Pool Filter Maintenance Program | FMP
A clean pool filter is probably one of the most important factors in keeping a pool clean. As a result of a clean filter, your equipment works easier, water flows better, and your pool is happier. Pool filters usually need to be cleaned 2-4 times per year. Due to the type of filter, size of the pool and the amount of nature around, additional cleaning may be needed. Bad weather can also require filters to be cleaned an extra time. If interested, you could sign up for our Filter Maintenance Program (FMP), where we automatically schedule and perform routine pool filter cleans.
During the FMP, we will also check the following at no additional labor cost:
- Pool Pump Lids and O-Rings
- Pool Pump Baskets
- Salt Cell Check (if cleaning is needed, an extra charge will apply)
- Filter Gauge
- Skimmer Baskets
- Skimmer Flaps
- Pool Cleaner
- Serviceable Check Valves
Parts replaced during the FMP will be at additional cost plus sales tax.
Pool Filter Cleaning - DE Filter
DE filters are able to handle loads better than pool cartridge filters. They have a backwash valve in front of the filter, that when used properly allows you to do a “quick clean” on the filter, by running the water backwards thru the filter and out to waste. You MUST add the DE back into the system after a cleaning or backwash. The DE (diatomaceous earth) is a fine powder that filters the pool water. DE filters usually consist of 8 canvas covered grids that get coated with the DE. This combo allows for cleaner water and quicker pool turnarounds.
As mentioned above, the internal grids in the filter get coated with the DE to filter the water. These grids must be separated, cleaned and inspected for holes, so that the DE does not flow back into the pool. We recommend cleaning DE filters twice a year. The process is basically the same to get to the grids, as it is to get to the cartridges. It is at this point that the pool filter cleaning gets a bit more difficult. The grids are part of an assembly that are attached to a water manifold and must be assembled in a specific order so that the pool filter can be put back together correctly.
We feel that the DE filter, even though it is harder to clean, is the best option for larger pools and pools with mature nature around them. The backwash feature alone can be extremely helpful during the spring and fall.
Pool Filter Cleaning - Pool Cartridge Filter
Pool cartridge filters typically consist of 4 paper cylinders that filter the water as the pump is running. We believe that this type filter is the easiest to clean without a ton of experience. While the system is off, you can remove the filter drain plug and wait for the filter to drain. We recommend opening the air relief all the way to speed up the draining. When the filter is empty of water, you can remove the main filter band clamp, this allows you to remove the top of the filter. Be careful how you set the top down, you don’t want to damage the air relief or gauge assembly. At this point, you remove the 4 cartridges, inspect for damage and start cleaning each filter from top to bottom. Take your time to be sure to remove as much filtered material as possible. Once clean, rinse the base out, lube the filter o-ring and reverse your process until the filter is back together and you are ready to turn the system on. Please be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions on the filter cleaning process and the proper way to tighten the clamp.
At Southlake Pools, we believe that a pool cartridge filter is a great choice for a pool with limited or no nature around it. Because you have to take the entire filter apart to clean and there is no backwashing option, older pools where the nature around has matured may have to be cleaned more often. Pool cartridge filters typically need to be cleaned 3-4 times per year for regular service. If there is a major storm and some of the rain run-off makes it into the pool, extra cleanings may be needed.
Saltwater Pool | Salt Cell Cleaning - Chlorine Generator Pool Maintenance
Salt systems for pools generate chlorine by splitting the sodium and chlorine apart from salt. The chlorine produced sanitizes the water in the same way adding chlorine does. The sodium and chlorine will meet back up and turn back into salt. Most pool salt systems need to be between 3000-3600 parts per million in salinity and need to be cleaned regularly in order to operate correctly. I recommend having your salt cell checked, at minimum, at the time of filter cleaning (at least twice a year). For best performance of your salt system, the cell should be checked every three months. During normal operation, calcium can build up on the fins inside the cell. It is very important to keep the cell clean so that it can operate as intended. Most quality salt systems consist of a salt cell, a control system and a sensor system. Having an issue with any portion of the system can prevent chlorine from being made. Other impacts on chlorine production are low or high salinity, low or high water temperature, no flow (possibly from a dirty filter), or bad or damaged parts of the system.
Pressure Pool Cleaners | Pressure-Side Automatic Pool Cleaners
Most pools built these days are built with the option for an automatic pool cleaner. One of the most common versions is a pressure pool cleaner. These cleaners are operated with water pressure, usually from an auxillary booster pump that works with the water being moved from the filter pump. This booster pump sends water thru a dedicated line to the pool, where the pool cleaner is attached to a special fitting by a hose. The water is then distributed in the cleaner for drive power and also in order to create a vacuum that pulls debris into a cleaner bag. These types of cleaners are great for pools with an abundant of nature that makes it into the pool.
Suction Pool Cleaners | Suction-Side Automatic Pool Cleaners
Suction is generated by your pool pump, transforming the pool cleaner into an underwater vacuum. Each unit is specially designed to move around the pool in a specified pre-programmed pattern, cleaning the entire pool and depositing debris into the filter pump basket or leaf catcher. These cleaners are limited with the size of nature that they can pick up. If your pool is smaller and doesn’t have mature nature around it, then this type of cleaner is a great choice because it doesn't require a separate pump.
Mastic Replacement | Caulking Between Coping and Pool Decking
Mastic is the caulking between your pool decking and the coping (brick or stone) around the perimeter of your pool. Maintaining good mastic prevents water from seeping down under your pool decking and behind the shell of your pool. This is especially important to correct before the winter arrives and freezing temperatures turn water into ice and cause damage to your pool.
Pool Maintenance FAQs
Pump speed can vary based on factors like the size of the pool and how dirty it’s become. However, most in ground family pools are similar in size. Typically the pump is run at 2000rpms for a couple hours and then turned down to 1000rpm for the remainder of the day.
Daily, weekly and monthly maintenance routines are recommended for proper pool care. Most tasks can be done weekly, though some prefer to do this daily.
- Check water level
- Check the chemistry
- Add chemicals
- Shock the pool (when necessary)
- Scrub the tile line to remove scum
- Check the filter
- Lubricate the ORings
- Check filter and pump
- Inspect the Pool Cleaner
- Check the baskets
- Remove leaves and debris using a leaf rake
- Check calcium and CYA levels
- Test salt levels
3-6 Month Maintenance
- Disassemble and thoroughly clean the filter, replace cartridge elements.
Seem like a lot? Don’t do it all alone, call Southlake Pools!