Custom Inground Pools & Spas: Filters and Pumps For In-Ground Pools

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Filters and Pumps For In-Ground Pools

When it comes to swimming pools, there's nothing more important than making sure that the water is clean and safe, so that the health of swimmers won't be put at risk. The most important part of maintaining sanitary water is having an effective pool filtration system. Composed primarily of a filter and a pump, such systems will remove debris, pollutants and organic waste from swimming pool water. Such particles and pollutants can end up in pool water from the surrounding environment or can be carried into the water by swimmers. When effective pool filters and pool pumps are operating to clean waste and debris from the water, the transmission of infections and illnesses to swimmers will be prevented and every swimming experience can be healthy and fun.

The most typical components of filtration systems for private in-ground swimming pools are pool filters and pool pumps. In-ground pool pumps are electrically operated devices which are primarily responsible for circulating the pool water. Pool pumps are most typically run for 6 to 12 hours each day during the swimming season, although they are sometimes operated for 24 hours a day. Some swimming pool pumps come with electronic timers to control their operation. Most in-ground pool pumps are self priming, meaning that they can be located above the pool of water level but can still start up again on their own after being off for a timed rest period. Recently, several manufacturers of in-ground pool pumps have produced new units which conserve energy while still providing effective water circulation.

As the second essential component of a pool filtration system, the filter will usually be found directly after the pool pump in the system's set-up. By trapping debris, particles and waste materials and preventing them from re-entering the swimming pool, filters play a vital role in pool cleanliness. When pool owners make sure that the pool filters and pool pumps that they choose to use will work well together, optimal results will be achieved. While different filters make use of different media to trap debris and contaminants and to clean swimming pool water, the three most common types of in-ground pool filters are sand filters, cartridge filters and diatomaceous earth filters.

Sand filters are one of the oldest and most common types of pool filters available. These filtration units are comprised of a series of chambers containing specially graded sand. The pool water flows from top to bottom through these filters and, as the water passes through the sand bed, particles become trapped in the sand while clean water is able to pass through. The type of sand used in sand pool filters will trap particles in the 20 to 100 micron range. Although sand filters are very commonly used for private pools, they do not provide as effective filtration as other types of filters. Furthermore, in-ground sand pool filters must be cleaned each week with backwashing.

Although not as widespread as sand filters, cartridge in-ground pool filters provide more effective filtration and are easier to maintain and less expensive to operate. This is because cartridge filters have more surface area, allowing for more particles and debris to become trapped. These units also require fewer cleanings than sand filters and can simply be hosed off once or twice each season. An additional benefit of cartridge filters is the fact that they function at a lower pressure than sand filters, and thus exert less force and demand on pool pumps.

In addition to sand and cartridge pool filters, diatomaceous earth pool filters are also available. These in-ground pool filters provide the best and most effective water filtration, trapping and removing extremely small particles, even those as small as 2 to 5 microns. Composed of the fossilized exoskeletons of miniscule diatoms, diatomaceous earth is a porous powder which allows clean water to return to the swimming pool while preventing the transmission of contaminants through the filter. As with sand filters, diatomaceous earth filters need to be cleaned by backwashing and will also need to be recharged with more of the porous powder from time to time. However, since diatomaceous earth or DE filters are so highly effective, they allow for superior cleanliness and safety of pool water.

No matter which type of in-ground pool filter you choose to use in conjunction with the rest of your filtration system, it's always important to ensure that every component is working properly so that you can maintain a healthy swimming environment. A wide selection of different in-ground pool pumps and filters are readily available from quality retailers such as With pool pumps and filters manufactured by trusted companies such as Hayward and Pentair, there are many great options available to help you set up and maintain an efficient and effective pool filtration system that will allow you to enjoy happy and healthy swimming throughout the summer.

Author: James Claypool
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