Swimming Pool Problems

Understand Swimming Pool Problems & Easy Ways To Take Care Of Your Pool Water Chemistry.

This is a general troubleshooting guide for the pool owner who has a limited amount of time to fix his pool and get on with swimming.

Swimming Pool Problems Troubleshooting

Here's a good run-down of some issues you may encounter through your pool life. They're fairly easy to troubleshoot and fix.

ProblemLoss of pool chlorine level 


  • Too low level of pool chlorine 
  • Not adding enough for your size pool
  • Too high or low Cyanuric Acid (CYA/pool stabilizer)
  • Heavy rains or large bather load
  • Bad/old/wrong drops 


  • Your CYA level should be kept between 30 - 50 ppm. Anything over 70 - 80 ppm or below 20 ppm and your swimming pool will be less effective.
  • The only way to reduce your CYA is to do a partial to full drain and refill. Next you'll want to filter for 8 - 10 hours then retest your CYA. 
  • Tri-Chlor chlorine tablets will increase the CYA. For every 10 ppm of chlorine added with Trichlor tabs you'll raise the CYA by 6 ppm.

Problem: Algae In Pool 


  • Too low level of pool chlorine and/or improper pool maintenance & chemistry
  • Poor filtration


  • Maintain FC of 2 - 4 ppm, total alkalinity 80 - 120 ppm, pH 7.2 - 7.8, CYA 30 - 50 ppm, and hardness 150 - 250 ppm
  • Don't simply shock your pool without taking a complete chemical reading. 

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Problem: Cloudy Pool Water

Reason: There could be dozens of reason why a pool goes cloudy. These are the most common.

  • Early stage of pool algae
  • Chlorine is low
  • Bad, clogged, or improperly working filter
  • High pH and/or alkalinity


  • Be sure the chemicals are in line as stated above. Maintain proper pool water maintenance, chemistry, and chemicals 
  • Check to see if your DE pool filters, pool cartridge filters, or pool sand filter is properly working. Watch and maintain your swimming pool filters.
  • As a last resort drain and refill 1/3 - 1/2 of your pool water

Problem: Pool Stains

These normally fall within 3 categories; metal, organic, and chemical.


  • Low chlorine, pH and/or alkalinity level
  • Metal pipe corrosion
  • Improper pool water maintenance
  • Adding chemicals without sweeping
  • Use of cheap copper algaecides 
  • High metal fill water


  • For organic stains you'll need to shock the pool
  • Metal stains require an ascorbic acid treatment 
  • Stop using algaecides with copper. Only use PolyQuat 60.
  • Use a metal sequestrants based on HEDP, phosphonic acid and/or its derivatives. Jack's Magic line is good. 


  • Irritated or burning eyes and/or throat or irritated skin
  • Many times, it is observed that the swimmers complain about the above symptoms after swimming.


  • High or low pH level
  • Low alkalinity (TA) level
  • Chloramines (combined chlorine)


  • Maintain between 7.2 - 7.8. Raise pH level using soda ash, 20 Mule Team Borax, or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.
  • Maintain total alkalinity 80 - 120 ppm
  • Shock the pool and maintain chlorine level  2 - 4 ppm
  • Shower before and after swimming

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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