How Your Swimming Pool Works
As a prospective or new pool owner, it can be confusing as to how your swimming pool works, how water journeys and flows through the pool and what all the equipment does. As a 25+years experienced swimming pool supplies, maintenance & construction company in Nigeria, we are asked these questions a lot, and we recognize this and we have constructed the following guide to answer your questions and provide some insights.
- All swimming pools irrespective of the location anywhere in Nigeria or in the world, no matter the shape, size, design or added features all work in the same manner and principles
- As a prospective or new pool owner, your swimming pool is basically a shell or basin made from either concrete, acrylic glass, fibreglass or liner to hold water and uses a combination of plumbing, filtration and chemical treatment systems to consistently circulates the water and keep it clean, healthy and sparkling
- Swimming pools come in various shapes, sizes, design, usage and locations
- Based on locations, there are 3 different types of swimming pools namely-inground, above ground and suspended.
- In-ground pools are made from concrete, acrylic glass, fibreglass, or vinyl liner. Generally, they are very durable and easily customized
- Aboveground pools are typically made from prefabricated kits like steel or rubber and are easily assembled and installed on a levelled ground surface. They are the cheapest construction option and the easiest to construct as well, but not durable
- Suspended pools are usually elevated pools situated on the upper floor of superstructures or building. Mostly, they are made from concrete or acrylic glass
Types of Pools (Based on Usage)
Based on usage, Swimming pools are classified into two types-either Residential pools for personal/private use and the Commercial/public pools in hotels, water parks, sports complex, competitions, etc.
- Residential pools generally are smaller in size than commercial/public pools because they have lower bathing loads. number of pool users at any particular time and usually have higher turnover periods of about 8hours
- The turnover period is the amount of time it takes the pool pump to complete one cycle of circulating the entire pool water volume through the pool filtration system.
- Commercial/public pools generally bigger in size than residential pools due to the higher bathing load and therefore have a lower turnover period of 4hours
- Every pool has 3 sections called the shallow end, slope and deep end.
- The Shallow end is usually 3 feet or 0.9m in depth of pool water for non-swimmers, learners and for safety purposes.
- The Deep end– for swimmers usually from 6 feet or 1.8m and above. For diving purposes, the deep end should at least 7 feet or 2.1m and above
- The Slope is the gentle gradient that connects the shallow end to the deep end.
Types of Pools (Based on Shell Materials)
There are 4 different types of pools depending on how shell or basin is constructed
- The vinyl-lined pool is made from prefabricated kits assembled on flat ground and the wall is covered with vinyl lining. It can be above or on the ground. cheap construction option, less duration or attractive, but can be disassembled and move to a new location.
- Fibreglass pools are made from fibreglass-reinforced plastic which has been moulded into a basin shape. Also called a prefab pool. Easily deformed by ground movement.
- Reinforced concrete pools– made up of reinforced concrete poured into formwork or mould. They are very durable and the type we construct, though expensive.
- Acrylic glass pools– this is the most advanced and modern type of pool made from acrylic. its also called transparent because one or all the pool walls can be seen through. It’s tougher and stronger than concrete or glass. Suspended acrylic pools also have the bottom slab transparent. Of course, they are a very expensive type of pools.
Equipment in Your Swimming Pool
These are the various equipment installed in your pool shell
- A bottom drain is the suction fitting located at the lowest point of the pool (the deep end) to take water and debris out from the bottom of the pool to the pump in the plant room. Maybe more than one depending on the pool size
- The skimmer is another suction fitting located at the top of the pool wall at the deep end. They draw water and floating debris out from the top of the pool to the pump in the plant room. Maybe more than one
- Vacuum point is another suction fitting located midway along the longer side at the top of the pool wall about150mm below the water surface. It takes water out during vacuuming from the pool to the pump in the plant room.
- Return is a discharge fitting located at the top of the short wall of the pool at the shallow end about 300mm below the water surface and opposite to the skimmers. They returned clean, filtered water from the plant room back into the pool. Usually more than one.
- Underwater lights are for illuminating the pool water at night and are located in the long pool wall either in the shallow end or deep end. They are positioned in such a way to avoid glaring at night to the house property occupants. One light is used for every 25 square meters of the surface area of the pool.
- Level Regulator is located in at the top of any of the pool long wall and its function is to auto top up the pool water from the water supply source.
- A stainless steel ladder is for climbing in and out of the pool. Usually located at opposite sides of the shallow end and the deep end.
Equipment in Your Plant Room
The following equipment is located in your plant room
- Circulating Pump is the heart of the pool system is the pump usually tucked away in a nearby plant/pump room. The pump and the filter contain sand media makes up the filtration system. The pump sucks water from the bottom drain, skimmer and vacuum point and drives the water through the filter, and back to the pool through the return/inlet
- The filter is a high rate sand filter consisting of a large cylindrical tank made of fibreglass containing a thick bed of special grade sand. During filtration, the pump sucks dirty water from the pool via the bottom drain, skimmers and vacuum and pressure force it into the filter for the tiny sand particles trap the dirt and debris, and the filtered cleaned water flows back to the pool through the return/inlets. Over time, as the dirt accumulates in the sand of the filter, the pressure within the filter measured by a manometer located on the filter, increases, then the filter need to be backwashed.
- The piping/plumbing system is made up of high-pressure PVC pipes, fitting and controls. They interconnect the pool and the plant room.
- The electrical system is made of the electrical wiring and control for the operation of the pump, underwater light and other electrical components. They also interconnect the pool and the plant room.
These are the cleaning equipment for the maintenance and cleaning of the pool water. They are made up of the following
- Leaf net to collect leaves and other dirt materials from the bottom and surface of your pool.
- The vacuum head is a14 inch flexible vacuum equipment with side brushes use for sucking and vacuuming dirt from the floor and wall of your concrete pool.
- Vacuum hose is a floating suction hose of a 1.5-inch diameter that helps in cleaning and vacuuming the pool.
- The telescopic pole is may be attached to other pieces of pool equipment such as leaf skimmers, nets, or brushes in other to extend the range of those attachments.
- Pool brush is an 18-inch wall brush with nylon bristles for cleaning and cleaning pool wall.
- Algae brush is a 160mm long stainless steel wire brush designed for use in a concrete pool for the removal of algae from both swimming pool walls and floors with minimal efforts
- The test kit is for testing the ph value and chlorine level of pool water.
These are the chemicals for the purification of the pool water including
- Algaecide to kill and prevents algae from forming in the pool
- Chlorine is a sanitizer product, designed to effectively guard against bacteria, algae, and other organisms and keeps the pool stay fresh and clean
- Ph plus is PH increaser for adjusting pH between 7.2 and 7.6
- Ph minus is PH reducer for adjusting pH between 7.2 and 7.6
- Flocculants clarify the water eliminating colloidal particles causing water cloudiness.
We stock and sell online and in-store all swimming pool chemicals & equipment supplies and render home delivery services of purchased products to our clients from any of our chain of swimming pool supply stores in Nigeria.
The Flow and Journey of Water in Your Pool
To keep your pool healthy and sparkling, proper circulation is a must. In your swimming pool, water is pumped in a constant continuous cycle from the pool through your pool equipment and back into the pool in order to keep your pool healthy and sparkling. Arranging your pool equipment in the proper order and the constant circulation keep your water healthy.
Below is the journey of how the water flow from in the pool to the filtration system and back thus keeping up the continuous cycle
- Water suctions This is where the journey begins. Pool suction points where water flows from your pool to your filtration equipment for circulation. Most pools have three different types of water suctions namely: main drains, skimmers and vacuum points. During normal operation when the electrical control of the pool pump is turned on, water is sucked by the pool pump located in the plant room through the interconnecting plumbing pipes from the main drains, skimmers and vacuum point to your filter also located in the plant room beside the pump.
Main drains are located at the lowest point or the deep end of your swimming pool so that most of the debris and dirt at the bottom exit your pool through this main drain under the influence of the pump suction pressure.
Skimmers work the same way as main drains except they suck water and floating debris from the very top of the pool. Floating debris typically exits the pool through your skimmer. The skimmers have floating weir that ‘skim’ the surface level to catch debris effectively as well as a strainer basket that catches any larger debris, such as leaves, bugs, and other floating debris. This process cleans up the water as it flows through the skimmer.
Vacuum point is usually located midway along the longer side of the pool wall towards the top. It takes water out during vacuuming from the pool to the pump in the plant room After your pool water makes its way through the main drain, skimmers and vacuum point, the water flows on to the pump and filtering stage.
- The Pump is the beginning of the continuous cycle. When you turn on your pump, it draws water from the pool through the bottom drain, skimmers and vacuum point and delivers water to the pump and passes through a strainer basket that removes most debris, dirt or leaves that may clog up the pump from the water prior to sending it through the pump to the filter system. The pump is the heart of the pool system. The pump has encased within it an electric motor that spins the impeller inside the housing and drives the water from the various drains by pulling water through the skimmers and flows through the suction portion of your pool pump. The suction portion of your pump is made up of the strainer lid, o-ring, basket, diffuser, impeller, and a shaft seal. The water is sucked through the pump at high pressure and it forced out of the pump through the discharge portion of the pump into the filter.
- Filter. Your pool water journey starts in the pool, flowing through the bottom drain, skimmer and vacuum point to your pump. Next, the water flows into your filter. The filter is a large cylindrical tank made of fibreglass containing a thick bed of special grade sand. During the filtering process, the dirty water from the pool comes through the filter’s inlet pipe and heads to the water distribution head inside the tank. As gravity pulls the water down, the bed of tiny specially graded sand particles trap and catches the dirt and debris and the filtered clean water flows back into the pool through the inlets located in the pool. Over time, as the dirt accumulates in the sand of the filter, the pressure within the filter measured by a manometer located on the filter, increases, then the filter need to be backwashed.
- Returns are located in the short wall of the pool at the shallow end and opposite to the skimmers They returned clean, filtered water from the filter back into the pool and thus completing the journey of circulation
The Water Chemistry Your Pool Water
Healthy and balanced water chemistry for your pool is very important not just for the safety of the pool users, causing no irritation to the nose, eyes or skin, but also to preserve the lifespan of your pool equipment or cause damage to other components of your pool. While it’s true that the filtration systems handle the hard work of physically cleaning the pool water, balanced water chemistry does the fine works of chemically sanitizing the pool water to make it healthy, clean and free from bacteria, algae and disease-carrying microorganisms
This is the most popular disinfectant administered to your pool. When chlorine either in powder, liquid or tablet form is added to the water in the right dosage and quantity, it reacts with the water to form a chemical reaction called hypochlorous acid. This acid is a disinfecting agent that kills all germs, bacteria, algae and microorganisms in the pool water, thus making the water safe for the pool users. An excessive amount of chlorine in pool water can cause skin, nose irritations or redness of the eyes.
In our operation, we know the importance of balanced water chemistry for your pool and we offer regularly scheduled swimming pool maintenance and cleaning services across Nigeria to keep your pool water from going green as well as the sales and supply of your pool care chemicals and equipment from our various retail outlets spread across the country