Pool Pumps & Pool Filters
The pump is the heart of a pools’ circulation system. Its job is to draw water from the pool, pass it through the filter and heater, and then return it back to the pool. When deciding on the right type of pump for you, there are a few factors to think about:
- The pumping capacity relative to your pool size
- The operating costs
- The maintenance steps
These will help you to determine the speed and power required to pump your pool water most efficiently, and what kind of pump will be easiest for you to maintain.
Running the Pump
There are two main considerations for running your pool pump:
Chemical Demand: Since UV rays from the sun remove chlorine from the water, the highest chemical demand is typically during the daytime. Most methods of chlorination require the use of the pump.
Energy Cost: Electrical costs may be higher during the daytime, making it more cost-effective to run the pump at night. Through the Save on Energy Program, you can now receive a $400 rebate when you purchase an energy-efficient variable-speed pump.
The water in your pool should be pumped through the filter system at least once a day, and the average system circulates the water two to three times a day. You can safely run your pump for about 12 hours a day to run all the water in your pool through the system at least once—and the more you can run the pump, the better.
The filter’s job is to keep the pool clean and free from debris so that you can enjoy crystal clear water. There are three basic types of filters, all of which are designed to remove the oils, grease, and dirt from your pool water.
Types of Pool Filters
- Sand Filter: This is the most popular type of filter due to its simplistic operation and maintenance. Water is pumped through layers of sand within a pressurized container, while dirt and grease particles are retained in the sand. The filter requires regular cleaning to ensure your pool water maintains its clarity.
You’ll know it’s time for a cleaning when you see an increase in the pressure registered by the gauge on the filter tank and a reduction in the water circulation. The high-rate sand filter is cleaned by backwashing, which reverses the flow of water through the filter and pumps it out a waste line. Backwashing lifts the particles collected, raises the sand bed, and cleans it. With proper cleaning, the sand can last indefinitely.
- DE Filter: Another popular type of filter is the DE, which uses a white powder known as diatomaceous earth to filter out particles. When the powder is added to your skimmer, it dissolves in the pipe on its way to the filter tank. The powder coats the fine mesh-covered grid, which is covered with a woven polyester fabric. As the water passes through the DE powder and enters the grid, it leaves dirt trapped in the DE powder “cake” or coating.
There are various methods of cleaning DE filters, including backwashing. After backwashing a DE filter, the dirty powder is discharged and fresh DE powder is added to the filter by pouring it into the skimmer.
- Cartridge Filter: With this type of filter, pool water is circulated through cartridges of fibrous material. Typically made from spun polyester, a cartridge filter is similar to the pleated air filter in your car.
These cartridges can be removed, washed, and soaked in a cleaning agent. Cartridges should be replaced when they fail to maintain clear water in the pool or when they show signs of wearing.
All three types of filters vary in size, and your choice will depend largely on the size and usage of your pool.