Investing in a pool is just that—an investment. So why risk making some common mistakes that ruin pool equipment? We’ve seen lots of pool owners who are facing expensive repairs that could have been easily prevented.
Read on to learn what the common mistakes are, and how to ensure you don’t end up costing yourself high priced repairs down the line.
You Have an Algae Problem and Aren’t Treating It
If you have an algae problem, many inexperienced pool owners try to troubleshoot by using various cleaning tools, such as a skimming net or a pool vacuum.
Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to prevent damage to your pool equipment. Besides the obvious yuck factor, algae is a problem because it can gum up your pool’s circulatory system. Algae can clog your skimmer, and if it gets to your filter, it can stick in the filter and keep water from flowing through. To effectively remove algae, the first thing you have to do is kill it. You can use pool shock to treat algae, along with an algaecide. Once the algae are dead, you can use a skimmer to remove a lot of it, then scrub the sides and bottom of your pool to remove stuck-on algae. Finally, vacuum up the dead algae that you bushed off the sides and bottom.
You Aren’t Maintaining pH and Alkalinity
Did you know that keeping your pH levels too low can damage your pool equipment? Don’t skimp on your pool’s chemicals, because although your highly acidic pool looks clean and healthy, it is actually slowly eating away at your pool equipment.
In fact, a highly acidic pool can damage any of the following:
- Your pool filter and pump
- Your pool’s heater
- Your pool’s vinyl liner
- Your pool’s solar blanket
- Your pool’s maintenance equipment
If your pool’s pH gets low enough, it can ruin anything that touches your water, including pool ladders, railing, and even your swimsuit. Test your pool water often to ensure the pH is between 7.2 and 7.8. You can add soda ash if your pH is too low. If your pH is too high, you need to add a specialized pH decreaser.
The total alkalinity level should be between 80 ppm and 150 ppm. Just be careful to avoid adding too much at once. When your alkalinity level is too high (you’ll know, because your pool will have a cloudy look to it), changing pH will be very difficult. Add a bit of acid at a time, with three days of rest in between, so you don’t overbalance the chemicals.
When total alkalinity is low, the pH will fluctuate all over the place, and it can be tough to balance. Add a product with sodium bicarbonate to raise total alkalinity.
Your Pool Water Is Too Hard or Too Soft
If you aren’t keeping your pool water at the right hardness, you aren’t protecting the fiberglass, plaster, and filter system effectively. Many first-time pool owners don’t understand the importance of calcium hardness—and that it’s just as crucial as monitoring its pH levels.
When you use calcium hardness correctly, you prolong the life and overall health of your pool’s interior.
Make sure that the calcium hardness maintains a level of 175-225 ppm for a vinyl or fiberglass pool or 200-275 for a concrete. That may take some extra care during the hot summer months when you’ll lose water because of evaporation and splashing guests! But keeping the water hard enough is crucial because water that is too soft will pull calcium out of your pool walls, causing permanent damage.
On the other hand, pool water that is too hard will look cloudy, and if left untreated, can lead to hard-to-remove calcium deposits and ruin pool your equipment. The most common way to reduce hardness is to add flocculant, which causes the calcium to clump together so that it can be removed with a vacuum. Just make sure that your pool pump is off when you add the flocculant because pool floc can damage your filter medium. Also, make sure you vacuum to waste when you remove the clumps of calcium.
Keeping Your Pool Healthy
Being a pool owner means there is never a dull moment. You need to monitor and adjust your pool water every few days if you don’t want to ruin pool equipment. Avoiding these common pool equipment traps can ensure that you move through the challenges quickly, and can spend more time enjoying all the benefits of pool ownership! If you’d like a little help keeping your pool balanced, don’t hesitate to contact The Pool Butler.