The sky is cloudy… “No, I mean your pool!”

Cloudy pool water is a puzzle that a lot of people can’t figure out. People spend tons of money at the pool store looking for a “fix all” bottle of magic (usually clarifier or floc) and unfortunately it is only a band-aid. You will continue to have cloudy water until you address the root of the problem. While there are several reasons for why cloudy water happens, here are a few major things to look for!

1) The Environment – Any foreign material or substances that is not meant to be in the pool (not water, chlorine, etc) can cause cloudy water. Animals, weather, debris, lawn clippings, excessive bathing loads, even sunblock and skin lotion can be a cause of cloudy water. One thing you can do to keep the pool looking clear is to attempt to remove the foreign material as fast as it gets in the water. Some proactive actions you could do to keep the water clear would to be to shower before getting in the pool, don’t allow leaves to sit in the bottom of the pool, and keeping the water balanced, to name a few.

2) Filtration – Keeping your pool filter running for the correct amount of time is vital. It filters and cleans out the water to keep it clear. If the water is left standing it can get cloudy. In the summer time it is recommended to keep the filter running 8 to 10 hours a day. During the fall time it is good to keep it running 6-8 hours a day. Also make sure your filter is routinely cleaned so it can stay efficient at its job in keeping your water cleaned.

For a cartridge filter you want to clean the cartridge filter every 4-6 months or when the operation pressure is 10 PSI more than the starting pressure and replace the element once per year. The cartridge elements generally last for 2500 hours of filtering before the capability is greatly diminished.

For a DE filter you want to backwash it every couple of months to as often as once a month (don’t forget to recharge the filter with more DE powder according to the SQ FT of the filter) or when the operating pressure rises 10 PSI above starting. Once a year you will want to take out the grids out and clean them because they will be clogged with powder, dirt, debris, etc. This will hinder the filters ability to clean the water. Again, don’t forget to replace the DE powder or your filter will not actually clean the water and all the grime and dirt will just pass through it.

For a sand filter you want to backwash every couple of months to as often as once a month. Frequency is dependent on several external factors such as bathing loads, environment (did a lot of storms happen), algae blooms, etc. Backwashing is also something that is needed once the pressure rises 10 PSI above the starting pressure. You should replace the sand every 5-7 years to keep it running as efficiently as possible. You will need swimming pool filter specific sand. Don’t go out to Clearwater Beach and start taking sand from there.

3) Proper Water Chemisty – Proper Chemisty is something that should be checked and adjusted at least once a week in order to keep the water balanced which will aid in water clarity. If the chemicals are excessively high in your water then it could create a cloudy aquatic environment. Things such as high chlorine (except for shocking the water), high pH, high alkalinity and high calcium hardness can all attribute to cloudy water. All of them except calcium hardness can be addressed with a chemical to reduce the offending chemical. The only way to reduce calcium hardness is diluting it through water replacement.

If you just got done brushing the walls, steps, floor of your pool or just gone done shocking your water don’t fret if it’s cloudy. The filter will take care of that, if it’s maintained and working properly of course 🙂


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