How a Pool Works
There is a lot more that goes into keeping your pool clean than most pool owners realize. There are a wide variety of mechanisms that pool water and chemicals travel through to keep your pool looking its best. In its journey through this key equipment, pool water is strained, filtered and chemically treated.
Pool circulation systems work much like the body’s circulatory system. Water is drawn from your pool by the suction created from the pool pump.
- The pool pump draws the water through the skimmers and drains, removing large debris during the journey.
- When the pump’s impeller is reached, pressure forces water through the filer, catching any debris not caught by skimmer baskets.
- Water is treated and heated before it is returned to the pool.
With so many moving parts, maintenance is key to keeping your pool circulation system at optimal performance.
The Pool Pump
The pool pump is the heart of the circulation system, as it creates the flow of water that allows chemicals to circulate evenly through the pool, sanitizing it effectively and moving debris through the circulation system and out of the pool.
In-ground pool owners can choose between variable-speed pumps and single-speed pool pumps. Key differences include:
- Speed – Single speed pool pumps run at one fixed speed, while variable speed pool pumps are programmable. They can be set to run at a wide variety of speeds depending on the particular needs of your pool and your desire to save on energy costs.
- Energy Savings – Variable speed pool pumps can save you up to 90% of the annual energy costs compared to a single speed pump.
- Automation – Variable speed pool pumps can be integrated into advanced automation systems, allowing you to set timers to run the pump at different speeds, at different times of the day.
The Pool Filter
A piece of equipment developed with the sole purpose of filtering dirt particles out of the pool circulation system, the filter plays an important role in keeping pool water clean of the smallest debris.
There are three main filter types available:
- Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters – Able to filter particles down to 3-5 microns, D.E. filters should be backwashed when the pressure gauge reads 8-10 psi.
- Sand Filters – Able to capture particles down to 20-40 microns, sand filters should be backwashed when the pressure gauge reads 8-10 psi. These filters require the least maintenance, and can go 5 years without needing the sand replaced.
- Cartridge Filters – Able to capture particles down to 10-20 microns, cartridge filters do not require backwashing. These filters allow you to save water and provide the support required to run an energy efficient pool.
Each has specific features that separate it from the other two, providing plenty of options depending on your specific pool needs and desires.
The Pool Heater
The final piece of equipment that water passes through before making its way back into the pool, the heater warms the water to a pre-set temperature, allowing pool owners to take advantage of the fun of a pool even if the weather is cool or they have a shaded backyard.
There are three main options to consider when it comes to a pool heater.
- Natural Gas
Gas heaters are typically more cost efficient than electric heaters. Natural gas requires you to set down pipes, but it burns cleaner and is more environmentally friendly than alternatives.
Propane heaters require either a small tank that will need to be refilled regularly, or a larger tank that needs to be installed and refilled professionally.
There are many different factors to consider when creating your pool circulation system, including:
- Maintenance of proper chemical balance
- Prevention and removal of bacteria, algae and other microbials
- Prevention of dead spots
- Increased sanitization efficiency
With the right equipment, you can improve your system functionality and the cleanliness of your pool in no time.