Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

How to Clear Up a Green Pool


If your above ground or in-ground swimming pool has turned green you will need to learn how to clear up a green pool. You will need some liquid or powered pool shock. You will also need some sort of pool vacuum equipment so you can vacuum the pool after it clears. The following pointers should help you clear your green swimming pool. How to Clear Up a Green Pool

Most totally green swimming pools will take anywhere from 3 – 10 ten days to clear depending on how much shock and how often you vacuum the pool while its clearing. You will want to run your filter 24 hours a day while you are clearing your green swimming pool.

You Need To Make Sure Your Filter Is Ready

The first thing you will need to do is to make sure that you filter is working at 100%. If you have a sand filter you will want to make sure you have back washed the filter. If you have not changed the sand inside the filter in the last 4 years, then you might want to take some time and change the sand inside of the filter.

Green Above Ground Swimming Pool
If you have a D.E. filter on your swimming pool you want to make sure that you have cleaned all the D.E from the grids or fingers. If you haven’t taken your filter apart in a while you might want to so you can remove all the excess D.E powder from the grids manifolds etc. If your filter grids are all yellow, you might want to acid wash the filter as well.

Have Your Pool Chemicals On Hand

Before you start the process of clearing up a green pool you will want to figure out how many gallons of water are in your pool. Next you will want to stock up on the pool chemicals you will need to clean and clear your green pool. Most pools will need chlorine tabs, liquid or powered shock, and off course D.E. powder if you have a D.E. filter.

If your pool is totally green you will want to triple shock the pool with either liquid shock or powered shock. You will want to keep the filter running until the pool is 100% clear. You also will not want to allow anyone to swim in the green pool until it has been cleared up and all of the chemicals have been balanced.

Is Your Pools Vacuum Equipment Ready?

When your pool is green with algae your going to have to triple shock it to kill all of the algae inside of the pool. After you shock the pool most of the dead algae will be filtered through the pools filter system but lots of it will fall to the pools floor. When this happens you will need to vacuum your swimming pool on waste so you can pump the algae out of the pool while you clean it. But before you get started you will want to make sure that your vacuum hose, vacuum disk , vacuum head and vacuum pole are all in good shape and ready to go. If any of the pool cleaning equipment is brittle, old or damaged you may want to replace it before attempting to clean or vacuum the green algae from the pool.

You Will Need To Back Wash A LOT!

Once you have added all the pool chemicals to your green pool you will need to back wash a lot in the beginning. Think of your pools filter as if it was a vacuum and you were cleaning carpet. The more stuff you vacuum from the carpet the faster your vacuum cleaner will clog. The same goes for your swimming pool filter. If your swimming pool is full of debris and algae in the water then you will need to back wash often in the beginning and then as the pool starts to clear and the PPM(Parts Per Million) of the debris in the water becomes less the time between back washes will become longer.

Don’t Give Up , Your Pools Water Will Clear Up

Once you start clearing your green pool it is important that you do not give up mid process because the pool will only get worse. Just stick with it and back wash the filter as needed and also shock the pool as needed. Once you can start seeing the bottom of the pool you will want to start vacuuming the pool on waste so you can remove the excess algae from the pool floor. If you need ant help or have any questions, please feel free to post them below.


  1. Our pool is continually green and we keep putting chemicals in and when we vacuum it the green goes right back in through the jets. Why is this happening???

    • I had that problem last year. What I had to do was replaced the dial top of the filter (knob or handle that switches from recyle, backwash waste, etc. This was caused by the wear and tear on the dial. I did it myself so you replace by yourself. Hopefully this helps

  2. Hi,
    I am trying to get my pool ready to swim. It is all green and a disaster!!
    What chemicals do I need and how do I know how much to get
    To get it clear and maintain It!!


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  5. We had our pool open on June 12, 2018, it was totally green. The pool people put in 10 gallons of shock and 12 lb of sodium bicarbonate then left. So far they have put in 50 gal of shock, 33 lb of sodium bicarbonate, 2 gal phosfree, 1 gal conditioner, 4 lb of chloride tab. today is July 12,2018 and pool is still green, they are saying they can not vacuum till they can see the bottom and they haven’t even tried to clean the sides or at least put the leaf net in to try to get anything out. Does it usually take this much time and chemicals to put a pool back to normal?

    • plus they just came and put in another 8 gal of shock and 1 gal phosfree. July 12, 2018. Now I’m wondering is all these chemicals good for a liner in ground pool? Very confused here on why its taken so long.

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