Is It Safe To Swim In A Cloudy Pool?

Last Updated on August 23, 2020

Going swimming can be great fun for the whole family, but what if the pool is cloudy? Cloudy pool water is unattractive, of course, but is it safe? Pool water has a lot of elements in it which can impact the color and clarity of the water.

Is it Safe To Swim In A Cloudy Pool?

There are several reasons why a pool may be cloudy. Most are safe swimming conditions while others are not ideal. Cloudy water can be caused by an imbalance of chemicals, a faulty filter or debris. Swimming in cloudy water can cause skin or eye irritation, depending on the cause of cloudy water.

You may find yourself wanting to go swimming but your pool might be cloudy. So is it safe to swim in a cloudy pool? For the most part, yes. It can be unattractive and it should be addressed, but it is mostly safe to swim in cloudy water. The only exception would be if the pool is cloudy because there are too many chemicals in it. This pool water would be unsafe to swim in and should be avoided.

Swimming in a cloudy pool – safety first!

Safety should come first when it comes to swimming, so you may be wondering is it safe to swim in a cloudy pool? Swimming pool water can grow discolored or cloudy if there is an imbalance of chemicals, a bad filter or debris in the pool. Depending on why the pool is cloudy should help tell you if it’s safe to swim in.

If there is debris in the pool which is causing the water to become dirty, it would be a good idea to clean out the pool before swimming. If the water has too many chemicals, it would probably best to stay out of the pool until the chemical levels are balanced out.

If you have an Intex pool with you, you should check out our guide on how to fix cloudy Intex pool water.

Why Is My Swimming Pool Cloudy?

There are a few different reasons why your swimming pool may be cloudy. These reasons are:

  • Imbalance of chemicals: The chemical composition of a swimming pool is what makes it safe and clean to swim in. Having an imbalance of chemicals can cause your water to become cloudy. This can indicate that there is too much or too little chlorine, an off pH level, alkalinity, calcium hardiness or stabilizer. Most pool equipment stores will test your pool water sample for you which will help you decide which chemicals or levels need to be balanced.
  • Faulty filter: A pool filter should run very often, however, if the water becomes cloudy and appears to not be clean, it could be the filter. It is important to maintain your pool filter. Replace or clean out the filters and maintain upkeep to ensure that it’s working properly.
  • Environmental factors: Sometimes, environmental factors impact the pool water. Debris from wind or storms can fall in the pool and runoff rainwater can make the pool appear dirty or cloudy.

What Chemical Imbalance Can Cause My Pool To Be Cloudy?

The chemistry of your pool is dependent on the proper mixture of chemicals. If these pool chemicals are off-balance, it can impact the quality of your pool water. If your water is cloudy, it may be because the pool chemicals are off. These chemical imbalances are:

  • Improper pH and chlorine levels: The pH level and chlorine level are the #1 reason behind most cloudy water situations. While the pH is not directly responsible for the cloudiness of the water, it does impact how the other chemicals of the pool react which can cause cloudiness. If the pH is too high, it will cause the calcium to not dissolve properly and calcium scaling. If the pH low, the chlorine will become reactive which forms combined chlorine and can cause cloudy water.
  • High total alkalinity: You should keep track of the alkalinity level in your pool. A high level can cause an imbalanced pH and calcium scaling which can cause a cloudy pool.
  • High Calcium Hardiness: If the calcium levels in your pool are too high, it will lead to excess calcium which can cause a pool to be cloudy. This can also cause a filter to become clogged with calcium deposits. 
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HTH 67023 Super Clarifier Swimming Pool Cleaner, 32 fl oz
  • BENEFITS: Clears up dull, cloudy or hazy pool water so you can relax in crystal clear water all summer long
  • USE: Apply directly to pool water or skimmer; Use 4-12 hours after HTH Shock! and HTH Algaecide products for best results
  • COMPATIBILITY: Great for all pool types including all pool surfaces and saltwater systems
  • FEATURES: Does not affect pool’s pH levels; Improves filter efficiency to remove dead algae and organic debris; Fast-acting, concentrated formula

What Do I Do If My Pool Water Is Cloudy?

Depending on the reason behind the cloudiness, there are several things that you can do to fix it. First, you should either use an at-home test kit or provide a sample to your nearest pool store which will tell you why the water is cloudy.  Make sure you understand the basics of pool care for keeping your pool water clear.

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If there is an imbalance of chemicals, you must follow the recommendations of the pool store and attempt to balance out the water before it gets worse. Unfortunately, the only fix for high calcium hardiness is to drain your pool.

Photo by iDann




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