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Can Too Much Chlorine Make Pool Water Cloudy?

Cloudy Swimming Pool

It’s a common mistake. You over-do the chlorine, the next thing you know your pool water has turned cloudy! So how do you know if too much chlorine has resulted in the pool water clouding or some other reason? And once you discover the cause of cloudy pool water, how do you remedy it?

Firstly, yes, too much chlorine can make pool water cloudy. That’s because any imbalance in the pool water chemicals can cause pool water to turn cloudy. Along with too much chlorine and other sanitisers, this also includes high pH, high calcium hardness and high alkalinity.

Why does too much chlorine make pool water cloudy?

Any chemical imbalance in the pool water could turn your pool water cloudy. This is true for too much chlorine and other sanitisers. Chlorine makes your pool safe to swim. It kills bacteria and disinfects the water. Although usually a lack of chlorination more typically results in a cloudy pool, it does happen that too much chlorine will also turn a pool cloudy.

When too much chlorine is added to the pool water, calcium can solidify into calcium carbonate. The solid microparticles of the calcium carbonate cause the water to cloud.

How do you know that too much chlorine has turned pool water cloudy

You can’t know 100% that too much chlorine is the actual cause of the cloudy pool water, so the best way to check it will be a process of elimination. The simplest way to know if you have too much chlorine is to use a water testing kit to test the pool water chemicals.

The ideal reading for Free Chlorine is 1-3ppm. If your reading is too high continue reading for how to decrease the level of chlorine in your pool.

If you have a saltwater pool and it’s cloudy, we have an article with reasons your salt pool is cloudy.

How to fix cloudy pool water when you have added too much chlorine

So your water test results show your chlorine levels are too high. Your pool is cloudy and oh yeah, you remember you really did overdo it on the chlorine two days ago. All results point to high levels of chlorine as the reason your pool water has turned an unattractive cloud-like liquid. How do you fix it?

Step 1: Depending on how severe the over chlorination is, the easiest solution is to stop adding chlorine for a day or so and then retest the water.

Step 2: Uncover your pool if you use a pool cover and let nature’s sunshine do its job. Sunlight naturally uses up the chlorine. Within a few hours, the chlorine levels should have returned to normal. Usually, the cloudy water will also resolve with continued filtration and the above steps.

Step 3: However, if the chlorine level is really high, you may need to add a Neutraliser to the water.

We recommend this Neutraliser on Amazon for its effectiveness and high buyer rating.

For more on too much chlorine in the pool, read our in-depth article on Too Much Chlorine In The Pool: The Dangers and How To Lower.

As this article is about too much chlorine being the cause of a cloudy pool, we’ve discussed how to fix only this imbalance. But after reading this you suspect another cause, you can find out more in this article on how to remedy cloudy pool water.

So now you have the correct level of chlorination but the pool is still cloudy.

Step 4: Now you can continue to fix the cloudy water. You can add Clarifier and/or Flocculents, in the correct dosage, to bond the microparticles. This will allow the particles causing your cloudy pool to become big enough to filter (Clarifier) or heavy enough to sink (Flocculent) to the bottom of the pool to be vacuumed.

We recommend this Clarifier and this Flocculent.

Step 5: If you use Flocculent, you will want to vacuum to waste (also known as backwash) when collecting the bound particles at the bottom of the pool or else they may end up back in your pool water.

What else makes pool water cloudy?

There are many reasons your pool water can turn cloudy. And it can happy suddenly! We’ve looked here at how too much chlorine can turn your pool water cloudy but there are many more possible causes.

Chemical Imbalance: As briefly mentioned at the beginning of this article, any chemical imbalance in the water can cause a cloudy pool. Our recommendation is to test your pool water regularly. That way you can spot an imbalance when it happens and remedy the problem right away.

Environmental Factors: The other factors that can contribute to cloudy pool water are the environment. Such as algae, people, rain, garden debris, sunshine and even near-by construction work resulting in dirt being blown into your pool water.

Underperforming Filter: And finally, your filter. A filter that is underperforming will result in cloudy pool water. To ensure you get the maximum benefit of your filter, here are some quick tips:

  • Run your filter for at least 8-10 hours a day.
  • Clean your filter.
  • Keep your filter medium topped up for sand and Diatomaceous Earth (DE).

In Summary

Man floating in the pool

Check your chlorine level. If your chlorine is too high, bring it back down by letting sunshine use up the chlorine. If it’s far too high then consider using a Neutraliser. Follow with Clarifier and/or Flocculent to bind the microparticles which cause pool water to cloud. Depending on your choice of bonding chemical you will then need to filter and vacuum your pool.

We hope these steps will help you to once again enjoy clear pool water you can be proud of.

Recommended Products

Chlorine Neutraliser

Pool Water Clarifier

Pool Water Flocculent

Water Test Strips

Water Liquid Test Kit

Swimming Pool Filter Sand Replacement

Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filtering Media Replacement

Do you want to reduce your pool cleaning time? Read our guide How To Clean A Pool: A Time Saving Guide.

1 thought on “Can Too Much Chlorine Make Pool Water Cloudy?”

  1. I just put up a brand new 6,450 gallon pool this past weekend. The water was crystal clear until I added the calcium, then it got super cloudy.
    I was able to balance it and all levels returned to normal except for the total chlorine. The total chlorine is showing almost zero, Yet the free chlorine is fine. The water is not very cloudy unless you step into it… the water almost feels slimy when you’re in it and you can almost feel chemicals swirling around your legs, which is disgusting. I’m brand new to pool maintenance and could use some help! Do I need to just keep adding more chlorine? (I’ve already shocked the pool several times).


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