Pool is Cloudy But Chemicals Are Fine

Proper maintenance and testing on your swimming pool are essential to keep control and cost down but as the summer months come so do the hot temperatures that can take a healthy balanced pool and turn it could in a few hours leaving you with the clock ticking as the kids are pleading with you to figure it out. What if the pool is Cloudy But the Chemicals Are Fine?

When the pool is cloudy, but you determined the chemistry is fine, clean out the pump strainer, skimmer baskets, & any obstructions in & out of the filter, check pressure gauge on the filter & if pressure is 8–10 PSI higher than its working pressure, the filter needs to be cleaned &/or backwashed.

In this article, you will see the different reasons why your swimming pool goes cloudy sometimes the reason can be mechanical rather than chemical and this is why maintenance is so important to a well-run pool.


Pool Water is Cloudy but Chemicals are Fine


The definition of “cloudy” is used to describe water that looks milky or has a murky, unsightly appearance. This is due to tiny particles in large numbers that are suspended or dissolved in the pool water. This can happen in extreme summer temperatures that heated up the pool and destroy the free chlorine-lower pH or alkalinity which are all possibilities in most locations throughout the country.

These particles are so tiny ranging from 0.5 to 5.0 microns that they’re virtually impossible to see unless they are together in dilution. The first way of solving the cloudy water problems is to check the filtration system and see if there is a mechanical problem then move on to the chemical balance in the pool water. 

When the pool is cloudy, but the chemicals are fine, try cleaning out the pump strainer and skimmer baskets, and check the pressure gauge on your pool filter. If the pressure reads 8–10 PSI higher than its starting (clean) pressure, the filter needs to be cleaned and/or backwashed.

What Makes Water in My Pool Cloudy


Depending on the cause of your mechanical failures coming from your filter or a chemical imbalance, there are various solutions to help rectify the issues listed above. Firstly, test your chlorine levels on a daily basis and adjust where appropriate. This is particularly important during summer when there are hot temperatures or you’re using the pool regularly.

The “dog days of summer” always sneak up on a pool owner and once the August temperatures boil over what happens is everyone including the neighbors jump in your swimming pool along with the dogs putting your swimming pool chemistry to the test. What worked in July just won’t work in August.


Poor Filtration and Pool Maintenance

If it is a mechanical issue that is causing your pool water to become cloudy, then addressing the filtration system is your first checkpoint. Make sure you’ve invested in a proper filter that is suitable for the size and location of your pool.

Clean the filter well and check all the parts of your filter and pump are working correctly. Check pressure and backwash accordingly.

Try cleaning out the pump strainer and skimmer baskets, and check the pressure gauge on your pool filter. If the pressure reads 8–10 PSI higher than its starting (clean) pressure, the filter needs to be cleaned and/or backwashed.

Remember, owning a pool means conducting regular, routine maintenance including brushing and vacuuming your pool and checking that the mechanics are running optimally. Making sure you are running your filtration system for an adequate period of time will further clear up and prevent cloudy pool water. Make sure that the filter has no obstructions in the suction or discharge of the filtering system.

If you use your pool regularly, running it 24/7 will help keep the pool water clean all the time unless there are other problems brewing in the pool water. For residential pools that aren’t used too often, running it at least 8-10 hours a day should do but it depends on how big and how much use the pool gets.


Pool Chemistry Combined Chlorine and Broken Pool Filter


Good Chlorine levels are crucial for sanitizing and disinfecting your pool. But all Chlorine is not the same. Total Chlorine (TC) is the sum of Free Chlorine (FC) and Combined Chlorine (CC). Free Chlorine is the sanitizer & disinfectant. Combined Chlorine (CC) is just spent chlorine & not good for your pool.

If the Combined chlorine rises to higher levels and takes over your pool the result is cloudy pool water. 

Test (TA) or Total Alkalinity could be out of range-adjust the TA to 80-120 ppm.

If your pH levels are too low, you can use a pH increaser and a pH reducer (pH minus) will help reduce the levels if they are too high. High TA levels can also be lowered using a pH reducer. You may need to repeat this several times until you reach acceptable levels.

If CH is the cause of your cloudy pool water, you can reduce the amount of calcium-based chlorine that you’re using to maintain your pool. A setting agent will also help reduce the quantity of calcium already in your pool. 

Particles of inorganic and organic material together, make for suspended debris that is difficult to be filtered or sink to the bottom for vacuuming and take out of the pool a Clarifier will bond these particles together and create pin floc making it more manageable for the filtering system.

Once the pool chemistry is balanced, you can use a pool water clarifier as a weekly maintenance preventive to clump debris together, making it easier for the filter to catchThis is sometimes called a Polisher.


Clear Up a Cloudy Water Pool


Once you figured out whether the pool is cloudy because of mechanical or chemical reasons it’s time to clear it up!

The quickest way to clear up a cloudy pool is the use of a pool clarifier. These work with any type of filter and pool surface type. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your cartridge, take it out and give it a good hose down.

For DE Cartridge Filters-If you are after a thorough clean, soak your cartridge in a tub of clean water with a Filter cleaner for at least 12 hours. After that, give it a good rinse and it should be as good as new! Using a Pool water clarifier is a good quick fix, but it should not be used if you have a cartridge filter as it will clog the paper pleats, leaving you needing to replace your cartridge filter element.

Sand Filters-Pool clarifiers work to gather the tiny particles that have made your pool water cloudy, clumping them together to create bigger particles that will be easier for your sand filter to pick up trapping them and separating them from your swimming pool water.

  • Add Clarifier to the pool while recirculating
  • Run the Filter after a few hours
  • Then Backwash accordingly.

Sand Filters-Pool flocculants work by gathering all the particles that are making your pool water cloudy making them heavier than water and sending them to the bottom of your pool, creating a mat of particles or sludge on the floor of your pool. Unlike a water clarifier, this chemical will not help your filter trap the particles as they will condense and settle at the bottom of your pool.

  • Add Pool Flocculant to the pool while recirculating
  • Then Vacumn and Waste accordingly
  • Filter and Backwash accordingly

If the Chemicals are balanced but the heat took the chlorine out of the pool with the help of heavy usage making it cloudy then:

My Pool is Cloudy After I Shocked It


The cloudiness in the pool after shocking is normal, & should only last an hour or a few, due to the reaction of dissolving crystals, salts, and inert materials like Calcium and Cyanuric Acid found in Calcium Hypochlorite based Shock Chlorine products.

There are a few types of Shock Chlorine on the market today but the most common and strongest is Cal-hypo or Calcium Hypochlorite which contains other ingredients that help it dissolve and do its thing.

If your Pool Water isn’t cloudy before you add the shock Chlorine to the pool then the cloudiness has more to do with the Shock Chlorine than the chemistry in your swimming pool.



Pool Water is Cloudy from Combined Chlorine Poor Filter


After you resolved any poor  Filtration problems, poor chemicals, or an imbalance in the chlorine or pH level of your pool, you may want to look at the pool’s chemicals you adding to keep your swimming pool clear and free from cloudiness in the first place.

There are pool-cleaning products, cleaners, personal care products like suntan lotion, algae inhibitors, algaecide products, and products to enhance your filter system. It could be caused by a number of things other than the water chemistry or filtration system. Outdoor contaminants can get into your swimming pool making your pool cloudy.

There could be various reasons why your pool water turned cloudy:

  • During the initial reaction of the granular chlorine hitting the pool water and dissolving. Most quality Granular Chlorine contains fast-dissolving crystals.
  • Most Shock Chlorine is made of Calcium Hypochlorite shock and is made with Calcium. If your pool water is slightly on the hard side, it might have a cloudy effect.
  • All Granular Chlorine like Shock Chlorine contains inert material that disperses and comes out when diluted in your pool, especially at night under the pool light. You are Shocking your pool at night, aren’t you?
  • Use the best and strongest available Shock Chlorine by reading the label on its container.
  • There are other ingredients that can temporarily cause a small amount of cloudiness. Cyanuric acid can come out of the solution when very high. Test your cyanuric acid, which is a chlorine (stabilizer) level every month or two to be sure that it doesn’t rise above 50 ppm.


Pool Water is Blue But Cloudy


A Blue pool is always good but if the pool water is cloudy then there are stubborn problems with keeping your pool clear. It could be an indication that your pool chemicals are not balanced or a good chance that you have particles in your pool left over from the pool party, It could be a number of factors. Poor filtration, pool chemicals, or chemistry you name it.

  • Faulty Filtration System

If you are wondering how can my pool be blue but cloudy? then one likely reason is the filter. If your pool filter is not working properly, your pool is going to be cloudy because the water is stagnant. Blooms of algae are slowly taking over

Most cloudy pool issues are due to filters that simply aren’t doing their job. This could be due to a faulty pump, a filter that’s clogged, or maybe the fact that the filtration system just hasn’t been running long enough.

  • Incorrect PH Levels Or Chlorine Levels

The pH and chlorine levels are other culprits for murky pools. Chlorine depends on the right pH levels to stay what is called “free.” If there’s not enough free chlorine, then it forms something called chloramine, and this chloramine is what gives the pool a cloudy texture. Because the recommended level of chlorine combined chlorine level should always be just below 0.5 ppm or 0 ppm. In addition, a pH of over 7.8 will make the chlorine ineffective at destroying bacteria. This affects the water’s quality and adds a greater risk for algae.

  • High Levels Of Alkalinity

The total alkalinity (TA) is closely associated with cloudy pools. If it’s higher than it should be, it makes the pH balance off, which creates a problem called scaling due to calcium. So, if you have higher than 200 ppm of TA, this might be the reason that your pool is blue but cloudy.

  • Too Much Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness (CH) is the total calcium dissolved in the pool water. If the levels of calcium are too high, then they will be unstable. And any imbalance in TA or pH will affect them. You want to aim for 100 to 400 ppm of CH. If it goes over 400 ppm, then calcium scaling can occur and cause cloudiness.

  • Particles Left Behind By Swimmers

People in the pool can leave behind particles from sunscreen, sweat, and other bodily oils. If these combine large enough, they’ll start to make a visual difference, and you’ll notice a more cloudy pool.

  • Debris From The Environment

Flowers, twigs, trees, buds, and other things from your yard can land in your pool. If you don’t have great circulation, these can eventually cause cloudiness.

  • Rainwater

Rainwater has nitrates, phosphates, and other elements that turn your pool cloudy. In addition, a lot of rainfall can dilute the amount of chlorine in your pool, so it’s not as effective in keeping it clear.


How to Clear a Cloudy Pool with Baking Soda


If the cloudy pool water problem is being caused by the water in your swimming pool having a lower-than-recommended pH and Alkalinity. Baking soda, when added to a swimming pool, always adds to the pH and Alkalinity of any swimming pool in incremental amounts.

The amount of baking soda you need to add to pool water to balance its pH and Alkalinity should be determined. Baking Soda also has a settling agent that can act as a flocculant. 

You should dilute the baking soda in a bucket of water or just broadcast it over the entire surface of your swimming pool. Determine how many parts per million your Alkalinity is low. Don’t worry about the pH level because it will go up along with the Alkalinity when you add your baking soda.

Add your baking soda. You will add 1.4 lbs. baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water in your pool to raise your pool water alkalinity to ten parts per million (10 ppm). This is a ballpark figure. It’s not as strong as a soda ash chemical or a clarifier, but Baking Soda is a natural agent different from other pool chemicals. It can help with pool cleaning, cloudy water, and poor filtration.





JimGalloway Author/Editor


Reference: MyWaterEarth&Sky-Cloudy WaterAfter Shocking



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