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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.
Do you know what's in
your water? If you're having problems, with
sanitation or water clarity, testing allows you to better
understand the chemistry and determine the cause of the
problem. Once understood, you can select the best
treatment option. Understanding the nature of the
problem, should be step one. For information about
our full selection of testing options, visit our
Test Equipment Store.
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
Why Is Silt Present?
Help!! Our in
ground gunite plaster pool. It is 9 years old. It is using
the salt water system which we love. Work great water is
always up to par we check it daily then once a week take to
the pool store not a Leslie's pool store. The one we take
the water to is a respectable pool place. But have a
question for you , we will not have any one In Pool for a
week or so. Then we will get in and the is white dust thick
on bottom. Not quite sure what this is. Thank you for
listening please get back with us, as soon as possible with
some answers for our problem. Thank you and may God Bless
you for helping others, all of our level are perfect.
Andrea W., 8/1/2018
called silt and is a combination of wind-blown dust and
debris and, possibly some dead algae and plaster dust. When
the pool is in use, all
this gets stirred up and is mostly filtered out. It doesn't
have a chance to accumulate. If the pool is not used, for a
week, it tends to accumulate and cloud the water after it is
agitated by swimmers. Vacuuming, first thing in the AM,
should help. Adding The
Pool Circulators will dramatically improve circulation and
help reduce the volume of sediments. Adding a
Pool Nano-Stick Clarifier can
help eliminate fine particles, for up to 4-6 months and it
adds no chemicals, to the water. I hope that the information
provided was helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/1/2018
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, 7/21/2016
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. I hope that
recommendation works out for you.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/21/2016
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, 1/4/2017
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, 1/4/2017
► Can't Clear It Up,
With A Sand Filter?
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 Pool 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
Prevent and Treat Cloudy Pool Water Problems.
Use a salt Chlorine Generator for better control,
with fewer chemical byproducts.
Add a second layer of back-up sanitation, for
reduced chlorine consumption.
The Pool Circulator improves circulation and eliminates dead zones,
promote algae growth.
Robotic Pool Skimmer removes floating debris and
aids in water clarity.
Better chemistry helps promotes sanitizer effectiveness, reducing chemical usage.
These Salt Chlorine Generators treat pools, sized 25,000 to
Dual-Ion Purifier, uses copper/zinc ions. For all pools.
Pool Circulator eliminates dead zones and improves sanitizing action.
This Solar-Powered Pool Skimmer removes debris, before it sinks to the
a 21st Century approach to water clarity, with new
Click on any image
for complete product and ordering information.
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, 5/14/2018
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 4-6 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.
► 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:
Century product that can last up to 4-6 months. A
robotic pool cleaner
would be a big help in removing the fine
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. 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 4-6 months. I
hope this information proves helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/9/2008
► 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 4-6 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 POOL 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 4-6 months. I hope this will help you clear
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/20/2007
► 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 MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter and a small submersible, along
with a garden hose to recirculate the water. Keep the pool
filter running. The pre-filter 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
MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, 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
4-6 months. In the future, always use the MetalTrap Dual Cartridge Filter,
which removes the sediments, 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 vacuum 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
will be required. Using the right tester is important. I
suggest that you use a
All-Digital Photometer Tester. It eliminates all
the color-matching and guesswork. 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 and lasts through the night. At that point the water
should be clear. A
salt chlorine generator is a better way to do chlorine,
affording more control and better results. To can use
it to dial the free chlorine, up or down, as the needs and
seasons change. To help clear the water, try adding a
Nano-Stick Clarifier. It lasts
for 4-6 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 Pool 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
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
► 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
► 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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