a high level, pools pump water in a continual
cycle, from the basin through filtering
and chemical treatment systems and back
to the basin. This mechanism keeps pool
water free of dirt, debris and bacteria.
During normal operation, water flows to
the filtering system through the main
drains at the pool’s bottom and
skimmer drains around the pool’s
top. Main drains are usually located on
the lowest point in the pool. Dirt and
debris that sinks exits the pool through
these drains. The skimmers also draw water,
but they suck only from the very top of
the pool. Floating debris leaves the pool
through the skimmers. Water flows first
through the strainer basket, which catches
any larger debris. Whether drained thru
the main drains or skimmer, water is pumped
through the filtering system, cleaned,
and pumped back out to returns, which
are inlet valves around the pool’s
The water pump is the heart of your pool’s
systems. An electric motor spins an impeller
inside the pump housing, pulling water
from the drains through the filter and
heater, and back out to the inlets. Just
before it flows into the pump, the water
passes through a metal strainer basket
that catches leaves and other large debris
that might clog up the pump, before continuing
to the filter.
Pool filters commonly employ a filter
bed of specialty sand, although diatomaceous
earth filters and cartridge filters are
Dirty water from the pool comes in through
the filter's inlet pipe, and is pulled
down through the sand, where these tiny
sand particles catch dirt and debris.
At the tank’s bottom, the filtered
water flows out the outlet pipe. Over
time, the collected dirt and debris in
the filter bed impedes water flow. Pressure
gauges at the filter inlet and outlet
give an indication of blockage levels
inside. When resistance to flow becomes
too great, it’s time to backwash
the filter to remove accumulated debris—or
to rinse or replace cartridge filters.
Outdoor pools in Colorado typically have
heaters to keep the water at a preferred
temperature. After passing thru the filter,
water enters a heat exchanger, which is
typically gas-fired, to raise its temperature
before being forced thru the return in
the pool basin.
It's important to carefully maintain the
chemical balance in pools:
Dangerous pathogens including bacteria
thrive in water. A pool filled with
untreated water would be a perfect place
for disease-carrying microorganisms
wrong chemical balance can damage the
various pool components.
balanced water irritates the skin and
balanced water can get cloudy.
Eliminating pathogens in the water requires
a disinfecting agent that will kill them.
The best pool disinfectant is the element
chlorine, in the form of a chemical compound
such as calcium hypochlorite or sodium
hypochlorite. When added to water, chlorine
reacts to form various chemicals that
kill bacteria and other pathogens. Chlorine
is typically prepared in liquid, powder,
tablet or gaseous form and can be added
to water anywhere in the cycle, although
adding it just after the filtering process,
using a chemical feeder, is preferred.
The water's pH is a measure of its total
acid-alkalinity balance -- the relative
proportion of acids and alkalis dissolved
in water. Water that is either too acidic
or too alkaline causes undesirable reactions.
If the water is too acidic, it will corrode
metal equipment, cause etching on surface
materials and skin irritation. If the
water is too alkaline, it can cause scaling
on the pool surface and plumbing equipment
and can cloud the water.
Platinum Pools of Colorado recommends
a pool pH between 7.2 and 7.8. To raise
or lower pH, additional acids or alkalis
are added to the water.