Maintenance

By on January 21, 2017

SWIMMING POOL MAINTENANCE

YOUR FIRST 14 DAYS

Once the construction of your swimming pool is complete and it’s filled with water, the chemicals must be kept at their ideal levels. Most important is the chlorine concentration. Some type of chlorine (tablet, granular, or gas from a chlorine generator) must be added immediately to ensure the prevention of algae growth. In addition, the total alkalinity and the pH must be tested to determine the need for acid or soda ash, and, if necessary, calcium should be added to prevent damage of the pool surface from soft water. In plaster pools, the water will be very cloudy for a week or more. During this time, it’s necessary to brush the pool with a standard nylon pool brush at least two times per day. Circulating the pool water with the filtration system 24 hours per day for the first 2 days.
The filter will require cleaning almost every day to remove the extra plaster dust from the water, it’s possible that the pool will require large amounts of acid during this time as well. It’s always best to make sure that the water requires acid (by testing the pH) before adding it. If there is an imbalance in both the pH and the total alkalinity, it’s recommended to bring the total alkalinity to the ideal level first, then adjust the pH as needed. There will be a time when the porous fresh plaster will have absorbed quite a large amount of acid and the demand will decrease.
It’s unwise to get into a habit of adding acid, and forget to test the pH beforehand. The total alkalinity will also begin to rise with the presence ‘of the additional plaster dust. Once the plaster dust has been removed from the pool water, it’s then time to add conditioner to the pool. Since conditioner does not dissolve rapidly, it’s necessary to allow the system to circulate for at least four days without cleaning the filters (as the conditioner usually dissolves in the filter). This is not practical while large amounts of plaster dust are still present. After four days, have passed from the time the conditioner was added, take a water sample to your local Pool Supply Store to have the water thoroughly tested. Now, all chemicals should be at their ideal levels, and your new swimming pool should be ready to enjoy.

WATER CIRCULATION

Properly adding chemicals to the pool water is just one step in the prevention of algae growth. Of equal importance is proper water circulation. Even if the chemical levels are well within ideal ranges where you take the test sample from. If the water is uncirculated, none of the chemicals will be evenly distributed throughout the pool water, thus there will be some areas of the pool with chemical levels far below ideal. Understanding how the water circulates throughout the pool, and what can be done to maximize the efficiency of the water’s movement, is crucial in the prevention of algae growth.
This section explains the swimming pool circulation system and its operation.

A. SUCTION

There are two different “sides” of the pool’s circulation system: the suction and the pressure sides. The suction side refers to the water that is approaching the pump from the pool, whereas the pressure side refers to the water, which is returning to the pool after it has passed through the pump. The suction side of the system has two main components: the skimmer and the main drain. Water flows from the pool through each of these openings to the pump, and from there, proceeds through the filter and returns to the pool.

Skimmer and Main Drain

The skimmer is located immediately adjacent to the pool water inside the pool deck. There is a rectangular opening in the pool tile which leads into the skimmer. This which contains the skimmer weir, a plastic door, hinged at the bottom. Which prevents debris from re-entering the pool once the pump is turned off. Access to the skimmer is provided by a plastic
cover on the pool deck, approximately 18 inches from the pool water, directly above the rectangular opening described above. Once the cover is removed, the skimmer basket is visible. The skimmer basket traps large debris such as bugs and leaves before it enters the pipes leading to the pump. Large debris such as this could become trapped in the pipes, causing restriction of water flow and possible starvation of the pump. Since the complete blockage of this basket could also lead to water flow restriction and improper circulation, it must be cleaned at least twice per week, and immediately following a wind storm where large amounts of debris have been blown into the pool. Beneath the basket is a unit called a float valve (For pools equipped with a PCC-2000 automatic cleaning system, the float valve may not be present. In this event, please refer to the section of the manual on the PCC-2000 for more information). It’s around and resembles a flying saucer. This float valve serves two functions. It regulates the flow between the main drain and the skimmer, and it also prevents air from entering the piping networks if the pool water level were to fall below the level of the skimmer entrance.
On the bottom of the float valve there is a small teardrop-shaped flap attached to the valve with a single screw. This flap is responsible for the regulation of flow between the skimmer and the main drain. If the flap is closed, the main drain is the sale port through which the water flows out of the pool. If it’s completely open, the skimmer transports most of the water out of the pool. Any position in between with result in a proportional amount of water flowing through the skimmer and the main drain. For example, if the flap were positioned so that it was about 3/4 closed, most of the water flowing out of the pool to the pump would flow through the main drain. On the other hand, if it were only 114 closed, most the water flowing out of the pool would do so through the skimmer. For proper water circulation, it’s best to position the flap so that it’s about 2/3 closed. This will allow for more flow through the main drain than through the skimmer, which will promote a “bottom-to-top” circulation throughout the pool. Most of the water in the pool will be pulled through the main drain at the bottom of the pool and returned to the pool at the top, where the main returns are located (see the section of this manual on “Returns”). The float valve can be placed in the bottom of the skimmer in any orientation, but the flap must be at the bottom. It should be noticed upon removal of the float valve that a black rubber a-ring is present in the bottom of the skimmer. This serves as a seal to ensure that all the water flowing through the skimmer is flowing through the float valve, instead of around it. Inside the float valve is a small plastic float, which prevents air from passing through the skimmer if the pool water level drops below that of the skimmer entrance. If this occurs, the float drops down and seals against another black 0- ring within the float valve assembly.
Beneath the float valve are two holes, each approximately 2 inches in diameter. The hole, which is closest to the swimming pool, is connected directly to the main drain at the bottom of the pool. The other hole is connected to the pump. While the pump is running, the hole farthest from the pool will be pulling water into it. A strong suction should be felt, while no suction should be felt from the other hole. Once the float valve is in place and the flap is positioned correctly, the water will flow up through the pipe closer to the pool and will turn to flow down the pipe leading to the pump. If the float valve is not in place, the water will follow the path of least resistance and will only flow through the skimmer and into the pipe leading to the pump, and the main drain will not be functioning.

B. PRESSURE

The pressure side of the system refers to the water, which has already passed through the pump and is returning to the pool. The pressure side of the system includes the filter, backwashing assembly, heater (if present), the main returns, and the aerator. In this section, the main returns and the aerator are discussed leaving the filter, backwashing assembly, and the heater for subsequent sections.

Main Returns

The main water returns (named “returns” because the return water to the pool) are generally located about 1 foot beneath the water surface and resemble eyes in appearance. They may have openings ranging from 1/2 inch up to 1 inch. The outer ring of the return can be loosened by turning counter-clockwise to aim the orifice in a certain direction. Once the desired direction is achieved, the ring can then be tightened to hold the return in place. The returns should be aimed so that a circulation pattern exists on the surface of the pool. This usually means that all the returns should be aimed either to the left or to the right, depending on the style of the pool. Usually, all the returns should be aimed so that they are level with the water surface, as opposed to up or down. This may interfere with the operation of some suction-powered pool cleaners, however, and if this is the case, please refer to the section on “Suction-side pool cleaners”.

Aerator

The aerator is a small fitting just above the water line approximately halfway along the poolside. The aerator serves a single purpose: to cool the water if it gets too warm for either swimmer comfort of chemical efficiency. Above 900 F., chlorine becomes too active to remain in the water, and quickly dissipates. If the water temperature rises above 90° F, it’s recommended to turn the aerator on by opening the valve, which controls it (see the labels on your specific pool valves to determine which is for the aerator). Water will flow from the aerator fitting and should spray approximately 2/3 of the way across the pool. If the spray does not carry this far, begin to close the valve, which flows to the main returns until the water flowing from the aerator reaches the desired spot. Be careful not to close the other valves completely, as a possible over- pressure situation may result, causing damage to the system or even personal injury. Watch the pressure gauge at the top of the filter to ensure that the pressure does not rise above the maximum operating pressure of that filter.

THE PUMP

The pump is essentially the heart of the swimming pool’s circulation system. It pulls water from the pool through both skimmers and main drain, pushes it through the filter, and returns it to the pool through the returns. The pump itself consists of three components: The motor, impeller, and hair and lint trap. The motor is electric and uses either 110 or 220 volts and can be single, duel or multi-speed. it’s air cooled, because of this is not perfectly sealed from the environment, thus caution should be taken to keep excess water from entering the motor through the cooling vents located on the underside of the housing.
Connected to the end of the shaft of the motor is the impeller. As it turns, it pulls water in through the hair and lint trap at the end of the pump and pushes it out the top of the pump through a pipe leading to the filter. The impeller contains small openings and is very susceptible to becoming clogged with debris. If the pressure on the gauge at the top of the filter is reading lower than the recommended levels, and if the amount of water flowing back to the pool has decreased, it’s possible that the impeller is either clogged or damaged. This can be determined by separating the assembly at the impeller housing and checking the impeller visually. A special hair and lint trap is located at the end of the pump assembly to prevent debris from entering the impeller assembly. Inside the hair and lint trap is a basket, which should be checked and emptied at least twice per week. If the basket were clogged, the flow of water into the pump would be restricted and the pump would begin to pump air instead of water. This is known as a “loss of prime”. At this point, the motor would begin to turn faster, and would eventually burn out. If this basket were not present, the impeller could become clogged, which would prevent it from pumping large quantities of water, or it could become damaged.

RUNNING THE PUMP

The entire operation of the swimming pool is dictated by the operation of the pump. The cleaning system cannot, in general, operate without the main pump, and the pool water cannot be filtered without the main pump operating. It’s crucial, therefore, to be aware with the proper schedule for the operation of the main pump.

When to Run the Pump

There are two factors which determine the time of day when the pump should be operating: chemical demand and energy cost. Since ultraviolet light from the Still removes chlorine from the water, it’s apparent that the highest chlorine demand would be during the daytime. Since most methods of chlorine addition require the pump to be operating to furnish the pool with the proper amount of chlorine, this would lead to the conclusion that it’s better to run the pump during the day, rather than at night. However, due to the higher cost of electrical power during the daylight hours, these two factors must be weighed to determine the schedule, which best meets, the needs of each pool, and its owner. The ideal case would be to run the pump from sunrise to sunset, and this schedule would be best for those situations where the cost of electricity does not vary throughout the day. In other cases, however, it may be necessary to run the pump during the night to avoid high utility costs. It should be noted that the amount of chlorine that is added to the pool must be enough.  The level should remain at or above 3.0 ppm for most the daylight hours, especially in the afternoon.

How Long to Run the Pump

The two main factors in determining the length of time that the pump should be run during each cycle are the chemical demand and filtration. During the summer months, the chemical demand is at its peak, and since the bathing load is generally higher during this time, the amount of debris in the pool is higher also. This requires that the water be filtered more thoroughly to remove the excess debris. A “rule of thumb” exists which can be used to determine the length of each pumping cycle. for all the water in the pool to pass through the filter at least once, and it’s also the recommended time between the addition of chemicals and the next water test/or pool use. Read the owner’s manual on your pump to determine what length of time per pump speed that’s recommended by the manufacturer.

Backwashing

Before backwashing, it’s important that the pump be turned off to avoid damage to the backwash valve mechanism. For filters with a side-mounted, vertical backwash valve, rotate the handle to unlock the valve, push the handle down as far as it will go, and rotate the handle once again to lock the valve in the backwash position. Make sure that the backwash hose is extended to the desired area, and turn on the pump. A large quantity of water and debris will flow out of the hose. Continue until the water which is flowing out of the hose is clear and wait an additional 30 seconds to ensure that the filter is properly cleaned. Turn the pump off and return the valve to the normal filter mode by carrying out the above steps except in reverse order. Once the valve is returned to the filter position, open the air release valve to release trapped air in top of lid or tank tops. Turn the pump on and monitor the pressure gauge for proper operation of the system. If the pump fails to fill with water, or the pressure fails to build to the normal operating value, follow the steps in the “REGAINING PRIME” section below. For filters with a top-or side-mounted rotating backwash valve, the process is similar, but instead of pushing the handle down to backwash and up to filter, the handle of the rotating valve is pushed down and then rotate to the backwash and filter positions, respectively. Once all the trapped air is released through the air release valve and only water flows out, close this valve.

PRIME THE PUMP

If the pressure does not rise within I minute, shut the pump off and force water into the system through the skimmer by placing a garden hose into the hole at the bottom of the skimmer which is farthest from the pool and restarting the pump.
The water from the garden hose should be enough to flood the pump and restart the system. Be sure to open the manual air relief valve after the pump has regained its prime. Release the excess air from the filter.If the pressure does not rise within I minute, shut the pump off and force water into the system through the skimmer by placing a garden hose into the hole at the bottom of the skimmer which is farthest from the pool and restarting the pump.
The water from the garden hose should be enough to flood the pump and restart the system. Be sure to open the manual air relief valve after the pump has regained its prime to release the excess air from the filter.

THE VALVES

As mentioned earlier, each swimming pool has a different arrangement of the equipment. Because of this, each one also has a different number of valves, and their locations vary from pool to pool.

We label each valve on each system to inform you of the intended use for that valve. Please refer to the equipment installed on your pool for this information. Be aware, however, that the 2-way and 3-way swing valves installed on most pools can be completely closed and if every valve is in the closed position, an overpressure situation will result, and damage and personal injury may occur. To avoid this, extra care should be taken to ensure that at least one valve on the pipes leading from the filter to the pool (on the pressure or return side) must be open always to give the water a place to go.
Never close all valves while the system is in operation. All 2- and 3-way valves and round gate valves can be moved while the pump is operating.

BRUSHING THE POOL

Even though most modern swimming pools are equipped with an automatic cleaning system, there is no substitute for a thorough brushing of the walls, steps, benches, and bottom of the pool. Most automatic cleaners can’t scrub the floor, steps, and benches to remove small debris and algae spores from the pores in the pool surface, and this must be done to ensure a stain and algae free pool surface.
It’s recommended that the pool be brushed with a standard 18-inch nylon bristle pool brush at least twice per week. The entire process usually only takes 10 minutes and is well worth the time and effort. Be sure to brush the pool while the pump is operating, and to cover the entire pool from the tile line to the main drain. Sweep slowly and push the brush toward the main drain so that the debris will be pulled into the drain and then into the filter, where it will be removed from the water. If large amounts of debris were removed during this process, it’s advisable to clean the filter afterward.

VACUUMING THE POOL

If the amount of debris in the pool is too great to be removed by either the automatic cleaning system or by brushing, the pool should be vacuumed to remove the debris before it becomes attached to the pool surface and requires special methods to remove. A manual vacuum system is available at any Pool Supply Store, which will operate in any swimming pool. It consists of three major components: a vacuum head, a flexible vacuum hose, and a long telescopic pole. The pole, which is used for brushing, can also be used for vacuuming as both the brush and the vacuum head are connected to the pole with a quick disconnect attachment. The process of vacuuming the pool manually can be accomplished by following these steps.
First, make sure that the pump is operating and that the filter has recently been cleaned. In fact, it’s recommended that the filter be cleaned immediately before and after vacuuming the pool. Attach the vacuum head to the telescopic pole; and attach either end of the vacuum hose to the top of the vacuum head. Keeping the opposite end of the hose and the pole accessible, lower the vacuum head into the pool. Before the vacuum hose can be attached to the suction line in the skimmer, it must be filled with water to prevent a large amount of air entering the pump and causing a loss of prime. This can be accomplished by either placing the free end of the vacuum hose over one of the main return lines, allowing water to flow into the hose and push out the air, or by inserting a garden hose into the vacuum hose and using the water from the garden hose to push air out of the vacuum hose.
As the hose is filling with water, the vacuum head should be lifted from the bottom of the pool about 1 foot to assist in the escape of the trapped air. Once the bubbles have stopped flowing from the vacuum head, bring the free end of the vacuum hose to the skimmer, keeping the end of the hose beneath the water always so that no more air can enter the hose. Remove the lid from the skimmer, and remove the skimmer basket and float valve. Cover the free end of the vacuum hose with the palm of your hand and quickly lift the hose over the pool deck and into the skimmer through the opening at the top. Once the end of the hose is underwater, remove your hand and insert the hose into the suction hole in the bottom of the skimmer (the hole farthest from the pool). The suction will hold the hose into the hole and will form a good seal. If the hole is too large for the hose to seal properly, an adapter is available at any Pool Supply Store. Once the connection has been made, slowly move the vacuum over the pool surface in a similar fashion as brushing, except with vacuuming, it’s not necessary to push the vacuum toward the main drain. It’s necessary to vacuum the entire pool, from the tile line to the drain, but care should be taken to keep the vacuum head underwater always to prevent air from entering the system.
When the pool has been sufficiently cleaned, pull the vacuum hose out of the suction hole in the skimmer and wash the hose and head with fresh water to remove chemicals, which could decrease the life of the equipment, and store them in a shaded area. Once again, it’s recommended that the filter be cleaned immediately after vacuuming to remove the excess debris and increase the efficiency of the filter system. Replace the float valve, skimmer basket, and skimmer cover.

SKIMMING THE POOL

While vacuuming and brushing remove dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool, they do not remove the debris such as grass, leaves, and bugs which float on the water surface. This debris usually is removed by the skimmer built into the pool deck, but it can accumulate in large amounts and it may take the built-in skimmer an appreciable time to remove it.

By using a hand skimmer, the debris can be quickly removed before it can become saturated with water and sink to the bottom. While there are no specific guidelines as to when the pool should be manually skimmed, it’s recommended that it be done either before or after brushing. A manual skimmer can be used in conjunction with the same telescopic pole used for brushing and vacuuming. One can be found at any Pool Supply Store.

ATTACHED SPA

In the case where a spa is attached to the swimming pool and the water can overflow into the pool, both the pool and the spa share the same filter and pump systems, and they are connected to each other within the piping network. The spa will contain its own main drain, and may also have its own skimmer.
In this case, the skimmer and main drain operate the same as in the swimming pool, and the suction line in the skimmer meets that of the pool immediately adjacent to the hair and lint trap attached to the pump. A 3-way swing valve will be present at this junction to regulate the flow between the spa and the pool suction lines. For normal operation, the pool suction line should be considerably more open than that of the spa to ensure that the spa does not drain. Since the volume of water in the spa is small compared to that of the pool, very little suction is needed for proper circulation of the spa. If a separate skimmer is present for the spa, and the skimmer contains a float valve, set the flap in the same position as that in the pool skimmer, and adjust the 3-way valve near the pump so that the clear majority of the water is corning from the pool skimmer (i.e. adjust the 3-way valve so that the spa suction line is almost closed). On the pressure side of the system, there will be separate valves present to direct water flow to the therapy jets in the spa.

To operate the therapy jets, simply open the swing valve, which is labeled “therapy jets”, and if needed for more flow, partially Close the valve labeled “return”. This will direct more water into the spa’s therapy jets and less into the pool’s main returns Be aware that the water in the spa will overflow into the pool, and if the spa is heated, some heat may be lost to the pool.

IMPORTANT: Take care to never run any future power lines in any area around your pool that could contact your pole while in use.

 FILTER SYSTEM

CLEAN CARTRIDGE FILTER
+10lbs OVER CLEAN PSI OR ONCE EVERY 6-8 WEEKS.
Cartridges should be cleaned one to two weeks after start-up
and replaced every 3 years.

CLEAN SAND FILTER
+10lbs ABOVE CLEAN PSI OR ONCE PER WEEK. REPLACE
SAND EVERY 5 YEARS.

CLEAN DE FILTER
3 WKS AFTER START-UP (PLASTER POOL). +10lbs ABOVE CLEAN PSI OR EVERY 8 WKS.
Take filter apart and clean once a year. Add proper amount of DE after each cleaning.

Always remove all dirt and debris from all pool surfaces before you shock the water to prevent staining.
Always use a sodium-based chlorine to shock or super chlorinate the pool to prevent rapid calcium build-up.
Remember to also clean out skimmer baskets. ADR canister, filter baskets etc., on a regular basis.

PARAMOUNT PCC 2000 CLEANING SYSTEMS & TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS.

PARAMOUNT PCC2000 CLEANING SYSTEM
SYSTEM FOR TULARE & KINGS COUNTIES!

The patented PCC 2000 is a nearly invisible built-in system that can clean steps, benches, and loveseats. Swim-outs and spas, automatically! Through a network of strategically placed pop-up cleaning and circulation nozzles built into the pool floor. Dirt, sand, leaves and debris are moved towards the PCC 2000 active main drain for removal. Then sucked out through the bottom of the pool.
A. OPERATION
The PCC 2000 “In-Floor System operates on the principle of suspending debris in the water and removing it through your normal filtration system.

The pool pump removes water via the skimmer, and the main drain, and then through your pool’s filter, which collects the impurities from the water. Water from the pool proceeds to the “water actuated valve” which in turn distributes the water to a series of “in-floor” nozzles, or “surface returns”, One series of “in-floor” nozzles pops up dispersing a high-pressure stream of water. After a brief period, the “water valve” will automatically cycle the water to another series of nozzles or surface returns.
For the best performance, the PCC 2000 cleaning system pump should run a minimum of 3 hours to a maximum of 5 hours per day. Depending on the size of the pool.

B. SYSTEM TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Problem: Dirty spots appear throughout the pool.
Solution(s):
(1) Clean filter
(2) Clean pump(s) and all basket(s).
(3) Make sure auxiliary valves are in the proper position.
Problem: Set of cleaning nozzles remain up (with pump on)
Solution(s):
(1) Valve module should be serviced or replaced (see valve trouble- shooting).
(2) Dislodge particles of debris between nozzle and body by lightly depressing nozzle, with pressure on nozzle. Discharge any particles between nozzle and body
Problem: Pressure Increases
Solution(s):
(1) Clean filter by backwashing
(2) Make sure that auxiliary is in the proper position

Problem: One or more cleaning nozzles remain up while flow continues to other circuits
Solution(s):
(1) Lightly depress nozzle, by applying pressure on nozzle to discharge any particles between nozzle and body
(2) If nozzle(s) remain(s) in “Up’! position, remove nozzle(s) and clean. (Check for plaster or small rocks)

Problem: Cleaning nozzle pops-up but will not rotate (Applies to rotating nozzles only)
Solution(s):
(1) Lightly depress nozzle, applying pressure on that nozzle, to dislodge any particles between nozzle and body.
(2) If nozzle still does not rotate, remove nozzle assembly and clean inner body and outer nozzle surface.

Problem: Cleaning nozzles floating.
Solution(s):
(1) Service valve module. (See Valve trouble-shooting)

C. WATER VALVE TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Problem: Water Valve does not cycle.
Solution(s):
(1) Knob on top of water valve dome lid to “run” position.
(2) Check turbine shaft inside water valve module for restricted movement.
Problem: Water Valve cycles-but more than one circuit of nozzles remains in the “UP” position.
Solution(s):
(1) Check for debris lodged between floor nozzle and body, depress nozzle with pole to dislodge debris.
(2) Check to see if diaphragm module is ruptured.
(3) Check to see if debris is lodged between lower base ribs and module. Wash out base and module assembly thoroughly with garden hose.

Problem: Water Valve cycles-but more than one circuit of nozzles remains in the “UP” position.
Solution(s):
(1) Check for debris lodged between floor nozzle and body, depress nozzle with pole to dislodge debris.
(2) Check to see if diaphragm inside module is ruptured.
(3) Check to see if debris is lodged between lower base ribs and module. Wash out base and module assembly thoroughly with garden hose.