Troubleshooting swimming pool issues can be a challenge, especially when all you want to do is fix the problem so you and your family can enjoy your pool! Here are some common swimming pool questions and answers.
Why is the Water in My Pool Cloudy / Smoky / Hazy?
There are several possible causes of cloudy, smoky, or hazy swimming pool water. Here are some of them, along with the solutions:
- Poor circulation or filtration: Backwash and clean the pool filter. Clean the skimmer baskets and pump strainer basket. The filter may need to be chemically cleaned.
- Improper water balance: Test the pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness, and make the necessary adjustments.
- High total dissolved solids (TDS) and/or calcium hardness: If one or both are high (TDS over 3,000 ppm or calcium hardness over 400 ppm), drain off 1/3 to 1/2 of your pool water and replace it with fresh water that is low in hardness. Adjust the chemical balance.
- Excess organic waste: Shock with one pound of pool super shock for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.
- High total alkalinity: Add a pH reducer.
- Low sanitizer level: Add chlorine to bring sanitizer into its proper range.
Why is My Pool Water Green?
Your swimming pool is suffering from green algae growth. A common free-floating variety of algae imparts a cloudy green color to pool water. It’s easy to correct if treated early. Shock your pool, then use the proper dose of algaecide for the size of your pool.
Your pool may also be experiencing low total alkalinity, which can contribute to green algae growth, so you may also need to add an alkalinity increaser.
How Do I Get Rid of the Yellow Dust on the Floor and Walls of My Pool?
Yellow (or sometimes green) dust on the floor and walls of your swimming pool is mustard algae. Apply the correct dose of pool shock, then use an algaecide that is specially formulated to stop the growth of mustard algae.
What are the Black Spots on the Floor and Walls of My Pool?
Black spots on the floor and walls of your pool indicate black algae, which unfortunately is very hard to kill. Black algae typically appears as small black dots or blotches that are pinhead to quarter-sized. It has a tough outer coating and is very resistant to treatment, especially if it gets into the crevices of the pool.
To treat black algae, you’ll need an algaecide specially formulated to kill it. Even the most severe problems can be eliminated faster if you use a metal control product in conjunction with black algaecide. After you apply the chemicals, brush the areas of your pool with black algae growth to allow the chemicals to penetrate the outer coating of the spots.
There is Pink Slime in My Pool. What is it and How Do I Get Rid of it?
Pink slime is a form of bacteria with a pinkish center. It is usually introduced into swimming pools by swimmers who have recently visited coastal areas where this type of growth is common. To treat pink slime, double shock the pool with two pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Forty-eight hours after shocking the pool, use an all-in-one algaecide at six ounces per 10,000 gallons.
My Pool Water Burns My Eyes / is Sudsy / is Salty. Help!
- Water burns eyes: Your pH may be too low or too high. Use a water test kit to determine the pH level and adjust it to a 7.4-7.6 range. Another item to check is whether or not there is too much sanitizer in your pool. Check the automatic chlorinator setting.
- Water is sudsy: Pool water can turn sudsy from the overuse of algaecide. Some types of algaecide can cause water to foam when used liberally. To fix the problem, discontinue use of your current algaecide and switch to a high-quality, non-foaming brand. You may also want to replace some of the pool water with fresh water. Products that help stop foam are available from pool supply companies.
- Water is salty: This is often caused by high total dissolved solids (TDS). TDS is high if it measures over 3,000 ppm. To correct the problem, drain half of the water from the pool and replace it with fresh water.
How Do I Correct Problems Indicated by My Chlorine / pH Test Results?
If your chlorine test turns orange, your pool water has a very high chlorine content, above 4 ppm. Stop using chlorine until the chlorine test shows a result within the normal range. If you want faster results, use a chlorine neutralizer to bring chlorine back into the proper range.
If your pH:
- Test result looks purple or blue: This indicates that your pool water has a very high chlorine content. Discontinue use of chlorine until chlorine returns to normal, or use a chlorine neutralizer.
- Always tests too high: Repeated test results indicating that the pH in your pool water is high indicates a high total alkalinity. Add a pH decreaser to balance the total alkalinity.
- Always tests too low: This means that total alkalinity is too low. Add an alkalinity increaser. If you use Trichlor or other low pH disinfectants, you may need to use a pH increaser.
To learn more about caring for your pool, read Pool Maintenance: How To Clean Your Swimming Pool.
Reprinted with permission