Your Guide to Pool Equipment Maintenance

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Your Guide to Pool Equipment Maintenance

Your swimming pool is the center of family fun. But while you may be diligent in regularly cleaning your pool, balancing the water’s pH and alkalinity levels, etc., you also need to maintain the mechanical equipment that keeps it running. The good people at In the Swim explain the situation as follows:

“Regular pool equipment maintenance is vital for several reasons. First and foremost, regular maintenance of your pool equipment helps maintain water quality. Pool filters, pumps, and automatic pool cleaners play a crucial role in keeping your pool water clean and free from debris, bacteria, and algae. When these components are not properly maintained, they become less efficient, allowing contaminants to build up in the water, which can lead to various health issues for swimmers.

“Another key benefit of pool equipment maintenance is the prevention of costly repairs. By regularly inspecting and servicing your pool equipment, you can identify and address any minor issues before they escalate into major problems. This not only saves you money in the long run, but also ensures that your pool remains operational throughout the swimming season.”

Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in mechanical engineering to perform basic routine maintenance tasks yourself! Just follow our guide to pool equipment maintenance, and keep the moving parts operating smoothly!

Pool Pump Maintenance

The pool pump is often described as the beating heart of your pool’s circulation system. If it isn’t pumping water to keep it circulating, your pool will quickly turn into a murky, unsanitary mess. Regularly servicing your pool pump will keep it in top shape. The following steps are provided by In the Swim, Leslie’s and Pool Parts to Go:

  • Turn off the pump and disconnect the power supply. Remove the pump lid and clean out any debris in the strainer basket. Regularly check and clean out the pump strainer basket at least once every week or so to prevent obstructions, which can strain your pump motor. Do not strike the basket or tap it against the deck – doing so can damage it, requiring replacement.
  • Check the pump impeller for any obstructions and clear away if necessary. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to clean the impeller blades delicately, eliminating any dirt or obstructions that may have accumulated. Take care not to bend or damage the blades during cleaning.
  • Once the pump basket and impeller are clean, it’s time to clean the pump housing. Use a hose to rinse the inside of the pump housing and remove any dirt or debris. After cleaning, reassemble the pump, prime the pump with fresh water, and turn it back on.
  • Before putting the lid back on, lubricate the pump lid O-ring or gasket with an appropriate Teflon-based pool lube to ensure a tight seal. Replace if necessary. Word to the wise: If you’re mechanically minded and comfortable making DIY repairs, it’s a good idea to be proactive and have a spare shaft seal and O-ring kit on hand. Keep in mind, it’s not a matter of if your pump will ever need these items, but when.
  • If the pump lid develops cracks, replace it promptly.
  • Listen for odd noises, and troubleshoot as necessary to resolve the problem. Rattling, squealing, whistling, and abnormal humming can alert you to problems within the pump.
  • Visually inspect the pump, looking for signs of water leaks. Air pockets under the pump lid can indicate an air leak on the suction side.
  • Keep the area around the pump clean and tidy, and ensure the vents aren’t obstructed or caked with dust and dirt. Air flow is important to keep the pump motor from overheating.
  • Most modern pool pump motors have self-lubricating motor bearings. In this case, no lubrication is necessary.
  • The pump shaft seal is water cooled. Because of this, it’s important to monitor your pump and make sure it doesn’t run dry, as this can cause the pump to leak and ruin the motor. Monitor the pump’s performance to ensure it’s running smoothly, without any unusual noises or vibrations.

Pool Filter Maintenance

A clean, properly functioning pool filter is essential for maintaining water clarity and quality. Regularly check the pressure gauge on your pool filter. If it’s 8–10 psi higher than your starting “clean” pressure, it’s time to clean or backwash your filter media. Always refer to manufacturer instructions for more detailed information, as some manufacturers recommend different pressure ranges before cleaning the filter. Also, replace the pressure gauge if it gets stuck in one position, or gives inaccurate readings. When the pump is turned off, the gauge should read “0.” If not, replace it.

As for pool filters, there are three main types: sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth (D.E.). The maintenance procedures vary slightly depending on the filter type, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidelines.

Replace filter media as needed to maintain peak filtration. Some types of filter media will last longer than others. Pool filter gaskets and O-rings will dry and crack over time, leaving you at risk for water leaks or poor filter function. Make sure rubber gaskets and O-rings stay well lubricated, and keep a spare O-ring kit on hand for your pool filter, should you need to replace any of them.

Keep an eye out for signs of damaged filter components, such as DE powder or sand ending up in the pool, or ineffective filtration in general. Inspect the filter internals and replace broken parts as needed.

Automatic Pool Cleaner Maintenance

Automatic pool cleaners are great labor-saving devices, but if not maintained correctly, they will not work at all – or can even damage your pool! The following are a few things to be aware of about maintaining an automatic pool cleaner:

  • The more moving parts on your cleaner, the more opportunities for a breakdown. Keep a close eye on cleaner functions, and replace worn or faulty parts as soon as you notice a problem.
  • Plastic or rubber parts in contact with pool surfaces tend to wear out more quickly than other parts of your cleaner. Components like wheels, tracks, feet, brushes/scrubbers, wings and sweep tails may require more frequent replacement.
  • Clean out the debris bag or filter basket daily (if applicable) to keep your cleaner working efficiently. If using a suction side or pressure side cleaner, keep an eye on filter pressure, and clean or backwash the filter as needed.
  • Damaged hoses (suction or pressure) can lead to reduced or nonexistent cleaning power. Routinely inspect the cleaner hose, and replace it if you notice cracks, holes, or crimped areas at risk of leaking.
  • Don’t leave the cleaner in the pool. Although it’s made to be in the water, there are reasons why you shouldn’t leave your cleaner submerged all the time – such as the corrosive effect of constant exposure to pool chemicals, and possible voiding of the manufacturer’s warranty.

The Take-Home Message

Taking care of your pool’s equipment will help ensure that your pool provides uninterrupted enjoyment throughout the year – with the exception of our two weeks of winter – (just being facetious, sort of). Read our blog post – “What You Need to Know About Your Pool Pump” – for more information about pool pump maintenance, common pool pump issues and how to recognize when it’s time to repair or replace the pump.

Of course, whether you’re maintaining your pool equipment, cleaning your pool or balancing its water chemistry, staying alert for signs of a leak is always essential to prevent serious damage – as well as higher water bills. If you suspect a pool leak, call us!

Certified Leak Detection uses technology and techniques we have developed over 20 years in business. In addition to quick detection of pool leaks, we provide industry-leading leak detection for spas and hot tubs, as well as fountains. Serving areas throughout Central Florida – including Orlando, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, Kissimmee, Clermont and Winter Springs – our team is ready to answer your call. Contact us for quick, reliable service!

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