The length of time one needs to run the circulation pump depends one a few different factors unique to every pool. Circulation time depends on how the circulation system was designed and what the pool’s re-circulation rate is. The following are good rules of thumb for conventional, single speed pool pumps:
• Outdoor Pool – minimum 10-12 hours per day
• Indoor Pool – minimum 8 hours per day
If you have a variable speed pump, it is typically best to circulate the pool 24 hours per day at the lowest speed that allows skimmers to work and also achieve proper turnover of the water.
Sand should be changed every 3-5 years depending on usage and the sanitizing system used in the pool. Over the course of its lifetime, the filter media wears down and loses its sharp edges becoming worn and rounded. This lets contaminants and other debris particles slip through the filter and into your pool. You will know it is time to change out your filter sand when it requires frequent backwashings or increased filter runs to clean your pool. If your skimmer’s suction is not as strong as before or debris is being pushed back into your pool, these may also be signs your filter needs changing.
Backwashing should only be done when the pressure gauge registers an 8-10 PSI increase. This occurs because contaminants in the sand filter start to clog the sand, diminishing the water flow. To begin the backwashing process, first turn the pump off. Push down and rotate the multiport valve coming off the filter to backwash and roll out the hose or open waste valve if needed. Turn the pump on and watch the discharge water from the pump – it will start clean then get dirty, then turn clear again (usually 3-5 minutes). Once the discharge water runs clear, turn the pump off. Turn the multiport valve to rinse and turn pump on for 30 seconds. Turn the pump off, turn multiport valve to filter and turn the pump on and bleed air out of top of filter if necessary.
The amount you need to chemically clean your pool cartridge filter depends on its wear, usage, and environment. Typically, hwoever, only one chemical cleaning is needed per pool season. Chemical cleaning is the most effective when the filter is soaked in the cleaning agent and allowed to dry before being used (this is when it is helpful to have a second set of filters and rotate them). SPS can clean your filter for you if you do not want to do it yourself.
Before adding chemicals to your pool, purchase a home test kit to help you determine whether or not you need to do so in the first place. You can also follow the general maintenance instructions for your pool or base your decision on the results of in-store water test. You can also contact SPS and we can help you determine whether or not you need to add chemicals to your pool. Most chemicals are added directly to the water and it is important to brush or agitate the un-dissolved product in the pool until all the added chemicals are dissolved in the water.
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