Pumps and Motors

- the pool-pump works with the filter to maintain water clarity

  • It pumps pool-water through the filter to trap suspended, microscopic particles and returns the filtered water to the pool via the Return Jets
  • A pool pump must have a debris basket with a removable lid for access, often this lid is transparent so can see when the strainer basket is getting full
  • Replace the basket, pump lid or lid gasket at the first sign of any damage to prevent expensive pump repair bills and/or a flooded pump-room
  • The pump should circulate the entire volume of the pool through the filter in 4 hours
  • This is known as the ‘Changeover Period’
  • There are no advantages to fitting a pump that is too big for the size of the pool filter and the pool plumbing
  • An over-sized pump will drive filtered particles too deep into a sand-filter, or even right through it and back into the pool, and will reduce filter efficiency; it will also cause unnecessary wear and tear on plumbing
  • Furthermore, a pump that is over-sized for a sand-filter will push the sand out of the filter during a backwash
  • 50mm (2”) pipe-work should have a pump of 0.5 - 1.5 HP only
  • With an incorrectly sized pump your swimming pool can be as still as a millpond or as turbulent as river rapids
  • A correctly sized pool pump will steadily circulate the water around the pool, allowing the surface debris to float up to, and be drawn into, the skimmer
  • Most pool pumps are self-priming, centrifugal pumps
  • Such pumps have a vacuum chamber, containing the strainer basket and known as the 'pump housing', which must be filled with water so that the pump can produce a vacuum and enable it to draw water from your pool
  • The pump housing will be full whilst the pump is switched on, and should remain full during inactive periods
  • Some pumps have a plastic handle on the strainer-basket
  • The handle is used to remove the basket for cleaning but also presses against the underside of the pump-lid and serves the function of keeping the basket submerged
  • Without the handle the basket may float to the top of the chamber while the pump is at rest and, when the pump cuts in again on the timer, could allow debris to bypass the basket
  • Debris will then quickly clog the impellers and drastically reduce the efficiency of the pump
  • If the handle is broken or missing you should replace the basket with a new one from the pool-shop - money well invested
  • In an emergency you can make a replacement handle from a couple of plastic tie-wraps until you can get to the pool-shop for a new basket
  • Whilst you are at the pool-shop you could ask if they stock the new generation of pump baskets and buy one for your model of pump; they are much better than the originals and do not have a handle to break or to lose
  • Alternatively you can keep the basket at the bottom of the chamber by placing a small stone in it - do not use any metal object
  • When the pump motor rotates it drives the impeller, found in the pump’s center section
  • With the motor running the tips of the impeller are hydraulically sealed to the inside of the pump diffuser
  • This enables ‘self-priming’ to occur
  • A self-priming pump has a separate diffuser, which helps to eliminate any air in the system
  • Keep the pump, pipe-work and Rotary Valve clean and dust-free but avoid the use of solvents when cleaning
  • Pipe-work and Valves must not be exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods as they are not always UV stable and may discolour, weaken and eventually fail
  • Keep pumps and associated wiring clean and dry
  • Other than this there is no maintenance to carry out
  • If the pump becomes submerged it must be stripped and repaired, by re-winding the motor and replacement of the bearings
  • It’s frequently more cost-effective to buy a new pump of the same make and model as the existing pump
  • Buying the same make and model means that the pump can be changed without making any alteration to the pipe-work
  • Retain the old pump and keep it for spare parts such as pump lid, strainer basket, capacitor, etc.
  • Use a qualified tradesman to repair or replace a defective pump if you are in any way unsure of what you are doing

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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©