How To Clear Up Green Pools

Green pools and cloudy pool water is normally a lack of pool chlorine. You can easily clear up a green swimming pool.

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You will first need to have a complete list of chemical readings. 

You can get this done at your local pool store or use a good pool test kit yourself. I'd encourage you to get a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit.

You MUST have the most current and accurate readings possible in order to clear up your pool. If you don't it's nothing more than a guessing game. 

Don't rely on test strips. They're easy and convenient but won't give you the actual numbers you need. You're pool chemical readings are:

  • Chlorine (Free Available & Total Chlorine)
  • CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer)
  • pH
  • Total Alkalinity (TA)
  • Calcium Hardness (CH)
  • Metals (iron and copper)

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It's also good to know the readings for your fill water as well. You want to know what's going in your pool at all times.

Next is to minimize the clarifier, floccs, and/or phosphate remover use. "Why is my pool cloudy?" This might be one of the reasons.

Remember when you have green pool water, shocking is a process, not a product. Regardless of what anyone has told you, this is the truth. There are no products that are "shock". The package might be labeled as "shock", but it's misdirection on their part.

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Green Pools & Chemicals

  • Get the pH down to 7.0ppm - 7.2ppm. Chlorine works better at a slightly lower pH when you have green pool water.
  • Be sure the total alkalinity is between 80 - 120ppm
  • Add the chlorine in the evening then retest in the morning (before the sun has a chance to hit the pool) and see how much the level has dropped. If it drops more than 2.0ppm, you still have an algae problem. Make another adjustment.
  • Sweep the sides and bottom to break up any hot spots. Keep the filter running 24/7.
  • You'll want to get the chlorine level up to 12 - 15ppm when your pool water is green. Retest the chlorine and CYA in the morning. You'll see how much chlorine has been used through the night.
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During this process you can use a PolyQuat 60 algaecide as an added backup against any algae blooms that might occur.

The trick in clearing up a green swimming pool is to get the pH in line and maintaing a chlorine level above 12ppm for a period of time. That's why you shock in the evening, retest in the morning, then shock again. Let the filter do its job. Be sure to clean the filters or back wash every day.

Remember to test morning and evening and keep the chlorine level at 12ppm or above as best you can. You may need to do this for a few days.

When the pool turns a white/gray color, you only lose 1 - 2ppm of chlorine through the night, and you're water is clear, you'll know the algae is dead. If the chlorine loss is more you probably still have some residual algae.

If you have a pool store that's close, take a sample of water to be tested after every turnover of the water. This is normally about 8 hours. Morning and night. They should do it for free.

Make sure the CYA is in the proper range of 30 - 50ppm. Add stabilizer if it's low. You can use:

  • Dichlor
  • Trichlor
  • Liquid or granular CYA

Follow the direction on the package.

Be careful when using Dichlor as it can get out of hand quickly. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Dichlor, you'll raise the CYA by 9ppm. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Trichlor you'll raise the CYA by 6ppm.

Use liquid chlorine when shocking a pool. Chlorine granules have a pH of 12. Your pH level might go through the roof and you'll be adding more calcium to your pool.

To help with the filtration at the very end you can use a clarifier.

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