There are over 10 million backyard swimming pools in the US. Is one of them yours?
They are fantastic assets to any home, and there’s nothing better than jumping in your own private pool on a hot day.
But, are you looking after your pool as best as you can? Many pool owners struggle with cloudy water, a common problem in home pools.
If you’ve noticed your water isn’t as clear as it should be, read on to learn the most common causes of cloudy pool water, along with how you can fix the problem.
If the chemicals in the swimming pool are off-balance, this can result in cloudy water. Not only that but an excess of chemicals, such as chlorine, can be hazardous to your health, causing itchy eyes and skin irritation.
Chemicals such as chlorine and other sanitizers do an important job of keeping our pools clean and safe. To prevent cloudy water from these chemicals, test the alkalinity and pH of your pool regularly, making sure the balance is as it should be.
If your chlorine levels are above 0.5 ppm, you may need to shock the pool to avoid murky water.
Chlorine levels can often fluctuate from environmental factors as well, including heavy rainfall or extreme sun, which can oxidize chlorine.
Always follow the correct guidelines for the volume and size of your pool. If you’re not confident handling the chemicals, you might prefer to outsource the task to a pool cleaning company, who are experts in making sure your chemical levels are correct.
If you’re noticing cloudiness when swimming in the pool, this could be a problem with your pool filters. A filter is essential for your pool’s water, as the water cycles through the filter, removing impurities and dirt.
To avoid any problems with your filtration system, make sure it’s running at least 8-10 hours per day. For pools used frequently, it should be running constantly.
Check your filter regularly for any blocks, such as leaves or branches, that might be stopping the water from being filtered. Even if the filter is running, if the water can’t get in, it won’t get cleaned.
If your filtration system is experiencing high pressure in the tank, this can be damaging. Pressure build-up can cause cracks, seriously hurting your system.
If your filters cartridges are old or malfunctioning, you will also notice the water looking unclean.
Update your pool filter cartridges at least every 3-5 years, depending on use, to keep your pool looking its best. They should also be rinsed regularly.
Warning Signs of Filter Problems
In addition to cloudy water, there are other indicators that your filter could be in trouble.
You may start to notice dirt or debris coming back into the pool, water leaking from the system, or a filter starts to run much slower than it usually does.
If you have any suspicions that your filtration system isn’t working properly, call a professional or check the filters. Don’t swim in the water again until you know it’s safe to do so.
Being outdoors, there are many things that can end up in our pools. This includes bugs, leaves, debris, grass cuttings, and even pollen and dust.
Although your pool filter should take care of these things, if it isn’t working properly, you may have a dirty-looking pool.
In addition to making sure your filter is working, there are also a few other things you can do to help keep your pool clean. For leaves and surface debris, use a skimmer, usually on a long pool, to remove any unwanted materials that are floating on the water’s surface.
You should also invest in a pool vacuum. Most work automatically, even if you’re not home, and sit on the bottom of the pool, using pressure or suction to clean the pool.
Keeping the deck of your pool clean can stop debris from getting blown into the pool. A leaf blower can make this an easy task.
Also, look after your yard’s landscaping, trimming any branches or overgrown plants that could get into the water.
Blocked Skimmer Baskets
It’s helpful to check your skimmer baskets regularly and empty them. They can very quickly get full of leaves or dirt, which means their suction will stop working. It’s also not uncommon for small animals, such as frogs, to get trapped inside.
Skimmer baskets are usually very easy to clean—simply lift off the lid, pull out the basket, and empty. This should be part of your regular pool maintenance routine.
Sunscreen and Sweat
If your pool is being used often, you may start to notice an oily film on the surface. Often, this is caused by sunscreen. It’s best to wait until sunscreen has completely dried before jumping into the pool.
Although this can be tough on a hot day in July, especially for kids, it’s best to wait to avoid the sunscreen residue getting in your water.
Sweat can create a similar problem, as can lotions and cosmetics. If you start to notice this, you may not be running your filter for long enough.
When you start to see the consistency of the water change, or you’ve had a pool party with lots of people in the pool, try running your filter continuously until the water looks clear again.
Clean Your Pool Water Today
As long as you look after your pool water, your home swimming pool will provide fun, relaxation, and exercise for years to come. Set aside time each week to clean and check your pool and you and your family can happily play in its beautiful, crystal-clear water.