Cloudy Water /Don't waste time and money on chemicals

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
Milky pool water, white, pink, brown, purple, black cloudy water.
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue 22 Jun, 2010 15:16
My Pool: 18'x33' Oval Above Ground, Sand filter
Location: Maine

Cloudy Water /Don't waste time and money on chemicals

Postby JMD » Wed 30 Jun, 2010 05:31

Hi all, I'm new here and I am by no means an expert on pool care. However this year I have learned a hard lesson. I own an 18x33 oval above ground pool and the lesson I have learned this year is when you open your pool if the water is to far gone don't waste hundreds of dollars and several weeks trying to clear up your water. Do what I did, drain the pool and refill it, you will be glad you did.

This season started off for me with nothing but headache. I opened my pool to find the water dark brown. After 16 gallons of shock, several doses of algae killer, blind vacuuming to waste , a couple hundred dollars spent at the pool store and two weeks of time, nothing was working, so I decided to drain the pool.

If you decided to do this keep this in mind, do it when you will be home for the entire draining. If the sun is on the pool you will want to hose down the liner walls as the water level goes down. This will get the dried chlorine off the liner and also help to keep it wet and prevent any possible shrinkage. I wet down my liner walls every half hour while it was draining. Also I chose to do this on a cloudy day.

Also do not drain the pool all the way, I took mine down to 8". At about one foot deep I got in the pool, brushed down the walls and bottom I brushed any remaining algae toward the draining hose so it would get sucked out. At 8" I started the re-fill. The 8" of water that remained in the pool was cloudy but the 85% of clean water going in was enough to over power it.

How to drain the pool? I did it this way. I took my vacuum hose and put a piece of screen over one end using a hose clamp, this was to not allow and debris that may be on the bottom of the pool into the pump. Remember at this point I can't see the bottom of the pool so i do not know what might be down there. I then disconnected the skimmer hose from the pump and tucked it up into the skimmer so it was not draining all over the ground where i was working. I then tied the screened end of the vacuum hose to a 5 pound weight disc and lowered it to the bottom of the pool using a piece of rope. I used the garden hose and pool water to fill the vacuum hose with water then connected it to the pump where I had removed the skimmer hose. I then set the filter to closed and loosened the top of the pump basket area to let it fill with water then re-tightened it. Then I set the filter to Bypass to Waste and turned on the pump and bingo, the pool is draining.


This first picture shows the vacuum hose with the screen on the end tied to the weight disc at the bottom of the pool. This is with the 8" of cloudy water I left in the pool before refilling.

This pic shows the filter with the vacuum hose attached to the pump. You can see the vacuum hose coming out of the pool, connected to the pump and then the back wash hose to the right where the water is draining out.

These pic's are the pool after refill with no chemicals added at all. Looking at the ladder in the water you can see it is still a little bit cloudy, but before the drain and refill I could not even see my hand once it was 6" deep in the pool. Now I could easily see the bottom.

After the refill, I added one gallon of shock to get my chlorine level up and 25 pounds of Total Alkalinity, this got my Alkalinity and PH up where they should be. I also added my slow dissolving tablets. At the end of the day I back-washed, the next morning the water was crystal clear.

PLEASE NOTE: Again I am far from an expert on pool maintenance, however if i had just drained my pool when I first opened it I would have saved a couple hundred dollars in chemicals that the pool store had me add to try and clear up the water, a couple weeks worth of wasted time and one big headache.

ALSO: If you do this DO NOT LET YOUR POOL SIT AT ALL BEFORE RE-FILLING IT. Drain it, clean what you need to off the bottom and walls, then start re-filling.
I completely drained my pool 2 years ago and let it sit for a day before re-filling it and the liner shrunk and I had to have a new liner installed. I had no idea liners could shrink if the pool was left empty. This time I took no chances and everything worked out great. My pool is crystal clear, it will be ready for the 4th of July and my Wife is happy!!!!

EDIT: I started the draining on Saturday morning June 26th. The pool was full by late Sunday afternoon, I let the filter run over night and back-washed Monday morning then Added the Shock and Alkalinity and the water was crystal clear by Tuesday morning. Also i run my filter 24/7 it never is off.

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