12 August 2016
Getting water circulation right in your pool
Proper water circulation in a swimming pool is considered to be absolutely fundamental to its functioning, and with good reason. As Swim University highlights: “Circulation of the pool water allows you to filter your water, which is cleaning. It also helps to spread the chemicals you add to the water, like stirring a cup of coffee after adding cream and sugar.”
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor pool, getting water out through the filtration and pump system and returning it back to the pool is vital if you want to continue enjoying a clean, usable and energy efficient luxury pool. Poor pool circulation, on the other hand, can possibly render your pool unusable.
With the right equipment and just a few changes to your maintenance regime, effective circulation can help clear the water of debris and keep chemical consumption to a minimum. So, let’s take a look at some of the most effective water circulation methods and how you can use them to achieve this.
Circulation: the basics
Pool water circulation is relatively straightforward on paper. Broadly speaking, it works as follows:
1. Clean water is pumped into the pool through inlet fittings and is circulated (along with the pool chemicals) around different areas of the pool.
2. If set up correctly, dirty water will be removed from the pool through suction fittings, eg sumps and skimmers, and channelled to the filtration system.
3. The pump pushes the water through the filters, cleaning it and removing any debris and dirt. Clean water is then pumped back into the pool through the inlets.
This is a very simple illustration of how water circulation functions in a pool, but getting it right can be tricky. You may face the issue of ‘dead areas’ of water – stagnant areas of the pool where water is not circulated properly and algae and bacteria can begin to grow, affecting your pool chemistry. You may also experience variable water temperatures as a result of poor circulation. Common dead areas can be found behind steps and ladders, rectangular corners, and the bottom half of pools without a bottom drain. If you own an outdoor pool, variables such as wind and temperature changes can exacerbate these issues further. So how can you easily prevent this from happening?
Avoiding dead zones: return clean water to all areas of the pool
All of this is obviously to be avoided - after all, algae and bacteria can render your pool unusable and increased debris is only going to spur its growth. Thankfully, there’s a number of straightforward strategies which you can deploy in order to optimise water circulation in the pool.
Position the water jets correctly
As we’ve already explored, a good pool circulation system requires correctly selected inlet fittings to return clean water to the pool’s ecosystem. Planning ahead by installing multidirectional return jets gives you the ability to control where the clean water flows into the pool. Pointing the inlets downwards away from the skimmers is a great start, and will ensure more of the bottom half of the water is being renewed.
Brush the sides of your pool regularly
This should hopefully already be part of your maintenance regime – if not, start incorporating it! Brushing or vacuuming the sides of the pool helps remove microorganisms from the sides and bottom of the pool and break them up. They will then circulate in the water normally and can be dealt with more easily by the filtration system and the pool chemicals.
Learn to run your pump properly
The right pump system can make or break your pool’s circulation, but it’s not just about the type of pump - it’s also about how well you run it. Cleaning filters and pump baskets regularly of debris and running the pump for around 8-10 hours a day should do the trick. Remember, the pump is already there to do the vast majority of circulation work so you don’t have to. Proper maintenance and everyday operation of the pump and filtration system should cover most of your water circulation issues – you just might need to help it along sometimes.
Variable Speed Pumps
LSPC can supply energy efficient variable speed pumps that can aid filtration at the rate that is required eg the pump can run at a higher speed when bathers are using the pool and at a lower speed when the pool is not being used. This variability aids the filtration by running at a lower speed when traditionally the pump would be switched off.
If you have any questions about caring for your pool or spa email Chris Walker, Head of Servicing at London Swimming Pool Company.