Click Here to Search The Site

How to Fix Cloudy Pool Water

How To Fix Cloudy Pool Water

When you have a cloudy pool, it can be a very difficult and time-consuming process to get it clear. Sometimes, your swimming pool will turn cloudy overnight!

I’ll explain the reasons your pool got cloudy in the first place, then share a few methods on how to fix the cloudy water. It won’t be a difficult and time-consuming process if you follow these methods.

Before we talk about how to fix you cloudy pool water, let’s first understand what causes it.

Why Do I Have Cloudy Pool Water?

There are so many causes of cloudy pool water, but I have broken it down into three main causes.

1. The Environment

Everything around your pool can cause your water to be cloudy, that includes: weather, birds, construction, trees, gardens, the sun, people, and pool algae.

2. The Pool Filter

If you filter system is not working properly, or you’re not running your filter at least 8 to 10 hours per day, then you are at high risk for cloudy pool water.

Your filter system constantly cleans the water in your pool. Without it, you’re left with stagnant water that could become cloudy.

3. Pool Chemicals

An excessive amount of pool chemicals can cause your water to be cloudy. That includes: high pH, high alkalinity, high chlorine or other sanitizers, and high calcium hardness.

Basic Pool Chemistry 101

Basic Pool Chemistry 101

Practicing proper pool chemistry and important and easy. In this guide, I'll provide you everything you need to know to keep your pool clean and clear.

Click here to learn more »

You want to make sure you shock your swimming pool every week with the proper amount of shock for you size pool.

Sometimes you’ll get cloudy pool water after shocking. This is common and should dissipate over time. Just keep your filter running and it should clear up. Also, look into a new brand of shock (make sure you buy shock that has a main active ingredient of calcium hypochlorite). Cheaper shocks that you get from the big box retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, are not the best choices.

The Art of Pool Care

Spend Less Time Cleaning and More Time Swimming

We cut out all the fluff and confusion of pool maintenance and stripped it down to the bare bones in this easy-to-read illustrated digital guide.

Click here to learn more

How To Clear A Cloudy Pool

Once you have fixed all the possible problems that can cause your water to be cloudy, now we can work on a cloudy pool water fix. Here are 3 ways to clear your cloudy swimming pool:

1. Use A Pool Clarifier

It’s always a good idea to use some sort of pool water clarifier weekly. Pool clarifiers work to gather the tiny particles that are making your pool water cloudy and bring them together to create bigger particles so that your filter will have a better chance of picking it up. This is called a coagulant which is a term used when describing blood clots.

The particles alone will have a hard time being picked up by your pool filter, so this chemical “clots” them together and your filter now will be able to trap them.

Most swimming pool chemical retailers will carry more than one form of swimming pool clarifier. Just ask if the chemical is a coagulant and you will be well on your way to a crystal clear swimming pool.

Clorox Pool&Spa 58032CLX Super Water Clarifier, 1-Quart

List Price:
Price: $12.49
You Save:

Use this simple clarifier to bind small particles in your water to create bigger particles that your filter will have an easier time getting out of the pool water.

Buy Now On Amazon

2. Use Pool Floc (Flocculant)

A chemical called Floc or Flocculant is a great idea if you’re in a rush, or would like to see your swimming pool cleared up quickly.

Lets say you have a pool party tomorrow and your swimming pool is cloudy. By using Pool Floc, you can clear your cloudy swimming pool overnight (with a little extra work on your part). Floccing your swimming pool is a great method, but it’s very time-consuming and difficult.

Pool Flocculants work by gathering all the particles, that are making your water cloudy, and sending them to the bottom of your pool, creating a huge cloud on the floor of your pool. Unlike a water clarifier, this chemical WILL NOT help your filter to pick up the particles, because all of the cloudy pool particles are now at the bottom.

In The Swim Super Floc Pool Water Clarifier - 1 Quarts

List Price:
Price: $18.98
You Save:

One of the most under-rated pool chemicals. If you’re looking to quickly get rid of algae (and don’t mind a little hard work), use this to settle all the algae to the bottom of the pool and vacuum it out to Waste.

Buy Now On Amazon

At this point, you will need to manually vacuum up that cloud using your pool pump, not an automatic pool cleaner. When vacuuming, you want your filter setting to be on the “waste” or “backwash” option (if you are using a DE filter or Cartridge Filter make sure that the drain plug is removed.

[Here’s a video on how to manually vacuum your swimming pool.]

The idea here is to vacuum up the cloudy water right OUT of your pool, because putting that much dirty water through your filter WILL NOT work and will send that dirty water right back into your pool.

By vacuuming out to “waste,” it will never run through your filter system. You are going to lose a lot of water in your pool, so make sure to keep a fresh hose of running water in your pool during vacuuming.

Also, you must use a manual vacuum for the process. Automatic pool cleaners will not work and will just end up blowing the cloudy you created at the bottom of your pool, right back up. Again, it is difficult and a lot of water is wasted, but it will clear your pool in 24 hours if done properly.

3. Use Your Filter System and Bottom Drain(s)

main-drainYour pool’s main skimmer is located at the top of your pool and helps to clear the top, which does not help to collect the cloudy particles that are at the bottom of the pool. Knowing this, we need to help the filter get to those particles.

You can achieve this two ways:

  1. Constantly stir up the water, by swimming or with a pool brush, so that it pushes the particles closer to the top of the pool.
  2. Turn on the bottom drains.

Every inground pool should be equipped with 1 or 2 bottom drains, so it’s easy for you to utilize them. This will allow the filter to start pulling water off the bottom of the pool, where the cloudy particles are, and circulate the clean water back to the top.

This works great, but what if you have an above ground pool that doesn’t have bottom drains? We have come up with a little trick to mimic the effect of a bottom drain in an above ground pool.

Simply hook up your manual vacuum cleaner, as if you were about to vacuum your pool, but instead, leave the vacuum at the bottom (in the middle of your pool) and turn it upside down. Now your pool filter will be pulling water from the bottom of your swimming pool using your manual vacuum and releasing the clean filtered water up top.

These are three different methods of how to clear a cloudy pool by using swimming pool chemicals and your pool’s equipment. Check out some of our related articles to get more information about cloudy swimming pools.

If you have any questions about your cloudy pool, be sure to ask in the comments below and I’ll answer ASAP.

How to Fix Cloudy Pool Water

Happy Swimming!

The Art of Pool Care

Learn How You Can Spend Less Time Cleaning and More Time Swimming

We cut out all the fluff and confusion of pool maintenance and stripped it down to the bare bones in this easy-to-read illustrated digital guide.

Learn More
  • John Coppola

    My problem is not killing the algae , I can do that . My problem is removing the dead algae from the bottom of the pool the next day . I use a product called ” Sink and sweep ” it works pretty good , but my pool is a older system and doesn’t have a back wash to discharge the water out of the pool , all I have is that filter and a purge valve on top . So when I vacuum, most of the dead algae bypasses the filter and goes back in circulation into the pool , and only 20 minutes later my pool is cloudy again . What can I do ?

  • Matt Giovanisci

    You need to vacuum to waste and NOT to filter. The water you vacuum you exit the backwash port instead of coming back into the pool. You’ll lose a lot of water, so keep your garden hose in there while you’re doing it.

  • shonda

    I just used sink and sweep on my pool and my vacuum is not getting enough suction to pick up the cloud of dirt on the pool floor. will it mess up my pump if i turned on my filter? to filter the cloud of stuff on the bottom of the pool.

  • tara kehoe

    I have an above ground pool with really cloudy water and nothing I do is working to clear it, I’ve heard of sink and sweep but I don’t have a vacuum to waste valve on my pump, any suggestions??

  • Rachel Treadway

    I have tried everything- yesterday even took the water to be tested- all levels were dead on except for the one that was way low that means it won’t hold chlorine once the sun hits it causing it to evaporate as quick as you put it in. He told me to try a conditioner, using about 1/2 the container and then adding 2 more jugs of chlorine. Well, this am, it’s still the same cloudy mess. It’s blue but cloudy enough I can’t see the auto vacuum running in the bottom. I’ve run the vacuum all weekend and the pump- and still no clearness and a whole bottle of clarifier the previous weekend they told me to use? I wish now I’d just emptied the pool and started with fresh water. What to do?????

  • happycamper64

    Love the idea of using the pool vacuum as the main drain is great. I’ve always been annoyed I have no main drain and now I can at least emulate one when needed.

    For those of you that have no way to bypass your filter when vacuuming up the floccullant, I offer up the trick I have done for years. Use your shop-vac. Most are designed to handle water as long as you remove the vacuum’s dust filter. I put the pool hose into the vacuum port of the shopvac and place the shopvac where I want the water to drain (because it will be too heavy to move later) and then fire it up. I can vacuum for a minute or so, until the shopvac is full an then I unscrew the plug at the bottom and drain it out. Yes, it takes a while, but it beats having to clean the pool filter 10.000 times. This will also drain a lot less water than your pool pump would suck out to get a similar job done.

  • Karen

    Where to start if you used excessive chemicals trying to clear up cloudy water?

  • Michelle

    I understand that you need to vacuum to Waste after using a flocculant, in order to prevent it from entering your sand filter and causing massive problems, but what keeps any remaining flocculant fluid in the pool from entering your filter AFTER you’ve vacuumed the debris & returned your pump to the Filter setting?

    Call me paranoid/overthinking, but I’d like to use this to clean out some dead algae material following a Shock treatment and can’t afford to encounter any more major issues.

    Any thoughts appreciated! Thanks! :)

  • John Bullock

    I have never read such absolute rubbish and you are blatantly being coerced into spending huge amounts of money on chemicals you don’t need and processes you don’t need by following this “advice”. Do not do anything advised in this article.
    Stabilise your chemicals using a simple kit you can buy for $25. No need for more expensive unless you have major water problems.
    Check and keep the water stabilised once a week in winter, twice a week in summer.
    Run your filter one hour a day in winter, two hours in summer (30C and above).
    Shock chlorinate only if you have a major algae problem and if it recurs, pull out the lights and kill the algae that will be living in the sockets. If that doesn’t work and your pool has been left stagnant a while, replace your filter/sand/etc. Do not keep shocking, you’re wasting your money and health.
    Use flocculant only as a last result to settle in-water particles and then vacuum them to ‘waste’ > to the drain and not back to the pool. Floc is highly toxic to humans.
    If the water is persistently cloudy, also suspect your grouting.
    DO NOT keep adding chemicals as suggested in this article.
    DO NOT waste your pump lifetime and electric running the pump constantly.
    If you have a water issue, there is a simple, logical solution that this article will not fix.

  • Jason

    Fill your vacuum hose 100% full of water and attach it to the return. Remove cartridge filter and put the hose off the pump on the should siphon .aka (vacuum to waste) hurry carefully to not stir the cloud

  • Michael Minuto

    I have a metal frame above ground pool and i had a major algae problem I went to Leslie’s pool and spas and they had me buy 2 packets of shock and pool first aid I put 1 packet of shock in saturday afternoon the 2nd packet in sunday afternoon and the pool became a cloudy blue then i put in the first dose of pool first aid on sunday night and put in two more doses last night and still no clearer so my question is should I continue using the pool first aid or switch to a clarifier like you used in the video?

  • Matt Giovanisci

    If the pool is cloudy blue, you need to keep the filter running while adding the Pool First Aid. It will take about a week. I think the clarifier you’re using is fine.

  • M A L

    If the chlorine will not stay in the sunlight you need a stabilizer.

  • Matt Giovanisci

    Yes you do.

  • Bill

    A good idea that uses a lot less water is to siphon the water out through your vacume head and hose onto the ground. You’ll have to move the head around slower but you’ll only lose a few inches of water to do the whole bottom of the pool.

  • Johanna

    Maybe you need to bring your pH up by adding pH increaser so that the water will hold the chlorine, killing the alge then a little clarifyer and should be good as new. Do you have a hone chemical test kit??

  • Johanna

    Do you have a manual vacuum that hooks to your garden hose? That’s what I use on my above ground pool.

  • Dontay

    This article contains some very serious inaccuracies. You certainly should NOT shock once a week, or even because it’s the last weekend in the month. Shockdosing is a serious proceedure (not a product) it has to be done correctly or it will fail and should be only carried if absolutely necessay. The vast majority of cloudy or green water problems are at base due to incorrect high levels of Cyanuric Acid (CYA) known as conditioner or stabiliser… being continually introduced to the water by way of stabilised products… leading to incorrect amounts of chlorine. CYA is the stabiliser in multifunctional chlorine tablets. CYA is required to restrict the suns ability to remove chlorine from the water at a very rapid rate. BUT CYA also increasingly restricts chlorine’s disinfectant ability… at indeterminate levels above 50ppm it can even cause chlorine ‘lock’ i.e. it STOPS chlorine from working no matter how much is in the water and no matter what your FC readings show! Chemical makers and sellers will give a CYA range of 30-50ppm. Less than 30ppm and the sun will eat up your chlorine quicker than any disinfection activity! BUT also be very clear… what they DON’T tell you is the higher the level of CYA the more chlorine you will have to use. The correct minimum FREE chlorine (FC) ratio to CYA is 7 and a half percent. Example: If CYA 32ppm (which is an ideal level) then MINIMUM FC should NEVER be allowed drop below 2.2ppm which is 7 and a half percent of 32. CYA levels can ONLY be reduced by water dilution. Example: pump away 50% of water volume, replace with fresh water and you will reduce the CYA by 50%. Folk who use STABALISED products are continually increasing their CYA. With CYA at 32ppm then to achieve a MINIMUM FC level of 2.2ppm your pool, should be dosed to a target of 4ppm… 24 hours later FC should not have dropped below 2.2ppm… (7 a half percent of CYA) Cloudy water is almost always due to chloramines… a combination of used up ‘dead’ chlorine and ‘dead’ bacteria… (COMBINED chlorine) It’s chloromines which cause ‘red eye’ and give off a strong chlorine smell. The other main cause of chloromines is PH above 7.8… because high PH can also weaken FC’s disinfection abilities. PH should be in the 7.4-7.8 range… ideally around 7.4 because the lower the PH the more effective the disinfection ability of FC. Shockdosing means taking the FC level through the chlorine BREAKPOINT. The decision to shock the water should be based on the TOTAL chlorine (TC) reading and the level of chlormines in the water. If chlormine levels approach 0.5ppm above FC then the only way to clear them is to shock the water. Daily dosing will become increasingly ineffective. We cannot test directly for chloromines. We test for FC then test for TOTAL chlorine (TC) The difference between the readings is the chloromine level. To ensure that shockdosing is completly sucessful then it is vital to go through the BREAKPOINT. Thie breakpoint is 10ppm ABOVE the TC level. Example: TC reads 5ppm then the breakpoint is 15ppm. better by FAR to over dose and exceed the breakpoint than just fall short of it. This point is where a chemical reaction takes place, chloromines are lifted out of the water and what remains is chlorine in its free state! It is only when that reaction takes place that you will have successfully shocked the water. Fall just short and you will be doing again within a very short time! ALSO that breakpoint should be maintained for a MINIMUM of 8 hours. Shock late in the evening and test again early morning and leave circulating… if the level has fallen below the breakpoint add more chlorine! Solar covers should also be left off to allow chloromines to be ‘lifted’ out. High chlorine levels also shorten a solar covers life! The other reason to shock a pool is algae! Green stains appearing leading very rapidly to deep pea green water. The shock proceedure as outlined will clear even the most heavily contaminated water but in this case it is also wise to first reduce the PH to 7.2 to make FC even more active. Fi-Clor market a stabiliser FREE none diluting super fine powder ideally suited for daily dosing or shocking BUT in all cases liquid chlorine is cheaper by far. Always avoid using stabilised chlorine or within a couple of months the CYA will be VERY high your normal FC readings will still be there but will no longer be anywhere near sufficient to prevent problems unless you ALSO increase the amount of chlorine to stay in the MINIMUM of the 7 and half percent of CYA rule! Only by purchesing a ‘proper’ liquid regent test kit will you be able to have a trouble free pool which will hardly ever cause you problems. Tablets are a poor substitute and the use of test strips will always give rise to problems. Tenants Division market a liquid regent test kit in the UK called ColorQ Pro 7 it cost around £130 order on-line. Individule droplet regents for each parameter are sufficient for around 140 tests, replacements regents around the same price as test strips. It test for FC, TC, TA, PH, CH. also bromide if required. The kit contains an accurate digital readout meter taking the guess work out of water testing.

  • Matt Giovanisci

    Thanks for your comment. However, this is the reason I started this site. What you’ve written is accurate but confusing for the average pool owner.

    This would make for a great post for advanced readers. Would you like to submit this comment as a guest post on the site so that you can get a link to the site you’re trying to promote?

    Either way, I appreciate the contribution.

  • Dontay

    Hi Matt, I’m sorry but EVERYBODY should understand that the vast majority of cloudy water problems are due to chloromines and not other small particles that a filter cannot handle and using flocks and other such clarifiers of any description are a waste of money and THAT is why a substantial majority of folk write to complain that nothing they have tried has worked or only works for a very short time! The answer is simple… they DON’T work! They are an over hyped part of the pool chemical industries attempts to part pool owners from their money! Exactly the same applies in the industries attempts to convince owners that shockdosing should be a frequent and regular proceedure. Exactly the same applies to algae removers and preventatives (and also phosphate removers AND the seperate phosphate test kits that are needed which is the latest focus of the chemical industries attempts to part owners from their money!) Cloudy water is virtually ALWAYS down to chloromines and the ONLY way to reduce pool water with high chloromines is to shock the water and if pool owners are finding they have to do as you suggest and have to shockdose every one or two weeks then their routine water chemistry understandings need seriously correcting no matter if they are new or experienced pool owners. In a healthy pool If the chlorine levels are ALWAYS kept above the minimum levels then algae cannot take root so there is absolutely no need to buy seperate algae prevention chemicals, chloromines will be kept substantially under control and shockdosing will hardly ever be required from one end of the season to the other… and providing all other paramiters and levels are correctly maintained pool water will remain crystal clear. The root cause of virtually all pool water problems are poor maintence routines and lack of understanding about the effects of CYA leading to continual ‘fire fighting’. The pool water chemistry industry is the wolds best adept at maintaining pool owners ignorance! It is simply in the chemical makers, chemical sellers (and chemical advertisers) best interest to keep pool owners ignorant. Get the daily routines and levels correct and give your pool a rest from all the chemicles this industry wants you to continually pour into your pool… and save your money!

  • Sue

    I bought an above ground pool and put too much algea solution in. Now I can’t get rid of the cloudiness. What should I do? Please help!

  • Matt Giovanisci

    Keep the filter running 24/7. Make sure all your other chems are at the right level. Use can use a clarifier if needed.

  • Brooke Kane

    I have an inground pool, 27,000 gallons. We have tried every thing under the sun when trying to get our pool clear, and it’s still cloudy. We’ve tried a clarifier, we’ve shocked it every week or every other week. When we take a water sample in, all our levels test out perfect. Even the pool place can’t tell us why we can’t get our pool cloudy. We’re at the end of our wits here and just want to bulldoze our pool in because we’ve spent $800 dollars trying to get the thing clear this year. I have no clue what to do next as to how to clear our pool up, besides draining the water. We live out in the country, so I’m not sure if the country water has anything to do with it or not. Any suggestions would be helpful!!!

  • Matt Giovanisci

    Sounds like a filter problem now. You need to run it 24/7 and perhaps change the media, whether it’s sand, DE or a cartridge.

  • Brooke Kane

    We just changed the sand, maybe a month or so ago. We figured it was the sand too. I think it’s a filter problem tho. Like either something with one of the lines in the filter, or even those things in the sand filter that can break easily. I’m just lost as to what it could be.

  • Matt Giovanisci

    Have you tried floccing?

  • Brooke Kane

    I’ve never really heard of floccing, what is it? We’ve let our filter run 24/7 for the last 3 days and it seems to be getting clearer. It’s just not that crystal clear pool that we should have.

  • Matt Giovanisci
  • Dontay

    Cloudy water problems are very easy resolved but you need the correct testing information from your pool water in order to resolve it. There is only one way to acquire that info and that is to test it yourself. It is a big mistake to rely on pool store water tests, they are notoriously unreliable, (take the same water sample to three differnt stores and you will obtain three very wildly different results!) and also in order to raise FC to shock level with a view to gaining crystal clear water you will need initially to test every 2/4 hours. Depending on the level of contamination initial constant testing WILL be required because FC will constantly and very rapidly drop and it is vital to keep to at or above shock level with constant additions of chlorine. After the initial stages which may take at least a couple of days… you only finish shocking the pool and allow FC levels to drop when three distinct criteria have been met… 1)visually crystal clear water. 2) OCLT (overnight chlorine loss test) showing FC loss is no more than 1ppm overnight. 3) CC no more than 0.5 ppm. Again depending on the level of contamination it can take several days before those criterion are met and FC allowed to return to normal levels. Once done and water chemistry is then KEPT correct with the correct CYA/FC ratio adhered too… there is absolutly NO need to shock pool water working to some arbitrary time scale! It will ALWAYS remain crystal clear! Shockdosing is a CURE not a maintaince or prevention exercise and it HAS to be carried out in the correct way or you WILL be shocking every couple of weeks… much to the delight of the pool store! No-one can accurately test FC at shock levels unless you have a test kit that is capable of it… these kits are known as FAS DPD test kits. Many well known American manufacturers produce them, (most common are Taylor, LaMotte, Palintest) they are widely available on line (but not many pool stores stock them) they are easy to use, they are accurate from 1 ppm to at least 25 ppm FC… and not expensive to buy. Purchasing one of those is a vital requirement for any pool owner who wants continually crystal clear water and a trouble free pool. Test strips or tablets (with or without a digital analyser) only give a very rough guideline up to 5 ppm, no chemical alterations should be undertaken by relying on either of those types of test kits whatever the case… but above 5 ppm completly forget it! The other vital piece of info you need to know in order to correctly shock a pool is what your CYA (Cyanuric Acid) level is… since ALL FC levels including shock level are based on the CYA figure. (FC shock level is 40% of whatever your CYA is) that is the point where a chemical reaction takes place and chlorine begins to start killing the contamination. Without knowing that CYA figure you cannot hope to permanently clear up your water. Most cloudy water problems are caused by having CYA too high in relation to normal FC maintenance levels. That leads to cloudy and or green water because FC activity becomes slow and ultimately ineffective. The only cure for high CYA is water dilution. Another cause of cloudy water is high calcium hardness (CH exceeding 350 ppm) The only cure for high CH is water dilution but replacement fill water can also have pretty high calcium levels! Both problems arise from the constant use of very easy to use, but nevertheless… the ‘wrong’ type of chlorine. Stabilised products constantly add CYA and stabiliser free shock powder (Calcium Hypochlorite) can very quickly take calcium soaring above 350 ppm especially in the volumes that shock levels require! There is a much safer and MUCH cheaper way of chlorinating a pool. Liquid chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite) which only adds a small amount of harmless salt is sold by most pool stores… is by a very long way the cheapest, the most economical and SAFEST for your pool option. The drawback is its heavy and bulky. However with a bit of thought and a careful decanting exercise that drawback can be overcome. Uncented bleach from your local supermarket is another option and you may find it even cheaper.

  • lemon111

    Shock is not a product, it’s a process where the chlorine level is raised to a higher than normal level in order to kill any organics (like algae, bacteria etc) in the pool. What this high level should be is dependant on the amount of CYA (stabilizer) that is in the water.

    You say to use ‘calcium hypochlorite’ which is fine, but any chemical that raises the chlorine level will still create a ‘shock’ condition ( a higher than normal chlorine level).

    Be aware that using Calcium Hypochlolrite as you suggest, WILL raise the calcium level of your pool water. If the pool owner does not want the calcium level to be higher, Sodium Hypochlorite (yes, regular liquid chlorine from the pool store) will raise the chlorine to shock level without raising the calcium level (it will raise the salt level, but this is preferable to a higher calcium level if your calcium is already high).

    The main point I’m trying to make here is that ‘shock’ is not a chemical you buy that magically clears up your pool. It’s the higher chlorine level that does the work (the bag of calcium hypochlorite might say ‘SHOCK’, but all it is chlorine in powder form that raises your chlorine level).

  • Dontay

    Sue… Algae prevention solutions don’t cause cloudy water. Cloudy water has occurred because your algae solution hasn’t prevented organics (usually algae) or bacteria from contaminating your water, both of which, in the absence of chlorine, will give rise to chloromines which appear as cloudy water, eventually it will turn green as algea starts to bloom. Chlorine at correct levels prevents organics and bacteria from contaminating your water and with the help of normal UV sunlight routinely keeps chloromines below 0.5 ppm which is the maximum level before shockdosing is required. The way to get to crystal clear water is to shock it and keep it shocked until the water appears crystal clear. Once you have achieved that AND THEN you keep your FC levels correct you will not have algae in your water so you do NOT need to waste money on algae preventative solutions’. You have just proved they do NOT work! Chlorine at the correct levels does NOT need ANY ‘backup’ from other algae prevention chemicals, it copes just fine all on its ownsum! Raising FC to shock level also destroys the chemicals that make up algae preventers… rendering them even more useless!

  • Jillian Wells Forbes

    I have an above ground pool but no way to vacuum to waste (pieces lost). I accidentally used a chemical to clear my pool that needs to vacuum to waste? How can I fix the mess I made?

  • Susann Michelle Newton

    I am desperate with my pool. I have not yet been able to swim in it this summer. I have dealt with 2 pool stores trying to get it clear and neither one can figure it out. I have used enzymes, clarifier, floc, filter aid, and they all have not helped. Even though the sand is only a year old, I wonder now if my filter is gummed up. I have a back up filter. Should I switch them? I would like to see the sand in the one I am using.

  • Matt Giovanisci

    If you can hook up a manually vacuum cleaner to your filter, just remove the drain plug on your filter. That would be like vacuuming to waste.

  • Matt Giovanisci

    If all your normal chemicals are correct, you should run your pool 24/7. If you have an inground pool, make sure your main drain at the bottom of your pool is sucking water into the filter. Add the recommended amount of clarifier (per the bottle) to your pool every day. Swim in it!!! Keep it running. It will clear! Again, as long as your pH, Alkalinity and chlorine are on the nose. It takes time and consistency, not band-aids and quick remedies.

  • Susann Michelle Newton

    I have an above ground pool that I run the filter 24/7. There isn’t anything that I think that I haven’t tried for my pool. I wondered if the floc that I could not vacuum out has clogged my filter. My pool will not clear. I think the levels are balanced now. The pool stores said floc but I could not see the bottom to vacuum the floc because it was not balanced. Help!!

  • Matt Giovanisci

    When you floc, you need to vacuum to waste, meaning the water you vacuum never touches the filter.

  • Dontay

    Susann… you would think the pool store guys would be experts in pool care but they are invariably and notoriously hopeless! Read all the posts on this site and you’ll see loads of complaints exactly the same as yours. You need to stop relying on the pool store, they will have you spending a fortune on chemicals. You know everything you have tried so far has not worked… right? You CAN clear your pool within a week, if you are prepared to go about it in the correct way and it is not complicated and it dosnt require you to be any sort of chemist to do it. Firstly you need to stop relying on pool store water tests, they are VERY inaccurate… so you need to purchase a test kit that you can use on site… because you will need to raise your FC to over shock level AND keep it there… you need to know exactly what the shock level for your water actually is and you need initially to be around to be able to do that testing every two to four hours… at least for a couple of days. You also need to stop using any sort of stabilsed tablets/pucks or powder based chlorine (they contain Cyanuric Acid (CYA) ) OR calcium based chlorine (Calcium Hypochlorite) also no more algaecides, flocks or clarifiers whilst shocking the pool. Use liquid chlorine (Sodium Hypochlrite) which your pool store should have in stock. IF you ARE prepared to have patience and do the testing yourself you can have water as clear as fresh drinking water without even the slightest hint of haze and that’s as sparkly as a diamond. Getting to that state means puchasing an FAS DPD test kit which is the ONLY kit that can accurately test FC and TC at shock level. ALL other types of DPD kits ‘bleach out’ the test reagents when chlorine is at shock level and give wildly differing and inacurate results. Of you use test strips, throw them away! Your pool store MAY stock their own branded version of a well known FAS DPD kit or they are available on-line. Simply Google FAS DPD test kits! Well known brands are Taylor or LaMotte. They test for all the usually things we need to know for pool care… including the most important ones when going to shock level… CYA and FC. Shock level is based on whatever your CYA currently is so you need to know both. FC shock level is 40% of your CYA. ( If CYA = 30 ppm then FC shock level is 12 ppm: CYA = 40 ppm- FC = 16 ppm: CYA = 50 ppm-FC = 20 ppm: CYA = 60 ppm-FC = 24 ppm: CYA 70 ppm-FC = 28 ppm.) The higher your CYA level actually is then the higher the shock level and the more chlorine you will need to buy in order reach shock level. If CYA is VERY high you may wish to dilute it by pumping away water and replacing it with fresh. Once shock level is reached or exceeded it needs to be kept there. In the initial stages FC will drop by several ppm’s within a couple of hours so you need to be around to test and constantly add more chlorine to maintain FC at or above shock level and KEEP doing that! Remove and clean any ladders or pool fittings that algae can hide behind including any underwater light fitting recesses which should be cleaned out. Keep the pump going 24/7 brush ALL surfaces at least twice a day, manually vacuum to filter once a day, backwash the filter once a day… topping up with fresh water as required and eventually you pool will become less cloudy, chlorine demand will start to slow requiring less dosing and eventually the water will become visually Crystal Clear which is the first ‘pass test’ it CAN and frequently DOES take several days! Do NOT let FC drop below shock level until that stage is reached. It WILL become clear… don’t give up… KEEP going! Then do an OCLT. Overnight Chlorine Loss Test. Once the water has not the slightest hint of haze left in it… turn of the pump after sundown and keep it off. Test and note FC (it should still be at or above shock level!). Test FC again before the sun is on the pool the next morning and before turning the pump on. If the FC overnight demand has been 1 ppm or less the water has passed the second test… so now test for CC. If the CC is 0.5 ppm or less you have passed all three requirements and you have successfully completed shocking the pool. Only when ALL three of those criterion have been met should you allow your FC level to return to normal over the following few days. Once it has done that use liquid chlorine as a routine and never again let your FC drop below 7.5% of your CYA. Do that and you’ll probably never have to shock your pool again.

  • Dan Kuzniewski

    My inground pool has a simple pump/filter operation. Just a three way valve so there is no way to vacuum to waste. The floc works great to settle everything at the bottom but then seems to get stirred back up when I vacuum. I have a DE filter. Any better method to vacuum? Just a pain to vacuum and then have to clear the cartridges and recharge with DE every time I need to floc or clear cloudy water.