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Why You Have Bubbles In Your Pool (3 Possible Reasons)

Among the many issues that can arise with pools, bubbles is one of them.

What causes bubbles in the pool? Are they a sign of something serious? And how are bubbles any different from pool foam?

We answer all these questions for you, and explain how to identify what might be causing this problem, and how you can get rid of them for good.

Are Bubbles A Problem?

Depending on how many bubbles you’re seeing in your pool, you may have a big issue, or hardly one at all.

A few bubbles here and there isn’t too big of a deal, as the pool is constantly circulating water through the return jets, which naturally produce some. 

But if your pool is full of bubbles, and you hear a louder churning sound, this is indicative of an issue that should be examined further and rectified as soon as possible.

3 Causes For Bubbles In A Pool

Generally, there are only 3 reasons why your pool may be filled with an excess amount of bubbles.

Reason #1: Your Pump

First, check the pool pump strainer pot lid. If you have a bubble problem, the transparent lid will be filled with them. This lid needs to be sealed tight and free of any cracks. If it isn’t a snug fit, air can be sucked in and pumped into the pool.

You’ll also want to turn the pump off and check the O-ring, which can be found on the underside of the lid. Make sure it’s properly seated, and that the ring isn’t compromised in any way.

Remove the ring and squeeze it between your thumb and middle finger, looking for any deterioration or cracks that may appear. If it’s good to go, spray it with a teflon-based lubricant before reseating it, keeping the O-ring from drying out and ensuring a better seal.

Finally, the pump basket may need replacing as it can crack over time and become unseated from its proper position, as well as the drain plugs which can become loose and sometimes even leak, though these are easily fixed with some plumbers tape for a tight seal.

Reason #2: Your Skimmers

When bubbles get into your pool, the cause might be at the pool itself. If you understand how pool water is fully cycled, you’ll see that everything begins at the skimmer and main drain.

The pool skimmer needs to maintain a consistent level of water in it, either halfway or three-quarters full. Anything under the halfway mark, and the skimmer will suck in more air than water.

This air is then sent throughout the pool system and returned to the pool. Not only will this result in bubbles, but it can also seriously damage your pool equipment.

You’ll also want to make sure the skimmer basket is properly seated. If it’s not, it could be causing improper suction, which will pull in air.

The flap of the front of the skimmer known as the skimmer weir, could also be the source. This flap regulates the flow of water, and protects your pool system by trapping large debris so it can’t enter. Make sure it isn’t obstructed in any way.

Reason #3: Your Fittings

Leaks in your fittings is a common reason for swimming pools suddenly producing too many air bubbles.  

You’ll want to check out the union(s) to make sure they’re working properly. This problem usually occurs before the pump, but it doesn’t hurt to check throughout your system.

The union is a threaded connector which joins your suction lines and valves to the system line. When you unscrew the union, you’ll see an O-ring which is what you’ll need to inspect. 

Similar to the pump lid O-ring, the union O-ring can be out of its groove, or cracked/deteriorated. Usually it is just a matter of reseating the ring in its proper groove. If it’s out of place, it’s a free invitation for air to enter the pool system.

Still Got Bubbles?

If you’ve inspected all of these areas and you’re still getting air bubbles, you may have a more serious problem on your hands. 

A leak in the pool’s plumbing isn’t very common, but it does happen, and this might be the culprit. With air bubbles, the leak(s) is usually on the suction side of the main drain or skimmer lines. 

Diagnosing your pool problem and fixing minor issues is something most owners can do by themselves, but when plumbing issues arise, they’re best left to a professional. You don’t want to make the problem worse than it already is.

Additionally, you may also simply have a pool foam problem, which can be mistaken for air bubbles in the pool.

Pool foam occurs when there is an excess amount of chemicals in the water. With the system constantly circulating, and air being mixed in, it can cause foam to float on the surface of the water.

That’s A (Bubble) Wrap!

Most pools will always have a bit of bubbles when the system is running, but too many bubbles in the pool is cause for concern. 

However, it usually isn’t indicative of a serious issue, and by checking a few areas of your pool, you can easily restore the water to a less “fizzy” state.

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