How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water
Although cloudy pool water is not unusual, there are steps pool owners can take to prevent pool cloudiness. It is important to regularly check and maintain you pump and filter equipment, and keep water debris free. In addition, regularly checking your alkalinity, pH, and chlorine levels will help you understand shifts that may lead to cloudiness. It's important to keep in mind that cloudiness in pool water can occur even when all things appear to be in balance.
Causes of Pool Water Cloudiness
Pool Water Balance
As mentioned above, water balance issues can lead to cloudiness. Checking and understanding your pool's chemistry is very important. You don't have to understand the actual chemistry, just the readings above and below normal. For example, if your pH is low but your alkalinity is normal, you need to add a pH Plus product to raise your pH. A pH between 7.2 - 7.6 is optimal for your swimming pool. Keeping you pool pH within this range will maximize the activity of your chlorine or other sanitizer. When your pool pH falls below or above this range, water cloudiness can occur. We recommend our Pool Place pH Plus for this job!
Temperature, Rain, Wind, and Chlorine
Although it sounds like a no-brainer, external factors can drive changes in your pool water that can indirectly cause cloudiness. For example, warming water as a result of hot weather can increase your pools demand for free available chlorine (FAC). Free available chlorine is the amount of chlorine in the water that is available for sanitation action.
Normally, your FAC and your pool's total available chlorine (TAC) should be close to equivalent. If you see a difference of 0.3 - 0.5 ppm (parts per million), then you know some of your TAC is tied up with organic solids. If this is the case, you should consider shocking the pool. However, you should check your FAC first. If levels are 2 ppm, use a non-chlorine oxidizing shock.
Swimming Pool Circulation
Circulation is a very important piece of the clear pool puzzle. Keeping all your skimmer baskets and the pump strainer clean will help turn your pool water more efficiently. This allows your filter to do its work and your chemicals to find every nook and cranny of your swimming pool. Maintaining optimal circulation is easy and should be done regularly. If your circulation is good, everything else gets easier!
Swimming Pool Filtration
Your pool's filter is responsible for removing all the tiny bits of plant and insect debris and other organic matter that slip through the skimmers and strainers. Most filters have a sight glass which enables you to get a look at the water after it cycles through your filter. The clarity of this water will give you an indication of the condition of your filter media (cartridge, DE, sand). If the water in your sight glass is not clear, it may be time to replace your filter media.
What About Clarifier
If your water is balanced, chlorine levels are good, circulation checks out, and your filter is working properly, then it may be time to add a pool clarifier. Clarifiers will bring together or aggregate small waste particles which makes them easier for your filter to remove from the water. The Pool Place Super Clarifier is our favorite pool clarifying product.
The bottom line is that there are many different reasons your pool water may turn cloudy. And, it is likely that every pool owner deals with this problem on occasion. If your pool turns cloudy just follow the above process and you should have crystal clear water in no time. Just remember, water balance, chlorine, circulation, filtration, and finally clarifier. Good luck and happy swimming!