If you have a swimming pool, you know how important it is to keep the water clear and sparkling. But sometimes, you may notice that your pool water becomes cloudy or milky, which can ruin the appearance and enjoyment of your pool. What causes this cloudiness, and how can you prevent it?
One of the possible reasons for cloudy pool water is low alkalinity. Alkalinity is a measure of how well the water can resist changes in pH, which is the acidity or basicity of the water. The ideal range for alkalinity in pool water is between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm). If the alkalinity is too low, the pH can fluctuate easily, which can affect the effectiveness of chlorine and other chemicals in sanitizing the water.
Low alkalinity can also cause corrosion of metal parts and fittings in your pool, such as ladders, rails, pumps, and heaters. This can lead to metal particles and rust stains in your pool water, which can make it look cloudy and dirty. Moreover, low alkalinity can cause calcium carbonate to dissolve from the pool surfaces and equipment, which can increase the hardness of the water and form scale deposits. These deposits can clog your filter and reduce the water circulation, which can also contribute to cloudiness.
How to Fix Low Alkalinity and Cloudy Pool Water
If you suspect that low alkalinity is causing your pool water to be cloudy, you need to test the water using a reliable test kit or strips. You can also take a sample of your water to a professional pool store for analysis. If the alkalinity is below 80 ppm, you need to raise it using an alkalinity increaser product, which is usually sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. Follow the instructions on the product label and add the required amount of the product to your pool water while the pump is running.
After adding the alkalinity increaser, you need to wait for at least four hours before testing the water again. You may need to repeat the process until you reach the desired alkalinity level. Once the alkalinity is balanced, you need to check and adjust the pH as well. The ideal pH range for pool water is between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH is too high or too low, you need to use a pH increaser or decreaser product, respectively, to correct it.
After balancing the alkalinity and pH of your pool water, you need to shock your pool with chlorine or a non-chlorine shock product to kill any bacteria, algae, or organic contaminants that may be causing cloudiness. Follow the instructions on the product label and add the required amount of shock to your pool water at night or when there is no direct sunlight. Run your pump and filter for at least eight hours after shocking your pool.
The next day, you should notice that your pool water is clearer and brighter. However, if there are still some particles or debris in your water, you need to vacuum your pool floor and walls using a manual or automatic vacuum cleaner. You should also backwash or clean your filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
How to Prevent Low Alkalinity and Cloudy Pool Water
To prevent low alkalinity and cloudy pool water in the future, you need to maintain a regular testing and maintenance routine for your pool. You should test your pool water at least once a week using a test kit or strips, or take a sample to a professional pool store for analysis. You should also test your pool water after heavy rain, storms, or high bather load.
If you notice that your alkalinity or pH levels are out of range, you need to adjust them as soon as possible using the appropriate products. You should also shock your pool once a week or as needed using chlorine or a non-chlorine shock product to keep your water sanitized and clear.
You should also keep your pool clean by removing any leaves, dirt, or debris from the surface using a skimmer net or an automatic cleaner. You should also vacuum your pool floor and walls regularly using a manual or automatic vacuum cleaner. You should also backwash or clean your filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your pool water stays clear and sparkling all season long.