Conscientious Care Tip #1 (Filtration)
Filtration refers to the mechanical cleaning of pool water. It is commonly overlooked, but is a very important part of properly maintaining a pool. The filtration system removes the particulate matter, consisting of the dirt and debris that cause the water to be hazy or cloudy. A filter plays an important role of removing the algae that the sanitizer has destroyed as well as much of algae’s food source. A fully functioning filter will help keep the water clear, allowing for the continuous use of your pool.
Conscientious Care Tip #2 (Circulation & Turnover)
Water circulation is the process of regularly moving pool water through the pump and filtration system. It is recommended that all the pool water should be ‘turned over’ once a day. ‘Turn over’ is described as the time it takes for the volume of a pool’s water to pass through the pump one time. For example, if your pool has an eight-hour turnover time, it means that when the pump is running, it will take eight hours for the entire volume of water (or equivalent gallonage) of your pool to move through the pump and filtration system. This ensures the majority of the body of water gets filtered, and that the sanitizer or any chemical additions are distributed throughout the water.
To ensure for optimal circulation of the water, it is recommended that at least 2/3 of the water be drawn from the main drain at the bottom of the pool (or from the automated vacuum system) and approximately 1/3 be drawn from the skimmer(s) to remove debris on the surface of the water before it settles out.
Furthermore, the water flow should be in a circular pattern around the pool. This is done by adjusting the water return fittings (typically, in a clockwise flow) so that all of the returns are circulating in the same direction. Aiming the return fitting slightly downward can often improve the water circulation and flow. This helps to ensure that debris on the surface is removed by the skimmers prior to settling to the bottom of the pool.
There are three common filter types: Sand, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), and Cartridge
Sand filters utilize sand as the filtering medium. As water flows through the sand, the dirt becomes trapped. The sand is cleaned by periodically backwashing (reversing the water flow), which removes the collected dirt and debris. Sand is a good filtering media because it is inert. It does not react with pool water or pool chemicals, and will last many years before the sand needs to be replaced.
Cartridge filters are pleated fabric arranged within a rigid cylinder. As the water passes through the cartridge(s), the fibers trap dirt and oils. Cartridge filters are not as efficient as DE filters, but are used in many residential pool applications because of the ease of cleaning, and replacing of filters if damaged or old. Cartridge filters require more frequent cleaning to remove dirt, debris, and oils that build up.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters consist of a fine mesh fabric that is coated with a layer of fine white diatomaceous earth powder. In turn, the fine diatomaceous earth powder is capable of filtering out extremely small particulate matter from the water. DE filters are the best of the three filter types, in terms of filtration of fine particulate matter. The periodic cleaning of a DE filter entails removing and replacing the dirty diatomaceous earth, and often the power washing and/or chemically cleaning of the mesh fabric. It is recommended that this be done by a knowledgeable service technician.