When your pool looks like a giant bowl of milk—or worse, like the Loch Ness Monster moved in—no one wants to swim in it. Not only is cloudy pool water uninviting, it could be breeding dangerous bacteria or damaging your pool and circulation system.
To avoid expensive damage and potentially serious illnesses, we need to figure out the cause of a cloudy pool before we can fix it. Solutions will vary depending on how the water became cloudy in the first place.
Usually, it takes some time for your pool water to turn cloudy. You may think you notice a bit of cloudiness at first, but it’s easy to blow off. Once it’s undeniably cloudy, we may have a lot of work to fix it. Some water problems can cause noticeable cloudiness to occur seemingly overnight. So what the heck happened to make your water look like milk?
Invasion of the Sanitizer Snatchers
When natural debris like leaves ends up in your pool, your sanitizer gets right to work attacking it. But sanitizers aren’t meant to dissolve large amounts of solids—that’s what your filtration system is for. If the solids aren’t physically removed from the water, by us or your filter, they can gobble up your sanitizer.
Humans also introduce solids to your pool. Sweat, sunscreen, beauty products, and even urine deplete your chlorine. It’s one of the reasons we add sanitizer to your pool in the first place, but it’s also the reason we have to keep adding it.
The sun is another sanitizer thief. Its powerful ultraviolet rays break apart the sanitizing hypochlorite ions created when we add chlorine to your pool, causing them to evaporate into the air around your pool. This means less sanitizer and more dirt in your water.
One more chlorine-hogging pollutant is algae. As long as you have an algae problem, your pool will require a copious amount of chlorine or bromine. Not to mention, you won’t want to swim in it. Blech.
When you have contaminants hogging the chlorine, not only will we need to add more sanitizer, your chlorine won’t work as well. So while the chemicals are busy attacking a pile of rotting leaves on the floor of your pool, they’re less effective at quickly killing hazardous pathogens and bacteria, such as E. coli, making your cloudy pool water both ugly and dangerous.
Your Pool’s Circulatory System
Problems with your pool’s circulation system are a leading cause of cloudy, hazardous pool water. It’s mostly preventable by keeping the circulation system healthy.
When everything is working correctly, and you’re running your filtration system at least eight hours per day, you should see minimal debris in your water. All sorts of contaminants will be removed from your pool by your filter and sanitizer working together.
Your pool circulation system can fail you as it gets older, or it can be damaged by wonky chemical levels or neglect. When your filter can’t remove contaminants as well as it should, you get cloudy pool water, and probably a handful of other gross water problems.
A clogged filter, dying pump, or simply not running your filtration system for at least eight hours a day can cause a cloudy pool. If all of your water isn’t being run through a fully functioning, clean filter it can retain debris, leaving you with cloudy pool water.
Your sanitizer will get used up more quickly. Your pump may have to work extra hard and whatever water does make it through to your filter may not be well distributed by the pressure side of your circulation system.
All of this results in dirty-looking water, while also contributing to bacteria problems that can endanger the health of everyone who uses your pool.
Stop Cloudy Pool Water Before It Starts
Make sure the only clouds you see are the ones in the sky. Weekly testing and balancing, skimming and vacuuming, and basic filter maintenance will keep your pool healthy and Crystal Clear all season long, which is what we are here for! If you start to notice cloudiness in your pool, always let us know as soon as possible so we can diagnose the problem and get it fixed for you sooner than later!