How to Operate and Maintain Pool Equipment
How a pool pump works:
Your pump is designed to operate for years with proper maintenance. The pump housing, seal plate, diffuser, hair and lint pot and impeller are made from high quality thermoplastic materials selected for their corrosion resistance. When installed, operated and maintained properly, it will provide years of service.
Your pump is driven by an electric motor. The motor is directly attached to the pump impeller. As the electric motor turns it causes the impeller to turn and this causes the water to flow. The water flows into the hair and lint inlet and through the basket assembly to prestrain large particles. The flow then enters the center of the pump housing. If the pump does not contain the hair and lint assembly, the flow simply enters the center of the pump housing. The flow goes through the impeller into the stationary diffuser and out the pump discharge port.
The strainer basket in the pump should be inspected and cleaned 1 to 2 times each week. Remove the clear lid and basket and clean out any debris. Inspect the lid and O-ring. If they are damaged, replace them. The pump seal requires no lubrication.
Priming your pump:
Before starting your pump, fill the tank strainer area with water. To do so, remove the strainer lid, closing all ball valves from pool and fill pump tank. Turn on pump and open ball valves. Your pump primes and re-primes itself providing the pump tank is filled with water. Should you lose the water from the pump tank accidentally or by draining it, it will be necessary to refill it with water before starting. High suction lifts or unusually long suction lines require additional time to prime.
Operating your pump:
We know that a pump is only as dependable as its power unit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. The water being pumped cools and lubricates the seal. Always keep water in the pump tank. No further lubrication of the pump is necessary.
After the pump tank has been filled with water and the motor started, allow a few moments for the pump to start delivering water. If flow does not start within a few minutes, stop the motor and determine the cause. Be sure at least one plumbing line to and from the pool is open when the pump is running. Operating the pump with all ball valves closed can cause damage to the pump.
How your filter works:
Your high rate sand filter is designed to operate for years with a minimum of maintenance and when installed, operated and maintained properly, it will provide years of trouble free operation.
Dirt is collected in the filter as the water flows through the control valve at the side of the filter and is directed into the top bulkhead. Dirty water flows into the diffuser at the top of the tank and is directed downward into the top surface of the filter sand bed. The dirt is collected in the sand bed and the clean water flows through the laterals and lower piping at the bottom of the filter up into the lower bulkhead. The flow then goes into the control valve at the side of the filter. Clean water is returned through the piping system into the pool.
The pressure will rise and the flow to the pool will be lowered as the dirt is collected in the filter. Eventually, the filter will become so plugged with dirt that it will be necessary to perform the backwash procedure. It is important to know when to backwash the filter. See the section on Backwashing above.
Please note that a filter removes suspended matter and does not sanitize the pool. The pool water must be sanitized and the water must be chemically balanced for sparkling clear water.
The filter is a very important part of the pool equipment. Proper care and maintenance will add many years of service and enjoyment to the pool. Follow these suggestions for long trouble-free operations:
- To clean the exterior of the filter of dust and dirt, wash with a mild detergent and water then hose off. Do not use solvents.
- If internal maintenance is required, sand may be removed by removing the sand drain from the bottom of the filter and flushing with a garden hose.
- If after a number of years, the filter tank appears foggy in color or rough in texture, the tank surface can be painted. We recommend the use of a Quick Dry Spray Enamel. Do NOT paint the valve.
WARNING — Always visually inspect filter components during normal servicing to ensure structural safety. Replace any item that is cracked, deformed or otherwise visually defective. Defective filter components can allow the filter top or attachments to blow off and could cause severe bodily injury or property damage.
- The filter closure on your sand filter was manufactured with high quality corrosion resistant materials. This part should be carefully inspected whenever servicing your filter. If excessive leakage is noted coming from the closure/tank interface, the closure and o-ring should be carefully inspected and replaced if any signs of deterioration exist.
- Your filter is a pressure vessel and should never be serviced while under pressure. Always relieve tank pressure and open the air bleeder on the filter closure before attempting to service your filter.
- When restarting your filter, always open the manual air bleeder on the filter closure and stand clear of the filter.
How your multi-port valve works:
Sand filters have multi-port valves that allow you to perform different functions with your filter. Most multi-port valves have the following six functions:
- Filter – Normal position during the operation of your system; i.e. the position that filters your pool’s water.
- Backwash – The position when operating the system to clean filter of accumulated debris. This process reverses the water flow and flushes out the filter, cleaning it and readying it to function efficiently again. This is necessary only when the filter’s pressure gauge reads 10 psi higher than starting pressure of a clean filter. Consult your filter operating instructions and see the “Steps to Backwashing” section above.
- Rinse – This position is designed to flush stray sand from the system before returning to filter operation after backwashing. Always rinse your filter after backwashing. When you backwash, the reversing of the water flow can “fluff-up” the sand while cleaning it. The “Rinse” position packs the sand back down tightly so that it will filter the water properly.
- Closed – The valve may be set in the “Closed” position when servicing filter tanks located below the water level. This function may be used when cleaning out your pump basket (to avoid back-flow into pump), when you are chemically cleaning the filter media or if there is a technical issue that requires the system to be shut down for a period of time.
- Recirculate – This position allows the pump to continue circulating water (chemicals, heat, etc.) without flowing through the filter. This is advantageous when the filter or its components are being repaired or replaced. However, this function is not recommended to use on a regular basis since the pool water should otherwise be filtering at all times.
- Waste – This position allows draining or lowering of your pool’s water level without running it through the filter. This function can be used when you need to let water out of your pool, for example, after a heavy rain.
Chlorine Generator (Salt System)
How a salt system works:
We install the IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator salt chlorinator on all of our new pools. The IntelliChlor unit uses a process known as electrolysis to produce chlorine gas that immediately dissolves into a solution to create Hypochlorite and Hypochlorous acid pool and spa water sanitizer from a low concentration of salt added to the pool water. These chemicals kill bacteria, oxidize organic material, and kill algae, then revert back to salt. The IntelliChlor unit then reuses the salt and the process starts over again.
The system is comprised of the IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator and Power Center. The system is very easy to operate, with LED status lights, a push button sanitizer output and boost (super chlorinate). It is the most user-friendly product on the market.
Salt system maintenance:
Maintaining your IntelliChlor unit means monitoring your pool’s chemistry and making sure that your pool’s water remains properly balanced. You can test at home to monitor your pool’s levels of pH, alkalinity and chlorine. Your pool’s pH should fall between 7.2 and 7.8 with a range of 7.4 to 7.6 being ideal. The ideal range for total alkalinity is 80 to 120 ppm and 2.0 to 4.0 for free chlorine. You can adjust the chlorine level in your pool by using the “More” or “Less” buttons on your IntelliChlor unit.
To ensure that the correct chemical balance is maintained in your pool, it is important to perform recommended salt and pool water tests by bringing a water sample into the store every month. Here we can check the levels of salt (ideally between 3200-3800) and cyanuric acid (30-50 ppm) as well as monitor your pool for calcium hardness, the presence of metals and total dissolved solvents.