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Swimming Pool Cleaning Facts and Tips

With over 15 years in the Swimming Pool business, we have seen it all. From murky green water to leaks and cracks. We have seen pool pumps burn out and come across bad wiring. Probably the best advice we can always give customers in keeping up with the maintenance. By keeping up, it can prevent costly fixes later. The most common question asked is below.

How do you clean murky and green pool water?

To clean murky and green pool water, follow these steps:

First and foremost make sure you have good flow. Clean your filter and all your baskets. Next, balance your water. If your alkalinity is low, you are running the risk of staining your pool. Then, use a algaecide and shock your pool. When you purchase the algaecide ask someone that works there( or read the directions carefully). The ones that have been found to work best require you to shock with the treatment. After that, run your filter 24 hours and test it again. The algaecide will bring your chlorine level down so you must make sure it does not get too low. At this point your water may be cloudy or you may have a lot of dead algae on the floor. Vacuum up that algae and clean that filter out. If the water is cloudy use the directions below they are great! Just keep cleaning that filter out until that water is clear.

Another effective way to solve this problem, using the cartridge filter, is this:

To kill the algae, use lots of chlorine, algaecide etc. Coagulate the dead algae into large clumps. Pool supply stores sell a spray coagulator that attaches to a garden hose. Spray it over the pool and let it sit overnight. Add diatomaceous earth to the filter. This white powder is sold in pool stores and used to be necessary before cartridges became affordable. Add a lot. This coats the filter and makes it impermeable, even to algae-sized particles. Run the vacuum and filter till pressure exceeds 35, then clean. Cleaning the filter causes a flood of the white earth to run off, so pick a good site. I bring mine to the car wash and clean it with the rinse pressure hose. Repeat the last 2 steps until the pool is clear.

This works, and you don't lose pool water, but here are a couple of points:

Prevention is best. Keep chlorine levels over 2ppm, use algaecide, even when the pool looks good.
The cartridge filter rarely survives. Once the pool is clear, buy a new filter and throw out the old one.

Here is more advice and knowledge from WikiAnswers' contributors:

First off you need to shock the pool. I recommend buying granular chlorine (normally about $5 for 2lbs) and mixing it with water. It is much cheaper than buying liquid shock. Add 2 tablespoons of glandular to one gallon of water and dissolve it. Broadcast around the pool, then run the filter for 48 hours. If algae is present, use a copper algaecide to rid the pool of the growth before shocking.

Over chlorination will not cause algae growth. Period. Have the pool tested for phosphates. In many cases, this causes repeated algae growth. Then triple shock with 3L liquid chlorine per 10000L pool water. You have to add enough chlorine to kill all the algae and leave a bit of chlorine left over. Once the dead algae settles to the bottom, vacuum to waste.

Heavily shock the pool, depending on how many gallons your pool is, preferably using liquid chlorine. Do that every other day until the algae is gone. Clean your filter at least twice a day if using a cartridge filter and backwash once a day if using a D.E. filter.

You can also re-filter the pool or have a professional clean the pool.

Alternative Methods and Technology

Over the last four or five years we have been substituting an electronic purifier for chemicals. Chemicals in the main are old technology, are expensive, and if you are in a pool for a long time, you can get itchy skin and sore eyes. A company called Care Free Clearwater produces an electronic purifier developed by NASA. For us, it has worked very well over the years. We have not had any problems with “green” pools.

It’s true that too much chlorine does not cause algae growth, but there is a better and safer way to clean a pool. Advanced treatment options, such as ultraviolet technology, provides a greater destruction rate of bacteria, algae, virus and germs than any chemical treatment. Recent studies by the World Health Organization recognize UV as the only treatment option that kills the algae, bacteria, and virus without the harmful chemical side effects. You can reduce chemical use by as much as 95%. Science has provided a better way than using salt systems, chlorine, triple shock, and Muratic acid that is well worth looking into.

It’s true that too much chlorine will not feed algae, but too many chloramines, which is dead or dormant chlorine, absolutely can and will. When triple shocking with chlorine, you must understand that you can only do it to 10 times your chlorine level. If your chlorine level is 2.0 ppm, you must add enough chlorine to reach 12 ppm, or you are wasting time and money, and adding to the phosphate levels, which is algae’s primary food. Ultraviolet is an awesome addition to any chemical, whether chlorine, bromine or salt. The key word is addition. Used as a stand alone sanitizer it will not recover quickly enough to kill bacteria in the water if you deplete its residual, which is like one person getting in a 500 gallon hot tub for 15 minutes and urinating once. Under those conditions, ultraviolet is no longer effective for quite some time.

Also – Algae will eat up any chlorine added to the pool. Many pool owners do not check for the stabilizer(conditioner) readings in the pool. Use a test strip that will read the conditioner level in the pool water. A low conditioner level means that the chlorine in the water has nothing to “bind” to, or is not “stabilized”. Low levels of conditioner will cause the chlorine in the pool to dissipate in a couple of days, no matter how much chlorine you add.

Another way of doing this is to add a specialty chemical designed to clear up the water in your pool. One such product is ‘Clear Cloudy Pools’ From Technical Pool Solutions. This product is really amazing all you do is add 1 oz per 1000 gallons and it is non-chlorine based and doesn’t require that you shut down your pool. Unless of course it is too dirty to be open in the first place. This product removes all the particles from the water that are making your pool cloudy and drops them down to the main drain. Simply run your vacuum or main drain continuously until the particle have been removed.

The first thing you do is try to shock the pool with chlorine this can sometime work well enough to fix the problem. Make sure that you brush hand vacuum (to Waste walls and floor of the pool after the dead algae has settled to the bottom.

If that does not work try the same procedure with the aid of an algaecide. Follow the instructions on the container and mention to the pool shop where you buy it what you are doing You will be surprised how keen they will be to help you.

If that still does not work you may need to get a floculent or clarifier to sink all of the algae to the bottom and then vacuum it to waste, once again get your pool shop to advise you regarding the floculents available in your location.

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