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How to keep your pool
water crystal-clear? Cloudiness is one of the most
frequent pool water quality problems that may be
encountered. There is no one cause of cloudy, dirty, hazy,
murky, gray, milky, muddy or dull pool water problems:
suspended insoluble particles, dead algae, organic debris,
poor or inadequate filtration, inadequate sanitation, poor
water chemistry, poor source water quality, vandalism and
more, all have to be factored into the treatment of this
problem. Cloudy pool water conditions, associated with green
or brown colors, may be the result of algae and/or mineral
problems. Foamy water conditions, resulting from the use of
certain algaecides, air leaks, body oils or cosmetic
residues, can detract from optimum water clarity. Most pools
do maintain clear water conditions, the majority of the
time. For those occasional problems, many chemical products
and even some non-chemical; devices, are available, that
help to restore the pool water clarity to crystal clear.
The addition of a Nano-Stick Pool Clarifier, which lasts 4-6
months, and works 24/7 to oxidize fine suspended particles,
that might otherwise past right through filters is an ideal
way to promote better water clarity, on an ongoing basis.
If problems arise, refer to the
Pool Problems Page, as
a source of problem-solving information, broken down into
various categories. Scroll down the page and click on the linked
or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
Why Did The Water Suddenly Start To Get Cloudy?
Alan, I emailed you a few years back for a problem and you
helped me and solved my problem. So I am coming to "The man"
again. I have an inground Grecian shaped pool with 19,000
gallons of water. I am using a sand filter and 3" round
pucks for a sanitizer. The pool is approximately 15 years
old and had a new liner put in 2 years ago. It was filled
with city water that was trucked in, as I am on well water.
I very rarely have to top off with well water, as it has
been raining. I have not had any problems with the pool in
years, until now.
So here's the issue: The pool was crystal clear. Then, on
Friday (3 days ago) there were approximately 12 people
swimming in my pool for a few hours. Saturday morning, pool
crystal clear, a few kids swimming during the day. Sunday
morning at 10:30 am, crystal clear, pH 7.1 and chlorine at
1.5 ppm, I brushed a few leaves and bugs into the bottom
drain. Then after work at approximately 2:30 am on Sunday, I
checked the pool and it was so cloudy I could not see the
bottom. So approximately 14 hours later, it clouded up bad.
I run the pump 24 hours a day and the pressure is at 13-15
PSI. I shocked the pool and checked later in the day, same
thing. The PH level went down to 6.8 so I added some PH rise
to 7.2 and chorine was off the charts because of the shock.
Now Tuesday morning, still cloudy, I don't know what to do
and I don't want to buy 100's of dollars' worth of chemicals
until I have an answer. Any help would be greatly
appreciated. Thank You.
Hammond, Indiana, 7/21/2015
chlorine tablets in the skimmer is never going to keep up
with the chlorine demand created by 12 people using a pool,
hot day. Once the free chlorine bottoms out, algae can start
growing. Algae, live or dead, will result in cloudy water.
In addition, a sand filter is unlikely to be able to
remove the dead algae, as it can pass right through.
You need to boost the free chlorine to 5-10 PPM and keep it
there, until conditions improve. Pucks in a skimmer are not
a good way to add chlorine. It offers no chance to quickly
boost the level. Prolonged use will force you to replace
water, when the CYA level reaches 150 PPM. Replacing water
is a problem, when well water is involved. A better way to
do chlorine is with a
salt chlorine generator.
You will have better control and the ability to raise or
lower the free chlorine level. It eliminates the buildup
problems, as well. When the free chlorine bottomed
out, due to the bather load, there was no sanitizer present.
If you had a
solar-powered pool purifier, it would have added copper
and zinc ions, to help maintain algae control. Replacing the
sand with a zeolite sand replacement media will
greatly improve the filter's performance and will remove
dead algae and very fine debris. Zeolite is even
better, when used with a salt chlorine generator, as the
salt regenerates the filter media. Your filter pressures
sounds a bit high and may be the result of channeling.
If that is the case, this would be a good time to replace
the sand ands, perhaps, change to another filter media.
website was helpful, in answering your question, please
consider joining our
E-Letter Mailing List. You'll receive 1-2
E-Letters a month, with helpful information, new product
updates, suggestions and sale announcements. I hope that
recommendation works out for you.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/21/2015
What Kind Of Clarifier Is Safe For The Filter Media?
I encounter problems with cloudy water, where it seems that
the filter is simply not able to remove the fine particles.
Is there a clarifier that is OK to use with a D.E. filter?
Thank you for providing this forum.
Pensacola, FL, 12/1/2014
So far as I
know, all clarifiers use a polyacrylamide or
polyelectrolyte, as the active ingredient. Its
electrical charge causes fine particles
to come together, making them larger and easier to filter
out. This same action can cause the D.E. to coagulate
and lose effectiveness or
clog. It will also affect sand or Zeolite filter
media, to some similar extent. The
Nano-Stick Clarifiers are 21st
Century technology, that do not interfere with
any filter media. It uses Nano-Titanium Technology to
oxidize and destroy fine particles, as they flow into the
clarifier stick. It releases no chemicals and,
therefore, is 100% safe for use with all types of filters
and pool chemicals. It works 24/7 and lasts as long as
4-6 months and is a clearly better approach, to solving pool
clarity problems. All you need do is hang it in the pool,
from a ladder or rail. Installation is that simple.
I hope that this revelation will prove helpful.
Alan Schuster, 12/2/2014
► Can't Clear It Up?
I can't seem to get my problems
resolved at my pool store so here goes. After opening up the
pool the water was green and some brown yuk in it falling in
from the cover. The filter going, shocked it, got it all in
balance but was still green after running pump continuously.
I took a sample in to be tested, it's balanced but still
green. They gave me black algae stuff told me to pour it all
around the pool, brown stuff should come to the top, vacuum,
backwash and shock. The brown stuff never happened, I did
the rest, still green, no green stuff comes out in the
backwash either. I took another sample in yesterday, my free
chlorine is 10, everything else in balance, still green and
cloudy. They sold me another bottle of black algae killer
and this time told me to run some down the filter, turn it
off for 2 hrs then start back up, did that, this morning,
still green and cloudy. I'm starting to feel it's in the
sand filter and it's not filtering properly. I have some
filter cleaner stuff that goes down the skimmer, I thought I
would try. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
This is getting expensive and frustrating. Thank you.
It would be presumptuous of me to say that it is your sand
filter that is at the center of the green pool water
problem. But, I can think it! You seem to have added some
premium algaecide and with a Free Chlorine level that high,
algae should not be a problem. So let's concentrate on the
likely cause: the filter! Sand filters can become channeled.
In essence, that means the water is not being filtered, but
is merely being recirculated. If the pressure of the filter
is not rising over time, that could be a sign of a channeled
filter bed. Sand filters should not be backwashed
frequently: usually only when the pressure is too high. If
the sand in the filter has not been changed in recent
memory, it might be a good idea to start there. Today, there
is filter media that can be used instead of sand.
Zeolite is a natural mineral product, that replaces
sand and can greatly improve the water clarity and quality.
Liquid clarifiers can help clear up cloudy water. However,
are temporary and can cause the filtration media to
coagulate. Nano-Stick Clarifiers
add no chemicals to the water. They are simple hung in a
pool, usually from a ladder, and can last 4-6 months, while they oxidize and
destroy fine particulates.
Alan Schuster, 5/6/2013
Circulation Causing Problems?
Alan, I have a triangular shaped
inground pool ( right Triangle) medium size (c 8000 gals)
with two returns. One is placed directly across from the
skimmer entrance at the small side of the triangle. I need
to improve the flow of water around the pool. Are there
extenders available for the returns to help? Any other
suggestions? Thank You.
That type of shape probably promote dead spots and that
leads to safe harbors for algae. Poor circulation can be
part of many problems and
The Circulator can be the
solution. It is a simple to install device that makes a
dramatic difference in the water circulation. This unique,
sensibly-priced product, turns the return flow into a
spiraling flow and that eliminates the dead zones. Adding a
Solar-Powered Robotic Pool Surface Skimmer will improves
circulation and remove floating debris, as it wanders the
pool, all on its own. One or both products should make a
dramatic improvement in circulation, chemical and heat
distribution and improve clarity. I hope that this
information will help solve the problems.
Alan Schuster, 9/24/2012
► The Road To
Pool Water Clarity?
Hi, my name is Sharon and I'm from St.
Charles, MO. We opened our pool at the beginning of June and
I have not yet been able to see the bottom of it due to
cloudy water. The pool is 27 ft in diameter and about 4.5
ft. deep. We've had the pool for 4 years and I have never
had this kind of problem. We started with dark green water
so was told by the pool store to put in a bottle of
algaecide followed by 4 gallons of liquid chlorine. This
made the water a lighter green so I was advised to repeat
the procedure. Again, I put in a bottle of algaecide
followed by 4 gallons of liquid chlorine. The water was then
a light blue green so I was advised to vacuum and backwash
repeated which I did. I finally got to a light blue cloudy
state a few days ago and went back to the pool store with a
water sample. I was told the chemicals were all at the right
levels and was sold a treatment that is suppose to clear
cloudy pools fast. I was told to put in 2 bags of shock and
after a few hours to put in 1/2 bottle of the treatment then
wait a few hours. The pool looked slightly better so I added
the rest of the bottle. The water is much better than
before, but I still cannot see the bottom. Even thought the
pool store told me the chemical levels were fine, my test
strips have indicated 0 free chlorine ever since we opened
the pool. After doing my own research on the internet, I
realized the pH level needs to be higher in order for the
raise the free chlorine level. Therefore, I purchased a pH
Plus yesterday and added it last night until I got the pH to
read 7.2. The alkalinity was also good, so I added 2 bags of
shock before I went to bed last night. I got up this morning
and nothing changed so I added the last 2 gallons of liquid
chlorine I had at home about 20 minutes ago. My internet
research also tells me I may need to start adding the blue
polisher I have to help clear the water, but the bottle
indicates to wait 12 hours after shocking, which means I
can't do anything else until this evening. In the meantime,
your website gave me the last bit of hope for clear water
this summer. Please share with me your thoughts on my water
problem and any recommendations you may have at this point.
I really want to swim since I'm on vacation this week. Oh,,
by the way now they're calling for rain today so I feel
especially desperate to get the cloudy water under control
before it takes a turn for the worse. I look forward to
hearing from you soon and have a Happy 4th of July!
Sharon B., St. Charles, MO, 7/4/2012
It can be frustrating, having added a lot of chlorine and
still not find a free chlorine reading. If there is improvement in
the water's appearance, at least it indicates that you are
getting close. Evidently, the chlorine demand of your pool
is so elevated, that you have not yet added enough. The presence
of phosphates and or nitrates might also be accelerating
algae growth and increasing chlorine consumption. Have the
water tested for phosphates, as it possible to treat this
problem. Make sure that the pH is 7.2-7.6. Higher pH
readings will lower chlorine effectiveness, as will
stabilizer levels over 150 PPM. Your low pH was not really
part of the problem. I suggest that you add the liquid
chlorine or quick dissolving shock, about a pound/gallon per
5,000 gallons, until the free chlorine level is over 5 PPM.
Don't drag it out! The longer it takes, the more product
will be required. Keep it there until the problem is under
control. You have green water because the sanitizer level
was inadequate and algae took hold. Check the overall water
chemistry as well. Make sure that you are testing for FREE
CHLORINE. For free chlorine testing, I suggest using a
Digital Water Tester, as it provide the right kind of
information, without and color-matching or guesswork. To better assure proper overall pool water
chemistry, visit a pool store that has a very reliable,
professional lab such as a
WaterLink SpinTouch Lab,
rather than a less accurate test kit or strip reader. To
locate a dealer near you, go to:
Testing Center Locator. The blue clarifier should be added,
after the algae starts to die. The reason for the wait is
that you want the shock to kill the algae and allow the
clarifier to remove it by filtration. Alternatively, you
could add a Nano-Stick Clarifier, which provides clarifying
action, using new Nano-Technology, for up to 3-4 months. I
hope that this information will prove helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/5/2012
Thank you so much for your response. I
am going to start hitting the pool heavily with liquid
chlorine. I've been told by a neighbor that we need to put
8-10 gallons of liquid chlorine in to shock it real good. Do
you think that sound sufficient?
Sharon B., St. Charles, MO 7/6/2012
If it works, it was the right amount. You can always add
more - you can't take out. Start with four gallons, give it
an hour and see where you are. Good luck.
Alan Schuster, 7/6/2012
Thank you again. I thought you
might me interested to hear about the status at this point.
I put in 8 gallons of liquid chlorine night before last
around 10:30 p.m. and checked it before I went to bed at
12:30 p.m. There was an above average free chlorine reading
for the first time since we opened the pool so I was pretty
happy. However, when I checked the water at 8:00 a.m.
yesterday morning, the free chlorine reading was zero. This
amazed me. Therefore, last night at 11:15 p.m. I put in 8
more gallons of liquid chlorine and got even a higher
reading of free chlorine than I got the night before. I
didn't want to take any chances on losing momentum so I got
up every 2 hours last night to check the reading of
chlorine. The water actually held a high free chlorine level
all night even up until 8:00 a.m. this morning without me
having to add any more chlorine. All the chemicals levels
look good this morning and the water is blue but cloudy. I
went ahead and added about 6 oz. of blue clarifier to a bucket of water and put
it in this morning. Do you think this should work or do I
need to add more clarifier. Any other suggestions you have
are greatly appreciated. I'm almost there and can possibly
even swim tomorrow (my last day of vacation). Thanks again
for your help. I will recommend you before I ever let anyone
go to pool stores and get the run around like I did. Take
Sharon B., St. Charles, MO, 7/8/2012
You're close. At this point the water should clear up. How
quickly may depend on the efficiency of
your filter. Adding the clarifier should help. Add another
dose tomorrow. If you have a sand filter, give some thought
to a zeolite sand filter replacement media, as it will make
a clear difference. It will remove particles that past right
through most filter.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/8/2012
I just had to let you know that we
finally can see the bottom of our pool. Over a 7-10 day
period (while I was on vacation and had the time) I put in a
total of 24 gallons of liquid chlorine. Now I just need to
vacuum a little debris and do whatever it take to keep the
water clear. How much chlorine do you recommend putting in
per week to keep the levels adequate! Any maintenance system
you tell me about would be appreciated. We bought the pool
used so never had "new owner instructions". As far as
zeolite, my husband and I discussed replacing the sand with
it next year before we open the pool. Thanks again for your
help. I will put positive feedback on your website if you
can direct me where to go. I really want other people to
know you're out there and I really would like to send you
something to compensate for your time. Do you have an
address where I can send you a check? Take care.
Sharon B., St. Charles, MO, 7/14/2012
You already have paid me back! No one has ever offered to
pay for the services of the website, before. There is no set
amount of chlorine to be added. It depends on the weather,
temperature, number of bathers, kids and other factors. If
you use a trichlor feeder, avoid using dichlor as a shock,
as it will cause the stabilizer level to rise ever quicker.
Keep tabs on the water chemistry. Read the labels to know
what you are buying and adding. If you would like a better
and easier way to add chlorine, you might consider a
chlorine generator. Enjoy the pool.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/15/2012
Circulation Means Better Results?
I am considering ordering The
Circulator return nozzle circulation booster. My question is
does it really make a difference? I will say that we just
painted our pool with Ultra Poly One Coat and it looks
great. Hope it holds up as long as they say it will. Thanks.
Jeff P., Paducah, KY, 5/14/2013
The Circulator really makes a positive difference. The water
just doesn't simply go straight ahead, it spirals ahead and
down, for more complete circulation. This aids in water
clarity, heat distribution and sanitizing. No more dead
spots. And it couldn't be easier to install. Glad to hear about the painting going so well. I
have no doubt that the Ultra Poly One Coat will provide
years of excellent service, as I have only heard good things
about the product. Enjoy the summer.
► Need Better
We have a soft-sided, vinyl pool that
holds about 4000 gallons. Every time the kids jump in, the
pool clouds up. My free and total chlorine and pH are good.
When I rinse the filter out it washes out sort of dirt. I
think the problem is sediments on the bottom, which cause
cloudy water when disturbed. The filter doesn't seem to help
with the sediment and my vacuum (garden hose type) is
useless, for anything but leaves. Got a good suggestion or
Mavis L. Columbia, SC, 6/1/2009
You have a filter that is barely effective. When the kids
use the pool, they stir up silt that has accumulated on the
bottom. The filter can remove only what enters the system.
By adding The Circulator, a circulation boosting accessory,
you can get more of the silt removed and the water will
steadily improve. The Circulator was originally designed for
inground and standard above ground pools. However, now there
is an adaptor that allows it to be used with soft-sided
pools, from the leading manufacturer. Adding a weekly dose
of a Blue Clarifier, should help, as well. Even better than
a liquid clarifier would be a Nano-Stick Clarifier,
which remains in the pool and works for 3-4 months. It works 24/7
using new technology, requires no installation and is
compatible with all sanitizers. I have been told that The
Circulator can make a huge improvement in water quality, in
pools like yours, in particular. I hope that this
information will prove helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/1/2009
► How Does A
Nano-Stick Clarifier Work?
I have noticed, in several of the
replies, that you suggest using a Nano-Stick Clarifier, to
improve water quality. How does this work? Thank you.
Norman H., Boca Raton, FL 9/28/2011
Fair question!!! The product was developed by one of the
leading producers of filtration equipment, for a host of
industries. They have a 60,000 square foot research and
production center and this product came out of that
environment. It is based on Nano-Titanium, in a ceramic
form, and in that manner it can cause major improvements in
water clarity and quality. The pool and spa industry is only
a small segment of their overall business. To learn more
about the products go to: Nano-Technology for Pools and
Spas. This is not your father's clarifier - this is 21st
Century. I hope that you will find this material
Sincerely. Alan Schuster. 9/28/2011
► D.E. In The
I just got a new pool liner installed,
filled it up over night and when I setup my DE filter and
added the DE it got cloudy. I've added my shock, as I
usually do, as well as the proper amount of DE. I've done
nothing different this year, then the last 6 seasons. Why is
my water cloudy? Could the DE have been pushed into the
pool, bypassing the filter into the pool? Or is it just that
the filter must run for a while to do its job?
Scott, NYC, 5/18/2013
The evidence seems to point to D.E. getting into the pool.
The cause is probably mechanical: something broken or not
put together properly. You might have to take the filter
apart. Try using a dose of a quality "Blue" Clarifier to
help remove the D.E. from the pool water. Even better, for
the long haul, would be a Nano-Stick Clarifier,
which will not interfere with the D.E. Filter and can last
months. THE NANO-STICK CAN LAST 3-4 MONTHS. I hope that I
have been helpful. Enjoy the season.
► Not Quite
I have an inground pool with a
supposed high-end cartridge filter. I use a salt chlorine
generator and I still think the water is not at its best. I
maintain the pH at 7.4-7.8 and the free chlorine at 1-3 PPM.
Adam S., Jupiter, FL, 2/1/2010
A filter cannot always remove everything, especially organic
wastes, body oils, cosmetic residues and many dead
microorganisms. Traditionally, it would be suggested that a
liquid clarifier be added. However, it may be OK with your
filter, but not with a DE filter. There is an alternative to
adding more chemicals to solve this problem. There is an
effective non-chemical means of destroying the organic
wastes, byproducts and various particulates. The
is a clarifier that uses 21st century technology to improve
water clarity and quality, without contributing anything to
the water. The "stick" is suspended from a ladder or rail.
Light activates the Nano-Titanium ceramic media inside and.
as water passes through the porous material, oxidation and
decomposition occurs, powered by nothing more than the
catalytic effect of the light upon the Nano-Titanium. This
will help you better looking and feeling water. The
NanoStick for pools is 32 inches long and less than 3 inches
in diameter. Each stick treats up to 10,000 gallons of water
and lasts 3-4 months. I hope that this information will help
you to a clear solution of the problem.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/1/2010
► Cloudy But
I am in the middle of a battle against
algae. Happily, I am winning. I had to add a lot of shock -
the 1 pound bags of calcium hypochlorite. As the algae is
being killed off, the water now seems to be cloudy. What
should I do to keep everything on track? Thanks a lot.
Howie L., Peabody, MA, 7/23/2013
You might have two causes for the cloudy, hazy pool water
problem. One obvious reason is that as you are killing this
algae, you are leaving behind dead algae and organic debris.
This can be dealt with very effectively, with the addition
of a dose of a Nano-Stick Clarifier:
a 21st Century product that can last up to 3-4 months. A
robotic pool cleaner
would be a big help in removing the fine particles that
settle to the bottom. In addition, the use of a robotic
pool cleaner will improve the circulation on the bottom and
in the corners, making algae control easier. The shock
that you are using tends to raise the pH and contains
calcium. TEST THE WATER FOR pH, TOTAL ALKALINITY, AND
CALCIUM HARDNESS. You might find that your pH and TA are too
high. These factors can compound any potential calcium
problem. If the calcium level is too high, add a quality
Mineral Treatment to help deal with that factor. You really
didn't provide many details. It is possible that your
filter is not working properly or that the cycle is not long
enough. You might want to browse through the archives on
those topics. I hope that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/23/2013
► Hazy And
I need your expertise again. Opening
my pool for summer (Orlando area) pool store said I needed
40# salt, did that. 1 gal acid, did that. 2-1# bags of
shock, did that. I also put in a new Pool Frog Mineral
reservoir and a new bam cartridge for algae. Cleaned my
cartridge type filter (100sq ft) I did all this 2 days ago,
and now my pool water is hazy/cloudy. It was actually clear
before all this. Test strips show everything good. Any
Billy B., Florida, 4/9/2008
You just opened the pool and it would not be uncommon for
the walls to have had algae growing on them. The boosting
the chlorine could have killed this algae growth and
resulted in cloudy water. You might require a new filter
cartridge. Buy another and alternate, while it is being
cleaned. Want easier cleaning? An
Automatic Filter Cartridge Cleaner
is available. Find it in the website store. In addition, you
could add a Nano-Stick Clarifier, which provides clarifying
action, using new Nano-Technology, for up to 3-4 months. I
hope this information proves helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/9/2008
► Checked And
Hopefully you have the answer I am
looking for! I have had my pool for 10+ years, it is
cleaned, sanitized, winterized and vacuumed faithfully. I
have never had many issues with it until about 3 years ago.
I thought it was an algae problem, but have tried various
solutions and can not get rid of it. If I vacuum the pool it
looks fine, water is clear, all tests read fine. After
running the filter for a short period of time, I get
sediment on the bottom. We have a sand filter and everything
in that has been replaced and/or checked. The sand is
replaced on a yearly basis. Since this problem occurred it
seems to get progressively worse every year. If you move on
the floor of the pool it dissipates, it does not feel like
sand, it is much finer. Everyone thinks Iím crazy, but I
canít keep my pool clean and am obsessed with fixing the
problem. Can you help? Thank you.
It is called silt: micro-fine particles that can pass right
through a sand filter and slowly settle to the bottom. It
doesn't take much to cause the sediment to float upwards.
The changing of the sand yearly is not necessarily a good
idea, as it can reduce filter efficiency. A sand filter
works best when the spaces, between the grains, have been
reduced in size. A better solution would be to use a zeolite sand
replacement filter media that is much more efficient than
ordinary filter sand. Another way to
eliminate silt is with the use of a
robotic pool cleaner.
These automated pool cleaners contains a micro-filter, which
can clean the bottom of debris and silt. It is good practice
to operate the filter during periods of greatest bather
activity, as this will help the filter remove the silt that
has been lifted off the bottom. I hope that I have been
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/16/2012
► Milky White
Swimming Pool Water?
Hello, I'll try to make this quick
cause I know you get tons of e mail. I have an above ground
18', vinyl liner. I had the water tested by a pool place,
did exactly as their results instructed me to, which was to
add about 5 lbs of pH plus. Alkalinity, pH and free chlorine
levels are now good, but the water has remained VERY cloudy,
not green cloudy but white and milky. This is bad pool
water! I have cleaned out the cartridge several times, the
milky water will not clear up. Thanks.
D. B., Florida, 3/2/2009
A little more information would have allowed me to focus
directly on the possibilities. Adding all that pH increaser
must have been necessary because the pH and TA were very
low. At low pH readings, minerals such as calcium are more
soluble. It is probable that your milky, white pool water is
due to calcium precipitating out of solution, as the pH and
TA were raised from their low points. If your calcium
hardness reading is above 400 PPM, this is a very likely
possibility. This sounds like a pool opening and, therefore,
algae could have been a problem. Dead algae can pass right
through some filters, especially sand filters that have
become channeled. I suggest that you add a quality
clarifier, such as the Nano-Stick. This utilizes new
Nano-Technology, in place of chemicals to achieve a high
degree of clarity. This type of product can oxidize and
destroy dead algae and debris, as water passes through the
Nano-Stick. If you have a sand filter, I suggest that you
consider using a zeolite sand replacement filter media,
in place of ordinary filter sand and reap the benefits of
much more efficient filtering, as well cost and chemical
savings. With the pool water chemistry in balance, improving
the filter efficiency seems to be the necessary course of
action - whether the problem is due to calcium or dead
algae. I hope that the
information will prove helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/2/2009
► Safe To
I have an 18' x 42" above ground vinyl
pool with the thru-the-wall cartridge filter. I've added
chlorine, shock, alkalinity, pH, algaecide and stabilizer.
I've vacuumed the pool and changed the filter. The chemicals
are at their proper levels, but despite all this, the water
is still cloudy. This has been going on for 4 weeks now. Is
it safe to let my kids swim in cloudy water? What else can I
do about the cloudiness problem and attain crystal-clear
water. HELP! Thank you.
If you are able to maintain a 1-3 PPM level of Free
Chlorine, it is likely that the pool water is in acceptably
sanitary condition. However, cloudy water creates a
potentially dangerous situation. Suppose a swimmer was in
trouble and you weren't able to see him on the bottom? It
has happened: I was considered as an expert witness, in such
a case. In the interest of safety, you need to get the
water clear. If the chemistry is right, the problem may be
that the filter is not able to remove particles, as fine as
those present or that it is not being operated correctly or
for long enough periods. The filter cartridge needs to be
cleaned or replaced. The pressure could be too high,
indicating that the water recirculation is poor. Cartridge
filters should be cleaned often: weekly in most cases.
BLASTER is an automatic filter cleaner that attaches to your
garden hose and makes cartridge cleaning simple and quick.
Try this. The first thing in the morning - before the pool
is used - vacuum thoroughly. This will help remove silt that
has settle to the bottom. Otherwise it will be stirred up by
swimmers and cloud the pool water. In addition, you might
add a dose of a quality "Blue" Clarifier after the vacuuming
and keep the filter operating for at least 6-8 hours, after
the addition. This type of product can help coagulate fine
particles for easier removal. Liquid Clarifiers are short
term products (days at most), while a Nano-Stick Clarifier
can last as long as 3-4 months and is safe with all filters
and chemicals. One factor of pool water chemistry that you
did not bring up is calcium hardness. The calcium hardness
can affect the clarity of the water and should be checked
into. An effective way to deal with silt deposits is with
the use of a robotic pool cleaner. These devices cover the
whole pool and act as a second roving filter to help remove
fine silty deposits. More information on this factor can be
found in the archives. I hope that this information will
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/28/2010
► Evil Cloud?
PLEASE HELP ME ALAN. Love your site. I
recently took on the task of cleaning and reopening my
mother's pool for her. She has an aboveground 27 x 48 round
pool, and when I arrived on the scene, there were endless
amounts of dirt, muck and mire in the bottom of the pool,
creating algae and other problems in nightmarish
proportions. I think she had someone take the cover off for
her, and it was either done too early in the season or
leaves and detritus on the top of the cover were allowed to
drop into the pool. At any rate, after numerous attempts to
filter and chemically treat the problem, I convinced mother
to let me drain the pool. It was drained and shop-vac'd
until there was not a speck of water remaining. I hand
scrubbed every inch of the liner with algaecide and
cleaners, and rinsed and scrubbed and siphoned and shop
vac'd until the entire thing was spotless. We're talking
days and days and nights and mornings of work, all the while
thinking to myself "Mom's going to have the cleanest,
clearest pool in the entire state." So I got it spotless,
dry, and immaculate, and spent another day and a half
filling it. All was right with the world. We had the sand
filter medium replaced, and once the pool was filled and the
filter had run for 24 hours, you were looking at the
cleanest, purest water you could ever hope for. Following
the manufacturer's directions, I began adding chlorine until
the level tested correctly. The next instruction was to test
for pH, and it tested very low. So I added pH increaser
(sodium bicarbonate) according to the package instructions
(in this case, approx. 1.5 lbs for a 16k+ gallon pool). I
cannot tell you the horror. The chemical spread across the
pool like a low dark cloud: it was like something out of a
science fiction movie. It swirled around the bottom and
covered the entire pool bottom in an evil milky haze. It
rose, and within 30 minutes turned the entire labor of love
into a big soup of dirty, yucky, cloudy pool water. I wanted
to cry. I have tried everything in the last 24 hours to
correct the problem. More chlorine to no effect. I purchased
clarifier and added that to the system. Again, no effect.
Please tell me what I did wrong here, or what I can do to
fix this. My mother's 60th birthday is only a day or two
away, and I wanted nothing more than to take care of this
issue for her. Any advice you could give would be truly,
Your pool problem started out as algae and lots of dirt and
muck. You dealt with that! The problem that you now have may
be unrelated to the original situation. Adding pH increaser
(sodium carbonate-not sodium bicarbonate) increased the pH
of the water. At low pH values the water can be irritating,
but it can keep minerals in the water more soluble. Raising
the pH likely caused some precipitation to occur. It is
possible that your calcium hardness and/or total alkalinity
were too high and raising the pH caused the cloudy pool
water problem. Adding the chlorine, if this was the problem,
accomplished nothing useful. In fact, it may have further
increased the pH. You need to have the water tested for pH,
TA, iron, copper and calcium hardness. You may have to add a
phosphate-free mineral treatment, such as
to deal with the heavy metals, if they are too high. After
the water analysis, there will be a better understanding of
the problem. Possibly, the filtration is not adequate. Make
sure the filter pressure is in the recommended range. I hope
that this information will prove helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/28/2010
► Better On
Other Side Of Fence?
My neighbor and I both installed new
above ground pools in our backyards this spring. His pool is
crystal clear while mine is cloudy. I also seem to get more
build up of green scummy stuff on the bottom which is very
difficult to clean up! He uses chlorine, while I use
bromine. Both of our pools see very hot direct sunlight
(currently, my pool temperature is 85ļF). Should I switch to
You are not going to like this! Your neighbor's pool has
cyanuric acid to help protect the chlorine, against the
Sun's UV rays, and make it last longer. Your bromine pool
cannot be protected against the Sun's UV. Cyanuric acid will
not help. You must add more bromine or chlorine to maintain
any given level. If you add chlorine, it will convert to
bromine. The only way to avoid this is to eliminate the
bromides from the water. To do that, you must drain the
pool. Draining a pool is not without some risk, so I suggest
that this be thought out. There are advantages to bromine,
such as less odor and irritation, but you will use more
chemicals. The algae problem is the proof. To help get by
with less bromine, I suggest adding a
Dual-Ion Purifier/Mineralizer. It will help control algae, if the bromine
levels falls. Otherwise, you get algae. I suggest that you
add the liquid chlorine or quick dissolving shock, about a
pound/gallon per 5,000 gallons, until the bromine level is
over 5 PPM. Don't drag it out! The longer it takes, the more
product will be required. Keep it there until the problem is
under control. You have green, cloudy, murky water because
the sanitizer level was inadequate and algae took hold.
Check the overall water chemistry as well. Have the water
tested for phosphates and nitrates, as their presence could
promote algae growth and increase bromine usage. Poor
circulation can make algae growth more likely. You might
consider adding THE CIRCULATOR. The easy to install device
will eliminate the dead spots that can promote algae growth.
Adding a Nano-Stick Clarifier
can help destroy organic byproducts and contamination, that
detract from the clarity of the water. It requires no
installation and can be used with all types of sanitizers.
Just hand it in the pool and it can last for 3-4 months. I hope this will help you clear
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/20/2007
► Won't Clear
I had a problem with algae - nothing
special - and I treated the pool with an algaecide and some
chlorine shock. The algae disappeared within a day. The
water however was cloudy and hazy. I tested the pH and total
alkalinity and the calcium hardness and they seemed to be
OK. But the water is still cloudy. It is a 15,000 gallon
above the ground pool with a sand filter. Can you suggest
something? Should I Floc the pool?
Jerry E., Battle Creek, MI, 7/18/2008
If your water was clear before the algae developed, it is
likely that the cloudy water is from dead algae and organic
debris. Dead algae can be so small it can pass right through
some filters. If that is the case, the addition of one of
those "Blue" Clarifiers should to the trick. These products
are long polymers, with many electrically charged receptive
sites along the polymer. Dead algae and debris are
attracted to these sites and the result is a formation of
larger particles of dead algae and other suspended matter.
This treatment process is called coagulation and the larger
particles are more easily removed by the filter. Add a dose
of the "Blue: Clarifier and filter continuously. While a
liquid "blue" clarifier can be effective, it is a short term
solution. A Nano-Stick Clarifier uses completely different
technology. is simply hung from a pool ladder and can last
3-4 months. Repeat the next day, if necessary. Resume a
normal filter cycle, after the pool water clarity problem
has been solved. Thereafter, use weekly or at the first
signs of a hazy or cloudy pool water problem. These products
can help improve the efficiency of the filter and are a much
better choice than floc. If your problems continue to recur
or if you are going to replace the sand anyway, you might
consider replacing the sand with a zeolite sand
replacement filter media. It is far more efficient that
ordinary filter sand and could make all the difference.
Another way to improve filtration is with a
cleaner equipped with a micro-filter bag. It actually
filters as it vacuums and it very effective. I hope that I
have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/18/2008
► Effect Of
I have read a lot from your Q and A
section on cloudy water and I think I have found the answer
to my question. But, I have one more. What is the effect of
water temp in relation to chemical usage? I prefer my water
temp to be on the high side, somewhere in the high 80's.
What do I need to do if I maintain these high temps. Thanks
It's really a good basic question! The main effect of
higher water temperatures is to make algae grow faster, if
allowed to get a foothold, and to make chlorine react
faster. You should keep the Free Chlorine level at 1-3 PPM.
As water temperatures rise, more chlorine may be needed to
accomplish this. Enjoy the summer!
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/17/2005
► Used Well
Water - Bad Sulfur Smell And Ugly Color?
We just filled our 18,000 gallons
above ground pool, with well water. It smells like there is
a Sulfur odor and has a really unappealing, murky greenish
brown color. We live in the boondocks and don't have city
water. I was unable to use our in-home filter system. I was
told, because of the volume required. Where do I begin?
Ken H., Tucson, AZ, 4/30/2008
You should bring in a water sample to a local dealer. He
won't be able to test for all that is wrong. From the smell
of things, you are going to need some real help. I suggest
using a PURESTART Pre-Filter and a small submersible, along
with a garden hose to recirculate the water. Keep the pool
filter running. The PURESTART should be able to remove the
offensive smelling sulfur and other organic contamination.
Your well water is obviously of poor quality. You would have
been better off having water trucked in, if there was no
other option. However, draining the pool could cause the
liner to shrink and that would not be good. So let's try and
fix what you have. As you recirculate the water through the
PURESTART, it will slowly improve. Run it 24/7, because the
flow rate is only 5-7 gallons a minute. Keep the pool filter
running 24/7, as well. Get the chemistry right and a free
chlorine of 5 PPM and see what it looks like. Adding a dose
of a blue Clarifier can help the pool filter remove some of
the suspended solids, as they become coagulated, by the
clarifier. Watch the filter pressure and clean or backwash
wash, as needed. For the long term, a
Clarifier can be hung from the pool ladder and can last
3-4 months. In the future, always use the PURESTART
Pre-Filter, when adding water to top off the pool. An even
better choice would be the MetalTrap Dual Cartridge Filter,
which removes most the sediments and sulfur, as well as
dissolved heavy metals. It features replaceable cartridge
and is intended to be a long-term solution, for well water
problems. It comes it a variety of connection options, for
simple installation. I hope this helps make a difference.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/30/2008
► From Bad To
I just found your site tonight. I hope
you can help me. I had rusty stains on my liner and used
Ascorbic acid after I tested with Vitamin C tablets in my
skimmer. The pool store first gave me a metal remover that
did nothing. The ascorbic acid worked great and the water
turned rusty red, as the stains left the vinyl liner then
went crystal clear then cloudy during the 48 hours the pool
place said to run the filter. I told her what happened and
she gave me FLOC and it turned it more milky white. She said
that I did not let it sit unfiltered long enough, I left it
9 hours. She tested the water and told me to add 4 cups of
pH rise and a bag of Bromine shock. To stop the filter,
which I did, now it has sat for 18 hours. OH, I did change
the DE and wash the fingers, this morning because the
pressure kept going up on the gauge and the return was weak
the night before when she told me to filter the FLOC for 6
hours after adding. It appeared to clump the DE. It is still
milky. I have a children's birthday party this Sunday, today
is now Friday. I have been working on this since last
Sunday. It a big bowl of chemical soup now. I thought to
change the DE and repeat several times if necessary the next
two days. What should I do, I am frustrated beyond
description. My pool is 4X18 above ground with a propane
pool heater (suspect rust entered pool from heater). If you
can help me I would really appreciate it, the pool girl just
keeps giving me more and more products to try I am starting
to think she doesn't know, is guessing. She said to soak the
fingers in Vitamin C, when done and a friend said to soak
them in muriatic acid. Help what should I do to clear the
water, clean the pump? Appreciate any help.
Diann B., 8/12/2008
Floc is not one of my favorite products. With a DE filter
you should almost never need it! Never! To make matters
worse, it was not used properly. Is she guessing? I would
think that is putting it mildly. Test the pH and raise it to
8.0 or higher ASAP. If you need to raise it, add the
chemicals and bypass the filter. Once dispersed, shut off
the filter until tomorrow morning. In the meanwhile, clean
the filter out and soak the fingers in a muriatic acid
solution. I never heard of vitamin C being used for this
purpose to clean a filter - it doesn't make sense. An acid
soaking will do a better job. Get the filter ready to be
used the next day. Tomorrow morning, slowly vacuum the
sediment on the pool floor to waste. Take time to get all
the precipitate off the floor. Resume normal filtration. If
there is still floc present it may cause a rise in pressure,
so check periodically. Check the pH and free chlorine levels
and adjust as necessary. Filter 24/7 until the water is
clear. The heater should not have contributed iron the water
- copper perhaps. I suggest that you have the pool and tap
water tested for iron and copper. Possibly, your source
water is high in metals and that could lead to staining and
discoloration. Some chemicals are useful in treating these
problems, but they often return. Use the
METALTRAP Filter to
recirculate the water and you actually be able to remove the
metals from the pool water. Use The Metal Trap filter, when
adding new water and you'll avoid introducing more
problem-causing metals, such as iron, copper and manganese.
Good luck. Hopefully, it will all work out.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/12/2008
Hello, I hope you can help me with my
pool problems. I have a 16x36 inground pool, ( it was here
when I moved in) its a fiberglass with a sand filter. O.K.
here's what I was doing. I had shocked the pool at 1st with
the calcium shock, a no-no if you already have hard water!
O.K. these are the results after a water sample was taken to
pool place: total chlorine 10, free chlorine 0, pH 7.5,
total alkalinity 180, total hardness 401. So after that I
put in 7 lbs of stabilizer (cyanuric acid or something) and
also 1 quart of scale inhibitor to reduce hardness. Still my
test strips show no available chlorine and hardness is still
high and water is still cloudy! Help please! Also I've been
backwashing sand filter regularly I don't know when sand has
been changed lately. Should I attempt to vac the bottom even
though I can't see it? When I brush it stirs up gunk, that's
for sure. Thanks.
Adding the stabilizer was the right thing to do, only if it
was too low! You never add it because the chlorine level is
low. Zero free chlorine probably indicates the presence of
algae and wastes. This would account for the cloudy water,
as well. You need to add shock - no calcium hypochlorite -
until the free chlorine level is 5-10 PPM. Add product and
retest the water every few hours. Don't drag it out or even
more chemicals will be required. Using the right tester is
important. I suggest that you use the
Strips, as they are reliable and work well with high or
low levels of chlorine. Sand filters are not great at
removing dead algae and should not be backwashed regularly -
only when the pressure is too high or the filter will lose
efficiency. Inasmuch as you don't know when the sand was
last changed, I suggest that you replace the sand. Using
a zeolite sand filter
replacement media, in place of sand, will greatly improve
the water quality and make a positive contribution. You'll
only need about 1/2 the weight and it is modestly priced. Have the water tested for pH, TA and
stabilizer. Adjust as necessary, trying to keep the pH
closer to 7.2. The scale product will not lower the reading,
but will enable more calcium to remain in solution without
causing problems. By lowering the pH closer to 7.2, you
should be able to avoid scaling conditions. If in doubt,
refer to the page on the Langelier Index and plug in your
numbers. By all means, use the pool vacuum. I hope that this
advice will prove helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/3/2005
Green Pool Water?
I am a new pool owner, and just
shocked the pool for the first time. Now I'm the one
shocked! The pool looked great before, with it's new
water. Right after shocking it, a couple of hours ago, the
water turned a gross green and my filter cartridge was
coated. What could be causing this? Thanks!
You can rule out algae, even though there is a problem with
green pool water. Shocking doesn't make algae grow. It
sounds like a mineral: iron, copper, etc. I suggest that you
have the water tested for these metals ASAP! If using well
water, this is not an uncommon problem. You will have to add
some quality mineral treatment, if the water analysis
confirms the problem. Thereafter, if possible, add new water
by placing the garden hose in the skimmer and add a
phosphate-free mineral treatment, such as
MetalTrap, prior to the addition of the water. Even a better
suggestion would be to use a MetalTrap Filter, with the
garden hose, to keep all new water heavy metals free. Refer
to the archives on iron and copper for additional
information. It is important to keep the cartridge clean
and maintain good water flow. The Blaster Automatic Filter
Cartridge Cleaner makes it easier than ever. I hope that
this information will get you back on track. Good luck.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/19/2010
► Trying But
I am trying to fix my cloudy pool
water. I have had it tested twice. My pool is 5,000 gallons.
The first test came back that I needed 9 lbs alkalinity, 8
ounces pH, 1 lb shock and 1 pound of chlorine stabilizer.
After I followed the instructions and vacuumed the pool
after the pump ran for 8 hours the pool was still the same.
It is not registering chlorine. I then took another water
sample back. The pH and alkalinity are fine, but I cannot
get a chlorine reading. They told me to keep running the
pump for a few days and it would clear up. Any suggestions?
All of the chemicals, expect for the shock, that you added
were necessary to balance the water chemistry, but will not
contribute to chlorine level. Assuming that you have
recently opened the pool, it would not be uncommon for there
to be algae and an accumulation of debris. Adding 1 pound of
shock, is what the label suggests, but it is not always
enough. You must continue adding shock, about a pound at a
time for your size pool, until the Free Chlorine level is
being maintained in the 1-3 PPM. At that point the water
should be clear. To help clear the water, try adding a
Nano-Stick Clarifier. It lasts
for 3-4 months and helps
produce better water quality and clarity, while adding
contributing nothing to the water. It is the 21st century
way to crystal-clear water. It is really a matter of adding
enough shock to completely destroy all of the algae and
debris and provide an excess to act as a sanitizer. The
Nano-Stick will help keep it sparkling, so long as proper
sanitizer levels are maintained. Good luck and I hope this
information will be helpful. Enjoy the season.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/4/2009
► Scaling And
My pool is located in a very hard
water area and I have some scaling and cloudiness issues.
The pool maintenance company has mentioned something called
a magnetic conditioner. What is this?
Roy N., Chandler, AZ, 6/2/2005
Magnetic Water Conditioners are strong permanent magnets
that are strapped on the return lines. It is reported that
pool water passing through the return lines is subjected to
a magnetic field, causing micro-changes in some of the water
content. In short, the magnets are said to cause some
beneficial changes: reduction and elimination of calcium
scale, improvement in sanitizer efficiency and some positive
effects on the overall water chemistry and clarity. In very
hard water situations this type of product can make a
substantial improve in the water quality. No power is
required and installation should be a simple. I hope that I
have been of assistance.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/2/2005
► Cloudy And
Scaled After Vacation?
I am new to salt water pools. Have had
it since last January 2007. It has run fine and stayed
crystal clear until I went on vacation 3 weeks ago. I
returned to a slight green pool and a milky looking powder.
The cell needed cleaning and pH was off, I cleaned the cell
and corrected the pH then shocked the pool. Now the pH is
correct, the cell is functioning and the chlorine level is
OK. Pool remains milky looking, filter is clean (cartridge
type). Have run the pump 24/7 for three days and still
milky, but all the powder that was on the flat surfaces is
gone. Any ideals what this is. It is building up on the
tiles and looks bad.
Salt chlorine generators tend to cause the pH to rise. In
your absence the pH rose too high and scaling and cloudy
water resulted. In the future, drop the pH to 7.2 before
leaving for a 2-3 week period. Longer periods will require
some attention. See below for insight into the chemistry
involved. An easier way to clean the filter cartridge is
with The Blaster Automatic Filter Cartridge Cleaner. Try
adding a Nano-Stick Clarifier to
help eliminate the cloudiness, for as long as 4-6 months. Three factors
contribute to scaling conditions: high calcium hardness
(usually over 400 PPM), high pH (usually over 7.8) and total
alkalinity (usually over 200 PPM). All three together make
it even worse. You can lower the pH and TA with acid. The
calcium hardness might be controlled, but not necessarily
lowered, by adding a calcium sequestering agent. I suggest
that you test the water for pH, TA and calcium hardness.
Installing The Magnetizer can help control scale-related
problems, without chemicals. The
Langelier Index will tell
you if the water is scale forming and provide insight to
help improve the situation. I hope that this information
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/29/2009
► Not Quite
My water seems to be perfectly clear
in the morning. After the kids start using the pool, I
notice that the water is not as clear as I would like. The
pool is big rectangular above ground. I'm not sure about the
size. I test the water and can find nothing that needs to be
corrected. The next day the pool water is fine and then it
get bad all over again. How can I avoid this problem with
cloudy pool water?
Sandy A., 8/11/2005
Having a group of kids jumping into the pool and swimming
about is apparently stirring up some silt on the bottom.
This fine silt is causing the change in the water's
appearance. Make sure that the filter is operating during
these periods. Filters can't remove silt from the bottom.
However, once the swimmers raise the silt, it can be
filtered out and the problem will slowly get better. If you
don't have an automatic pool cleaner, it is something to
consider. It is an especially important, in the case of a
large above ground pool. Using a
robotic pool cleaner will
vacuum the bottom and remove the silt. It is best to do this
before the kids jump in. You might try to vacuum more often,
again in the morning before the kids stir things up. If you
add a circulation booster, you will give the filter more
opportunity to remove the silt, by keeping it in suspension.
The Circulator, installs easily in the return fittings, and
improves circulation by as mush as 1500%. Better circulation
helps produce better water quality. Lastly, you should try
using a quality "Blue" Clarifier, after the water has been
stirred up: these products can help remove fine, suspended
particles, by increasing the filter efficiency. Sounds like
the kids are enjoying the pool. Have a good summer!
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/11/2005
► Floc May
Not Be The Answer?
I know Iíve seen you say on your
website that you really donít like floc treatments. Can you
explain why? I flocked the pool and went out the next
morning and I thought it looked great. The water was crystal
clear and a lot of the suspended particles were on the
bottom of the pool. I vacuumed up as much as I could while
wasting the water. I did send some of it through the filter
simply because I was losing too much pool water. Thanks for
all your help.
For me, floc is a last resort product. It does work, but it
creates more work that it might be worth. To remove some
suspended particles, you create a vast amount of a
gelatinous precipitate that falls to the bottom. Wait
overnight and vacuum to waste. You throw water and chemicals
away and if you get the floc into the filter, it may need to
be cleaned. In the end, you may wind up with clear water.
However, the problem that lead to the cloudiness may still
be present: algae, poor filtration or bad water chemistry.
Better to address the problems, of improving filtration,
eliminating algae or optimizing the water chemistry,
directly. Once done, a recurrence is less likely. Sometimes
all that is required is a clarifier or shock treatment or a
filter cleaning or a chemical adjustment. A
Nano-Stick Clarifier can last
4-6 months and works continuously. It is simply hung from a
rail or ladder and contains no harsh chemicals. I hope that this
information is helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/20/2006
Black To Cloudy Blue?
Hi Alan. What a great idea for a
website! A lot of very useful information. I have a question
for you. We had a very bad winter with our inground pool and
we had a pool company come over and open it for us. It is
our first year opening our pool because we bought this house
at the beginning of the summer last year and the previous
owner opened it for us. Now, we had that black disgusting
water and green algae floating all over the top and it smelt
like a fishery as they opened it up. The pool responded to
the shock treatment very well right away. You could see it
changing color immediately, which I thought was good. Today,
24 hours later it is still a cloudy blue. How long will this
take to clear the water? Not that its warm enough to swim or
will be for another month, but just wondering how long to
wait. The filter is running continuously and the circulation
is great. They used a correction kit along with an opening
kit. So, will the water eventually clear itself up or should
we give it a few days then add something? Thank you.
Julia H., Canada, 4/30/2009
You are definitely making progress, but a little help might
be in order. Test the Free Chlorine and try to keep it in
the 1-3 PPM. If necessary, add more shock. All that algae
can require a lot of chlorine. Adjust the pH to 7.2-7.6.
Some filters are better than others at removing dead algae
and fine particles. You might want to add a
Clarifier. It works to destroy organic byproducts and
wastes, that detract from optimum water clarity The
improvement could be quick and dramatic. If you have a sand
filter, this might be a good time to replace the sand and
start off with a clean page. Even better would be replacing
the sand with zeolite: a replacement media for sand
filters. It will produce much better results than ordinary
sand, removing even the finest of particles.. Make sure that
you thoroughly vacuum the bottom, otherwise, when the pool
is used, the silt on the bottom might cloud up the water. If
you don't have an automatic vacuum, give it some thought.
Robotic Pool Cleaners do a great job and will
micro-filter the water and they travel the pool. I hope this
information will help you get off on the right track. Enjoy
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/30/2009
► Pool Water
Please help my husband put a gallon of
algaecide in our pool, as it was a little green, I did not
know he put it in, so I put a gallon in. The pool is not
green any more and looks OK, but, when you turn the light on
you see clouds. We never had an in ground pool before. It is
25ft by 50ft 3ft-7ft. How can we get the clouds out? Wife
and kids. Thank you.
Palm Coast, Florida, 10/6/2008
Depending upon the type of algaecide used, it is possible
that the cloudiness problem is due to a foaming tendency
associated with some products. Is it also possible that the
"clouds" are merely dead algae and debris that needs to be
removed by filtration. This seems to fit the facts. Turning
on the light cause there particles to show up. Dead algae
can pass right through some filters. I suggest that you add
a dose of a quality blue clarifier, which works only for a
short term. For the long term solution, you should add a
Nano-Stick Clarifier, which can help produce crystal-clear
water, for 3-4 months. You might consider a
Cleaner. This product not only vacuums the bottom, but acts
as a second filter. It can solve the cloudy pool water
problem and save you time and effort, as well as money. The
combination of the Nano-Stick Clarifier, proper chemistry
and sanitation and robotic pool cleaner, should provide the
results you always wanted. I hope that the advice proves
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/6/2008
► Soda Ash
Causes A Cloud?
I am a service technician in southwest
Pennsylvania and my problem is that sometimes when I add
soda ash to pools to increase the pH the water turns really
cloudy and murky. I was wondering if you could shed some
light on maybe why it happens, if there is a way to combat
the cloudiness. If the chlorine is on the higher side about
5ppm would this have something to do with this problem? I
donít remember this problem happening the past several
years. If you have any ideas I would like to hear them.
Chris, PA, 8/7/2010
Most likely the cause is high calcium hardness - something
in the area of at least 300-400 PPM. As the soda ash
dissolves, it creates an area of a very high pH, surrounding
the chemical. This, in turn, decreases the solubility of
calcium and can create a cloud of calcium carbonate. If the
soda ash can be added slower and over a greater area with
circulating water, it is less likely to happen. Refer to the
Langelier-Ryznar Index page for some insight into the
relationship of pH, TA and calcium hardness, as it affects
scaling conditions or cloudy water: It has nothing to do
with the brand of chemical, although use of calcium
hypochlorite should be avoided. I hope that this information
will prove to be useful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/7/2010
► All Stirred
My pool water parameters: chlorine 2
PPM, pH 7.4, alkalinity 70 PPM, total calcium hardness 110
PPM. The main problem is when many boys (around 20) are
swimming the pool water becomes dirty, muddy-looking and
cloudy. After they leave, by 5 minutes, the water become
very clear. Have you any answers? Best regards.
My guess is that you do not have a main drain. This "dirty,
muddy or cloudy" pool water problem is due to silt on the
bottom. When the boys jump in, they stir up the bottom and
this results in cloudy water. After swimming ceases, the
silt settles to the bottom and the water clears up. I
suggest that you add an automatic pool cleaner to the pool.
This will act as a moving main drain and help remove the
silt deposits. Robotic Pool Cleaners have the added benefit
of a built-in micro-filter capable of removing dead algae
and bacteria and reducing pool water cloudiness. Another
option would be to vacuum more frequently, especially early
in the morning, before the pool has been used. Better
circulation can not only help make sanitizing more
effective, it can improve filter performance, as well.
Circulator is the easy, affordable way to dramatically
improve circulation. I hope that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/13/2009
► Can Acid
When the free chlorine level is
excessive (by adding too much), will the addition of acid
(to balance pH) make the water cloudy?
Not likely! Lowering the pH makes the chlorine more
effective and minerals more soluble. If the pool water
clouded up, it might be because the more effective chlorine
killed algae present on the walls. Don't leave the water
acidic, as that will cause corrosion and possible bather
discomfort. I hope this information will clear things up.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/29/2007
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