"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Pool pump
The pool pump is one of the main components of the water circulation system. Water is being pumped from one or more suction ports (i.e., skimmer & main drain), and then pushes it through the filter and back to the pools' return ports. To protect the pump from clogging and potential damage a strainer basket is located before the pump. The strainer collects leaves and other debris before the water enters the filter.


Pool Filter and Pump

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There are several types of pool filters on the market, including the economical cartridge filter, but the most common type of filter used are the sand filters. They are also easy to maintain. Sand filters consist of a large tank, made of fiberglass or metal, which is filled with a special-grade sand. Only the top 1” (25 mm) of sand is actually used to filter the water. During filtering operation, dirty water from the pool comes in through the filter's inlet pipe, which leads to the water distribution head inside the tank. While gravity pulls the water down through the sand, the tiny sand particles catch any dirt and debris.
Over time, the collected dirt and debris in the sand slows down the water flow. Pressure gauges will let you know what is going on inside the tank. If the pressure at the filter inlet is much higher than the pressure at the outlet pipe it is time to clean or backwash the filter.
During the backwash process water from the pump pushes up through the sand, dislodging the dirt particles and debris. At the top of the filter tank, the dirty water flows out through the inlet pipe and into the sewer.

At the bottom of the tank, the filtered water flows through the pick-up unit and out the outlet pipe. Once the filter is backwashed, the rinse mode is activated and that repacks the sand.
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