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Cloudy Pool Water — Common Causes, Methods to Make Your Swimming Area Crystal Clear Again (2021)

Having cloudy pool water has been a common dilemma for many homeowners, especially during the changing seasons. Aside from its uninviting appearance, your swampy swimming pool may be the breeding ground of dangerous bacteria that’s bad for your health. 

In this post, our team will give you several helpful tips on swimming pool maintenance and how to keep it working properly in the long run.  

Common Causes of Cloudy Pool Water

Before we enumerate the solution to your cloudy water situation, finding the cause is the first step you should consider. 

The water in your pool can change overnight, and you might think cleaning it every time is the only solution. Let us burst your bubble now because it’s not as easy as you think. 

eyeglasses beside a pool

To clear cloudy pool water and prevent such events from recurring, you must make sure to get the root of the problem. From construction debris to harsh weather conditions such as raging sunlight, the environment surrounding your swimming pool can cause cloudy water. 

And if we’re talking about the ever-changing seasons, the cause of cloudy pool water can also root from the amount of rainfall that potentially decreases the chlorine levels in your swimming pool. Such dilemmas will give a chance to unhealthy organisms to spoil your pool water. 

Can sunlight radiation make pool water cloudy? The short answer is yes. Ultra-violet rays can reduce pool chemicals and diminish the chlorine level in your pool water.

But too much of anything is bad in any situation. You’re probably wondering why your pool is cloudy even after using products to maintain its cleanliness. The truth is, the use of excessive chemicals such as high alkalinity, high PH, high chlorine levels, and high calcium hardness can easily be the suspect of cloudy pool water. 

Besides that, a dysfunctional pool filter system is one of the leading causes of cloudy water. If running your filter fails to keep out tiny particles and materials such as algae from damaging your swimming pool, then you may need to check its condition right away. 

Last but not least, make sure you’re aware of how many people come and go to your pool. These instances are often overlooked, but this is mostly the primary cause of cloudy swimming pool water. 

How to Fix Cloudy Pool Water 

Test Pool Water

During one of our tests, we found out that most cloudy water cases are caused by imbalanced chemicals in the pool. To clear a cloudy pool, our team tested the water’s chemical levels using test kits. 

The standard test kit available in the market checks for total alkalinity, high calcium hardness, chlorine level, bromine, PH, and cyanuric acid. Using the result from these test strips, swimming pool owners can quickly determine how they’ll be treating and balancing the chemicals in your pool water. 

For chlorine levels, the average concentration should be maintained to 2 to 4 parts per million. The same goes for calcium concentration. These chemicals must be balanced to lessen the instances of cloudy pool water. 

If you have doubts about doing it yourself, it’s a good idea to take your pool water sample to a local store, and they’ll run a test on your behalf. 

Clean Existing Debris on the Pool

Keeping your swimming pool free from debris is one of the effective ways to avoid cloudy water. Although the primary purpose of a pool filter is to clear particles, they can only do so much for clamped materials at the bottom of your pool. 

You can vacuum your pool to assist your filtration system in removing pool algae. Through this, the particles from the bottom of the pool will be dragged into the filter.  

However, if your pool is in-ground and has a drain attachment,  opening it occasionally will do the trick, and there’ll be no need to use a manual vacuum to clear your pool of algae and other particles.

Another method to maintain your swimming pool water debris-free is to stir up the bottom of the pool. Regular use of the pool for swimming or using a special brush could help remove sunken particles and avoid cloudy water situations. 

Shock Your Pool If Needed

If you notice a strong chlorine smell after running the test,  this could indicate a high level of chemicals. To regulate chlorine levels, we recommend using the pool shock method.  

The pool shock procedure clears the cloudy water by increasing the chlorine parts per million to 10.0. The water from the bottom of the pool will be free from any bacteria or algae through this concentration. It is one of the great ways to clean the bottom of a pool without using a vacuum

photo of a clear pool

For shocking hard water from your in-ground pool, you can make use of calcium hypochlorite. This mixture will balance the high calcium concentration in your cloudy pool and reveal floating particles that caused the water to be murky. 

Although this method is a viable solution to free your pool from cloudy water, chlorine shock can only do so much. You still need to clear the pool using a fine-running filter system. 

Clean Pool Filter 

Your pool filter may be the best weapon you can use against cloudy water, but maintaining it can be tricky.  Contrary to common practice, you don’t have to filter your swimming pool 24 hours a day. Just eight hours per day will suffice to keep it in tip-top shape. 

We suggest you do this after giving your pool a chlorine shock to ensure that the clean water is distributed evenly. 

Clear With Clarifier

A pool clarifier is an excellent method to support your filter. Many experts suggest using a pool clarifier because this could gather small particles together and make it easier for your filter to eliminate harmful elements in the water. 

If you need to buy a water clarifier and you’re unsure which kind to select, always remember to ask if the chemical is a coagulant. Through this, you’ll be able to achieve the crystal clear swimming pool of your dreams!

Add Flocculant If Needed

If you have an urgent event coming up and need to use a pool right away, pouring a floc chemical mixture is your quickest solution. A pool flocculant gathers all the particles at the bottom of the pool. 

Unlike the water clarifier, the pool filter won’t help during this mixture because the particles will ramp up at the bottom and create a massive cloud in the water. The best you can do is vacuum it manually, which is why pool floc is considered time-consuming than other methods in this list. 

How to Maintain Cleanliness of Your Pool

The best way to maintain the cleanliness of your pool is to be familiar with your pool’s total alkalinity and pH levels (need to raise pH instead of the other way around?). Aside from that, you should keep tabs on your pool's chlorine, cyanuric acid, calcium hardness, and total dissolved solids levels.

photo of an indoor pool

If you have a small to a medium-sized pool, you can consider regular draining. Always remember, exposure to people is the main contaminator of water, so it’s best to do this weekly[1].


How do you fix cloudy pool water?

To fix cloudy pool water, you must determine the root of the occurrence first. Through test strips, you’ll know whether your pool water is high or low on certain chemical elements like chlorine, calcium hardness, or alkaline. After that, you can decide whether to execute a chlorine shock or add pool flocculants to the water. 

How do I make my pool water crystal clear?

To make your pool crystal clear, you can use pool flocculants. This chemical allows swimming pool owners to get rid of cloudy water overnight. This method is considered more drastic than chlorine pool shocking because you’ll need to manually vacuum the bottom of your pool.

Can you swim in pool of water is cloudy?

No, you can’t swim in cloudy water. The main reason is you don’t know what harmful bacteria are floating in there that could affect your health. Another reason is murky water won’t let you see the bottom of the pool, which increases the risk of drowning. 


Cloudy pool water is more than an unpleasant sight on any property, it’s also a health safety hazard that you should pay attention to. You must handle these issues as quickly as possible if you intend to keep your pool properly running in the long run. 

These tips are just guides for you to try should you wish to do the task single-handedly and you find yourself wanting a better pool experience. But if you’re not confident enough, you can always call a local pool cleaner, and they’ll find the solution for your cloudy water situation right away. 

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