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Cloudy Water in an Above Ground Pool

The pool water can appear cloudy even after adding the proper chemicals. This guide is about cloudy water in an above ground pool.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
May 28, 2011 Flag

We have a 24 foot above ground pool. We have put lots of chemicals in it, but is still very cloudy and milky. All testing is showing up fine. What can we do?

By Karen

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Do you have a sand filter or paper filter? Is the filter clean? Do you use chlorine or non chlorine? We use Baquacil and they sell an item called "flocculant" that makes the small particles clump together to be filtered out. It cleared ours up. Ask your dealer.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

We tried everything listed above, but in the end we had to replace our sand filter with a larger one. Ours was about 35 years old and the previous owners had damaged it. The water cleared right up with the proper filter.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

My husband used to build pools and we have a 27 foot above ground, he says try 5 or 6 bags of super shock.

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August 4, 20120 found this helpful

Hey Karen,

I own a pool company named Acumen Integrated LLC. I reviewed your post and seems to me your pool is giving you quite a headache! I understand chemicalization and balancing can be stressful and expensive. Here are a few suggestions I recommend:

First, assuming you have a sand filter, backwash and rinse. Check the filter pump basket and empty out and debris. Keep an eye on the basket for cracks, and the gasket is in good condition.

Second, test the pool with a strip that tests Hardness, Free and Total Chlorine, Alkalinity, Ph, and Cynuric Acid.

(The comment you made about the pool surface stain could be from the imbalance of your Hardness, which can be aggressive. Stains could be from a low reading. Therefore, you need Calcium Chloride, I suggest a Metal Sequestering Agent.)

Third, I recommend buying Phosfloc. It combines the small particles and dirt and drops everything to the bottom of the surface. You just Vacuum after 24 hours on Waste. Your Ph level must be balanced before using this product.

The steps you took were great, weather and foliage might have added to your pool problems. I hope this post helps! Good Luck!

Gina Groglio

acumenintegrated AT

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June 25, 20160 found this helpful

Have a above ground pool. 3600 gallon of water . Put up couple of months ago. Has small pump that came with it. For a week now we haven't swim on it because of cloudy and milky looking can't see bottom. Tested water from pool store,added chemicals saw no results. Had water retested said ph balance was good. No change what so ever in cloudy water. Help:(

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June 1, 20060 found this helpful

I am writing because I have an above ground pool (18x48) and I put in shock, chlorine and algaecide all at the same time. I have always done this except this time I added the algaecide. Now that I have put the algaecide in with the rest of the stuff my pool is cloudy. 2 days have passed and it's still a little cloudy now, but it has bubbles and foam like water. What is wrong? Please help me.

Karen from Miami, FL

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July 13, 20070 found this helpful

We have an above the ground pool with a sand filteration.

The water circulates but is not being pulled through the sand. What causes the water not to be pulled through?

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May 25, 20080 found this helpful

We set up our above ground pool, 12' round about 5000 gallons of water in March of 06. We have had great success in the past.

Last summer I added 3-4 oz. of chlorbrite every day or every other day as measured by my test kit. Once a week I shocked it with 4 oz. of power powder shock. The tabs didn't seem to work so I've always added granules right into the skimmer.

A few weeks ago we got the pool ready and had Leslie's test the water and it was perfect. For the last week or so I keep adding shock or chlorine, probably about 2-3 pounds total. I added 1/2 lb. at a time and the last time was Friday am. The funny thing is the chlorine smell is very strong when near the pool.

The weather has been cool this week (60-70 degrees) with some rain. Ph is fine, alkalinity good, chlorine is not locked up. Had Leslie's run every imaginable test and can't come up with a reason for the lack of chlorine measurement. His in store tests are the same as mine from my test kit. Yesterday I drained about 12 inches of water and filled with fresh water and the test says the same thing.

I hope you can come up with a solution. I have been using Leslie's store for years and the seem to be very knowledgeable. Jacob at the Palmdale store has asked everyone and no one can come up with an answer.



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July 19, 20080 found this helpful

This is my third pool in 4 yrs and I have never had such a problem. First my pool (above ground 18x4) was great for about a month then it stormed (go figure)! I got algae and put some 50% algecide in the pool. It killed the algae but it left my water extremely cloudy. Its been almost 3 weeks and I have used sink and sweep which did gather most of the particles to the bottom and my husband got in the pool and manually vacuumed the bottom with the vacuum hose without the attachment. this has cleared up a great deal but it is still cloudy. you can actually see the white particle floating. I did have a problem with the ph but that is fine now the chlorine is good.

One day the pool with be beautifully clear and have a huge gathering at the bottom of dead algae but once I vacuum it up the clods persist. I have used clarifier, shock(which stained the bottom) and its still cloudy. The pool store isn't going to be much help cause all the levels are within range. What the heck to I do?

My kids are dying to swim and I don't know about you all but spending 350 for this pool then another couple hundred in trying to clear it up is mind boggling and pocket draining. I thought about draining it and starting over but the particles will probably remain. HELP

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July 31, 20080 found this helpful

(sent in by email)

Having a cloudy water in pool since opening in mid-May. Had algae at first and put 2 bags (1 pound each) shock which killed algae and turned water very milky. Then added clarifier according to directions on bottle for size of pool. Did nothing to clear water. about a month ago changed sand in filter and to no avail. went from running filter about 6 hrs a day to n01 12 hrs a day. I keep testing and adding chems according to test strips, had water tested and was told my hardness was low. put suggested amount of balance chem in -although I can see a bit clearer water but still quit cloudy. Never before had this problem all year long of swim season. Please help!

Kay S

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May 26, 20130 found this helpful

Same problem as everyone else. Cloudy water after hundreds of dollars in chemicals and following directions. It is not horribly bad but just a cloudy sheen in the water. Need HELP!

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0 found this helpful
May 25, 2011 Flag

I just opened my pool and my swimming pool water is cloudy. It is well water and rain water mixed. How do I get it crystal clear so I can at least see the bottom of the pool?

By Pat

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Pat. Sounds like you need to balance your water. In order to bring your pool water back into balance, I suggest the following: First you need to correct the alkalinity level by adding alkalinity up according to package instructions. Re-circulate for two to three hours and then re-test the water. Repeat as necessary until the alkalinity level is between 80 and 120 ppm.

Because pH and alkalinity levels are so closely related and directly affect each other, it is recommended that you check your pH level the following day and adjust accordingly with either pH plus or pH minus until the pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6 ppm.

After you balance your pool water you can use a clarifier to help get crystal clear water. Using proper pool maintenance supplies and equipment will help to make pool maintenance much easier.

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July 18, 20130 found this helpful

Swimming pool water is cloudy. I have done all the chemicals and tried baking soda all to still have cloudy water.

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0 found this helpful
June 22, 2013 Flag

We filled our above ground pool yesterday and it was crystal clear. It rained last night so we put the cover on the top. When we took off the cover today the water was not clear anymore. What could have happened?

By Gloria

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0 found this helpful
June 13, 2013 Flag

My above ground pool is cloudy and I don't know what to do. I used Clorox, borax, and baking soda instead of pool chemicals at the opening of my pool this year. It does not seem to be working for me. Is it safe to swim and should I put the chemicals in now? Please help I'm not sure what to do. Thanks.

By Terri H. from Four Oaks, NC

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0 found this helpful
June 8, 2013 Flag

We opened our pool and it was cloudy. We have shocked and clarified and it is still cloudy. Please help.

By Charlene J.

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0 found this helpful
May 26, 2012 Flag

What do I put in the pool to take out the cloudy appearance? I put all the stuff in, but it is still cloudy.

By Sally

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

0 found this helpful
June 15, 2005 Flag

We have above ground pool, the money pit. We are having a problem with the water being cloudy. If anyone can give us a suggestion we will be happy!

Kaylee in Georgia

Cloudy Water in An Above Ground Pool 06/15/2005
I had the same problem in my in-ground pool. Get some of that blue liquid water clarifier stuff and use it. Any pool supply store has it and it works. Just make sure your ph and chlorine levels are correct prior to using it. Good luck
By Reel-crazy (Guest Post)
Cloudy Water in An Above Ground Pool 06/16/2005
PH is probably the problem, then the clairifier will keep it crystal clear. If the ph is not correct, it can cause MAJOR ear infections!
By Mary. (Guest Post)
Baking Soda 06/16/2005
They had an article here in our paper to put a box of baking soda in the day before you use the pool and the water will be very clean. I would let it run to circulate it good. But this was in with the regular things you use in the pool also.
By Dgrams
Cloudy Water in An Above Ground Pool 06/23/2005
Leslie's Pools is a great place to start. They test your water for free. I've got a lot of sound advice from them. My 15' round pool has been so easy to keep up.

I use 2oz. chloribrite every other day, fresh n clear every two weeks, power powder plus every week, flush my sand filter system weekly and add fresh water, run my filter 4 hours am and 4 hours pm for a total of 8 hours daily. I run a baracada sweeper every two weeks or more in the summer as we use our pool more often. I keep in covered at all times with a heating blanket. It heats nicely and keeps debris out. As my neighbors have not landscaped yet.

My instructions are for my 15 round. I have no idea what you have. I find if you have routine of distributing of chemicals you find little or no complications. I did get some algae this spring but with Leslie's Copper algaecide it cleared in a day. I tried the baking soda first no good. Also I got some calcium build up. I went on vacation and didn't flush my system. So that what happened, calcium build up. Keeping up. That's the key. Good luck with your pool. They also have a website

Happy Summer!

By Jennifer CA

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