Category Archives: Swimming pool maintenance

Tips For Maintaining & Cleaning Swimming Pool Filter Pumps

5 Tips For Maintaining & Cleaning Filter Pumps

Filtration is a critical part of maintaining a health swimming environment in any pool so making sure you carry out regular maintenance on your pool pump will ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises when you come to use your pool. To help with this task the Pools team have come up with these top tips to help maintaining your pool pump as stress free and easy as possible.

1. Make sure you have plenty of replacement cartridges

Filter cartridges need to be replaced regularly to allow the pump to operate efficiently and help keep your water free of impurities. We recommend you change your filter cartridges at the very least every 2 weeks. More frequent use of your pool will require more frequent changes of your filter cartridges. Make sure that you know the correct type of cartridge your filter pump requires before purchasing.

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool

Note: if you have a sand filter then this information will not apply directly to your product as sand filters have their own maintenance requirements. The silica sand used for filtration usually lasts for around four to six years before needing replacement. For more information refer to your user’s manual.

2. Clean your filter cartridges after each use

Operating the pump with a heavily soiled filter pump will allow for more and more impurities to enter your water, making it a breeding ground for germs and other microorganisms. It can also clog up the pump and cause it to malfunction which may result in pump failure. Rinsing out your filter with a garden hose after each use will not only make sure that fewer nasties end up in your water but can also help prolong the life of the filter cartridge.

Note: Even with regular rinsing we still recommend a change of cartridge at least every 2 weeks.

3. Check cartridges regularly for wear and tear

As with rinsing make sure you inspect your filter cartridges regularly for signs of wear and tear. Rips in the cartridge won’t just make the filter less efficient but there is also the risk of bits of filter breaking off and getting lodged into the filters mechanics.

4. Clean the filter pump housing regularly

With regular rinsing and replacement of cartridges, you shouldn’t have to rinse your filter housing out too often. If you feel the need to give it a rinse out then you can follow these simple steps to make sure you give it the most thorough clean possible.

– Loosen the hose clamps on the inlets and outlets of your pool. Remove the debris screens and replace them with the stopper plugs that came with your pool.

– Remove the cap retainer, filter cap and filter cartridge from the pump before detaching the hoses. The hoses should now be completely disconnected from the pool and pump.

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool

– Now that it’s detached you can give the pump a wipe with an absorbent cloth or use a wet/dry vacuum to clear out any loose debris.

– Take the opportunity to ‘flush out’ the filter pump hoses by blasting a powerful jet of water through each one. This can be done using a standard garden hose.

Check out the set up video below: For a detailed set up of your exact model refer to your user manual.

For sand filter users, cleaning the filter requires backwashing. This should only need doing on average once a month (depending on the regularity of usage). To backwash the system, follow the steps below.

– Turn the control valve to the closed function and disconnect the inlet hose from the pool and pump. Screw a stopper cap to the pool inlet and thread a locking ring onto the open port of the pump.

– Connect one end of the detached hose to the filter pump ‘D’ port. Place the other end of the pump near a suitable drainage area.

– Turn the control valve to the backwash setting. Water inside the sand bed will gush out into the drainage area along with the majority of trapped dirt and debris.

– As soon as the water runs clear, turn the control valve to the rinse function. Switch on the sand filter and run for about a minute. This will draw water out of the pool, through the pump, out of the ‘D’ port and into the drainage area.

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool

– With the filter backwashed and rinsed it’s time to turn off the control valve and top your pool up to the correct water level. Finally, turn the control valve to the filter function to complete the process.

Check out the video below for reference. for a more detailed set up refer to your user manual.

5. Make sure your water is treated regularly

Using a filter is only part of the battle in maintaining healthy swimming water; if you don’t test and treat your water regularly then your pump won’t be nearly as effective at removing impurities out of the water; and that can lead to a whole host of problems! For more information on water maintenance refer to our Pool Chemical Guide.

For quick and easy water maintenance we recommend using a Clearwater Starter Kitas it has all the basics for testing and treating your pool water.

8 Tips For Maintaining Healthy Water

8 Tips For Maintaining Healthy Water

Without proper maintenance, warm conditions and the water capacity of an above ground pool can provide the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms such as bacteria and algae. It’s important therefore to develop a maintenance regime helping to keep on top of cleaning and prevent problems to the liner, filter pump and fittings from occurring.

  1. Maintain Healthy Water With Granules

Before applying granules you should check water chlorine levels (measured in parts per million or ppm) using pH Dip Tests or an Aquatest Pool Water Tester. Swimming pools should have a chlorine level between 1 – 3ppm, if this needs adjusting by 1ppm you should apply 2 grams of chlorine per 1,000 litres (220 gallons) of water. As a rough guide, if a pool has a water capacity of 23,062L and testing the water indicates that chlorine levels need to be increased by 3ppm, you’d need to apply approximately 46 grams of granules to the water.

Important: If water temperature exceeds 20°C you can apply chlorine granules directly to the water. If water temperature is below 20°C then you should mix granules in a bucket of water at a rate of 10g per litre before application.

Turn the Filter Pump on to ensure an even dispersal of chlorine throughout the water; and always use a dip test to ensure the water is safe (chlorine level between 1 – 3ppm) before getting in.

If you use chlorine granules to treat your pool failure to apply the correct amount on a daily basis could result in cloudiness, algae and other problems arising.

  1. Maintain The Water With A Chemical Floater

Unlike granules, chlorine tablets are used in conjunction with a chemical floater which can maintain the optimum chlorine levels over several days simply by adjusting its release dial. Depending on the setting you adjust it to, the floater will consistently release the chlorine tablets into the water; perfect if you’re pushed for time on maintenance, or if you’re going away for extended periods and won’t be around to maintain the pool yourself.

Important: Always check the instructions as to how many tablets should be added to your chemical floater to achieve the best amount of sanitation.

  1. Cleaning & Replacing Filter Cartridges

Frequent cleaning and replacement of filter cartridges is massively important in maintaining a healthy swimming environment. We recommend changing your pool filter cartridge every two weeks during periods of infrequent use. If you’re taking a dip in the pool regularly and are cleaning the filter cartridge every day, you should consider replacing it every five to seven days.

  1. Avoiding Staining & Discolouration

Lotions, fake tan and sun cream can cause staining to the liner of the pool; furthermore they can form an oily film on the surface. Staining is particularly prevalent at the edges of the pool where people commonly lean or take a rest. Rinsing off any excess cosmetics or body lotions before getting into to pool is a good idea (although sun cream is an essential on a scorching hot day) and regular cleaning around the edges of the liner is a good way to help prevent any staining from occurring.

Top Tip: Staining can also be heightened by the combination of chemicals and UV rays from the sun so using a pool cover when the pool is not in use is a good way to help prevent this.

“Using a pool cover, when the pool is not in use, is a good way to prevent discolouration of your liner due to UV rays..”

  1. Dealing with Slime & Algae

An unpleasant smell, slimy surface or a greenish tinge of algae may not be completely eradicated by chemicals if left unchecked. Whilst algae itself is relatively harmless, it can trigger the right environment for other, not-so-harmless organisms to thrive, turning your once pristine pool into a murky, putrid pond. If this becomes a recurring problem then your pool may require complete drainage, a thorough clean and a refill with fresh water.

Top Tip: Using Clearwater Algaecide as part of your maintenance routine is a very useful measure to help with the prevention of algae build up.

  1. Hard Water

Hard water can lead to your pool being more susceptible to scaling and discolouration due to an increase in minerals. Extended build-up of scale can cause problems with filtration which can lead to other health issues and/or damage to the pump itself. Applying a descaling agent such as Clearwater 1ltr Scale & Stain Remover is a highly effective way to prevent and eradicate build-up in a hard water pool.

Top Tip: A pool vacuum is also worthwhile for giving the bottom of the liner of your pool an extensive clean.

  1. Chlorine Shock Treatment

Even with regular maintenance there may be times when your pool shows signs of discolouration etc. in this case a shock treatment might be necessary.

Shocking the water is a simple process for eradicating any signs of bacterial build up in your water, and involves adding a larger dose of chlorine to the water (which will vary depending of the size of the pool and the manufacturer’s instructions). Evenly scatter chlorine granules throughout the pool pour the pre-mixed solution near the filter pump inlet and outlet.

Warning!The amount of chlorine will be so high that the water is too dangerous to enter, so wait until your dip test strips indicate the chlorine levels to be between 1 – 3ppm before you get into the water.

Remember: Always add chemicals to the water NEVER water to the chemicals.You should always wear eye protection, rubber gloves and use a scoop to apply pool chemicals!

  1. Changing The Water

With correct application and maintenance of chemicals and pH levels you shouldn’t need to change the water too often throughout the season (sometimes maybe not at all if you’re particularly pristine and hot on maintenance!)

Staying on top of maintenance is not only beneficial for yours and your pools health, but it’s also a far more cost effective way of running your pool.

However, if you encounter problems and the above methods can’t rectify them, then draining your pool and refilling it with clean water might be the correct solution. Remember to give the liner an extensive clean whilst the pool is empty as well.

Warning! Remember to pick an area a safe area for the water to go as chlorine is toxic to plants and animals!

And that concludes our list of water maintenance tips for your pool.

Have any of your own tips you want to share? Why not leave them in the comments below.