Quantity and Quality: Maintaining the Proper Pool Water Level


Many pool owners know about the importance of perfectly balanced water chemistry. Most know how to use a testing kit and can explain the importance of changing and cleaning the filter. But not every pool owner knows just how important it is to maintain the proper water level. Whether you’ve got an inground pool or an above-ground pool, or spa, the water level can, literally, make or break your backyard oasis.

New to swimming pools? Not sure how to figure out if the water in your pool is too high or too low? Read on to learn more about keeping your swimming pool water on the level.

What happens if your swimming pool water level is too low?

If the water in your swimming pool is too low, the skimmer can bottom out and suck air into your filter system. And when that happens, you’re at risk for burning out the motor on your pool pump. This could be a costly problem, which is why you should definitely keep an eye on the water level of your swimming pool.

Swimming Pool Water Level

If you’re especially concerned about the level in your swimming pool, consider adding an automatic swimming pool water leveling device. These devices, which are available in a range of price points, typically attach to a garden hose or other water source. They detect when your water gets critically low and automatically fill your pool until the water is back in the “safe” zone. Many pool owners appreciate the extra protection.

Don’t forget the spa!

Water levels matter whether you have a pool or spa. If your water level drops in your spa, you’re at risk for burning out the motor and damaging the plumbing system.

What happens if your swimming pool water level is too high?

If your pool level is too high, your skimmer won’t work as efficiently. While this isn’t a very serious problem -- especially compared to what can happen if your pool water is too low -- it can create more maintenance work for you (after all, someone has to pick up the slack if your skimmer basket isn’t catching debris).

In most cases, pool owners don’t need to do much if the water is a little on the high side. In addition to natural evaporation, activities like vacuuming and backwashing can help lower the water level.

Stormy weather ahead? Here’s how to prepare.

Preparing for a torrential downpour or hurricane? Don’t drain the pool. Pools were designed to hold water, and you want your pool to be structurally sound during the storm. You can always siphon water out if necessary. Instead of focusing on the water level, focus on making the area around your pool as safe as possible: Move heavy objects (like patio furniture) indoors; disconnect electrical equipment, and give your pool a shock treatment to safeguard the water against contamination.

Maintaining the proper water levels in your swimming pool

Your pool level can fluctuate on an almost daily basis. Everything from evaporation and heavy rains to running your pool pump can affect your pool’s water level. To keep your swimming pool water at the ideal level, it’s a good idea to check your water level daily to ensure that the water level looks normal. You should also keep in mind that routine maintenance activities like vacuuming and backwashing your pool can also lower your water levels, so be sure to add water as needed.

In doubt? Check your tile!

Not sure about your pool water level? Your waterline tile can serve as a quick visual guide. In general, the water in your swimming pool should reach about halfway up the tile.

And remember, a good swimming pool professional can help you ensure that your pool water remains exactly where it needs to be.