Cloudy Pool Water: Remove the Cloud from your pool

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All the pool owners have been there. The crystal clear, bright, sparkling oasis like pool suddenly turned into a cloudier one. Who wants to swim in a pool like this? So, cloudy pool water is not a desirable state any homeowner wants to have. Apart from the uninviting scene of the pool, it is also not safe for you and your pool’s health.

Cloudiness of the pool water may be the combination of many factors. By sorting out the right reason, you can choose your plan of action to fix the problem. And, this article is all about identifying the reasons of cloudy water of the pool and their solutions. Let’s go deep to find it out!

How cloudy may the pool get?

How cloudy may the pool getThis is the question which will lead you to the ultimate solution. Your pool water may get cloudy in varying degree. To be specific, the degree of cloudiness will tell you the cause, and it will also fix the appropriate action.

A Dull Appearance of the Water

The pool water will look very flat. It is something like the difference between gloss and matte paint. It will lose its normal sparkle or shiny look.

Gloomy Look of the Water

It seems like someone has blurred the surface water. You can still see the bottom of the pool but not clearly. The water is becoming unclear, and now it is more than just dull or flat.

Cloudy Appearance

The water will turn gray or cloudy that it will have the milky quality. If you want to see the bottom, the shallow end will help you. But, from the deep end, you need to give a lot of pressure to your eyes.

Muddy Color of the water

The water is not transparent or translucent anymore. It will get an opaque or muddy color. You can’t see the bottom of the pool.

Why pool water gets cloudy?

Why pool water gets cloudyCloudy pool water is a combination of many factors. Actually, there is not just one underlying cause that may leave your pool water cloudy. If you have a pool, then you should know that the combination of sanitation, filtration and circulation is the way to keep your pool water clean and clear.

There are so many reasons for your pool water to get cloudy. But, it’s mainly because of your filter and sanitizer can’t remove the small particulate matter as fast as they grow. We will categorize the variety of reasons in three categories.

Used Chemicals in the Pool

  • Not enough chlorine in the pool: Inconsistency of chlorine in the pool water is probably the number one reason why your pool has cloudy water.
  • Incorrect use of chlorinating powder or Calcium hypochlorite pool shock may cause cloudy pool water.
  • Overdoses of sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and calcium chloride or the use of sodium bicarbonate and chloride at the same time is another reason behind cloudy pool water.
  • It’s either the pH level of pool or the pool saturation index (ph+Alk+Cal hardness together) has gone too high to make the water cloudy.
  • Presence of high calcium and iron or manganese is another cause of cloudy and colored water.
  • Dissolved water in the swimming pool can make its water cloudy.
  • Added chlorine, copper algaecide, and incompatible stain control agent to PHMB can make your pool water cloudy. Using PHMB for 3 or more years can also do the damage.
  • Excessive tanning oils or hair products or lotions spilled or carried into the pool by swimmers can make the pool water cloudy.
  • The use of chlorine-free chemicals, copper ionizers or liquids (without sufficient shocking), mineral or catalysts (without sufficient oxidation), phosphate removing products will cause cloudiness in the pool water.
  • Repeated use of foamy algaecides, tile line, or pool water line, cleaning products can make the pool water cloudy.
  • Presence of high TDS or Total Dissolved Solids levels is another reason to get your pool water cloudy.

Used Equipment in the Pool

  • The swimming pool pump you use may be bigger in size for the sand swimming pool filter, or it is not running long enough.
  • Bubbles in the pool water may originate from various sources like a suction piping leak, leak at pool pump strainer lid, chlorination connection, and improper installation of pump drain plugs, etc. Whatever the reason is, too much bubble will make the water cloudy.
  • Calcium or other minerals solidify the filter. On the other hand, many other components like broken internal piping, long-term use of PHMB (Baquacil) sanitizer may gum up the filter. As a result, the pool water will get cloudy.
  • If you are using DE filters then improper cleaning, bridged grids, internal breakage, DE leaking can be the cause of cloudy pool water.
  • In case of cartridge filter, improper installation or cleaning collapsed peats, and holes in it may make the pool water cloudy.
  • When you are using sand swimming pool filter, then improper backwash, using of coarse sandblast, channeled filter, and lower amount of sand in the filter can make the pool water very cloudy.
  • A damaged gasket or wrong plumbing of the multiport valve is another reason for cloudy water in the pool.
  • If you brush a freshly plastered pool and acrylic painted or epoxy painted pool, the plaster dust may harm the pool water and make it cloudy.

Environmental Factors

  • Heavy pollen in the air, air pollutants or smog, windblown dust from construction or farming, waterfowl or bird waste, small wash-ins or heavy rains are reasons to make the pool water cloudy.
  • Heavily shaded pool’s water can cloudier than other pools.
  • The high temperature of pool water may also cause the water to turn cloudy.
  • Presence of Algae: It doesn’t matter whether they are dead or alive, algae will make your pool look cloudy.
  • Too many people in the pool mean too much bath and pee in the pool. Your pool size or the pump/filter may not take the load, and it will leave the water cloudy.

So, here’s a 5-minute guide on how to fix cloudy pool water

So, here’s a 5-minute guide on how to fix cloudy pool waterAt the point when your pool resembles a giant bowl of milk—or worse, similar to the Swamp Thing moved in—nobody needs to swim in it. In addition to the fact that it is uninviting, it could be rearing unsafe microscopic organisms or harming your pool and circulation framework.

To stay away from heavy damage and potentially serious illness, you have to make sense of the reason for your shady pool water before you can fix it. Arrangements will change contingent upon how the water ended up cloudy in the first place.

In most of the cases, it’s fairly simple to fix the cloudy pool water. Normally, it requires the correct dose of a flocculant or a water clarifier. Don’t forget that these two things are negatively charged, and they repel with each other. Importantly, too much use of these components may result in a cloudier pool.

However, the color of the water will tell you which procedure you should take to fix your cloudy pool water.

For the Dull Appearance of the Water

  • Run your pump
  • Keep the pH level between 7.2 to 7.6
  • According to the pool, size add the suggested dose of clarifier
  • Make sure to run the pump and filter system for 12 hours

For the Cloudy Appearance of the Water

  • Run your pump
  • Keep the pH level between 7.2 to 7.6
  • According to the pool, size add the suggested dose of clarifier
  • Make sure to run the pump and filter system for 8 hours
  • After turning the pump off, allow your pool to rest for 8 to 10 hours
  • Completely vacuum the pool and collect the waste
  • Run your pump for an additional 4 hours

For Gloomy looking Water

Pool water gets the gloomy or hazy look because of algae. So, first make sure that it’s the algae that are doing the damage to your pool water. You have to apply an algae treatment and have to follow the above-mentioned steps.

For Muddy Color of the Water

  • Firstly, add water to your pool over the skimmer box line
  • Keep the pH level between 7.2 to 7.6
  • In case of the sand filter, set the filter to recirculate. And, if you are using a pool cartridge filter, just take out the cartridge
  • Run your pump
  • According to the pool, size add the suggested dose of clarifier
  • Make sure to run the pump and filter system for 2 to 3 hours
  • After turning the pump off, allow your pool to rest for 10 to 12 hours
  • Completely vacuum the pool and collect the waste
  • If the water is still the same, allow your pool to rest for another 24 hours
  • Repeat the vacuum and waste collecting process 

For the other factors

As I have discussed earlier about the multiple factors of cloudy pool water. First and foremost, ensure that the reasons aren’t mechanical. Also, don’t forget to check if your filtration system is clean and operating perfectly. In addition, make sure that your pool water has enough and consistent chlorination. Because the insufficient amount of chlorine is always the biggest and first cause of cloudy water.

Let’s dig deeper into the job

Let’s dig deeper into the jobIn the previous segment, I talked briefly about the quick fixing of cloudy pool water. Those may not work every time. Fixing cloudy pool water can turn into a very difficult and time-consuming job. In this section, I will inform you about the principal activities of pool cleaning and their process. Hope you will get the right fixing for your cloudy pool water.

  • Fixing chlorine imbalance
  • Dealing with pH and alkalinity
  • Working on the pool circulation and filtration
  • Getting rid of foreign particles, scrub, and vacuuming the pool

Fixing chlorine imbalance

Pool chemistry can be referred to as the trickiest part of the pool maintenance. Before going to the chlorine imbalance take a quick look at the forms of chlorine’s presence in the pool water. The chlorine we add to the water is free chlorine. Combined chlorine is in the water as oxidized, used up, or diluted with the ammonia and nitrogen compounds. The sum of the free and combined chlorine is known as total chlorine.

Now, it is needless to say that the gap between total and free chlorine indicates the range of combined chlorine. The read of combined chlorine always has to be just 0 ppm or below 0.5 ppm.

In a hot or sunny day, the UV light oxidizes the free chlorine. Heavy rainfall dilutes the chlorine. Along with these two things, heavy usage of water causes low levels of free chlorine.

How to fix the chlorine imbalance

  • Check the chlorine level of the pool water on a daily basis
  • Use a chlorine stabilizer agent (For example, cyanuric acid)
  • Shock your pool regularly

Dealing with pH and alkalinity

The concentration of pH maintains the function of all the water chemicals such as chlorine. The chlorine will become ineffective if the pH level of the water goes too high. And, I don’t think that I need to discuss the importance of chlorine for pool water anymore.

And, there is another element TA or total alkalinity. It causes the calcium and pH scaling. The higher level of TA causes the rise of pH level. The pH scale in the pool water should be between 7.4 to 7.8. And, the range of total alkalinity has to be within 80ppm to 120ppm.

How to deal with pH and alkalinity

  • You can use pH reducer to lower the pH level
  • To increase the level of pH, use pH Increaser
  • To lower the alkalinity add muriatic acid and aerate the pool

Working on the pool circulation and filtration

The water-circulation system of a pool is a very important thing to notice whether it is making the pool water cloudy or not. When the water of the pool is unable to circulate in a proper way, it will turn into stagnant and cloudy.

How to fix the pool circulation and filtration system
  • The eyeball fittings help the bottom water of to circulate properly. Make sure that those fittings in your pool are in a point down position.
  • Make sure that your pump is just the right size according to your pool. Otherwise, it can’t clean the pool water adequately.
  • For clean water, at the pool, the filtration system should run 24/7. Make sure that it is running long enough. However, for your home pool, the time may reduce to 8-10 hours.
  • Large particles block your filter, and it makes the work hard for your filter to function properly. Try to remove large particle that may block your filter.
  • Make sure to clean, backwash, and replace the D.E and cartridge filter medium regularly. Depending on the usage you should replace the cartridge filter every 1-2 years. It usually lasts 2,000 hours.

Getting rid of foreign particles, scrub, and vacuuming the pool

Getting rid of foreign particles, scrub, and vacuuming the poolMother Nature can also cause trouble for your pool. In the springtime, foreign particles may find the way to your pool to make the water cloudy. The living or dead algae can also do the damage. On the other hand, sunscreen or body oil may slip into the water causing cloudiness. In addition, rainwater dilutes with pool water and lowers the free chlorine levels. The UV light of the sun also causes the depletion of free chlorine.

Removing Foreign Particles

To remove the visible foreign particles, you can use nets. If the cloudiness persists, you should take the help of a pool clarifier. In addition, using pool flocculants or vacuuming the pool may deal with the fine particles that you can’t remove with net or clarifier.

Scrub and Vacuum to Remove Algae

For algae, you need to control the chemical balance of your pool. Chemicals like pH, TA, chlorine, phosphate, and other pool sanitizers should be there in the right amount. Scrub and clean your pool to remove the algae. You can also vacuum and do a pool shock to get rid of algae.

Stabilize the Free Chlorine

You already know that how important is chlorine for your pool. To protect your pool from chlorine depletion, you can use a chlorine stabilizer. You also can use a pool cover to protect it from sunlight when you aren’t using it. Pay close attention to the chlorine levels and adjust them as necessary.

Preventive maintenance of pool water

It is pretty obvious that you can fix the cloudy pool. But, it may be a very time consuming and a hefty job as well. In addition, there is always a return of the cloudy pool water after an algaecide, vacuum, or other cleaning processes. So, rather focusing on how to clear cloudy pool water or, how to clear cloudy pool water fast; we should concentrate on the preventive measures.

Since it takes a while for the water to get cloudy, one can easily follow some measure to avoid the issues altogether. Cautious and careful maintenance is always the key to preventing your pool water from going cloudy. Firstly, try to create and stick to a pool maintenance guideline or schedule to protect your pool from water problems.

Regular testing and balancing the chemical components, vacuuming, skimming, maintenance of the filter system, and regular shocking is more than enough to keep the water clean and make your pool healthy.

There are three major steps, such as circulation, cleaning, and chemistry as part of the preventive maintenance to stop cloudy water from starting. Maintain the following steps for proper maintenance of the pool water.


You should put the cleaning at the top of your pool maintenance list. Clean your pool water regularly. Get rid of any foreign particles or any other dirt with the use of nets. Use pool clarifier or the other processes according to the size of your pool. Overuse will always cause cloudier water. Also, try to keep the surrounding area of the pool as clean as possible.


As I have said it earlier, circulation and filtration system is the key component that makes your pool clean. Try to focus on the circulation and filtration system that those are functioning well enough to provide you clean and transparent water in the pool. Change your circulation and filtration system whenever it’s necessary.

Chemical properties

Frequently check your pool’s chemical properties, and shock it on a standard premise with the perfect sum and kind of chlorine pool shock for your pool limit. Keeping the aggregate alkalinity level right makes the water steadier against pH changes or variances. In this way, keeping up the total alkalinity level will give better chlorine execution and a fruitful pool care schedule. In the event that high calcium hardness is to be faulted, you should need to include a settling operator or deplete the pool incompletely then refill it once in a while.


Cleaning or clearing up your cloudy pool water isn’t something like a massive undertaking. But, to gain success in the job, you must know what the root of the trouble is and what will fix it. And, to help you with that this whole article centered on these two issues.

Cloudiness of the water is enough to shatter your dream of a pool in the backyard. The cloudy water isn’t only uninviting but can also be the breeding ground for many harmful bacteria. Hopefully, you will try to follow the above-mentioned guidelines to protect your pool water from cloudiness. As a matter of fact, nobody likes to see clouds on their pool rather than on the sky. Happy swimming!


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