How to Patch a Pool with Water in it

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Help! I Have Cloudy Pool Water

On May 16, 2024

Aquaman Leak Detection - Help! I Have Cloudy Pool Water Blog ImageYou never know exactly what you will find when you pull back your winter pool cover and start preparing your backyard for summer fun. You may discover the water isn’t the crystal-clear color you are used to enjoying. If that’s the case, don’t panic. There are several reasons your swimming pool water can look cloudy, and each one has a simple solution to try to remedy the situation.

Why is My Pool Water Cloudy? 

Several common causes of cloudy water include poor filtration, low chlorine levels, poor water chemistry, and outside contaminants. Thankfully, you can easily resolve all of these causes.

When cloudy water appears, start by checking and cleaning the pool filter to troubleshoot the source of the issue. Make sure that all pool filter parts are functioning properly, and clean out any debris that may have accumulated.

Improperly balanced pool chemistry is another cause of cloudy pool water. If cleaning a dirty filter doesn't clear up the water, it's time to check for chemical imbalances.

Still Cloudy? Don't Panic

Cloudy pool water is a sign bacteria or algae growth is starting due to depleted chlorine. There are several reasons chlorine becomes ineffective, and the first thing you need to do is check the pH levels of the pool water to determine what chemicals to add.

If the pH levels in your pool are too high (or too alkaline), it will block the chlorine from working well enough to kill off unwanted bacteria. The lower the pH, the stronger the chlorine needs to be to balance the water effectively.

Many chlorinators have bacteria killers such as bromine and cyanuric acid in them. An imbalance of these chemicals will also cause cloudiness.

Another measurement to take into consideration when determining the cause of cloudy water is the TA. Total alkalinity (TA) is a measurement of your pool water's ability to keep the pH stable. It is a measurement of all alkaline substances dissolved in the water. Alkaline elements act as buffers to the pH in the water because they neutralize acids. (source)

The main materials that TA measure are:

  • carbonates
  • bicarbonates
  • hydroxides

A total alkalinity imbalance causes a number of problems, including pH and calcium scaling, both of which can cause cloudiness.

How Do I Keep My Pool Water Clear?

After measuring the pH and chlorine levels in your swimming pool, the quickest way to get the water level back to an ideal range is by shocking the pool. Shocking the pool should resolve the cloudiness as the pH levels balance out.

Shocking the pool is a technique you will want to do occasionally even if the water isn't cloudy. The method is an important one to help kill off bacteria and algae growth.

Should I Swim in Cloudy Pool Water?

Swimming in cloudy pool water is not recommended due to its health risks. Cloudy water can contain harmful contaminants like bacteria and algae, leading to skin rashes, eye irritations, ear infections, and potential gastrointestinal issues. These pathogens can easily spread among swimmers, so keeping the pool clean is important. Additionally, cloudy water reduces visibility in the pool, increasing the safety risk.

Does Too Much Chlorine Make Pool Water Cloudy?

High doses of chlorine, like pool shock, can temporarily make pool water cloudy by killing contaminants. In this example, dead algae and bacteria clump together. This usually clears up after a short time. While this is one possibility, other common pool issues are more likely the cause of your cloudy water.

I Still Have Cloudy Water, What Now?

You may need to give the chemicals you've added some time to kick in depending on how far off balance the swimming pool water was when you started. If you find that the water clears up and then turns cloudy again, it's time to investigate further for an underlying issue.

You need to check your swimming pool chemicals daily. For pools with heavy usage, more than once a day is best. It's harder to rebalance levels the further away from the ideal range the water pH becomes. Your best defense is quickly catching a problem.

Chlorine levels are affected by many factors. Stagnant water from an improperly working filter will turn cloudy, as will using chemicals that were poorly stored or are past their shelf-life and have gone bad. It's also important to be aware of your pool surroundings because direct sunlight will deplete free chlorine quicker than a shaded pool.

Rainwater is another factor to consider when determining why you have a harder time keeping the swimming pool chemicals balanced. Some body oils or lotions will leave a film on the water. Although smaller amounts of body oil residue will filter out, it's best to ask guests to rinse in a shower before entering the swimming pool to prevent oil buildup.

Finally, your swimming pool chemicals will be harder to keep balanced if your pool leaks. When your pool water level is dropping rapidly, you will add more water to keep the pool full. The constant adding of new water will dilute the swimming pool sooner, and this imbalance can also cause your water to stay cloudy.

Will a Cloudy Pool Clear on Its Own?

When the filter system is functioning properly, chlorine levels are within the correct range, water is balanced, and algae growth is addressed, a cloudy pool has the potential to clear up on its own. You may also try a pool clarifier. However, without properly balanced chemical levels, your water will remain cloudy.

If you suspect you have cloudy pool water due to a broken filter or swimming pool leak contact Aquaman Leak Detection. Our professional technicians are available to service all of Florida. We are often able to detect and repair a swimming pool leak in the same visit with minimal damage to the surrounding area and without the need to drain the pool. Check out our reviews on Angie's List, or give us a call for more information.

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By Aquaman

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