Cloudy Swimming Pool Water Troubleshooting
By Dave LeBeau
So your swimming pool water is cloudy again! What causes cloudy pool water? There are many different reasons that lead to cloudy swimming pool water. Following are the most common reasons for cloudy pool water and information on how to troubleshoot the problem in order to return the swimming pool water to a crystal clear condition.
Why does the pool water turn cloudy?
Early Algae Growth - in most cases
cloudy pool water is simply a sign of the earliest
form of algae growth. Make sure you take action
immediately at the first signs of cloudy water
because algae can take over your pool very fast,
sometimes in as little as 24 hours!
Basic Troubleshooting for cloudy swimming pool water
Following are the basics for troubleshooting cloudy pool water. In most cases following these steps will help identify and solve the problem.
Insufficient Filtration - The most
common reason for cloudy pool water is a lack
of sufficient filtration. The most common reason
for insufficient filtration is simply having a
dirty filter that needs to be cleaned. Start your
troubleshooting with the assumption that the pool
filter is dirty. Clean the filter and then run
your system for 24 hours to see if the water will
clear. If the filter is already clean, check the
filtration cycle time to make sure the filter
is running for enough hours during the day. Try
increasing the filtration cycle time and see if
this solves the problem.
Insufficient Sanitizer Hand in
hand with the proper amount of filtration is maintaining
an adequate level of sanitizer or chlorine. Without
a sufficient level of chlorine, bacteria and algae
can start growing very quickly and will soon cause
the pool water to get cloudy and eventually will
lead to a full bloom of algae. Also, remember
that the swimming pool water needs to be balanced
in order for the chlorine to be effective. Make
sure your PH reading is between 7.2 and 7.8.
Insufficient Circulation The next
piece of the puzzle is making sure your swimming
pool equipment is providing a healthy amount of
circulation. After checking to make sure the pool
filter is clean, the filtration cycle is long
enough, and that there is enough sanitizer in
the pool, turn the swimming pool pump on and make
sure it is providing enough circulation. Without
good circulation there will definitely not be
good filtration, even if the filter is clean and
the filtration cycle time is sufficient. First
check the pump basket to make sure it is completely
filling with water when the system is on. Then
check to make sure the return flow to the pool
is healthy. Sometimes debris gets caught up in
the impeller of the pump and restricts the amount
of circulation. If there is debris caught up in
the pump that could very well be the problem.
Remove the debris and turn the pool equipment
back on to see if that solved the problem.
If the problem hasn't been solved using the ideas above you will need to move to the some more advanced troubleshooting ideas. Following is a quick summary of some of the other issues that could be playing a part in the cloudy pool water.
Breach in Filter Media Sometimes
the filter media can have a rip or tear that allows
debris to re-enter the pool during filtration.
When cleaning the filter always examine the filter
cartridges or grids to make sure there are not
any breaches preventing the filter from providing
an adequate level of filtration.
Conditioner Level Too High If the
conditioner level (otherwise known as stabilizer
or cyanuric acid) is too high, the chlorine in
the pool will be rendered ineffective. Test the
water and make sure the conditioner level is between
20 and 80. If it is too high the pool will have
to be partially drained until the conditioner
level is within an acceptable range.
High PH Level If your PH is too
high, adjust it to between 7.2 and 7.8.
High Calcium Hardness If your Calcium
Hardness is greater than 500, you will need to
partially drain the pool until the level is within
an acceptable range (150 - 500).
As you can see a simple thing like cloudy pool water can sometimes get complicated. If following the steps above hasn't solved the problem, consider calling your local swimming pool professional for assistance.