The pump is a pool's circulatory system. It draws water from the main drain (located at the bottom of the pool or spa) and the surface skimmer(s); then it pushes the water through the filter and heater and back into the pool through the return lines.
The surface skimmer is really the first line of defense when it comes to gathering debris too large for the filter to handle. The skimmer draws in surface water and draws whatever large material floats on the surface into a basket.
If the pump is the heart of a swimming pool or spa, then the filter is its lungs. The filter removes impurities and particulate matter (oils, grease, and dirt) and returns clear water to the pool via the return lines.
Pool heater maintenance varies depending upon the type of system that you have. A gas heater's burners should be vacuumed at least once each year to remove debris that can clog the burner ports. Electric heaters contain heating elements that can become covered with scale (mineral deposits).
A pool cover prevents leaves and other debris from entering the pool, and it also reduces evaporation. This combination equals great savings-less energy to heat the pool and less energy to run the filter and automatic cleaner. Furthermore, a covered pool uses fewer chemicals.
Keeping Your Pool Clean
Even with all of the automatic-cleaning equipment available today, there is still no substitute for manual-cleaning equipment and some elbow grease. It permits you to get into nooks and crannies that are off limits to automatic cleaning equipment.
Winterizing Your Pool
Shutting down your pool equipment during winter months is an option in certain areas of the country where temperatures dip below freezing for a good part of the time, but the lack of circulation can allow algae to grow in a pool in a more moderate climate.
Beginning of Pool Season
Whether or not a pool is shut down during the winter, the beginning of swim season is one of the most critical times for pool maintenance. Here are the essential tasks that should be done.
Balancing Pool Water
Properly balanced water not only provides a safe and healthy swimming environment, it also preserves the integrity of the pool and equipment. At the beginning of the swim season, an opening "shock treatment" is the first order of business.