Tulsa Pools : Pool circulation system

Cody Albright: Hello, welcome to Dive Time. I’m your host, Cody Albright, in here with me, as always, my lovely co-host and wife, Rachel Albright.

Rachel Albright: Hello.

Cody Albright: Together we are owners of Sierra Pools and Spas of Tulsa. You can find us online at SierraPoolsandSpas.com, or give us a call at 918-884-8427. That’s www.SierraPoolsandSpas.com or give us a shout at 918-884-8427. All right, today we’re going to be talking about your Tulsa Pools and Spa circulation system. Rachel, what are we talking about today?

Rachel Albright: We’re going to be talking about, like you said, your Tulsa pools and spa circulation system. If the pool was a body this would be like the heart, and the veins, and the arteries. This is like the life of your pool. This is what brings your pool to life. This includes your skimmers, your drains, and your inlets. These are the beginning and the end points of the pool circulation system. We’re going to talk about all three of these things. We’re also going to talk about the pump and the filtration system here in a little bit. Just a little overview, the pool and spa circulation system begins at the skimmers and the main drain, and then the pump which is the heart of the circulation system, pulls water from these areas and pushes it to the filter’s heater, if you have one, and any other equipment in the system. Then the clean water returns to the pool or spa through the inlets. That’s kind of an overview of how the system works. We’re going to get into what each of these parts entails, and kind of their definition, and what they do. We’ll start with the skimmers.

Cody Albright: Skimmers.

Rachel Albright: Skimmers are usually built into the side of in ground pools just below the coping. Tulsa Pools Skimmers, what they are, they consist of a basket, a floating gate like device called a weir, and plumbing that connects the skimmer to the pool’s pump. As the name kind of implies, they are designed to skim the surface of any floating debris, so leaves, grass, or any other objects that might fall into the pool.

Cody Albright: A number of skimmers depending on the area of your pool.

Rachel Albright: Yeah, usually two. I think we just put in two because it cleans your pool a little bit better Tulsa Pools.

Cody Albright: You can get up, four, five. Like I said, it all depends on the size of your pool.

Rachel Albright: As the pool’s pump pulls water through the system, the weir drops, that’s the basket … The gate, I’m sorry, to let in anything floating on the surface of the water. When the pump is switched off the weir returns to a vertical position so it doesn’t release anything that’s in the skimmer cavity. The basket keeps the material from going to the pump and the filter. You’ll want to clean that basket out. The way you get to that is through an access hatch that will be in the top of your pool deck. Tulsa Pools Debris that blocks the flow of the water may make the pump work hard, so you need to clean that basket daily. That’s something you want to keep on top of.

That’s an overview of what a skimmer looks like, and kind of what it does. Next we’ll talk about the main drains. The main drains, there are usually two installed in a pool, and they’re usually three feet apart. This is to …

Cody Albright: At least three feet apart.

Rachel Albright: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cody Albright: Yes.

Rachel Albright: Yes. This provides entrapment protection against somebody getting sucked and stuck down in the drain due to it’s suction. There’s actually a safety hatch build around main drains because the suction is strong that a little girl actually got sucked to the bottom of one, and actually drowned, unfortunately. The suction pressure was about 700 pounds on that main drain, so it is very, very strong, so they had to enact some new safety codes. What that entails, some of it, is drain covers, so they’re like a dome shaped drain cover so that you can’t get sucked down to it. Also, safety vacuum release systems, which shuts down the pump in an entrapment emergency. Those are important things and we handle all of that, make sure that it’s safe for you and your family. Then we’re going to talk about inlets. An inlet directs water back into the pool. Some inlets are adjustable and they aid the distribution of any chemicals added to the pool water through the circulation system. Those are the main points of the circulation system.

The heart would be the pump. Pool require centrifugal pumps to keep the water moving through the system. The heart of the pump is the impellar which is a circular disk with raised veins that spins to create centrifugal force. The spinning of this impellar, along with the design of the chamber, creates the pulling or sucking action of the pump. From the volute, that’s the chamber, the impellar directs the water up through the top of the pump housing to an affluent line, and on to the pool’s filter. When we’re talking about impellars there’s two different kinds. There’s a closed face impellar and there’s a semi-open faced impellar.

I’m going to kind of get into what those are. A closed face impellar has two plates with veins in between them, and water is forced in through a hole in the center, and then it’s thrown out at the end of the vein. These types of models, the closed faced impellars, are very efficient at moving water, but any material that gets past the strainer basket can clog up the impellar, so again, you really want to clean out the weir basket on your skimmer daily to make sure that doesn’t happen. The second type of impellar design is a semi-open faced impellar. This type of impellar has a flat plate with slots. It literally pulverizes any debris and tends to be easier to maintain the closed face version. Modern pool and spa pumps are self priming, meaning they automatically expel air from the system when the pump is turned on. If the pump on your pool wasn’t self priming, and you didn’t remove the air from the system, the pump would not be able to pull the water, and the motor would be damaged. These pumps range in power from .5 to up to three hourse power. They’re also rated for continuous duty, which means the pump is designed to run 24 hours a day instead of just maybe eight hours a day, or 12 hours a day.

There are single speed and two speed pumps. Tulsa Pools Two speed pumps are becoming more popular because their motors run at a lower speed, usually about 1,750 revolutions per minute for routine pumping, then they increase to high speed which is about 3,450 RPM when a lot of people are using the pool at the same time. Most spas, when we’re talking about one or two speed pumps, most spas will have two speed pumps. The lower speed pulls the water through the filtration system and the higher speed operates the jets. When we’re talking about pumps, one thing you do have to do is get the correct size for your pool. There’s different sizes of pumps and the size of their pump is going to depend on the size of your pool, so you want to make sure that you get that accurate.

Cody Albright: We’ll take care of that for you.

Rachel Albright: Yeah. We’ll take care of that.

Cody Albright: There’s so many different types of pumps, and sizes, and speeds, and horse powers, but it’s not … it all depends on the size of your pool. We’ll do the math for you and figure out those pump equipment.

Rachel Albright: Yeah, we’ll recommend a certain pump for your pool and your circulation system. We’ll base this decision on the capacity of your pool in gallons. We’ll have all that nailed down, and we’ll also base it on your desired flow rate, or the amount of water that should flow through the pump. To find that we’ll have to determine the turnover time, which is how often all the water in the pool should be circulated through the system. There’s varying turnover times. The recommended turnover time is usually about eight hours, average, so if you want the pool water to go through the circulation system every eight hours we have to divide the pool’s capacity by eight to find the flow rate in gallons per hour. This gets really mathematical, there’s lots of math involved in this.

Just to give you an example, if there’s a pool that holds 16,875 gallons of water, Tulsa Pools you would divide that by eight, because you want your water to cycle every eight hours, and that would give you 2,109 gallons. Then if we want to figure out the flow rate in gallons per minute, you’ll divide 2,109, which is the gallons per eight hours by 60, and you’ll find that 35.15 gallons per minutes is the number you arrive at. Then the next step involves determining the amount of resistance in the circulation system, this is called total dynamic head, or head loss. Everything in the circulation system resists the flow of water, and it makes the pump work harder. Even the smooth insides of the PVC pipe offer some resistance to the flow of water. We’ll make this calculation, so you won’t have to worry about it. I’m just kind of letting you know what the process entails. There is a lot of math involved when it comes to pool building sometimes, when it comes to sizing the pump. That’s a very important thing, so you definitely want to make sure that that is correct. Again, Sierra will do that for you. We do all of those calculations, make sure everything is running and working properly for you.

Cody Albright: Yep, yep, Sierra Pools and Spas of Tulsa will help you with that. Don’t get too stressed out about it. ¬†Tulsa Pools¬†Who would have though we’d use math. You know when you’re in high school, or middle school, think, “Who is going to use this stuff one day?” Well, we use math everyday. Yeah, Sierra Pools and Spas will take care you. If you’re in the Tulsa area, or any other area, Bixby, Jenks, or Inola, Catoosa, Owasso, Skiatook, just any surrounding area, we would love to build a pool for you. Yeah, I think that wraps up our time for the day. Thank you for joining us, and listening to our podcast. We really appreciate you divers. Until next time I’m Cody.

Rachel Albright: I’m Rachel.

Cody Albright: We’ll see you next time. Bye.