Pro Guide to Swimming Pool Equipment

by admin on August 16, 2012

Pool Equipment Explained

Pool equipment can be difficult for new swimming pool owners to understand. Doheny’s Pool Supplies Fast’s Pro Guide is here to save the day and explain the different mechanical components of your swimming pool. Understanding how each part works will help you maintain your swimming pool and increase the longevity of your pool products’ lives. Remember, taking good care of your equipment will save you money in the long run and helps keep your pool water crystal clear. Here is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help understand how your pool works!

Pool Filters

What is a pool filter?
Think of your pool filter like a kidney. Kidneys filter toxins and impurities out of your body, and swimming pool filters are used to collect debris, dirt and particles from your pool water. Removing these impurities with a pool filter is one of the main ways to ensure that your pool water stays clean. A faulty swimming pool filter can cause buildup and residue on the pool’s surface, many different colors and types of algae, bacterial contamination, and staining of your pool’s liner or surface.

What are the types of pool filters?
There are three main types of swimming pool filters: cartridge, sand and D.E. filters. Cartridge and sand filters are the most commonly used filters in the United States. Sand and D.E. filters use material called media to help the filtration process. Sand filters use sand to collect tiny particles as small as 20 microns (the human eye can only detect objects that are 40 microns and larger) and D.E. filters use diatomaceous earth (a soft natural material) to filter down to 5 microns. Cartridge filters capture particles as small as 10 microns.

How do I properly maintain my pool filter?
Maintenance varies depending upon the kind of pool filter you have.
Sand filters need to be backwashed when the PSI reaches 8-10 higher than its initial starting pressure. The sand filter should be cleaned with Sand Filter Cleaner periodically throughout periods of heavy use. Sand filters need to be backwashed when the PSI reaches 8-10 higher than its initial starting pressure. New #20 silica pool sand or ZeoSand should be added at initial sand filter installation and occasionally after the cleaning process has been completed.
Cartridge filter owners should remove the cartridge from the filter housing, rinse with a hose, and soak it with Cartridge Cleaner no less than once per month during the summer months and when your pool is experiencing heavy amounts of visitors. Cartridges should be replaced when you notice any deterioration.
D.E. filters should be backwashed and new Diatomaceous Earth, Purfiber or ZeoFiber should be added roughly every month.

Pool Pumps

How does a pool pump work?
A swimming pool pump is an integral part of your swimming pool’s equipment. Pool pumps circulate water throughout the pool, which allows the water to be treated and filtered by the chlorinator/brominator and the pool filter. A swimming pool without a pump is like a human without a heart! If your pool pump is faulty, then the water won’t be able to flow through the plumbing and pool filter in order to clean the water.

How do I maintain my pool pump?
Pool pumps have strainer baskets in their housing which collect large debris or leaves that are too big to pass through the pump. It is important to monitor them and the strainer basket should be cleaned out weekly throughout the summer as the first line of defense to ensure that large debris and particles do not pass through the mechanics of your pool pump.

Pool Heaters and Heat Pumps

What are swimming pool heaters and heat pumps?
Swimming pool heaters and heat pumps are devices used to warm up the temperature of your swimming pool’s water. They are like your body’s Thyroid gland. Although some areas of the country are extremely warm in the summer and do not require additional heat, heaters and heat pumps are very desirable in the fall, winter and spring and in cooler year-round climates.

What are the differences between the two?
Swimming pool heaters and heat pumps are different in the way they operate. Generally speaking, a pool heater is powered by gas and a heat pump is run on electricity. Heat pumps also rely on the outside air temperature and sunlight on top of electricity, so they are best for use in warmer climates (above 45 degrees Fahrenheit year-round). Most heating equipment has been gas-propelled in the past. Gas pool heaters are great for quickly heating up a swimming pool and work better than heat pumps in cold weather. Some neighborhoods and remote locations do not have natural gas access, so heat pumps are an alternative for your swimming pool. A downside to heat pumps is their initial cost. A heat pump’s purchase price is slightly more expensive; however, their annual operating costs are lower than standard gas heaters.

What are solar pool heaters?
Solar pool heaters rely solely on the sun for power. They do not use an ounce of electricity or gas for power. Energy conscientious individuals love solar energy!


What are chlorinators and brominators?
Chlorinators/brominators, also known as chemical feeders, are used to automatically add chlorine or bromine to your pool water. The terms chlorinator and brominator are used interchangeably depending upon the type of chemical sanitizer you use. Chemical feeders are cheap and effective ways to sanitize your swimming pool and help your water balance stay consistent, which is better for your pool and equipment.

How do I use a chlorinator or brominator?
Simply drop in chlorine or bromine tabs/sticks every few weeks to keep your pool sparkling clean. Use the dial to monitor chemical levels. Be sure to test your pool water weekly to ensure your pool water’s cleanliness.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

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Anonymous December 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm

This guide is really helpful for all pool owners. Also i had a great idea after reading this blog about how do i use a chlorinator or brominator in my swimming pool. Really useful tips and excellent guide.


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