What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Mistakes that Destroy Pool Equipment
It’s the little things that can do the most damage to your swimming pool and your pool equipment. A simple, absent-minded mistake could lead to thousands of dollars in damages. A seemingly mundane habit could be accelerating your pool equipment’s early demise.
Perhaps a bad habit you didn’t take seriously has suddenly rendered your pump, cleaner or heater useless. It’s true, some warnings carry more weight than others, so we’re going to take a look at the most common pool mistakes that could be destroying your pool or pool equipment.
Not Brushing your Pool
We’ve been told to brush our teeth from a very young age, and perhaps this constant harping to “don’t forget to brush!” is the root of why so many pool owners fail to brush their pool regularly. Or maybe you have the best automatic pool cleaner money can buy (and store it in its own waterproof garage when its cleaning cycle is over) and don’t feel you should have to brush your pool. Not brushing your pool is a gateway for algae, and other nasty bio-films that build up layers to protect themselves from chlorine. Brushing may be the simplest warning on this list, and it’s not going to destroy your pool equipment if you don’t use a pool brush, but it can save wear and tear on your pool cleaner and pool surfaces.
Low Water Levels
This may seem obvious but there are several scenarios in which your water levels could fall below the skimmer line causing your pump to intake only air. This causes pool pumps to ‘lose prime’, which can lead to damaged pump and pipes. I’ve experienced this myself when vacuuming to waste, backwashing or draining the water level during winterization. Pool leaks can rapidly cause a loss of pump prime, as can air leaks in front of the pump (unrelated to water level). Any situation that causes your pump to lose prime, can cause your pump to overheat, which can warp pump baskets and melt shaft seals, or shrink the threads of the attached PVC fittings. In extreme cases of overheating, it can warp the pump housing itself.
Not Protecting your Pool Heater
You probably don’t give much thought to your pool heater. It most likely works as it is supposed to and hardly ever has to be serviced. And then one late summer morning you jump into your pool like normal, only to emerge bug-eyed, startled, and very cold. Damage to pool heaters can be a subtle, gradual process that you are completely oblivious to. Acidic pH and Alkalinity levels feed on copper heat exchangers, stripping the copper and staining your pool. Exposure to the elements can also rust components of your heater especially if you live in a climate with harsh, snowy winters. It’s always best to use a Pool Heater Cover when your pool is closed. Covering your heater prevents insects and rodents from nesting inside, as well as protecting it from moisture.