Waking up one morning and finding your pool has turned a white milky mess can be a daunting thing even for a seasoned pool owner. A cloudy pool can be a challenge to recover from so in this article we will explain why a pool becomes cloudy and offer you some tips how to get your pool crystal clear as quickly and easily as possible.
What Causes Cloudy Water in a Swimming Pool?
There are three main causes of cloudy water in a pool:
- The chemicals in your pool: Believe it or not, too much chlorine in a pool can cause a cloudy pool! Other levels could be too high such as: pH, Alkalinity & Calcium Hardness.
- The environment: Your pool lives in a hostile environment. Everything around a pool is against good quality water. This includes weather, birds, construction dust, trees, leaves, sun and people!
- Your Sand Filter: If your pool is not filtrating properly your sand filter cannot filter out small particle matter so they stay in the pool water. It is recommended you run your filtration for at least 8-10 hours a day.
Have You Recently Shocked Your Pool?
Shocking your pool every week is a good habit to get into. It allows combined chlorine to oxidise and keeps your pool water safe and clean. High doses of shock can produce a cloud but this typically dissipates over a matter of hours with your filter running.
How to Clear a Cloudy Pool.
A remedy should always come after a fix. It is important to find out why your pool has gone cloudy first before trying to rectify it to avoid extra expense and time spent only for it to go cloudy again in a day or two.
First do the following checks and procedures:
- Test the water for correct levels: a simple dip test will suffice. Check that all of your levels are within range and dose accordingly if not.
- Backwash your sand filter: Regular backwashing of your filter is essential to keep the sand clear and able to capture fine particle in the water.
- Check the timers on your filtration: ensure that your pump is running at least 8-10 hours a day. Adjust if not and if in doubt, keep your pump running 24hours a day.
Once you have tested and checked the above you can then work on the resolution to the problem. There are 2 main ways to clear a cloudy pool:
Use a Clarifier
It is good practice to use some form a clarifier every week. A clarifier will bind small particles in your water which may be too small for your filter to grab and turn them into bigger particles allowing the filter to hold onto them more easily.
Clarifier typically comes in the form of a liquid or soluble tablets which can be placed in either your filter basket in the pump or skimmer basket. Adding a clarifier will slowly pick up all the cloudy suspended matter in the pool and be caught in your sand filter. It is a good idea to backwash daily when trying to resolve a cloudy pool as your sand filter will be working overtime to filter out all the particle in your water.
Use a Flocculent
A flocculent will also clump together small particle in your pool and make it heavy, this will then sink all of the particle matter to the floor. The only job left then to do is vac out the pool to waste and your pool will be sparkling clean in no time.
This is by far, the quickest way to clear your pool but does require effort on your part to get it clear. A perfect solution when you are in a pinch.
It is important to NOT run your pool filter when using a flocculent otherwise the particle matter does not have a chance of sinking to the bottom. It is also important to vacuum your pool to waste and not through the filter otherwise your filter will get clogged way too quickly. It is also (sadly) not possible to use a robotic cleaner for this job as they are too quick and will also blow the particle around the pool too much.
We hope this little guide helps you clear your cloudy pool. Why not have a look at some of our related articles to find out more on Flocculants and Clarifiers. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments box below.