Swimming in a cloudy pool is unsafe as it can affect the health of both the swimmer and the pool components. This is why it is always recommended that you check to see if the drain at the deep end of the pool is visible before swimming. Swimming in cloudy water can expose the body to waterborne pathogens and chlorine-resistant protozoan. So you need to clear the cloudy pool before you swim.
But, can muriatic acid clear the cloudy pool? Yes, muriatic acid can be added to help clear a cloudy pool. Muriatic acid is mostly used when an elevated pH level is the cause of cloudiness.
This piece has been put together to educate you on the causes of the cloudy water pool, its effects, and how to use muriatic acid to clear a cloudy pool.
What is a cloudy pool?
When pool water becomes murky in appearance you can say it’s cloudy. It is always milky in color which means that you might find it difficult to see the bottom of the pool. The cloudiness will be obvious when the tiny particles become much in the pool. However, it is not always caused by tiny particles; it could be a result of poor water chemistry or the growth of microbes.
What causes a cloudy pool?
Cloudy pools can be caused by different factors. Below are some common factors that should be noted.
- High/low amount of chlorine:
One of the reasons you might have a cloudy pool is improper chlorine levels. If your pH levels are imbalanced, it will make the free chlorine in the pool ineffective. When the chlorine is low it forms chloramines which subsequently leads to the cloudy pool water.
- The performance of the filtration system:
Once the filtration system performance is compromised the water will become dirty. This will turn the water cloudy as a lot of particles will accumulate in the water. When the filters are clogged, the pump will also be affected. The pool water will remain contaminated and the pool cloudy.
- High level of calcium hardness
Another reason is if the calcium hardness in the water is high. The ideal calcium hardness in a pool should be about 100-400ppm. Anything above that will affect the water.
- High level of total alkalinity (TA)
Another reason why your pool can turn cloudy is if the total alkalinity is quite high. This could be a result of unbalanced pH levels caused by calcium scaling. Any TA that is higher than the ideal 200ppm will make the pool cloudy because the chlorine will be rendered ineffective.
- Particles from the swimmers
A cloudy pool can result from excess particles in it. The oils and sunscreens, boil oils, make-up, bodily fluids, and perspiration that come from the body of the swimmers can cause a cloudy pool. All of these particles get dumped in the water and make it cloudy.
Your pool can become cloudy after a rainfall. This is because rainwater that gets into your pool usually comes with chemicals. Rainwater can introduce phosphates, nitrates, and other chemicals into the pool. Even the chlorine for safety in the pool will get diluted. It will become less effective making the pool to be cloudy.
- The environmental debris
The debris from your environment can also make your pool cloudy. The flowers, leaves, and twigs can still affect the pool water quality and render the water circulation ineffective. Even small debris like bird droppings, pollen, and dust can still impact the filtration system. This will hinder it from filtering the pool effectively causing cloudiness.
Is it safe to swim in cloudy water?
No, you should not swim in a cloudy pool. A cloudy pool is a clear indication that your chlorine is no longer working or effective. So it can be dangerous to swim in a pool that is not properly sanitized. Without the effectiveness of the sanitizing chemical, there will a lot of pathogenic bacteria like algae and E. coli in the water. So you would be at risk of urinary tract infections, skin irritation, eye problem, and gastrointestinal problems. Another issue you can encounter with cloudy water is the increased risk of drowning. With a high degree of cloudiness in your pool visibility can be affected.
Will muriatic acid clear a cloudy pool?
Yes, muriatic acid is one chemical that can help you clear the cloudiness in your pool. With all the problems that you can encounter with cloudy pools, it is pertinent to clear it off first before use. The water will clear when muriatic acid is added to lower its pH. What you need to do is to circulate the acid and recheck later to be sure it is effective. Read this article to learn how to apply muriatic acid.
How can you prevent cloudy pool water?
Cloudy pool water can easily be avoided if the pool is properly maintained. You don’t need to break a bank to maintain your pool, and more so, it will not require all your time to maintain. The little sacrifices you make each day ensuring that your pool is in good condition will accumulate to give you a great result in the long run.
If you can always make sure that the pH level and total alkalinity of your pool water are appropriate then you are almost halfway through. Then ensure that your pool is free of debris and particles. You can achieve this by not eating in your pool. Then ensure the pump and filter are working efficiently.
With these routine checks, you can easily prevent your pool from getting cloudy.
How to use muriatic acid to clear cloudy pool
If your pool is cloudy already there are easy remedies for it. One of the remedies is using muriatic acid to clear it. What you must not do is swim in your cloudy pool water.
Steps on how to use muriatic acid to clear your cloudy pool:
Step 1: Test the water
The first thing to do is to test the water before adding any chemical to it. So before adding muriatic acids to the pool test the water first. You can use your test strips or the handy pool calculator to do it. First, measure the water pH and alkalinity levels, as well as the quantity of water. Don’t forget to also track and monitor your pool chemistry before adding your muriatic acid.
Step 2: Put your pump off
You would need to turn your pump off. It will help stop it from circulating the chemical. It will also help to avoid adding oxygen to the water. If the pump is left on it may impact the effect of the muriatic acid on the pH level of the pool. So it will be a lot better to avoid keeping the pump running since the acid is a strong one. More so, you have to be careful with the chemical to avoid It getting deep into the pool floor. Muriatic acid can cause long damage if left there for too long. So turning it off will help.
Step 3: Add the muriatic acid to your pool
You need to know the dosage to use for the size of the pool. You can go with the instruction on the product. Then dilute it in water before you add it to the pool. The ratio is always 10:1. it’s always better to dilute it before use. But if you are just directly pouring it into your pool, then you need to have your protective gear on. The following are the protective gears you need. They are safety goggles, acid-resistant gloves, chemical resistant apron, plastic bucket, and plastic stirrer. As long as you have this equipment you can go ahead and pour the right dosage of muriatic acid into the pool.
Step 4: Wait for at least 30 minutes
You can take about 30 minutes break to allow the muriatic acid to work. You can run your pump now at least for these 30 minutes. This is to stop the acid from settling on the floor of the pool. But if you still want to leave the pump off, you need to keep brushing the floor of the pool to prevent any damage.
You can wait for about 4 hours to see if the water is crystal clear as it should be; don’t forget to still test for both alkalinity and pH levels. If the level isn’t right, you might just need to repeat the process, even if your water is clear. You need to get the pH level right.
How to maintain a crystal clear pool
Now, you have been able to use the muriatic acid to clean your pool, what you should think of next is how to maintain it. This may seem to be a hard job to do, but it is not as difficult as it sounds. Simple routine checks are all you need. If you want to maintain your crystal clear pool water, you need to follow the guide below;
- Always keep up with the pH level
Always check and ensure that the pH level is within the recommended range. The range should be between 7.2-7.8 always. Anything beyond that range would make your pool cloudy. So, always have your test strips handy.
- Don’t forget to run your filter every day
Daily running of your pool filter at least for 10 hours will keep your water healthy and fresh. If you don’t run it, your water will be stagnant and bacteria will find it very easy to invade the pool. To avoid such from happening, just run your filters and keep it working as quickly as possible.
- Continuous skimming
This is one simple exercise that helps you maintain a crystal clear pool. You need to skim the top of your pool at any chance you have. It will help you remove organic materials floating on your pool. Skim them off daily to help maintain your pool at an optimum level.
- Shock your pool
You should inculcate the habit of shocking your pool even if it is once weekly. This is one treatment that fights bacteria or algae that could cause a cloudy pool. If possible you can use algaecide if the growth of algae is too much. All of these will add to help you have a healthy and freshwater pool.
- Use a sanitizer
You need to use the preferred sanitizer for the pool which is chlorine. But take note that you don’t have to empty any amount in your pool. Try to go by the recommended dosage, to make it works properly. This is one way of keeping your pool water clean and devoid of contaminants that might infiltrate the pool
Cloudy pool water can occur at any time. This comes from different reasons as discussed earlier. It could be from environmental factors, poor filtration systems, particles, and imbalances. But the good thing is that you can use muriatic acid to clear a cloudy pool.
But you need to know how to use the acid to clear your cloudy pool. Check this post for the step-by-step guide.
You can indeed clear a cloudy pool with muriatic acid. But, our best recommendation is to always avoid having a cloudy pool.