Why is My Pool Cloudy? How to Clear & Prevent Cloudy Pool Water

Why Is My Pool Cloudy

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Swimming is a fun, refreshing, and therapeutic experience, but when the pool is cloudy, the fun in this activity can be degraded significantly.

If your pool is persistently cloudy and you’re wondering what causes it and how to eliminate it for good, you’re in the right place.

Here, we address this issue while offering you effective tips to fix cloudy pools.

What is “Cloudy” Pool Water?

What we see as a cloudy pool is, essentially, a buildup of small particles, which cause your pool to be dirty. Cloudy pool water can be flat, hazy, or milky.

The water in a cloudy pool is typically not as clear as is expected. Not only is dirt unhealthy, but it also ruing the appearance of the pool, making it very unappealing and unideal.

Depending on the cause of cloudiness, the occurrence may render your pool unhealthy for swimming due to potential health risks.

Why Is My Pool Cloudy?

What is “Cloudy” Pool Water

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1. Filtration & Circulation Problems

If pool water is inefficiently filtered and circulated, it bears a constant risk of becoming cloudy. Circulation is a complementary function of filtration.

It is through efficient circulation that water is pushed through your pool’s filtration system, where it is then rid of dirt and other contaminants that can cause cloudiness.

Filtration problems can be caused by a weak or faulty pool pump, which is unable to effectively cycle the pool’s water enough times a day.

Pump-filter compatibility is a common cause of poor filtration. If, for instance, your pump is too powerful for the installed filter, the former may be pushing more water than the filter’s capacity, making the entire process inefficient.

2. Chlorine or pH levels are Imbalanced

Chlorine is a necessary regular pool additive that is reliable in containing invasive bacteria and other microorganisms. That said, you must get the levels right to avoid clouding.

The ideal chlorine content for most standard pools is 1 – 3 parts per million (ppm). This chlorine levels will ensure your pool is constantly clean while preventing the formation of cloudy water, assuming every other condition remains constant.  

pH level is also another critical factor to consider. The “sweet spot” for pool pH falls between 7.2 and 7.6, which is slightly alkaline according to the pH scale.

While exceeding these pH levels may not make you poll water cloudy, it can interfere with the performance of other pool chemicals.

Read More: The Best pH Meters

3. Too Much Calcium

The calcium levels in your pool water have a significant impact on its appearance. While low calcium hardness can degrade the quality of pool fittings, the opposite extreme is even worse.

If your pool water contains elevated levels of calcium hardness, its likelihood of scaling and becoming cloudy is very high.

The ideal range of calcium hardness for pool water is 200 ppm to 400 ppm. It is enough to prevent both the damage to pool fittings and the formation of cloudy water.

4. Total Alkalinity too High

Alkalinity is essential to pool water because it helps stabilize pH levels. Changes in water are mitigated by alkalinity, which is essentially a pH buffer.

Too much alkalinity can, however, cause your pool water to become cloudy. An effective way to keep alkalinity in check is to constantly test the pool water, using reliable kits such as Poolmaster Essential 22260.

In case you detect high alkalinity levels in your pool, applying hydrochloric acid (sodium bisulfate), in the recommended amounts, can help eliminate cloudy water.

Read More: How to Lower Alkalnity in Pool

5. Environmental Factors

Sometimes, cloudy pool water can be caused by non-chemical factors or inefficiencies in the filtration system. Environmental factors can also yield similar outcomes.

Debris, algae, and small leaves can, for instance, accumulate around the filter, and render its filtration capacity highly inefficient. Such and cooccurrence hinders the cleaning process significantly.

Small animals and insects can also access the pool and liter it significantly. Keep an eye out for bird droppings, which are notorious for clouding the water.

How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water

How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water

Clean Your Pool: Regular pool cleaning goes a long way in clearing cloudy water, especially if is being caused by foreign particles.

Effective cleaning practices included using a large leaf net to collect enlarged objects, and pool vacuuming to eliminate fine particles, which are difficult to catch using leaf nets.

Cleaning should be regular so that cloudiness does not reach critical levels that would otherwise be very hard to undo.

Clean or Replace Pool Filter: If you inspect the pool filter and discover it is not working efficiently, then consider replacing or cleaning the component, if it is clogged.  

Your pool’s filter should be replaced as frequently as is recommended in the maintenance guide. Overusing this component can degrade its performance.

Regular filter maintenance will go along way in ensuring the component is working okay, and supporting efficient dirt and debris removal.

Get Your Water Tested: The regular testing of your pool’s pH and chlorine levels can help you maintain their recommended levels and even clear cloudy pool water.

For pH and alkalinity testing, you can always use a reliable test kit to regularly measure your pool water’s pH and keep it in check.

How Can I Prevent Cloudy Pool Water?

How Can I Prevent Cloudy Pool Water

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Adopting a preventing approach to cloudy pool water is the surest way of ensuring you’re not constantly dealing with the menace.

Effective chlorine level management can be a major boost to your pool’s maintenance efforts. This is because chlorine is reliable at controlling other contaminants.

The ideal choline quantities differ across pools and will depend on the pool size and other factors. Ideally, keeping chlorine levels with the recommended ranges can keep the pool water cloud-free.

Another reliable preventative action is the application of algaecide to pool water for the effective killing of early blooms.

Regular testing of both alkalinity and pH is vital to the prevention of cloudy pool water. You can always consult an expert on these types of preventive measures.


Swimming is a worthwhile experience only if the water is clean, uncontaminated, and free of dirt and debris.

As you’ve discovered, chemical imbalances, high calcium levels, and high alkalinity can cause cloudy water.

That is why regular maintenance and preventive measures are necessary to prevent cloudy water. Ensure you clean your pool regularly, test the water, and replace the pool filter if necessary.