Swimming Pool Pump Facts
by M Jedediah
You can have the biggest, fanciest pool in the neighborhood, complete with tiles imported from Italy or painted with cool designs, floating rafts and fed by a gushing fountain, but without one specific piece of equipment, that shimmering pool can turn into a duck pond in about a week flat. What’s that vital piece of equipment? A swimming pool pump is a crucial piece of mechanics that works hard to keep your pool clean.
A swimming pool pump comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and models. Bigger is not always better, however, so knowing something about pumps and what they do will stand you in good stead as you either build your pool or are in the process of replacing old, battered parts. The size and type of swimming pool you own has a lot to do with the type of pool pump you buy, for manufactures make pumps for above ground and in ground pool needs.
Why is a pool pump so important? Because it works with your pool’s filtration system to keep the pool clean of debris. The pump pulls water out of the pool through a skimmer basket and then through the filtering system, and back into the pool. Without the pump, nothing works.
Most types of pumps will state their capacity, so always know what size your pool is before looking for pool equipment. You should know the basic area of your pool as well as how many gallons it holds. Most pumps will designate how much water they can pump either hourly or by the minute.
In most cases, people run a swimming pool pump for six to eight hours a day, especially in the summertime and when the pool is being used. If your pool is small and stays relatively clean, you can cut back that running time in fall and winter months to save electricity.
All pumps should come with some type of straining basket that is designed to catch leaves, sticks, and toys, or whatever else manages to end up in your pool. These baskets can be oblong, square, open or closed, but as long as they keep debris from entering your filtering system, the shape doesn’t matter.
When selecting any particular swimming pool pump model, check the energy efficiency of the unit to make sure you’re getting the best model to suit your needs. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $100 to $700 for a swimming pool pump. Because it is hard to determine how many hours a day you will need to run your pump, it pays to get a good model, which may be more than you want to spend initially. However, the more efficient the pump, the less electricity will be wasted, so it’s up to you where you want to save your money.
When looking for a swimming pool pump, also take into consideration the age of your filtering system. An old system may not be very efficient in filtering water no matter how powerful the pump is, so don’t throw good money after bad. A pump moves the water, it doesn’t clean it. That’s for your filtering system. Carefully watching chemical levels and water clarity, combined with good water circulation, is the best way to achieve good results with your pool.
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