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Cloudy Pool Water : How to make sparkling clear !
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marcusc1234 Original Post: Aug 13 '06,  1:30 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 2
Member since: Aug 9, 2003

Post: 70195
Cloudy Pool Water : How to make sparkling clear !

My pool water was cloudy and green (even after shocking it with chlorine) for weeks. The filter was just not filtering the fine particles in the water... till I figured out how to get it sparkling clear...

I purchased one of those in-expensive above ground pools. It was an Intex brand metal frame pool (10' X 30"). It comes with Model 02 Filter-Pump and uses Intex Type A Filter Cartridge. The pool worked great for the first month. I experimented around with how much chlorine to add and how often to keep it at the ideal level. I eventually adjusted the PH to ideal level. I went and bought the replacement Intex brand type A filters when the original filter seemed to stay dirty. Only thing is, I think Intex may have changed the filter material because the replacement filters just would not clear the water up. The water remained turbid and cloudy. The chlorine got low one day and there was an algae bloom. Now my pool remained cloudy and green. I shocked it with chlorine, but still remained cloudy and green. This went on for 2-3 weeks. I even used another Intex filter and another brand of filter but no luck. The kids weren't happy about not being able to swim. After calling Intex technical support which provided no solution and also searching fruitlessly on the internet for a solution I finally remembered my old pool days when I was a kid and would add Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to the DE type filter. Doing this allows the filter to perform better and allow it to filter small particles. In about 1 day after adding the DE to the filter the pool water was sparkling clear. Yahoo !

To add the DE to the filter and hopefully have sparkling clear pool water do this:
Note: DE = Diatomaceous Earth. DE can be purchased at a pool supply store.

1. Clean and turn on the pump-filter system.
2. Get a plastic bucket or plastic pitcher.
3. Add a small amound of DE in the bucket (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup?)
4. Fill the bucket with water not letting the DE escape
5. Quickly rotate the bucket and place over the water inlet to the filter-pump
6. Leave a small crack between the bucket and side of the pool so that the inlet can pull water in from outside the bucket but no water (and DE) can get out into the pool. In about a minute all of the DE will be sucked into the filter and get caught there.
7. The DE should start trapping some of the fine particles and soon clear up the pool.
8. Take the filter out and wash it out with a spray hose and return filter and repeat process.

Good Luck

lorace Posted: Aug 13 '06,  3:14 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 277
Member since: Jun 5, 2001

moderator in Home & Garden
Post: 70213
RE: Cloudy Pool Water : How to make sparkling clear !


This was very interesting and I'm sure that your remedy will be helpful to those having problems with the water in their above-ground pools.

We suffered with much the same problem with our inground pool, using everything from shock, yellow-gone, green-away, what have you to no avail. Our water looked like green muck no matter what we did and we spent hundreds of dollars for nothing.

Someone told us what must be a well-kept secret, to pour 25 lbs of PadChem (which is really ground-up chlorine tabs) directly into our filter basket. We did. We were desperate. And in two days we had a blue pool. Then we merely had to use clarifier and the pool has been great ever since.

I hope this helps others. What happened is that the chemical went directly into our sand filter and cleaned it out, which was our problem all along.

Thanks, again, for your message. Here's to blue water!


marcusc1234 Posted: Jun 13 '07,  8:58 pm (Updated: Jun 13 '07,  8:58 pm)           Reply
Reviews written: 2
Member since: Aug 9, 2003

Post: 133885
RE: Cloudy Pool Water : How to make sparkling clear !

The problem with the Intex pools is that the filter media (especially the replacement filters)is not quality enough to filter the fine particles. Diatomataceous Earth really improves the filtering ability, thus clearing the water in most cases. There are some cases where more than just filtering may be needed. Chlorine is a must to first kill the algea or eliminate the growth of it.

lotusty Posted: Jul 26 '07,  5:52 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 26, 2007

Post: 142077
RE: Cloudy Pool Water : How to make sparkling clear !

I really really need to clear up my cloudy water also.
The water is balanced and I am constanly checking to make sure the clorine is appropriate but I cant get rid of the cloudiness.
We have a above ground easy set pool 16x32. I purchased the D.E but I don't understand how to use this with my filter type cartridge. Where do I put the D.E? Do I unplug the pump somehow and place it in the bucket of D.E?
I'm confused and desperate.


agrv8tor Posted: Aug 06 '07,  10:58 am           Reply
Reviews written: 1
Member since: Dec 28, 1999

Post: 144329
RE: Cloudy Pool Water : How to make sparkling clear !

You need to add it into the filter through the drain fitting in the side of the pool, or if you have a skimmer you can dump it directly into the skimmer. Don't use too much or it will completely clog the filter. You have to watch the return line to make sure it is returning water to the pool. If it stops or significantly slows you have to turn off the pump and clean or replace the cartridge.

molics Posted: May 02 '08,  5:15 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 5
Member since: May 2, 2008

Post: 183572
PcPool Pal

PC Pool Pal is a Step-by-Step guide to easy pool ownership that contains the top manufacturers most current operating manuals, web-links and instructional videos and todays hottest pool products. With this software you will get all your answers plus computerized water testing for about 19.95 at any pool spa website. If your new to a pool you have to get this cd.

poolproblem Posted: Jun 25 '08,  5:48 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jun 25, 2008

Post: 191026
Where to purchase?

I've been reading the responses with great interest. We have done everything possible to clear up our pool with no success. I have an Intex 16 x 48" pool. It is almost July and my kids have not been allowed in the pool due to chemical problems!

Do I purchase this (DE) at Lowes? Obviously I have never heard of this product and am a little leary to try it for fear I will mess the pool up more. I just re-read the first post that says to go to a pool supply store and purchase. Is this expensive?

In looking over the directions, the first poster says to do this a second time; is this the same day? The next day?

Do I need to wait until the pool clears before the kids can swim in it?


momofjets Posted: Jun 25 '08,  10:45 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jun 25, 2008

Post: 191066
RE: Where to purchase?

I just purchased some DE this morning. Call the different pool supply places in your area. One place was about $30 for a 25 pound bag and another was only $17 for the same stuff. We had tried to use some stuff that told us to leave out chlorine for a week to let it work like stain and scale and that is when our problem started with algae. We live near turkey houses and as would happen they decided to clean one out and the wind blew the right way and algae just bloomed. My DH has been trying to vacuum, filter for two weeks and we saw the idea to add DE to the cartridge filter, so we are trying it starting today. Be careful not to put too much as it will clog fast. The recommendation of 1/4 to 1/2 cup is correct, as this stuff has the consistency of a gritty flour feel when you mix it with water in a bucket. I like that it is also environmentally friendly after you use it. We have an above ground 18 x 4 vinyl pool so hopefully this will work. I will post and let you know how it is going.

irmx53 Posted: Jun 26 '08,  7:38 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jun 26, 2008

Post: 191153
RE: Cloudy Pool Water : How to make sparkling clear !

Where can I purchase PadChem. We have a sand filter and are having the same problem.

melisnisa Posted: Jul 09 '08,  5:26 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 9, 2008

Post: 192663
Cloudy/Milky pool water

I purchased a 15 ft x 42 in intex metal frame pool. After filling the pool the water was crystal clear, now I have water that looks much like a milk bath. I have tried shocking the pool, that didn't work. I took a sample into my local pool store and they tested it, all my numbers were well within the range they should of been. They recommended to use shock and use a clarifier, let the filter run for 3hrs then cshut it off over night and by morning the water should be clear and vacuum the particles off the bottom of the pool. After following their directions the next morning there was no change in the milk water. I have heard of DE, but have only heard of it being used in a sand filter. Can I use this in my cartridge filter or is there another idea to clear up my water? Please help

marcusc1234 Posted: Jul 09 '08,  9:45 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 2
Member since: Aug 9, 2003

Post: 192696
RE: Cloudy/Milky pool water

Cloudy water due to small particles in the water:

You will probably have "shock" the pool water with chlorine to kill the algae (shock means add more than usual or normal, the water may have too much chorine in it to swim for a day or two after doing this). You can do this with granular or liquid pool chlorine that you can get at a pool supply store. You can always ask them what to do and how much to add. If you go there, bring a sample of water and they will test it for you for free most likely. You might also buy a the smallest amount of DE they offer there and try adding it to your filter to help remove the small (cloudy) particles from the water. It doesn't take much.

Once the algea is "killed" by the chlorine, then you must filter the dead stuff out of there to clear the water. A good filter system will do it by itself. A cheaper above ground pool filter might need some help by adding the DE to coat the filter and make it catch the small algae particles instead of letting them pass through the filter. It may take a day or two to get the water clear again and you will have to clean it a few times by removing the filter and using a water spray hose to wash the crud off.

If the problem with your cloudy water is small particles, then the Diatomaceous Earth (DE)will most likely clear it up. If the particles settle to the bottom then you will have to find a way to get them to go through the filter by vacuuming them up or stirring up the water so that they get into the filter intake when the pump/filter is operating.
If you use the DE, try not to breathe the dust as a precaution. Find a way to get most or all of it into the pump/filter inlet. If you don't have a skimmer, I found a cup with a lid worked well by slowly filling it with water, putting the lid on loosely, holding it near the inlet and removing the lid so that the water/DE gets sucked into the inlet.
DE is a great filter additive and filters out the small particles sized as small as 1-5 microns. A standard cartridge filter only filters particles from 10 microns and larger for a quality filter.

There are some other factors that can cause water to be cloudy and I won't be much help for those conditions. My suggestion is to get your PH level into the ideal range (and chorine too to kill the algea). You probably already have the chorine level very high by adding the product that you mentioned. If your PH is high (base, opposite of acidic) then this can cause cloudy water as some of the minerals in the water are out of solution. Lowering the PH with acid or "PH minus" ganular powder may solve the problem in addition to the filter. Add 1/2 of what the directions suggest, wait a couple hours, and see if that brings the PH to the proper level. Add more if needed. Test kits to measure the chlorine and PH levels are about $10-15 dollars at your nearest pool store or Walmart. You probably have one already. Better yet, take a sample of water to your nearest pool store in a clean cup or container and they can test it for you and make suggestions of what to add (type and amount). Small 10 lb bags of DE will be available there also. For small pools, 1/4 or 1/2 cup is all that is necessary each filter cleaning.

When adding the DE, you might see a little come out the water return. If you see alot, then you may have a hole in your filter.

If you try let us know how it works

marcusc1234 Posted: Jul 09 '08,  10:06 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 2
Member since: Aug 9, 2003

Post: 192703
RE: Cloudy/Milky pool water

I have found that Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter additive works great in a cartidge filter.
It shouldn't harm the filter from my experience. Just rinse it off with a spray hose to clean the filter. Then add more to the clean filter. It doesn't take much. If you add too much then your filter pressure will rise and your water flow will be significantly reduced through the pump/filter.
For small pool cartidge filters, try adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup. If your flow reduces too much then you added too much. Clean filter and try again.
For large pool cartridge filters add about 1 coffee can amount.

As a precaution, avoid breathing the dry DE powder.


It is frustrating to have the pool setup and the kids can't go swimming bacause the water is all murky and cloudy.

DE worked well for me.

I also found that in small above ground pools, that if I kept a small floating chlorine dispenser in the pool with tablets all the time that it kept a constant chlorine level which really helped avoid the algea blooms. The minute you see a little green algea forming, get some extra chlorine in there. Once the algea blooms it is difficult to get filtered out, especially in the less expensive above ground pools and their filters. The DE added to the filter will significantly improve their small particle filtering capability.

If you try it, let us know if it works for you so the rest of us can learn.


pvreditor Posted: Jul 10 '08,  6:41 am           Reply
Reviews written: 427
Member since: May 31, 2002

moderator in Home & Garden, Cars, Musical Equipment
Post: 192722
RE: Cloudy/Milky pool water

Quote: marcusc1234

If you try it, let us know if it works for you so the rest of us can learn.

Excellent tips, Marcus... thanks!

melisnisa Posted: Jul 13 '08,  7:12 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 9, 2008

Post: 193735
RE: Cloudy/Milky pool water

Thanks for all the advice, but when I went to check the pool the next morning it was a little clearer so I left it alone and now my water is almost perfect. I just left the filter running and got in and stirred the water up cleaned the filter cartridge at least twice a day and it worked. Thanks again

ayeita Posted: Jul 18 '08,  9:29 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 18, 2008

Post: 195210
RE: Cloudy/Milky pool water

Ok, I am a little new at this pool thing but I think someone can explain this to me. I was given this pool (aqua leisure 18ft x 4ft) I don't have a vacuum for it and even if I did, I would have NO idea how to hook it up. I have a cartridge type pump.

Here are my pool levels.
TH= 100
FC = 1
ph = 7.2
TA = 180
CYA = 0

My water is now turning slightly green and is cloudy. It has been super hot the past few days and the pool has been used heavily by lots of kids. I have liquid chlorinator, clarifier,(is this the polymer I hear of?) ph minus, super shock it and chlorine tabs. I have already added algaecide, a shock treatment and changed filters. What else should I be doing? I see everyone discussing DE. I have not heard of this til now and was wondering where do I add it if i need to? Any and all help would be great!!

jettman0 Posted: Jul 18 '08,  2:24 pm (Updated: Jul 18 '08,  2:27 pm)           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Jul 18, 2008

Post: 195269
RE: Cloudy/Milky pool water

I too, am new to this pool thing, and see that I'll need to do a little homework on proper pH, chlorine, etc. My pool water is beginning to get cloudy as well. However, ayeita, you asked about diatomaceous earth. Read carefully the previous posts in this thread and you will see that a couple of posters have mentioned exactly where to put the DE. The DE is really just to help your existing cartridge out. The cartridge can only remove particles in the water down to a certain size. The cloudiness MIGHT be caused by particles that are so small that they go right through the cartridge. You carefully add the DE (sounds like about 1/4-1/2 a cup of dry DE, mixed with water, in a cup with a lid) to the suction side of the pump. The DE is sucked into the pump just like any other garbage and coats the cartridge. The coating will allow your cartridge to remove the cloudiness. As other posters mentioned, make sure your pHs and such are within ranges, and if you still have the cloudy water (which you obviously do) then try the DE That is what I'm going to do!

good luck

thebells4 Posted: Aug 26 '08,  5:06 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: Aug 26, 2008

Post: 199436
to help clean intex pools

After a long hot summer spending every day with the kids in the pool I found a helpful trick.I took a snorkel and stuck it in the discharge side of the pool,with the pump running and it created a mini fountain.So I took it a step further by attaching the snorkel to the suction end then sticking a garden hose in the snorkel.Make sure the hose isnt too long or the suction wont be good,I used the distance accross my pool.I then attached the hose to an old broom handle.I am able to vacume the bottom!Anyone who has these pools knows that the pumps are under powered and there is no vacume port.Try it!!Some of your cloudy water stories are because there is so much granular chlorine and other particles .If you can vacume before disturbing the bottom it will work to clear the water.I use bleach and baking soda now since the season is almost over.Good luck!!

londonlin Posted: May 03 '10,  8:29 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: May 3, 2010

Post: 255049
cloudy pool water

I took the advise on using the DE in my pool to get rid of the cloudiness. We tried everything up to this point. We put about 1 cup full in the skimmer, let the pool run 24 hours and what a blessing, the pool is clear. We are watching the chemicals to make sure all stay in check. We have a 12 x 24 oval above ground pool. If anyone ever has the cloudy pool problem as we did, please use the DE.

karen7762 Posted: May 27 '10,  9:32 am           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: May 27, 2010

Post: 256328
greenish pool but water is good???

I totally dont understand my pool. It is the intex 12x20ft above ground. I clean my ater everyday, and I mean everyday. The pollen was so bad there was a greenish layer on the water, on the edge of the pool, all over everything outside. Does this have anything to do with my water being greenish? I clean my filter everyday with a hose, I do my chemicals, my water smells and looks clean but it is a light greenish color. Two people told me about baking soda in my water, does this really work? How much do you use? I am pulling my hair out with this green water but I still swim in it everyday. The water itself seems to be ok, none of us has gotten sick, or rashes, or bites or anything! Any suggestions are very welcomed!

jlsergent Posted: May 27 '10,  5:46 pm           Reply
Reviews written: 0
Member since: May 27, 2010

Post: 256343
trying DE

I have an intex 18foot round. We left it up all year and this is the first summer we are opening it without beginning with clean water. Our chemicals are all balanced but water is cloudy. Got the DE and added it this evening. Hoping to see clear water soon! By the way, I had to go to two pool stores to get it. The first one never heard of it. He looked at me like I was stupid, but I think it was he who was stupid. The next place knew exactly what I was asking for.

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