Cloudy Pool

by Tammie Harper
(Fayetteville , AR)

chlorine-1.3, ph-7.5 alkalinity-105 hardness/calcium-450 stabilizer-20 salt-3360 The pool store did these readings Saturday morning, May 31.

Readings are good, but they do not know why water is still cloudy. Suggested sand change, pool is 10 years old and never done a sand change. Price was $300, used a $10 bottle of sand filter cleaner instead at 11 am. Then I vacuumed, added 16 oz of enzyme cleaner, and 4 tsps of dry clarifier.

I've had the pool running 24/7 since Wednesday, May 28. I do not want to do a sand change unless this is definitely my problem.

But what is my cloudy problem? I know that I need to give chemicals time to work, but good grief. So what now?

Thanks for the question Tammie

It doesn't surprise me that it's $300 for changing the sand out. You can get #20 silica sand for around $10 per 50 lbs. Many filters require around 200 - 300 lbs. Total would be about $50 - $60, the rest is labor.

It could be that the sand is old and in need of replacement. 10 years is a good time, especially if the pool runs year round. The filter may not be filtering properly.

You need to take control of the pool readings and get a Taylor K-2006 test kit. Here's a link to my YouTube chlorine video:

Pool stores are notorious for giving out wrong readings.

As for the readings, they
look pretty good. The CYA is a bit low at 20ppm. The range is 30 - 50ppm. You can add 1 lb. to raise the CYA 10ppm per 10,000 gallons.

Before changing the sand out I'd suggest getting the CYA to 30ppm, then shock the pool with liquid chlorine. Don't use granular because you don't want to add anymore hardness to the pool.

Many times a cloudy pool is the first sign of low chlorine and an algae bloom. Getting the CYA to 30ppm then shocking the pool a couple of times could solve this issue.

Shock the pool, allow to filter for 10 hours, retest and make another adjustment. 3.5 qrts of chlorine will raise the level up to 10ppm per 10,000 gallons. You can round it to 1 gallon.

I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Cloudy, Milky, Discolored Pool Water" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

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Have a great Summer.


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Jun 08, 2015
Cloudy Above Ground Pool Showing No Free Chlorine
by: Gini S.

This spring, we opened our 33' round above ground pool that holds approx. 24,000 gallons of water, and it was clear, accept for some sediment and leaves in the bottom, we vacuumed it shocked it as we do every year when we open it, but for some reason it became green, I guess from algea. We shocked it again,and again and added an algicide,and finally got the pool water clean and not green. I have tested it, and it and the total chlorine is fine, the PH is good, but could be a little higher maybe. The cyanuric acid or stabilizer levels are good, the alkalinity is fine, everything reads good but the free chlorine or Bromine levels. Our water is still staying cloudy. We have a sand filter. What do I need to do to clear up the cloudy water? Do I need to change my sand maybe?

Thanks for the question Gini

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings, the actual numbers:

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. It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster. Green water is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. I also need to know if the filter is working properly. If it's not working it must be fixed in order to clear up the pool.

You can get the readings from your local pool store. Without these numbers I'm just guessing at what the problem is. My apologies, but readings such as "fine" and "good" don't help.

For your consideration, I have written 2 eBooks about this very issue:

Clear Blue Pool eBook
Clear Up A Green Pool eBook


Jan 10, 2015
Leslie's Pools Stinks
by: Anonymous

I had the same happen to me at Leslie's. If they don't know they should say they don't.

But I can suggest a possible solution, just so you don't think it's going to be fixed for sure and to find it's not so no matter what you're going to buy something to give it a try.

Thanks for the tips.

Jan 10, 2015
Cloudy Pool Water Help
by: Anonymous

My pool water is cloudy and has been tested by employees at Leslie's pool three times and they have put me through the grind.

Twice they say the water is good, but the pool is still very cloudy. What can it be now?

Good question and here's your answer.

Cloudy pool water may have many contributing factors, but the most common is algae. I would suggest to get your filtration system in order and make sure it's running properly.

Sand filter: Good quality sand at the right level. Cartridge filter: Make sure they are clean. DE: No tears in the grids and fresh DE. Be sure your pool is topped off at the right level; 1/3 to 1/2 up the skimmer.

Chemicals are in check for a good shock:

pH 7.0

Alkalinity 80 - 100

Calcium Hardness 150 - 250 (for plaster pools)

Cyanuric acid (CYA) needs to be between 30 - 50ppm. Be sure to have some Tri-chlor tabs on hand to raise the CYA.

You can find how to balance these on their respective pages.

Get a good Taylor Reagent K-2005 or 2006 test kit. It takes some getting used to but it's worth the time invested. If you have hard fill water it's better to use liquid chlorine.

Be sure to run the filter 24/7 until the water clears up. Keep an eye on the filter pressure because if if the issue is algae the filter might get clogged quickly.

Backwash when the pressure gets to 8 - 10psi over "just backwashed" pressure. If needed, you can use a clarifier but only after you have filtered long enough. It could take a few days to clear up but you'll be well on your way if you follow these instructions.

Take care in who you listen to. Although Leslie's is a fine organization, there are pool places that I know of that the customer will talk to a salesman and not a true pool professional.

Good luck with your cloudy water and let me know how it turns out. I like to hear success stories.

Best regards


Jul 16, 2014
Fix Cloudy Pool
by: Anonymous

All my levels were fine had checked at pool store finding out high phosphates drained pool started over was clear for a week pool place keeps telling me to use whole bottle of phos free in reluctant ad it didn't help the first time!!!

I have a 6000 gallon above ground pool with Davi with sand filter.

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