Have you ever wondered how does a swimming pool work? What makes the water crystal clear and the temperature just right? In this article we are going to dive in to the inner workings of a perfect family swimming pool.
Swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes, but can generally be categorized as above ground swimming pools and in ground swimming pools. In ground pools may be constructed out of fiberglass, concrete, metal or plastic lined with vinyl or just uncovered concrete.
In order to keep the water clean it is recycled continuously through a filtration system. Every swimming pool should have the following components, not counting of course above ground models, which are smaller:
- water pump
- sand filter
- piping/ stopcocks
The filtration system recycles the water from the swimming pool through the skimmer mounted on the upper side and the drain on the bottom. As the water enters, it goes through the pipes, into the water pump and subsequently into the sand filter. The water gets filtered for the first time when it enters the skimmer. After passing through the pipes it goes into a second filter basket just before going into the pump. These baskets make sure there are no big particles in the water that can damage the pump or create clogs.
The sand filter is filled with filtering sand, glass or poly balls, depending on your preference. It forces the water to go through the sand from the top down, collected by the laterals on the bottom. This catches any small particles from the water before reintroducing it to the pool. If the sand is too dirty and compacted the pressure might rise inside the filter. In this case water flow back into the pool through the side nozzles may drop. To fix it, you need to invert the flow of water inside the filter. Turn the handle on the top to the backwash position and let the pump work for about 2 minutes. Doing this you will stir up the compacted sand inside the filter, also the dirty water resulting from backwashing your filtration material is evacuated from the system through the backwash pipe/ hose. Before you can switch back to normal filtering you need to switch to rinse for about 20 seconds. This will reset the flow of water as is while filtering normally, but keeps evacuating the water through the backwash evacuation pipe. This way dirty water will not get back to your pool before the sand has been reseated. Keep in mind that backwashing too often is a mistake. The sand filter works best if the sand is seated and is somewhat dirty. After backwashing it only filters particles bigger than 20 microns, compared to a seated filter which can catch particles half that size.
Taking the first glance on an in ground pool we can immediately categorize it as a traditional swimming pool or one with overflow. Traditional swimming pools have the water level under their highest point and have a skimmer, whereas overflow pools have overflow channels going all around the surface, recycling the overflow of water into a buffer tank and from there back into the filtration system essentially achieving the same goal. Overflowing pools are generally aesthetically more pleasing.
Some pools have a heat exchanger mounted on the recycling system to help heat the water. You can connect a heat exchanger to your central heating, electric grid or solar. Having a good filtration system is important, but equally so is the quality of the water in your pool. You will need a few chemicals to help you control the water quality:
- pool chlorine
- anti algae
To track the quality of your water you are going to use a water quality tester or you can buy a cheaper manual testing kit. Once you have determined the parameters you can take action to keep your water quality high by adjusting the Ph to the optimal 7.4 and if needed adding chlorine. For a small extra investment you can automate this process by adding a Ph regulator somewhere along your recycling system as well as an anti algae dosing pump and chlorine dosing pump. Alternately you can find slow dissolving chlorine tablets that you can put inside your second filtration basket found on the recycling pump.
There are a few other optional extras you might want to think about installing such as hydromassage, counter current jet for swimming, pool lighting, retractable roof covers or a simple roll- up pool cover.
You can read my Amazon affiliates disclaimer by clicking here.
If enjoyed this article please Like, Subscribe and share it with others!
Questions and comments are always welcome!