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    Troubleshooting Pool Equipment Problems

    February 15, 2016


    Pool equipment: the pump and filter, heater, cleaner, chlorinator and pool light are the main items that come to mind. There are a few other pieces of engineering around a pool, but most like pool ladders, are not too hard to figure out.

    In terms of pool equipment that may need troubleshooting, it's usually the 6 items listed above that cause confusion or a need for in depth troubleshooting.

    How to Troubleshoot Pool Equipment

    1. Define the Problem: This can often take some time, but before you know what to fix, you have to know what is wrong. Often, the problem can be another piece of equipment affecting what is not working. For example, valve settings or damage can affect the pump, filter and heater. A malfunctioning cleaner booster pump or electrical outlet can prevent the pool cleaner from running, or a bad circuit breaker could stop the pool light from working.
    2. Check the Owner's Manual: The troubleshooting section can be useful for basic troubleshooting, but I'm often underwhelmed at the depth of information. However, the owner's manual as a whole is fairly useful, with installation information, operation tips and the schematic diagram, which can all be helpful for a diagnosis.
    3. Compare the Expanded Schematic: The exploded diagram of your pool equipment can be useful to help you understand how the equipment works. Sort of a leg bone connected to the thigh bone tutorial, it's a learning tool that shows how all the various pieces connect. There is usually a schematic included in the owner's manual, product guide or installation manual.
    4. Ask a Search Engine: Once you have defined your problem, you could pose a question to your favorite search engine, in the form of a question or a statement. Generally a 3-5 word key phrase is best, so try to boil down your problem and use the most relevant keywords, including make and model of the equipment. For example: "Hayward Perflex filter high pressure" or "Pentair Whisperflo pump low flow".
    • Forums: There are a number of good online forums about pool care. PoolForum and TroubleFree Pool and Pool Talk are several that have been around for a long time. They are mostly divided into Chemical, Equipment and Miscellaneous topics, and are searchable by keyword, so you can read previous posts (questions) and responses (answers) made by thousands of pool owners just like you!
    • Blogs: Fine blogs such as this one you are reading now exist to help pool owners tackle the challenges to pool ownership. You'll often see them in the search results when you search online for answers to vexing pool questions. You can search our blog in the header for articles related to your keywords.
    • Parts Reviews: I found an answer from parts reviews just a few hours ago. After a few searches on the problem, I began reading reviews on a cleaner part - the Gear Box, and how they were able to make repairs with this part, and fix the particular problem. Remember though, these are reviews of replacement Parts, not the equipment itself. You'll find reviews for popular parts on Amazon or Google.
    • Answer Sites: Many websites have been created with the sole purpose of providing answers to questions, supported by ads, like WikiHow or with small fees like JustAnswer or Fixya, who trades answers for registration information. Their previous answers will often come up in search results, for your use without registration or payment needed.
    • How-To Guides: The internet is a big place! Out there you'll find lots of good How-To information on every topic under the sun. Pools are of course, under the sun, and many manufacturers have put a lot of work into Articles or Guides. Pentair, Hayward, Jandy - they all have videos and tutorials to explain their equipment a little better. Several pool supply retailers (like us!) have very helpful online Guides or Articles.

    The Old Fashioned Way

    TIN-CAN-PHONEJust pick up the telephone and call your local pool service company to come take a look at your problem. That's not going to work for many of our DIY customers, who would go to almost any lengths before calling a service person. But you can call a supplier, like SPP and get your questions answered. Give the SPP Pool Experts a call, and tell them you read the blog!

    Call us at 800-983-POOL, or email at [email protected]  

    Matt Spencer
    SPP Pool Expert  

    Blog Author
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