We opened our pool 8 days ago and it was full of dark green algae. We shocked it and the pool turned to a milky cloudy color after 48 hours (so 6 days ago). Since then, we have shocked 2 more times, replaced the filter, balanced chemicals. The filtration system is working perfectly (tons of movement in the pool) and we had our water tested. pH was absolutely perfect but alkalinity was a bit high. Pool store said to just add more shock and then 24 hours later a clarifier and that should take care of issue. We did that, after 48 hours and no change. We gave it a bit more time, nothing. Yesterday, my husband washed the filter and it had a lot of gunk in it but vacuum was clean. Did more water testing yesterday and there was absolutely no chlorine (not sure why this didn’t show up in earlier water testing) and CYA was below what the test would even read. So, we added more salt, scrubbed the walls (which seems to make the cloudiness a bit darker) and shocked again and added recommended amount of stabilizer. This morning, I checked the water. No change!!! Still super cloudy (can only see about 4-6 inches from top). pH is perfect (7.4), salt levels are a bit high, but chlorine is fine. CYA is a little high (between 80-100, but I’m reading saltwater pools should be between 60-80 so not extremely high and rain is coming so I expect everything will dilute down). But, this cloudiness is the same when CYA was super low. We were hopeful last night thinking the low chlorine levels were the issue, but chlorine was at the low end of normal before we went to bed…but absolutely no change this morning. So, we have done everything, everything I am reading that causes cloud water does not apply to us (bad chemistry…poor filtration, algae, etc).

Also, we had the pool refilled last year so, the water is only a year old. I’m ready to throw in the towel and spend the $1100 on new water. My husband wants to hold out.

Again, there has been zero change in water since algae was killed 6 days ago regardless of the change in chemistry, and salt levels.

So, what are we missing? Thanks in advance!

  • I had the same problem, trying to get my pool clear after loss of power for 6 days after a hurricane. I had to change the filter twice and shock the pool every other day for a week. the filter had to be cleaned twice a day. That was the reason for changing the filter 2x. I was told even cleaning the filter didn't remove the microscopic organisms. Also added about 8 oz. of baking soda every morning . ( I didn't have a salt water pool) Took a week but finally got the water crystal clear.
    – RMDman
    May 29, 2023 at 12:36
  • thank you! We got a strong filter cleaner that we were told would take the white off rice, so, we’ll use that today in case of microscopic bacteria/organisms are the culprit.
    – Tina
    May 29, 2023 at 12:51
  • You're sure you don't have some little prankster dumping something in the pool while you're not looking?
    – Huesmann
    May 29, 2023 at 12:51
  • @huesmann Ha! I wish it were that easy! But no.
    – Tina
    May 29, 2023 at 12:53
  • @ Tina, I forgot to ask if you are in an area with strong sun. I'm in Fla. the sun burns up chlorine and algae uses it up too. That's the reason it depletes so quick. I was told to "superclorinate" and when the water got clear, slowly dial it back. Of course don't swim until the chlorine level got within safe range.
    – RMDman
    May 29, 2023 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


Been ages since I dealt with this, but you may want to try a flocculant, which basically gathers tiny particles into larger clumps which can then be filtered out or vacuumed off the bottom more easily.

It may be worth building a relationship with a local pool supply store just so you have someone to ask for advice/recommendations.

  • We can’t see the bottom of pool to ensure we vacuum everything up. We are hesitant to us floc for fear if it doesn’t help, then we can’t see bottom of pool to see if it worked/vacuum everything up before we turn pump back on. If all else fails, we may try this before submitting to draining as last resort.
    – Tina
    May 29, 2023 at 13:45
  • As keshlam says, I got my advice from a Pool supply store. They also told me to run my pump 24hrs a day until the water got clear. Forgot to tell that.
    – RMDman
    May 29, 2023 at 14:41
  • 1
    If the pump leads to the filter, then the flocculated particles should be filtered out when you turn the pump on - that's more or less the point of flocculant - of course more filter cleaning may be required...
    – Ecnerwal
    May 29, 2023 at 14:41
  • 1
    This is the correct answer; the particles are too small to get caught by the filter. Floc makes it clump and settle into particles big enough to get caught in the filter. I normally just pump onto the yard once it settles with a bottom suction vacuum and save some wear and tear on the pump and filter, but I never do that within a few days of adding chemicals. May 29, 2023 at 15:01
  • Yes, clarifier is another name for flocculant. Use the maximum amount recommended in the instructions.
    – Mattman944
    May 29, 2023 at 15:14

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