"Soapy" Water After Using An Algaecide

by Mike Fondren

I just bought a round 20'x 48" above ground pool (cheap one).

I set it up as per instructions and hooked up the pump, hoses and etc.

After filling the pool, I noticed that the water had an excess of iron,because of its color.

I followed the instructions of how to get rid of the excess iron and the mineral reducer did a pretty good job.

I then added the other chemicals to get the pH, chlorine and other levels in the correct range.

It looked pretty good at first (a little cloudy but I thought would dissipate).

After the family had used the pool for about 3 hours,it was still cloudy.

The next morning I went out to swim and the pool floor and sidewalls were extremely slick (algae?)

Well, I went to Walmart and bought some algaecide and treated the pool per the instructions on the bottle.

Here's the problem.

After I added the algaecide, the pool is still cloudy although I have changed the cartridge filter numerous times and there seems to be "soapy" water coming back through the return water from the pump.


Thanks for the question Mike

First, congratulations on getting a pool. Doesn't matter how much money you spent on it, if you have fun with it, that's what matters.

I've cleared up hundreds of the most nasty and gut wrenching pools on my pool route in Arizona. Your pool will clear up.

Here's a post you can look over from a guy I recently helped. It's a little long but worth the read:

No Total Or Free Chlorine And Pool Can't Hold Cyanuric Acid (CYA)

I'd like to have all of your chemical readings. It makes the troubleshooting process much easier.


CYA (stabilizer)



Calcium Hardness

I will assume the fill water was and will always have a high metal content. It's important to get that checked on a regular basis by your local pool store.

If your fill water always has copper and/or iron, you'll need to weekly dose your pool with a metal sequestrant.

A metal sequestrant does not remove metal from pool water. It holds it in solution until it can get filtered. Then you backwash the metal out.

Metal sequestrants break down over time and get filtered and back washed out. This is why you'll need to weekly dose your pool if you have high iron and copper.

Metal sequestrants that are 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.

Now for the algaecide.

There's alot of misinformation about what algaecides do and don't do.

What they don't do is kill existing algae.

They're used for preventative maintenance only. A little backup or insurance in case you can't chlorine dose your pool on a weekly basis.

Or when you have a bad algae bloom or green pool water. After you shock the pool the chlorine will consume the algae.

Using a good algaecide during this process is good.

Check the bottle of the algaecide you used. Does it contain copper or any metals?

This could be the problem. Cheap algaecides will do this, especially with a vinyl pool.

This is probably why you're getting "soapy" or "foaming" pool water.

This post is a good read as well:

Sticky Pool Algaecide On Vinyl Liner

If you choose to use an algaecide, get a PolyQuat 60. This is a very good one and is safe for vinyl liners because there's no metals.

Here's another good post from a new pool owner who was not too happy:

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

You can use products to help balance your pool by walking down the laundry isle of your local grocery store, as in the link above.

Best thing to do is keep filtering 24/7 and clean the cartridges each day.

Get another set and swap them out with the old ones. Clean them, and swap them out. This will reduce any down time.

Also get a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit. It's the best and will give you the most accurate readings:

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

Get back to me with your chemical readings so we can get your pool cleared up quickly.

Hope to hear from you soon.


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