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Trouble Shooting at Pool Openings

Ok folks, lets get right into some issues which you may find once you get your pool cover off the pool and go through some trouble shooting steps.

1. Water level is low to non existent: 1st make sure your pool cover didn't have holes in it and you didn't pump your water out of the pool when you were pumping water off the cover. If this isn't the case and you lost a large amount of water you most likely have a hole in your liner or split seam. Liners without water is not a good thing as they tend to shrink and once you refill the pool the liner can break free from the coping or bead lending itself unfixable so if you have an older liner I would suggest calling in a pro to give you suggestions even on a newer liner I would call and ask depending on your given situation and water level.
2. You've opened the pool and water level is down from where you remember lowering it for winterization. This could be as easy as water displacement from your winter cover and ice during the winter months. Mark your water level with a piece of duct tape and see if it lowers any further over 24 hrs before unplugging your return lines and skimmer if all seems good go ahead and unplug your lines and skimmer and continue with opening making sure your water level is back up to operation level (mid skimmer) and connect your filter. Bring that piece of duct tape to current water level. If the filter is running and you begin to loose water you now know it is at the filter side such as a small leak at the connections or within your lines.
3. You have plugged in your pump and it just hums. This could be something as simple as a clogged or seized impeller. If you get nothing no noice or hum, check and make sure circuit breaker is on if still nothing you may need a replacement motor. You don't have to buy a whole new pump and housing just a new motor. While you have the pump apart to replace a motor I would suggest replacement of the gaskets and seal assembly while you are at it.
4. Leaks at filter or air leaks where filter pressure is too low and no water flow: check all your o-rings to make sure they are not rigid, stretched or flattened this can cause small leaks and air leaks in your system. If you have an air relief valve on system let out air. Most common is the pump cover o-rings which need replacing which can cause air in the system and for the pump not to prime. If you are using lube on your o-rings do not use vasoline this breaks down the gaskets use proper lube such as Jacks or Magic Lube specifically made for these parts.
5. Pump not priming: try filling the pump side with water from your hose or stick a garden hose in the skimmer side while trying to prime the pump. Make sure air is out of the system. Check the pump cover o-ring that it is sitting right and cover is tight.
6. Filter pressure running high and no water flow going into the pool: If you are getting poor water flow going back into the pool check your gauge, if it is running high it's time to backwash the filter system, remember to backwash until you see clean water coming out and if you have a DE system to recharge with earth each time.
7. Sand or DE coming back into the pool: This may be an indication that something is wrong with the guts of the filter, check your grids and fingers for holes, your gaskets for tears and ridges, missing o-rings or cracks in the manifolds or other filter assemblies. What looks like a small line can be a crack which when operating opens up to let sand and earth through to the pool. Replace parts necessary and remember to go to your local store with your make and model of the filter system you need parts for. Just because a filter tank looks likes yours doesn't mean it has the same parts it is really helpful to have the make and model.

A word on SAFETY when opening your pool.

While your pool opening is in progress and after always remember safety first. An empty pool or one with a little water is just as dangerous as a full one, so make sure you have your gate locks, door alarms and pool alarms attached and working. If you are in the middle of working on electrical equipment keep these things in an area where curious children and pets won't pick them up or play with them. Make sure that all your safety grates for low suction lines and main drain covers are firmly attached and not cracked. If your skimmer or pump baskets have cracks replace them. If you are required to have a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) make sure it is calibrated and in working form. Don't use an extension cord guys get your electrical done correctly.
Lastly make a check list of safety issues and pool rules you would like to review with your family and their friends.

Coming up next: Does your pool look like a swamp? Chemical Lesson 101

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