Clear Up Cloudy Pool Water

by Heather Cochran

I found you on youtube and think that your information is awesome. I am a new pool owner (2nd year) and absolutely know nothing about it. We had it maintained last year but with a recently decline in our household income are having to care for it ourselves this year. We started out with a green pool of algae since our cover got destroyed in one of our many winter storms this year and I was told by my local pool store a list of items to put into the pool and when to do so.

In short I have put algaecide 60 (1 quart) in along with granulated chlorine premeasured by pool shop, shock (2 bags) and Phosfree (16 oz). Ok so my pool turned to a cloudy blue from the green color and has remained there for the past 3 days. I know it takes time but like this is no change at all not even a little bit. I picked up some clorox test strips from walmart and it doesn't give exact amounts just A, B, C, D, and E, but here are my readings from them: Hardness: Between A and B (0-100) Total Chlorine: 2 Free Chlorine: 2 ph: 7.0 Total Alkalinity: 20 Stabilizer: 25 Those are all that are on the strips I have. I would greatly appreciate any advice or help that you could give! Pool Info: Above ground 24 ft round. 54 in vinyl liner and sand filter

Thanks for the question Heather

Taking care of a pool is one of the easiest things you can do. If you have the right information you'll do the right thing which will result in right outcomes.

First thing is to get the Taylor K-2006 kit. Test strips are convenient but lack accuracy. I've made several detailed videos on how to use it.

Next is to really watch the advice you get from pool store employees. They're nice guys and you need to have a pool store but the vast majority of them have never cleared and balanced up a green pool. They know how to sell chemicals.

First is the algaecide. You mention algaecide 60 which I will assume is a PolyQuat 60. You need to understand that algaecides don't kill already existing algae, chlorine can only do that. Next is the term "shock". That's a name of regular chlorine, just marketed as something you need. You don't need to buy "shock" because it doesn't exist. Shocking is a process done TO a pool, it's NOT a product you buy in addition to regular liquid chlorine. And that's what you should only use, liquid chlorine. You may have purchased a stabilized form of chlorine. That's for another time. Basically you're getting the wrong information from the wrong people.

Phosfree is another product that you don't need. I have made a couple of videos about that. I just uploaded them on my pool chemicals page and you can watch them if you wish.

Your readings completely dictate how to clear up and balance the pool and that's why you need a good test
kit. But we'll go on what you have right now.

The TA is a bit low. Normal range is 80 - 100ppm which you can raise later. The pH is good at 7.0. CH and stabilizer are fine. CH is 150 - 250ppm but that's mostly for plaster pools. CYA is 30 - 50ppm.

What you need to do is to be sure the filter is clean and working properly. You can't filter dirty water with a dirty filter so clean it once per day.

Next is shocking the pool. Your pool is about 10k gallons. It's 1 gallon of chlorine to increase the FC 10ppm per 10k gallons. Use 1.5 gallons to get the FC to about 11 - 12ppm. Broadcast around the perimeter of the pool, sweep well, and filter 24/7. Remember that shocking is a process, not an event. The trick is to get AND keep the chlorine above 10 - 12ppm for a period of time. You'll need to manually dose the pool with chlorine to keep it at 10 - 12ppm. Make the adjustment at night, then retest in the morning. Be sure to have the pump running 24/7 and backwash once per day. You can go up to 15ppm, but no higher. Anything after that and you're wasting money and chemicals.

You'll know this is working because the pool will go from green to a white/grey cloudy and the chlorine will begin to hold better. First you may lose most, then 2/3, then 1/2, and so on. Once you only lose 1 - 2ppm of chlorine 8 - 10 hours after the last application you know the algae is dead. Now it's just a matter of filtering and backwashing once per day. Brush the entire pool once per day.

Shocking a pool isn't adding a bag of chlorine to a pool and expecting it to clear up the pool. Shocking a pool means to kill/eliminate the algae and organic matter. This is done by dosing the pool with enough chlorine to reach a high enough FC level and keeping it at this level to allow the chlorine to kill the algae and organics in the pool.

At this point you can use a clarifier to help with the filtration, but not sooner.

Remember it's AFT:


Once the algae is dead and the pool starts to clear up you can increase the TA. Use 1 lb. of sodium bicarb (baking soda) to increase 10ppm per 10k gallons. Do this in increments as the bicarb will slightly increase the pH as well.

I normally ask for a donation for my eBook but I'll send it to you for free. If you wish to donate you can.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias.

Pool Consultation

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Pool Water Still Cloudy. Not Clearing As Quickly As Usual

by Anthony

After opening the pool after the winter the water is still cloudy. Details below:

This is an in ground pool.
12.5 ft x 32 ft
I have a Jandy filter with 4 cartridges.
The cartridges were replaced 2 years ago.
I must admit that the water was pretty dirty. Dark green.
We had a rather severe winter.

The filter ran 48 hours & the water did turn from the dark green color to a bluish color but he ate as still cloudy.
The pool guys first recommendation was to replace the pool water.. I questioned him as to whether this was absolutely necessary. After we discussed this he said I should replace the 4 cartridges.

Listed below are the details:

The skimmers are clean.
The filter was dismantled and the four cartridges were thoroughly cleaned twice.
The filter has run 24 hours again after cleaning the cartridges a second time.
The chemical levels are all within correct range.However the water doesn't seem to be clearing up as quickly as usual.

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