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Swimming Pool Water

TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDE

Got pool problems?

Most swimming pool water problems are the result of one or more of the following:

  1. No free available chlorine.
  2. Poor water circulation.
  3. Not using test kits, or not reading them correctly.
  4. Lack of proper pool maintenance, which includes periodic super-chlorination and fresh water replacement.

CHECK THE SYMPTOMS LISTED BELOW, THEN APPLY THE SUGGESTED REMEDY….


PROBLEM: Cloudy water. Water appears murky or turbid due to suspended matter.

Causes:

  1. Algae
  2. Too high a hardness level
  3. Too frequent backwashing
  4. Inefficient filter
  5. Plugged or channeled filter
  6. Precipitating calcium compounds
  7. Improper pH
  8. Improper total alkalinity
  9. Too high a total dissolved solids content

Remedies:

  1. Inspect filtration system
  2. Adjust you pH and total alkalinity to proper levels, as well as the free available chlorine
  3. Maintain a consistent 1.0 - 1.5 ppm free chlorine level

PROBLEM: Algae. Green, cloudy water or dark green or black spots on pool walls. Algae is not only unsightly, but it makes surfaces slippery. Algae can clog pumps and filters, and may harbor bacteria.

Causes:

  1. Insufficient free-chlorine residual
  2. Not following routine pool maintenance, including testing and sanitizing.

Remedies:

  1. Super-chlorinate
  2. Check pH and adjust, if necessary, to comfort zone: pH 7.2 - 7.8
  3. Brush spots with pool brush to remove clinging algae
  4. Maintain a minimum chlorine residual of 1.0 to 1.5 ppm

PROBLEM: Eye burns an chlorine-like odors.

Causes:

  1. Improper pH
  2. Combined chlorine

Remedies:

  1. Super-chlorinate
  2. Adjust pH to proper 7.2 - 7.8 range
  3. Maintain proper levels of pH, total alkalinity, and free chlorine residual

PROBLEM: Stains. Usually brownish stains on pool surface.

Causes:

  1. Corrosion of pool’s metal hardware due to low pH
  2. High pH
  3. High alkalinity
  4. Dissolved metals

Remedies:

  1. Adjust pH to 7.2 - 7.8
  2. Adjust total alkalinity
  3. Check with your pool chemical dealer about: Using chelating materials or acid washing your pool

PROBLEM: Clogged Filter. Water flow through your filter is impeded, resulting in increase in circulatory system pressure.

Causes:

  1. Algae
  2. Calcification
  3. Hair
  4. Suntan lotion
  5. Improper pH
  6. Improper total alkalinity

Remedies:

  1. Check the guide-lines for your pool, including proper pH and total alkalinity, adjust them to proper levels
  2. Maintain proper levels for pH and total alkalinity

PROBLEM: Foaming. When your pool water looks like soap bubbles.

Causes:

  1. Too high a concentration of algaecide
  2. Organic debris in water

Remedies:

  1. Read product labels carefully, and obey dosage instructions
  2. Discard water, as necessary
  3. Super-chlorinate
  4. Adjust pH, total alkalinity, and free chlorine residual to proper ranges
  5. Maintain those proper levels

PROBLEM: Scale. White, gray, or brownish deposits on pool surface or heater coils.

Causes:

  1. Calcium carbonate deposits caused by excessively hard water
  2. Accumulation of dissolved solids

Remedies:

  1. Adjust pH to 7.2 - 7.8
  2. Adjust total alkalinity
  3. Check with your pool chemical dealer about: Using chelating materials or acid washing your pool

PROBLEM: Colored Water(1). Water in a newly-filled pool turns blue, brown, or black when first treated chemically.

Causes:

  1. Chlorine turns unseen copper, iron, or manganese in the water into unwanted and highly-visible compounds
  2. Water velocity in circulatory system too high

Remedies:

  1. Adjust pH to 7.8
  2. Run filter continuously and backwash as required
  3. Vacuum settled material to waste
  4. Check velocity of water to make sure copper is not leached out of lines
  5. Ask your authorized pool dealer about use of alum for faster clean-up results

PROBLEM: Colored Water(2). Water in already-filled pool turns various colors.

Causes:

  1. Leaves, other organic debris in water
  2. Algae

Remedies:

  1. Clean pool of leaves or other debris
  2. Super-chlorinate
  3. Adjust the free chlorine residual, the pH and total alkalinity to proper levels
  4. Maintain those levels

PROBLEM: Total Dissolved Solids. (Measures of all dissolved materials). Erratic pool behavior, scaling, staining, reduced chlorine efficiency.

Cause:

  1. Insufficient fresh water added to pool

Remedies:

  1. Discard "old" pool water
  2. Adjust your pool guidelines to proper range
  3. Maintain those proper levels