Return Your Cloudy Swimming Pool Back to Crystal Clear Excellence

by Pool Builders on 07-16-2013 in Articles

Every pool owner has had to take care of a murky or cloudy swimming pool at one time or another. A pool can become cloudy with unbalanced pH, weak filtration, or improper sanitation. When the pH is unbalanced, carbonates or sulfates can be forced out of the pool water causing cloudiness. Weak filtration can allow carbonates or sulfates to pass right through the filter medium and be recirculated back into the water. If the chlorine or bromine levels are too low, bacteria or algae in the water may remain suspended in the water rather than die and sink to the bottom. Cloudy water can also be the result of the saturation of total dissolved solids TDS.

When a pool is cloudy or murky, the particulate matter will interfere with the passage of light in the water. This is known as turbidity; which can range from an almost unnoticeable haziness to a pure, milky white color. Although unattractive, cloudy water can prevent the rescue of swimmers in trouble. It can also prevent divers from having any perception, and injury may result from diving into potentially shallow areas of the swimming pool. This particulate matter will also interfere with the ability of the filter and chemicals to properly sanitize the water.

In order to correct cloudiness, the first step is to check the pH of the swimming pool. If the pH is too low, the acid level is too high. Soda ash or sodium bicarbonate should be added to the swimming pool to raise the pH. If the pH is too high, the swimming pool is too basic. Muriatic acid or pH decreaser should be added to lower the pH. A range of 7.2 to 7.6 is optimal. Soda ash, Sodium Bicarbonate, Muriatic acid, and pH decreaser are available through online pool supply websites, or at your local swimming pool supply store.

Next, check your chlorine or bromine levels. If they are too low, it is recommended that chlorine or bromine tablets be added to your distribution system, either a floater or an inline feeder. The optimal chlorine/bromine level is 2.0 to 3.0 parts per million, PPM. Shocking the pool may be necessary if the chlorine has been too low for more than a week.

Once the pH level and the chlorine/bromine level of your swimming pool has been stabilized and is at the proper levels, a pool's cloudiness may disappear on its own. However if the cloudiness remains, the next necessary step is to add pool Clarifier.

Swimming Pool Clarifier will work to coagulate the smaller suspended particles causing cloudiness into larger filterable clumps that will sink to the bottom of the pool. Simply follow the directions on the Clarifier container to determine how much is necessary for the size pool. Use of Clarifier is helpful to boost sanitation, and filtration. Clarifier is especially useful in pools with undersized or with inefficient circulation/filtration systems. The water will clear up as the particulates coagulate and sink to the bottom.

Once the water is clear, it is time to vacuum the particulates off of the bottom. To start, use a clean cartridge, and/or backwash the sand filter so it is clean and can provide the strongest suction. Assemble the vacuum system using a vacuum pole and head. Move the vacuum head along the bottom of the swimming pool in slow even strokes.

The particulates on the bottom are very light and can easily be disturbed and refloated into the swimming pool. It is recommended that the head is never lifted during vacuuming, but only moved along the bottom of the pool in straight even motions. Once vacuuming is finished, be sure to clean out the cartridge filter and/or backwash the sand filter thoroughly to get all of the particulates out of the filtration system.

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