Buying a Home with an Inground Pool? Here’s Your 13-Point Pool Inspection Checklist.
You’ll want to avoid unexpected pool repair costs if possible, especially after moving into your new dream home. Before you buy, follow this do-it-yourself pool inspection guide from the Austin pool service experts at YardDoc.
How to Evaluate the Condition of the Swimming Pool
- Check the clarity of the water—good clear water is what you would want to see. Cloudy water can indicate filtration or water chemistry problems. It may also signify prior algae or other issues still evident in the water.
- Inspect the bottom of the pool for sediment or debris. Any residue could indicate a problem with the pool filter discharging material back into the pool.
- Look for cracks, below or above the water level. And watch for signs of damage to the decking around the pool. Ensure the water level is as expected. Too low can indicate cracks or leaks.
- Scan the visible plumbing to see if the piping looks normal, and there are no bulges, especially around the motors. If motors run dry, they overheat the water. Dry runs cause pipes to soften and then bulge when pressurized. If PVC piping has yellowed, it can also be an indication of excessive aging or heating. If PVC piping has been painted, it could be for aesthetic detail or a way to mask a problem with the plumbing.
The pool surface will wear over time and is one of the more expensive repairs. Typically, the entire surface needs replacing. It’s a good idea to estimate how soon pool resurfacing may be necessary, so you can plan for that expense.
To assess the quality of the surface, during pool inspection look for visible signs of damage or wear. In some cases, you will see exposed concrete underneath the surface material in one or more areas. This may be an area that was damaged by something knocking the surface material off, but generally, it is a sign that the surface material is wearing through. Visible cracking or pitting of the surface material are also indications of wear.
Discoloration of the plaster often happens when it is wearing thin. But it can also be surface staining or mineral deposits from poor water chemistry, which isn’t necessarily a sign of surface wear.
So, put your hand into the water and rub the pool surface. It should be smooth. You shouldn’t feel pitting or tiny protruding spikes. Also, you shouldn’t be able to rub off any of the surface. If you can, then the surface is in an advanced stage of wear and will probably need to be replaced soon.
Check that the water chemistry is within normal limits, specifically pH levels, Cyanuric Acid (or stabilizer) levels, and total hardness. pH that is too high or low will damage the pool surface over time and can also destroy a heater and other equipment. Cyanuric Acid (or stabilizer) that is too low may well indicate a leak, as added water will have no stabilizer in it.
Levels of stabilizer that are too high will mean that the pool water will need to be replaced soon because the high stabilizer levels will eventually stop chlorine from functioning. Hardness levels that are too high can cause problems with pool surfaces but can also get so high that proper chemical balance becomes problematic. In that case, the water either needs to be replaced or reverse osmosis performed to remove particulates.
Ask us about pool chemical automation using the Pentair Intellichem system.
When performing a pool inspection, it is usually apparent whether the pool and equipment are generally maintained. Is the equipment-pad full of leaves or other items? Are pool skimmer baskets cleaned out or full of leaves?
Leaves can cause ventilation problems that overheat the motors, which then damage plumbing, etc. These types of items aren’t necessarily problematic, but give you an idea of how attentive the owners are to pool maintenance.