Pool Cleaning Basics
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Pool cleaning Equipment
Vacuums - The purpose of a swimming pool vacuum is to easily collect debris from the pool. There are several types of pool vacuums.
Suction Side Driven - Suction side refers to the fittings and pipes that pump the water out to be filtered. The suction side driven vacuum is a 1.5-inch hose attached to a vacuum line placed on the side when the filter is running and the vacuum is attached, suction created on the underside of the cleaner will propel the device forward across the pool walls and floors. Debris will be sucked up past the hose, through the suction post and the pipe, until it reaches the strainer basket. To maximize pool coverage, use the adjustments on the hose. Be careful of leaves. Too many leaves can clog the device and overwhelm the cleaner. Use a leaf net to remove leaves before starting the vacuum.
Know the difference between above ground cleaners and in ground cleaners. Larger in ground pool pumps may be too powerful for above ground pools, and above ground pool cleaners may not be powerful enough to move along the length of the pool. Most suction side driven cleaners will cost less than the other vacuum cleaners.
Return Side Driven – The return side driven cleaner is the most costly to maintain and thus, the
least popular. These cleaners require high amounts of flow to move, as well as a dedicated pump. Water flows through a constricted section of the cleaner, which results in reduction in fluid pressure. This propels the cleaner forward and helps it remove debris, which is directed into the filter bag.
Pressure Cleaners – Pressure cleaners attach to the pressure side of the pool’s circulation system.
Similar to the return side driven, the cleaner uses the water to push itself forward. With its own separate bag for debris, it helps distribute clean water around the pool without compromising the pool filter system. Make sure to empty the bag once it is full. When the bag is full, the pressure cleaner will still operate but instead of cleaning, the device will just stir up debris. Inside the cleaner the unit is split in three directions: the thrust jet, the sweeper tail, and the venturi system. The thrust jet is exactly what it sounds like; it propels the device forward using the water that has been pushed through the filter and directs the cleaner. The thrust jet is located on the back of the cleaner. The
sweeper tail cleans the debris from the floor and walls, and then sends the debris into the cleaner’s filter. Located on the bottom of the port is the venturi. The venturi is where the leaves are sucked up while the unit moves across the pool. Most pressure cleaners need a booster pump to move across the pool because the pool filter systems don’t use a high enough pressure system to effectively run the cleaners. The cleaners should be above 30 PSI to operate efficiently. Pressure cleaners are the mid-range price option.
Electronic Pool Cleaners – Electronic pool cleaners contain a central block containing a drive motor, a processor, and a pump. The pump motor pulls water through the bottom of the device. The water then travels through the filter bags and is released through the top of the cleaner. This process creates the suction needed for the device to clean the pool, as well as cleaning up debris and sending it into the filter bag. The device can move forward and backward with the use of wheels or tracks that move through the use of belts that connect to the drive motor. The processor should be set to an operating time that is appropriate for the size of the pool. All filter bags should be emptied and hand washed between uses.
Robot Pool Cleaners – Robot pool cleaners operate similarly to an electronic pool cleaner. Some
robotic pool cleaners use sensors to steer and operate on a timer; others can be operated by remote control. Timers can be set to start and stop at a specified period of time. Robotic pool cleaners use suction to adhere to the pool walls to scrub them clean, sending the debris into the filter bag. The cleaner should be plugged into a transformer, which in turn is plugged into an outlet. The transformer should lower the usual 110 volts to around 24 volts, a much safer amount for working in water. Robotic pool cleaners have their own filtering system and are not attached to the pool’s circulation system, so that can eliminate pressure and back filtering on the pool’s system. Using a robotic cleaner regularly can relieve some of the work needed of the pool’s filtering system, as well as lowering electricity use. Make sure to clean any leaves or larger debris out of the pool before
operating the cleaner to avoid clogging the cleaner. Robotic pool cleaners are the most expensive out of the 5 vacuum types. Repairs can run high and the cleaners themselves can be heavy.
The belts and brushes within the cleaner should be monitored and replaced when they wear out. When replacing the belts, make sure the belts are locked correctly into the grooves of the wheel tubes or the drive pulley. Drive treads can also wear out over time, so make sure to replace them when they start getting worn down.
Finding the Area of a Pool – It is important to know the area of the pool. Knowing the area of the pool can help a cleaner estimate work time, know the amount of chemicals to use, and select
a proper size filter.
General formulas to find the Area:
- Area of a rectangular shaped pool is equal to
Length x Width
- Area of a triangular shaped pool is equal to
(Base x Height) / 2
- Area of a circular shaped pool is equal to
3.14 x (Radius x Radius)
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