A pool requires regular maintenance to keep water clean and safe. Professionals at San Antonio Pool Repair can perform a wide range of repairs, but there are some that homeowners can tackle on their own.
Clogged water intake and outtake lines can turn pool water dirty. You can blast clogged lines with a Drain King nozzle attached to a garden hose.
A liner that is more than a few years old may start to develop tears. These often form at the areas of a pool where water gathers. It is important to check these areas regularly for signs of a tear. When a tear is found it is important to patch it quickly so that the area will not leak. Small tears can usually be repaired with duct tape or waterproof pool patch kits. Larger holes will require more vinyl patching and may not hold up as well in the long run.
A good way to test for a tear in the liner is to walk around the pool and feel for any spots that are squishy. If you find a squishy spot, this is likely an area that has a hole or tear in the liner and is leaking. You can also use a pool leak detection kit to see where the water is leaking from.
If you are able to patch the tear in the liner, this will stop any further loss of water and extend the life of the pool liner. However, this is only a temporary fix and the liner will eventually need to be replaced. The time it takes for this to happen depends on the size of the tear and the age of the liner.
Tears in the liner may also be caused by sharp objects that are thrown into the pool or falling debris. This is why it is important to keep the surrounding area of your pool clear. You can also protect the liner by placing a foam coving around the edges of your pool. The foam coving will help to prevent any objects from getting into the liner.
Another common sign of a liner that is nearing the end of its life is faded vinyl material. This is due to harsh sunlight and the chemicals used in the pool. When this happens, the liner will become brittle and the vinyl material can easily crack or tear.
You do not have to drain the pool if you notice a tear in the liner, but it is important to lower the water level to the normal operating level. This will prevent water from collecting behind the liner and creating a larger tear or crack.
Cracks in the Wall or Tile
When cracks show up in the walls or tile of your pool, it can be a big deal. Not only does it look bad, but it may indicate a structural problem. If the cracks are severe, it is likely that your pool is leaking and needs a full renovation including deck and coping work. Surface cracks are usually caused by water movement and the expansion/contraction of the concrete structure. This can be due to hot or cold weather or the concrete curing process. This is also common in old pools.
Often, these cracks are hairline and can be seen in the area of the top step or anywhere close to the surface of the water. This type of crack is called a shrinkage crack. This can be caused by weather, wind and/or excessive temperatures during the construction of the pool or from improper curing of the concrete.
Structural cracks are deeper and run through the entire shell of the pool. These cracks are most often caused by poor design and engineering of the foundation or the supporting structure of the pool. They can also be caused by ground settling and soil movement that was not taken into consideration during the construction of the pool or by homebuilders who are cutting corners in the construction process.
If you have a structural crack in your pool, it is important to have the crack checked by a professional to ensure that the crack is not leaking and that proper repairs are needed. If the crack is leaking, it will need to be repaired with a special material to prevent further problems.
Another common type of crack in your pool is a cracking or delaminating of the tiles. This can be caused by a number of factors including poor design, substandard materials, or even just aging.
The easiest way to fix these cracks is by using a waterproof caulk. This is available at most hardware stores and can be purchased in a variety of colors to match your pool. The other option is to retile your pool, which can be a more expensive alternative but it will completely restore the integrity of your pool. If you decide to retile your pool, it is important to use a high-quality product that will last for years and won’t deteriorate quickly.
Leaks are a serious problem and can not only affect the water level of your pool but could also cause structural damage to your concrete or gunite shell. A leak can also strain the equipment that circulates and filters the water, and make it difficult to keep your pool’s chemical levels in balance. Letting a leak go unchecked can also lead to significant increases in water and utility bills. There are several ways to detect a leak but a good method is the bucket test. Fill a bucket and place it on the second step of your pool. Then mark the inside and outside water lines with a sharpie. Wait 24 hours and see if the bucket water level drops significantly. If the bucket water level is lower than the mark you made on the steps, it’s likely that evaporation is not the culprit and your pool has a leak.
A leak in your vinyl liner can be patched fairly easily using a vinyl pool patch kit or one of the many peel-and-stick waterproof tapes that are available. A few of these kits can be used underwater, so you don’t have to drain your pool to fix the leak. Leaks in your concrete or gunite shell can be more challenging to repair. You should never attempt to drain your pool to apply a crack patch, because doing so could leave the pool walls vulnerable and potentially collapse the structure. Leaks in a concrete or gunite shell are usually the result of poor construction or improper winterizing and may be caused by soil movement or hydrostatic pressure from the outside of the pool.
When you suspect a leak, take a walk around the perimeter of your pool, especially downhill from the equipment pad. Look for moist or muddy areas. You can also use a pool detector, such as the Aquachek Water Leak Detector, which uses a sensor to detect the sound of leaking water and then sends a signal to your cell phone when it is in range. This device can pinpoint the exact location of the leak, but if your leak is underground it’s going to be more difficult to repair with a simple DIY method.
While light bulbs in a pool might seem to be low maintenance items, they can be a real problem for many pools. The corrosive nature of the pool chemistry may cause the fixture to loosen over time, and the screws that hold the fixture together can weaken or crack and need to be replaced. The aging of the light cord can also lead to a need for replacement as it becomes worn out.
When changing a light bulb, make sure that the GFCI test button has not popped and that all switches are on the ON position. If you have a multi-light system, shut off each one of the lights on its own circuit to determine which bulb is faulty. Next, locate the junction box (typically a small box that is located off the deck, about a foot high except on very old pools) and check the AC power at the light switch, breaker and junction box.
Once the junction box is open, you will see a conduit pipe running up from the bottom of the pool that connects to the light niche, and it is here where the new bulb can be installed. Most of these niches have a threaded hole that accepts the screw that holds the bulb. It is important to purchase the correct replacement bulb and gasket, so make sure you know the model and make of your current light fixture before buying a replacement. Usually, there will be a sticker on the back of the fixture that contains this information.
After the niche is filled with water and the light is screwed in, it is a good idea to add some waterproof sealant around the niche, especially if the conduit has been crushed or damaged by kids using it as a stepping platform. A product called Cord Stopper is easy to use and lasts longer than silicone or pool putty.
Whenever it is necessary to replace a pool light bulb, always turn off the electricity at the breaker before removing the unit. Water and electricity don’t mix well, and you can be electrocuted if the switch is left on. Always have a Phillips and flathead screwdriver, a light removal tool and a circuit tester at hand when doing this type of work. If you are unsure or uncomfortable performing a light bulb replacement, it is best to call in your pool specialist team for this type of service.