How to Troubleshoot Common Pool Problems: A Guide for Austin Homeowners

Having a pool in your Austin home can be a source of great enjoyment, especially during the scorching Texas summers. However, like any other feature of your property, pools require regular maintenance and can encounter various problems. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a professional pool technician to tackle these issues. In this guide, Dreams Pool we’ll take you through some common pool problems and how to troubleshoot them, so you can keep your pool in pristine condition and enjoy it year-round.

Cloudy or Discolored Water

One of the most frequent pool problems homeowners face is cloudy or discolored water. This issue is often caused by imbalanced water chemistry or poor filtration.

Troubleshooting Tip: Start by checking your pool’s pH levels, chlorine, and alkalinity. Use test strips or a water testing kit to ensure they are within the recommended ranges. If needed, adjust the chemical levels accordingly. Additionally, clean or replace your pool filter as dirty filters can impede water clarity.

Algae Growth

Algae can quickly take over your pool, turning the water green and making it uninviting for swimmers. Algae growth is often a result of poor water circulation or insufficient sanitation.

Troubleshooting Tip: Shock your pool with a high dose of chlorine to kill the existing algae. Brush the pool walls and floor to loosen the algae, and then vacuum it up. To prevent future growth, maintain proper chlorine levels and ensure good water circulation by running your pool pump regularly.

Low Water Level

If your pool’s water level is consistently low, it can be a sign of a leak or excessive evaporation.

Troubleshooting Tip: Conduct a simple bucket test to determine if your pool is losing water to evaporation or a leak. Fill a bucket with pool water and place it on the pool steps. Mark the water level inside the bucket and the pool water level. After 24 hours, compare the two levels. If the pool water has gone down more than the bucket, you likely have a leak and should consult a professional for repairs.

Pool Pump Issues

A malfunctioning pool pump can lead to poor circulation, reduced filtration, and water quality problems.

Troubleshooting Tip: Check for debris clogging the pump strainer basket and remove it. Ensure the pump motor is running smoothly and listen for any unusual noises. If the pump is still not working correctly, it may require professional repair or replacement.

Leaking Pool

A leaking pool can cause significant damage to your property and result in high water bills.

Troubleshooting Tip: Visually inspect your pool’s structure and equipment for any obvious leaks or cracks. If you suspect a leak, consult a pool professional to perform a pressure test or dye test to pinpoint and repair the issue.

Unbalanced Chemicals

Maintaining proper water chemistry is crucial for a clean and safe pool. Imbalanced chemicals can lead to skin and eye irritation, as well as equipment damage.

Troubleshooting Tip: Regularly test your pool water and adjust chemical levels as needed. Follow the guidelines provided by your pool chemical manufacturer or consult with a pool expert for precise instructions.

Cracked or Loose Pool Tiles

Cracked or loose tiles not only look unsightly but can also be a safety hazard. In Austin’s fluctuating temperatures, tiles may expand and contract, leading to damage. The first step is to identify and mark the damaged tiles. Gently remove them, clean the area, and replace with new tiles using pool adhesive. Regularly inspect and replace damaged tiles to keep your pool looking its best.

Water Loss Due to Evaporation

In the hot Texan climate, water loss due to evaporation is common. To minimize this, consider investing in a pool cover when the pool is not in use. Additionally, proper water chemistry maintenance can help reduce evaporation. Keep the pool water level at the midpoint of the skimmer opening to ensure optimal filtration and prevent pump damage.

Clogged or Dirty Pool Filters

Clogged or dirty pool filters can reduce water circulation and hinder proper filtration, leading to cloudy water and other issues. To address this, regularly clean or backwash your filters, depending on the type you have. Also, consider replacing the filter media as needed, typically every 2-5 years.

Inadequate Water Circulation

Poor water circulation can result in uneven chemical distribution and debris accumulation. Ensure that your pool’s circulation system, including the pump and skimmer, is functioning correctly. Adjust the pump’s run time based on your pool’s size and usage. Proper water circulation is essential for maintaining water quality.

Rust or Corrosion

In Austin’s humid climate, pool equipment can be susceptible to rust and corrosion. This is why pool maintenance and inspections are important. Inspect your pool equipment regularly, and if you notice any signs of rust, address it promptly. Consider investing in corrosion-resistant equipment or protective coatings for added durability. These issues may also occur if your pool installer didn’t choose the right material, so make sure you choose the right pool contractor before facing these issues

Unusual Water Odors

Strange or foul odors in your pool water can be a sign of bacterial growth or chemical imbalances. If your pool has an unpleasant odor, it’s essential to address it promptly. Shock the pool to eliminate contaminants, and ensure that your water chemistry is properly balanced. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your pool’s skimmer and pump baskets can also help prevent odor issues.

Wildlife Intrusion

In Austin, wildlife like birds and critters can be attracted to your pool for a refreshing drink. However, their presence can lead to water contamination and debris. Consider using pool covers or other protective measures when the pool is not in use. Additionally, regular skimming and cleaning can help keep unwanted visitors at bay.

Remember, being proactive in your pool maintenance routine can save you time and money in the long run, ensuring that you enjoy your pool to the fullest in Austin’s scorching summers.


How do I fix my pool water problem?

To fix a pool water problem, first, identify the issue, test your water chemistry, and adjust the chemicals as needed. Common problems like cloudy water can often be resolved with proper pH and chlorine levels, while algae growth requires shock treatment and regular maintenance.

Why is my pool losing water but no leak?

Pool water loss without a visible leak can be due to evaporation, especially in hot climates like Austin. To confirm, perform a bucket test: fill a bucket with pool water, place it on the pool steps, and mark both water levels. If the pool water drops more than the bucket, it’s likely evaporation.

Why is my inground pool losing water when the pump is off?

Inground pools can lose water when the pump is off due to a leak in the return plumbing or a faulty check valve. Consult a pool professional to diagnose and repair the issue.

What are the symptoms of bad pool water?Symptoms of bad pool water include cloudy or discolored water, algae growth, unpleasant odors, skin and eye irritation, and excessive chlorine smell. These issues can often be resolved by balancing chemicals, proper filtration, and regular maintenance.


Owning a pool in Austin comes with its fair share of responsibilities, but with a little knowledge and some troubleshooting skills, you can overcome common pool problems and enjoy crystal-clear water all year long. Remember to test your water regularly, clean and maintain your pool equipment, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed. By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your pool in top-notch condition and make the most of Austin’s sunny days. Happy swimming!

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