How to clear a cloudy pool

How to clear up a Cloudy Pool

When you have a cloudy pool it can be a very difficult and time consuming process to get it clear.

We will show you some of the reasons your pool gets cloudy in the first place and then share with you a few different methods on how to fix the cloudy water.

Why Is My Pool Cloudy?
Sometimes your swimming pool with turn cloudy overnight!  There are many causes of cloudy pool water, but we have broken it down into three main causes.

The Environment
Everything around your pool can cause your water to be cloudy, some examples include:

  • The weather – Rain can bring in contaminants, the Sun can burn off your chlorine resulting
  • Animals – The most common animals to cause cloudiness are probably dogs, which bring in everything on their fur.  Other animals like birds can drop excrement in the water.
  • Nearby construction – Dust is a big culprit from construction,a long with particles from the building materials.
  • Trees & Plants – Pollen, leaves, and Cottonwood Trees all provide particles that either cloud up the pool themselves or provide a source for the chlorine to attack, use it up more quickly and resulting in cloudy water.
  • Gardens & Agriculture – We see phosphates most commonly from lawn care products and farming products, which contribute greatly to cloudiness.
  • People – A sure fire way to cloud up a pool is to have a pool party!
  • Microorganisms – If microorganisms are allowed to grow, they can cause cloudiness and then algae growth, eventually turning the water green.

Removing or Limiting these environmental factors will help your pool stay clearer.

The Pool Filter:
This is the most overlooked cause of cloudy water.  If you filter system is not working properly, or you’re not running your filter at least 8 to 10 hours per day, then you are at high risk for cloudy pool water.  Your filter system is what constantly cleans the water in your pool. Without it, you’re left with stagnant water that will cloud with time.

Water Balance:

Incorrect water balance can also cause cloudy water.  Sometimes it can come from just the fill water itself, but many times improper water balance comes from the environs mentioned earlier.  Some water chemistry problems that can lead to cloudy water are:

  • High pH
  • High Alkalinity
  • Low or No Chlorine
  • High Calcium Hardness

With that said, you want to make sure you shock your swimming pool every week with the proper amount of shock for you size pool.
Sometimes you’ll get cloudy pool water after shocking. This is common and should dissipate over time. Just keep your filter running and it should clear up the cloud. Also, look into a new brand of shock. Cheaper shocks that you get from the big box retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, are not the best choices because they add other ingredients that cloud your water. Instead, visit Premier Pool & Spa and ask for a good, reliable brand of pool shock. Make sure you buy shock that has a main active ingredient of calcium hypochlorite.

How To Clear A Cloudy Pool
Once you have fixed all the possible problems that can cause your water to be cloudy, now we can work on a cloudy pool water fix. Here are 3 ways to clear your cloudy swimming pool…
Use A Pool Clarifier
sparkle upIt’s always a good idea to use some sort of pool water clarifier weekly. Pool clarifiers work to gather the tiny particles that are making your pool water cloudy and bring them together to create bigger particles so that your filter will have a better chance of picking it up.
The particles alone will have a hard time being picked up by your pool filter, so this chemical “clots” them together and your filter now will be able to trap them.
Most swimming pool chemical retailers will carry more than one form of swimming pool clarifier. Just ask if the chemcial is a coagulant and you will be well on your way to a crystal clear swimming pool.
Use Pool Floc (Flocculant)
A chemical called Floc or Flocculant is a great idea if you are in a rush or would like to see your swimming pool cleared up quickly.
polyquat Lets say you have a pool party tomorrow and your swimming pool is cloudy. By using Pool Floc, you can clear your cloudy swimming pool overnight (with a little extra work on your part).Floccing your swimming pool is a great method, but this method is also very time-consuming and difficult.
Pool Flocculants work by gathering all the particles, that are making your water cloudy, and sending them to the bottom of your pool, creating a huge cloud on the floor of your pool. Unlike a water clarifier, this chemical WILL NOT help your filter to pick up the particles, because all of the cloudy pool particles are now at the bottom.
At this point, you will need to manually vacuum up that cloud using your pool pump, NOT AN AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANER. When vacuuming, you want your filter setting to be on the “waste” or “backwash” option (if you are using a DE filter or Cartridge Filter make sure that the drain plug is removed.
The idea here is to vacuum up the cloudy water right OUT of your pool, because putting that much dirty water through your filter WILL NOT work and will send that dirty water right back into your pool.
By vacuuming out to “waste,” it will never run through your filter system. You are going to lose a lot of water in your pool, so make sure to keep a fresh hose of running water in your pool during vacuuming.
Also, you must use a manual vacuum for the process. Automatic pool cleaners will not work and will just end up blowing the cloudy you created at the bottom of your pool, right back up. Again, it is difficult and a lot of water is wasted, but it will clear your pool in 24 hours if done properly.

Use Your Filter System and Bottom Drain(s)
Cloudy pool water particles will tend to sink to bottom of your swimming pool naturally, without Floc.
Your pool’s main skimmer is located at the top of your pool and helps to clear the top, which does not help to collect the cloudy particles that are at the bottom of the pool. Knowing this, we need to help the filter get to those particles.
We can achieve this two ways:

  • We can constantly stir up the water, by swimming or with a pool brush, so that it pushes the particles closer to the top of the pool. Or…
  • We can turn on the bottom drains.

Every inground pool should be equipped with 1 or 2 bottom drains, so it’s easy for us to utlilize them. This will allow the filter to start pulling water off the bottom of the pool, where the cloudy particles are, and circulate the clean water back to the top. This works great, but what if you have an above ground pool that doesn’t have bottom drains?

We have come up with a little trick to mimic the effect of a bottom drain in an above ground pool.
Simply hook up your manual vacuum cleaner, as if you were about to vacuum your pool, but instead, leave the vacuum at the bottom (in the middle of your pool) and turn it upside down. Now your pool filter will be pulling water from the bottom of your swimming pool using your manual vacuum and releasing the clean filtered water up top.
These are three different methods of how to clear a cloudy pool by using swimming pool chemicals and your pool’s equipment.


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