Pool pump maintenance is undertaken through regular cleaning and inspection of pumps. Cleaning all pump strainer baskets and checking performance is obvious but there are other tasks to remember.
Read the owner’s manual. All pool pumps have perishable or wearing components such as mechanical seals, gaskets and bearings and need regular inspection for damage or leaks. Pump motors and components are easily damaged by faulty items, poor seals or when left to run dry. Labour and parts for most pool pump repairs is costly. A new pool pump may be the best option – so only purchase a good quality pool pump and have it installed by an experienced pool technician.
Common pump problems, causes and solutions – Pumps that will not self-prime will quickly burn out and potentially damage other operating equipment. Allowing a pump to operate while dry will almost certainly cause major pump damage.
A poor pump prime causes – strainer and skimmer baskets full of litter; low water levels in pools; cracked pump lids, perished lid O-Ring; cracks or leaks plumbing & equipment; faulty pump seals; clogged impellers or other pump faults.
Mechanical seals are a wearing part in pumps that should be replaced at the first sign of leaking, failure to do so will continue to cause further damage to the pump. Replacing seals each 2-3 years is the best option.
Pumps that will not start up or only make a buzzing sound are likely to have an electrical or motor fault present that needs repairs. Open pump to inspect – sometimes litter or debris can jam the pump impeller and cleaning out can rectify.
A pump that has an increased noise or rattling sound is normally a sign of worn out bearings and other parts. Repairs to pumps can be expensive due to the labour and parts price. New pump install may be more viable so get a quote for repairs….just like we provide.
Service and Clean Pool Filters
Regular servicing and cleaning of pool filters is essential in keeping a healthy pool and delivering longevity of your filter. Under-performing filters will not only turn a pool green but can cause damage to other pool equipment, plumbing and pool surfaces.
Regular pool servicing includes the inspection of all filtration equipment. Back wash & Rinse media filters regularly – this removes all contaminants trapped in the filter and rinses media out the waste using the multiport valve.
Replace & Lubricate – Check plumbing unions, multiport valves, air bleeds on filters. replace perished items & lubricate O-rings & Gaskets regularly.
Cartridge Filters require regular removal from tanks for cleaning. Replace Element (Cartridge) every 2 years (average). When cleaning – use a filter cleaner prior to washing out with a high pressure nozzle. Always keep o-rings lubed and bleed any trapped air in the filter on pool start up.
Glass Media is a little more expensive than Silica Sand. But it can filter out smaller particles, saves you water usage and never needs replacing. Glass Media will outlast all the other filter parts in domestic pools.
Common filter problems, causes and solutions – We regularly encounter new jobs where filters are in poor condition due to lack of maintenance or insufficient filter cleaning. How often you clean your pool depends on the workload on the filter. The particles trapped in the filter need to be cleaned out often. Otherwise filtering and flow rates will be restricted. Use working pressures when the filter is clean, as a guide. But do not rely on pressure gauge accuracy – usually all pool filters need cleaning at least monthly.
Chlorinators & Maintenance
Salt water chlorinators provide sanitiser for the pool water which protects against harmful bacteria and algae formation. Poor maintenance will quickly turn your pool green and can cause damage to pool equipment and surfacing.
Common chlorinator faults, causes and solutions – When a pool turns green it might be caused by the chlorinator or pool condition. Inspect and test of the chlorine production. Check pool balance, water flow, lead connections, fault lights and alarms. Some chlorinators have a screen with the fault displayed but if chlorine production is still low after all checks – the cell is probably at the end of its life.
Clean calcified cells with cell cleaner and lubricate connections & gaskets.
Pool Operating Equipment usage is on the increase now Summer is almost upon us. Most pools here on the Sunshine Coast are not warm enough for swimming yet, but that will change very fast. Soon many pool owners will discover pool operating equipment not up to the job.
Your pool equipment must work properly to keep your pool clean. Balanced and maintained pool water makes safe and healthy swimming and gives protection to pool surfaces, plumbing and the pool equipment. If items such as pumps, chlorinators, filters or pool cleaners don’t work properly, this will lead to an expensive clean up.
All of your pool operating equipment needs to work in unison to get a sparkling, healthy pool.
Pool and Spa Maintenance
Pool and spa maintenance methods do have some similarities, though a distinction between the two must be made. Equally important is to recognise each pool and spa has its own individual characteristics, functionality and user requirements. All factors which dictate appropriate testing for treatment, cleaning and maintenance regimes.
A Spa is not a small pool! Spas generally have water temperature heated from 36°C to 40°C, are small in volume, have jetted water and receive high bather loads, thus demanding a suitable treatment regime for safe water chemistry and regular cleaning and servicing of spa and equipment.
The higher temperature of spas creates factors to consider including:
- Speeding up of chemical reactions ( ie: 10°C temp. increase results in chemical reaction increase by two)
- Greater tendency for scale formation
evaporation causes rapid TDS accumulation
- Higher rate of body organics formation (promotes sweating)
tendency for bacteria contamination
The smaller volume of water in spas creates factors to consider, including:
- High filtration rates
extremely heavy bather loads
chemical dosage sensitivity
- tendency towards low total sanitiser reserves
- pH fluctuations
The jetted water in spas releases increased bather grime, lotions and skin cells causing a high oxidant demand ( amount of oxidiser necessary to cleanse water allowing any sanitiser residual to be available to protect against harmful organisms ). Hot jetted water evaporates faster than calm pool water, leaving behind dissolved solids. Repeated evaporation and replenishment cause the TDS level to build up and left unchecked this will contribute to corrosion and cloudy water.
Spa sanitising and balancing methods also differ from a pool, with chlorine, bromine and other non-chlorine based sanitisers, spa shock and balancing products designed specifically for spa water balancing and treatment. Quality spa products only, should be introduced along with appropriate choice of sanitising and shocking methods.
Chlorine sanitisers used for spas include lithium hypochlorite which has a high pH of 10.8, though does not contribute to hardness and the more popular choice, sodium dichlor, which has a close to neutral pH of 6.7 though it quickly increases stabiliser levels. When Ozonators are used in conjunction with chlorine, this reduces the amount of product required while reducing the build up of combined chlorine.
Bromine products for spas have three main advantages over chlorine in spas:
a) Bromine is effective over a much wider pH range
b) Bromanine formation is not a negative consequence. Bromines have no objectionable odour or irritation.
c) The Bromide Ion “bank” can be regenerated with an oxidiser
The drawback with bromine treatments is they lower pH.
Non-Chlorine based spa shock (Potassium Monopersulfate) is an oxidising shock used to reduce the level of organic contaminants has the following advantages:
- contains no chlorine
- will not bleach surfaces
- dissolves quickly
- can be used day or night
- allows same day shock and swim
- by-products are harmless sulphate salts
- will not sanitise or kill algae, or remove much combined chlorine
can cause false combined chlorine readings
- Low pH (2.3 in a 1% solution) may cause stability issues
- is Acidic, thus lowering total alkalinity
may contribute to TDS
Other sanitisers include ozone, biguanide (PHMB), copper/silver ionisation and UV radiation. Following manufacturer specifications, in particular recommended balancing and maintenance guidelines for such sanitising systems is critical for suitable spa maintenance.
Properly sanitised and balanced spa water is rarely achieved for long however the ultimate solution is on hand – Fresh Water! The key to success in spa maintenance is to completely drain and refill your spa periodically with fresh water. This is also the best time to clean all spa surfacing and filters. Here is a useful dumping formula determining the recommended days between complete drainage. Note: ‘bather’ equivalent to one 20-minute soak.
# OF DAYS = VOLUME (LITRES) ÷ 10 x MAX # DAILY BATHERS
Spa maintenance should be understood, and in most cases, completed by spa owners. Due to the nature of spa chemistry and its rapid fluctuations, sufficient testing, treatment and sanitising regimes are a must. With such frequency of treatment and cleaning regimes it becomes too expensive for most to have a professional complete such tasks on such a regular basis. A quality spa ‘Start-up Kit’ offers the best solution for spa owners, providing instruction manuals, all sanitisers, balancers, adjusters and cleaning products required, along with testing kits.
As with a pool, a spa water test kit is your most important tool to accurately achieve balanced water. Testing and more exact water treatment is required for a spa. Common spa problems arise from false readings or treatment overdose of spa water. Introducing too much chemical treatment can be a disaster, so always ensure testing reagents are within usages date, and stored away from heat along with correctly calculated treatment amounts for addition.
When a spa is built into a pool the functionality and design will dictate if the pool and spa maintenance can then be combined. Where spa sanitising, circulation, filtration or heating equipment is separate to that of the pool’s then it must undergo separate testing, treatment and servicing.
Pool Maintenance regimes are as vital as discussed in spa maintenance, though due to the larger volumes of water and often lower water temperatures, water chemistry fluctuates less allowing for less frequent testing, along with cleaning of filtration systems and other relevant equipment servicing. The frequency of pool maintenance and methods implemented both depend on many factors surrounding a pool including all operating equipment, pool characteristics, functionality, environment and user requirements.
All pools require regular water testing, balancing, surface cleaning and manual removal of contaminants. Servicing and cleaning of all Sanitising ( Chlorinators, Ionisers, Auto-dosing Systems), Filtration and Circulation equipment ensures suitable chemistry and water clarity can be maintained. Unbalanced water and equipment failure can cause major damage, illness and injury.
All of your pool operating equipment needs to work in unison to get a sparkling, healthy pool.
Balanced Water, Professionally Installed, Top Quality Equipment, You Can’t Beat Experience, Reliable, Professional & Friendly Pool Maintenance – that’s what Pool Clear and our Staff are all about!