Around this time of year we get a lot of phone calls about cloudy pool water. Every call is different, but here's a typical SPP Pool Expert support call about a cloudy pool.
Caller: "I've tried everything, I can't get the water to clear!
Me: "Tell me everything you've tried so far..."
Caller: "I balanced the water, shocked the pool, and I run the filter 24 hours a day"
Me: "How long have you been at it, and what's the water look like now?"
Caller: "It's been over a week, the water is so cloudy I can hardly see the bottom."
Me: "OK, is the water blue-ish in color? What are your readings for pH, Alkalinity & Calcium?
Caller: "It's mostly blue-ish, yeah. I haven't checked the water lately, but we balanced it"
Me: "Check all levels again, they may have drifted. Should be close to pH=7.3, Alk=100, Cal=200 - what type of pool filter do you have?"
Caller: "We have a sand filter, it doesn't seem to be working [well], the pressure never rises."
Me: "A clarifier can help with that, or if you haven't changed the sand in 5 or 10 years, it may be time"
Caller: "We've never had to run it 24 hours per day, and the water is just as cloudy as it was 4 days ago!"
Me: "Is the pool clean? I mean, have you been vacuuming, brushing, skimming?"
Caller: "Yes, and we have a pool cleaner that we've been running daily, to clean and help stir things up."
Me: "Good, keep it clean. Try a clarifier, and do not backwash until the filter pressure rises at least 5 lbs."
Caller: "OK, will do - anything else?"
Me: "Recheck and balance the water chemistry. Shock again if you see new algae, or have high levels of combined chlorine."
Caller: "Right - I'm using calcium shock, it seems like it may be making the pool cloudy"
Me: "Could be, if your calcium is very high, you can use a dichlor shock, or a great shock for cloudy pools is Assure Multi Shock"
Me: "If you can't seem to get it to clear, you can always floc the pool"
Caller: "Do What?!?"
Me: *chuckle - "FLOC the pool, with a pool flocculent. It sinks everything to the bottom, usually overnight - but, you have to vacuum the gunk to waste"
Caller: " Oh, I see...you mean, put the filter valve on waste, and vacuum the pool..."
Me: "Yep, fill up the pool beforehand, and go as fast as you can, without stirring it all up. If the water gets too low, wait a while for the pool to fill again."
Caller: "OK, well thanks, you've been a big help!"
Me: "You're welcome, thanks for calling SPP!"
Caller: "Bye" *click.
When your pool water is cloudy, that means that there is a lot of suspended matter that has either come into the pool (dust, pollen, shock), or has come out of solution (calcium, carbonates, stabilizer).
To clear a cloudy pool, you need to have your water balance perfect, with a high chlorine level, and constant filtering. We have over a dozen different pool clarifiers that will help out your filter - or, for a faster way, use one of our two pool floc products, Phosfloc or Superfloc. When directions are followed closely, flocculents drop everything to the floor, usually overnight.
Keep at it - you'll get it clear!
SPP Pool Expert