How To Get Brown Pool Water Clear?

How to get brown pool water clear

Having a swimming pool at your home can be a source of immense pride and joy, but also comes with a lot of cleaning and maintenance as well. The water might go bad, the pool walls or floor might crack, and the paint might come off; there are no shortages of headaches when it comes to swimming pools.

One of the most common problems swimming pool owners face is brown pool water. Usually, pool water should be crystal clear or have a blueish hue, but it can also turn brown for a couple of reasons, which is not good. Here are a couple of handy tips and tricks that will help you get brown pool water clear and prevent it from happening anytime soon!

Key Takeaways

  • Pool water can turn brown for a variety of reasons.
  • Clearing brown pool water requires the right equipment and preparation.
  • Prevention of pool water browning can be easily done with a few simple steps.

Common Reasons Why Pool Water Goes Brown

Common reasons why pool water goes brown
Common reasons why pool water goes brown

Pool water can go brown for a variety of reasons, most of which are beyond your control. As the old saying goes, knowing is winning half the battle, so here are some of the most common reasons why your pool water can go brown:

The presence of High Levels of Iron and other Metals

Surprising as it may seem, metals (specifically iron) can turn your pool water brown before you even know it. When metal compounds are introduced to certain organic components in the water, it can result in the pool color turning brown due to the oxidization effect.

Aside from the change in color, high metal presence in pool water can result in an off-putting smell and a bitter taste. If you live in an area where the natural water sources that ultimately fill your pool are high in iron or other metal, make sure to have a pool filter to sift the metal content from the water before filling the pool.

Presence of High Levels of Chlorine

The presence of high levels of chlorine in pool water can also easily turn the water brown. Like iron, chlorine also has a tendency to react with organic compounds in the water, resulting in a brownish hue. Many pool owners tend to dump a lot of chlorine in the pool just to be on the safe side to prevent algae.

The thing is, when the chlorine doesn’t have any algae to kill, it just reacts with the other compounds, resulting in the water color changing. If the water is left stagnant after getting brown due to chlorine, the discoloration of the water will only keep getting worse.

Presence of High Levels of NOCs

NOC stands for nitrogenous organic compounds. The excessive presence of these compounds in your pool water can easily turn the water brown. This usually results from phosphate or excessive amounts of protein making their way into the water from the skin of swimmers who didn’t sanitize themselves properly.

It can also result from faulty pumps, filters, or any other swimming pool machinery or equipment as well. So make sure to check up on the necessary pool equipment every once in a while to prevent the browning of pool water.

Presence of Excessive Debris and Floating Materials

Sometimes excessive debris and floating materials on the surface of the pool can result in the water turning brown. This usually happens during the winter months when pool owners can’t be bothered to go anywhere near the pool. These materials include tree leaves, droppings from animals like raccoons, loose dirt and soil, etc.

How to get Brown Pool Water Clear?

With the reasons why pool water goes brown cleared up, it’s time to learn how to get brown pool water clear. Most of the things you need to restore the color of your pool water are already in place, all you need is a rake, a water testing kit, and chlorine. Once you have them in order, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Clearing floating debris: Using the rake clear all the floating debris and materials first. The rake should have closely attached prongs so that small debris doesn’t slip off when pulling them out of the water.
  2. Cleaning filter: Once the surface of the water has been cleared, it’s time to clean the pool’s filter. Cleaning the filter will bring the pressure reading to default which you should note down as the figures change from pool to pool. Once the process starts you’ll have to clean the filter every time the pressure range increases by 10 PSI.
  3. Draining the pool: After the filter has been cleared you should turn on the pool’s pump next which will start draining the contaminated water from the pool. Keep draining until the water level reaches the skimmer line.
  4. Vacuuming: Once the pool has been drained properly, you’ll see the residual dirt and debris settled at the bottom of the pool. To clear up this layer you’ll need to vacuum the pool. Vacuuming is best done manually as automated cleaners aren’t capable of reaching those hard-to-reach corners.
  5. Refilling and adding chlorine: Once the vacuuming process has been done, refill the pool with water and add chlorine to it. Leave it to rest for 24-48 hours and then check the pool’s water’s color. If done correctly it should have a clear or blueish hue. If not you need to repeat the whole process again to see better results.

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How to Prevent Your Pool Water from Getting Brown Again?

How to prevent your pool water from getting brown again
How to prevent your pool water from getting brown again

Treating your pool to clear up brown pool water can be a long and arduous process even if it’s simple. That’s why the best solution to keep your pool water clean is to prevent it from going brown in the first place. There are a couple of ways to prevent your pool water from going brown which are as follows:

  • Use shock products for pools on a regular basis but also make sure to not add too much chlorine in the process.
  • Clear up any debris or dirt floating on the water surface whenever you notice it.
  • Use good quality filters and pumps to ensure no metals get into your pool water when filling it up.


1. How to clean a brown pool in 24 hours?

Unfortunately, a brown pool can’t be cleaned in 24 hours. It will take at least 2-3 days to clean and treat the contaminated pool water.

2. Will baking soda remove iron from pool water?

No, baking soda won’t remove iron from pool water. It will help to keep the water clear but not take out the excess iron from the water.

3. Is it common for pool water to turn brown after shock?

If too much shock product is used, then it’s not uncommon for pool water to turn brown since the chlorine might react and produce brown contaminants in the water.

Final Thoughts

After spending all your hard-earned money to install a swimming pool, it would be a shame and waste not to be able to use it because of contaminated water. But as long as you’re willing to get your hands dirty, cleaning contaminated brown water from a pool is easy if you follow the steps described above. Good luck on your pool cleaning journey!

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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