How to Keep Your Above-Ground Pool Crystal Clear


Owning an above-ground swimming pool makes it convenient to relax in the water whenever you want, but owning a pool means maintaining it. Unbalanced chemicals, algae and broken drain filters all cause pool water to become cloudy. Fortunately, it's not difficult to determine the cause of cloudy water. Checking your pool regularly keeps the water in your pool crystal clear throughout the swimming season.

Things You'll Need

  • Leaf net
  • Pool vacuum
  • Water test kit
  • pH increaser or pH decreaser
  • TA increaser or TA decreaser
  • Calcium hardness test stripes
  • Calcium chloride
  • Algaecide
  • Shock treatment kit
  • Replacement drain filters
  • Use a leaf net to clean out any debris in your pool every day. Alternatively, electric pool skimmers float across the top of the pool and clean the water for you.

  • Use a pool vacuum to clean the algae buildup on the bottom of the pool at least once per day.

  • Use a water testing kit to check the chemical levels in your pool. Determine whether the pH level and TA levels meet the recommends levels for above-ground pools. According to, you should have a hydrogen (pH) level of seven and a total alkaline (TA) level between 125 to 170 parts per million (ppm.) Test these chemical levels at least one a week.

  • Add the proper chemicals to the water to maintain the chemical balance. If your pH level was low, add a pH increaser. For a high pH level, add a pH decreaser. To balance the TA level, use a TA increaser for low levels or a TA decreaser for high levels.

  • Use test strips to determine if your calcium hardness level meets the recommended required for an above-ground pool. According to, your calcium hardness level should stay between 200 to 400 ppm. If you have a level below 200, add calcium chloride to the water. For a high level, replace part of the water in the pool with clean, fresh water. Let it sit for 24 hours, and retest the calcium hardness. Continue the process until the calcium hardness level lowers. Test the water at least once per week to maintain proper levels.

  • Mix algaecide into the water. Algaecide deters algae growth. The amount and how frequent you need to add algaecide depends on the amount of water in your pool, so it's important to follow the directions on the bottle.

  • Shock-treat your pool. Use your water test kit to determine the need for a shock treatment. If your water tests 2 ppm or more above the level on your kit, your pool doesn't have enough chlorine in it. Follow the directions on the shock treatment kit to shock-treat your pool as needed. Test the levels at least once per week; however, smaller pools need to be shocked more frequently than larger pools.

  • Check your drain filters regularly. Checking the drain filters each time you test the water makes it easy to remember. If your drain filter has a rip or hole in it, replace it immediately.


  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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