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Cloudy water is the most common, most asked about pool water problem. Period.


Cloudy water has so many causes & so many treatments. The key is figuring out the root cause. Without that knowledge, you'll waste precious time & money trying to clear the water.


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Question:I've been having a cloudy water problem with my pool for over a week. The pool is a 12 X 18 oval and has a 2 month old 1.5 hp sand filter, which I have been running continuously for 4 days.
 
Last week I added some ph plus and the problem began. I brought a sample to the pool store and they told me to add 6 lbs. of alkalinity. This did not help the problem.
 
I tested the water and now have a ph of 7.4 and alkalinity is 94. I added a clarifier and this is showing no improvement. My free chlorine level is at the high end.
 
Do you have any suggestions or thoughts to what this problem may be and how to remedy it? 

Answer: Time.  Time is the solution.  When your pH & TA get that low, the water will be crystal clear; probably with a couple of minute green algae spots starting to grow.  Then as soon as you adjust the pH & TA, the water goes cloudy.

Unfortunately it's a normal phenomena in better than 1/2 the cases, especially at this time of year.  The best thing to do is to let the filter run. Don't backwash it until it gets completely clogged up.  It will gradually clear. Water clarifier (any of them) will not make a significant difference or speed the clearing.  Don't waste your money.

Keep up a regular regimen of weekly shocking with BioGuard Smart Shock followed the following morning by BioGuard Back Up algaecide.  Keep the pool water balanced at all times.  Just because the pool looks clear doesn't mean that everything is OK.  The filter should run a minimum of 8 hours per day, 7 days a week from opening to closing.  Also keep in mind that horsepower doesn't mean that much and actually a lower HP is much better because it isn't blasting the dirt through the sand. 

On a smaller pool, I wish we could go back to 1/3 & 1/2 HP motors.  Those were the days -- & pools stayed much cleaner.  That's my soapbox!
 
Question: I accidentally let the chlorine level get too low and the water got cloudy. I shocked it 2 days ago and still cloudy. I normally keep it very clean and well maintained. I used clarifier and no luck. I don't like floccing. We did that once and had to drain the pool it made such a mess. I have a sand filter. Any ideas? The chlorine level is still very high. Can too much chlorine cause cloudiness?

PH is good, a little low even. I would appreciate any help.

Answer: It sounds as if you're on the right track.  Here's what to do:

1. Keep the chlorine level HIGH.
2.  Maintain PROPER pH (7.4 - 7.6), Total Alkalinity (125 - 150 ppm), Calcium Hardness about 200 ppm.
3.  Keep the filter running 24/7 until it clears.  DO NOT BACKWASH THE FILTER until the filter becomes completely clogged.
4.  Don't add any more clarifier; too much will cause the water to stay cloudy.
5.  Have patience!  Give it a couple of days.
6.  Make sure you're shocking the pool WEEKLY & adding algaecide weekly.
7.  If you have a solar blanket, take it off & physically clean it with algaecide.
8.  USE THE POOL!

Follow Up Response from Pool Owner: Thank you so much for your help! The pool did finally clear up and is once again crystal clear. I have had my pool for ten years and never knew you were supposed to shock once a week! We usually have a problem mid summer, (especially after heavy rains), with cloudiness, that is probably why.
 

Question: I had perfect clear water, added Calcium Hypochlorite, and now it is dull and cloudy. My water is balanced, had that checked today. I was wondering if this is my problem, how do I correct it.

Answer: One of the "weird" things about calcium is that it dissolves better in cooler water than warmer.  Once the calcium hardness is over 300 - 400 ppm, & the water temp gets over 85ish, there's not a whole lot you can do except get the CH down to about 200 (add fresh water) or use a product like Scale Inhibitor to help bind up the calcium or cool the water down (in this heat, I don't think that's going to happen!) to about 80.If you had the water checked at a place that uses the same test strips you use, you're not getting an accurate test.
 
Question: I have a 33,000 gallon pool. The pool is not clear when I swim under water from the deck or looking into the pool it look's clear. Also only in the skimmer I get this greasy kind of black looking stuff in it. Could this be an algae problem? .The total and free chlorine are in the high normal range. The alkaline levels are also normal. The ph only today went up high. It has been very hot here in MD. My question is will this spike in ph make the water cloudy or are you supposed to be able to see clearly underwater?. I'm using a DE filter and back wash it only when my pressures go down or when it goes high on the gauge. I do \notice a small stinging in my eyes. Also noticed the rails that are near the returns get a reddish spots on them. I am wondering if I have a multiple problems going on here. I am on well water so when I do add water the fill comes from it.
 
Answer: Not to worry!  When the pH is high or higher, the water can begin to cloud up or become hazy.  Bring it back down & you'll be fine. As far as the black goo in the skimmer goes, that's also normal especially if you are chlorinating the pool through the skimmer. Basically it's all the oxidized greases, oils, dirt, suntan lotion, hair product, etc.  Just clean it out with a good pool surface cleaner like Off the Wall.  The reddish spots on the handrails could be minor iron staining.  You may want to use a regular dosage of Pool Magnet to control the iron & other metals that may (are) present in your well water.  Use 3 to 4 quarts. Now then 1 qt. monthly as a maintenance dosage.

Question: I am afraid that I put in too much BioGuard Sparkle Up. My pool was extremely cloudy and I had added some Power Floc. The Power Floc ran its course; I vacuumed and then added the Sparkle Up. I added 6 cups, but afterward I realized I should have only added 2 cups.

My pool is still extremely cloudy. My water has been tested and everything is okay. My question is, could adding too much Sparkle Up cause increased cloudiness or does it not matter if you overdose?

Answer: The short answer is no.  The only thing that can happen with adding too much Sparkle Up is that the filter will clog up VERY quickly, and then you have to backwash it out.  You obviously have a BioGuard dealer nearby, so take a sample over & make sure that they do a full analysis PLUS a chlorine demand test (ask for that specifically).  You want to make sure that you don't have anything that needs to be oxidized out causing the cloud.
 

Question: My pool cover fell in the pool so needless to say EVERYTHING fell in the pool when we pulled the cover off.  I shocked the pool, chlorine, algaecide, and clarifier and scooped up all the leaves.  My pool is very cloudy and how can I clear it?  I have a sand filter

Answer: Time, patience, good water balance.  Keep the chlorine High, pH at 7.4 - 7.6, TA 120, CH 200.  Run the filter, don't backwash until completely clogged.  It took a while to get there; it's going to be a few days to get clear.

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