The easiest way to keep your pool water clear, of course, is to hire a pool care company. But if you’re a do-it-yourself type, there are a number of things you can and should do to keep your pool water clear and sparkling.
If You’re Going on Vacation
Going away and want your pool to be ready for swimming when you get back? It’s a good idea to get a neighbor to do a few things for you. Preferably, this neighbor has their own pool and knows how to do all of these things. They include:
- Emptying the skimmer baskets
- Netting the pool to remove leaves and other debris
- Backwashing the filter
- Testing the pool water
- Adding any chemicals as needed
If you don’t have a friend, neighbor, or family member who knows how to do all of these things, we recommend getting a professional to come in. Improper care of the filter and pool chemistry that’s out of whack for an extended period can cause real problems.
Make Sure Your Pool Chemistry is Perfect Before You Leave
Not only does this make it easy on the person looking after your pool while you’re gone, but it will help your pool water stay healthy longer. Things to check:
- Chlorine levels
- Calcium Hardness
- Salinity (saltwater pools)
If Your Pool Water is Cloudy
If you’re home, and suddenly one day your pool water is cloudy or milky, don’t panic. You can fix this. Common causes of cloudy water and their solutions include:
- A chemical imbalance – pool water testing will tell you if this is the culprit. Add chemicals as needed to restore the proper balance.
- Your filter – if your pool filter isn’t filtering properly, small particles will be left in the pool instead of being filtered out. Check the filter, backwash it, and run it at least 8 hours a day.
- The environment – birds, construction dust, rain and more can affect the clearness of the water.
How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water
There are two basic ways to clear cloudy pool water – using a clarifier, or using a flocculent.
Clarifier It’s a good idea to use a pool clarifier once a week. You can place pool clarifier liquid or soluble tablets in either your filter basket in the pump or in the skimmer basket. The clarifier binds small particles to make larger particles so they can then be caught in the filter. You will want to backwash your filter daily when you’re trying to clear a cloudy pool because your filter will be working overtime.
Flocculant A pool flocculant will also bind small particles together, but will make them heavy, so they sink to the bottom of the pool. Then you just need to use your pool vac to vacuum everything out. It’s important that you don’t run your pool filter when you’re using a flocculent. The larger particles won’t have a chance to sink to the bottom if the filter is running. And you will have to manually vacuum, as a robotic pool cleaner will just stir the small particles up.
If all of this sounds like too much work, remember that there are pool care professionals who can take care of it for you.