Houston, Katy, Missouri City Pool Service FAQ’s
Q. When should I backwash my filter?
The industry standard for backwashing is when the filter gauge shows a pressure that is ten pounds higher than a “clean” pressure. All filters work by forcing water through a porous media which traps the larger particles from the water. When the filter media is clean, the water passes easily through and the gauge pressure is lower. As debris is caught in the media it is harder to push the water through the filter which makes the gauge pressure higher. When enough debris is in the filter to clog it up by ten pounds, it’s time to backwash. Call us and we will be glad to schedule a visit to insure your equipment is running correctly.
Q. How often should my pool water chemistry be tested?
Residential customers should test the water and make adjustments NO LESS than once a week (the more often, the better). The sanitizer in a swimming pool makes it safe for the swimmers, the ph and other chemical balances keep the pool in good shape.
Q. How often should my D.E. filter be manually cleaned?
While periodic backwashing takes care of most of the debris inside a D.E. filter, only “breaking down” the filter and manually cleaning it will get rid of all the debris. Filter manufacturers recommend that a filter be manually cleaned twice a year (spring and fall are best). To prevent mishap the filter should be cleaned by a professional. Call us and we will be glad to schedule a service technician to clean your filter.
Q. My pool is cloudy, what do I do to fix it?
Pool water clarity is dependent on two things; the effectiveness of the filter and the chemical balance in the pool. The pool’s filter provides 85% of the water clarity and the chemicals used to treat a pool add the other 15%. Chemicals or filters alone cannot keep a pool clear. If the filter media is old it may need replacing. If the pool “balance” is wrong it needs fixing. Usually a cloudy pool is an indication that there is a filter problem. A D.E. filter may need a manual cleaning, a sand filter may need backwashing or replacement of the sand, a cartridge filter usually always requires replacement of the cartridge. If the pool water chemistry is ok, it’s time to perform maintenance on the filter.
Q. My pool pump is very noisy, is it time to replace it?
There are several reasons a pump can be noisy and each poses a different repair aspect. When air is introduced into a pump it is called caviation. Sometimes air is introduced because of a poor hydraulic design in the plumbing. Most of the time, air is introduced due to a leak in the pipes that lead into the suction side of the pump. All pumps have two “ball bearing” assemblies, one at the front of the motor and one at the back. The most common bearing failure is due to a leaking seal which allows water to enter the motor through the front bearing. Bearing failure usually start as a “whine” and quickly develop into a loud grinding noise, or an all out “screaming” sound. As a motor repair or replacement is fairly technical, we recommend you call of for a service appointment to determine and fix the source of the noise.
Q. My pool light stopped working.
- The bulb is burnt out and the bulb and lens gasket should be replaced.
- The ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protecting the light circuit has tripped and needs to be reset.
- The light is activated with a timer or a photocell that has failed.
- The light circuit at the breaker panel has tripped and needs to be reset.
Q. My pool seems to be losing water, what should I do?
- Check for leaks at the pool equipment pad. A normal equipment pad is completely dry all the time.
- Inspect the interior of the pool or spa for cracks. Pools and spas sometimes have a tendency to shift due to soil conditions which can lead to fractures in the shell.
- Check the backwash line for water loss. Sometimes the valve seat inside the backwash valve can become loose which will cause water to exit the system through the backwash line.
- Check your water bill. If you see an increase in your water usage this may be an indicator to an underground leak.
Q. The pressure gauge on the filter is abnormally low.
A low pressure on the filter gauge usually indicates that water is not being allowed to get to the pool pump. The usual suspects are that the skimmer baskets and the pump strainer basket are CLOGGED with debris (and should be cleaned), there could be a leak at the suction side of the pump, the pool water LEVEL is to low and the skimmer is sucking air, the skimmer weir (the little door in the FRONT of the skimmer) is stuck in the up position and must be freed, or the pump lid o-ring is missing OR is seated incorrectly (may just need lubrication).
Q. My pool pump hums but it won't start.
Electrical repairs can be hazardous or fatal if done improperly – always refer electrical repairs to a professional. We subcontract all our electrical work to a licensed contractor. There are several reason a pump won’t “spin”, they are:
- The starting capacitor has failed.
- The start switch has failed or is fouled.
- A damaged pump seal has allowed water into the motor which has caused the bearings to fail.
- The stator or armature windings have burnt out.
- The pump impeller is bound and can’t spin.
Q. The pressure gauge on the filter is high.
There are several reasons a filter gauge pressure can be excessive. The filter needs backwashing, the return line valves (the pipes that push water back to the pool) are shut or partially closed, the filter needs to have new media installed (D.E. manual breakdown, new filter sand, or a new cartridge element).
Q. Why is water constantly running out my backwash line?
The backwash valve is under pressure from the pump, and so if a failure occurs in the backwash valve, water will tend to “squirt out”. The two main reasons for this problem are that the valve gaskets have unseated or are missing, or the gaskets and o’rings need lubrication.
Q. Why does my system lose prime when it's turned off?
There is a leak somewhere in the plumbing, the entire system will slowly (or quickly, depending on the size of the “hole”) leak down to the water level of the pool. Once the piping system is empty it takes a lot of time to purge the air from the system and pick up a prime on the pump again. Leaks can stem from loose gaskets or orings, leaky valve stems, a leaking pump seal, a broken pipe OR poorly sealed threaded fittings — quite a few places, actually. the loss of prime should be fixed in order to prevent damage to the pump (pumps are not meant to run dry for any period of time).
Q. Why isn't my heater coming on?
All pool heaters have a series of safety switches inside that monitor if it’s okay for the heater to turn on. There is a pressure switch that senses if there is water coursing through the heater (heater MUST only engage if there is water flowing through the system). There are switches that sense if the heater is “too hot” that will keep a heater from turning on. Sometimes the thermostat needs to be adjusted “higher” to create a ‘demand for heat’. A dirty filter can prevent adequate water pressure from reaching the heater which will keep the heater from firing. The heater’s gas valve may be in the “off” position. There are quite a few reasons that a heater may not fire, and if the problem involves mechanical repairs, we recommend that the unit be serviced by a trained mechanic. Please call us to schedule an inspection.
Q. What is the normal water pressure for my filter?
Each swimming pool system has different water pressure tolerances. Please refer to your original owner’s equipment manual and/or startup instructions to identify the range of proper pressure for your swimming pool.
If you suspect that the pressure is too high, check and clean out all debris from baskets. In addition, check to see if all your equipment valves are set properly and backwash your filter for several minutes.
If you suspect that the pressure is too high, confirm that the pressure gauge re ads zero when the equipment is off. If it does not fall back down to zero, you will need to replace the gauge. Call us to schedule an appointment.
If you suspect that the pressure is too low, check and clean out all debris from baskets. In addition, check to see if all your equipment valves are set properly.
If you suspect that the pressure is too low, check to see if the gauge reads zero when the equipment is off. If it does not fall back down to zero, you will need to replace the gauge. Call us to schedule an appointment.
Q. My pool equipment is leaking.
Almost any pool equipment leak involves the replacement of defective parts with new. As pool equipment ages it develops stress fractures in the plastic and the metal because of the pressures involved and the equipment vibration. Some equipment leaks are very minor but all leaks should be repaired as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage. We recommend that you note the location of the leak, the model name of the device that is leaking, and call us with this information for service.