Although some ‘off season’ home swimming pool problems require a bit of investigation to uncover, there are many that you can pick up on with little more than half a glance. In this article, we look at five of the most common winter home swimming pool problems and how to resolve them.
1) Green Water
Chief among the most visible swimming pool issues is the kind of murky green discolouration that makes your garden oasis look more like an ancient pond buried deep inside an enchanted forest.
This ugly green water is caused by algae build-up in your pool, and you’ll be glad to know that dealing with the problem is just as easy as identifying it. You’ll need to ‘shock’ the pool with a hefty dose of chlorine to kill off the majority of the algae, allowing you to vacuum the pool once the algae has settled at the bottom of the pool. The root cause of algal blooms is insufficient chlorine in the water, and it’s a common problem for pool owners who leave their pool full but largely unused over winter. Avoid the issue by reviewing your pool chemical top up schedule, and ensure the pool has adequate chlorination levels all year round.
2) Cloudy Water
Swimming pool water should be clear and clean looking, so if your pool looks more like it’s full of Victorian lemonade than water, there are a few possible explanations. The most likely cause is simply that your pool is too exposed to the elements, and all the dust, dirt, twigs, and leaves are simply proving too much for your filter to handle. In cases like these, check that your skimmer and pump baskets are clear and that your pool pump and filter are working properly, and that the pool is adequately covered – a damaged pool cover could be letting in debris and micro-organisms. If these causes are ruled out, the culprit could be…
3) pH Level Too High/Low
Ideally, your pool’s pH level will sit happily somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6. Outside of this range, though, the pool can become unhappy very quickly, and this unhappiness can manifest in a few ways. In addition to the aforementioned impact on the water’s clarity, a pH imbalance can be seriously detrimental to your skin.
Fortunately, it’s incredibly straightforward to address this via frequent repeated pH testing to ensure those numbers don’t start drifting away from the happy medium.
At the more serious end of the problem scale, we have one of the costlier issues to remedy: water that just won’t stay in the pool. To be clear, a small week-to-week decrease in an uncovered pool’s water level through evaporation is to be expected, even in winter, but if you notice a dip of more than 1-2 inches the alarm bells should start ringing.
If the water level is decreasing faster than this, it is probably attributable to structural issues with the pool itself. Cold weather makes the swimming pool lining, structure, and surrounding tiles expand and contract, opening cracks through which water can leak away. Although some materials (like concrete) are more prone to destabilisation than others (like fibreglass), no material is completely safe. Refinishing every 10-15 years will preserve the integrity, whilst preventative maintenance in the form of annual inspections will help you avoid any unexpected eye-watering repair bills.
Less common but no less problematic is the possibility that one day your pool might just start rising out of the ground. Although this is by no means an overnight process, the ramifications are no less significant in terms of damage to both the pool and the wider property and is typically caused by elevated levels of hydrostatic pressure in the groundwater. As the ground around the pool freezes and contracts, the pool can be physically lifted by several inches, only to drop down again as the ground softens. This repeated process can severely damage your pool and its supporting components.
If you’re still in the planning stages of a home swimming pool, you can guard yourself against this by ensuring the pool’s foundations are dug below the frost line, but if this isn’t an option for you then installing a hydrostatic relief valve at the bottom of the pool is the way to go.
Although there are several potential issues that pool owners must be mindful of over winter, attentive maintenance and regular inspections from a trusted provider like JB Elite will ensure that the risk of costly, disruptive repair work is kept to a minimum. To find out more or to request a quote, please get in touch today.
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