Pool Perfect with PhosFree Jack's Formula 327 Lube Poolcenter Granular Filter Cleaner

O-Rings…

Make sure the pump lid o-ring is properly lubricated. Products like Jack's Lube and Magic Lube can give the proper lubrication to o-rings to help maintain longer life of the o-rings. Filter o-rings, for DE and cartridge filters should also be cleaned and lubed annually. Push-Pull backwash valves and sticky combination valves (Jandy valves) should also be lubricated. Teflon lubricant is best for pool o-rings, with silicone lube a good second choice. Avoid using petroleum based lube like Vaseline®, which can damage rubber o-rings.

Pump Baskets…

Another thing that should be checked is your pump basket for cracks and splits. A cracked pump basket can allow debris to clog your impeller. This can cause loss of flow that can lead to poor filtration, and other water clarity problems.

Pressure Gauge…

These are cheap instruments, costing under $10, but it is so important that they are working properly. The average pressure gauge will only last 3-5 years, before it gets stuck at one point on the dial, or won’t rise above zero, or won’t go to zero when the pump shuts off. Keep a spare (new) pressure gauge on hand to verify that your filter gauge is operating correctly, and giving you a correct filter pressure reading.

D.E. Filters…

For D.E. filter owners, it is a good practice for you to clean the filter grids thoroughly mid-season by opening the filter and removing the entire grid assembly and hosing off all the D.E. from the grids. While doing so, inspect the grids and manifold for any wear and tear, and clean and re-lube the belly band o-ring. During regular backwashing you only get about 70% of the D.E. powder out; the 30% that is left can add up to a lot of extra D.E. to build up in your filter With too much D.E. in the filter, the grids can bridge together and cause high filter pressure and poor filtration.

Ladders and Diving Boards…

It is important to check your ladder, handrail, and diving board bolts and hardware. When the bolts are not tightened properly it can be dangerous, and cause injuries. If you have a diving board, always check the surface for cracks and for rusty bolts. Also check your ladder and handrail bolts, in the deck. It is important that they are tight and that the ladder or handrails are not loose. If the rail cannot be secured, you may need new anchor wedges or shims to hold the rail steady.

Equipment Area…

You may want to check your equipment area for leaves, grass and mulch. It may look nice, but heavily landscaped equipment areas cause problems. If equipment is covered with various types of debris it can cause the pump to overheat and wear out or burn up. Excess moisture, from overhanging trees and overgrown bushes, or lots of leaves and debris on the ground, will accelerate water and rust problems with metal equipment. Use weed killer around equipment pad to prevent plant and moss growth.

Electric…

Check to make sure all wire connections and conduits are intact. If these are split or cracked, electrical tape is not the proper repair, have them replaced. Unsafe electrical conditions can cause injury, or even death. Almost all electrical work should be done by a licensed professional.

Skimmer Baskets…

Another area you will want to check is the skimmer baskets. Check for cracks and splits. This can cause unwanted debris in the pump basket. Also check the skimmer housing for cracks. Most small cracks can be repaired with putty or silicone, before they crack completely and need to be replaced, which can be a complicated job (replacing a skimmer). Skimmer lids can be secured with small screws. Replace cracked lids which could break if it was stepped on.

Safety Covers…

For those of you that have safety covers, such as Loop-Loc safety covers, you should check your anchors to make sure they thread out, or pop-up properly. Also check to see if they are still secure in the concrete or wood deck. If they are not anchored properly have them re-secured or replaced the next time the cover comes off or goes on.

Main Drains

To be safe, the main drain covers should be anti-vortex, not just plain drain grates. They must also be secured to the drain, so that a swimmer cannot get hair or arms trapped in the drain pipe, or wedged under the drain cover. Dual main drains are also important to prevent entrapment by strong suction focused on only one main drain pot, which can suction a child or adult to the bottom of the pool and prevent escape. Single main drain systems can be upgraded to dual drains, or can install safety devices to shut off the pump when a vacuum is sensed.

Pool Fence and Gates

Check that your fence is in good condition, with no missing pickets and nothing next to the fence that could be used to climb over the fence into the pool area. Gates should be self-closing and self-latching, and padlocked if not used frequently. Doors on the back of the house that lead to the pool can be secured with door alarms if not locked securely.

Pool Timers

Timer clocks can be inspected to be sure that the timer motor is operating, by shining a flashlight into the Visual Motor Check area. Use spray insecticide if timer boxes become infested with ants, spiders or bees. Keep the door to the timer box securely shut at all times, and replace any missing wire protector covers, to prevent electrical shock.

In-Floor Cleaning Systems…

On in-floor cleaning systems, at the distribution system, there is an in-line filter, located at the union going to the unit. This filter should be checked and cleaned regularly. If it is clogged, it can cause the in-floor system to not work properly by restricting the flow. Pool cleaners that contact the pool floor will also need frequent inspection to replace wearable parts before damage occurs to other parts. Store pool cleaners carefully when not in use, or during the off season, by draining and coiling hoses with large loops, and storing out of the sun and away from pool chemicals.

Heaters…

Pool owners with heaters should test the heater from time to time if it is not being used. Not only to make sure it is working, but to prevent rodent infestation. These pesky critters can do a lot of damage to heaters. Some desert regions even go as far as doing rodent proofing around the pool heater. Remove the door and use a small brush with handle, or an old pool brush, to sweep out under the burner tray. If there are leaves on top of the heat exchanger, they should be removed. Inspect the burners to be sure that fallen insulation or debris is not laying on top of the burners. A pool heater cover is a good investment for outdoor heaters that are winterized for 6 months out of the year.

Auto Fills…

It is wise to check your auto fills to be sure the float operates properly, and shuts off at the appropriate level. When these floats malfunction they will over flow your pool, and raise your water bill. Autofill lines for pools can also leak water if not winterized correctly in cold areas. Better safe than sorry!

Related Product Pages:

Cover Anchors
Heater Covers
Ladder Parts
Pool O-ring Lube
Skimmer Baskets
Safety Cover Parts

Related Blog Posts:

Mid-Winter Swimming Pool Check-Up
Spring Pool Opening 19-Point Inspection
Swimming Pool Safety Scan