Swimming Pool FAQs

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 for complete backwash instructions for your filter or we’ll be glad to schedule a visit to insure your equipment is optimal.

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 system in good shape.

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, however, anyone who is mechanically handy can take on the task of opening the filter, cleaning the grids, inspecting the grid assembly, and reassembling the filter. Call us for specific instructions or if you find you need parts during the inspection.

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. The problem usually associated with a cloudy pool is a filter media filter. 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 cartridges. If the pool water chemistry is okay, it’s time to perform maintenance on the filter.

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 cavitation. 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 failures 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 us for a service appointment to determine and fix the source of the noise.

There are several possible reasons the pool or spa light doesn’t work.

  • 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.

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).

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.

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.

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 o-rings, leaky valve stems, a leaking pump seal, a broken pipe, 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).

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. Please note that we provide instruction on lighting ‘standing pilot’ heaters in the event the pilot light has blown out in the heater. 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 a inspection.

Have you ever wondered why you or your family’s eyes burn after swimming, or they are experience skin irritation? The chlorine level is low, but there is such a strong odor of chlorine. Hmm, doesn’t make sense, or does it??? What your pool or spa has is called Chloramines. And what happens is chlorine mixed with ammonia, and to a lesser degree, nitrogen, creates the odor of strong smelling chlorine called Chloramines.

So how do we get rid of these strong chlorine odors? Best guess would be just let it evaporate??? Just the opposite. We actually have to oxidize or burn the Chloramines out of the water. Remember, chlorine is an oxidizer and it basically burns out the contaminants in the water. Typically, you check your free chlorine reading right? Well, in this scenario you will be checking your combined chlorine levels. Follow the instructions on your test kit and it will tell you how to remove the Chloramines. It’s typically raising your chlorine to 10 times the level of combined chlorine for 3-4 hours. This will remove, or burn and oxidize out that smell! If you have any questions. Aquaman Pools is only a call away to answer any questions you may have.

With over 30 years of combined experience servicing, testing, repairing, cleaning and managing commercial swimming pools and spas Aquaman Pools has the knowledge and experience to accommodate all of your commercial swimming pool, spas, and water feature needs. Our staff members also carry all of the necessary certifications, licensing and insurance to ensure your managed bodies of water stay in complete compliance with the Maricopa County Board of Health at all times.

Aquaman Pools understands the stress and liability that can be associated with managing commercial and multi-family swimming pools: tenant or customer complaints, down time and injuries. We believe it is unnecessary for clients to suffer from this stress and added liability. It has always been our goal to provide excellent service and implement preventative measures to help prevent any unnecessary stress and liability from your pools and spas.