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How To Use Algaecide In Your Swimming Pool

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

If you asked most people whether they would want a swimming pool in their backyard, they’d say yes.

Because of all the positives that come with swimming and having your own space on your property, you can expect to have a great time.

You can do anything with your swimming pool! Improve your fitness and exercise levels, have a pool party, or even have a nice relaxation after a long day at work.

However, many people don’t think about all of the maintenance and cleaning required when owning one of these water features.

Because a lot of people will dive straight into buying a pool, rather than think of all the extra bits needed to keep your pool safe, they often get caught out in the deep end!

Many different things will attack your swimming pool and affect the quality of the water. Algae is one of these things and it needs to be stopped before it gets started.

Follow our guide to find out what algae is, how to fight it, and the benefits of doing so.

After all, keeping yourself safe and healthy is the most important thing when owning your very own swimming pool!

What Is Algae?

Algae is an organism that grows naturally in freshwater bodies, such as swimming pools.

It’s a plant-like life form that converts light energy from the sun using chlorophyll. This causes more nutrients and oxygen for fish and other organisms to survive. 

However, if this process isn’t controlled, then it can cause problems like an increase in toxins in the water, as well as affecting the color and clarity of the water.

This is why it’s vital to know how to stop algal blooms (or prevent them) from occurring in your swimming pool.

How Does Algae Harm My Health?

If you want to swim in your pool but have algae present, you need to make sure that you avoid swimming.

This is because the chlorine in the water won’t be able to kill off the algae quickly enough and it’ll grow back.

As soon as the chlorine dies down, the algae will start growing again. This might mean that you’re always swimming with algae in your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Algae can harm your health in several ways. These include:

Making Your Skin Look Yellow and Scaly

When the algae start to thrive, you’ll notice that the water turns yellowish-brown. This makes your skin look scaly and dry – making it appear unhealthy.

The algae also gives off a foul smell which can irritate your lungs.

When you breathe in the fumes, your body reacts by producing more mucus which can lead to coughing fits and asthma attacks.

Leading To A Dangerous Illness

The algae produce toxins that are harmful to humans and different types of animals. They’re not just dangerous to swimmers, either.

Children and pets who drink the polluted water could develop stomach issues, diarrhea, and vomiting. So it’s always best to get rid of the stuff!

Different Types Of Swimming Pool Algae

Now let’s take a closer look at the different types of algae that could be lurking in your swimming pool!

Green Algae

Usually down to a lack of filtration or poor sanitation, this form of algae is usually the most common type of algae seen in swimming pools.

Because of the green color, it’s very easy to spot and needs to be dealt with when possible. These algae can lead to a high pH level in your swimming water.

Black Algae

This is another common form of algae that is often seen in swimming pools, usually down to foreign types of water making their way into the pool.

For example, if someone has been swimming in a natural body of water like a lake or a river and doesn’t wash their swimwear before entering your pool, this can lead to the production of black algae.

Yellow Algae

Also known as mustard algae (see also ‘How To Get Rid Of Mustard Algae & Prevent It‘), this growth will most likely be found in more southern climates because of the temperatures.

This is rare algae to have in your swimming pool, but it can still make an appearance from time to time.

It’s another form of green algae, however, the main difference is that it’s resistant to chlorine.

What Is Algaecide?

What Is Algaecide?

It’s important to note that algaecides aren’t an easy solution to removing algae from your swimming pool entirely.

Algaecide should be used as a measure to prevent algaecide, rather than using it to react to the growth, once it has appeared in your swimming pool.

These components will destroy algae and slow down the growth of the stuff in your pool.

The vast majority of algaecides contain a base of copper, which comes from copper sulfate.

These compounds use metal as the main atom in the algaecide, making sure that the algae are battled effectively and swiftly.

This is what many swimming pool owners will want and need when keeping their pool safe and healthy.

These algaecides also minimize the production of algae cells, which slows down the rate at which these organisms survive and thrive in your swimming pool.

How To Use Algaecide In My Swimming Pool

As previously mentioned, algae killers will get rid of the algae and molds affecting your pool water but it is best used as a preventive measure.

It doesn’t change the pH level (see also ‘How To Raise The pH Level In Your Pool Safely’) of your pool water, but it will keep algae from forming and work with your chlorine to keep those levels balanced and safe to swim in.

After every shock treatment, algaecide should be applied so it has a better shot at supporting your chlorine as it works its way through any algae in the pool.

If you want to kill algae, be sure to shock your pool before adding any algaecides. 

Then, once the chlorine levels of your water return to normal, add enough algaecide to multiple locations around your pool while your pool pump is running.

This will help the algaecide spread evenly throughout the pool.

It’s essential to know that combining pool shock and algaecide can cause bad chemical reactions if you aren’t careful and should be done by a professional when possible.

Chlorine levels won’t return to normal right after shocking your pool, so we recommend waiting for at least 24 hours before adding any algaecides.

What Does Shocking Your Pool Mean?

Shock treatments are another great way to get rid of algae quickly. The idea behind these methods is to shock the water in your pool to dislodge algae from its surface.

Shock treatments are also done regularly so they’re effective and sustainable.

You may wonder how to do this yourself, but it’s pretty simple for anyone who knows what they’re doing.

All you have to do is take some of your pool chemicals and mix them to create a large number of bubbles in your pool.

Once you’ve created this mixture of chemicals, you need to let the water sit and bubble for about 30 minutes.

Once the water is bubbling nicely, it’s time to shock your pool. You just need to turn off your pool pump or shut off your filtration system.

After that, you’ll notice that all of the small ripples disappear and the water becomes calm.

Within just 10-20 minutes, these small pools will start to dissolve and turn into big whirlpools.

That means that the algae are coming out of hiding places and getting swept away.

Once you see the algae begin to wash away, stop the process. Turn your filtration back on and leave the rest of the cleaning and maintenance up to your filter.

That’s because this method is most effective when combined with chlorination.

Does Algaecide Battle Other Problems With My Pool Water?

Does Algaecide Battle Other Problems With My Pool Water?

Algae isn’t the only thing that affects algae growth in your pool. Many other things can affect the health of your pool’s water.

For example, there are bacteria living in your pool that can grow unchecked and increase the number of nitrates available to feed the algae population.

They can also make your pool water unsafe for human use!

Pink Slime And White-Water Mold

Pink slime and white-water mold are two things that can affect the quality of your pool and will make it dangerous to swim in.

These bacteria and fungus types will cause similar types of damage to your swimming pool and need to be treated as seriously as algae.

Pink slime can cause health problems like urine infections, breathing problems, and pneumonia.

Algaecide is great at preventing these from happening and kills the white-water mold effectively once it has settled on the surface of your pool water.

The pink slime will usually stick to the floors and the walls of your swimming pool, making it dangerous for human contact with these surfaces. 

Using substances like algaecide will battle its way through both chlorine-based water pools and those with biguanide, which is great for swimming pool owners in need of some TLC.

Getting Rid Of Black And Yellow Algae

As we previously mentioned, black and yellow algae are resistant to chlorine and will be a lot harder to get rid of.

This means that your standard algaecides aren’t as effective at battling this form of algae.

To remove this stuff thoroughly, you need to scrub and vacuum your pool to ensure that the cleaning process is completed effectively.

To get rid of this black and yellow algae, you need to scrub the affected areas and balance the pool chemicals before returning to scrub the pool.

After this, you need to triple shock the pool (see also ‘How Often Should I Shock My Swimming Pool?‘) and scrub once again to be sure that you’re rid of this form of algae.

Again, this variety of algae isn’t as common as green algae luckily, and adding algaecide to your pool every so often will prevent all of the above-mentioned forms from becoming a constant problem for you.

What Happens If I Put Too Much Algaecide In My Pool?

It may seem like an easy answer when you read this question, but the truth is that using too much algaecide could end up harming your pool.

While the best way to combat algae in your pool is to use the right amount of algaecide, using too much can affect the quality of your swimming pool and will make it unsafe to swim in.

If you go overboard on algaecide usage, then you could end up with brownish-colored water in your pool. You might even find that your pool starts to stink of chemicals.

Although this is not completely uncommon, if your pool experiences this kind of issue, you should call your pool service provider immediately for help, rather than making the situation worse.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, using algaecides to combat different forms of algae is a very important thing in keeping your swimming pool healthy and fit for use.

With regard to what type of algae you’re likely to find in your pool, green algae and black algae are the most common types found.

However, black and yellow algae can also be found in southern climates.

White-water mold and pink slime are also defeated by algaecides, which keep your swimming water safe.

If you don’t deal with algae when it forms, you can expect to see yourself developing breathing problems, skin irritation, or even vomiting.

This is why it’s essential to keep it away from your swimming pool. Using copper atoms compounds to break down the molecules that help algae to grow.

If you can use the right amount of algaecide, then you’re set to keep your pool in great condition.

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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