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Clear Cloudy Pool Water

Swimming pools can be relaxing and fun. But sometimes the water becomes foggy and cloudy, which can discourage you from enjoying your pool. Here are instructions on how to clear cloudy pool water.

Tools & Materials

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Clear Cloudy Pool Water - Preparation

To clear cloudy pool water, you may need to use some chemicals. For any products you use, be sure to read the label directions carefully for specific instructions on how to use the product correctly and safely. In addition, pool experts recommend that you:

  • Store products in their original containers in a cool, dry and well-ventilated area out of the reach and sight of small children.
  • Never smoke while using pool chemicals.
  • Always add chemicals to the water — never add water to the chemicals.
  • Never add chemicals to the pool while someone is in the water.
  • Never mix chemicals unless the label specifically instructs you to do so.
  • Always wear rubber gloves when handling chemicals.

Solving Cloudy Water Problems

Cloudy water in swimming pools can be caused by poor filtration, pH imbalance or inadequate chlorine levels.

Step 1

Clear Cloudy Pool Water - Check Your Filtration System

Refer to the pool filter manufacturer’s directions to:

  • Make sure the filtration system is running for the amount of time adequate to clarify water based on the pool size and use.
  • Backwash the filtration system as recommended. Backwashing is the process of reversing the water flow back through the filter to remove debris.
  • Chemically clean the filter with a filter cleaner on a regular basis, as recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 2

Clear Cloudy Pool Water - Test Strips

Use a pool water test kit or test strips to check the pH level of the water.

Cloudy water can be caused by high pH levels. The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Total alkalinity should be around 80 to 125 parts per million (ppm) for plaster / gunite pools and 125 to 150 ppm for all other pool types.
Pool water test kits are available at Lowe’s.

Step 3

Clear Cloudy Pool Water - Add Chemicals

Add any necessary chemicals.

  • If the pH or total alkalinity levels are high, add a pH decreaser according to the label directions.
  • If the pH or total alkalinity levels are low, add the necessary amount of pH increaser to raise the levels and balance the water chemistry.
Good to Know

Keeping the pH balanced is the most important part of pool maintenance, and keeping the proper total alkalinity level helps stabilize pH. Test and adjust pH and alkalinity on a regular basis to keep pool water clear.

Maintain Your Pool

Once the water is clear, return to your normal pool maintenance routines.  Keeping up with routine maintenance is the best way to prevent cloudy pool water.

Products for Prevention

Water Clarifier
Pool water clarifiers help clear cloudy water by binding small particles into larger ones, allowing for easier filtration from your pool and reducing cloudy water. Follow recommended dosage rates, since overdosing can actually cause cloudiness to worsen.

Filter Cleaner
Keep your filter running smooth with filter cleaner, the convenient way to remove oily film and scale from all filter types. Filter cleaning is recommended twice a season for optimal filtration and water clarity, and for cloudy water prevention and treatment.

Algaecide works to kill algae in the water that is not deterred by chlorine.

pH Adjusters

Out-of-balance pH can often contribute to cloudy water. Keeping pH in balance with pH increaser and decreaser products will help prevent cloudy water due to water balance issues.

Stabilizer / Pool Balancer
Products in this category protects chlorine from loss due to sunlight.

Chlorine is the most popular pool chemical used.  Chlorine kills bacteria in the water.  Use caution with chlorine, as high amounts can cause breathing problems and aggravate skin issues.