About Gary Hohne

Gary Hohne is President & CEO of Hohne Pools, a Maryland pool company.

Pool Repair First Aid: Worn Out and Broken Pool Pumps

Pool Repairs - Broken Pool PumpIf there’s one pool repair every pool owner dreads, it’s a broken pool pump. Your pool pump is the work horse of your pool filtration system, so it’s prone to wearing out. Determining whether you need to repair a pool pump or replace it can make all the difference in avoiding unnecessary pool repair costs.

Here are the common problems with a pool pump:

Pool Pump Not Priming

A pool pump that isn’t priming can’t get a steady flow of water through it. Your pump motor is running, but no water is moving. A pump that runs for an extended time without water flowing through can suffer serious damage.

When priming a pool pump, make sure the pump is full of water and the lid is secure. Replace a brittle or damaged o-ring if necessary. If your pump won’t prime on its own, you can force water into the pump using the skimmer. If your pump still will not prime, you may have a blockage or a leak.

Pool Pump Losing Power

A pool pump that appears to be losing power – in other words, it’s not pumping as hard as it used to – may have worn out. In a best case scenario, you may just need to backwash the filter or manually clean it. Reduced power from the pump could be caused by obstructed water flow.

Pool Pump Leaking Water

If your pool pump is leaking water, repair them immediately, especially if the leak is around the seal of the pump. Our pool repair technicians can help. Also, if you’ve had a new pool pump motor installed recently, a seal kit should have been installed, too. This would include a pump seal, o-rings, and gaskets.

Pool Pump Sucking Air

If you notice air bubbles count out of the pool returns, your pump may be sucking in air. Pool skimmers are a common site of air leakage into the pump system. If your water level is too low, air can get into the skimmer lines and be pulled into the pump. You may also have leaks at the intake plumbing. Look for spurts of water near the valves and fittings when the pump is turned off.

Pool Motor Just Hums

Do you hear a humming noise, followed by a “click” when you start the pump? Your motor is failing to start turning. A sensor in your motor shuts it down due to overheating. If power to the motor is left on, your motor will eventually cool down and the cycle will continue over and over again.

In most cases, pool pump problems like this stem from faulty capacitors, stuck impellers, or improper voltage. Replacing a bad capacitor is a low-cost repair. Replacing a pool motor can cost $200 or more. Proper pool maintenance can prevent a pump from wearing out prematurely and save you from costly pool repairs.

Winter Pool Leaks: Find ‘Em and Fix ‘Em

Even the best pool winterization company can’t completely safeguard your pool against the perils of winter weather. One of the worst pool repair problems to discover in winter is a leaky pool. Locating the source of winter pool leaks as soon as possible and doing proper triage will save you from major pool repair headaches in the spring.

Winter Pool Leaks - Hohne Pools - Serving all of Maryland

Why a Leaky Pool in Winter is a Problem

There’s never a good time to discover pool leaks, but a leaky pool during the winter is especially troublesome. A properly winterized pool can withstand the weight of snow on the pool cover, but a leaky pool will cause a drop in water level, which could send your winter cover slipping into the pool.

Vinyl-lined pools are vulnerable to other problems. If too much water leaks out of your pool, the vinyl pool liner may loosen and pull away from the pool floor. The vinyl liner may also shrivel and wrinkle during cold weather.

Pool leaks aren’t the only winter pool damage you might discover. During Maryland’s winters, frequent freezing and thawing of ground water can cause “deck heave,” which can wreak havoc on concrete decking, tile and caulking. Poor erosion control around an inground pool can also cause soil to wash into the pool as snow melts off.

Finding and Repairing Pool Leaks During Winter Months

Carefully inspect vinyl liners around your pool’s waterline, looking for small holes and tears. Look for debris that may be obscuring a hole or that could cause a ripped pool liner. You may also wish to squirt a small amount of leak testing dye to check for pool leaks. Patch any small holes in the liner and refill the pool.

Check the area around pool lights for leaks. A strong indication the leak is near your pool light is if the water level stabilizes near the pool light after you’ve filled the pool. Pool putty can help reduce leaks around underwater pool lights.

Inspect areas around the faceplates, returns, skipper and stairs for vinyl liner damage. These are areas where your pool installer may have intentionally cut the liner during the installation. Pool leaks can sometimes develop in these areas as the pool walls contract during cold weather.

What to Do If You Discover Major Pool Leaks

Winter pool leaks are no fun. If your pool loses too much water during winter, it can cost thousands of dollars to repair later. Save yourself money by checking your pool for leaks during winter and taking precautions to minimize the damage.

If you find the leak or need to wait until spring, keep an adequate pool water level by replacing lost pool water with a garden hose. Check your pool covers, keep them clear of standing water, and get ready for pool opening in the spring.

Pool Cover Repairs

Maryland pool cover repair

A Maryland winter can be brutal on swimming pool covers: Ice, heavy snow, strong winds, and falling branches can leave your pool cover in need of repair. We’ve seen our share of winter pool cover repairs and have a few tips for you.

Pool Cover Patches

A pool cover patch kit is an essential pool repair item to have on-hand for emergencies. Even the most durable pool covers are susceptible to damage, and a patch kit is a handy fix for minor holes and tears.

Patch kits for winter pool covers are usually pretty easy to use, and the repair can be finished in a few easy steps: Simply clean and dry the area around the damage and apply the patch according to the instructions.

Mesh Pool Safety Cover Repairs

Mesh pool safety covers are more durable than you might imagine. Mesh pool covers are typically made with an interlocking weave that keeps a mesh cover from unraveling in the event of a puncture or tear. Still, a hole in a mesh pool cover can grow if left untreated. During winter, damaged mesh pool covers are especially vulnerable: Heavy snow weighing on a torn mesh cover can cause the tear to grow.

Solid Pool Safety Cover Repairs

A solid pool safety cover is made of PVC-reinforced vinyl and is very strong. Because they’re designed to maximize safety, a solid pool safety cover will usually withstand minor damage, even if you don’t patch the hole right away. It’s still a good idea to patch a pool safety cover anyway.

When repairing a safety pool cover, a sewn patch is a good idea for large holes more than 3″ long. Replacing pool cover panels is an even better option.

Call a Pool Repair Company for Large Repairs

For large damage to a pool cover, your best bet is to call a pool repair company. If you live in Maryland, Hohne Pools can provide an estimate for pool repair and pool cover repair costs. Contact us today for a repair estimate.

5 Reasons to Buy a Pool in Winter

Winter Pool Building - Maryland - Hohne Pools

Should you build a pool during winter? The short answer: Yes.

While cold weather may not inspire you to think about swimming outdoors, winter is the ideal time to buy a pool. Here are 7 reasons to build a pool during winter.

  1. Be Ready for Summer. Building a pool in January, February or March ensures you’ll have a swimming pool in time for summer. After all, if you wait ’til July to build a pool, the swimming season will be almost over.
  2. Avoid Delays. Like it or not, pool installation projects don’t always finish on schedule. Delays happen, usually because of rainy or inclement weather. While some delays are avoidable, others can’t be helped. Starting a pool construction early is smart planning and gives you a cushion in case of delays.
  3. Do Your Research. Starting your swimming pool purchase in winter gives you time to do your research, compare pool products, evaluate pricing, review warranties and choose a pool installer. Start early and give yourself time to evaluate the top Maryland pool builders and choose one you can depend on.
  4. Get to Know Your Pool Builder. When summer gets here, your pool installer is going to be busy…VERY busy. If you meet with your builder early, you’ll get more quality time to ask questions and get comfortable with your pool builder. (Pro Tip: Get to know the Hohne team).
  5. Get the Best Pool Pricing. Sometimes the best deals on pools and pool installation come during the off-peak season. Use our “Request an Estimate” form to get a free pool design estimate. We’ll help you design a pool that suits your budget.

Pool Design EstimateIf you’re thinking about building a pool in 2013, we’d love to show you why we’re consistently one of the top Maryland pool builders. We’ll answer your questions, get to know what you’re looking for, and help you choose a pool design that suits you.

What to Do If Your Hot Tub Water is Cloudy or Foamy

One of the most common problems hot tub owners have is cloudy or foamy pool water. Maintaining a clean, clear hot tub is relatively simple, although it does require some attention. Here are some tips on what to do when your hot tub is cloudy or foamy.

Cloudy Hot Tub Water

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If your hot tub water is cloudy, it’s likely due to one of three things.

First, your water could simply be a few months old and need to be replaced. Even with proper hot tub chemicals, your hot tub water will get a bit tired from time to time. Replacing the water may resolve the cloudiness.

Another common cause of cloudy hot tub water is improper chlorine levels. Be sure to follow your hot tub manufacturers guidelines for chlorine. Too much or too little chlorine can leave your hot tub cloudy or create an unhealthy hot tub environment.

Finally, check your pH levels. If your hot tob’s pH is too high or too low, you may have cloudiness. As with chlorine and other chemicals, check your hot tub manufacturers recommendations or consult a pool and spa professional.

A product called clarifier can help reduce cloudiness in some cases. However, you’ll want to make sure you’ve gotten to the source of the problem to keep your hot tub from getting cloudy again in a few weeks.

Foamy Hot Tub Water

Detergents carried in on swimsuits are a common cause of foamy hot tub water. Lotions, hair care products and other body products can also cause foamy water. However, foamy water may also be a sign of low sanitizer levels.

To reduce or prevent foamy hot tub water, stick to a careful water maintenance program. It’s also a good idea to rinse guests’ swimsuits before a dip in the hot tub. A quick rinse in the shower while wearing your bathing suit can help rinse off any chemicals and detergents.

When you’re done in the hot tub, consider rinsing bathing suits in cold water, rather than washing them in detergent with the rest of your laundry. This will cut down on detergent getting into the spa or hot tub and will extend the life of your swimwear.

Is It Time to Replace Your Hot Tub?

If you’re having consistent problems with your hot tub, it may be time to upgrade. We carry the most popular hot tub brands in our Balitmore hot tub showroom. To learn more about the hot tubs we carry, contact us via our hot tub sales page.