Common Pool Troubleshooting Tips

Written by Published in Pool Tips

Owning a pool is supposed to be fun and games, but sometimes an issue crops up that doesn’t have a quick solution. Waking up one morning to see your once-pristine pool looking like a swamp might seem like the end of the world, right?

But for most pool issues, there’s really an easy fix. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems for both salt water and chlorine pools to pop up during the life of your pool, and how to get rid of them—fast and easy.

Why is My Pool Water Green?

Green water might look like radioactive waste, but don’t worry—it’s usually just green algae.

Luckily, these little freeloaders are easy to eradicate if caught early. Check out our full guide on eliminating green algae ( plus pesky mustard and black algae) right here.

Speaking of which…

What Are Those Black Spots on the Walls and Floor of My Pool?

Those are black algae. Unfortunately, black algae isn’t quite as easy to eliminate as their green friends. Black algae requires a specially formulated algaecide to penetrate its protective coat, which acts as a shield against your eviction efforts.

Black algae is also really tough to remove because it can lodge itself in the tiny cracks and crevices in your pool walls. Check out the link above for detailed black algae removal tips.

Why is there Yellow Dust on the Walls and Floor of My Pool?

Last of the algae trio is mustard algae. Like black algae, it too requires a special type of algecide to remove effectively and quickly. However, it isn’t quite as stubborn and it’s easier to treat.

Again, check out the link above for our full guide on algae annihilation.

What is this Pink Slime in My Pool?

Surprisingly, that slimy pink stuff isn’t considered algae. Nope, the culprit is actually another type of bacteria native to some coastal areas. Pink slime bacteria can hitch a ride back to your own watering hole on traveling swimmers.

To get rid of pink slime, hit it hard and fast—give your pool a double dose of shock (2 pounds for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool). Exactly two days later, follow up with an all-in-one algaecide (6 ounces for every 10k gallons of water).

Why is My Pool Water Cloudy?

Smoky, cloudy, or hazy pool water has several causes. Here are the most common:

  • High alkalinity: In other words, the opposite of acidic. To fix high alkalinity in your pool simply add a pH reducer.
  • Low sanitizer level: If you rely on chlorine to keep your pool clean, you might not be using enough.
  • Too much organic waste: A standard shock treatment of one pound per 10,000 gallons should do the trick.
  • Calcium hardness or high total dissolved solids (TDS): With a TDS more than 3,000 parts per million (ppm) or calcium hardness upwards of 400 ppm, you’ll want to drain between 1/3 and ½ of your pool’s water, then replace it with fresh water.
  • Poor circulation and filtration: If there’s an issue with your pool’s plumbing, you’ll need to backwash the pool filter and clean it. Make sure all skimmer baskets and the pump strainer basket are clear of debris. Also, the filters may need chemical cleaning.

Why Does My Pool Water Burn My Eyes?

Salty pool water (if you don’t own a salt water pool), sudsy pool water, or irritating pool water are common issues with fairly simple solutions:

  • Salty pool water: Usually caused by elevated total dissolved solids (TDS), typically more than 3,000 ppm. Emptying your pool halfway and replacing the water with fresh water will solve the problem.
  • Sudsy pool water: More often than not, due to using too much algaecide. Stop using your current brand of algaecide, and purchase a higher quality non-foaming product. Replacing a portion of your pool water with fresh water will also help.
  • Burning, irritating pool water: May be caused by a pH imbalance, either too low or too high. Perfect pool water should sit between 7.4 and 7.6 pH. Check your automatic chlorinator (if you use one), and avoid using too much sanitizer in your pool.

What Do These Chlorine and pH Test Results Mean?

Your chlorine test is finished, and the result is bright orange/blue. What does it mean?

  • For chlorine tests, orange results indicate very high chlorine levels. While you can return balance to your pool simply by discontinuing chlorine use for a while, you can also speed up those results by using a chlorine neutralizer.
  • As for pH tests, blue or purple results indicate very alkaline water. Use a pH decreaser to return the pH to that 7.2 to 7.6 range.
  • Of course, the opposite holds true as well. If your chlorine or pH tests are consistently low, try using more chlorine or a pH increaser.

Got More Pool Questions?

While troubleshooting and maintenance come with the territory of owning a pool, choosing an elite pool builder is the best way to minimize the costs and headaches of maintenance down the road.

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