Swimming Pool Ownership Guide – Pool Equipment
The equipment installed in and around your swimming pool is responsible for keeping your water clean, comfortable, and beautiful so you can enjoy your pool on-demand. Once you understand how this equipment works together, it becomes obvious how one piece of broken, malfunctioning, or inefficient pool equipment can lead to problems.
Common symptoms of broken equipment include:
- Water too cold/hot
- Discolored or green pool water
- Strange sounds or vibrations from or near pool pump or other equipment
- Audible/visible warning lights/sounds on equipment displays
Check out our handy guide to your pool pump and other equipment below:
The main function of the swimming pool pump is to circulate pool water through the filtration system. It pulls water from the pool through the skimmer system and the main drain, and forces it through the pool filter, where the water is cleaned before returning to the pool through the return plumbing. Most pool pumps consist of a motor which powers the system, an impeller which physically moves the water through the system, and a hair/lint trap which catches any debris which may make it through the pool’s skimmer system.
Pool Heating/Cooling Systems
Pool heating and cooling systems exist to regulate the temperature of the water so that it’s comfortable to swim in. A pool thermostat can detect the water temperature and send an electronic signal to the heating/cooling system to turn on or off depending on the need. After the pool pump circulates water through the filter, the water is then heated or cooled before it is returned to the pool.
Pool lighting serves two main functions. First, pool owners who have lights installed are more comfortable using their pools at night. Secondly, pool lighting simply looks pleasing to the eye, leading to a better looking pool overall. There is a large range of options when it comes to lighting systems including color, brightness, and fully customizable timer or color-changing settings. All of these combine to add a dramatic lighting effect to any outdoor space. More recently, pool owners have been showing a preference for the energy efficiency and lighting flexibility of LED lighting, which carries a higher upfront cost than traditional incandescent bulbs, but represents a long-term cost savings when electricity costs are factored in.
Salt Chlorination Systems
For added cost efficiency and eco-friendliness, many pool owners are looking to salt chlorinator systems. Although the name does include the word “chlorine”, salt chlorinators are not actually an alternative to chlorine. Instead,sodium chloride – the same kind of salt you have on your table, is converted into hypochlorous acid when water passes through a salt chlorinator cell. Although it sounds dangerous, hypochlorous acid is harmless – it’s identical to the compound that is normally produced when traditional chlorine is added to pool water.
Once the water passes through the salt chlorinator, it is reintroduced to the pool through the main returns, helping to keep the water clean, clear, and sanitary, exactly like traditional chlorine-based systems but without many of the harmful effects of chlorine.
Automatic pool cleaners work like an underwater Roomba vacuum. The operate on water pressure to suck up debris and scrub your pool’s finish to avoid buildup. There are a large variety of automatic/robotic pool cleaners available, but three we like are the Hayward Navigator, the Pentair Great White, and the Zodiac Baracuda and MX8.