One might think that finding out what is wrong with their pool is as confusing as an abacus is to Keanu Reeves.
That’s not the case. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your pool is operating properly and efficiently. Let’s get down to the basics shall we?
WATER BALANCE: One of the most important factors to keeping your equipment running smoothly outside of regulation inspection is keeping the pool water balanced. Very low or very high chemical levels can wreak havoc on some sensitive materials used in your pool equipment.
If your water looks good and your chemical levels are balanced, your pump and filter find it easier to do what they need to be doing. Water chemistry levels are the pulse of the pool. Balanced water = happy swimmers and less equipment headaches.
POOL PUMPS: Now let’s take a look at our pump. Yep, that looks like a pool pump all right. But in all seriousness there are several ways of determining whether or not your pool pump is up to par. The clear pump lid makes it easy to see if there are any problems with the water flow. Look for choppy or bubbly water or a low water level in the pump basket. This could be a blockage in the line, or you might need to clean you pump basket or filter. If the water in the pump looks crystal clear – you’re all good.
Is your pump talking to you? Well it shouldn’t be. Listen for screeching or clanking noises can mean the bearings on the motor are starting to go. And just like that trusty old lawnmower you refuse to part with, you might even be able to tell its burnt out by the smell is gives off. Moving on…
POOL FILTERS: How’s that pool filter doing? Take a look around the filter for any wet spots that might indicate a leak. If your water looks hazy and cloudy, your filter is not doing its job. Fired! You might have to backwash it, there could be a broken lateral letting sand into the water, and if you have a cartridge filter it might be time to clean it.
Have you checked you pressure gauge lately? That’s a great place to start. Make sure the pressure is where it should be, and that the gauge is working. Don’t let a $15 gauge fool you – it will eventually go bad.
POOL HEATERS: are a lot like your home furnace, except for the fact that it’s constantly in contact with corrosive chemicals. You should be able to hear it fire up smoothly. And just like the pump, if your pool heater sounds like somebody is trapped inside of it, that’s not a good thing.
Many issues with a pool heater not firing have to do with proper water flow. Clean baskets and filters, and inspect any external or internal water bypass assemblies. A smooth blue flame across the burner tray, and no soot or lime clogging up the heat exchanger fins are two things that are good to see.
Pool heater issues could be a simple dirty igniter, or a complicated heat exchanger or burner tray problem. At that point you may have to weigh the heater repair cost vs. buying a new pool heater. Hmmm – hoping your pool heater problems are small and infrequent – now, let’s make our way to the pool cleaner!
POOL CLEANERS: A pool cleaner can save a lot of work, but they need work too. After you get to know your pool cleaner, you understand it’s behavior, and can quickly tell if it’s stuck, clogged or not covering the entire pool. Pool cleaner problems usually boil down to two things – cleaning and coverage.
Power or suction issues can usually be traced to the water supply, or a problem in the pool cleaner hose. Coverage issues can also be power related, or could be a problem in the parts that make contact with your pool surfaces.
In summary then – the best pool equipment troubleshooting techniques tend to be your eyes and ears, and sometimes smell and touch are the right tools for the job.
Use all of your senses, and the knowledge of normal behavior, and even Keanu Reeves could fix his own pool equipment. But then, why would he?
If you determine that you need pool parts, check out our easy to use PartsFinder Utility. And if the solution to your pool problem continues to evade you, give our helpful pool support personnel a call – we can help!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger