How to Clear Cloudy Water
It’s summer time and you all must be ready with your pools. While it is very easy to maintain your above ground pool things may get a bit complicated if you notice cloudy water on your pool. Cloudy water can be really hazardous and toxic, thus, it must be treated immediately. There can be a number of reasons which can make your pool water cloudy. Before rushing ahead try and analyse what went wrong? Is it the season or is there any fungal growth? Once you identify the reason behind the water being cloudy you can take the necessary actions to get rid of the problem.
The most common reasons of cloudy water in pools are:
Formation of algae
Algae tends to form a layer on the water as well as accumulates on the sides or the walls of the pools. This makes the water look very cloudy. It also contaminates the water and makes it really unhealthy for any purpose.
Chlorine level too concentrated or dilute
Adding pool chlorine to the water helps you get a safe swimming pool. Chlorine kills of all bacteria and micro-organisms and prevents health problems and diseases. For example Legionnaire’s disease, ear infections and athlete’s foot.
The chlorine levels of the pool fluctuates depending on the number of people swimming in the pool, amount of sunlight and rain the pool water receives.
The water may possibly turn opaque or murky if the chlorine level is too high in the pool water. However, if the chlorine levels drop below a certain point it can lead to cloudiness as well. You should keep checking the chlorine levels of the pool frequently to avoid cloudiness. It is recommended that the amount of chlorine should be around 2.0 to 4.0 parts per million.
You need to run the pool pump and filter for a few hours everyday without fail. The time span for which you run the pool filter depends on a number of factors such as the size of the pool and the frequency of using the pool as well as the type of filter your pool has (DE filter, cartridge filter and so on)
Mostly, running the pool pump eight hours is good enough. It you cannot do so there are high chances for the water to become stagnant which can lead to the build up of tiny particles and debris. This makes the pool water opaque and turbid.
High/ Low pH
Well, you do not need to have a lot of scientific knowledge to understand this. This is no rocket science but simple scientific fact. All you need to do is check how acidic or basic your pool water is.
If the pH level of the water is above 8.0 it simply means that the water is too basic for the chlorine to work while if it’s too low i.e., less than 7.0 it can be overly acidic. If the water becomes too acidic, it tends to corrode the wall and damage it so that it wears away. The debris and particles can corrode the lining which might cause cloud in the pool water.
Apart from chlorine there are other pool chemicals which can affect the water as well especially calcium.
If the water is too hard, it clearly indicates that there is an excessive amount of calcium in the water. This tends to make the water murky. It not only makes the water cloudy but also damages the pool filter and plumbing.
On the other side if the water lacks necessary amount of calcium it can wear down the surface and corrode more easily, thus, shortening the swimming pool’s lifespan.
Rainwater is said to be the purest form of water. Well, it’s not the same here. Even a little amount of rain can cause trouble to your pool by altering the chemical levels in the water such as chlorine and calcium.
It is extremely impractical to cover pools for the sake of rain. Instead, it is more advisable to monitor the pool that you have after the rain stops.
If you find that the water in your pool is cloudy test the pH, chlorine as well as other chemical levels using a test kit and make the necessary adjustments.
How do you know exactly which pool chemical is not balanced?
To verify if the pool chemicals are imbalanced you can get a fast, accurate and user-friendly test kit. LaMotte ColorQ Pro 11 is highly recommended as it is one of the best digital test kits for pool water. Also, it saves a lot of time as is very effective as well. It is perfect for frequent use. It tests the pH, combined chlorine, free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, cyanuric acid, total alkalinity, calcium hardness as well as other metals such as copper, iron, biguanide and so on.
The pool calculator is used to find out the exact amount of each chemicals which should be added. Always remember that the water can get cloudy if the pool chemicals are in excess as well.
Free chlorine is the one which can be added with water while combined chlorine is a combination of ammonia or nitrogen to dilute or oxidize the chemical. The later is also a disinfectant and kills micro organisms. Total chlorine is the sum of free and combined chlorine.
Difference between Free, Combined and Total Chlorine
How can cloudy water be treated incase of chlorine imbalance?
More the gap between the range of total and free chlorine, the more you find combined chlorine in the pool water. The amount of combined chlorine shouldn’t be more than 0.5 ppm. 0 ppm is the ideal amount. Thus, to know the exact level of combined chlorine in water you must check it every day especially during summers.
Low level of chlorine can be caused due to heavy rainfall, heavy usage, oxidation of UV light with free chlorine. If your above ground pool is located outdoors you can use chlorine stabilizer like cyanuric acid. The acid is really strong, hence, if used over recommended levels, it can disappear all the free chlorine which in turn can lead to the growth of algae and turn the water cloudy. If in any condition you use a chlorine stabilizer more than the required amount you can always add some pool chlorine to balance it out.
We can conclude by saying that if the level of combined chlorine reads above 0.5 ppm, the water may turn cloudy as well as become quite unsafe for swimming. If such a case arises you should clean your pool immediately with a pool cleaner.
Check pH as well as Total Alkalinity
The pH concentration of the pool water helps in knowing how the chemicals function, chlorine being one of them. If the pH level increases over a certain point the chlorine becomes ineffective and by now you must have known the importance of chlorine among all the above ground pool chemicals.
How can the pH Balance of the Pool be Balanced?
To lower the pH level you need to have a pH reducer like sulfuric or muriatic acid. Anything which is below the pH of 7.0 is too low and can turn the water cloudy.
Now, if the pH level of the pool is less than required, use a pH increaser like In The Swim Pool pH Increaser.
How can the Total Alkalinity be Balanced?
The total alkalinity of the pool should be around 80 to 120 ppm. If the pH levels rise up then it can cause calcium scaling. Thus, to lower the total alkalinity you can and aerate or muriatic acid to the swimming pool. This will restore the pH levels without adding the pH increaser.
Keep Pool Filtration and Circulation System Clean
Poor filtration system can cause big problems to the water-circulation system of the pool. If the swimming pool water cannot circulate properly, it can become cloudy and stagnant. There are certain steps which you can follow to fix the problem.
- It must be ensured that the return fittings must be turned down to enable the water in the pool which remains at the bottom to circulate properly. The circulation system, however, depends on the fact as to how the pool has been built.
- Using the right pump size is extremely essential to clean the water adequately.
- The swimming pool filter should run long enough. It is best if the pool filters run 24/7, however, home pool filter can run around 8-10 hours a day if it isn’t in use all the time.
- Remove the particles which tends to block the pool filter as it is the filtration system which keeps the pool water clean. If the filtration system does not work properly, the water may get dirty, cloudy or even develop algae. It’s mostly the large particles which block the filtration system especially cartridge pool filters and diatomaceous earth (D.E).
- It is important to clean, backwash and replace the cartridge filter and D.E regularly. The cartridge pool filters last upto 2,000 hours and must be replaced in 1-2 years, depending on the frequency of their usage.
Which is the Best Pool Filter?
There are three main types of filters. They are: sand pool filter, cartridge pool filter and diatomaceous earth or DE. Each type of filter has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The most efficient filter is believed to be DE, followed by the cartridge filter and finally the sand filter. Let us now look into the different kinds of filter in details
When it comes to semi-public or public school, sand filter is by far the best pool filter. The sand may get clogged in the sand filter and destroys its efficiency. Thus, it must be replaced every year with a new one.
Incase of private pools DE and cartridge filters are preferred over sand filters. It is so because they tend to clog more often in public pools and require frequent replacement.
Removal of Foreign Particles and Scrub as Well as Vacuuming the Pool
Another reason for cloudy water is environment and weather. To fix it and to prevent the water from becoming cloudy, you can the tips mentioned below:
- During spring, foreign particles of different shapes and sizes may enter the Things like body oil and sunscreen may get washed off from the bodies of the swimmers and accumulated in the pool making the pool water cloudy. To avoid this you can take the help of nets to do away with the particles which can be seen. Also, you can use a pool clarifier such as In The Swim pool water clarifier if the cloudy water still persists. You can also get rid fine particles with a nice pool vacuum which cannot be removed with the help of a clarifier or a leaf net.
- Algae leads to cloudiness in the early growth stages. To remove them, scrub your pool and clean it well using leaf net and a swimming pool vacuum. Lastly try a pool shock to do away with the remaining algae. To prevent them from growing back, keep an eye on the pH levels, chlorine, phosphate and other pool chemicals.
- Free chlorine gets depleted very easily in sunlight. The more the sunlight, the faster it depletes. To avoid it you can place the pool under a tree so that the sunlight cannot penetrate through it easily. However, if your pool is placed in a place which is prone to get the direct rays of the sun, use a chlorine stabilizer or pool covers when you do not need to use it.
- Rain water also reduces the chlorine level of the pool and makes it cloudy. To avoid it you can cover pools when it rains or readjust the chemical levels once it stops raining.
It is very important to keep your pools clean as cloudy pool water can lead to a number of infections and health conditions. Also, it means that it the pool lacks sanitation which makes it even more gross to swim in such pools. Thus, always make it a point to keep your pools clean and sanitized.