If you own a swimming pool, you know how much effort it takes to keep the water clean and fresh. Not surprisingly, there are some pool issues that almost every owner has encountered. But take heart! These common problems have solutions that can get your pool water looking great once again.
- Green Water: The presence of green algae gives pool water a green tinge. It grows on the sides of a pool and floats in the water. This issue is caused by poor sanitation and filtration of the pool water. You can get rid of green algae by adding algaecide to your pool and cleaning the filter.
- Black Algae: If you see black material growing on the sides and bottom of your pool, you likely have a case of black algae. This is an intense organism that feeds on itself and can burrow into concrete. To get rid of black algae, it's necessary to shock your pool three times and sanitize toys and other items that go into it.
- Pink Slime: Take a look at the PVC pipes in your pool's filtration system. It's not uncommon for a pool owner to see a coating of pink slime inside the pipes. Pink slime is also found in shady areas of your pool, such as behind ladders or on a pool wall under the edge of a water slide. The first step in getting rid of pink slime is to manually scrub it off. Next, quadruple-shock your pool water with chlorine shock and run your pool filter for a full 24 hours. Vacuum and clean your pool diligently for the next four days, then test the pH and alkalinity levels to make sure they are normal.
- Foamy Water: Do you see bubbles floating on the surface of your pool water? If so, they may be caused by algaecide or perhaps deodorant, shampoo, or other products worn by swimmers. If you just used algaecide, the bubbles will go away in a few days. If you suspect the foam is from deodorant or shampoo, ask your swimmers to rinse off before going into your pool. There are anti-foam chemicals available if these changes don't get rid of your foamy water.
- Swimmers' Blonde Hair Turning Green: The cuticle of each hair usually protects it from exposure to metals, but the cuticle can wear away over time. Copper in the pool water can become oxidized by chlorine, and when it seeps through damaged hair cuticles, it will turn blonde hair green. The solution to this issue is for the person to reduce their swimming time and wash the green color out with lemon juice.
- A Sharp Odor: If your pool water has an odor, it usually means there is a buildup of organic waste or oils in it. If this happens, shock the pool water and check the efficiency of your filtering system.
- Low pH Level: When the pH level of your pool water is low, it can corrode pipe fittings and pump connections. That's why it's so important to test your pool's pH level daily. I suggest getting a test kit with numbers that are easy to read so you always have accurate information. To raise the pH level, add sodium carbonate to the water per the instructions. Retest the water an hour or so later to determine any changes.
- High pH Level: A high pH reading may be a result of using too many chemicals in your pool. To lower the pH level, add a pool pH-reducing product to the deepest part of your pool while the filtration system is running. This will help to disperse the product evenly. Finally, do another pH test to check the level.
- Underperforming Filtration System: If you notice a lot of leaves and debris floating in your pool, then your filtration system is not operating at its best. The solution is to backwash your filtration system to thoroughly clean it out.
- Pool Water Makes Swimmers' Eyes Burn: The burning is caused by a pH level that is off balance or too much sanitizer in the water. Check your pH levels to see if there is an imbalance. If not, check your automatic chlorinator and lower the setting.
Once you get the hang of balancing the chemical levels in your pool water, you can avoid many of these issues. Happy swimming, and thanks for reading. - Alan