How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water

Cloudy pool water can occur overnight. Oftentimes, pool owners will go for a late night swim in beautifully clear water and wake up with cloudy water they wouldn’t even dip their toes into.

Why does this occur? Let’s investigate the many reasons why pool water becomes cloudy and how to clear cloudy pool water quickly and easily.

Why Pool Water Becomes Cloudy

Before you can begin treating your pool, you must understand why water becomes cloudy in the first place. Cloudy water occurs because of:

  • Filtration: Your pool’s filter should be operating for 8 – 10 hours per day. When a filter does not work correctly, the pool’s water is left stagnant and may become cloudy. This occurs because stagnant water produces algae growth as well as sediment buildup.
  • Chemicals: Pools need to be treated to stay clean. Pool owners that notice cloudy water normally add more chemicals to their pool in an attempt to remedy the issue. This leaves water even more cloudy, raises pH levels and can cause your pool to have calcium buildup. If the pool’s filter is not operating optimally, this problem will be amplified even further.
  • pH: Chlorine cannot work effectively if a water’s pH levels are over 7.8. When pH levels exceed 7.8, chlorine is less potent ad will not be able to kill off algae fast enough. This will ultimately lead to algae growth and a pool that is cloudy.
  • TA: Total alkalinity (TA) may also be an issue. This correlates directly with pH levels and can cause a pool to become cloudy. When the total alkalinity levels exceed 200 ppm, chlorine will be less effective.
  • CH: Calcium hardness levels that exceed 400 ppm can cause cloudiness. This is normally seen when the water temperature exceeds 85 degrees and will be persistent.

How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water

As we have shown, there are two main reasons why pool water may become cloudy: mechanical issues and imbalance. The first step is to ensure that the pool is operating efficiently on a mechanical level.

Testing and replacing a bad filter is the first course of action. Once this is done, granted the pool filter is bad, you will want to bolster your maintenance on the pool to ensure the cloudiness clears up.

Every pool owner should maintain a proper maintenance schedule which includes:

  • Skimming the pool to remove leaves, bugs and other debris
  • Manually vacuuming the pool on a routine basis
  • Brush the pool using a pool brush to keep the water moving and to eliminate sediment buildup
  • Pools that have bottom drains should have their filters on to ensure that proper circulation and filtration exists

Above ground pools do not have bottom drains that can help with water circulation. When this is the case, you can leave a pool vacuum upside down in the middle of the pool to stir up the water. This will push the pool’s bottom water that is not normally filtered to the surface.

Imbalances, pH levels, too many chemicals or various other imbalances need to be rectified chemically. As a pool owner, there are a plethora of options available when an imbalance occurs including:

  • Pool Clarifiers: A clarifier works by binding the latent particles in a pool together. These particles are too small to be filtered, and a clarifier will ensure that these particles bind together so that the pool’s filter can filter them out. This process should be done on a weekly basis, and many pool clarifiers can be found at your local pool store.
  • Pool Floc: Flocculants are chemicals used in pools to quickly relieve cloudy water. This chemical works much like a clarifier and will attract all of the particles in the water that cause cloudiness and forces them to the pool bottom. You must manually vacuum the pool to remove the particles and ensure that the pool water is clear. Filtration will not work with a pool floc, but this method works when you need your pool water to be clean as fast as possible.

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