Cloudy Pool Water..Salt Water Swimming Pool..How Much Salt To Add?..

by Kristina

We have a 12 x 39in above ground swimming pool. It is salt water pool. We have a salt water pump and a regular pool pump to circulate the water.

The pool water is cloudy, and discolored, but not green, and not black or brown. We have tried putting shock treatment, to take the green away, and now it has left it cloudy.

Can you please let us know how we can clear it up. If you can also let us know how much salt to put in to regulate it.

Thanks for your question Kristina

How to fix a cloudy swimming pool

Normally when you have regular cloudy pool water that comes out of nowhere, it's swimming pool algae.

Cloudy Pool Water

When you do a pool shock you need to be sure you're hitting that "super-chlorination" level, which is at least 10 times the amount of what you normally run the pool. When I shock the YMCA pool I always go for an extra 5ppm. When you do shock your pool, try to reach 12ppm - 15ppm for the pool chlorine reading. It's always better to go a little more than not enough.

Swimming Pool Shock

You didn't mention the kind of chlorine used. If it was granules, calcium hypochlorite, you will see a little bit of cloudiness as this is the calcium in the water. It will settle to the bottom after a few hours and can be vacuumed up easily. It could also be the pool algae floating around.

If you used a liquid chlorine, the particles are probably the dead algae and should be filtered out within a few
days. Keep the filtration system running 24/7 and backwash once per day. Also, if you do have a swimming pool algae issue, it's best to stay on top of the chlorine. Try to keep it between 5ppm - 8ppm as you're getting rid of the algae. This will ensure you have enough pool chlorine so the algae will not come back. Even though you shocked, the chlorine level can come down fast because of rain, heat, and the sun.

When the water clears up, keep the chlorine level between 1.5ppm - 3.5ppm.

Adjust Your Swimming Pool Chlorine

You didn't mention the gallon size of your pool, but, for an average 20,000 gallon pool you will need 7-10 50lb. bags to bring your saline level to the correct reading of 3000-4000.

If your salt water swimming pool is about 5,000 - 8,000 gallons, you'll need about 2 bags of salt. First test your water to make sure the meter is correct, then add a bag of salt. Allow one full turn-over of the water. This might be about 10 - 12 hours, then re-test the salinity and make another adjustment if needed.

Remember to add...test...add...test...Don't go to fast in adding the salt. Have patience. The guards at the Y used to do that and they burned up a $4,000 chlorine generator because they put too much in for too long. How to fix cloudy swimming pool water is easy when you know what the problem is. If you can't do it yourself there's always a good swimming pool services you can call.

Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out.

Best of luck


Comments for Cloudy Pool Water..Salt Water Swimming Pool..How Much Salt To Add?..

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Apr 30, 2017
cloudy water in underground pool with salt system



Hi Brenda. I have no idea if the pool is cloudy because of the debris that fell into the pool because of the house cleaning, or not. That could be one reason, but not all of the reasons.

First thing is to keep the filter on and cleaned out. Without knowing the type of filter you have, I can only give general advice.

There are many reasons a pool can go cloudy, so I would need a complete chemical list of numbers, then we can go from there.


Jun 11, 2016
great info thanks!!!
by: cathy richardsons

thanks for the great info really helped

Jan 10, 2015
Cleaning Our Pool..Blue Cloudy Swimming Pool Water.. Saltwater Filter
by: Brenda (Houston)

1st time pool owners... Our pool is a blue cloudy color. We have shocked the pool but can't get it clear. We have never owned a pool before so we are not sure what to do.

Please help.

Thanks for your question Brenda

If this is your first pool, the first thing I would highly recommend getting is a Taylor Reagent FAS-DPD K-2006 pool water testing kit. This is the most accurate and used by most pool professionals. It will take some getting used to but it's worth the time investment.

Now, you have blue-cloudy swimming pool water. Normally, not always, when the water turns cloudy it means you have a pool algae issue that needs to be addressed.

Shocking your pool is also called "super-chlorination". You want to reach what is called "break-point chlorination" or 10 times up from the normal chlorine range of 1.5ppm - 3.5ppm (parts per million). I always shoot for a few ppm over to be on the safe side. It's always better to be a little over than under.

Give your pool a good pool shock and keep the filtration system running 24/7, and backwash if you have a sand or DE swimming pool filter. For a cartridge, keep a couple of clean ones on hand so there will be no down time.

You can go to this link and get a good run down of how your pool chemicals should be balanced and the proper ranges.

Let me know how this works for you and congratulations on owning your first pool!!


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