Has your pool water ever turned cloudy? This is often a hazardous sign. The worst thing you can do is ignore cloudy pool water. For safety reasons, you shouldn’t swim in a pool that isn’t clear.
The cloudy water may indicate impurities which can form a breeding ground for germs within the pool.
To make the pool water clear again, you need to understand what makes it cloudy in the first place. Below are five reasons your pool water may be cloudy and how you can fix it.
1. Low Free Chlorine Levels
Swimming pools require chlorine to sanitize the water and reduce cases of infectious diseases. With time, this chlorine reacts with organic substances from the human body, such as sweat and body oils. This reaction leads to the formation of chloramines or combined chlorine. For this reason, the water becomes cloudy due to the high level of combined chlorine.
The first thing you should do when the water turns cloudy is get your pool tested. If you have a test kit, you can do it yourself.
Dip the test strip in the water and wait a few seconds. When the strip changes color, match it with the color chart and read the parts per million (PPM). If combined chlorine is above 0.5ppm or free chlorine is below 3ppm, shock your pool.
Pro Tip* – Larsen’s Pool & Spa recommends saltwater pools that do not require as much chlorine to remain clean and clear.
2. A Faulty Pool Filter
Pool filters help remove dirt and debris from the water flowing into the pool. The water can get cloudy when you don’t run the filter long enough. If the filter is clogged or broken, it can’t perform its job effectively. That’s how particulate matter finds its way to the pool, forming a cloudy appearance.
Fortunately, fixing a filter problem is easy. First, ensure the filter is clean. If you have a DE or sand filter, you need to backwash it.
If you use a cartridge filter, remove and rinse it thoroughly. If the filter media is working perfectly and the water is still cloudy, ensure the filtration system is running over 10 hours a day to clean the water.
3. High Calcium Levels
Do you live in an area with hard water? Excess calcium might be the reason your pool water is cloudy. Even though calcium helps maintain chemical stability in the pool, it can cause problems in high concentrations. This concern increases due to evaporation, high pH levels, and fluctuating temperatures.
Calcium dissolves easily in cold water. So, when the temperature rises, it precipitates out of the solution. Plus, the evaporating water leaves behind calcium.
Not only does excess calcium make the water cloudy, but it also leaves rusty stains on pool surfaces. If you’re dealing with this maintenance headache, you can prevent it.
The target here is to maintain a calcium level of 100 to 400ppm. Add a sequestering agent whenever calcium levels spike out of range. When it gets too low, add calcium chloride.
4. Algae Starting to Grow
Algae can be another reason your pool water is cloudy. It can start growing for many reasons, including poor filtration, low chlorine levels, poor circulation, and chemical imbalance. Pool algae turn the water cloudy and dull.
If you discover algae in your pool, remove it before restoring chemical balances. Using algaecide may not help as it’s often used for prevention rather than treatment. Here, the best thing is to clean your pool using a brush and a vacuum cleaner. That way, you’ll eliminate algae growing at the bottom of the pool.
5. Excess Rainwater
Heavy rain can cause the pool water to overflow and create a chemical imbalance. Additionally, rain can bring debris and other environmental materials to the pool, which can provide food to algae. These tiny particles washed into your pool can make the water cloudy.
Test the chlorine and pH levels after the rain. If they fall out of range, add a pool clarifier and restore the chemical balance. Waiting for time to pass gives your pool enough time to start growing algae. When possible, cover your pool when it’s raining.
How to Prevent Cloudy Pool Water
You can’t enjoy your pool when it’s cloudy. If you continue using it in such a state, you’ll be risking your health. Don’t wait until your pool water is cloudy to take action; take preventive action in advance.
Regular pool maintenance is a good way to prevent a cloudy appearance. Test your water regularly, especially after heavy use. Ensure the chlorine, pH, and calcium levels are always within acceptable limits.