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Clearing up a green pool


Nobody likes an in ground pool that isn’t crystal clear.  Which is odd:  Wouldn’t all of us rather be on a beach right now?  Ocean water isn’t clear and Shamu lives in there.  But we love that water all the same.  I digress…

Cleaning up green water is a chore.  There are many reasons why it happened (went out of town on vacation, remnants from over the winter, you binged an entire season of your favorite show on Netflix all week, or it just floated in your pool and populated rapidly) but most people will just shock their pool.  But before we zap your in ground pool, let’s make sure you’re preparing it for the best possible outcome, and spending the least amount of time and money in the process:


What are your readings?

If your pool is just being opened or you came back from vacation and your pool is green, chances are algae is just part of your problem.  Most pool owners have a salt system or an in-line chlorine feeder that is continuously feeding chlorine into your pool.  Maybe your salt levels got too low or your tablets ran out.  However, if your pH and/or alkalinity is far from ideal, your sanitizer may have lost too much of its effectiveness and have allowed algae to form and populate.

If that is the case, it may behoove you to balance your pH/alkalinity first to maximize the effects of your pending shock treatment.

Liquid shock is a great product to destroy algae, and quickly.


Do I shock immediately, and how much?

When you have an outbreak of algae in your in ground pool, superchlorinating usually is the first step in controlling and killing algae.  But most people either under-shock their pool or do not put their shock treatment in the right position to kill all the algae.

Lightly brushing the pool wall and pool floor is great for maximizing the effectiveness of your shock.  Algae has microscopic roots that can make footholds into your pool’s surfaces and brushing it away not only pulls it up by its roots but also exposes more surface area of the algae.   The more surface area exposed, the more it can be killed.  Vacuuming up algae isn’t recommended, as you are not killing the algae and are placing it in the filter, helping it repopulate.

Green pools usually have three to five times the normal amount of algae in the water.  Think:  If you normally use one pound of dry powder or one gallon of liquid under regular circumstances, using the same amount in this scenario will not suffice.   Make sure you are using the correct amount of shock to eliminate the eyesore- in this case, three to five pounds/gallons of shock to clear up the pool.  I find it’s better to add the shock to the deep end of the pool (near a return jet) as that is where the majority of the water is.  Shocking your in ground pool at night helps too, as the sun won’t burn off the chemical and the overnight hours allow for the chemical to work without people swimming, delaying or hindering the product and its results.


Is that it?

Algaecides are great for helping an in ground pool overcome an outbreak of algae as well as keeping your pool free of algae.  Green, black, brown, pink and mustard are colors of algaes that may form in your pool.  We offer algaecides that are specially formulated to attack these specific algae forms.  Click here for our algaecides we offer.   In rare cases, a stringy, snotty (gross!) white algae can infest your pool.  It’s actually a white water mold.  A silver-based algaecide is the best weapon against this nuisance.

If you have a high level of phosphates in your pool you may need to correct that first prior to shocking.  Phosphates serve as a fuel source of the algae in your pool and may diminish the effects of your shock/algaecide.  Have your phosphates tested by a professional first, and adjust levels if necessary.  Phosphate reduction may require treatment over several days and vacuuming (the nature of a phosphate remover is to drop phosphates to the pool floor, requiring you to vacuum to waste).


We can help

We always offer free water testing in our showroom.  Simply bring in 12oz of fresh water and our showroom employees will have a complete analysis in moments.  Or you can email us any water chemistry questions at  Or you can call us at 314.821.6660 for advice.

Happy swimming and good luck moving forward.

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