Even the most discerning pool owner can end up with a green pool from time to time. Pool chemistry is tricky, and you're consistently battling nature. A long vacation, unexpected weather, foreign debris, and many other factors can cause algae to grow in your pool. While there's no immediate fix for a green pool, you can quickly handle it in about a week. New pool owners may not do this properly, which is why so many of them share the same complaint: it takes weeks to fix a green pool. If it takes a few weeks, you're probably doing it wrong. Check out our quick guide for getting your pool clean and clear ASAP.
1. Skim Debris
Your first moves should be to skim the pool and empty the filter basket to prepare your pool for a full day of filtering.
2. Clean the Filter
Cleaning your filter thoroughly should be the very first thing you do. A dirty filter will just spit debris back into the water. The filter will get dirty quicker than usual, which is why you want to start with a freshly cleaned filter. Even if you cleaned it recently, begin with a blank slate.
3. Run the Filter
Run the filter for a full 24 hours before getting started. You will likely have to clean the filter immediately afterwards. It’s worth doing, to ensure that the filter is completely free from the algae.
4. Test the Water
Algae build-up is often a sign of a chemical imbalance in the pool. Proper pH levels prevent algae from forming or growing enough to turn the pool green. However, as stated above, some elements can mess with your pH allowing algae to grow.
5. Ready the Chemistry
You normally want your pH balanced, but if the pool is already green then you need to go about it differently. After testing the water, determine if you need an acid or base to bring the water to 7.8 pH.
6. Vacuum the Pool
Vacuuming will help you see through the water a little better, and it will simplify the next step. You’ll likely need to vacuum again when this is all done, but it will speed up the process if you still do it beforehand.
7. Scrub the Pool
Using a brush, scrub all areas of the pool. The algae can stick to ladders, steps and walls. It’s important to break this up and release it back into the water. Doing this will remove the slimy film on the pool. Moreover, the algae will break up and react to the chemicals better.
8. Shock the Pool
The level of shock you need depends on the severity of your algae problem. For a light green pool, you want to double the amount of shock you normally use. For a bright green pool, use triple the amount, and for a dark green pool, quadruple it. Make sure you shock the pool at night time so you don’t lose any chemicals to the sun.
9. Wait and Retest
Let the shock work for the next day or two. Once the water clears up, it may still look cloudy. Re-test the water to check chlorine levels.
10. Add Algaecide
Once the chlorine levels are at 5.0, add algaecide to the water. Add exactly as much as the bottle recommends for your pool size. The algaecide will need to sit for 24 hours to work.
11. Vacuum & Swim
When the algae dies it will float to the bottom and sides. Use the brush to clean the walls one more time and skim the pool. Then vacuum the pool and get ready to swim. It may look cloudy for another day or two, but the algae is gone and the pool is ready!