How to Get the Best Color from Your Pool Water


When your swimming pool was brand new, your pool water probably looked pristine. That's because your pool surface was unblemished, had not faded and was brand spanking new. Bacteria, algae and scum had not yet had an opportunity to take residence and skew your pool water color. Sadly, the longer you've had your pool, the more likely you are to have complaints about the color of your pool water. Here are three tips to revive and refresh your pool water color.

1. Adjust Your Water pH and Alkalinity

If your pool water is not "balanced," your water color will be off. Unbalanced water becomes corrosive and encourages scaling. While it looks and sounds complex, you need not have a PhD in Chemistry to balance your pH, etc. Grab your water test kit and adjust until you see these measurements:

  • pH between 7.2 and 7.8

  • Alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm

  • Calcium between 180 and 220 ppm

  • Cyanuric acid between 30 and 50 ppm

  • Chlorine between 1 and 3 ppm

Yes, it's science. But it's not rocket science!

2. Shock It

If your pool water isn't just "off" but has transformed into a liquid so appalling you dare not even dip your toe in, it's time to bust out the big gun: Chlorine shock. As you're probably aware, this is something you can purchase at any pool supply store. As a rule of thumb, here's how much to dump in:

  • For light green or teal-colored water, add two pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water.

  • For dark green water, add three pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water.

  • For blackish-green-colored water, add four pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water.

  • To clear up cloudy blue water left behind after effective shock treatment, run your pool pump until your ideal water color returns.

Tweak Your Pool's Surroundings

By far, the biggest factors affecting the color of your pool water are the color, finish and condition of the pool itself. Over time, the color of concrete and vinyl-liner pools degrade due to fading from sunlight and exposure to minerals and metals in the water. (Fiberglass pools aren't subject to those problems. The color of fiberglass is permanent, meaning well-balanced pool water in a fiberglass pool will always retain its original color.

While you can't prevent concrete and vinyl from degrading, you can make changes around your pool to improve the color of your pool water. Sun exposure impacts water color. Experiment by adding tall potted trees or screened enclosures to see if they change the water color. The colors surrounding your pool also affect water color, so staining your deck or fencing or even repainting your home could improve the look of your pool water. Adding a water feature will create movement in the water, which also will affect water color.

A swimming pool or hot tub is an asset to any home - unless, that is, the water in that swimming pool or hot tub is murky or discolored. Taking a dip in a sparkling pool is refreshing. Diving into a pool whose water looks odd is less appealing. If you've exhausted all efforts to bring your pool water back to the pristine blue you used to enjoy, the problem may be the pool itself. Pools and hot tubs don't last forever. If you suspect it's time to replace yours, contact us for expert advice.