Turned Swimming Pool Filter On..Brown Water Problem..

by Amanda

Accidentally left filter off for 3 days after adding chlorine pucks. Tested pool and no chlorine, realized filter was off.

Turned it back on and brown water started entering the pool.

What should I do?

Thanks for the question Amanda

First you need to keep filtering 24/7 and bring the chlorine up to the right level, between 1.5ppm - 3.5ppm. It might be a good idea to give your pool a good chlorine shock to kill off any bacteria or possible algae spores.

I always encourage pool owners to get a Taylor Reagent FAS-DPD K-2006 pool water test kit. It's the best on the market.

You'll want to check your cyanuric acid level (CYA). This is the stabilizer for the pool chlorine and the FAS-DPD test kit will have an easy test for that. Keep the CYA level between 30ppm - 50ppm. I can't say whether or not you have a brown algae problem just yet. The brown stuff going into the pool could just be debris and residue from the filter not circulating.

Be sure to backwash, if you have a DE or sand filter, and keep the water level between 1/3 - 1/2 up from the bottom of the skimmer(s). If any debris or dirt is on the bottom, you could vacuum it up to WASTE. This way it will bypass the filter and go straight out. But remember that the WASTE position will lower the pool water level, so keep your pool topped off.

If you don't do this already, get a chlorine tablet float. Don't put tablets in the skimmer. The ONLY exception to this rule is when you're filtering 24/7. During normal filtration cycles you'll want to use a float.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer


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Dec 04, 2019
I have a similar problem
by: Anonymous

My setup is:
- 28 inch sand filter
- Glass media
- Hayward tristar vs Variable speed pump

I run at the lowest speed setting 24/7

If I turn the speed up it blows brown into the water. I need to do this for suction cleaning. The only way to prevent this is to backwash before turning up the speed.

Here is what is happening: Sand filters have higher efficiency at low speed. They trap more of the smaller particles. When the speed is increased, even within the specification limits for the filter, the filter is operating at a lower efficiency. The particles get blown deeper into the media bed. Eventually they come out and go into the pool.

Oct 24, 2014
Brown Water In Clean Pool
by: Anonymous

My pool is crystal clear and perfectly balanced (according to those test strips) my issue is when I start the filter up. For the first like 2mins it blows brown water but then goes clear and acts like normal.

It doesn't seem to be effecting the pool as ithe brown disappears pretty quick after coming out. If anyone has any ideas on why I'd love to know!

Ps it's has been doing it for a couple of months now but my pool remains beautifully clear.

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