I Have Green Pool Water – The Challenge


This past winter I didn’t do much in the way of pool maintenance.

So what? So now I have green pool water. That’s what. This is the third year we’ve lived in our house. The first year was really all about learning how to maintain a pool and keeping up with the pool chemicals. I did pretty well, too. Last year we enjoyed a full season of crystal clear water. Green pool water happened quickly and came as a surprise.

I only had one period when there was something called mustard algae growing in it. I guess they call it that because of it’s yellow color. I found a product called Yellow Out and after three days the algae in the pool was a thing of the past. Back to crystal blue water. (Yellow Out links on this page are NOT affiliate links. I only link to products I like and use or have used, even when there is no commission involved.)

Day 1 – This year I get to learn to clean up green pool water

green pool water from algaeMarch 24, 2012: The top picture was taken yesterday. As I go through this whole process, I’ll be taking more pictures and will posting my progress as I go along. So yesterday I cleaned the pool filters. I have a Hayward canister type filter system, so that was a simple matter of taking the filters to the car wash and hosing them down. I put the filters back in and started up the pump and set it for 24 hours (constant) filtration. I tossed in several pool chemicals like acid to bring the ph down and some soda ash to get the alkalinity up… and my last two chlorine tabs.

Day 2 – Note To Self: Do Regular Pool Maintenance

cleaning green algae from pool waterMarch 25, 2012: Today I bought some shock and a 35 pound bucket of chlorine tabs. I got a couple of free one pound shock bags and tossed one directly into the water. I don’t think I’m too concerned yet what the chemical balance is yet, but I know the chlorine and free chlorine levels are pretty low so I felt okay with just adding it in at this point.

The green pool water is still milky and very green, no noticeable change yet. I also netted as much of the small stuff that was floating around as I could too and ran my vacuum for about 4 hours. I have a Hayward Pool Vac Ultra. Love it. The plan tomorrow is to figure out which chemical will coagulate the dead algae so the filters will catch it. The green pool water turned into lime-green pool water.

Day 3: Looks Like A Well Maintained Pool Already!

green pool water almost goneMarch 26, 2012; Wow! Last night I went ahead and added 2 more pounds of shock since it seemed to be helping. This morning I walked out to this! the water is still milky looking, but I can see the bottom and the water is blue.

I checked the filter housing and learned that the pressure went up about 11 pounds. The filters are obviously doing a good job again. I’ll need to clean them in the next couple of days – right away. I am amazed that all it took was pool shock therapy 🙂 to get the green pool water to a pleasant blue again.

There are products that are designed to “grab” the inert materials that are making the water milky looking to help the filters catch it, so that will be the next task…probably right before cleaning the filters again. Technically it’s still pretty dirty, but I can see that green pool water can be cleaned easily with just a bit of attention. I ran my Hayward Pool Vac Ultra automatic pool vacuum for about 4 hours again today.

Clean And Ready To Swim In – No More Green Pool Water!

blue water after cleanup of algae in waterMarch 27, 2012; This morning I brushed all the walls and floor of the pool as good as I could. It seemed like I did stir up a lot of white stuff, I guess what’s left of the green algae. I used a product called Ultra Brite as well to help the filters catch the particles. A quick check of the chemicals tells me the chlorine level is a little high, but I think I’ll be swimming very soon. 🙂

So, green pool water isn’t horrible and it took 4 days of attention for about an hour per day to get this pool ready to swim in.

Sorry this post isn’t more spectacular…but that’s good news, right?

Here’s the Yellow Out YouTube promotional video. They aren’t paying me to post it for them, I just like their product.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I have the *same* problem, only my chlorine and ph were both pretty much ideal…I shocked the crap out of it and poured in a lot of algacide, but the algae isn’t falling dead to the bottom of the pool. The only thing that seems to help is running the filter 24 hours a day, and cleaning the cartridge every day. Almost seems like it’s some kind of radiation mutated chlorine resistant algae. Weird and yucky.

  2. It’s hard to say what may be going on without testing the pool water. Most pool supply stores will test your water for free. Just bring them a pool water sample in a clean jar. They will tell you what you need to do to get it right again. Of course, they want to sell you whatever the remedy is for your pool water…Hope this helps and good luck with that weird and yucky stuff 🙂

  3. This is from one of YourDallasHandyman’s Portugese speaking reader’s (I have only limited understanding of what it actually says, but it seems helpful!) – primeiro meu amigo vc tem de conferir a alcalindade total para saber em quanto ta e acerta ela colocar entre 100 a 120 ppm a sim sua agua vai para com estes problemas que vc ta tendo depois acerta o ph dela e fazer os tratamentos com produtos bom de otima marca e usar sempre um cloro 60% tem muitos baratos mas e 30% e 40% este cloro e fraco e vai esverdear mesmo faça o tratamento e boa sorte

  4. I had a routine that I used to hand out to pool customers. It consisted of a 7-day schedule. 1. Pick a day that you will shock’ your pool. That is Day 1 and Sunday was always a good day, since people have weekends off and the pool would probably have had a lot of use. At the end of the day, test your pool water. If you have NO chlorine residual, add 2oz of granular chlorine to your pool for every 1,000 gallons of water in your pool. IF you have 1ppm or more, then add only 1oz of granular per 1,000 gallons. Apply as the directions tell you. Please check your chemical container to be 100% sure of the exact requirement for shocking’. Day 2 Test your pool water, if the chlorine is below 1ppm add 1oz granular per 1,000 gallons.Day 4 Test your pool water, if the chlorine is below 1ppm Start all over at Day 1 and now your schedule has shifted. Day 6 Test your pool water, if the chlorine is below 1ppm add 1oz granular per 1,000 gallons.This system also assumes that your are using Chlorine, for one and Chlorinating tablets in a chlorinator or floating device. Recommendations: Always add chemicals to water. DO NOT add water to chemicals. Wear protective safety equipment. Really, just a few seconds to avoid permanent damage. Avoid allowing any granular chlorine to settle on the bottom if you have a vinyl liner, it will bleach or stain.

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