How Can I Clear Up My Water

by Kimm
(North Carolina)

I have a 13000 Gal above the ground pool. It was neglected for most of the summer last year due to financial problems, but now this spring, we are opening it up.

I have gotten it balanced, gotten rid of chlorine demand, and have vacuumed out 3 skimmer baskets full of debris from the bottom.

My dilema is this: during the winter, our metal pole we use to attach to the vacuum hose fell in the pool and we didnt notice it until I went to start cleaning it this spring. So I now have an oxidation scale on the sides of the pool that I have tried to brush off.

I have gotten it off the loose layer, but there is still a layer that will not come off unless I scrape it off with my fingernails. Despite the pool being totally balanced, it is still extremely cloudy.

I have flocked it this weekend and was assured this will settle everything to the bottom, but of course, it hasnt. I vacuumed it this morning to waste and DID get alot of the scale out to the yard.

My question/questions for you is could this cloudyness be due to the oxidation still? What must I do to get it clear? Will the residual scale that is on the sides just keep it cloudy?

I am at my wits end with this thing and am just ready to rip the whole thing out and say forget it. I am SICK of working on it without seeing any results.

ANYTHING you can tell me would be greatly appreciated. I have spent over $400 on this pool since the end of April.


Thanks for the question Kim

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper).
It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster.

You can get this done at your local pool store.

Next is the cloudiness. There could be many reasons why a pool goes cloudy. More times than not it's an early sign of an algae bloom. This is why I need your readings so I can rule that out.

Cloudy Pool Water

I would encourage you to lay off floccing the pool for a while. While this could be a temporary fix, it never addresses why the pool is cloudy in the first place.

Do You Really Need All These Chemicals For A Pool Or Are They Just Trying To Get Your Money?

Can Super Floc Remove Pool Algae?

I would encourage you to test for metals in the water, mainly copper and iron. While the pole might be a contributing factor, you need to know if your fill water is high in metals. In that case, you would want to use a metal sequestrant that is based on HEDP, phosphonic acid or something similar are the most effective.

Jack's Magic Blue, Purple, and Pink Pink Stuff, Metal Magic, Metal Free, & Metal Klear are very good. Be sure any algaecides you use don't have any metals or copper in them. You don't want to add to the problem. An algaecide does not remove green pool water or kill algae, it's used for preventative measures only, normally on a weekly basis. A PolyQuat 60 algaecide is a good one to use.

A metal sequestrant does not remove metal from pool water, regardless of what the guy at the pool store says. It holds it in solution until it can get filtered. Then you backwash the metal out. Because metal sequestrants break down over time and get filtered and backwashed out, you need to weekly dose your pool if you have high iron and copper.

Here's a good post about using the wrong algaecide with a vinyl pool liner:

Sticky Pool Algaecide On Vinyl Liner

Another test you can run is with ascorbic acid, which is nothing more than Vitamin C. The procedure is found here:

Brown Algae Won't Come Off Of A Vinyl Liner

Using a Trichlor tablet, hold it on the stain for about 10 minutes. Use a stick or a pool pole. You can also use about 1/2 lb. of calcium hypochlorite (granular chlorine) in an old sock to put on a spot.

If the stain doesn't lighten up, gets darker or the color changes to black, it's probably a metal stain. If it does lighten up, it's organic and a shock will take care of it.

To confirm it's a metal stain, get a Vitamin C tablet (crushed up acsorbic acid), put that in a sock, and place it on the stain.

If the stain is removed, you can treat the pool with the ascorbic acid treatment.

To sum it up:

- Get me your chemical readings

- Test for metals. If you have them, use a metal sequestrant.

- Test for metal staining using the chlorine tab and Vitamin C tablet. For organic stains, you'll shock the pool. For metal stains, ascorbic acid treatment.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Contact Me


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


Comments for How Can I Clear Up My Water

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 01, 2014
Form On Pool
by: Anonymous

Why is there form on my pool. I added shock and it formed up.

Thanks for the question

As the other question states I need a complete set of readings: Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs.

Most of the time foaming, and that's what I assume you mean when it says "form", comes from using a cheaper copper algaecide. If you feel the need to use one I suggest a PolyQuat 60. It contains no metals and is safe for vinyl liners.

Sometimes it could be an air leak in the return side. Also, what kind of shock did you use; liquid, granular, or Dichlor?

Get back to me with the chemical numbers and I'm sure I can help.

Oct 23, 2014
Cloudy Pool
by: Harvey Sharpe

A contractor applied an epoxy to my resurfaced deck. About 1/2 hour later it began to rain and it was a Florida deluge.

The product washed into my pool and is in suspension. I have tried all the local chemical fixes and nothing has worked, I can barely see my bottom drain and nothing I've tried has solved my problem. Any ideas?

Thanks for the question Harvey

I understand about the rain. I also live in Florida and we got 9" of rain in 3 days.

I don't have the fixes you received from the pool store nor the kind of filter you have so I can only give you my suggestions.

First is to keep filtering 24/7 and either spray the filter out every 12 hours for a cartridge filter or backwash for sand and DE. For a DE filter clean the grids and recharge with fresh DE. For a sand filter, be sure there's the right amount of sand.

Next is to shock the pool a few times. It's 1 gallon of pool chlorine to shock per 10k gallons.

You can use a clarifier or coagulant product and triple up on the dose. It's normally about 2 oz. per 5k gallons for maintenance so use 6 oz.

Clarifiers make larger particles out of smaller particles. These get caught in the filter and can be backwashed out. Coagulants clump the smaller particles together. These fall to the bottom and can be vacuumed up. You can vacuum to WASTE. Be sure to top the water off and don't allow the water level to get below the skimmer.

Test the water and make the right adjustments because you're going to use alot of new water which will dilute the chemical readings.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Swimming Pool Chemistry.

swimming pool care, basic pool care, above ground pool maintenance, inground, salt water

Click Here To Learn How This eBook Can Save You TONS Of Time & Money

Click Here To Learn The Best Way To Clear Up Your Pool 

Recent Articles

  1. Our Swimming Pool Water Is Slightly Milky? Problems..

    Please can anyone tell us why we have a slightly milky look to our swimming pool water? How can we get that chrystal clear water? When we do a test (we

    Read More

  2. White Slimy Film On The Bottom Of Pool

    the water was crystal clear but upon skimming the top we noticed a white slimy film completely covering the pool liner.

    Read More

  3. High Cynaric Acid

    My pool is a 26,000 gallon above ground vinyl liner. around 7/31/2014 the cya raised to 113

    Read More