A swimming pool is a big investment and it takes time, care and money to keep your pool in pristine condition. Even the most meticulous homeowner is likely to experience a green swimming pool at some point. If the water in your pool is green, you’re not going to want to swim in it, you just don’t know what’s lurking in that backyard swamp. You should never try to vacuum a green pool because you can’t see what type of debris lies beneath the water. So your first step is to clear up the water and this is probably going to take a few days and quite a bit of effort. There’s no need to worry, this article is going to provide you with a step by step guide to clearing up a green swimming pool.
What Causes Your Pool To Go Green?
Knowing why your pool water turns green in the first place is the best way to understand how to clear it up and prevent this from happening again.
Algae and other microorganisms suspended in the water turns the water green. It’s always important to keep your filter system in top condition. If you have a sand filter, you need to replace the sand fairly regularly – this can be anything from every year to every five years. Basically, if the pool filter doesn’t work effectively after backwashing, it’s a good idea to change the sand. This is a cheap and easy job. A DE pool filter will need more maintenance, but it’s more effective. While a properly functioning pool filtration system helps prevent the water from turning green, poor filtration is not the direct cause of green pool water.
Your PH level is the most important factor in keeping your pool water healthy and clear. This has to do with biology. All living cells are made up of acids and, therefore, acidic water promotes the growth of organisms in your pool. If the temperature is just right and there’s enough sunlight around, your pool will turn green very quickly if the PH isn’t perfect. So it’s vital to check your PH level regularly and add chlorine or a recommended substitute as needed.
Clearing a Green Pool
Okay, so prevention is always better than cure. But this is little consolation when you’re staring at the green sludge growing in your pool. You want to sort this out as soon as possible and here’s how to go about it.
You’ll want to remove as much debris, like leaves, as you possibly can – both from the floor and floating debris. Use a leaf net, a hand skimmer is not recommended for this job. In the process, you’re going stir up a lot sediment and this is going to make the situation look worse. Though you need not worry, all the dirt will settle back to the floor of your pool in a short time.
The most important part of clearing up a green pool is to get the PH level corrected as soon as possible. So you’ll start by shock dosing the pool with chlorine. You can use either granular or liquid chlorine, but the liquid will work faster. Add about 3-4 gallons of liquid chlorine and leave it overnight. If you don’t see any difference by the following day, repeat the process. Remember it’s always best to add chlorine at the end of the day. Sunlight deteriorates chlorine, making it less effective. So it’s always best to add chlorine at dusk.
You should continue doing this until the water starts to change color. It will usually become cloudy with a white color after dosing your pool a few times. You can also add algaecide to aid the process. You can expect anything up to 4-days to pass before the water starts turning cloudy.
Once the water starts to turn white, or even a much paler shade of green, you can start filtering the water. You’ll want to run your pool pump continuously for 24-hours. During this period you should backwash your pool filter regularly, there’s going to be a lot of muck collecting in your sand or DE filter. It’s recommended that you backwash your pool every 3-4 hours after giving it a shock treatment. You can even do this more frequently if you can. In fact, the more you backwash your pool during this process, the better it will work. If you’re using a DE filter, you’ll need to replenish the DE in your skimmer closet after each backwash.
Continue doing this until your pool turns a clear blue once again. Check your PH level once you start to see an improvement in the color of your pool water and adjust it accordingly. If, after 5-days, you don’t see the pool returning to normal, you should seek professional advice.
Once you can see what’s going on in your pool, you’ll need to clean it. It’s likely that the floor and walls of your pool are going to be dirtier than normal if it’s been standing unattended long enough to turn green. If you have an abnormally large amount of debris, it’s probably better to clean your pool using a manual vacuum. Automatic or robotic will soon become blocked by all the debris.
When using a manual vacuum, you’ll need to check the debris basket at your pump regularly, as this is going to fill up quickly. It’s never a bad idea to backwash your pool each time you empty the basket. At very least, backwash the pool once you’re done vacuuming.
My Number One Pool Maintenance Tip
Most pool water and algae problems are as a result of incorrect PH. In summer, I check the pool PH level every evening. These days, you get PH probes that make this super quick. You just hold the probe into the water and you’ll get an instant PH reading. This is much easier than the old-fashioned PH testing kits. Ideally, you want your pool’s PH level to be exactly 7.4. This is the PH of a human eye and this level won’t cause any eye irritation. Though anything above 7 is safe, if it goes above 7.8, you should add acid.
Generally, you’ll be adding chlorine or some other type of alkaline treatment to your pool on a regular basis. This is the best way to maintain healthy, clear, and safe pool water. Doing this on a regular basis will save you a lot of hassles in the long run.