Why is my pool cloudy?

There are three main factors that add debris to your pool which has the potential to make it cloudy: humans, the environment and chemicals. Debris comes in the forms of sunscreen, pollen, imbalance of chemicals, some algaecides and phosphate removers etc. and can become a problem if you have either of the following:  

Poor Filtration

Your filter is designed to physically remove any debris and contaminants from the water. Due to age or malfunction, occasionally filters are no longer able to contain the debris, resulting in a gradual reduction in water quality. It will also mean your sanitiser is being used up faster or your pump works harder. If this is the case you may find that you have persistent cloudy water regardless of correct water balance. Before taking a water sample to the shop ensure that your filtration system is functioning correctly, and all return are aimed toward the bottom of the pool. If you suspect that you have poor filtration, please contact Aquafirst on 9580 9488.  

Low Chlorine Levels

Low chlorine can occur for multiple reasons: free chlorine has become depleted after heavy usage, heavy rainfall dilutes the chlorine, or during hot sunny days UV light eating up free chlorine. Low chlorine means your pool is not being sanitised properly, therefore, debris builds up in your pool creating a cloudy effect. During heat waves or heavy pool usage, test your water daily. If chlorine levels are not being sustained, consider increasing run times or manually ‘boosting’ chlorine levels with liquid or granular chlorine.  

Failing paint surfaces

Failing paint surfaces can lead to cloudy water when a pool is in use. As pool paint ages it can become chalky and literally begin to rub off on your hands and feet. When in heavy use, this rubbing of the paint surface can result in a pool becoming increasingly cloudy. This type of cloud will generally filter out when usage reduces. There is little that can be done to prevent this other than repainting the pool.  

Stormy weather

Storm runoff is a common cause of cloudy pool water. This problem usually presents as a brown colour in the water. Depending on the severity of the problem, flocking the pool may be the best solution. It is important to deal with this problem quickly in order to prevent the dirty water from contaminating your filter. Should this problem be unmanageable, it may be necessary to drain the pool.  

How do I get my pool back to normal?

Carry out the following checks:
  1. Ensure that your water level is correct.
  2. Clean out your skimmer and pump baskets.
  3. For a sand filter, do a backwash and rinse. If you have a cartridge filter, clean the filter elements. For additional information on how to clean your filter, please refer to “How to clean your filter”.
  4. Check that your saltwater chlorinator or liquid chlorine feeder is on, functioning normally and that the timer is set correctly.
  5. Test the water chemistry. An imbalance of pH can render free chlorine ineffective. You may need to adjust your pH, alkalinity or chlorine. If all chemicals are well balanced, add clarifier to help remove debris.

How do I prevent cloudy pool water?

  1. Keep your filtration running for around 8 hours a day in summer, less in winter.
  2. Test water chemistry regularly. Once a fortnight in summer and monthly in winter is a great start.
  3. Keep a cover on the pool when not in use.
  4. Scoop out leaves and other visible debris and empty skimmer and pump baskets weekly.
  5. Clean your filter when you mow your lawn.