28 April 2017
10 signs your pool needs servicing
Pools are a great addition to any home - they allow people the time and space to pursue a healthy swim, or a relaxing rest by the water, at their leisure. Being a pool owner comes with a set of responsibilities, however. Like any other room or space at home, a pool requires maintenance and upkeep. Ensuring that you consult a regular service technician is the best way to keep your pool running smoothly and to avoid the most common issues that all pool owner’s face at one time or another.
1. Broken lights: Repairing a broken pool light yourself isn’t difficult, but you must make sure that all electricity is switched off at the mains while you replace the light bulb. If you have multiple broken lights, it could be a sign that you need to call in a professional to service the electrics and replace the bulbs.
2. Blocked pipework: There are many causes of dirty pool water, so don’t rule anything out. Blocked pipes can be a culprit. Chemical imbalances or insufficient skimming can both lead to a build-up of debris in the pipes. In turn, this reduces the flow of water through the filtration system, stopping the pool from being cleaned properly. This kind of problem definitely requires the help of a professional to service the pipes.
3. Discoloured grout: The grout between your swimming pool tiles can become discoloured which can make the pool finish look unpleasant, even though the tiles are clean. If you have discoloured grout the pool may need an acid wash or potentially re-grouting altogether, depending on the severity of the problem.
4. Green algae: Algae is one of the most common problems facing pool owners. Luckily, there are easy fixes. Minor algae can be cleared with brushing, and more severe cases can be tackled with a chlorine shock treatment. The use of an algaecide will also clear and prevent algae growth in the future.
5. Stinging eyes and irritated skin: Minor pH imbalances in the pool water can cause itchy skin and stinging eyes for swimmers. Test the pH levels to determine whether or not you need to administer pH reducer, or sodium carbonate, to lower or raise the water back to healthy levels.
6. Cracks in the walls: Leaks and cracks can occur in concrete pools for many reasons, most of them relate to structural problems in the concrete itself. You might need to have the liner re-sealed or the concrete replaced and upgraded. Call your pool engineer if you notice any cracks - the sooner you deal with them, the easier the fix will be.
7. Malfunctioning heater: If your pool water is too hot, too cold, or prone to fluctuation, your pool heater may not be working properly. Insufficient water flow, air flow blockage, energy inefficiency, and control malfunction can all cause heating issues. Call your pool engineer for advice - the heater may need servicing or even replacing.
8. Blocked sand filter: Filters play a vital role in keeping a pool clean. Sand filters are the most popular type of filter, using silica sand to filter out dirt. They require a weekly backwash in order to function healthily, but even a regular backwash won’t stop the sand from degrading over the long term. The filters need replacing every 3-5 years. It is not recommended that you replace the sand yourself. If your sand filter is blocked, it might be time to replace it with a new sand filter or even the more advanced glass media filter which offers superior filtering.
9. White deposits on tiles: Just as algae build-up on tiles can demonstrate a pH imbalance, white deposits on tiles could indicate a build-up of calcium as a result of high pH, alkalinity, or calcium in the water. Getting rid of these white deposits requires frequent scrubbing of the tiles with a scale removal product and careful maintaining of your pool’s pH levels. Make a plan of action with your service technician.
10. Foam: Foam can appear on your pool surface for a variety of reasons. This makes it difficult to diagnose. One of the most common causes is the poor application of algaecide. If it’s used too much or too often, a copper or silver-based algaecide will often result in foamy water. It’s recommended to check your usage of algaecide and adjust the frequency with which it is used.
Foam can also be caused by something simpler, such as skin and hair products entering the water - swimmers should always shower before entering the pool to remove these oily products. You can get rid of foam with a chlorine shock or by raising the calcium content of your water with calcium chloride. Foam may also indicate that there is air in your pump system or chemical problems, so it’s important to rule out other factors with your technician whenever possible.
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At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool maintenance, servicing and refurbishment, so if you have a pool that’s in need of regular maintenance or a facelift, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice. If you have an older swimming pool that needs upgrading, we suggest planning your refurbishment for the autumn, so all the work is done and dusted before the next swimming season.