We've put together a list of the most common problems pool owners have, and some troubleshooting and solutions to each situation.
Undoubtedly, algae is every pool owners number one problem. Even though algae problems arise mostly because of negligence (insufficient chlorine), algae can also be due to chlorine that is combined with amine groups (chloramines) or high levels of cyanuric acid. Make sure to keep proper levels of chlorine in your pool water at all times. If your cyanuric acid level is high, the only solution to that problem is to drain the pool water 2 feet and refill with fresh water.
Cloudy water is a very common problem while trying to maintain your pool. There are 3 things you can check if you have cloudy water:
- Water Chemistry
If you have poor circulation, water is not being filtered properly, causing it to become cloudy. If you have a bottom drain, open it up. This will help circulate water from below. Remember, your skimmer is only taking in the first few inches of water from the surface. Good circulation takes water from below, and brings it up to the surface so it can be filtered. You can also use an automatic pool cleaner to help bring water from the bottom of your pool directly into your filter.
Another suggestion is to turn the eyeball of your return to the side. This will help circulate your water by forming a whirlpool. A whirlpool will force the water by the skimmer opening. Pointing the return eyeball to the side also stirs up the water, helping bring some of the stagnant water from below up to the surface.
REMEMBER: Do everything to keep your water moving!!!
Poor filtration is due to a dirty or clogged filter. You can check this by doing 4 things:
- Check your filter's pressure gauge. If the pressure gauge is reading above your normal pressure reading, this is a sign of restrictions in your filter. Your filter gauge measures the pressure inside your filter tank before the filter media. If water is restricted by dirty media, the pressure inside the tank will rise.
- Check water pressure from your return fitting. If water entering in your pool from the return fitting has little pressure, little water is passing through your filter.
- Check clarity of the water returning to your pool. If the water entering back into your pool is dirty, your filter is not working at its capacity because it is full.
- Check your baskets. If your baskets are full, there is a good chance that what is in your baskets is also in your filter.
If any of these occur, it is time to clean out your filter. Once your filter is clean, it can do the job it was made to do.
If you have hard water, there are additional steps you need to take to get a proper balanced and clean pool. Before adding oxidizers, you must first remove some of the metals and minerals from your pool water. Do not add any type of oxidizer to your pool water. If you're pool water is clear and you can see through to the bottom, but it is tinted green, you've read this too late. The green tint comes from the metals in your water being oxidized by the chlorine or shock you've added to the water.
What To Do:
Let your chlorine residual diminish. American Sale recommends you use Metal Magic to get rid of unwanted metals in your water. Use the appropriate dosage for your pool, and let your filter run overnight. Make sure to keep your pH slightly elevated (7.5 to 7.8) for the treatment to be more effective. Once you've properly removed the metals, you can shock or chlorinate your water. Make sure to add Metal Magic anytime you are adding water back into your pool. This will treat the water you are adding back in.
The hardest part of a liner leaking is finding the spot where it's leaking from! Finding a hole or tear in your liner is like finding a needle in a haystack. You first need to determine if your liner is really leaking. There are a few ways to do this: checking the ground outside the pool and marking the water level in the pool.
Having the ground wet right outside the base of your pool is usually the first indication that your pool liner might be leaking. This wetness outside of your pool will also give you a target zone where your liner is leaking from. However, the pool's weight will naturally displace any water from the ground beneath your pool. Do not mistake a leaking liner for this. It is natural to see water around your pool days after a rainstorm. If it is hot and there is sunshine for weeks and you have a swamp next to your pool, there's a great chance your liner is leaking.
If you are now thinking you have a leaking liner, there is another way of testing this. Mark off your water line in the pool. You should not lose more than 1 - 1 ½ inches per week of water, even during your hottest weeks. If you are losing more water than this amount per week, that is a good indication you have a leak in your liner.
American Sale does sell repair kits for holes or tears in your liner. You can use these patch kits under water.
Poor Suction when Vacuuming
There are a few reasons that can cause poor suction when vacuuming
- Debris filled skimmer and strainer baskets
- Dirty filter
- Vacuum hose has a hole
- Pump is not primed
If any of these occur, it can cause you to get little or no suction when vacuuming. Check the pressure gauge on your filter first. If you are reading a high pressure, this can indicate either a dirty filter or clogged baskets. Check both of these. If you have a hole in your vacuuming hose and it is on the surface of your pool water, your hose will take in air. Air pockets will cause your filter not to work properly and will not provide you with enough suction to vacuum.
Springing a Leak
Over time, your filter hoses are broken down by UV rays and everyday abuse from your filter. The resin filter hoses weaken, and eventually spring a leak. You should replace the hose when this happens, otherwise more leaks can spring up. Consider having some extra filter hoses on hand.
When you replace your filter hoses, you want to disconnect your filter from the pool, without losing too much water. To do this, follow these simple directions.
If you need to replace the skimmer hose, then loosen the clamp at the end of the return hose that attaches to the filter, and loosen the hose that attaches to the skimmer, but leave the hoses attached. Very quickly at the same time, remove the hose from the skimmer and replace it with the end of the hose you are removing from the pump. This has now disconnected your filter from your pool, leaving you able to do any repairs on your filter. If the need to replace the return hose, do the reverse and use the hose that is attached to the filter and put that end into the skimmer. You will lose some water while making this transition.
Pump is Humming or Making a Racket
There are a few things that can go wrong with a pump. First, make sure your pump is not making noise from vibrations. Your pump and motor should be bolted to a base. If any of these bolts come loose, it can cause the pump to bounce up and down on the hard plastic base. Your pump may be making a racket, but once you tighten the bolts, all is well again.
If your motor is humming, this is a more serious problem. First, your pump should never be hooked up to an extension cord. You can understand the reason why by looking at the relationship between voltage and amps. Voltage and amps are closely related. When you run an extension cord, by the time the electric gets to your motor, it loses voltage on the long stretch. Your voltage is lost through resistance because of the distance, so your amps then increase because of this. When your amps increase, this causes friction, and your motor begins to heat up. When you run your motor on an extension cord, your motor begins to overheat, and eventually will break down. This is similar to a garden hose. If you run a 50 ft. garden hose from the back of your house to the front with a small diameter hose, when you turn the water on there is very little water pressure. This is because as the water is going through the hose, it is losing pressure because of resistance. The longer the stretch and the smaller the diameter of the hose, the more resistance you will have.
American Sale recommends having an electrician install a 115 volt hook up right next to where your filter is positioned. Refer to your filter owner's manual on proper electrical hook-up for your filter.