If you can’t see the drain at the bottom of your pool, the water condition of your pool isn’t safe for swimming. Cloudy water can cause infections (such as urine infections) and long-lasting skin problems. Plus, there’s an increased risk of drowning and pool injuries because it’s difficult to tell the depth of the pool when the water’s cloudy.
In this post, we’ll share what’s causing the water in your pool to be murky and cloudy–and how you can fix it!
Reasons Why Pool Filters Shoot Out Cloudy Water
Before you learn how to clear a cloudy salt water pool, we highly recommend taking your time to understand the various root causes of this problem.
A fix can cost you anywhere between $10 and $2,000, depending on the issue. So, it’s best to understand the root causes first before trying out different solutions. This can save you from both overspending and overstressing.
Here are four possible causes of cloudy water in a pool:
- Improper pH Levels
The pH level of your pool water is an indicator of its alkalinity, and the ideal range you should maintain is between 7.4 and 7.6.
If the pH exceeds 7.6, your water is highly alkaline. Minerals such as calcium will precipitate and form cloudy deposits in the water. Similarly, if the pH drops too far below 7.4, the water is acidic and can be corrosive. The filter, performing its function properly, will shoot out that cloudy water.
How to Fix This
To fix your pool’s pH, consider:
- Using pH increasers and decreasers–these are chemicals that raise or lower the pool pH as required. They cost $0.10 to $0.15 per ounce.
- Regular testing–use pool testing kits to monitor the pH levels of your pool regularly. These signal when to add a pH increaser or decreaser and ensure timely action.
- Inadequate Chlorine Levels
Chlorine prevents bacterial and algae growth. It ensures that your pool remains a safe and inviting space for swimming–but maintaining the right chlorine level can be quite a challenge.
Inadequate chlorine can lead to bacterial proliferation and algal bloom, both of which contribute to cloudy water.
How to Fix This
To balance chlorine in your pool, consider:
- Chlorine shock treatment (if it’s low)
- Adding chlorine tablets and liquids (if it’s low)
- Partial water replacement (if it’s high)
- Pool Environment
There are several factors in your pool’s environment that could be contributing to the cloudiness of water. Windblown debris, dust, pollen, tree leaves, and even airborne chemicals and particles can all settle into the pool and challenge the efficiency of the filtration system.
If the filtration system is not equipped to deal with the volume of these contaminants or their size, it will stop functioning properly. The overload can lead to cloudy water as the filter struggles to catch and filter all the incoming contaminants.
How to Fix This
To keep the pool environment clean, consider:
- Regular cleaning of the pool deck
- Landscaping of the area surrounding the pool; this eliminates large organic matter that can jam the filters
- Covering the pool when not in use
- Pool vacuuming and wall brushing to prevent dirt and algal buildup
- Positioning water features (like jets and skimmers) so that they direct debris toward the filtration system
- Unclean or Faulty Filter
Ideally, you should clean pool filters once or twice every six months. If there’s extensive pool usage or demanding circumstances (such as frequent heavy rains or sandstorms), you may want to clean the filters every two months.
If you don’t and the cleaning is overdue, the pool water will become cloudy, simply because the filter is not working properly.
How to Fix This
If the filters are causing cloudiness in your water, consider:
- Backwashing filters–learn more in our post on how to clear cloudy pool water with sand filter
- Getting the filters checked and maintained by professionals
- Installing new filters
Remember, leaving cloudy water unattended in your pool for long periods not only poses a safety risk, but it can also damage the pool’s infrastructure. With the tips outlined above, you should have your pool back in shape in no time!
Hi, I’m Matt Harper, the founder of poolcareguy.com, a site I started with one simple mission: to help people around the world clean and take care of their pools and hot tubs on their own, without the hassle.
I’m not a professional pool cleaner and don’t have any formal training, I’m just an average guy who loves hanging out by his pool and hot tub and taking care of it. After many years on the job, I’ve become quite good at it.
On this website I will be teaching you absolutely everything I know about pools and hot tubs.