Your pool should be an oasis of sparkling aquamarine water. So what’s happening when it starts to form a green haze? When your water turns murky, algae is the likely culprit. While algae isn’t toxic to humans or pets, it will damage your pool equipment and throw off your pH balance. Learn some simple steps to keep this plant organism in check and combat algae.
We often think of algae in marshes, ponds, or lakes. But this tough little microbe can thrive in any water source. Like most plants, algae gets its energy from the sun. It can form as a cloudy bloom drifting under the water, a film floating on the surface, or a scum that attaches to hard surfaces.
Algae is more than just an eyesore – it’s a maintenance problem. Once it makes a home in your pool, it will:
- Clog filters
- Create poor circulation
- Decrease chlorine effectiveness
- Increase water lost during backwashing
You’ll also need to take a hard brush to everything that algae has touched! Wouldn’t you rather be swimming in your pool rather than scrubbing it?
Stay Ahead of Algae
Algae spores reproduce quickly, though it takes millions of them to clump together before they are visible to the naked eye. That means algae is growing long before that green “pond” film shows up.
Your first hint of an algae problem is your water will look discolored. It just won’t have that crystal blue look anymore. It could have a faint green tinge, but that’s not always a good indication.
You might also see dirt spots on your pool floor or walls. You might mistake these for grime if they’re black or sand if they’re yellow-brown, but that’s definitely algae.
Algae isn’t impossible to get rid of, but it will take some effort. Thankfully, you can treat algae without draining your pool. These seven steps will have your water clean in no time:
1) Manually vacuum. Be sure to use the vacuum-to-waste option, which bypasses your filter. This sucks the water straight out of your pool rather than recirculating it, which would only put algae right back in.
2) Brush thoroughly. It’s not a fun chore, but don’t skip this step. You need to dislodge the algae from your pool sides, stairs, crevices, openings, and cracks.
3) Balance the water. Pay special attention to pH and alkalinity. If they are off, they’ll lower the effectiveness of this next step.
4) Shock the pool. Use the package instructions and then multiply by two. By doubling the chemicals, you can blast out the algae. You’ll actually start to see white particles as the algae dies. Don’t be alarmed if your pool looks worse before it gets better.
5) Run the filter continuously. Once the algae is dead, turn on the filter to pull everything out of the water. Run for at least 8 hours. You might have to change your filter timer temporarily, especially if you normally turn it on at night or only run it during certain hours.
6) Retest water. Make sure the chlorine is balanced, especially since you just shocked it. Remember we offer free water testing!
7) Clean the filter. Your filter had to work overtime to catch all that dead algae. Soak it in a filter cleaner, which will bind to any leftover algae and prevent it from recirculating.
Want to prevent all this hassle? Keep your water balanced. Chlorine does a great job at killing algae, but sometimes it can get overwhelmed. Always use an algaecide, which will prevent algae from forming in the first place. It’s a simple chemical treatment that saves you time and money.