A basic outline of your circulation system
The pool water is drawn from the swimming pool via the surface skimmer by the circulating pump, passed through the filter then heat pump and returned to the swimming pool through the return inlets.
At the heart of the circulation system is the filter and below we describe the operation of the High Rate Sand Filter unit.
The purpose of your swimming pool filter is to remove suspended solids from the water. This function coupled with the correct chemical treatment of the water should give you a sparkling clear and safe pool environment in which to swim. It is however important that the swimming pool owner understands fully, that even the most efficient filter will not achieve ideal pool water conditions if the chemical balance of the water is incorrect.
The pump draws water from the swimming pool and passes it via a special multiport valve, into the top of the filter tank, from where it passes downwards through a bed of special media, which traps the dirt and solids. The filtered water is then returned to the pool via the multiport valve. It is after this point that if a heating system is incorporated it will be connected into the return pipeline to the pool.
As the filter retains more and more trapped material, the flow of water reduces and the pressure within the system rises, until a point is reached that the filter needs thoroughly flushing out. This operation is known as “BACKWASHING” the filter and will be fully described later.
Let us now describe in more detail the functions which the filtration system can carry out as indicated on the label on the top of the multiport valve. These are as follows:
The normal setting for the valve. Pool water is drawn through the pump, passed into the top of the filter tank and down through the filter media, via the filter underdrain system, after which it is returned to the swimming pool.
The setting used for flushing out the filter when it becomes overloaded with dirt. Water is drawn from the pool by the pump and enters the filter through the underdrain system in the bottom of the tank, where it loosens the media bed and forces the trapped dirt upwards and outwards through the distributor in the top of the tank and away to waste, so you lose water from the pool. The filter media is retained in the tank.
Used to flush out any dirt trapped in the pipelines after backwashing, only required for 10 seconds. The water follows the same path as when on “ FILTER” except that the water exits to waste instead of returning to the swimming pool.
Allows pump to circulate pool water without passing it through filter tank. Allows the heating and chemical dosing equipment to remain in use if filter tank is out of operation.
Runs water from pool direct to the drain. Used when lowering pool water level or for vacuuming a heavily contaminated pool without overloading the filter media bed.
Use this only when the pump is switched off. This position is used where filtration equipment is sited below pool water level. Allows pump lid to be removed and strainer basket to be cleaned, provided that all pump suction valves are also shut off.
THE FILTER PUMP MUST ALWAYS BE SWITCHED OFF PRIOR TO MOVING THE HANDLE OF THE MULTIPORT VALVE.
Heating a pool can be achieved by several different methods and it will be necessary to refer to the manufacturer’s instruction manual to ensure correct operation of their equipment. Similarly, there are so many varied types of automatic dosing equipment that the pool owner should once again refer to the manufacturer’s instruction manual.
Starting up the circulation system
Before attempting to run the circulation system, make sure that the pool water level is approximately flush with the top of
the surface skimmer opening.
When the filtration equipment is installed above the water line, it will be initially necessary to prime the pump as follows before proper circulation can be achieved.
- Open all valves (if fitted), on suction side of pump, and allow water to flow down into the pump (this is possible if your pump equipment is below water level). If your equipment is not below water level you will need to remove the lid off the pump and pour 10 – 20L of water into the pump until it is up to the suction pipe height to prime it.
- Set the multiport valve to “BACKWASH”, switch on filter pump and backwash the filter (new filter sand must be cleaned of small impurities) as described below but for a minimum period of four minutes. As the pipe work system is not fully charged with water, it may take several minutes for the pump to expel the air from the system and start to pump water at full flow. Once full flow is achieved then start to time your backwash. The water will now flush out the finings and impurities in the filter sand bed.
- After around four minutes, switch off pump, set multiport valve to “RINSE”, switch on pump for approximately 10 seconds to flush debris from pipe work, switch pump off and set handle to “FILTER”.
- Once you have carried out the full backwash procedure, top up water level to center line of skimmer opening if necessary, restart the pump and the pool should be fully operational. Check the pressure gauge reading on the multiport valve or top of the filter tank, depending on the model of filter you have and make a note of this as your “Clean running pressure” for future reference.
Backwashing your filter
After a while the situation arises when the filter becomes overloaded with trapped material and needs to be “BACKWASHED”, this point is indicated when the reading on the pressure gauge fitted to the multiport valve or filter tank rises by a maximum of 4 p.s.i. or 0.25 bar above the clean running pressure. However, regardless of pressure, the filter should be backwashed at least once every ten days.
The backwash sequence of operations is as follows:
- Ideally ensure that the pool water level is approximately 25mm above the centre-line of the surface skimmer opening, as you will be disposing of pool water to waste in the process of backwashing.
- Switch off pump, set multiport valve handle to “BACKWASH”, switch on pump and allow to run for 2 minutes. If you are fortunate enough to have a filter with a clear plastic lid in the top, then instead of timing your backwash you can observe the flow of water and go to the next stage when the water runs clear.
- After 2 minutes or when the water runs clear, switch off pump, set multiport valve handle to “RINSE”, switch on pump and run for 10 seconds minimum.
- After 10 seconds, switch off pump, set multiport valve handle to “FILTER”, and switch on pump.
The backwash should now be complete and the pressure gauge reading should have dropped back to the clean running pressure which you noted when first starting up your filtration equipment from new.
Always remember to top up the pool level after every backwash.
Vacuum cleaning your pool
From time to time the floor of your swimming pool will need to be vacuumed to remove any dirt, dust, debris or dead algae which has settled there.
The method for Manual vacuuming is as follows:
- First assemble the vacuum head to the handle and vacuum hose. (Some hoses have a special swivel cuff fitted to one end and it is this cuff which should be connected to the vacuum head).
- Insert the vacuum plate into the skimmer.
- Join all the individual sections of hose together to make a single length of hose.
- Now with your hose coiled by your side, gently lower the vacuum sweeper head by its handle to the pool floor and then slowly feed your hose into the pool pushing it under water as you feed it in. The importance of this being to ensure that no air is trapped in the hose.
- Finally connect the open end of the hose into skimmer, keeping it under water all the time if possible, by passing it through the surface skimmer mouth, and inserting the cuff into the suction hole in the vacuum lid.
- Then push the button labelled ‘PUMP’ on the chemigem. This will override the timer and run the pump for 1 hour.
NOTE: The process is the same with your Automatic pool cleaner. The only change is the head of the vacuum and the pump will need to run for a longer period of time. This can be achieved by plugging your pool pump direct into a power point.
ALWAYS CLEAN OUT ANY STRAINER BASKETS AND BACKWASH THE FILTER BEFORE COMMENCING VACUUM CLEANING.
You are now ready to start vacuuming as follows:
- In conditions where a pool is very heavily soiled, especially if there is a carpet of dead algae on the floor after shock dosing with chlorine, then vacuuming direct to waste is the best solution, thus avoiding overloading your filter bed, which may result in dirt passing through the filter media back into the pool. However, if the pool floor is covered with leaves and debris, as is often the case when re-opening the pool in the spring, it is certainly best to remove as much of this excess rubbish as possible before vacuuming, using a leaf net. Taking this preliminary step will help to avoid blockages in your vacuum hose, skimmer basket, pump basket or multiport valve.
- To commence vacuuming, switch off the filter pump, plug in the vacuum hose as described earlier, and make sure that the multiport valve is set to “ FILTER”, switch on pump and commence vacuuming.
- During the vacuuming process the suction performance of the cleaner will deteriorate steadily until it ceases to pick up the dirt satisfactorily.
- The suction performance can fall off for several reasons, the first being a blockage in the pump strainer basket which would be also indicated by a drop in the filter pressure gauge reading. To empty the basket, switch off pump, set multiport valve to “CLOSED”, make sure the suction valve is closed or inlet sealed, remove lid, lift out and clean basket. Replace basket and pump lid, set multiport valve to “FILTER”, open skimmer suction valve or inlet and switch on pump. Should suction performance fall off and the filter pressure gauge reading rise, then the filter bed has become overloaded and needs backwashing as described earlier under the section “BACKWASHING YOUR FILTER”.
- It is also possible that the vacuum sweeper head outlet hole or the hose itself can become obstructed, in which case the offending objects must be physically removed.
- Continue these operations until the swimming pool floor is clean, switch off pump disconnect hose from the skimmer vacuum plate, remove hose, handle and vac head from pool. Make sure that vacuum suction valve is closed. Now top up pool water to correct level if necessary and make sure multiport valve handle is in “FILTER” position. You may need to carry out another backwash at this point. Switch on the pump and you are now back in the normal operating mode.
Conditioning and stabilising the water in your new pool
Please note: The Hydrochloric Acid is to be diluted for your swimming pool. Use a 20L drum and fill with 15L of water then add 5L of Acid.
BALANCING THE WATER
At the start of every season you will need to balance your pool water. The best way to do this is to take a sample of water to the pool shop and ask for an analysis. They will then inform you on what your pool requires and provide you with the appropriate chemicals if required.
It is also a good idea to repeat this process every time you require more chemicals. Then you will insure accurate chemical levels.
pH gives an indication of acid or alkaline the pool water is. The pH of the water must be maintained be between 7.2 and 7.8 the ideal being between 7.4 and 7.6. This is necessary to allow the chlorine to work effectively.
Incorrect pH levels can give any or all of the following results:
pH BELOW 7.2 causes
- Eye irritation
- Strong odours
- Cloudy water
Use “Poolmaster” pH Plus to raise the pH.
pH ABOVE 7.6 causes
- Eye irritation
- Cloudy water
- Permits rapid growth of algae
- Reduced effectiveness of the chlorine
- Scale and calcium deposits
This should be done 2 or 3 times a season. Add 5 litres of liquid chlorine and run the pool pump for 24 hours. Also leave the pool cover off your pool during this time. This should kill any bacteria or algae that might resist normal chlorine applications, and help clarify the pool water.
HOW TO DOSE WITH CHEMICALS
- Add chemicals as near the water surface and close to the return inlets as possible to obtain the best and most even distribution.
- Never add acid close to a skimmer or ladder, or any equipment containing metal.
- Never add acid (pH minus) and chlorine to the pool at the same time, as the combination of the two can produce a poisonous gas. A good safety precaution is to add chlorine at night and acid in the morning.
PROPER SAFE USE OF CHEMICALS
- USE GOGGLES AND PROTECTIVE GLOVES WHEN HANDLING CHEMICALS.
- KEEP ALL CHEMICALS OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN AND IN SEALED CONTAINERS.
- NEVER MIX POOL CHEMICALS TOGETHER IN THE SAME CONTAINER. THE COMBINATION OF CERTAIN CHEMICALS CAN PRODUCE A POISONOUS GAS OR CAN EVEN CAUSE AN EXPLOSION.
- ALWAYS DOSE POOL IN ACCORDANCE WITH MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS AS INDICATED ON CHEMICAL CONTAINERS.
- DO NOT STORE CHEMICALS IN AN UNVENTILATED ROOM OR PLANT ROOM.
- ALWAYS READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CHEMICAL CONTAINER LABELS BEFORE USING THE CONTENTS AND FOLLOW THEM CAREFULLY.
- WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY AFTER USING ANY CHEMICALS.
PROBLEMS CAUSED BY CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND THE SOLUTIONS (Please consult with the Pool Shop Analyst for help)
|EXCESSIVE CHLORINE USAGE :||Pool water not stabilized and/or pH out of adjustment.|
|SOLUTION: Add stabiliser /conditioner – Correct pH level|
|EYE & SKIN IRRITATION:||pH out of balance, or Combined chlorine level too high|
|STRONG CHLORINE ODOUR:||SOLUTION: Correct pH. Test for combined chlorine and if too high dilute pool water from
Mains as necessary.
|CLOUDY WATER:||SOLUTION: Check pH and chlorine. Adjust pH and superchlorinate. Add “ Relax” liquid clarifier.
Run filtration continuously until water clears.
|WATER TURNING GREEN:||PH too high and chlorine residual (free chlorine) too low.|
|SOLUTION: Reduce pH, superchlorinate and when clear add algaecide|
Routine summer pool maintenance
1. If necessary, clean the surface and floor of the pool of any debris that might have accumulated.
- Check and empty the skimmer basket as necessary.
- Check the pump strainer basket. If it is necessary to clean this basket, close all pump suction valves and set the multiport valve to “Closed” position so that water does not overflow when removing the lid from the pump.
4. Check filter pressure and if necessary backwash filter.
5. Vacuum clean pool if required. Backwash filter again.
NOTE: We strongly recommend that you backwash your filter at least once every fortnight, even if the pressure gauge reading does not indicate the necessity. This will help keep your filter sand bed in good condition and prolong its useful life.
Winterising your pool
When you decide to discontinue use of your pool over the winter, reduce your chemigem and pump running time to 2 hours daily and switch off your heat pump at isolating switch.
Other pool equipment provided with your pool
Chemigem:(if applicable) Your Pool has been fitted with a Chemigem (Automated pool chemical controller). It is highly recommended to fully read the instruction manual provided with the unit as the Chemigem directly controls the chemical dosage to your pool.
The Chemigem is fitted with a timer which controls the switching on/off of the Pool Pump. The recommended running times for your pool pump are as follows:
Summer – 4 hours at night
– 4 hours in the Day
Winter – 2 hours at night
Note: These times will need to be by-passed when you are stabilising your pool chemicals for the first time. Your pump will need to run continuously to do this, and also when you are heating the pool to your desired water temperature for the first time.
Self-leveller: Your pool has also been fitted with an Automatic fresh water top-up system. This should not need to be touched once it is set to the required level. Although if you require emptying your pool for some reason, you may turn the mains water valve off on the side of your self-leveller.
Heat pump: your heat pump is preset at 28 degrees but, the temperature can be lowered if required by using the buttons on the electronic display. This display is located on the outside of your heat pump so you will never be required to remove any external panels. We strongly advise that you do not touch anything other than the display and isolating switch.
Automatic Pool Cover: (if applicable) Your automatic pool cover is very reliant on the water level to run effectively and to minimise damage to the Pool cover slats. If the water level is too low or too high the cover can become jammed inside the cover well and the motor will continue revolving until resistance stops the motor from turning. Therefore it is very important to maintain the pool level set by the pool builder. Alternatively, visually make sure it is above pool cover well wall and below pool cover well beam before opening or closing your pool cover. Also take care to make sure there are no foreign objects (sports balls etc.) on top of your cover when opening and retracting pool cover as they may become jammed also.