8. Easy on your filter- It can be used with sand , cartridge or DE filters. The sand does not have to be changed each year.
9. Lower DE Cost- If you have a DE filter you will need to use slightly less than the recommended amount of DE to coat your screens, i.e. 3# for a 37 ft filter and 4# for a 53ft filter.
According to Goldline®, makers of the AquaRite® chlorine generator, electronic chlorinators generate chlorine by passing low voltage electrical current through sodium charged pool water and converting the chloride ions from the salt into chlorine (hypochlorus acid). This hypochlorus acid is the same component contained in chlorine tablets and all shock. The function of hypochlorous acid in the pool is two fold: first it will kill algae and bacteria and secondly, it acts as an oxidizer to remove the dead material from the pool. During the oxidation process, the hypochlorous acid reverts back to water and salt. All of this takes place after your water leaves the pool filter and passes through the chlorine generation cell. This cell has titanium plates that act as electrical conductors for the process. Once the water leaves this cell, it is sanitized and returns to the pool as clean water.
Generally you should not be able to taste any salt in the pool because the level of salt in the water is so low, however some people with sensitive palates might detect a small amount of salt. Ocean salt water has 75,000 ppm of sodium in it, your tears have 7,000 ppm. Generally we like to keep the sodium content in your pool at only 3200 ppm, which is roughly the equivalent to a teaspoon per gallon, so it is not really considered “salt water”.
The Aqua Rite® works best with approximately 3200 ppm salt, however, the Aqua Rite® will operate with salt levels anywhere from 2700 ppm to 3400 ppm which is equivalent to 1 t. per gallon. In order to achieve the desired level of sodium, we must first know the gallonage of the pool and the current sodium content, so that we can adjust it properly. On the last page we have a chart to determine how much salt will be needed. Most inground pools will need anywhere from 100- 500 # of salt to get started. A 40# bag of salt pellets runs about $12.00/bag so you can expect the start up cost to be around $30 to $150.00. You must use salt that is at least 99.0% pure. Do NOT use rock salt or any salt that has more than 1% of additives such as "anti-caking agents".
Copper/silver ion system:
The copper/silver ionization system is used for drinking water, cooling towers, fountains, fish ponds, zoo water features, industrial waste water, industrial processing of water and in swimming pools. It is also used by NASA as the treatment of choice to purify drinking water aboard spacecraft. Copper is a well known algaecide and bactericide, and silver is known for its ability to kill bacteria and viruses.
This system is not an oxidizer. It will not remove organic matter, body oils, suntan lotions from the water. To rid the pool of these unwanted products, you need shock them out with an oxidizer. Choices include O2 shock, chlorine and enzymes such as Pool Perfect®.
Ionization is a process by which an atom gains or looses electrons. It then becomes an ion which carries a negative charge. An ion chamber is installed into the return line. This chamber contains two copper/silver electrodes (metal bars) which are separated from each other by a gap of at least 1/4". Each electrode is connected electrically to a transform module. This causes the ions to be released. Water flow from the pump pushes them into the pool. The copper ions then kill bacteria and algae. The silver ions also kill bacteria, viruses and sterilize your pool water.
The advantages of this system is it's inexpensive to operate and cost about 1/2 cent per hour when pump is running. The disadvantage is it is expensive to buy and the high levels of copper can stain the pool badly. The electrode chamber will require replacement every 3-5 years.
BASIC POOL OPERATION for INGROUND POOLS:
This information was written by the staff of Blue Water Pools and is provided exclusively for our pool customers.
Water Level / Skimmer
Keep the water level at least half way into the skimmer. The skimmer is the white box with a square lid, on the side of the pool with the basket in it. The higher you keep the water level, the more liner material is protected from the sun's damaging rays. One half inch below the top of the skimmer is ideal because it allows for maximum protection for your liner and still lets leaves pass into the skimmer. The skimmer’s function is to act as the primary trap for leaves and debris. The skimmer also allows you to hook up your manual and automatic vacuum so that you can clean the pool.
TIP: Try to keep the water level above the vacuum cuff on your hose so it won't suck air when you clean.
Most of our clients select a timer for the convenience of having the pump turn on and off automatically. You may select the time period the timer will turn your pump on and off by adjusting its switches. In the spring when the water temperature is cold you can run the pump 6-8 hours to circulate, sanitize, and skim the pool surface to keep it clean. As the water warms up in May and June you can increase pump usage by changing the time cycle again on the timer. When August heat arrives it is often necessary to increase pump use to 24 hours just to keep enough sanitizer in the pool to keep up with the sun's heat stealing chlorine from your pool. The timer offers you both convenience and saves you money on your electric bill.
CAUTION: Remove the timer clips in the winter so it won't come on when your pump and filter have been drained and winterized. Your pump could be ruined if it runs a period of time without water in it. Also, if you have a chlorine generator, you must have a timer, or run your pump 24-7. It is dangerous for the generator to be generating chlorine gas without water moving it from the cell to the pool
The pumping cycle of your system does two things for you: 1) It circulates the water taking it from the pool via the skimmer(s) and main drain, runs it through the filter to help clean and clarify the water, and returns it to the pool via the inlets in the wall and the jets in the steps. 2) The pumping cycle also adds sanitizer to your pool if you are using chlorine. When you are using chlorine, it can only dissolve and enter your pool when the pump is running. When the pump is off, no sanitizer is reaching the water.
CAUTION: Never run the pump without water. Even when priming on startup, it should run no more than a minute without water.
CAUTION: Keep the skimmer basket in at all times during the swimming season. Small toys and rocks can clog the pipe at the bottom of the skimmer. If the skimmer basket gets too full of leaves it can break your basket by sucking so hard it cracks it. Keep it clean and emptied. Make sure your pump basket is also cleaned regularly. In the spring especially, it can clog up with debris quickly and cause your pump to not even be able to pull water through the system. If it gets too full it can also crack and break allowing debris to get sucked into the impellor. This can either clog the impellor up and it will need to be cleaned, or it can break the impellor and/or damage the motor.
Ball Valves / Slice Valves
Our pools have multiple valves for control of your water flow. There are two or more ball valves in a row right in front of the pump. These control the water being sucked into the pump and filter. One will be for your main drains, and the other one or two will be your skimmers depending on whether you have one or two. These valves in front of the pump are called your suction side valves.
There are also 2 or more ball valves in a row right after the filter. One will go to your step jets, one will go to your return inlets on the walls. These jets after the filter are called your pressure side valves. If you have more than two, it will likely go to a water feature like a fountain. When the water flow is ON through these valves, the handles will be parallel to the pipes. When the water flow is OFF through these valves, the handles will be perpendicular to the pipe. The handles on ball valves can be broken easily if the big nuts on them are too tight, so if you start to turn one and it feels stiff, stop. Unscrew the nut slightly, turn the handle, then screw the nut back. If you forget to tighten the nut back up, sometimes the ball valve will suck air around there and your pump may not prime properly or you may have trouble vacuuming.
CAUTION: NEVER EVER TURN ALL THE BALL VALVES OFF ON EITHER SIDE. AT LEAST ONE MUST BE OPEN ON EACH SIDE OR YOU CAN BURN UP YOUR PUMP AND/OR EXPLODE YOUR PLUMBING!
There is another type of valve you may see if you have a heater. It is between the filter and the heater. It looks different than the ball valves and has an up/down handle. It is usually pulled up “Open” when you are not running the heater. When you want to turn the heater “ON” you push it down to “Close” it. This diverts water TO the heater so that it can run.
The multiport valve is the big valve with the handle that is between the pump and filter. It has several different settings on it that the handle can be turned to, to control the water flow. We call this valve the “brain of the system”. The position that the handle is set to tells the water where to go. There are 6 settings on this valve: Filter, Recirculate, Waste, Backwash and Rinse. Filter is where the valve should be set most of the time. When in filter mode, water goes through the valve, into the filter, gets cleaned, and returns back to the pool. Recirculate mode is used only for stirring up certain chemicals. In recirculate mode, water enters the valve, bypasses the filter and just goes directly on to the pool. Waste mode is used primarily for wasting water out of the pool if the water level gets too high. In waste mode, water enters the valve, but instead of going back to the pool it bypasses the filter and instead exits out into the yard. We also use this setting in the spring when the pool is opened to do the first vacuuming. When the pool is first opened in the spring there is usually a lot more debris laying on the bottom that needs to be vacuumed up than the filter can handle. So, instead of vacuuming on filter, we vacuum on waste. This gets the debris out of the pool completely and exits it to the yard. The backwash mode is for cleaning your filter. This setting reverses the flow of water through the filter and kicks the debris in it out into the yard. You would use this setting anytime the pressure in your filter rises to 10# higher than it normally runs. Rinse is what you must put your filter on for 30 seconds after you backwash but before you go back to filter.
The multiport handle is spring loaded so that when you turn it from setting to setting it won't damage the gasket inside. When the handle is difficult to rotate after a few years of use, it may be necessary to call for service to lubricate and replace worn out internal parts.
CAUTION: Never try to rotate or move the multiport valve handle when the pump is running. Always shut the pump off first. ALWAYS PUSH THE HANDLE DOWN ALL THE WAY WHEN ROTATING IT. If you forget this even once, your pool will leak out the backwash while on filter.
If you have a sand filter here are some tricks to make it work smoothly and give you years of good service. You need to determine the norm pressure on your pressure gauge for your particular system. Some pumps and filters run 9 lbs. when they are clean; some run 15 lbs. You will need to clean your sand filter when your pressure reaches 10 lbs higher than it normally runs. If you have no leaves around your property or farm dirt to drift into the pool and you don't have to clean it often, it may be a month before you have to backwash. If we have a bad rain and/or wind storm some evening your filter may need backwashed from cleaning up the storm's mess the next day. A sand filter works best when it is a little dirty. If your norm is 13 lbs. it will clean better between 16 and 18 lbs. pressure. When it is clean at 13 lbs. it is inefficient and allows fine particles of dirt to get through and pumped back into the pool. After the filter builds up a little pressure from dirt, the fine particles tend to help filter out more fine particles. But when the filter begins building up pressure from continual vacuuming, the flow rate through the filter goes down and the water in the pool is not moving through the system fast enough. If you watch the water jetting out of an inlet into the pool you will notice the flow is way down when the filter needs cleaning; you can also tell by putting your hand over an inlet to feel the flow rate before and after you backwash. You will feel a big difference. Once or twice annually it is also a good idea to clean your sand with some type of product designed for that purpose. It helps keep the sand from getting hard clumps in it and about every 5 years or so it’s a good idea to change a portion or all of your sand.
TIP: ALWAYS Rinse for 10 seconds after backwashing before you return to filtering to reverse the flow so it doesn't belch dirty water back into the pool.
Read the section on sand filters first since most of the same principles apply. This will teach you how your DE filter works too. The DE filter tends to polish the water and clarify it quicker than the sand filter. Here's how it is different: Each time you backwash your filter, you add a powder to the skimmer in the proper amount. Instead of sand catching particles of dirt, the DE filter has screens inside. These screens are covered with a mesh material. When DE is added to the skimmer the DE coats the screens. The dirt then sticks to this DE powder. This powder traps extremely tiny particles even algae. When you backwash, the DE powder is removed from the screens along with the dirt. Then you recharge the DE by adding more to the skimmer. The DE filter is more efficient than a sand filter and can clear a cloudy pool much faster than a sand filter. It also must be backwashed more often because it filters out so much.
CAUTION: Always stay up wind when you add DE to your skimmer. The barbs are harmful to our lungs if we breathe DE. These same barbs are what destroy the digestive system of hungry insects when organic gardeners broadcast DE on plants as a pesticide.
DE comes in boxes that can not get wet. You can use a 1# coffee can to measure your DE or buy a DE scoop. There are 3 types of DE filters that we sell and each has different cleaning instructions which should be on the filter label. This label also tells you how much DE you are supposed to put in the skimmer each time you backwash We have some special hints for each model to help you be successful:
30 Square FT PLD DE Filter
With system running shut off all the ball valves in front of the pump and IMMEDIATELY shut off the pump. Then shut off all the ball valves after the filter. TIP: If you forget to do this or you do it too slowly, you can loose prime in your system and it may be difficult to get primed again. DO NOT LET THE PUMP RUN TOO LONG WITH THE VALVES SHUT OR IT COULD BURN UP YOUR PUMP. Open the wing nut on top the filter and bleed off the air. Unscrew the lock ring and remove the top. Remove the plug at the bottom to let the water drain out. Spray off the filter cartridge. Put the lid back on and tighten the lock ring. Put the plug back in. Fill the filter with water with your hose. Tighten the wing nut back up. Turn the system on and open all your ball valves that you previously closed. DO NOT LET THE PUMP RUN TOO LONG WITH THE VALVES SHUT OR IT COULD BURN UP YOUR PUMP. If the filter leaks around the middle, you may need to clean the large o-ring under the lock ring and the track. Each year it needs to be lubricated as well with 100% silicone lubricant.
60 Square FT System 3 Mod Media DE Filter
Shut pump off. Turn handle on multiport valve to backwash and run till water coming out runs clear. Shut pump off and turn handle to rinse and run for 30 seconds. Shut pump off and put back on filter. The pressure on you gauge should now be back down to normal. If it is still running high, you must take the filter apart and clean the grids inside. To do this, unscrew the wing nut on top the filter to relieve the air pressure. When it quits hissing, unscrew each of the large nuts and lift off the top. Unscrew the filter plug at the bottom of the filter to drain the water out. Pull the filter cartridge out and spray it clean. This is very heavy and will take more than one person. Sometimes its easier to spray it off while leaving it in the filter if it is not too dirty. Put the cartridge back in and make sure it’s lined up properly. Clean all the DE off the large oring. Clean the track and make sure there is NOT A SPECK OF DE LEFT IN IT OR IT WILL LEAK. Put the lid back on and start putting the clamp and nuts back on tightening them hand tight and alternating opposite clamps as you tighten. Put the filter plug back in making sure no grit or DE is in the threads so you don’t strip them out. Tighten the wing nut back down. If the filter leaks around the middle, you did not get the oring and the track clean enough.
37 / 53 Square FT System 3 DE Filter
Shut pump off. We have discovered that shaking or bumping the DE off the screens first will help you get the debris out of the tank. We back wash for three seconds, then rinse three seconds, backwash three more seconds and rinse again for three seconds and repeat about 6-8 times. What is happening is that we are shaking off the debris so it will release. Then when you really do backwash and rinse in earnest, it will already have fallen into the bottom of the tank. As you backwash from filter to rinse several times, you are actually reversing the water flow inside the filter by banging water up against the screens with force to release the trapped debris. Do not backwash and clean until the pressure reaches 8-10 lbs above your regular pressure. Regular pressure is the pressure your gauge runs when your filter is clean. Also do not wait all summer to backwash. The debris will stick hard to the screens, so hard you will not be able to shake it off. The filter will then have to be disassembled and each screen cleaned with the hose. The key to not having to disassemble your filter often to never let your pressure get over 10 # higher than it usually runs. Normal usage will require a monthly backwashing. For cleanup of a green pool there is so many dead particles it is not unusual to have to back wash every few hours until the pool is clear and clean the whole filter after the pool is clear. To clean the filter grids inside unscrew the wing nut on top the filter to relieve the air pressure. When it quits hissing, unscrew each of the large nuts and lift off the top. Unscrew the filter plug at the bottom of the filter to drain the water out. Unscrew the union holding the grids in the filter and Pull the filter grids out and spray it clean. Sometimes its easier to spray it off while leaving it in the filter if it is not too dirty. Put the cartridge back in and make sure it’s lined up properly. Clean all the DE off the large oring. Clean the track and make sure there is NOT A SPECK OF DE LEFT IN IT OR IT WILL LEAK. Put the lid back on and start putting the clamp and nuts back on tightening them hand tight and alternating opposite clamps as you tighten. Put the filter plug back in making sure no grit or DE is in the threads so you don’t strip them out. Tighten the wing nut back down. If the filter leaks around the middle, you did not get the oring and the track clean enough.
Do not forget to put more DE back into the system after you backwash. If you forget to recoat the filter screens with DE the dirt will collect directly on the screens and you may clog the screens and have to disassemble the filter and clean them with a hose. In the spring when you open your pool and begin the winter clean up, it is wise to vacuum on waste until you get all of the slim and green algae out of the pool. This material will stick to screens and to sand filters, too. You have a choice. You can either clean the entire pool then tear down the filter and wash all of it out. Or you can kill the slime and algae with shock, let it set overnight to die, then begin vacuuming and try backwashing it out. Hopefully in 24 hours, the slime will be gone and it will backwash off easily. Either technique works. After the hassle of spring clean up that we all go through, it will be clear sailing with the backwashing process for the rest of the season.
Vacuuming by hand or by robot involves a similar process. The first thing to do is stretch out the long hose and get out all the twists and kinks. Pull both ends over to the skimmer leaving the hose stretched out down the deck in a long U-shape. One end of the hose has a rotating cuff on the end. This end goes on the vacuum head with the brushes. It is easy to assemble all of the equipment if it is all handy for you at the skimmer. Hook on the pole to the vac head. Next push the vac head down into the water feeding in the hose to fill it with water. If you fill the hose with water before you begin to vacuum, the pump will not have to suck out 40 feet of air while you wait. With the hose filled up with water and the vac head in the water you can place the other end of the long hose onto the vac plate that covers the skimmer and put it in the skimmer covering the basket to close off the air and water flow from the skimmer. Close off the main drain slowly so that all of the horsepower will suck through the skimmer to clean the floor of the pool. If you do not shut off the main drain and /or all other extra skimmers, the power to operate the vacuum will be greatly reduced and it may not pick up debris very well. If you use an automatic Navigator pool vac be sure to put the lengths of hose together snuggly so the hose will not suck air or water. When assembling the auto vac, the first hose that connects to the vac head has a cuff that fits tightly to the head. This hose is also more flexible and softer so the vac will turn and maneuver easily. The Navigator makes three random turns to the right and three random turns to the left in its cleaning cycle. It will not stay in the corner because it will rotate itself out and change directions. The Navigator will not clean the steps so it is necessary to broom dirt from the steps down into the shallow. If you put the robot in the pool in the morning it will have the pool clean by evening. If you want to speed it up for a quick job, broom the steps and shallow down to the deep and in about two hours it will have the deep end cleaned. Pool vacs tend to spend more time in the deep end and will clean it quickly. The Navigator needs to have its hoses stored flat and not rolled up like the larger hose that comes with your system. This is because kinked hoses may turn the robot over and inhibit the effectiveness of his work cycle.
CAUTION: Never vacuum with the skimmer basket removed or the pump basket. Debris may clog the line to the pump and cause the system to shut down.
TIP: If you have a sand filter or a DE filter with fiberglass grids, and you are trying to clean up a green pool, we recommend you vacuum on waste with your manual system. Algae particles are so small they go right through the sand and never clear it up and they often clog up DE filters too fast. Often people vacuum to waste also in the spring after the pool is opened because there is so much stuff in the pool.
To fill the Rainbow 300 chlorine feeder first shut off the pump. If the lid is difficult to get off because of suction, use a stick or piece of rebar wedged between the lid notches to loosen. Be careful when filling with chlorine not to splash water on your clothes. The water in the feeder is highly chlorinated and can bleach your clothes. Even drying off your hands onto your clothes may leave bleached chlorine streaks on fabric. Before you put the lid back on the feeder, turn on the pump so it will fill up with water. This allows the air to escape. Always check to see that the o-ring is still on the lid so it will tighten and not suck air. Sometimes the black hose will develop a crack or drip at one of the four plastic nuts. It is easy to repair. Disconnect the nut, cut off the damaged end of the black hose, and reconnect it. The hose material and the o-ring in the lid deteriorate within a year or two from coming in contact with highly concentrated chlorine. Watch for cracking or other deterioration so they can be replaced when necessary.
Aqua Rite® Chlorine Generator
Your generator consists of 2 parts: The control box which has green and red indicator lights on it, and a control dial, and the inline part that makes the chlorine that is hooked up to your plumbing. When there is power to you generator and it is working the green “power” and green “generating” light will be lit. There should never be any yellow or red lights lit or flashing. If you see this refer to the inside panel of your generator for instructions or call Blue Water Pools. Most of the time your generator switch should be set to “Auto”. To adjust the amount of chlorine your system is making turn up the percentage dial. You should be testing your chlorine level with strips or a liquid kit at least twice a week and you want it to be 3ppm during warm months and 1.5-3ppm during cooler months. If it gets low you can turn up your dial incrementally or switch it to “Super chlorinate”. Super chlorinate boosts the level of chlorine it is making to 100% for 24 hours and then goes back down to whatever you had it set to originally. In order for your generator to make chlorine, you must have an adequate amount of aqua salt in the water (2700-3400 ppm) with the ideal number being 3200 ppm. The generator displays the salt level by default in the window so you do not have to test for it. The pump must be hooked up to a timer and be running an adequate length of time; 8-12 hours per day during cooler months, and 24hours per day during the hot months. If any of the red lights are on, your generator will NOT work.
TIP: YOU MUST BE PATIENT WHEN ADJUSTING ANYTHING WITH YOUR GENERATOR!!!! If you flip it to “superchlorinate” or turn the dial up or down it takes 24-36 hours to do the job, so be patient! It does not generate chlorine as fast as adding tabs to the skimmer or pouring shock in the pool. You also must be patient when adding salt. Salt is a heavy solid and it also takes 24-36 hours for it to dissolve completely in the pool, circulate and give the generator an accurate reading. Add salt incrementally so you don’t get too much, because if you do, the only way to get it out of the pool is to dilute it by draining some water out and refilling.
Steps to Change from Biguanide to Chlor Free EZ-Pool®:
1. Bring in water sample so we can test how much biguanide is in your water. It may be necessary to broadcast into the water (1container of Flip Out per 10,000 gal) _________ to remove the chemical. You can also remove the chemical by diluting it, i.e., draining 1 ½ feet of water and re-filling once or twice. Then let us re-test to verify the chemical is gone.
2. Replace your sand in your filter. Shut off system. Remove multiport and shop vac or scoop out sand. Make sure you do not bump the up-tube as it will cause the laterals at the bottom to break. Before you put in new sand inspect your laterals for cracks. Next pour a little sand in the bottom so that the laterals will have a base to rest on and cover the up-tube so o sand gets into it. Be careful not to bump the up-tube when adding sand or it could break.
3. Keep one 3”chlorine puck in skimmer and run on filter 24/7 for 1-2 weeks.
4. Add a double dose of EZ-Pool® to start (___________scoops). After that, just add your weekly dose (__________scoops).
5. Balance your calcium level to at least 250-300 ppm with calcium increaser. Broadcast ________# of calcium increaser to pool for ________days. Broom to dissolve. Let us retest your water. It may be necessary to add more calcium.
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