The question everyone hopes they will never have to ask…
We recently covered how to prevent algae in your pool. This article addresses what to do if it’s already there!
If you find yourself in the middle of an algae war, begin by running your filter 24 hours a day. However, once the algae disappears don’t take for granted that you have killed it all. Even though you can’t see them, there are plenty of algae spores waiting to begin regrowing. This is why you still need to keep brushing well after you think you have killed all the algae. In fact, it’s a good idea to continue the algae-killing routine for 7-10 days after the algae disappears. One of the most common comments we hear is that the algae has come back; in all likelihood, it never went away, you just couldn’t see it.
Here are our detailed instructions for getting rid of an algae bloom:

  1. Vacuum all the visible algae and debris to waste. The more you can remove initially, the faster your pool will become clear again. Vacuuming to waste is very important-it removes both contaminants from the pool and eliminates any chance of it passing through your filter and returning to the pool.
  2. Brush down the sides and bottom of your pool with a suitable pool brush.
  3. Adjust the pH of the water so it is between 7.2-7.6 if necessary. If the pH is significantly out-of-range, the sanitizer will not work effectively.
  4. If it’s daytime, add the proper amount of an appropriate algaecide for your algae type. Circulate the pool water. Follow with a chlorine shock treatment in the evening and continue to run the filter overnight.

After following these steps, your pool water should be looking much better. Two other things to keep in mind:

  • The chlorine shock treatment will be used up rapidly and it would not be unusual for the pool to have no chlorine left in it by the following day. It is very important to continue with your daily method of chlorination.
  • It is very common with algae (after the pool has been shocked and algaecide has been added) for the water to become blue, instead of green, and cloudy. The reason for this is that when algae dies, it breaks into millions of tiny pieces. They are too light to sink to the bottom and too small to be filtered out. If this is the case, a floccing agent is the next step.
  • It doesn’t happen very often, but it is possible that a particular type of algaecide may not be effective. Think of it as when a doctor needs to try several medicines before finding one that works. If the algaecide you tried does not work successfully against your particular type of algae, switch to another type—just not another brand of the same type.
  • When you find a type of algaecide that works well on a particular type of algae, stick with it. But remember, what works one season may not work the next since algae can evolve and change.

These are your steps to getting rid of algae in your pool. At Pettis Pools & Patio, we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Stop in and let us help you!