Walking out to your pool on a hot summer day only to discover that the water is murky is disappointing, to say the least. Not only is your relaxing day in the water ruined, but now you have a green pool to contend with. Discover how to get rid of algae in pools using several remedies and ways to prevent further problems.
There are many causes for algae growth in your swimming pool, and when the temperature is just right, green algae seems to grow almost overnight.
What was once a shimmering pool of clean water is now unswimmable, and it’s vital to take care of the problem right away to stop it from getting worse.
There are four types of algae, from mustard algae and black algae to pink algae and green algae. While several treatments are often necessary to kill algae, there are ways to prevent it with regular swimming pool maintenance.
- Ways to Get Rid of Pool Algae and Prevent It from Returning
- What Causes a Swimming Pool to Turn Green?
- Getting Rid of Algae by Adjusting the Water pH
- How to Get Rid of Algae in Pools with a Shock Treatment
- Removing Living Algae with a Flocculant
- Using an Algaecide to Prevent Green Pool Water
- Getting Rid of Pool Algae by Removing Phosphates
- How to Kill Algae in a Swimming Pool by Backwashing
- Ways to Prevent Swimming Pool Algae
Ways to Get Rid of Pool Algae and Prevent It from Returning
The swimming pool is meant to be a fun and relaxing part of your yard, but not if there is algae bloom floating on the pool surface. Here are steps to take for effective swimming pool maintenance, eliminate algae from your pool, and ways to stop it from occurring in the future.
What Causes a Swimming Pool to Turn Green?
Algae growth causes the pool and water to turn color, from green or black to yellow or pink, depending on the type. Unfortunately, it is a problem in both swimming and salt water pools.
To know how to kill algae in a swimming pool, it’s a good idea to understand what exactly causes algae to grow in the water in the first place.
A swimming pool turns color because of algae growth and is often the result of not enough chlorine in the water.
While the color ranges, depending on the type of algae, the most common is green algae, a slimy substance that forms in 24-hours and is first noticeable on the pool’s stairs or corners.
Mustard or yellow algae are brown or muddy yellow and don’t spread as fast as green algae but are more difficult to kill. Pink algae are a red-orange slime that is the easiest to kill and control.
Finally, there are black algae that you normally see in lakes and ponds but sometimes form in unmaintained pools. This type is one of the worst since it penetrates the pool material and forms a protective layer around itself.
Although you can clean a green pool with bleach, there are better ways. Read on to find out how.
Getting Rid of Algae by Adjusting the Water pH
An important first step to getting rid of algae is testing and adjusting the water pH in your swimming pool. The water pH changes over time with the weather and other conditions, causing algae to bloom, and it’s essential to adjust it accordingly.
Purchase a test kit from your local swimming supply store or online and test your pool water at least once each week, and more often when it rains and with frequent use.
Take a water sample from 12 to 18 inches below the water surface and test it for calcium, alkalinity, and sanitizer. A good range for calcium hardness is 200 to 400 ppm, with an alkaline level of 80 to 120 ppm and a chlorine level of 3 ppm.
Adjust the pH level, so it falls between 7.4 and 7.6 ppm by adding soda ash to increase and stabilize it or muriatic acid to lower it.
How to Get Rid of Algae in Pools with a Shock Treatment
The most efficient way to get algae out of pool is to use a chlorine shock product if the water is green. While large doses and several treatments are often required, shocking your pool raises the free chlorine level and destroys algae.
First, test the water with a kit to ensure it is at the correct pH level. Turn on the filter and pump, allow the water to circulate, and read the instructions for your pool shock product.
Pour the recommended amount into the center of the pool and let the pump system run overnight while the treatment kills the algae. Check the water in the morning to see if it is clear or still murky.
If the algae are still present, repeat the steps with more pool shock. Test the water’s free available chlorine level and make sure it falls between 1 and 4 ppm before slipping on swimsuits and jumping into the pool.
Removing Living Algae with a Flocculant
Another method of getting rid of algae from your pool is to use a flocculant. While this technique takes a little more work than using a shock treatment, your pool is ready for swimming in 24-hours.
Test the water and make sure the pH is about 7.0 so the sanitizer continues doing its job while you treat the water and raise the water level to prevent it from dropping below the filter while vacuuming.
Follow the directions on your bottle of flocculant and dilute it in a bucket. Pour the liquid around the inside edges of the pool and run the pump for a couple of hours.
Set the filter valve to waste, turn the pump off for eight hours, and then vacuum the pool to remove the clumps of algae and get algae off the bottom of your pool.
Using an Algaecide to Prevent Green Pool Water
While algaecide does kill algae, it works better as a preventative. It doesn’t alter the water’s pH and works well with a sanitizer to keep the water balanced and stop algae growth.
Choose the proper algaecide for the algae type in your pool and follow the instructions for measurements and use. Pour the liquid over different areas of the pool while the pump is running to kill pink algae on pool walls and bottom.
Let it sit for about 24-hours, and use a pool vacuum to remove the dead algae from the water. Repeat the treatment if there is still live algae present.
Some people employ vinegar for pool algae removal, like using vinegar to clean hot tub pipes. However, it’s important to test the water after adding vinegar to maintain proper pool chemical ratios.
Getting Rid of Pool Algae by Removing Phosphates
Water often contains nutrients, such as phosphate, that algae feed off of, and it’s important to test the water with a kit and use a phosphate remover to kill and prevent algae growth.
Purchase a commercial strength phosphate remover from your local pool supply store and follow the container’s directions.
Add the remover to the pool and let it circulate for about one hour. The water appears milky after adding the solution. However, this is normal and disappears after circulation.
How to Kill Algae in a Swimming Pool by Backwashing
After taking the proper measures to treat pool algae, the next step is to clean the filter to remove dead algae and ensure it runs efficiently to keep your pool water clean. Here is how to kill algae in a swimming pool by backwashing the filter.
Swimming Pool Backwash
Backwashing is different for varying filter types, so make sure to read the instructions for your pump. If your swimming pool has a DE filter, turn the pump off and turn the valve to the backwash setting.
Turn the pump back on until the view glass of the filter is clear. Turn the pump off, discard the DE in the trash, and release the valve on the top of the filter to drain it.
Ways to Prevent Swimming Pool Algae
No one wants to spend their summer-time cleaning and treating a swimming pool of murky or green water. Here are several easy ways to maintain your pool and prevent algae growth from occurring.
Ensure that the pool pump is working properly, and clean or replace the filter twice a year. Stagnant water or a pool with poor circulation and clogged filters encourage bacteria and algae to grow.
Make sure to test the pool water once or twice a week, after each rainfall, and heavy use to maintain the water balance.
Empty the skimmer basket as needed, and use a pool brush to clean the bottom of the pool and pool walls and remove debris by vacuuming weekly.
Maintain the water chemistry by using a clarifier, chlorine pool cleaner with cyanuric acid, and algae preventer regularly to help your swimming pool run effectively and halt algae growth. Treat the pool with shock treatment at the first sign of an algae problem.
Pool owners are the first to say that prevention is vital for having an algae-free swimming pool. However, there are times when algae growth gets out of hand. Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate algae by using pool chemicals and maintaining proper chlorine levels.
Now that you understand how to get rid of algae in pools so that you get to enjoy afternoons of swimming throughout the summer, why not share our pool algae cleaning guide and prevention tips with your circle of friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook?