Why is My Pool Cloudy and How do I fix it?

No one likes to swim in a cloudy pool for obvious reasons – a cloudy pool looks dirty and unappealing. The truth is, a cloudy pool isn’t just unsightly, it’s not a healthy environment to swim in-- it’s full of dirt, oil, sweat, sunscreen, pathogens, and bacteria – including E.coli! No one wants to swim in that!

Why is my pool cloudy?

Cloudy pool water can be caused by different reasons. If your pool water has turned cloudy overnight, the weather might be the reason behind it. Rain water and run-off water can carry nitrates, phosphates and other chemicals into your pool water and make it appear cloudy.

Fine particles and other dissolved impurities in the water can also make the pool water appear cloudy, and they need to be removed. Removal of these particles is possible by using a pool flocculant (an agent that gathers the particles together to form larger clumps) and vacuuming.

Most of the time there’s a chemical, alkalinity, or pH imbalance that needs an adjustment, or it may be an issue of algae growth, or it’s time for a pool filter cartridge replacement.

How do I fix it?

Cloudy pool water can happen for many reasons. In order to fix it, you will need to first determine the cause. Once the cause is known, follow the simple steps mentioned below to resolve it:

    • Use water clarifier.

      Pools are usually located in the open; as a result foreign particles end up in the water. Additionally, oils, lotions, sweat and dirt carried into the water by swimmers can accumulate in the water, making it appear cloudy.

      When there’s a rush to open the pool and it looks cloudy, use a pool water clarifier to get your pool water cleared up quickly. This chemical gathers the fine particles and makes them clump together; then they are easily filtered out by the pool filter.

    • Use pool flocculant.

      Another good chemical to use is pool flocculant; although a flocculant can be very time-consuming and will require a bit of extra work on your part. Pool flocculant gathers all the fine particles, dust, and impurities that have dissolved in the pool water and settles them to the bottom of the pool.

      Flocculant will not allow the pool filter to clear away particles like a water clarifier, since the particles are settled on the bottom of the pool. You will have to manually vacuum them up. While vacuuming, be sure that the filter settings are on the backwash option and if you have a DE filter grids or cartridge filter remove the drain plug.

      Vacuuming will cause quite a bit of water loss, so keep a hose of fresh running water to fill the pool. Manual vacuuming is suggested as automatic pool cleaners are not very effective for this cleaning method.

    • Remove the algae.

      Algae can be removed by scrubbing the surfaces with a pool brush, then using a net to remove it. The other option is to shock the pool with chlorine after scrubbing to remove the algae. This will also help restore the sanitary conditions of the pool.

    • Check and balance the water chemistry.

      An improper amount of chemicals in your pool water could be the reason behind its cloudy appearance and can even lead to algae growth in your pool. To check and balance the water chemistry, do a water test.

      The most probable cause is an imbalance in chlorine levels. It’s the combined form of chlorine that is responsible for turning the water cloudy. The presence of phosphate, bromine, and / or stabilizers like cyanuric acid in excessive amount will cause cloudiness.

      It’s a good idea to also check the total alkalinity of the water. An increase in alkalinity will result in an increase in pH and calcium scaling. Both will contribute to cloudiness. To bring the alkalinity down you will need to aerate after adding muriatic acid.

    • Clean or replace the filter cartridge of your pool or spa.

      Try cleaning or replacing the filter cartridge as this might be a reason behind cloudy pool water. The filter cartridge will get clogged if not maintained and not be able to function properly. Regular cleaning and replacement of pool filter cartridges are necessary.

    • Conclusion

      There can be multiple reasons behind pool water becoming cloudy, but by taking the right measures, you can make your pool ready for swimming again. A pool with clear water and properly balanced chemicals is a must to keep swimmers healthy. Regular maintenance is required and cloudy pool water can easily be treated.