Backyard Pool Trouble Shooting Guide.
A back yard pool can provide your family with years of entertainment and relief from the hot summer heat. For the most part, an above ground pool is fairly easy to maintain and requires minimal time and effort. However, there are those times you would swear you have Gremlins. Nothing you do seems to resolve the problem. Or maybe you’re just baffled as to how the problem arose in the first place. This article will explore some of the issues that can arise with a backyard pool and what you can do to identify the cause and how to resolve the problem. Some of these problems are taken from question posed on Factoidz “Ask a question” forum.
First off, if the issue you are having concerns a chemical imbalance or similar problem, consider reading Factoidz article “Backyard Pool Maintenance 101”. You will find a wealth of information on chemical levels and how to create the perfect balance.
Cynthia on the Factoidz forum posed the first issue. It seems that after vacuuming and cleaning the pool, backwashing and such, she has almost no water pressure coming back into the pool. In all likelihood, low water pressure on the pool return is caused by a blockage somewhere in the pump/filter system. To locate this blockage, you should start at one end of the system and work your way to the other.
Start at the skimmer and ensure it is free of debris. Next, check the hose between the skimmer and the pump. Do this by first inserting a rag into the bottom of the skimmer to block the water. Disconnect the hose from the pump. Now, remove the rag for a moment to see if water is traveling freely through the hose. If it is, reconnect the hose and move to the pump. Open the pump and inspect the filter inside. Remove any debris and replace the cap.
In a similar manner to the skimmer hose, check the other hoses for obstructions as well. It is unlikely that the filter is so clogged that it would significantly reduce water pressure, but it doesn’t hurt to check. If the sand is left from the previous season, you should replace the sand regardless.
If there is no blockages found and the filter sand has been replaced, the only other culprit would be the pump itself. There are 3 main causes for pump pressure failure. The first and most common is a crack in the pump or cap. If not properly winterized, water can freeze inside the pump, cracking the housing. This crack then allows air into the pump when in operation.
Another cause is broken impeller blades. Under normal operation, the plastic impeller blades will last for a very long time. But, if debris is allowed to enter the pump, it can damage the blades rendering the pump rather impotent. The final cause can be simple mechanical failure. As is the case with any piece of machinery, components can fail.
So, if everything checks out on your pressure test described above, then you are probably looking at replacing your pump. If you would like a second opinion, remove the pump from your pool and take to your local pool supply store. Most can test the pump and determine if it indeed needs to be replaced.
Cheryl posted a question on the Factoidz forum asking how to stabilize the Cyanuric levels in a pool. First, what Cheryl is referring to is Cyanuric acid, more commonly known as “pool stabilizer”. This stabilizer is used to stabilize the chlorine levels in your pool.
Chlorine in your pool is adversely effected by the Sun’s UV rays by breaking down it’s molecular components and rendering it useless as a pool sanitizer. On a normal sunny day, a pool without a stabilizer can loose as much as 90% of the effective chlorine in as little as three hours.
Some people find that their Cyanuric levels are high and don’t know why. The probable cause is that the chlorine being used is a stabilized chlorine and additional stabilizer is being introduced to the pool. In other words, the stabilizer is already incorporated into the chlorine and the use of an additional stabilizer is essentially a double dose of Cyanuric acid which elevates the chemicals levels. To resolve this, simply switch to non-stabilized chlorine until the levels drop to normal, about 50 ppm.
Another persistent problem that can be hard to troubleshoot is a cloudy pool. The reason it can be so difficult to find the cause is that it can be the result of several causes. One clue to the cause can be the color of the water. Green or bluish water is the result of algae growth. Using a good algaecide can fix that problem.
Cloudy water that is brown or brownish green can denote metals in the water. Two of the most common are copper and iron. High levels of metal can cause green staining on swimmers nails and hair and can also stain pool walls. These can be removed by using a chelating agent, which essentially encapsulates the metals and allows for filtering.
Other causes of cloudy water can include hi pH levels, high alkalinity, high stabilizer level, high calcium content, high levels of solids or low chlorine levels. The best way to determine what is causing the cloudiness in the pool water is to use a premium test kit. Cheaper kits can keep you on tabs of your basic chemicals, but if you want a comprehensive look at your pools chemical structure, a premium kit will include tests for a wide variety of chemicals and compounds. You can also take a sample of your water to the local pool supply and they can test the water to tell you what may be wrong.