Properly designed pools have one or more skimmers that are usually built
right into the edge of the pool. Surface water is drawn into the skimmer
along with any floating debris, such as dirt, leaves, suntan oil, etc.
Skimmers help keep the water’s surface clean and minimize the amount of
debris that gets into the circulation system. Check and clean your skimmer
basket every day for best results.
At the heart of your pool’s support system is the pump. Its job is to move
the water through the filters, heater and sanitizing system then back into
your pool. Before water flows into the pump, it passes through a strainer
basket to catch any debris.. Pumps vary in size from ½ to 2 Horsepower and
can have 1 , 2, or variable speeds. Your pump run time really depends on many factors
including the size of your pool, equipment used, amount of activity, weather
and time of year. A pool’s pump should circulate all pool water at least once
a day. After leaving the pump, the water flows into
The filter helps to keep your pool’s water fresh and clean by removing oils,
grease and dirt from the water. There are three basic types of pool filters:
Sand, D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth), and Cartridge. All filters work by the same
general concept – water is passed through a media (sand, D.E. or cartridge),
which catches microscopic particles, blocking them from entering back into
the pool. Since the filter is the last line of defense in trapping debris, it
is important to use the proper type of filter and clean it as necessary.
Generally, when the pressure gauge on the filter increases 10psi above its
normal operating level, it’s usually a good time to clean your filter. For
specific instructions on operating and maintaining your filter, refer to its
operating manual or your local pool professional.
Chemical feeders keep your pool water sanitized by maintaining a consistent
feed of chlorine or other sanitizing agent into the pool to kill bacteria and
algae. Once the proper settings are determined, a chemical feeder can
automatically dispense just the right amount of sanitizer to keep your pool
sparkling clean without a lot of work. An inline feeder is plumbed into your
circulation system after all the other pool equipment (pump, filter, heater).
An off-line feeder is freestanding and is connected to the pool’s circulation
system with additional tubing.
During normal operation, in addition to the skimmers, water flows to your
pool’s support equipment through one or more main drains at the bottom of the
pool. In a large pool there should be multiple main drains and skimmers so if
one becomes blocked or plugged, water can still be pulled through the other
The return pipes move the filtered water from your support equipment back
into your pool through return ports, or inlet valves around the sides of the
pool. Return jets should be properly positioned to establish an overall
circulation pattern in the pool to minimize dead spots.
Tying the whole system together, various pipes are used to circulate water in
and out of your pool and through your pool’s support equipment. Most
in-ground pools use 1½” to 2" PVC pipe. It’s important to maintain adequate
flow through your system by using the proper diameter piping, valves and
A heater on your pool can extend your swimming by months, or even year-round
in some areas of the country. Most people prefer a pool water temperature of
78°F for swimming. Although the sun can help the water reach that
temperature, unless you live in a very warm climate your pool water will not
usually exceed the average air temperature. Therefore, a heater may be needed
to maintain a water temperature of 78°F in most climates. Gas, electric and
solar heaters are available in various sizes – some being more effective and
less costly than others.