Last Updated: January 16th, 2019
There’s nothing more unsightly than cloudy pool water, and most people assume it’s time-consuming and difficult to get the water clean again. It’s not uncommon to wake up to a cloudy pool that was clear the day before!
There are many reasons why your pool gets this cloudy, and once you know the cause it’s easier to find the solution. There are several methods that will get the water crystal clear, and it’s not nearly as time-consuming if you follow the methods that I’m going to discuss in this article.
Before we get into how to banish the cloud, you first need to understand what caused it.
Why Do You Have Cloudy Pool Water?
There are many explanations for why your pool could be on the murky side, but it is usually for one of the three reasons below:
Any and everything that surrounds your pool can cloud it, and this includes construction, birds, weather, gardens, trees, pool algae, the sun, and of course, people.
Read More: How To Get Rid Of Algae In Pool
The Pool Filter
When your filtration system isn’t working properly, or if it’s not running at least 8 to 10 hours a day, then there’s a good chance that your pool is going to get cloudy. The filter system is designed to constantly clean the water in your pool, and without it, you’re going to be facing some stagnant water that is going to cloud eventually.
When the chemicals in your pool are excessive it can cause your water to get cloudy, as well. Some of the biggest offenders are high alkalinity, high pH, high chlorine or other sanitizers, and high calcium hardness. Try shocking the water each week using the proper amount of shock for the size of your pool.
Don’t be surprised if you get cloudy water after shocking. This occurrence is not uncommon, and rest assured that the water will clear over time. You want to make sure that your filter is running so it can clean up the problem naturally. Try to find a new brand of shock, as well. It’s important to find a shock that uses calcium hypochlorite as the main active ingredient. All the cheaper shocks from big retailers like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart are never a smart choice.
How To Clear Your Cloudy Pool
Once you have determined the underlying cause then you’re ready to clear up that water and get your pool looking good again! Here are 3 methods to clean your pool in no time:
Use a Pool Clarifier
It’s smart to use a pool clarifier on a weekly basis. Pool clarifiers will effectively gather the tiny particles that are clouding your pool water, bringing them together to create larger particles that your filter will have a better chance of grabbing. This type of larger particle is known as a coagulant, which is also a term used to describe blood clots.
The smaller particles on their own are hard for your pool filter to pick up, and that’s why the clarifier will clot them together so that they can be swept out of your pool. You’ll find many kinds of pool clarifiers at swimming pool chemical retailers. Just make sure that what you’re purchasing is a coagulant and you’ll be well on your way to a pristine pool in no time.
Use Pool Floc (Flocculant)
There’s a chemical known as Floc or Flocculant that is perfect for those who are in a rush, or simply want to see the pool cleaned up as quickly as possible. Say you have a pool party coming up, or an outdoor wedding, and your swimming pool looks more like a swamp. When you use Pool Floc, you can clear the pool literally overnight, but you must realize that it can be time-consuming and rather difficult to pull off.
The pool flocculant is going to gather the particles together – similar to a clarifier – and sends the particles to the bottom of the pool. There will be a huge cloud on the floor of the pool, but don’t despair. Unlike the clarifier, this chemical is not meant to help your filter gather the particles.
Once the cloud forms at the bottom of your pool, you’re going to need to manually vacuum up the cloud with a pool pump, instead of an automatic pool cleaner. When you’re vacuuming, make sure your filter setting is on the ‘waste’ or ‘backwash’ option. When using a DE filter or cartridge filter, you need to make sure that you remove the drain plug.
The point of this is to vacuum up the cloudy water OUT of your pool, because when that dirty water goes through your filter it’s going to go RIGHT BACK into your pool. This is definitely what you don’t want.
When vacuuming out to ‘waste’ it ensures that the cloud won’t go through your filtration system. You’re probably going to lose water in your pool, so run a hose into your pool while you’re vacuuming.
Keep in mind that a manual vacuum is necessary for this process. Automatic pool cleaners are not going to work. In fact, that cloud at the bottom of your pool will probably just float right back up again. This process of cleaning your pool is difficult and you’re going to lose a lot of water, but the benefit here is that you can clear out your pool in 24 hours if you do everything right.
Use Your Filter System and Bottom Drain(s)
The skimmer in your pool is designed to clear the top layer of water, and that’s why it will not collect the cloudy particles at the bottom of the pool. With this in mind, you want to help your filter get to those particles lingering at the bottom.
There are two ways to accomplish this:
- You can push the particles closer to the top of your pool through constant stirring, either by swimming in the pool or using a pool brush.
- Make sure the bottom drains are turned on.
If you have an in-ground pool then you should have 1 or 2 bottom drains, and it’s best that you utilize them as much as possible. They allow the filter to start pulling water from the bottom of your pool, including the cloudy particles, and circulates the clean water to the top again. This is a wonderful method, but if you have an above-ground pool that doesn’t have bottom drains then you need to be a little more creative. Here’s a little trick that mimics the effect of a bottom drain:
Try hooking up your manual vacuum cleaner, like you’re about to vacuum the water, but leave the vacuum at the bottom or middle of your pool, and then simply turn it upside down. This helps your pool filter to pull water from the bottom via the manual vacuum, releasing clean, filtered water to the top of your pool.
In conclusion, the three methods that we discussed to clear that cloudy pool are all efficient, fairly straightforward, and effective. Using swimming pool chemicals and your pool’s equipment, you can clear up that water in no time, giving your swimming pool that pristine, inviting appearance that everyone enjoys.