Swimming pool maintenance is crucial to keep the pool water clean, clear, and free from waterborne illnesses. Poor pool cleaning can make swimming pools breeding grounds for bacteria and other disease-causing micro-organisms. Filters and pumps are important tools that work together to maintain the cleanliness of the pool.
Pool pumps are available in different sizes and pumping capabilities, and are important because they circulate water in the pool to maintain constant water flow. This keeps bacteria and other germs out of the pool, thereby preventing several waterborne illnesses. They also ensure that the chemicals added are equally distributed throughout the water. This helps in maintaining the pool's hygiene level.
Pumps for Above-ground Pools
Pumps for above-ground swimming pools are different from the in-ground ones, as they have the pumps and filters sold as a single unit. They are generally positioned below the water line, that is, on the ground, adjacent to the pool. This is because they have to force water upwards, as the pool itself is above the ground. The pumps and filters are attached to a common base and are less expensive than purchasing individual filter pumps. Above-ground pool pumps feature a large filter basket (for dust collection), a high capacity motor, and a thermal overload protector. These pumps require minimum maintenance.
Size and Capacity of the Pump
The size of the pump-filter unit will be determined by the size of the swimming pool. The horsepower needed for the pump will depend upon the gallons present in the pool. The pump should ideally be able to clear all the gallons in the pool within a time period of 8 hours. The pump capacity is of vital importance, because using a pump with lower horsepower leads to reduced return pressure. This results in fewer gallons being filtered every minute. Moreover, low pressure reduces the efficiency of the filtering capacity as well. Pumps with larger horsepower capacity than required will result in channeling in the sand. When channels are formed in the sand, water forces itself through the sand, creating unnatural channels which allow the debris to flow through the filter and return to the pool unfiltered. Thus, optimum horsepower capacity pump is required.
Speed of the Pump
Generally, the pumps used in above-ground pools are single speed ones. However, these days manufacturers have come up with dual speed ones. These dual speed pumps feature high and low speed settings, wherein, the low setting can be used for basic pool circulation, and operates more quietly than the single speed one. The high speed setting is for times when high power is needed, such as while vacuuming the pool, back-washing the filter and other such applications. Moreover, these dual ones save energy, and in places like California they are required by the law.
Type of Pump
The type of filter used in the unit is also important. Three types of swimming pool filters are available: sand filter, diatomaceous filter (D.E.), and cartridge filter. Sand filters are the least expensive, and cartridge filters are the easiest to maintain. However, pool experts say that D.E. filters are the most efficient filters, although they are expensive. Thus, the choice has to be made between money and efficient filtration. Irrespective of the type of filter, the filter must be cleaned periodically.
Installation of a pump-filter unit for above-ground pools is not complicated like those for in-ground pools. These units can be installed by a single person within a time frame of just an hour. However, it's better to get professionals to get them installed. To increase the life of the pump, one must keep grass weeds from growing around the pool pump. The motor requires air circulation, and weeds can prevent this.
Moreover, when dirt and grit accumulate around the pump, they harbor bugs and retain moisture. Moisture when retained leads to rust and premature failure of the pump. Pool pumps get ruined when left submerged, thus, it is advisable to place the pump unit on a few stones, so that it's at a height above the ground. This eliminates the ruining of the motor due to flooding during heavy rains.
Above-ground pools are great assets to property, and are great for families and friends to chill out. The pumps and filters keep the pool clean and hygienic for people to swim in. Solar covers and safety covers can be placed over the swimming pool, to reduce the amount of debris collection in the pool. This will reduce the pump's work and will increase its life.