It’s been a long summer already, and we hope you’re getting the most out of your pool in 2020. If you’re swimming in your pool–or even just seeing it–on a near-daily basis, you probably have a good sense by now of how it looks, smells and feels when it’s “normal.” So if you notice something out of the ordinary, it might be time to call in the professionals. Here are three warning signs to be aware of.
Chlorine Smell/Burning Eyes
No, your eyes should not be excessively irritated by pool water, and no, your pool should not smell strongly of chlorine. There’s a lot that goes into pool chemistry (as we’ve discussed before), but the long and the short of it is that chlorine stench and burning eyes mean your pool actually needs more chlorine, not less. What we think of as a “chlorine” smell actually comes from a compound called chloramine. Basically, chloramine is what happens when the chlorine in your pool has too much work to do: Contaminants and/or a pH imbalance have introduced too much nitrogen and ammonia into the water; chlorine bonds with these elements to create chloramine, which is nowhere near as effective a disinfectant. Thus, the strong chlorine smell and irritated eyes mean your pool is unhealthy and needs a chemical adjustment. You might even need to “shock” the pool to make sure you get out all the nasty stuff.
Your pool pump should circulate your water so that everything is evenly distributed and so that all the water regularly passes through your filter to remove debris. If there are bubbles coming out of the returns in your pool, then there’s more than likely an air leak in your pump. Pool problems don’t just fix themselves, and your pump is certainly no exception. If you see bubbles, get it checked out ASAP. You want to get these things fixed before the problem gets that much bigger.
Low Water Level
Pool water naturally evaporates, which is why you periodically have to add more water (and adjust the chemicals accordingly). But if your pool water level is lowering faster than normal, you might have a leak somewhere in the system. If you want to do a little science experiment, you can try the “bucket test”: Dip a clean bucket into your pool to collect some water and then set it upright on the first step; use a marker to mark the water level inside the bucket, and also the level of the pool itself on the outside of the bucket; leave it for a day or two, and if the level of the pool has decreased more than the water inside the bucket, you’ve probably got a leak.