DIY Swimming Pool Maintenance and Repair Questions Answered

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Resident pool service expert, Christian Donovan, has agreed to share some of what he has learned over the years as route manager for Crystal Clear Pools and Spas in Austin, Texas.

1. How can I check to see if my swimming pool is leaking?

A simple bucket test can tell you if you have a leak. Place a bucket on the top step, filled to the same level as the pool. They should maintain the same water level; if the pool drops noticeably faster, it probably has a leak, and you should pursue leak detection.

2. Why is the water in my swimming pool cloudy / smoky / hazy?

This is usually caused by either by a chemical balance problem, poor pool filtration, or a combination of the two. This time of year, with the water warming up here in Austin, fertilizers from yards running off into pools, and pollen or leaves falling, sometimes water clarity problems can be caused by a combination of problems.

3. Why is my swimming pool water green?

This time of year in Texas, it can be because of oak, pecan, or other tree pollen, or it can be because of an algae problem (sometimes the first problem can lead to the second). Both can be corrected using basic pool cleaning techniques such as restoring normal system flow, balancing the water, and adding chlorine and/or algaecide treatments as needed.

4. What are the black spots on the floor and walls of my swimming pool?

This could be an algae problem, or a stain problem. If the spots feel slimy, they might be blue-green algae, and can be very tough to clean using basic pool cleaning methods. If they are smooth, or feel like the surrounding surface, they could be stains, which may be treatable. If the entire surface feels rough and pitted or porous, it might be time to re-surface your pool.

5. My pool water burns my eyes / is sudsy / salty. How can I fix this?

In many cases, this is simply due to a problem with water chemistry; the water is either out of balance according to accepted industry standards, or is in need of a “shock” treatment, to free up the chlorine in the water to do its job sanitizing the pool. In other cases, this can be the result of a high level of total dissolved solids, and it might be time to replace most, if not all of the pool water. If you aren’t sure, give us a call or bring by a water sample, and we’ll point you in the right direction.

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