Troubleshooting Common Pool Problems: Tips from Atlanta's Pool Care Experts

May 16, 2024
backyard pool with green-tinted water requiring pool care

There are a multitude of common pool problems you’re likely to encounter as a pool owner. We understand the frustration caused by these issues, and how they can prevent you from making the most of your pool - unfortunately, there truly is a myriad of different afflictions and each has its own unique solution. 

You may be scratching your head, wondering what caused these problems in the first place and how you can get it fixed as fast as possible. Fortunately, the pool cleaners at Captains Pool Care have extensive experience, and we’re happy to reassure you that no matter what the problem is, with proper maintenance and some savvy troubleshooting, you can have these issues resolved when you first spot them. Here are our top tips for keeping your pool in perfect condition when faced with common pool problems: 

1. Green Water

One of the most common pool problems owners run into is the slow development of green water. This is unsightly and not entirely encouraging to get into. Green, slimy, and murky swimming pool water is often a result of algae growth, but it can also be caused by the filter not working properly or by air that is dissolved in the water. 

Algae is the most likely culprit, even though it cannot form if there is a small amount of chlorine present in the water. This is why algae blooms begin to develop from the corners of the pool where there is little water movement and thus less chance for new chlorine to be circulated effectively. 

Algae blooms can be encouraged by warm weather, poor circulation, and low chlorine levels, so the best solution, therefore, is to check that the levels of chlorine are high enough and the pump, filter, and circulation system are in working order. It’s important to note that sufficient chlorine has to be added to kill the complete population of algae in the pool and establish a level of chlorine in the water; otherwise, the algae carries on breeding in the pool so the chlorine seems to be having no effect. Algae that is growing on the sides and bottom of the pool will need to be physically scrubbed away, and it is helpful to continue circulating the pool while the dead algae are removed from the water. If your water becomes cloudy with dead algae, consider adding a water-clarifying agent. 

2. Can’t Detect Chlorine

Some pool owners are surprised to find that they cannot detect or measure any chlorine levels in their pool despite adding it in. They add chlorine, test the water, find nothing, then add more - so what’s going on? This can be due to a couple of different causes. 

Most likely, owners may be using a DPD chlorine test - in this case, DPD tests are unfortunately bleached by chlorine levels in excess of 15 ppm and will therefore appear as if it has no chlorine reading. To remedy this, try diluting a sample of the pool water with four parts tap water and then performing another reading. Your true reading will be the diluted result multiplied by five. 

However, not reading any chlorine in your tests could also be due to a high level of algae that is breaking down the chlorine, or due to intense sunlight with no stabilizer agents in the water (which will also break down the chlorine). 

3. Cloudy Water

Cloudy pool water is another common problem for pool owners. If your pool water is cloudy but not green, try the following steps: 

  1. Check the pH, stabilizer, chlorine, and alkalinity levels.
    1. Ensure the pH is between 7.2 and 7.4
    2. Ensure the chlorine is between 1 and 3 ppm
    3. Reduce levels of stabilizer (cyanuric acid)
    4. Increase the alkalinity levels 
  2. Check the pump and filter
    1. Backwash filter
    2. Remove the filter lid and check the sand levels
    3. Ensure there are no gaps or holes in the sand
    4. If there is sand at the bottom of the pool, this is an indication of damage to the distributor
  3. Add a water clarifying agent and let the pool circulate overnight

4. Scale Buildup

If you notice white scaling around the sides of your pools, this is an indication that there is a chemical imbalance. Simply ensure that the pH and alkalinity levels are balanced, then you can treat the white scaling stains with a pumice stone and a mild acidic cleaning solution. 

5. Clogged Filter

Pool filters can easily be clogged by debris and impurities such as grass, dirt, dust, algae, and leaves as well as incorrect usage of earth or sand relative to your filter type. An easy fix to get your filter running as it should be is to turn off the filter and unplug the pump, then check the pump basket for any debris that needs to be removed. After clearing the filter, make sure you check that you’re using the right type and amount of filter material to prevent future clogs.

6. Skin and Eye Irritation 

The primary culprit for eye and skin irritation from your swimming pool is incorrect chlorine levels, particularly chlorine levels that are too high. If your chlorine level exceeds 0.5 ppm, perform a backwash and replace some of the water in your pool. Another potential issue could be a pH level outside the range of 7.2-7.4. Correct the pH levels and chlorine level and your eye and skin irritation should stop! 

7. Foaming 

Foaming is caused by a reaction between the alkalinity of your pool water and the body oils of individuals who enter the pool. Cosmetic products, suntan lotions, and detergents can all wash off in the water causing it to foam up, but this can easily be mended by showering before getting into the pool or applying an antifoam agent to your pool water. There’s a chance that the foaming could be caused by low calcium hardness, however, so be sure that this is increased to 200 ppm to prevent foaming.

Hire the Help of Professional Pool Cleaners 

Swimming pools are meant to bring us relaxation and comfort, not irritation and anxiety! Unfortunately, those who are inexperienced with poolcare will face these problems frequently which can lead to dissatisfaction and even health risks. If you find yourself running into these common pool problems and would prefer the peace of mind that your pool is maintained to the highest professional standards, don’t hesitate to contact the expert pool cleaners at Captains Pool Care today! 

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