We are rapidly approaching swimming pool season and we want to make sure that you are prepared for all the potential problems that can spring up. We found this great article about potential swimming pool filter problems. We think that there is some really great information in this article and hope that you find value in it as well!
When it comes to maintaining clean, clear water for your swimming pool, the filter is the most important part of your system. By removing fine particulates and small debris from the water, it keeps the pool sparkling and safe to swim in. From time to time, though, it’s common for problems to occur with your filter. Because a properly working filter is key to a clean, safe pool, it’s important to identify and correct issues as quickly as possible so algae and bacteria don’t have a chance to grow.
One of the easiest pool filter problems to spot is a leak. You may hear the dripping water or notice a puddle around the body of the filter. A filter leak isn’t likely to cause a significant drop in your pool’s water level, but you should try to find the source of the leak as soon as you notice it. Examine the tank for any holes – if you find one, you’ll probably have to replace the entire filter since it likely won’t be able to hold a patch for long. If you have a split tank filter, check its belly band for a possible leak. Remove the band and clean its o-ring of any debris that might prevent it from attaching properly. Before replacing the band, add some lubricant to the o-ring to ensure a secure fit. When you replace the band, use a hammer or mallet to gently tap it back into place.
On some occasions, you may notice that your filter is running short cycles. If this happens frequently when the pool is not in use, it may indicate that the flow rate through the filter is too high. Your pump may be too strong or your filter may not be big enough for the system. Consult with a pool professional to see if you have the right size system. If your system is properly sized, you may not be backwashing the pool long enough. Always wait until the water in the sight glass is clear, which may take several minutes. Algae can also cause the filter to clog and run shorter cycles. Check your water chemistry to ensure that the chlorine is high enough to prevent algae growth. If you have a cartridge filter, the cartridge may need cleaning or replacement. Keep in mind that it’s common for a filter to run shorter cycles when the pool has seen heavy use since there is likely more dirt, oil, sunscreen, hair and other debris from swimmers in the water than usual.
Whether you have a sand or diatomaceous earth (DE) filter, the particles in both sand and DE powder are small enough to get into the system and pass through to the pool. If you notice small amounts on the floor after you’ve backwashed, it’s likely part of the system’s normal operation so you don’t need to worry about it. If you notice steady streams of sand or DE powder coming into the pool, however, there may be a faulty part. With a sand filter, the filter lateral or standpipe may be broken. If you have a DE filter, there may be a tear in its grid fabric or a crack in the grid manifold. Even a loose bolt in the assembly may allow some of the powder to pass through.
Your filter gauge allows you to monitor the pool system’s pressure. While the gauge can be somewhat inaccurate, it’s a good idea to check the pressure regularly since an improper reading can alert you to a problem. If your filter’s pressure is too low, you likely have a blockage in the system at some point before the filter itself. When the pressure is too high, there may be an obstruction at some point beyond the filter. Examine the filter to see if it is clogged. If it is clean, make sure that the return valve is fully open and check the return line for a possible clog.