Swimming pool care in Florida is a very hot topic in the summer, so here are a few basic maintenance steps you can use to help keep your Florida pool sparkling clean.
Swimming Pool Circulation – The Role of the Pump
Your swimming pool pump is the most important component of your pool circulation system. Your pool’s pump moves pool water from the swimming pool through the filter, where dirt/dust/debris are removed, and then pushes the clean water back into the swimming pool.
How long should you run your pump?
There are many different factors that determine how long you should run your pool pump, including swimming pool size, pipe sizes, swimmer load and the actual pump size. Your swimming pool professional can provide you with an accurate timeframe that will help keep your pool clear and clean. If your pump is not running properly, the water from your pool is not being circulated or filtered. Be sure to contact a Florida swimming pool company as soon as possible if you suspect problems with your pool pump.
The Filtration System
Your pool filtration system removes dirt and debris from the pool water. The first line of defense includes the skimmer and pump baskets which remove large items such as leaves and undissolved dirt and debris. While baskets are very important, the most critical element of your pool filtration system is the filter. There are three primary types of filters that remove dirt and debris from your Florida swimming pool water.
- Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Sand filters remove dirt by “backwashing” or reversing the water flow. Backwashing is recommended when the pressure gauge indicates a 7-10 lbs. increase over “normal operating pressure” (pressure when filter has been cleaned). It is important to understand that sand filters are more effective when they have been able to gather some sand from normal operation, so do not backwash too often. Sand filters should be cleaned at least once every season with a proper filter cleaner.
As with sand filters, your cartridge filter needs to be cleaned when the pressure gauge indicates an increase of 7-10 lbs. over normal operating pressure. To clean your cartridge filter, begin by removing the cartridge(s) from the filter and hose off all loose dirt and debris. Then soak the elements in proper filter cleaner for at least 12 hours to remove oils and grease embedded inside the filter element. After soaking, remove the cartridges and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Be sure to allow the filter elements to dry prior to reinstalling into the filter. Many Florida swimming pool owners purchase a second set of cartridge elements to avoid downtime during cleaning.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters
DE filters are cleaned by backwashing the filter when pressure increases 7-10 lbs. Once the backwash is complete, DE must be added through the skimmer to coat the filter. DE filter grids should also be cleaned using proper filter cleaner, and at least once a year the entire DE filter should be disassembled and cleaned thoroughly as well as being inspected for tears or rips in the grids.
Consult a swimming pool professional to learn the role your baskets, filter, and backwashing or filter cleaning play in the health of your swimming pool. If you’d like to learn how to calculate your optimal pool filter run times, visit this article on wikiHow.