What to Do This Summer If Your Pool or Spa Water is Cloudy

When it comes to fixing cloudy pool water, it’s just as important to know how to address it as it is to understand why it’s happening. Below, we provide you with reasons why your pool or spa water might be cloudy and how you can fix it. 

Reasons Why Your Pool Water is Cloudy and How to Fix It

1. Your water chemistry is off.

Pools and swim spas need to be between 7.2 to 7.6 pH. Whether you use testing strips or a testing kit, a reading within this range indicates healthy water. However, anything above or below indicates that it’s either too alkaline or too acidic. Therefore, if the levels are off, then you will need to add chemicals to regain the right balance. If you need help choosing the right chemicals to keep on hand, you can reach out to a pool retailer near you, and they should be able to answer any questions you may have. 

2. You’re dealing with poor filtration.

One of the main causes of cloudy water is improper filtration. If the filter isn’t working properly, then it won’t be able to clean the water the way you need it to. This can make the water cloudy. The first thing you will want to do is check your filter and ensure there is no build-up of debris clogging the system. If you find that it’s particularly old or seen better days, then replacing it might be your best bet. Along with checking the filter to ensure it isn’t in need of a clean or a change, make sure you’re running it long enough to be effective.

3. There are contaminants in the water.

Now, this likely sounds more serious than it is. Contaminants can be anything from dirt and debris to algae that has formed due to an imbalance in the water system. You will likely be able to see the presence of algae if it’s there. Algae can develop from something as simple as rainwater entering your pool or spa and causing an imbalance. However, it can also be caused by the creams or perfumes present on those using the water. Whether it’s caused naturally or not, any added components can cause algae or cloudiness. Therefore, if algae occurs, then you will need to skim, brush and vacuum your pool. Once all the visible algae are gone, you can add whatever chemicals are required to bring the levels back to where they should be. 

4. The water doesn’t have enough chlorine.

Although this goes hand in hand with the previously mentioned items, chlorine is a large part of maintaining a pool or spa’s proper health and care. The first thing you will want to do is test your “free chlorine” levels, which is the amount of chlorine currently available to sanitize the water. To test these levels, you will use test kits or strips. Chlorine levels can be lower due to many things, even including something as simple as too much direct sunlight that has caused the chlorine to become unstable and, therefore, not working the way it needs to. Your “free chlorine” levels should read between 1 to 3 ppm (parts per million). If this level is lower than your total chlorine, it means your pool is not being sanitized properly. 

While there are a handful of reasons and culprits for cloudy or murky water, there are also many solutions to get your water back to a healthy state. You can do various things, from testing and adding chemicals to scrubbing, vacuuming, and changing your filter. And one of the beautiful things about owning a swim spa, for example, is that there is much less water than in a pool. Therefore, if you find that you’re really struggling with getting the water back to where it should be, you can simply drain it and add in fresh water to start from scratch. 

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