How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water in 48 Hours or Less

Cloudy pool water is caused by 4 park pool issues : poor filtration, low chlorine levels, poor water chemistry, or contaminants in the water, like debris or algae. here ’ s a bit-by-bit usher on how to fix these common issues, and how to clear up a cloudy pool fast using a clarifier or flocculant .
You can watch the promptly television tutorial below. Or keep take for the arrant cloudy consortium water system troubleshooting guidebook .

4 Causes of Cloudy Pool Water And How To Fix It

Poor filtration, low chlorine levels, hapless water system chemistry, and outside contaminants cause cloudy water. here ’ s how to troubleshoot each one of these issues .

1. Poor Filtration

Filter problems are the main cause of cloudy pool water. If your percolate international relations and security network ’ t functioning by rights, then it can ’ t remove the bantam contaminants that cause cloudy pool water .
SOLUTION: Keep your pool ’ second circulation system flowing with regular houseclean, care, and run times. Check for the comply filtration issues :

  • Your pool filter has a clog or build-up. If you haven’t cleaned your filter in a while, it’s time to backwash your sand or D.E. filter, clean your D.E. filter grids, or clean the cartridge in your filter. Check out our pool filter cleaning walkthrough for more help.
  • Your skimmer basket or pump basket is full of debris. Remove any leaves, twigs, or other debris in your skimmer or pump basket. If you’re frequently finding debris in your circulation system, take a look at our pool skimmer troubleshooting guide.
  • Your pool filter media needs replacing. If your filter media is worn out or damaged, it won’t be able to capture contaminants that cause cloudy water. So every 5 years, change your filter sand or replace your cartridge filters every 2-3 years. If you have a D.E. filter, add fresh diatomaceous earth powder or replace your D.E. grids.
  • You’re not running your filter long enough. To fix a cloudy pool, all of your pool water must run through the filter system at least once a day. You need to run your filter system for at least 8 to 12 hours a day.
  • Your pool pump or filter needs replacing. As it gets older, your pool filter system can start to fail and you may need to replace major pieces of equipment.

2. Low Chlorine Levels

Pathogens, bacteria, and cloudy water form when there’s not enough chlorine to sanitize your water . Chlorine levels can drop if there ’ s lots of debris like leaves in your pool .
besides, if there ’ s a build-up of bodily contaminants like effort or sunscreen, or if your water is exposed to the sun ’ s UV rays and your chlorine is not properly stabilized .
SOLUTION: Test your spare chlorine and combined chlorine levels, add shock to rebalance your chlorine levels, and add cyanuric acerb to stabilize a sun-exposed pool .

  • Test your free chlorine levels. “Free Chlorine” is the amount of chlorine that’s available to sanitize your pool water. If these levels are low, you don’t have enough chlorine working in your water. To test for free chlorine, use test strips, a liquid test kit, or take a sample to your local pool supply store. If you have a chlorine or salt water pool, your free chlorine and combined chlorine should read between 1 and 3 ppm (parts per million).
  • Calculate your combined chlorine levels. If your free chlorine levels are lower than your total chlorine levels, you can end up with chloramines. Chloramines are the byproduct of chlorine sanitizing which can be irritating and even corrosive. Your Combined Chlorine is the difference between your Free Chlorine reading and the Total Chlorine reading. Your combined chlorine should be below 0.5 ppm.
  • Shock your pool with cal-hypo shock. To quickly bump up your free chlorine levels and remove chloramines, shock your pool using calcium hypochlorite shock. Calcium hypochlorite should be the main active ingredient in your pool shock (around 60 to 80%). Shocking your pool once per week during peak pool season refreshes your sanitizer levels and prevents cloudy water. If you need more help using shock, check out our guide on how to use pool shock.
  • Test and add cyanuric acid if needed. Make sure you have the proper levels of cyanuric acid or CYA in your water. This will help prevent the sun’s UV rays from breaking down your chlorine too quickly. Your CYA levels should be between 30 and 50 ppm. Be sure to read our guide on how to balance your cyanuric acid levels.

3. Poor Water Chemistry: High pH, Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness Levels

high gear levels of ph, Total Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness can form scale on your pool surfaces and inside your plumb. This can lead to pool filtration, bacteria increase, and cloudy water. And poor water chemistry makes it more unmanageable for your chlorine to serve well and kill contaminants .
SOLUTION: Test and balance your ph, full alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels .
The proper pool water chemistry levels are:

  • pH: 7.4 to 7.6.
  • Alkalinity: 100 parts per million (ppm) to 150 ppm, with 125 ppm being ideal.
  • Calcium Hardness: 175 ppm to 225 ppm for vinyl liner pools, or 200 ppm to 275 ppm for concrete and plaster pools.

  • Test and balance your Total Alkalinity (TA) levels. Your alkalinity helps prevent fluctuations in your pH, so you’ll want to adjust these levels first. High alkalinity levels can cause pH and calcium scaling, which can cause cloudy water. To lower your alkalinity levels, use muriatic acid or a pH decreaser. To raise your alkalinity levels, use an alkalinity increaser or baking soda.
  • Test and balance your pH levels. Improper pH levels can affect your chlorine and the other chemicals in your water. High levels of pH can cause calcium build-up and scaling which leads to cloudy pool water. Low levels of pH can cause your chlorine to become overly reactive and quickly depleted. This means it’s less effective at sanitizing, leading to a build-up of contaminants and cloudy pool water. You can lower your pH levels with a pH decreaser. You can raise your pH with a pH increaser or soda ash. If you want more help balancing your pH and total alkalinity, check out our complete guide to basic pool water chemistry.
  • Test and balance your Calcium Hardness levels. High calcium hardness levels can cause calcium build-up and scale inside your pool plumbing and equipment. This creates a cloudy pool water problem that’s not easy to fix. If you have high calcium hardness levels, the only thing you can do is dilute your pool water. Partially drain your pool and refill with fresh water from a garden hose filter. Just remember that diluting your pool water will affect all of your water chemistry levels, so you’ll need to test your water again. For more help, check out our guide on how to balance your calcium hardness levels.

4. Contaminants, Like Debris or Algae

Contaminants, particles, and small debris in your pool can cause cloudy water. This is specially common during the spring. Early-stage alga growth may besides cause cloudy pool water .
SOLUTION: Treat alga in its early stages by houseclean and shocking your pond. Test, balance, and clean your water system after a rainstorm or when debris or pollen accumulates in your pool .

  • Treat algae. If you already have visible algae growth, you’ll need to get rid of your algae problem before you treat your cloudy pool water. Unfortunately, algaecide won’t solve the problem. It’s better as a preventative measure, not a treatment. To remove algae, you’ll need to skim, brush, and vacuum your pool. Be sure to bypass the filter by vacuuming on the waste setting. Then, you’ll want to shock your pool. If you need a step-by-step tutorial on getting rid of algae, check out our guide on how to get rid of algae in your pool.
  • Test, balance, and clean your pool after a rainstorm. Storms can blow dirt and debris into your pool and the rain can dilute your pool water. That means your chlorine levels can drop, which we know can lead to cloudy water. Test and balance your water after a rainstorm and skim, brush, and vacuum the pool as needed. If you need to lower your water level, follow this guide on how to drain water from your pool after rain.

Tired of cloudy water and want to learn how to never deal with this problem again? Check out our pool maintenance video course  today!

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If you ’ ve tackled these common problems and you want to fix cloudy pool water fast, you can use either a pool clarifier or consortium flocculant ( aka pool floccule ). however, your cloudy pool urine will return if you don ’ thymine correct the fundamental causes. thus be sure your filter system is running smoothly, your chlorine levels are chastise, your water is balanced and you ’ ve eliminated any alga growth .
Pool Clarifier vs Pool Flocculant

How To Use Pool Clarifier (Clears Cloudy Water In 48-72 Hours)

Pool clarifier uses your pool trickle system to clear up the cloudy water. This is the easiest method for clearing cloudy pond water, but it takes a few days depending on your pool filter system ’ s office. A pond clarifier works with any filter type and works best with mild cloudy water system issues .

1. Skim, Brush, and Vacuum Your Pool

Remove big debris with a heavy-duty boater. Brush your walls well with a firm pool brush, then vacuum manually .
Do not use an automatic pool clean. It won ’ t by rights suck up fine debris. then vacuum your pool. But if you think you ’ ve got an alga trouble, be surely to check out our scout on how to get rid of pool alga here first base .

2. Test and Balance Your Water

Test your water with test strips or a liquid test kit. Test strips are easier and quicker to use but are less accurate than a good liquid test kit out. Or you can take a body of water sample to your local pool storehouse. then, adjust your ph and alkalinity as needed until your urine is balanced .
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Complete Liquid Test Kit for Pools and Hot Tubs

Complete Liquid Test Kit for Pools and Hot Tubs

A simpleton but effective liquid test kit for chlorine pools and hot tubs.
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3. Shock Your Pool

To eliminate any contaminants or chloramines in your cloudy pool water, add a high dose of chlorine by shocking your pool. If the cloudy water system in your pool is ascribable to a pool alga bloom, you ’ ll have to double or triple shock depending on the type of alga you have. And always shock your pool at twilight or night for maximum effectiveness .
Run your percolate and let the shock dissolve overnight or for at least 8 hours. then retest your urine .

4. Run Your Filter 24/7

You ’ ll need to continuously run your filter over the following few days to help clear up the cloudy water. then you can return to regular filter run times once your water is clean .
Your pool will clear faster depending on the type of trickle you own. D.E. Filters, for exercise, filter out extra fine particles and will clear up cloudy water more promptly. If you have a magazine filter, it will take a act longer. If you have a sand filter, it will take the longest .

5. Increase Your Pool Circulation

Your skimmer located at the surface of your pool can ’ thymine have to the debris or cloudy water system at the bottom of your pool. To help all of your pool water exceed through your filter, you can increase your pool ’ randomness circulation .

  • Position your return jets. Point your return jet(s) down at a 45° angle and all in the same direction. This will help churn the cloudy water up from the bottom of the pool to the top where your main skimmer can get it into your filter system.
  • Use your bottom drains. If you have an inground pool, make sure the main drain at the bottom is on and is pulling water from the bottom of the pool into your filter system. This will speed up filtering and clear the pool water faster.
  • Turn your vacuum upside down. If you have an above ground pool with no main drain, you can hook up your manual vacuum cleaner and turn it upside down at the bottom of the pool to mimic a bottom main drain.

6. Add Pool Water Clarifier

After your pool water has circulated and your jolt has dissipated, it ’ s time to add your clarifier. Clarifier helps bind bantam particles into bigger particles that your trickle can capture. Be certain to read the manufacturer ’ randomness instructions to make certain you ’ re adding the correct come for your size pool .
here ’ mho our recommendation for a pond clarifier :
Our top pick

Clorox Super Pool Water Clarifier

Clorox Super Pool Water Clarifier


This centralize pond clarifier creates crystal clear pool water. Great for weekly habit or for a pool party, pool clarifier clumps together little particles that are then easily removed by your percolate.
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Clarifier works to clear mild cloudy pool water. Add it every other day as your trickle runs until your urine clears. If you have extremely cloudy water, you need to use a pool flocculant .

How To Use Pool Flocculant (Clears Cloudy Water In 24-48 Hours)

Pool flocculant, besides known as Pool Floc, causes the particles to coagulate together, creating large clumps that sink to the bottom of your consortium. It ’ sulfur much faster and more potent than a pool clarifier, but it takes a lot more study and requires a set of manual of arms vacuum .
The coagulate particles can not be removed by your filter, so you must be able to vacuum the water out of your pool while bypassing your percolate media .

1. Balance Your pH

Test your water ’ s ph levels with trial strips or a liquid test kit. then, adjust your ph as needed, either with a ph increaser or ph decreaser .

2. Add Pool Flocculant (Floc) Your Water

Pool flocculant binds the contaminants that cause cloudy pool water. Those big clumps then sink to the bottom of your pool. Be certain to read the manufacturer ’ randomness instructions to make indisputable you ’ re adding the correct amount of floccule for your size pool .
here ’ s our recommendation for a pool flocculant :
Our top clean

BioGuard PowerFloc Pool Flocculant

BioGuard PowerFloc Pool Flocculant


This herculean pool flocculant helps clear up excessively cloudy water. The more debris in the water, the debauched it works ! It binds together particles and sinks them to the bottom of your pool for vacuum removal and sparkling clear water.
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3. Circulate Your Water

Circulate the consortium water with your filter system for two hours. If you have a multiport valve, set it to “ recirculate ” to bypass your filter .
After circulating the pool chemical for two hours, shut off the filter organization for the next 8-12 hours to let the particles settle to the bottom of the pool. Make sure your automatic timer doesn ’ metric ton turn on in the middle of the night .

4. Vacuum Water Out Of Your Pool

You should now see a big mottle at the bottom of the pool. This means the pool flocculant collected all the particles that were making the water cloudy and sank them to the bottom. And that means it ’ s time to vacuum .
If you just vacuum your water through your filtration arrangement, it ’ ll barely blow right spinal column in through the render jets. rather, you have to vacuum the body of water out of your pool .
To do this with a multiport valve on your filter, fair set it to the Waste choice. This will send the pool water out of the aftermath port as you vacuum. Keep a garden hosiery in your pool to refill your water while you vacuum .
If you don ’ t have a multiport valve, open the drain port on your filter and let it drain out as you vacuum .
Move the vacuum slowly along the bottom of the pool or else you ’ ll kick up the cloudy water system. You may have to do this multiple times. Let the cloud resettle before continuing .

5. Test And Balance Your Water

Because you ’ ve remove water from your pond, you ’ ll necessitate to rebalance your water chemistry. Test your pool water using test strips or a melted trial kit and adjust your Alkalinity and ph. once you get those levels balanced, add your chlorine .
immediately that you ’ ve gotten the cloudy water out of the pond, you can start running your trickle system normally ( 8-12 hours a sidereal day or however long it takes your water to bicycle through your trickle at least once ) .

Frequently Asked Questions About Cloudy Pool Water

Looking for more aid with your cloudy pool water system ? here are some common questions and answers .

How long does it take for a cloudy pool to clear?

Depending on how cloudy your urine is, it may take 2-3 days for your water to clear. If you ’ re using a clarifier, you ’ ll need to run your filter 24/7, keep your water chemistry balanced, and add the proper total of water system clarifier every early day until it ’ mho clear. Pool flocculant is more knock-down and can clear up your cloudy pool water in 1-2 days. But you will need to use a manual void to remove all of the clot particles .

Should you swim in cloudy pool water?

No, you should not swim in a cloudy pool. Cloudy pool water is full of contaminants and pathogens. There ’ south besides an increased risk of drowning since swimmers can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate see the bottom of the pool .

Why is my pool cloudy after shocking?

Adding pool electric shock to an otherwise absolutely clean and balance pool can even cause irregular cloudiness. This is coarse and it will dissipate over time as your filter runs. This can besides happen if you use a cheaper shock. Be certain to use cal-hypo shock and read the instructions for the proper dosages .

Does too much chlorine make pool water cloudy?

high doses of chlorine, like pool shock, can cause irregular cloudiness as it kills contaminants. high levels of ph, alkalinity, and calcium hardness are more probable to cause cloudy body of water .

Will rainwater make my pool cloudy?

Rainstorms normally cause cloudy pool water system. They can wash contaminants into your pool water and the extra rain can throw off your pool water chemistry and lower your chlorine levels .

Will a cloudy pool clear on its own?

If your filter system is running by rights and systematically, your chlorine levels are decline, your water is balanced and you ’ ve eliminated any alga emergence, your cloudy pool can clear on its own. otherwise, consider using a consortium clarifier or pool flocculant.

Need More Pool Maintenance Help?

Matt Giovanisci is the fall through of Swim University® and has been in the pool and watering place industry since 1995. Since then, his deputation is to make pool and hot bathtub care comfortable for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with water chemistry, clean, and trouble-shoot .
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