Sometimes foamy pools look pretty cool, like a big bubble bath ready for you.
But a foamy pool can be a nightmare for pool owners. It settles on the floor of your pool, sticks to your filter and will eventually clog your filter and ultimately ruin your summer. Luckily there are multiple methods to get rid of it entirely with just a few easy steps!
Here are some great tips for getting rid of that annoying foam. Read through the article below to identify what causes pool foam, how you can get rid of it, and how to keep your pool healthy throughout the year.
What is Pool Foaming?
A foamy pool is what it sounds like. It’s a pool that looks like there are loads of foam in it. Foam can be white, blue, green, or any other color depending on the kind of chemicals or pH level your pool has.
Just remember this rule: if you see bubbles on the surface of your water when you open up your skimmer basket (or anywhere else), then you have foam!
Pool foam is a natural occurrence in pools, and while it may seem gross, it’s not necessarily bad for your pool.
However, if you have a considerable amount of foam on your surface or if it’s thick enough that it clogs the filter and affects circulation, then there may be a problem with your pool. Many things can cause excessive foam to accumulate in a pool, like improper sanitation, an algae bloom, or old or dirty filters.
What Causes Pool Foaming?
Many things can cause excessive amounts of foam in a pool. These include improper sanitation, an algae bloom, and old or dirty filters. It is also possible for a pool to foam if there is an imbalance of your water’s pH level or chlorine level, which can be caused by using too much acid or too little chlorine.
Some chemicals used in pools, such as chlorine and acid wash, can cause pool foaming as they react with other substances and the sun’s UV light to create bubbles.
Some factors that influence the occurrence of pool foaming are weather conditions, rainfall, and even wind velocity. The type of pool you have will also determine how much foam it will produce when opened up for use.
How to Clear Pool Foam in a Few Simple Steps
The good news is that you can easily combat pool foaming; however, you should expect it to be time-consuming. This solely depends on what created it in the first place!
For instance, if the pool foam is caused by algaecide or cheap chemicals you’ve bought online, it mostly will go away on its own after a few days.
However, if a significant concentration of organic matter causes the problem, it will almost certainly need some serious cleaning efforts.
Step 1: Test Your Pool’s Chemistry Levels
Pool foaming means your chlorine levels and alkalinity are off, so make sure you correct those in the process.
The main thing you should have a look at is the pH and alkalinity level.
Your pool’s pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.6, and alkalinity must be between 100 and 150 ppm.
Step 2: Chlorine or Non-Chlorine Shock Your Pool
If you notice your pool foaming, adjusting both these levels might be all you need to do to make your pool clear again.
However, if your pool is very filthy or has been a long time since you have cleaned it, you will need to shock it with chlorine or non-chlorine shock. To give your pool the greatest chance of working, shock it around nightfall and let it operate overnight.
The following day, check all of your pool’s levels and make any necessary adjustments. Then, if necessary, repeat the procedure.
Step 3: Drain a Little and Refill With Fresh Water
If your pool’s chemistry is entirely out of whack, or if you’ve had a large number of bathers for a long time, you may need to drain a portion of the water and replace it with new water.
After completing this step, it’s usually a good idea to shock the pool as a precautionary measure.
Then you can test your chemicals and make sure everything is in balance.
Step 4: Buy an Anti-Foam Chemical
If any of these methods don’t get the job done, you may purchase an anti-foam chemical or create your own, both of which should work quickly to remove any foam that has formed.
This is an excellent option if your pool has just been cleaned and you only have a small amount of foam.
However, if your pool is very filthy, this will just serve as a bandage to the underlying problem, and your pool should be shocked and thoroughly cleaned.
Step 5: Examine Your Filtering System
If you’re not sure what’s causing the foam, you can also examine your filtering system to ensure it’s in good operating condition.
Ensure the skimmers are cleaned out or backwashed, there is no calcium accumulation, and that the motor is operating when the pump is turned on.
Preventing Pool Foam
Preventative measures are always preferable to attempting to discover a solution after the fact!
Therefore, before swimming in your pool, we suggest that all swimmers take a mild shower to remove cosmetics such as hair spray, deodorant, soap, body lotion, shampoo, oil, makeup, and laundry detergent that may have accumulated on their skin.
Understanding Your Pool: Beyond the Bubbles
Having a pool is fun, but keeping it clear and clean takes a bit of work. Let’s simplify things and see what’s really going on in your pool, especially when it comes to foam.
1. What’s Getting in the Pool?
- Everyday Stuff: Lotions, shampoos, sunscreens, and even makeup can get into the pool water when we swim. These can change how the pool water behaves and sometimes create foam.
- Leftovers on Us: Even if we don’t realize it, our bodies can carry residues from soaps or detergents. This can mix with the pool water and create foam.
2. The Role of Calcium
- Finding the Balance: Calcium in pool water is like a seesaw. Too little and you get foam. Too much, and you might see scaling on walls or damage to equipment.
3. The Behind-the-Scenes Hero: The Pool Filter
- Doing More Than Cleaning: The pool filter doesn’t just catch leaves; it also helps balance the water. If our pool chemistry is off, the filter can suffer.
4. Keeping Things in Balance
- The Right Mix: If there’s too much or too little of some chemicals, it can cause foam. Too many swimmers at once can also change the pool’s balance.
5. Quick Tips for a Happy Pool
- Shower First: Rinsing off before diving in can help. Also, making sure we’re using the right amount of pool chemicals is key.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I prevent pool foam?
Regular pool maintenance, balanced water chemistry, and encouraging swimmers to shower before entering the pool can help prevent foam.
Can overuse of pool chemicals cause foam?
Yes, overuse of certain chemicals, particularly algaecides with surfactants or low-quality detergents, can contribute to foam formation.
How often should I test my pool water to prevent foam?
Regular testing, at least once a week, is recommended to maintain balanced water chemistry and prevent foam.
Can heavy rain cause pool foam?
Rain can introduce additional organic matter into the pool, which might contribute to foam formation.
How long does it take for anti-foam products to work?
Most commercial anti-foam products work quickly, often within minutes of application.
Pool foam looks icky, and it seems to be a difficult task to deal with, but as long as you know the root of the problem, it is simple to get rid of pool foam. Keeping the chemical balance of your pool is a surefire method to ensure that you never have to deal with that annoying foam again.
Below are a few of our best pool guides to help you keep your pool clean and healthy. Swimming in a safe and clean pool will be fun for you and your family!