Pool Problems: When to Repair and When to Replace

Swimming pools provide year-round fun for the whole family and are the perfect way to connect with friends and bond with loved ones. However, pools don’t take care of themselves and require regular maintenance in order to get the intended lifespan of the pool. In addition to routine maintenance, be aware that there might be some pool problems to deal with over time, that might require repairs or even replacement.

Common Pool Problems

Pool pumps, coping stones, and skimmers are a few pool parts to pay attention to and monitor how they are working in order to prevent and fix pool problems. So, how do you know whether you should repair or replace these pool features? Here are some helpful tips to help you decide whether you need to replace them completely, or if you can get by with a simple repair.

Pool Pumps

Your pool pump is one of the most important pieces of equipment that goes along with your pool. It is needed to help keep your pool clean and hygienic.


The most common issue with pumps are the bearings wearing out. Bearings are the most vulnerable part of the pump and you will sometimes hear an abnormal sound or whirring when there is a bearing issue. Bearings are an easy repair and can be done without a lot of cost or time.


Another component of the pump that needs watching is the impeller. Impellers are known to clog, especially if there are large amounts of debris your pump is attempting to pass. Other times, the washers, nuts, or diffuser bolts come loose on the impellers and clog the system. As long as the impeller is not broken or deformed, it can be repaired. Broken or deformed impellers will need replacing.

Pump Motors

Occasionally, the motor in the pump will overheat or even burn out over time. This is typically due to negligence. This can occur when there is a sudden amperage increase of the grid current, over speeding caused by dehydration, or bad bearings, or poor circuits. If there is no damage to the overheated motor shaft, there might be a way to repair it, otherwise, contact your pool experts to discuss replacement options.

Coping Stones

Coping is the capstone and top of your pool wall. It is used to finish the pool’s edge and make your pool flush with your deck. Sometimes coping needs replacements or repairs and it is important to occasionally inspect these stones.

Loose Stones

Depending on the type of pool or coping you have, over time you might encounter some loose stones. If the stones wobble when you stand on them, there could be safety issues. Most the time, these stones can be reset by chipping out the old mortar and replacing it with a new thin-set mortar. If your coping has cracked, it might be more beneficial to replace them.

Crumbling Joints

The joints at the coping stones can sometimes crumble and crack. If it is a small crack, it should be fine, however, cracks large enough to allow water in them can cause serious damage. It could be due to chemical breakdown over time or a force applying too much pressure to that area. Again, it is best to check with a professional and have them come out to remove and refill the crumbling joints.

Pool Skimmers

Your pool skimmer plays an important role in removing floating debris from your pool. Skimmers are embedded into the concrete which creates an opportunity for issues. Pool skimmers need regular maintenance, repair and sometimes replacement.

Clogged Skimmers

Skimmers attach to the skimmer pipe and can sometimes get clogged. If you suspect your skimmer is clogged, you might want to see if a plumber’s snake will work to break up the clog. If this doesn’t work, building up and releasing pressure in the line by blocking it with a tennis ball might be a solution. If you still are unable to clear the line, make sure to contact a pool professional to assist you.

Leaking Skimmers

Skimmers are a very common place for leaks. If your skimmer has pulled away from the concrete and is leaking, use an underwater pool putty or silicone rubber to temporarily stop the leak. Then, make sure to call your pool professionals to come and replace or repair the leaking and possibly cracked skimmer.

Skimmer Lids & Weirs

Skimmer lids and weirs are plastic and do wear out over time due to exposure to the sun and other weather. Broken lids can be dangerous if someone accidentally steps on it! The skimmer weir is the important flapper that creates a small waterfall into the basket and helps draw debris into the skimmer. Both of these items should be replaced if damaged.

Concrete and Gunite

Concrete and gunite pools are the most common types of pools in the United States. Once the pool is poured into its frame, the gunite or concrete might be painted, tiled or left plain.


If you see a crack in your pool–don’t freak out immediately! Small cracks are typically only in the plaster coating and can be repaired by draining and resurfacing the pool. However, if the crack is larger than a foot or goes completely to the gunite or concrete, it may need to be widened, filled and then refinished. This type of repair is best left to a professional.

Hollow Spots

Sometimes substrate materials separate from the pool causing hollow spots. This leaves sections unsupported and can appear as bulges, divots or a spider web. This, like cracks, needs to be refilled and resurfaced.  

Popping Up

Popping up can be a serious issue. Sometimes, when people live near a high water table–like along the coastline–hydrostatic pressure can cause your pool to literally pop out of the ground. Sometimes, the only option is to demolish your existing pool and start fresh. Make sure to contact a pool professional immediately if you suspect your pool is popping up.

Pool Problems? Contact a Professional

Swimming pools are a fun and relaxing addition to your backyard, but they do come with regular upkeep and repairs. Make sure to perform maintenance, or hire professional pool services to ensure your pool stays safe and without issues.

To learn more about whether you need to repair or replace any parts of your pool, Contact Us.