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Other Possible Swimming Pool Problems

The Pump Won't Prime
If this is a problem, it could be due to a number of reasons:

  • There is no water in the strainer
  • The strainer pot lid fastened correctly
  • The lid o-ring is damaged
  • Water levels are below the skimmer
  • The strainer basket or skimmer basket is clogged
  • The valve in the piping system is closed
  • The pump is on low speed (two-speed units only)
  • There may be an air leak in the suction line

High Filter Pressure (Low Flow)
Here is a list of the possible reasons for this swimming pool problem:

  • The filter is dirty
  • There is a restriction in the return line
  • The result of a bad pressure gauge

Low Filter Pressure (Low Flow)
Possible causes of low flow, low filter pressure:

  • Strainer basket or skimmer basket is clogged
  • Restriction in suction line
  • Air leak in suction line
  • Clogged pump impeller
  • Bad pressure gauge

The Motor Won't Turn
Here are some possible reasons for your motor problems:

  • The power switch is turned off
  • A circuit breaker is tripped
  • The pump is in "off" mode of a timer controlled circuit
  • Motor connections are mixed
  • The motor shaft is locked
  • The impeller is obstructed by debris

Common Problems for Swimming Pool Water

Water is classified as either surface water or ground water.

Surface Water
Surface water is the water found on the surface of the earth, including water found in lakes and rivers. Surface water is frequently called 'soft water' because of it's low mineral content. The problem with surface water is that it's prone to parasites and bacteria.

Ground Water
Ground water is water that is trapped beneath the surface of the earth. Melting snow and rain that soaks into the ground bring about ground water. It's typically called 'hard water' because it's high in dissolved mineral content. Ground water carry the same parasites and bacteria as surface water.

Know Your Sources
You might want to know the source of your water and find out if it is ground or surface water.

Hard Water
Hard water isn't as convenient or efficient as soft water is when it comes to bathing, shaving, washing your dishes, car or clothes. Hard water could do damage to your pool because when hard water is heated, re-crystallization can plug your pipes and hot water heater, causing heater failure and necessitatig that you replace your heater. It may also cause skin irritation.

If you think you have hard water, install a water conditioner or water softener. For more information, contact your local swimming pool dealer.

Black Algae
Check for the obvious signs in the water that your pool could have a problem. The pool's siding may have black spots - a sign that black algae has built up in those areas. Black algae could be difficult to remove, but if the problem is minor, some persistent scrubbing will do the trick. Or simply use black algaecide to fix the problem. Wash your pool with chlorine when you drain it.

Murky, Cloud Water
If your pool is already filled and the water appears murky and cloudy, there could be one of four problems:

1. Fine suspended water particles transform to small solid particles by precipitation. You can fix this problem if you check your ph levels. You can lower the ph using dry acid until you get an adequate reading.

2. There is dirt or bather pollution in the water meaning the filtration is inadequate. Tackle this problem by washing the filter and raising free chlorine evels to around 10 parts per million using unstabilised chlorine. Add some water clarifier.

3. There is too much stabiliser in the water, and the chlorine is taking longer to kill micro-organisms. The micro-organisms build up making the water appear hazy. If this is the case, Lower the levels of stabiliser by replacing some of the water with large backwash or drain it to. Top it up with fresh mains water.

4. The filter is broken or it is blocked. You might want to replace the sand. If the sand particles have become coated in calcium then the filter is not blocked, try sharpening the sand with a filter cleanser.

Green Water
If your pool water is green it could mean that algae has built up in the water. This usually means the chlorine levels have dropped so low that it is ineffective. Kill the algae with unstabilised chlorine and brush off any remaining algae on the liner/pool siding. Use algaecide and maintain sufficient chlorine levels when you refill.

Reddish Water
If the water is a reddish color, the pipes may be rusted. Call your dealer to see if you can drain your pool quickly or if you need to slowly dilute it. Clean the liner and tile with tile cleaner. Most importantly, check the pipes, valves and fixtures of your swimming pool and replace them with copper fittings. Again check pH levels and alkalinity when refilling.

Hammer Got more questions about your swimming pool? Talk to other DIYers in our Pools forum and get the answers you need!