Trouble Shooting Guide

The following guide will help you resolve some of the most common problems associated with pool operation.

Water chemistry

In order to avoid causing damage to pool liners and equipment, the pool water must be maintained at levels within the following ranges: Chlorine 1.5 to 2.5 PPM, PH 7.2 to 7.6, Alkalinity 80 to 120 PPM, Hardness 200 to 400 PPM, Stabilizer 20 to 50 PPM. Operating your pool outside of these ranges will lead to water quality problems and premature deterioration of mechanical equipment. Note: With the proliferation of relatively inexpensive pool heaters on the market, it has become imperative that the PH of the pool water be maintained between 7.2 and 7.6. Failure to do so could destroy a heater core in less than 1 season.

IF YOU HAVE A SALT SYSTEM NEVER ADD SALT DIRECTLY TO THE SKIMMER OR MAIN DRAIN

Hayward Aqua Rite salt system – not giving accurate readings

If the salt system is not giving accurate readings and assuming the salt cell is clean, with the pump running, do the following:

  • move switch from Auto to Off
  • wait 10 seconds
  • when you hear "click" inside machine, press "diagnostic" button 5 times
  • PPM reading appears and begins to scroll down
  • when the number on the screen matches your manual reading (test strip), switch to "super chlorinate" and back to "auto" to set it
  • If nothing is happening or the readings do not match, the cell is probably dead.

    Cloudy or green water

    This problem normally arises due to high PH levels, low levels of chlorine or both. In very rare instances, excessive use of the pool (ie. parties), high levels of stabilizer (cyanauric acid) or failure to backwash the filters can also lead to this condition.

    Test the PH and lower to between 7.2 and 7.6 using PH- (sodium bisulphate). Test for chlorine and raise to 2.5 to 3 PPM. Check flow at the pool. Maintain these levels for 48 to 72 hours and the pool should clear up, assuming that the circulating system is functioning properly. If the flow is poor, see below.

    Algae growth

    Should the pool show signs of algae growth on the walls or floor of the pool you must brush the affected areas, set the chlorine level to 3 to 5 PPM for 12 to 24 hours. Raise the level of the pool to permit additional vacuuming time if required. Then, vacuum the dead algae with the filter handle at the "drain" position.

    Poor flow at the pool (return jets)

    Low pressure reading at the filter

    This indicates that the pump is not getting enough water or is not primed. Check the pump and skimmer baskets and clean as required. With the pump turned off, check the impeller to ascertain whether it may be clogged by reaching in and trying to pull out any debris that may have accumulated and then prime the pump (see below). In rare instances, the pipe between the skimmer and the pump may have become clogged, requiring a technician to perform repairs.

    High pressure reading at the filter

    This indicates that the filter is in need of a backwash. (Do not backwash too frequently...note the pressure reading after having backwashed the filter and do not do another until the pressure rises 6 to 8 psi above that level.)

    Priming the pool pump and cleaning the pump basket

    Close the suction valve(s) on the horizontal pipe leading to the pump (shut all valves if the pump is located in a basement or any other area below the level of the pool), turn off the pump and remove the pump lid. Clean the basket, fill the pump with water, clean the gasket on the lid and replace the lid. Turn on the pump, open valve(s) on the return line (if necessary) and then slowly open the valve(s) on the suction line. Monitor the pump until you see water entering the pump and filling the pump basket.

    Backwashing the filter

    When the reading on the pressure gauge of your filter reaches plus or minus 28 psi, close the valves on the pipe that leads into the pump horizontally, then immediately turn off the pump. Move the handle on the filter from Filter to Backwash. Make sure that the water level in the pool is close to the top of the skimmer mouth. Open valve on backwash line or unroll backwash hose as required. Turn on pump for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sight glass on the filter is clear. Turn off pump, turn handle to Rinse and run pump for 30 seconds. Turn off pump, turn handle to Filter and start pump. Confirm that the pump is primed and there is good flow at the pool. Close backwash valve and roll up backwash hose (if required).

    Pool losing water

    With the pool at normal operating level, mark the level of the water on the inside of the skimmer and note the time. Check the level again after 24 hours and measure the loss as precisely as possible. Refill your pool to the level it was at before the test was performed. Repeat the above with the filtration system turned off and inform LCS of the results when making your request for service. This information will simplify the task of locating the leak, thereby minimizing the cost of the repair.

    A few safety tips...

    • Do not touch any electrical switch while wet or while standing in a puddle of water
    • Never leave children unattended in the vicinity of the pool
    • Never open a container of chemicals while you are wet (dripping water onto chemicals can cause a serious reaction)
    • Always add chemicals to water (do not add water to chemicals) and mix in a well-ventilated area
    • Never mix different chemicals (in buckets, chlorinators etc.)
    • Always store chemicals in a cool, dry, location out of the reach of children, with containers tightly sealed
    • In case of emergency keep the phone number of the Quebec Poison Control Center handy (1-800-463-5060)
    • Do not permit anyone to play around the drain in the deep end of your pool (for fear of entrapment)
    • Do not permit anyone to dive headfirst into the pool from the deck or the dive stand as the pool is too shallow
    • Keep all access routes (ie. gates, doors etc.) to the pool locked at all times when pool is not being supervised
    • Always have a ring buoy or shepherds hook on an insulated pole available near the pool in case of emergency
    • Never swim alone or after consuming drugs or alcohol
    • Keep phone near pool for emergencies