Clearing cloudy pool water

How to stop your pool water from being murky

What causes cloudy pool water?

Cloudy pool water can be caused by a variety of factors. Chemical levels, construction debris, backfill mud and algae growth can all cause murky swimming pool water. Because there are so many causes, it is often difficult for many pool owners to find a solution.


I installed my pool a few months ago and immediately had problems cloudy water. My problem was mostly caused by small amounts of mud that fell in the pool while it was being backfilled. My pool is only six feet deep and I could not even see the bottom. I researched the problem and found that the best solution was to add a floc solution to the water. I added floc and after about 24 hours the water cleared significantly. I tried to vacuum the debris out but only stirred it up again. I was frustrated to say the least.


I tried to clean it several more times with essentially the same results. I was sitting at work one day reading thorough some blogs and I got an idea. What if it was the WAY I was vacuuming that was causing the problem. I went home and used the floc to et the debris to drop to the pool floor again. Then I closed off the main drain and used only the skimmer. I vacuumed everything to waste (which dropped the pool leve considerably) and voilà! The pool was sparking clean.

Now this may seem like an easy solution, but as a new pool owner I did not understand the necessary steps that needed to be taken. Above covers dealing with mud, but what about if you have other issues?

Other Possible Causes

Letting your pool's sanitizer level get too low is probably the most common reason for a pool to be murky. If you catch this quick enough you can rectify the problem by simply brushing your pool walls and shocking the pool. Within a day or so the pool water should be crystal clear and sparkly. If you have waited too long you must add algaecide. Brush the pool walls, add algaecide and wait for the algae to die. Then add floc to the water to make sure all the dead algae has dropped to the ground. Turn off your main drain and vacuum to waste. This will require adding water to your pool, but will keep you from clogging your filter system.

It is very important to use quality test strips to make sure alkalinity, total chlorine, free chlorine, pH levels and stabilizer are spot on. Not all test strips are created equal.