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Swimming Pool Owner's Blog

Preventative Pool Pump Maintenance

Swimming Pool Pump Maintenance

We all know that feeling when Winter has come and gone and spring is starting to warm up and it is time to start the pool up for summer and daily swimming, changing the chlorinator to summer settings and the pool pump is making a loud grinding sound and won’t start.

Here are a few tips and warning signs that will save you money in preventative maintenance rather than paying largely for it in the long run.

Swimming Pool Pumps Maintenance

  • Know the sound the pump makes in normal operation, if the sound changes to a loud grinding sound when water is passing through it and the basket is emptied it needs to be serviced. Most of the time if the pump is older than four years it is a Mechanical Seal and bearings which is quite a cheap fix compared to a new pump if left unfixed.
  • Leaking water from under the pump is 90% of the time the Mechanical Seal or body O-ring that holds the wet end of the pump to the motor. If the pump is left in water the motor will corrode and damage the pump further.
  • Empty the baskets, by restricting water flow to the pump it can burn out and or extremely shorten the life of the pump and other filtration equipment. When a pump basket breaks the debris flows into the impeller clogging it which can cut a pumps water flow by two thirds or altogether.
  • Use a silicon grease to lubricate the O-rings in the unions that attached the pump to the pipe as well as the pump lid O-ring (do not use Vaseline or any petroleum based lubricates as this will perish the O-rings).

Spa Maintenance Guide

Spa General Information

Zodiac Soa Nature2Spa and hot tub maintenance is similar to pool maintenance, it is a trade off between equipment, chemicals and routine. Most spas or hot tubs have an extremely small body of water (between 1000L to 2500L) compared to most pools, this requires spas or hot tubs to be emptied and refilled to remove the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). We recommend changing the water every 4 months, this allows spas or hot tubs that use “Zodiac Nature2 Natural Spa Purifier” and “Zodiac Spa Power Purifier” (Lithium Hypochlorite) as a sanitation method to be replaced at the same time.

Before using the spa it is always best to test the water before use, a home test kit can make this quite simple and easy. The spa filtration is similar to a swimming pools filtration and should run once a day at least for 1 - 2 hours a day to remove any debris and allow them to filter out.

Spa or Hot Tub Maintenance Guide

Before Use:

  • Test the Sanitation level and PH, if these values are within acceptable it is safe to use.
  • After Use: Add 15g of “Zodiac Spa Oxyfresh” (Potassium Peroxy-Monosulphate) aka Spa Oxidizer to burn off added oils.

Read more: Spa Maintenance Guide

How to prime a Swimming Pool Pump

There are several reasons why pool pumps tend to lose their prime or are unable to reprime themselves, the most common problem results from air in the pipes or filter. This is usually caused by the pools water level being too low or sometimes is caused by loose fittings or perished o'rings.

Identifying factors can vary when a pool pump is struggling to prime or has completely deprimed. Some salt water chlorinators will prompt a sound or light indicating that there is no flow through the salt cell, some will even turn themselves off as a safety precaution. Most pumps will also have an increased noise level while deprimed and in cases where there is still a slight prime your suction at the skimmer box will make a loud screeching sound. If any of these problems occur it is best to attend to the problem as soon as possible, switching the system off at the wall is a good way to stop any damage to the pump and other equipment until you can address the problem.

If the pump is running dry for extended periods it can burn out or damage the mechanical seal, ceramic, diffuser plate and other parts that the pump requires to function correctly. 

Below is a basic guide to remedy a deprimed pump.

Read more: How to prime a Swimming Pool Pump

How to Clean your Salt Water Chlorinator Cell

How to Clean a Salt Water Chlorinator Cell

Cleaning your Salt Water Chlorinator Cell is required to remove calcium from the plates of the cell which is a by-product of chlorination. The mixture required for cleaning is extremely corrosive and protective wear is highly recommended.

  1. Make a cleaning mixture of 1/10 parts Hydrochloric Acid to water (always add Hydrochloric acid to water).
  2. Turn the filtration system off.
  3. Remove Salt Cell from the housing.
  4. Add the Salt Cell to the cleaning mixture making sure there is little to no contact with the terminals.
  5. Wait five to ten minutes for the Salt Cell to be cleaned.
  6. If any parts of calcium are stuck or will not dissolve, carefully remove them with a smooth plastic instrument.
  7. Once the Salt Cell is clean, rinse with fresh water and place back in the housing and tighten the cell or collar.
  8. Turn system back to automatic setting or timer.
  9. Dispose of cleaning mixture.

If the Sallt Cell has an increased amount of calcium and it has not been removed after the ten minutes in the cleaning solution it is advised to use a specialty product "Cell Cleaner" which is not as corrosive or damage the cell in any regard. The cell can be left in Salt Cell Cleaner for up to 1 hour and will completely remove calcium.

We recommended using Salt Cell Cleaner at all times over the traditional Hydrochloric mixture, it is a safer alternative and not harmful to your Salt Cell at all and reusable. 

Swimming Pool Maintenance Guide

Swimming Pool Maintenance

The following is a “general guide” to the maintenance requirements for a 50,000L pool salt water swimming pool during the Summer months. Depending on the environment and amount of use your swimming pool receives and the quality of chemicals used and equipment your requirements may be different.

Weekly

  • Add between 500ml to 1L of Hydrochloric Acid to the pool to bring down the pH level which allows the available chlorine to work more effectively. The specific amount required is dependent on the pH of the pool before adding acid, the higher the pH more acid is required.
  • Empty Skimmer Baskets and Pump Baskets.
  • Skim the top of the pool and remove leaf matter and debris.
  • Broom pool walls and floor.

Fortnightly

  • Have your water tested professionally.
  • Check all equipment and make sure there are no leaks or breaks.
  • Perform maintenance from the weekly section.

Monthly

  • Backwash Sand Filter
  • Clean salt cell.
  • Perform maintenance from the weekly and fortnightly section.

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