One of the most important components to a well run and maintained swimming pool is its filtering system. Even with the most state of the art cleaning system, something is going to get through and get trapped. There are three types of filters, Sand Filters, Cartridge Filters and Diatomaceous Earth Filters (DE filter). Sand Filters are the easiest to maintain. The filter is a tank full of No. 20 crystalline silica graded sand that the water runs through. Water comes into the tank through a diffuser. The water goes through the sand where the debris is caught between the grains of sand. After the water reaches the bottom of the sand it goes through the laterals and is then returned to the pool. A sand filter is able to trap anything down to 40 microns in size. If the debris is smaller than 40 microns it will pass through the filter and be returned into the pool.
Cartridge filters make life a little easier since they can be removed and cleaned without back washing. Their filtration is about the same as sand, down to 40 microns. Most cartridge filters only need to be cleaned once or twice a year depending on the pool usage.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters are the best of the three considering it can trap anything down to 5-8 microns in size. I big jump from 40 microns with the Sand and Cartridge Filters. DE comes from a natural sedimentary rock which when crumbled turns into a fine powder. The DE filter tank has a layer of fine DE powder and a layer of plastic covered grids, which the water passes through, traps the debris down to 5-8 microns and is then pumped back into the swimming pool.
The heart of the swimming pool is its pump/filtration system. Water should be completely pumped through the entire pool at a minimum of ever 6-8 hours. So your pump selection is dependent on the water capacity of your pool. Check the manufacturer’s product information and bear in mind that every pu
mp is going to run according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Basing your decision on just horsepower is not wise. Basically, every pump is different. Most importantly, the volume of water pumped in gallon per minute (GPM) against the loss friction of your pools plumbing system (head loss) is critical. The pump with the filtration system has the capability to pull back the water at the drain, filter it, and then run the water back to the pool….clean. The wrong pump can cause your filter system to not work properly, thereby, causing the water in your pool to be cloudy and become a host for many harmful bacteria. Consult with a pool expert if you are selecting a new pump.
Pool pumps that are above ground are not self-priming and are built to operate below the water level line in the pool. This type of pump is not appropriate for an in-ground pool. In-ground pool pumps are above ground and are designed to lift the water and prime it. Again…all pool pumps are different.
If you want to have a comfortable warm temperature year round then you need to invest in a pool heater. Basically there are two choices, an electric/gas heater or you can go solar. Electric is going to increase your electric bill considerably depending on how long you run it and the time of year. You can run the solar during the warmer months and switch to the electric in the colder months that way you can take advantage of the cost savings on the electric heater. In addition to the heater you should also invest in a pool cover. This will trap the heat just on top of the water creating a solar cover when the pool is not in use. There are many brands to choose from and they vary depending on the size of the pool and the gallons of water to be pumped through the unit. Some of the major brands include Raypac, Pentair, Jandy, Hayward, Thermotron, Coates and Lochinvar.