Pool Foam: Causes & How To Get Rid Of It

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Pool foam is a common problem for pool owners.

It can cause serious damage to the pool equipment and even affect the health of the pool owner.

What exactly is pool foam , and how does it form?

What is Pool Foam?

Pool foam is a thick layer of water that forms on top of the pool surface. It usually occurs after heavy rain or snowfall.

The foam is caused by the formation of bubbles in the pool water. These bubbles rise to the surface and then burst, releasing their air into the surrounding water.

This creates a foamy layer that floats on top of the pool water.

Pool foam is a natural occurrence in pools. There are several ways to prevent pool foam from forming.

Learn more about these methods below.

What is Pool Foam?

The first thing you need to know about pool foam is that it’s not harmful.

However, if left untreated, it can cause serious problems to your pool equipment.

How Does Pool Foam Form?

Foam formation happens when there is excess air in the water.

When this happens, the bubbles rise to the surface where they release their air into the surrounding liquid.

As soon as the bubbles reach the surface, they burst and release their air into the water. This causes the water to become frothy.

Foam Formation Process

There are two main reasons why this process takes place. First, the pool pump (see also ‘How To Prime A Pool Pump‘) forces the water through the filter system.

This creates suction which pulls the air out of the water. Second, the pool skimmer removes most of the floating debris from the pool water.

This also helps remove some air from the water. If either of these processes fails, the pool will have an abundance of air in its water.

Why Is Pool Foam Bad For My Equipment?

When pool foam builds up over time, it can clog the filters and pumps. This can lead to expensive repairs and replacement costs.

In addition, the foam can get caught in the motor area of the pool pump. This could cause serious damage to the motor.

How is Pool Foam Different from Air Bubbles?

Air bubbles are harmless. They do not pose any threat to your pool equipment.

On the other hand, pool foam is dangerous because it contains large amounts of air and debris.

This makes it very difficult for the pool equipment to function properly.

How Can I Prevent Pool Foam From Forming?

There are many methods available to help prevent pool foam from forming in your pool.

Continue reading to learn more about these methods and how to implement them.

Causes Of Pool Foam

You may be wondering what causes pool foam in the first place. Here are some of the most common causes of pool foam.

Poor Water Quality

If your pool has poor water quality, it will contain high levels of chlorine. Chlorine is used to kill bacteria and algae.

Unfortunately, it also produces a lot of gas. This gas rises to the surface where it bursts into tiny bubbles. This creates a foam layer that floats on top.

Overuse of Chemicals

If you use too much chemical cleaner, it can create a thick layer of foam.

This foam layer prevents the chemicals from reaching the bottom of the pool. Overusing chemicals can also cause the pool to smell bad.

Hair Care Products

Hair Care Products

Some hair care products contain ammonia or bleach. These ingredients produce toxic gasses that rise to the surface.

The gasses then burst into small bubbles. This results in a foamy layer that floats on the surface of the water.

Inadequate Skimming

If you don’t regularly skim the water with your pool skimmer, you may end up with a buildup of debris.

This debris can include leaves, twigs, and even insects. This debris can collect at the bottom of the pool and form a sticky layer that attracts dirt particles.

Moreover, this sticky layer eventually becomes a hard mass that floats on the surface. This is known as a scum layer.

Scum layers can be removed by using a vacuum hose. However, if the foam layer gets stuck underneath the scum layer, it will become harder to remove.

Foaming Pumps

The pool pump is responsible for forcing water through the filter system and out of the pool.

If the pump does not work correctly, it can force air into the water. This air collects at the bottom of the filter system.

When the pump turns off, the pressure drops. This allows the air to escape back into the water column.

As a result, the water forms a foam layer around the base of the pool.

The foam layer can build up quickly. If this happens, the pump may need to be replaced.

Soap & Detergents 

When soap and detergent are added to the pool, they can break down into smaller pieces. Some of these pieces float to the surface.

Once there, they burst into tiny bubbles. This process continues until all the soap and detergent have been broken down.

As a result, the water appears cloudy and white. This is known as “suds”. The suds must be cleaned away before the pool can be used again.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

TDS refers to the number of dissolved solids in your swimming pool water. TDS includes minerals like calcium and magnesium.

In addition to minerals, TDS contains other impurities such as iron and manganese.

These impurities can cause an unpleasant odor when they reach the surface. They can also reduce the effectiveness of the pool filter (see also ‘ How To Backwash Your Swimming Pool Filter ‘).

How to Get Rid of Pool Foam

If you want to get rid of pool foam, you should first understand what causes it.

Once you have determined the cause, you can decide how best to deal with the problem. Here are some tips to help you get rid of pool foam.

1) Keep Your Filter System Clean

One way to prevent pool foam from building up is to keep your filter system clean.

Make sure that the filter basket has been cleaned regularly. You should also ensure that all the parts of the filter system are working correctly.

If one part isn’t functioning correctly, this could result in the buildup of foam.

2) Use A Proper Skimmer

Another method to prevent pool foam from occurring is to use a proper skimmer.

A good skimmer will draw the majority of the debris away from the pool water. If the debris remains in the pool, it could contribute to the formation of foam.

3) Avoid Overfeeding Your Pump

Overfeeding your pump can be another reason why pool foam forms.

When you add too much water to your pool, the pressure inside the pump increases.

This causes the pump to work harder than normal. The extra stress on the pump can cause it to wear down faster.

4) Install An Automatic Shut Off Valve

If you notice that your pump is running constantly, then you may want to consider installing an automatic shut-off valve.

This will automatically turn off the pump when the water level gets low.

If you don’t install such a device, your pump will continue to run even though there is no longer enough water in the pool.

5) Change The Water Regularly

If you notice that your pool water looks cloudy or murky, you should change the water.

This will allow the chlorine levels to drop. Chlorine is what keeps the water clear.

Once the chlorine levels drop, the water will start to look cloudy again.

6) Check The pH Levels

The pH levels of your pool water can also play a role in preventing pool foam from forming.

If the pH levels are high, then the water will contain a lot of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is what gives pools their blue color.

If the pH levels remain high, then the pool will eventually become green.

7) Add Antifoam Chemicals To Your Pool 

You can also use anti-foaming chemicals to help prevent pool foam.

These chemicals will break down the foam before it becomes a problem. However, they won’t dissolve the foam completely.

Instead, they will only reduce its size.

How To Prevent Pool Foam 

Preventing pool foam before it can form is important because it can lead to other problems.

For example, if the foam builds up around the sides of the pool, then it can make it difficult for people to swim.

In addition, if the foam collects near the drain, it can clog the whole system. 

To avoid these problems, you need to find out how to prevent pool foam. Fortunately, you can do so by following the methods listed below: 

1) Shower Before Entering Your Pool 

Before entering your pool, take a shower. This will remove any dirt and grime that might have accumulated on your body.

It will also remove shampoo and other products that could contribute to the formation of pool foam.

After taking a shower, rinse yourself with fresh water. This will wash away any remaining soap residue.

2) Keep Your Pool Clean And Clear 

2) Keep Your Pool Clean And Clear 

It is important to keep your pool clean and free of debris. You should regularly vacuum your pool (see also ‘The 7 Best Pool Vacuum Algae Reviews‘).

This will ensure that all the leaves and sticks get removed. If you leave them in the pool, then they can attract algae.

Algae is one of the main reasons why pool foam forms.

3) Use A Quality Pump 

A quality pool pump is essential to keeping your pool clean and clear.

If you choose a poor-quality pump, then it will not be able to move as much water through the filter.

As a result, the water will stay stagnant. This will increase the chances of creating pool foam.

4) Maintain Proper Filter Maintenance 

Your pool filter needs to be maintained properly. If you neglect this task, then it will quickly wear out.

When this happens, the filter will stop working. This will cause the water to stagnate, which will create more opportunities for the creation of pool foam.

5) Have Your Water Tested Regularly 

If you notice that your pool has an unusually high amount of chlorine, then you should have your water tested.

There are many ways to test your pool’s water. One way is to purchase a home testing kit.

Another option is to contact a local pool maintenance company. They will be able to perform a simple test for you.

6) Check Chemical Balance 

The chemical balance in your pool is another factor that contributes to the formation of pool foams.

If there isn’t enough salt or calcium in the water, then the water will lack oxygen. This will cause bubbles to form.

Since these bubbles don’t contain any air, they will collapse when they reach the surface. The result is pool foam.

7) Avoid Using Chlorine Dosing Equipment 

Chlorine dosing equipment is often used to control the level of chlorine in swimming pools.

Unfortunately, this type of equipment may actually encourage the formation of pool foam instead of preventing it.

This is because the equipment adds extra chemicals into the pool.

These chemicals include sodium bromide and potassium iodide. Both of these substances can lead to the formation of pool bubbles.


There are several things that you can do to help prevent pool foam from forming.

However, if you want to completely eliminate pool foam, then you must use a professional pool service provider.

Only a trained technician can safely and effectively treat your pool.

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