My pool is cloudy – what should I do?
First, you should find out why your pool went cloudy. It is important to remember that water clarity is 50% chemistry and 50% filtration. (See below for possible causes and ways to improve filter efficiency.) A mid-season water analysis and chemical cleaning of your filter would be the first steps to treating cloudy water. You may also need problem-solving products in addition to chemistry adjustments to restore water clarity. We recommend the following water enhancer products to help.
The first product we usually recommend is Natural Clarifier — the newest, most improved water clarifier on the market. It is extremely concentrated so very little is needed. Water clarifier takes the tiny particles that are causing cloudiness and clumps them together so it is easier for your filter to pull them out. It is important to follow directions and not use too much of this product or else it can work against itself.
Additionally, we may recommend Sparkle-Up. This lightweight powder is added through the skimmer and sits in your filter tightening up the filter media so it can filter even smaller particles than usual. When you use Sparkle-Up, you will have to backwash very often, as your filter will get clogged much faster than usual. After each backwash you will need to reapply the Sparkle-Up because you will have backwashed it out of the filter.
Finally, if those don’t work, we may recommend flocking the pool with Power-floc or Back-to-blue. This is a very strong product that attracts particles together and causes them to settle out onto the floor of the pool so that they can easily be vacuumed out. The greater the amount of suspended debris in the water, the faster the flocking agent will work. However, we do recommend that you vacuum the settled debris “to waste” so that you do not clog your filter. If you use Power-Floc or Back-to-Blue, your filter should be equipped with a “multiport valve” instead of a push-pull valve or a bump-handle.
Patience and attention to your water chemistry will be the answers for clearing your pool. Prevention will keep it looking clear.
What causes cloudy water and how can I prevent it?
Usually a drop-in chlorine levels is the primary cause of cloudy water. As the water warms, chlorine consumption increases. Also, increased usage means more chlorine is needed. A large amount of rain will also contribute to extra chlorine consumption. All of these factors can cause a dip in your chlorine levels which in turn can result in cloudiness. But there are other water chemistry issues that can cause decreased chlorine levels or cloudy water so you should bring your water to our store for a mid-season analysis.
It is important to remember that water clarity is 50% chemistry and 50% filtration. If you are not running your filter long enough or if your filter is not working efficiently, then proper water chemistry will not solve your problem. During the Summer you should be running your filter 10-12 hours per day if the water is clear & blue and 24 hours a day if it’s not. Chemical cleaning of your filter is a preventative maintenance step to keep your filter working its best. You can improve filter efficiency by chemically cleaning your sand or filter grids once or twice a season. Mid-season and at closing are the perfect times to do this. Use Strip-Kwik degreaser, followed by Kleen-It to dissolve calcium scale deposits. Additionally, the sand in sand filters should be replaced every 5-7 years.
Remember, the best solution to a cloudy pool is not to let it get cloudy. Following a routine like the Once-A-Week 3-Step Maintenance Program is the foundation for clear and blue water. Another product that helps prevent problems is new Optimizer which will not only keep your water looking brilliantly clear but will also reduce your chances of getting algae. We’ve found that when your pool is on Optimizer and your chlorine drops to the low end of the scale, you are less likely to experience problems like cloudy water. We’ve also found that pools that are on Optimizer will clear up much faster and easier than pools that are not on it in the event that they do have a problem.