While an equipment check should be part of your weekly pool maintenance routine, it’s still important to get a professional check done regularly.
Not only does it ensure everything is running smoothly, but it can also pick up problems before they start affecting your pool. This could save you hours of trial and error, not to mention costly repairs further down the track.
But how often should you get a pool equipment check? Is it better to schedule a regular service? Or should you wait until something goes wrong?
In this guide, we’ll explain what a pool equipment check is, why it’s important for your pool and how often you should get one.
A pool equipment check is a thorough inspection of the equipment and systems that make up your pool. It may be conducted on its own or as part of a larger service by a licensed pool technician. Here’s what it may include:
After the inspection is complete, the technician will tell you if your equipment is running smoothly or if you require repairs or upgrades to improve its safety and efficiency.
There are four main reasons why your pool equipment should be checked by a professional:
Unless you keep a pool diary, you may not know how old your equipment is or whether it’s operating correctly. This means it can stop working out of the blue, leaving you with unbalanced water. Not only is this unsafe for swimmers, but it can also corrode your pool equipment. An equipment check, however, will identify faulty or corroded equipment before it becomes an issue, keeping your pool safe and clean all year round.
When pool equipment is checked regularly, it can save you hundreds in running costs each year. For example, if your cartridge filter is old or inefficient, your pool pump will need to run for longer to filter out debris. You’ll also need to clean and sanitise your pool more often just to keep it clean. An annual service, however, picks up filtration problems early, allowing your filter to run efficiently and keep energy bills down.
Annual services can reduce the amount of time you spend on weekly pool maintenance. When your equipment is working at its best, it keeps balancing, backwashing and cleaning to a minimum. What’s more, pool technicians can recommend strategies to minimise weekly tasks, such as upgrading to a salt chlorinator, winterising your pool, using a pool cover or introducing an automation system.
While a visual inspection of your pool equipment can identify cracks or corrosion, other issues may be difficult to see. But a technician can detect and repair problems before they start to affect your pool, and provide strategies to protect equipment from damage (e.g. using a cover for your pool pump). This can extend the life of your pool equipment and help you avoid unnecessary replacements down the track.
How often you get a professional pool equipment check will depend on your pool size, bather load and whether you keep up with weekly maintenance.
Ideally, a pool equipment inspection should be scheduled every year, usually twelve months after opening your pool or just before the swimming season begins – whichever comes first. If your pool is large and heavily used, you may prefer a check every six months.
However, you should call a pool technician immediately if you experience any of the following:
If you’re sanitising, balancing and running your pool cleaner – and your water is still cloudy – there may be a problem with your equipment. Perhaps you’ve got a torn cartridge filter or your pool pump is at the end of its life. A technician will be able to inspect your equipment and let you know if it needs repair or replacement.
Your pool can develop algae for a range of reasons – heavy storms, leaf litter or poor pool maintenance. If it’s turning your pool green, you can usually get it under control by running your filter, manually dosing your pool with chlorine or shocking it multiple times.
But if this doesn’t work, call in the pros. They’ll be able to identify the type of algae in your pool (it can be hard to tell the difference) and treat it with the right chemicals.
If you’ve got a concrete pool and spores have seeped into the cracks, the pool may need to be drained and resurfaced to avoid recontamination. This should only be undertaken by a professional as draining your pool incorrectly can cause it to ‘pop’ out of the ground.
Heaters are a great way to extend your swimming season, but if they’re not heating your pool and you’ve tried every trick in the book, there could be a thermostat or timer issue. Depending on your pool heating system, you’ll need to call a qualified professional, such as a plumber, HVAC technician or solar heating repairer. They’ll inspect or dismantle the unit, identify the problem and make any necessary repairs.
A salt chlorinator is a low-maintenance way to sanitise your pool. But if it isn’t producing enough chorine, despite increasing the output and topping up your stabiliser, you could have a clogged or corroded salt cell. If cleaning or replacing it doesn’t fix the problem, then you’ll need to call a pool technician for an inspection. Your chlorinator may be too old or there might be a part that needs repair.
Many pool leaks can be fixed with underwater DIY kits, but if they don’t work or your leak is getting worse, you’ll need a pool technician to check your pool. They’ll test plumbing lines, perform dye tests and undertake structural repairs. In some cases, your pool may need to be resurfaced or replastered. This will involve draining or partially draining your pool. Again, this is best handled by a professional to avoid damaging your pool.
When pool light stops working, they can usually be replaced without draining the pool. However, if they’re flickering, there could be a bigger issue, like faulty wiring, water in the fixture or an overloaded circuit. Don’t try to fix this yourself. Call an electrician or pool professional to investigate the problem and make sure there’s no risk of electric shock.
If your running costs have gone up lately, ask your technician to audit the energy efficiency of your pool and make recommendations that minimise costs, like switching to a water-efficient cartridge filter, replacing your single-speed pump with a multi-speed pump, installing an energy-efficient solar heater or using a saltwater chlorinator to reduce chemical usage.
If you’re planning a pool party or special event, a pool equipment check will help you avoid nasty surprises on the day. If you’re short on time, the technician can do everything for you – from inspecting the filtration system to balancing your water chemistry. This can give you peace of mind, and free you up to focus on more important things, like planning and catering for the event.
If you’re planning to buy a house with a pool, get a pool equipment check as well as a building inspection (you’ll need to book these separately as building inspectors won’t know enough about pools). This is particularly important if the pool has a non-compliance certificate. The equipment check will help you find hidden problems, like leaks or outdated equipment, and give you an estimate of how much it’ll cost you to get the pool up and running again.
If you’ve been looking after your pool and getting it serviced regularly, you won’t need to do much before selling your home, except for supplying your registration and compliance certificate. But if your pool is looking shabby, consider getting a full pool service before the first open inspection – including an equipment check.
During the service, the technician will remove pool stains, fill or top up the pool, test and adjust the water balance, run the filtration system, and clean and replace any faulty equipment. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, a well-maintained pool can draw buyers with bigger budgets, increasing the value of your home by $100,000–$200,000.
A pool equipment check is important for the health and longevity of your pool. Not only does it keep your pool water clean, but it also reduces weekly maintenance and saves you hundreds on running costs every year.
In general, you should get your pool equipment checked every year, but don’t hesitate to call a technician if you come across problems you can’t fix, like a leaking pump or faulty automation system.
Outside these occasions, book a check if you’re buying or selling a house with a pool. This will ensure it’s safe and clean for your family – or prospective buyers.
If your pool equipment is looking worse for the wear or you’re due for an upgrade, book an equipment inspection with your local pool technician or check out our range of pool equipment here.