What Causes Cloudy Water?
You look out at your pool one day and it looks cloudy. You turn the filter on and go about your business only to find out later, it just got worse. There are many reasons for cloudy pool water. Most of the time, just running the filter a little more will not fix the problem. Cloudiness can be something as simple as too much sun tan oil, or the PH is not within range. But it can be an indicator of bigger problems that may make swimming in the pool unhealthy. Other common causes can be the beginning of algae growth, or overhanging tree debris. Your filter may not be large enough for your pool or you could be backwashing the pool too often. It can even be caused by not swimming in it enough. Some chlorine is mixed in a calcium base. With regular use and hot weather, it can create high calcium hardness, which can lead to cloudiness. Not chemically cleaning the filter every few months, or not vacuuming and brushing the pool regularly can also cause the pool to cloud.
Cleaning the Water
To get rid of cloudy water in your pool, you must first scrub-clean the sides and bottom of the pool. All pool toys and pool equipment, such as the ladder and net, must be cleaned too. Make sure to get up under the pool ladder rungs, as algae can hide in there. Keep the filter running to take out anything you've loosened up, and backwash when you see the pressure rising on the filter. Add a dose of algaecide and then shock the pool with a chemical shock. The shock treatment can be tripled depending on the condition of the pool, but check with your pool warranty or specialist before adding that much shock.
Leave the filter running 24 hours a day until the chemical level is back where it should be. Chemically treat the filter to get rid of any algae or debris that may have gotten stuck in it. Lastly, rebalance the PH, alkaline and calcium hardness. To balance the chemicals, use a chemical test kit, and check it a couple times a day for the first few days.
Keeping the Water Clear
Prevention is always the best way to deal with your pool water. The surfaces or the pool and pool equipment should be cleaned at least once a week. Brushing them is best because it loosens up anything that may be stuck. Add some oxidizing chemicals to the skimmer once a month to clean out the filter lines. Test the water every day or two. If you add water from the garden hose to the pool, allow the water to run out of the hose for a few minutes before putting it in the pool. This will allow any containments to drain out of the hose before you end up with them in your pool water.
Clean all pool toys at least once a week, and use a dose of shock and algaecide every 2 weeks. The one thing most people miss is chemically cleaning the filter. This should be done every month to 6 weeks. The filter sometimes sits for hours without being used, and algae can begin to grow. Then when you turn it on, it puts the algae in the pool.
Cut back as much of an overhanging tree as possible. If you have a problem with pollen and tree debris falling in the pool, a product called a Skim-Mor will help to eliminate most of it. You can purchase it at your local pool store.
Use your pool often. Swimming in the pool helps to circulate those dead spots that just don't get circulated by the filtering system.