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Pool Maintenance Tips

BASIC POOL MAINTENANCE:

Pump Maintenance:

Note: Air entering the system is the worst enemy. This can cause the pump nipple
(plumbing going into the pump) to shrink, can warp the pump pod basket and it can fry a
perfectly good motor (costing a couple hundred bucks to replace).
On a weekly basis make sure the water level is appropriate. If you have an AWL (automatic
water leveler) manually push it down to confirm it’s working accurately. During the summer
months a pool can lose up to half a day in water it only takes a week or so of the AWL not
working correctly to potentially cause damage to the pump.
Pump Lid O-Ring: Every few months check the pump basket and pump lid o-ring. If you
notice the lid o-ring is cracked, weathered or broken in any way, replace it. A $10 investment
can save you big in the long haul. Remember, perfect maintenance ultimately comes down
to being proactive  NOT reactive.

WARNING: PUMP MUST BE SHUT OFF WHEN CLEANING

Pump Basket:

If the pump basket gets cracked or broken, debris can now clog the impeller which can lead to a motor burning up or restricted water flow and poor circulation of the pool water.

Properly Functioning Pump: Make sure the pump is priming. The pump should be
completely filled with water when the equipment is running. If it’s not fully priming, air is
entering the system.
Remember, air is the enemy and can cause major problems with the system.
Common ways air enters a system:

1. At the pump lid o-ring. Inspect and replace based upon your findings.

2. If #1 checks out ok, the air is likely entering at the pump nipple. Your pump is nothing more than a vacuum only it sucks water instead of air. Under ideal conditions we want no air in the system - a small amount of air bubbles in the pump is OK, but no more than a small amount.

3. The least likely scenario is an underground issue with the plumbing. This can and
does happen, but it’s very unlikely. A pool settles very similar to a home  overtime
plumbing can be cracked or joints can be separated.

4. A don’t forget the most obvious - if the water level is below the skimmer, the pump
can’t bring in water. It’s needs water to survive and do what it’s designed to do.

5. Inspect the pump lid itself. Any cracks or gouges? If so, replace accordingly.

General Points For Your Pool Pump:

1. Every few months brush away any spider webs, calcium buildup, leaves covering the
pump or anything else you see that shouldn’t be there.

2. Make sure the pump is on a flat surface  it should not be angled or tilted. This can
cause unnecessary pressure on the plumbing and even the filter, ultimately leading to
preventable issue from taking place.

3. Ensure the electrical wires are not exposed. This is a common problem that can lead
to unpleasant events easy fix. Use electrical tape or remove the motor housing and
secure appropriately so lose wires aren’t running wild.

4. If you see any water dripping from the pump discharge area, get this portion
re-plumbed. Running water can lead to calcium buildup as well as potentially allow
water to enter the motor via the housing unit.

Proper Filter Maintenance:

The 3 most common types of filters: sand, DE and cartridge filters.Although they each use different mediums to filter water, the concepts and fundaments of the maintenance portion are completely identical the specific how to will be different from
medium to medium.

Back washing Frequency: DE and sand filters should be back washed when the filter
pressure reaches 5psi greater than normal operating pressure. If you don’t have a filter
pressure or it’s not functioning properly I would get this corrected. This is at the pulse of
proper maintenance and it’s a great tool to diagnose many issues that relate to water
pressure. If the pressure is excessively high, there is likely a return side issue or within the
filter itself. If it’s low, there’s likely a suction side issue relating to the pump.

You can also backwash every 7-14 days as a rule of thumb if your filter pressure isn’t rising
much. There is no downside with back washing too frequently. That would be like saying
washing ones car too frequently is more likely to cause a flat tire. There’s no relationship.
Same goes with a cartridge filter. Filter pressure gets to 5 psi greater than normal, tear down
the filter and give the cartridge(s) a good cleaning with a pressure hose.

Every 3-4 months inspect the filter o-ring. If you notice any cracks or splits, replace it.
This is fairly inexpensive and sure beats coming out one day to notice a puddle of water
surrounding your pool equipment.
If you have a metal band clamp around your filter, over time, calcium can buildup. Take a
wire brush and clean it.
Standard Push-Pull Backwash Valve:
Every few months inspect the backwash o-ring set. Backwash o-ring sets are very inexpensive. If one (or more) is compromised, they can allow the water to bypass and end up escaping through the backwash line, causing the pool to slowly (or quickly) lose water.

Multiport Back Wash Valve:

Multiport back wash valve - directly under the handle, depending on the manufacturer, you'll see several screws. Once these are removed there is a spider gasket. This should be inspected - if you see any cracks, rips or folds, it should be replaced. This is an inexpensive 15 minute repair.

Sand Filter Sand Change:

If you have a sand filter, every 3 years or so the sand should be replaced. You can pick up
sand at Home Depot. Check with the specs of your filter model to see the quantity it requires.
A good gauge for when to do this is if you notice the sand clumping together when you
remove the filter lid, this is a good sign to remove the old sand and add new.
The best method to use is a wet/dry vacuum. Vacuum out the old sand and inspect the
laterals at the base of the filter. These are plastic fingers. Most sand filters have been 8
and 10 of them. Check them for any cracks or breaks. If you see anything, replace it
accordingly. You can purchase them individually they unscrew and screw back in.
If one (or more) of that laterals break, this can cause sand to end up back in the pool through
the return lines. If you ever see a pile of sand at/near one of the return lines, there’s a very
possible chance this is what has happened.

This is a very common problem that takes place immediately after a sand change. When
you’re adding sand, do so slowly to avoid this taking place.

DE Filters:

The maintenance process here is similar to a sand filter. When the filter pressure exceeds
5psi greater than its normal operation pressure, do a backwash. Be sure to recharge the
filter with DE. This should be added through the skimmer and swirl the water at the same
time while adding it.

One should also inspect the filter body o-ring once every few months. An opportune time to
do this is when you’re doing a filter clean. Remove the top half of the tank (depending on
your model, it may be one tall cylinder) and inspect the o-ring that separates the two halves.
If you notice any cracks, pinches or rips it should be replaced.

The filter tear down should be completed every 3-4 months with most models. This is the
process of removing the filter grids and hosing them down. Remove all the gunk and grime
from the grids. This will allow the greatest amount of water flow to take place within the filter
and create efficiencies. While doing this, inspect each grid for any cracks or rips. Replace
any grids that have run their course.

Cartridge Filters:

Cartridge filters cannot be backwashed. It’s simply a cartridge inside of the tank it’s this
cartridge that is the cleaning medium for the filter. These will look differently and come in different sizes - consult your manufacturer and model for accuracy.

The same approach applies here. When the filter pressure exceeds (or gets to) 5 psi greater
than normal operating pressure, remove the cartridge and give it a good cleaning.
When/if you see calcium building along the outside of the filter figure out where it’s leaking
water from. There is a reason calcium is building up. When you do a filter clean, also inspect the body o-ring. Look for any pinches, cracks or excessive drying replace it accordingly.

** Note ** With any filter, if you remove the element or take it apart, upon the equipment
startup it’s always a good idea to bleed the filter of any air that is in the system. Typically,
you’ll find the air release valve towards the top of the filter. It’s often located near the
pressure gauge. This will vary from filter to filter.

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