How to Remove Algae from an Above-Ground Pool

Construction & Contractors Articles

If you own an above-ground swimming pool, you are probably familiar with the sickly green water that appears any time there is an algae bloom. Algae can be a frustration for pool owners and difficult to combat. However, it is important to understand that removing algae from an above-ground pool does not need to be difficult as long as proper cleaning procedures are followed. Below is a step-by-step procedure for removing the green, murky appearance and restoring the crystal-clear water of an inviting pool:

What you will need

  • granulated chlorine

  • granulated sodium bisulfate

  • pool water testing kit

  • five-gallon bucket

  • scoop

  • filter-cleaning tool

  • garden hose

  • pool brush and pole

Step-by-step procedure

1. Loosen algae from pool walls and floor—The first step in removing algae from your pool is to mechanically loosen the algae from its inside surfaces. Loosening the algae will enable your filter to clean out much of the algae in advance of shocking and speed up the cleaning process.

To loosen the algae, scrub the walls and floor of your pool using a brush mounted to a telescoping pole. Be sure to choose a brush that is appropriate for the interior surface of an above-ground pool and avoid brushes that might scratch or scuff your pool's material.

2. Filter the pool to remove loose algae—After loosening the algae with the brush, operate the pool filter for 12 hours so it can remove the loose particles from the water. Once 12 hours have passed, shut off the filter and remove the cartridge. Clean out the cartridge by rinsing it in clean water from your garden hose and use a filter-cleaning tool to strip the pleats of trapped algae debris. The cleaner you can make the filter, the more efficiently the filter will remove particles from the water.

3. Measure the pH of the pool and adjust it downward—For the chlorine shocking process to work at an optimal level, the pH of the water should be in a slightly acidic range, between 7.0 and 7.5. To determine the pH, use a pool water testing kit and determine if your water is sufficiently acidic; in many cases, the pH of an algae-infested pool will be elevated into the alkaline range.

To lower the pH, you can use sodium bisulfate granules, also known as "dry acid." Consult the manufacturer's directions regarding how much sodium bisulfate to use; this calculation is based on your pool's pH and gallon capacity. Next, mix the specified amount of granules in a five-gallon bucket with clean water until the granules dissolve. Pour the mixture into the pool along the sides, then stir the water by sweeping the bottom of the pool with the brush. Allow the pool to sit with the filter continuing to run and measure the pH level after a few hours. Once the pH reaches the desired range between 7.0 and 7.5, you can proceed to the next step. Should the water still remain too alkaline, repeat the above process of adding dissolving sodium bisulfate until it lowers into the acidic range.

4. Shock the pool to kill algae—After the pool has attained the necessary pH level, it is time to shock it using chlorine granules. For an average algae bloom with murky, green water, you need to disperse three pounds of chlorine granules for every 10,000 gallons across the surface of the pool with a scoop. If the water color is merely a faint green shade, then two pounds will be sufficient; conversely, for water that appears nearly black, you need to add four pounds of granules per 10,000 gallons of water. If possible, add the granules in the evening after sunset, since sunlight will remove the chlorine from the water. Continue running the filter to maintain water circulation and to strip dead algae cells from the water.

5. Clean the filter and monitor the water—After the filter has run overnight, clean the cartridge again using the instructions in step 2. Operate the filter continuously, only pausing to clean it every 12 hours to remove accumulated algae debris. Within 24 to 36 hours, the pool water should transition from green to grayish-blue to clear as long as you continue to clean the filter.

For further tips, look for swimming pool contractors in Redmond, WA, or in your local area.

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5 May 2016

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