Used for manually vacuuming the pool. It may have wheels or brushes depending upon your pool surface.
Leaf Scoop or Rake
These are used for removing leaves from the pool.
This is the pole that the attachment clips onto.
This is used to connect the vacuum head to the plate that goes in the skimmer box. The hose is designed specifically for vacuuming your pool manually and is not suitable for an automatic pool cleaner.
This is used for brushing the walls and floor to prevent algae from forming and to remove surface dust and film.
Test Strips or Kits
These are to allow you to test the basic water balance at home. It is particularly important that the pH and chlorine levels be maintained and weekly testing during the warmer months is advised. Monthly testing is acceptable during the cooler months. Many people find it easier to test the basics and rely on their pool shop for the rest.
So now that you understand the equipment, it is time to look at the water balance or chemistry of your pool.
At the front of your skimmer there is a flap called a weir door. This flap closes when the pump is switched off to prevent leaves and other debris from floating back into the pool. The water level of the pool should be between half and three quarters of the way up the skimmer box. If the water level is too low, the pump will starve for water and burn out. If the water level is too high then the pool cannot skim the debris out properly. High water level can also affect the integrity of the coping bed and lift the pavers. See notes below under ‘Pump’ for cleaning the basket.
The pump’s job is to suck water from the skimmer box and pump it to your filter. The usual running time for the pump is 8 hours in Summer and 4 hours during the cooler months. This is usually split into two cycles. The exception to this would be if you are operating an energy efficient pump which is designed to use a lower flow for a longer period, giving you crystal clear water.
Inside your skimmer and your pump are two baskets. It is important that these are kept clean and clear of debris. If too much debris accumulates in the basket then it will reduce the flow of water to the pump and potentially cause the pump to run dry. This will cause significant damage. There is also an “o” ring in the lid of the pump which will require lubricating every 6 months or so. Use a silicone based lubricant and not Vaseline or other petroleum based products as these will perish the rubber. If the “o” ring is not maintained the system will develop an air leak. It is also important to check the area around the pump for any water leaks.
If a leak is detected, contact your pool professional as soon as possible so that it can be fixed without any potential risk of voiding your warranty.
Your pool will have either a media filter which will contain sand or glass, or a cartridge filter which contains an element. Water is forced through the filter under pressure and the dirt and small particles are trapped in the media before the clean water gets returned to the pool.
The pressure gauge attached to the filter tells you when the filter will require backwashing or the element will require hosing clean. It is important to make sure that your pressure gauge works at all times otherwise you will not know what is going on with your pool. Backwashing or element cleaning should be done when the gauge reaches the red section.
Refer to your product manual for information on cleaning your filter.
DO NOT TURN THE SANDFILTER VALVE HANDLE ON THE MULTIPORT VALVE WHEN THE SYSTEM IS OPERATING.
The multiport valve has the following settings:
Filter – normal pool operation Backwash – used for cleaning Rinse – used after backwash to rinse particles through the valve and pipes Waste – for pumping water out of the pool Re-circulate – this allows water to circulate back to the pool without going through the filter. Closed – this prevents water going through any of the pipes and is normally only used for maintenance purposes.
Eyeballs or pool returns
There are adjustable eyeball fittings in your pool where the water is returned. These should be set at a 45 degree angle to allow the water to circulate properly. They should also be positioned to create a flow of water towards the skimmer box.
The salt chlorinator consists of two parts. The powerpack and the cell. The cell is where the sanitiser for your pool is made. The salt or minerals added to the pool are converted by a process called electrolysis. The cell is self cleaning but will require an additional manual clean every six months. It also has a small water sensor at the end of the cell that needs to be kept clean. It is recommended that Purex Salt Cell cleaner is used as opposed to a diluted Hydrochloric Acid solution as this will prevent damage.
The power pack is usually mounted on a wall. It is connected to mains power and contains a timer which allows you to set the times that you want the equipment to operate. The salt chlorinator will not operate without water flow and will shut down the pump if adequate water flow is not detected.
When adding salt or minerals to your pool –
DO NOT ADD THROUGH THE SKIMMER BOX. Add one bag at a time and brush thoroughly until dissolved. Ensure the correct salt level at all times and if in doubt seek the advice of a Blue Haven professional
There are various ways to heat a pool including solar heating, heat pumps and gas heaters. If you have heating on your pool, it is imperative that you maintain correct water balance to protect the heater from corrosion. Maintenance of the heater should be carried out as per the Manufacturer’s handbook.
You may have a robot cleaner, a suction cleaner or a pressure style cleaner on your pool.
If you are operating a robot cleaner, make sure you empty the bag or canister regularly. Sometimes these will appear clean but will have collected a large amount of fine dust from your pool so will still require cleaning. They rely on water flow to move the unit around the pool so if you find your cleaner is not moving as much as previously it could be due to the mesh being clogged by the fine particles.
A suction cleaner operates when the pump and filter are switched on. These cleaners are set up directly into the skimmer box which eliminates the skimming action of the pool. If you are in a leafy area you may want to consider the addition of an in-line leaf canister.
A pressure cleaner works from a dedicated return line and is operated by the water pressure created by the pump. It is important to make sure the attached leaf collector is emptied regularly.