Common Swimming Pool Maintenance Problems  

by Pool Builders on 03-06-2012 in Articles

Common obstacles faced by swimming pool owners or pool maintenance people include unbalanced pH, algae infestation, discoloration of water and hard water, which has a host of its own problems. Luckily, these problems can be fixed rather easily.

By frequently testing your water, you can head off many of the pool maintenance issues mentioned above. But every now and then these problems can see crop up. While you might think cloudy water is always a sign that there is an algae infestation, it is not always true. Usually if the cloudy water has a tinge of yellowish green or green then, yes more than likely there is an algae problem. However, if it is just cloudy overall with no green tinge then there could just be a problem with the filtration system. There could be a blockage in the filter or the filter could simply just need to be cleaned or replaced. Increased alkalinity or another pH imbalance can also cause cloudy water. To fix this problem you just need to add an acid or alkaline product to get the pH to a normal level, somewhere between 7.6 and 7.2 or the alkalinity to be somewhere between 50 and 80 ppm.

Discoloration of the water does not always mean algae. If there is a coppery look to the water or an area of the floor or walls of the pool this could be caused by corrosion of various pool equipment parts. This coppery color can also be a side effect of using certain algaecides that are copper based or contain manganese. If the discoloration is more red or rusty looking, then it is probably a deposit from metal structuring or ladders, bolts, etc. Usually the only thing you have to do to fix these areas is to scrub them with a durable brush and let the filtration system work out the rest. Be sure in this case, that you check the pool filter often as you may need to change it more frequently if it is picking up these metal deposits and particles.

Only use durable or stainless steel brushes on pools that have a fiberglass shell or concrete walls and floor. For above ground pools or pools with vinyl liners, you will want to use brushes that are made of soft nylon or you can use a slightly abrasive sponge used for cleaning dishes. You can also use pumice on concrete pools, and it can be rather effective. However, do not use pumice on any decorative tile because the pumice will more than likely scratch up the tile pretty bad. In cases when discoloration cannot be scrubbed away, you might consider having the pool drained and professionally pressure washed or acid washed. For vinyl liners in this situation, you may need to have the area removed and patched.

Deposits from metal structures or bolts or copper based algaecides have the potential to really throw the pH balance off. To counter act this you will have to purchase a metal chelating agent from your pool supplies store. After applying this chemical you will have to keep the pool closed to swimmers for about 72 hours. And always test the pH to be sure everything is good to go.

Another type of build up you might find on the walls or in pool equipment is calcium carbonate. This is what often causes hard water and if not fixed will begin to accumulate and can even corrode concrete, fiberglass or vinyl lining as well as your expensive pool filtration system. Because this type of build up is less noticeable, inspect your pool for it routinely and keep a close eye on the pH balance. If you catch accumulation early you can generally remove it by using a water proof sandpaper or sturdy brush. If you didn't catch it early enough and the build up it so bad that you can't remove it with traditional means, you will more than likely have to have the pool drained and have it power sanded and/or replastered.

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