Swimming Pool Water Quality - Trouble Shooting Guide

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This is a simple trouble shooting guide for the most common pool water quality problems.



  • Green water - Usually caused by an infestation of algae

  • Cloudy water - Usually occurs after poor chemical control or inadequate filtration.

    • Solution - Clean filter, check and if necessary adjust chemical levels (chlorine & pH). If problem persists use water clarifier or flocculant to assist filter in removing small particles. (It is dangerous to operate a pool if the bottom is not visible). - Buy Clarifiers and Flocculants

  • Chlorine levels will not stabilise or are lost rapidly. -  1) PH balance incorrect. 2) Chlorine stabiliser not present.

    • Solution - 1) Balance pH to 7.2 to 7.6 2) Use stabilised chlorine granules (Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate Dihydarate) 3) In spas consider the use of Bromine tablets which are more tolerant of pH swings. - Buy Stabilised Chlorine Granules

  • Low chlorine levels. - Unsatisfied chlorine demand in the water at start up, after holidays or due to excess contamination or neglect.

    • Solution - Shock dose pool with liquid shock or granules (Sodium Hypochlorite or Calcium Hypochlorite) and retest after 24-hours. If chlorine level is still low repeat shock treatment. Buy Chlorine Shock Granules


  • No colour change on Test Strip pads after being dipped into pool water -    1) If chlorine level is over 15mg/l (ppm) the colour on the pads can be 'bleached' out.
    2) If chlorine level is low the test strip colour will not change for the chlorine test.

    • Solution - Check expiry date on Test Strips.
      1) Wait for chlorine level to drop and retest. 2) Add chlorine. Buy Test strips

  • Foaming - 1)High levels of total dissolved solids, from treatment chemicals.
    2) Oils and grease from suntan cream, skin cells and body fats.

    • Solution - 1) Replace some of the pool or spa water with fresh towns mains water, and treat correctly. 2) Add a small dose of antifoam.  Buy Antifoam (No Foam)

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