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5 Tips for Cleaning a Cloudy Pool

Even on a scorching summer day, no one wants to cool off by diving into a cloudy, murky, unappealing pool. Make your pool inviting with these tips from our Purewater pool specialists for crystal-clear water:

Remove Debris & Algae

There is no point in even starting to try and clear up your cloudy pool if you have debris, or live or dead algae in it.  Organic materials that have sunk to the bottom need to be extracted before the water can clear up. You also need to kill off any live (green) algae. Vacuum the pool thoroughly, even if the cloudiness prevents you from seeing the bottom of your pool. Debris like leaves and dirt act as food for algae, and as they break down will further cloud up the water, so you can kill two birds with one stone by getting on top of the debris situation quickly.

Circulation & Filtration

When our Purewater pool specialists encounter cloudy pools, filtration is often the culprit. If you have a broken or inefficient pump, or if you simply are not running the pump enough hours of the day, fine particles end up suspended in your pool water instead of being trapped by the filter. Run your pump 24/7 during peak pool season, and be sure your return jets are pointed downward. If you have a sand filter, wait until the filter pressure is 7 PSI above clean pressure before backwashing to ensure that the filter is maximally efficient; a sand filter works BEST when there is a little bit of dirt in it!  If the cloudiness comes back, you should chemically clean the sand with Filter Perfect. If your equipment is old or the sand bed has become ineffective, it may be time to upgrade or replace.

Balance & pH

Pools become hard to clear when the pH level is above 7.6, total alkalinity and or calcium levels are in excess of 200 PPM. When you are trying to clear a cloudy pool, your pH level should be a steady 7.2. Bring in a sample of your water to Purewater and we will do a no-charge water test to help get your mineral balance corrected before you start adding treatments and extra chemicals.

Sanitation & Chlorine

Cloudy water usually indicates a high chemical demand. This can occur after periods of heavy usage, or lots of rain.  Buildups of microscopic organic wastes are often to blame. You may need to shock repeatedly, throw in extra pucks, and crank up the chlorinator or salt system. Use liquid chlorine or hTh extra instead of weaker calcium-based shock, which might just make your pool even cloudier.


If the above steps didn’t fix your cloudy pool, clarifying is the next step. For a moderately cloudy pool, try Clarifying Tabs. Very cloudy pools need C-Clear. Always follow the label directions carefully, with C-Clear you need to turn off your filter and wait, often overnight, for sediment to sink. Then you can vacuum it up.  If this solves the issue, remember to follow-up with weekly treatments of Pool Perfect or Phos Free to prevent cloudy water from reoccurring.

If you have any questions, one of our Purewater pool specialists would be happy to help.  If your pool doesn’t clear up or if you want a more specific and detailed prescription, don’t wait.  Call or come into the store with a water sample for free analysis. We’ll get the problem sorted out quickly so you can get back to fun in the pool.

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