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Your in-ground pool is a place to escape from the stress of daily life. It provides you with an excellent place to socialize or spend time quietly by yourself. Unfortunately, when issues occur, it can be a source of stress for many homeowners. With a little bit of knowledge, nearly all pool owners can learn how to temporarily or permanently repair small leaks, tears or water issues right from the comfort of their own home. This handy how-to guide seeks to teach you how to handle issues before they occur, so you'll always be prepared.
Help, the Pool is Green!
This is one of the most common pool-related issues suffered by those who own in-ground setups. No, Martians have not moved in and made themselves at home, and no one has made an enormous super green smoothie while you were at work.
The green you are seeing is actually not indicative of anything dangerous--it's algae buildup. In much of the ocean, the presence of green algae would be celebrated: it's a sign that the local ecosystem is functioning as it should. In fact, it's algae itself that provides the ocean with oxygen.
Unfortunately, swimming through the stuff just doesn't spur on the same excitement.
To fix this, you need to shock the water with chlorine to kill it. Normal chlorine isn't the right choice, though; you're looking for chlorine shock itself, which is a separate product.
As a general rule, you should use 1 lb. of shock for any pool that is up to 10,000 gallons in size. Simply multiply the amounts for larger systems. Once you have the right amount, dissolve it into buckets of water.
Quick Tip: Be sure to do this after the sun has gone down. Chlorine reacts with sunshine and will break down in its presence--if you apply the shock while UVA and UVB rays are still present, you're likely to have poor results.
For particularly bad water that's nearly black with algae, use 4 lbs. of shock per every 10,000 gallons to ensure best results. You'll know it's worked when the green color begins to turn more blue, gray, or even white. From there, just keep filtering the water until it becomes clear again. A pool vacuum can help to grab any leftover debris.
Help, the Water is Disappearing!
In all pool installations, some degree of water evaporation will occur. That necessitates a top-off every few weeks or months. But if you find you are losing a foot of water in just a few days to a week, you've most likely gained yourself a leak.
While it may seem logical to drain the pool when there's a leak, it's easier to identify if you leave it full. Grab yourself a small bottle of food coloring and turn off the filter; it's time to get a bit creative.
Once the pool has totally settled down and the water is still--for obvious reasons, it's better to do this when it's not windy if you're outdoors--begin to gently drop a few drops of the food coloring into the pool around the edges. Start at one corner and work your way around in 3' to 4' increments.
If you have a leak, you'll find that the food coloring quickly gets sucked away towards it. It may even exit the pool entirely. If a leak is not present, it will simply sit in the water and disperse slowly.
Quick tip: If you are unable to find the leak, drain your pool to the halfway point and try again. This will help to identify deeper leaks.
Should you discover a leak, it can be repaired with a patch kit from your local home renovation store. This will most frequently provide a tube of liquid solution or putty that can be applied directly to the crack. It's important that you follow the directions on whichever leak fix product you purchase, as they can differ quite a bit.
There's no need to drain the pool to do this as these materials are created for use underwater, but if the leak is particularly deep, you can do so for easier access.
Once applied, you should allow it to process for at least 24 hours and use the same dye method to re-check the leak.
Maintaining your swimming pool does require a bit of work on your part. Thankfully, it's a process that pays off in infinite ways. Having the ability to swim without leaving your home means having an easy way to exercise, relax, and host parties. With these quick fixes, you're sure to keep it working at all times. For questions about these or any other pool-related issues, contact a Pool Service Co. today.