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Improving the efficiency of filters for easier pool maintenance

By Chris Marcano

Proactively performing routine maintenance, such as backwashing and rinsing is one of the best ways to improve filter efficiency.
Proactively performing routine maintenance, such as backwashing and rinsing is one of the best ways to improve filter efficiency.

As pool professionals get ready for the summer swim season, they are about to tackle one of the most important stages of pool maintenance—pool opening.

It is not just about opening the pool, but more importantly about setting the stage for easy maintenance throughout the season. With many consumers still working from home this summer, they will be taking an even closer look at how to maintain their pool most effectively—both physically and financially.

Service professionals know one of the most important components of successful pool maintenance is how efficiently the filter works. This article will provide a few reminders on increasing filter efficiency for easy maintenance, which ultimately makes homeowners more satisfied with their investment.

This is especially important this year with the increased number of new pool owners that have emerged over the course of the pandemic.

How pool and spa owners can increase filter efficiency

Proactively performing routine maintenance, such as backwashing and rinsing is one of the best ways to improve filter efficiency, and this applies whether a pool uses diatomaceous earth (DE) grids, cartridge filters, or sand. Chlorinated water passing through the filter can get distracted by oxidizing organic and inorganic wastes that buildup over time. These wastes also impact water flow and can reduce circulation. By keeping the filter media clean and avoiding this build-up, pool and spa owners can improve efficiencies.

Kathi Belcourt, manager of Aquatech Pool & Bath in Winnipeg, says service techs know and understand the need for getting the very best circulation to get water flowing freely through the filter so it is the highest quality. By doing so, the filter works at its peak efficiency so the water is the cleanest it can be.

“In the winter, it’s particularly important to have good flow and clean filters, especially when it comes to small bodies of water such as a hot tub. The reason being, universally, all hot tubs have a safety mechanism built into them that shuts the heating element off if there isn’t enough water flow,” she explained. “This safety mechanism is required to avoid electrical fires but, in colder regions, it could result in a hot tub-shaped ice cube, or worse, cracked or broken pipes. The goal is to prevent ‘flow errors’ in the hot tub at all costs and, to do so, it becomes imperative to have clean filters at all times.”

Tom Landi of New Jersey-based Landi Pools & Games says his company has been focused on improving filter efficiency for quite some time.

“Our focus has always been on the speed at which water flows through the filters by the pumps,” he says. “When water is continuously circulating at a slow rate, it allows the filter to operate more efficiently in terms of removing debris, in addition to keeping the water chemistry more balanced. We have been focusing on variable-speed pumps (VSPs) for years and are a firm believer pump speed is the starting point to ensure filters work more efficiently.”

According to Landi, he gets a lot of positive feedback from clients once they have a VSP.

“All of my customers agree their water looks better, is easier to maintain, and best of all, their electricity and chemistry costs go down because they are using less of both,” he says. “They all agree the extra cost associated with a VSP pays off within the first season. Afterwards, those savings become earnings year after year, which the homeowner can use toward something else.

Landi adds his clients’ openings are easier whereas, in the past, they dreaded the work associated with getting their pools up and running in the spring, in addition to the seasonal maintenance.

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