. Don’t Panic
Before you panic, take a step back and think about what might be causing the cloudy water. If you have just added chemicals recently, it could be that they have not yet entirely dissolved, as is often the case with chlorine. At certain times of the year, large amounts of small pollen can fall into your pool and color your water like tea. When this happens, it will take some time for your filter to remove it.
If you are using the solar cover on your pool, these are notorious for contributing to cloudy water. As this device warms the water, it quickly destroys the chlorine in the water directly below the cover. Algae and bacteria can begin to grow in this inch or two of water, which creates a cloud when it’s mixed back in with the rest of the pool water.
2. Look for a Chemical Imbalance
If none of the above applies to you, the first step would be to test your chemical levels with a test strip. Not only can several chemicals cause your water to be cloudy, but the test strip can also alert you to any potential problems in your pool. For instance, if your chlorine levels are too low, there’s an excellent chance the cloud is algae growth.
Having too little chlorine in your pool is one of the biggest causes of cloudy water. Too little chlorine in your water will allow bacteria to grow, which itself can cause water to become cloudy, and it will also allow algae to grow, which causes cloudy water. If your chlorine has become too low and your water has developed cloudy features, you may need to shock your pool to fix the problem.
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Too much calcium is a common reason for cloudy water. If your testing strip detects water hardness, this can help you tell if there’s too much calcium in your water. You can often get too much calcium in your pool when you try to increase the pH and use too much ph Increaser, but there are many causes. In many cases, the only way to reduce the amount of calcium in your water will be to drain the pool a little and refill it.
3. Look for Poor Circulation
Another culprit causing cloudy water is poor circulation in your filter system. There are two main things you need to look at, the pump and the filter.
If your pump is not strong enough to force water through the sand or cause enough suction in the skimmer to draw water from the far reaches of the pool, you may suffer from poor circulation. Poor circulation allows some parts of your water to remain unfiltered, which can allow bacteria and algae to grow. When you place your hand in front of the return jet in your pool, you should feel a good amount of pressure bringing water back in. The pressure on your pump should read no more than about 12 pounds. If the jet stream in the water return feels weak, you may need a stronger pump.
The filter is a common source of problems in your pool and mostly has to do with the sand. Too little sand in your filter will cause your pump to blow it out into the pool, which can cause cloudy water and will reduce the system’s ability to filter correctly. If you notice a lot of sand on your pool floor, there is a good chance there is too little sand in your filter.
If you have too much sand in your filter, it will result in excess strain on your pump. You will notice a higher pump pressure and less water circulation when you have too much sand. High pressure can quickly burn out your pump and will leave to cloudy water as the circulation isn’t great.
The final problem associated with a sand filter is using the wrong kind of sand. Using pool sand Mason sand or some other cat may result in their pool not filtering correctly and allowing particles to reenter the water. Since contaminants are not filtered, they will quickly lead to cloudy water. If you think you’ve used the wrong sand or are not sure what type of sand is in your filter, you may need to empty and refill it with pool sand.
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4. Check The Environment
Sometimes you’re maintaining everything correctly and keeping your levels in good shape, but your pool water can still get cloudy. The reason for this is environmental factors, like acid rain, too much warm weather, pollen, algae, and more. Even the best-kept pools will occasionally have problems with cloudy water. Some contaminants that can get into your pool can multiply rapidly and resist all kinds of treatment. Some allergy can grow with high levels of chlorine and may need special treatment to remove. Yellow mustard algae is one such type that is extremely hard to remove.
Most environmental contaminants, however, results in microscopic particles in your water. Many times your filter will be able to pull these particles out slowly, and your water will clear up after a day or two. If you have just experienced a lot of heavy rain, or you know it’s pollen season, you might want to give your filter chance to work before getting worried.
If your filter has been running and it’s not getting rid of the cloud, you may need to try a product called floc. Simply explained, floc binds to microscopic particles and causes them to sink to the bottom of your pool, where they can be vacuumed and trapped by the filter. This product may be somewhat expensive, but it’s extremely effective at removing small particles from their water and can even help drop the calcium from hard water to the bottom of your pool.
The most common cause of cloudy pool water is allowing your chlorine level to get too low. Bacteria can multiply in warm water and cause your water to develop a haze. It will also enable algae to grow neither of these things can cause cloudy water. The next biggest cause of cloudy water is recent heavy rains. Rain can often carry plenty of contaminants that can lead to murky water. Your filter will usually remove these contaminants in a day or so, and we recommend allowing it to run a little longer than normal to help clear it up.
If your chemicals are correct, and you let your filter try to deal with the problem for a day or two, and your water is still cloudy, you may need to use the floc product. Just dump the proper amount of flock for your size pool and let the filter run for an hour or two to distribute it in the water evenly. Then let it sit overnight. The next day you can use your vacuum To remove the particles from the floor of your pool. If you notice there’s a large number of particles on the floor, you may be better to vacuum to waste, so the contaminants don’t clog your filter. You will need to refill your pool and adjust the chemicals after doing so.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading and learned something new. If we have helped you with your pool, please share this short guide to clearing cloudy pool water on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image credit: 526663, Pixabay