About Pool Filter and Pump Systems


The pump is the heartbeat of your pool. When liquid chlorine or other chemicals, such as muriatic acid, are added to a pool, it's the pump's job to circulate the chemical throughout the pool, ensuring an even disbursement. The main job of the filter is to protect the pump from any debris that may have been sucked into the main drain or through the skimmer. If this debris were to get into the pump, it could severely damage the motor or potentially ruin the entire unit.


  • A pool pump and filter's main purpose is to keep your pool clean. By circulating and aerating the pool water, algae growth is discouraged and chemicals are easily dispersed throughout the pool. It's best to think of a home swimming pool as nothing more than a pond with circulation and chlorination. If that same pool were to stop being chlorinated and circulated, it would end up resembling a pond in the woods. The water would become cloudy and eventually darken, and organisms such as algae and plankton would begin to grow and thrive.


  • Whether you are installing a new pool or replacing a burned-out pump, consult an expert regarding which size and model pump is appropriate. Hayward, a long-trusted name in the pool pump industry, is the leading manufacturer. It has dozens of models to choose from, depending on the size of your pool, so check with your local pool supply retailer to determine the strength of pump needed. Other quality pump manufacturers include Pentair, Pac-Fab, Sta-Rite, Jandy, Waterway and Jacuzzi. It is likely that all of these manufacturers have a product suitable for your home pool, so research each before committing to the expense.


  • Pool pumps are powered by a small, but strong, motor on the main unit. The motor works similarly to that in a vacuum cleaner, creating suction in underground piping and forcing pool water down through the main drain. From the main drain, water travels through a series of pipes until it reaches the filtration system. Most pool pump units have two separate filters; a basket style filter for larger items such as sticks and leaves; and a larger, tubular fibrous filter for small, unwanted particles. After the water has made its way through the filtration system, it travels through the pump and is sent back into the pool via an underwater jet.


  • To keep your pool pump and filter in proper working order, perform proper maintenance on the unit on a weekly basis. Over the course of a normal week, residue will begin to build up on the cylindrical filter, as well as in the filter basket. This residue will cause a blockage in the suction system, which will ultimately result in reduced pressure in the entire system. When the pressure is reduced, the pump has to work harder to filter the water through the system. If the blockage is left unchecked, the result could be a catastrophic motor burnout, rendering your pool pump useless. The best way to clean a filter is to remove it from its housing unit and rinse off the residue with a high-pressure water hose.


  • Besides the constant upkeep required, pool pumps require a lot of electricity throughout the course of a month. Because the pump motor runs approximately six to seven hours a day, homeowners should expect a significant jump in their monthly electric bills. Depending on the size of the home and the pool, one can expect monthly energy costs to raise an average of 25 percent. Even properly maintained pool pumps have a finite life expectancy--typically around eight to 10 years, and significantly shorter if the unit is not maintained properly.

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