For Your Safety

Turn off the power before investigating the source of any problem in your pool system.

Handle pool chemicals with care: read labels and heed warnings. Date chemicals as you buy them. Use a separate, clean scoop for each. Don't mix chemicals-old and new versions of the same chemical or different types of the same chemical can ignite, produce toxic gases, or explode.

Don't add chemicals to the pool if people are swimming.

Store chemicals in a cool, dry, well ventilated area out of the reach of children. Don't stack containers; separate liquid and dry chemicals.



Material taken from
Readers Digest "New Fix-It-Yourself Manual"

Cleaning the Filter

A pool pump circulates water through a filter that collects large dirt particles. When the filter becomes clogged, water flow is restricted and the back pressure, measured in pounds per square inch (psi), rises above normal. Check the filter pressure gauge every day; when the pressure exceeds the level suggested by the manufacturer, shut off the pump and clean the filter. Three media may be used in pool filters—diatomaceous earth (DE) in a fabric grid, pleated cartridges, or sand. Each requires a different cleaning method, as shown below. CAUTION: Open the air valve and let the pressure drop to zero before unclamping a filter unit.

Preventative Maintenance

To keep pool water healthy with a minimum of chemicals, make it a family rule to shower and use the bathroom before swimming. Body oils, sweat, suntan lotion, and urine eventually clog filters. As they accumulate, they make the water murky. To neutralize these organics, try a chlorine shock treatment: Put 5 to 10 times the normal amount of chlorine in the deep end of the pool with the pump running. Allow the pump to run as long as the chlorine manufacturer suggests before allowing swimmers in the pool.

Always keep the pump running when people are swimming. The circulating water holds debris in suspension, so that it will get trapped by either the filter or the skimmer basket.

Maintaining a Pump

Centrifugal pumps are used to circulate pool water, drain basements, and circulate hot water in heating systems. In a centrifugal pump, an electric motor rotates an impeller to move the water. Most pumps are self-priming (the housing automatically fills with water when you turn the motor on), but check the owner's manual to be sure.

The most common pump problems are a worn impeller and a leaking shaft seal assembly; either part can be replaced (see below). To avoid trouble, keep the air vents on the pump motor clear of debris and regularly clean out strainers or filters in the suction and delivery lines. To prevent cavitation (noisy air pockets in the moving water), keep lines and valves into and out of the pump clear and fully open.