How to Maintain My Fiberglass Pool (Video 2 of 5) – Operating the Pump and Filter System
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How to Maintain My Fiberglass Pool (Video 2 of 5) – Operating the Pump and Filter System

February 25, 2020


Cristian: What’s up guys? Cristian here with River Pools and you certainly
know by now we specialize in the manufacturing and installation of in-ground fiberglass swimming
pools. If your pool is new to you or you’re new to
your pool … You know what I mean. Then you’ve come to the right place because
this entire video series is dedicated to showing you how to operate your in-ground fiberglass
swimming pool. In the first episode we talked about all of
the components about your entire pool system. We identified them, explained in general terms
what they do and what purpose they serve, and we talked about the general flow of water
from your pool to your filter back to your pool. If you’re new to the series and haven’t seen
that video, we recommend you go back and check that out as it’ll help today’s video make
a lot more sense. Now, speaking of today’s video, here’s what
we’re going to go over. We’re going to talk about that filtration
system in depth and we’re going to show you exactly what you need to do on a regular basis
to keep your pool clean and maintained free of debris. This is your pool orientation, part two. I’m not exactly winning points for title creativity
here, am I? No, no you’re not. Okay. Let’s start off by reviewing the flow of water
between your pool and your filtration system. The water’s going to leave your pool by way
of suction lines through your skimmer and possibly your main drain, if you have one. It’s going to head out to your filter system,
be filtered, sanitized before returning to your pool by way of return line or lines for
your cascades, bubblers, jets or water slide, whatever other features you have on your pool. You’re going to commonly hear pool professionals
refer to these lines as pressure or as discharge lines, but just know that they are all returning
filtered and sanitized water back to your pool. Now, what exactly does this filtration process
look like? Well, there’s three phases or three different
steps in which the pool water gets filtered. One, two, and … Wait a minute. There. One, two, and three. It’ll first go through a skimmer. Then it’ll go through a strainer pot on the
front of your pump and then through the filter itself. Now on the inside of these devices is a basket
for your skimmer, a basket inside your strainer pump and a cartridge inside the filter. Now your skimmer basket is designed to capture
debris from the surface of your pool water. It’s going to catch things like leaves, bugs,
frogs, things like that, and you’re going to notice on the side that there are two flat
spots as well as this nifty handle. That’s so you can place the basket in the
bottom of the skimmer and twist it to lock it in place. As for the basket on the inside of your strainer
pot, it looks like this. There’s an opening on the front and a closed
side on the back and this allows debris to enter, but not to get into the impeller of
your pump. There’s not going to be much debris in here
on a regular basis, but you will find debris in here when you vacuum your pool. Now lastly, the filter cartridge. Ah, it looks like this, what you’ve seen already,
but what this is going to capture is dirt, dust, and oils, things that you can’t necessarily
see inside your pool water. So the two baskets catch the big stuff into
this, catches all the little stuff. Now let’s head over to the skimmer and talk
more about it and tell you exactly how that works and functions in and around your pool. Remember the function of the skimmer is to
remove debris from the surface of your pool water, but how could this stationary device
serve this entire pool? Well, when your pool was installed, all of
the returns were directed in such a way as to create either a whirlpool effect or a hydraulic. The idea behind this is to create movement
on the water’s surface that moves debris towards the skimmer. Once the debris gets here, it’s pulled into
the skimmer and held in the basket until you can clean the basket out. Now, what’s really important here is to maintain
your pool water level at the proper height, because without that, your skimmer cannot
function. The water level in your pool should remain
at about three quarters of the way up your skimmer plate. The minimum would be halfway while the maximum
allowable really would be about an inch from the top, so three quarters of the way up is
ideal. You see if your pool water is too full or
too high, then debris can’t enter the skimmer and therefore cannot capture debris from the
surface of your pool. And if it’s too low, you run the risk of getting
air into your system. And if you have air in your system, your pump
will lose prime and therefore you will not be able to circulate water and get it cleaned
and filtered properly. So if you don’t have enough water in your
pool, simply put in a garden hose and let it fill up. And if you have too much water in your pool,
you’re simply going to move the valve facing this tab towards the filter. This allows water to flow into the valve and
come out the waste line. So we’re doing just like this. When you’re done, switch the valve back and
now water can enter the valve and head towards your filter. You’re going to utilize the blue backwash
hose provided that will allow you to divert water to whatever location you need to on
your property. All right, now the strainer pot in the basket
inside is the last line of defense to keep debris from going into your pump and then
onto your filter. I mentioned this earlier in the video. So we need to know how to get the debris out
of here. You’re not going to find much in here if you’re
maintaining your pool water at the proper height and keeping the basket inside your
skimmer clean. You will find lots of debris in here, leaves
and things when you manually vacuum your pool. And that’s because we’re going to use the
suction side, the suction line inside the bottom of the skimmer to hook the vacuum hose
to. So again, when you’re vacuuming, that’s when
you’re going to find a lot of debris in here. So how exactly do you get to this? Well, the first thing we’re going to do is
we’re going to turn the motor on the pump off by pressing the start stop button on the
back of the pump. Then we’re going to shut this valve off. We’re going to turn the tab to the off position,
meaning we’re going to put the word off towards the suction lines coming from the pool, and
this prevents water from flowing towards the pump and filter. This step is really important if your pool
is set in a position higher on your property than your pump and your filter system. If you forget to do this, water will rush
from your pool towards the strainer pot. You stand a good chance of getting really
wet by doing this. Okay, let me explain this one more time, a
little bit differently. If your pool is set at a higher elevation
than your filter systems or your pools up here of your filter system is down here, gravity
is going to want to pull water from the pool and rush it towards your strainer pot. So we’ve already isolated water from coming
in on this side right through the suction lines by putting the off tab towards the pipe. So we’ve prevented water from entering the
strainer pot from the front side, but there is a chance, there is a chance that it could
come in through the backside of the pump and in which case, it may or may not be necessary
in your situation. It all depends on the height of the water
and where your filter system is located, but if you find that water rushes in through the
backside, the way you isolate that is by taking this three way valve and the off tab on it,
face it towards the filter, and now you prevent water from flowing on either direction on
your pump. You will find out pretty quickly whether this
is a necessary step for you or not. However, if you find it to be, now you know
exactly what to do. The next thing we’re going to do now that
we have the motor, the pump off, the valve closed, is we’re going to give this tab a
bump, we’re going to turn the lid to the left and pull the lid off. If that’s too difficult to do with your hands,
you can use a light rubber mallet and give it a few taps. We’re going to pull the lid off and it’s always
a good idea to give the o-ring inside a quick inspection just to make sure it’s in good
shape. Now that gurgling we hear is air and water
moving around the filter on the backside of the pump and that’s normal. Well, then we’re going to pull the basket
out, clean out any debris, and then we’re going to place the basket back in place. Now you’re going to notice an opening on the
front side of the basket and that needs to face towards the suction lines. To make sure that you do this and line it
properly, there’s a slot right here on the front side of the basket that aligns with
the tab on the inside of the strainer pot. It’s really important to align those two things
because that makes sure the closed side of the basket faces the back of the pump and
prevents debris from entering into the impeller. The last thing we’re going to do is we’re
going to place the cap back on, pull it towards you to snug it up, open the valve again, and
then turn the motor back on by the pressing the start stop button again. Your pump is going to ramp up at a very high
speed to get the system going again and it will settle back down to a normal operating
speed after a few minutes. Now in the event that your pump loses prime
during this process, you simply need to take a bucket of water, pour into the strainer
pot before turning the pump back on, so no worries there. The next thing we’re going to take a look
at is the filter. Okay, so we’re standing by the filter now. Unlike the skimmer basket and the strainer
pot, which we can visibly see when they’re dirty and they needed to be cleaned, we can’t
see inside the filter to determine if the cartridge itself is dirty and needs to be
cleaned. So we’re going to have to rely on this pressure
gauge right here that’s at the top of your filter. Now under normal operating conditions, your
pump is going to be running at a pretty low speed and we’re going to want to speed that
pump up to determine what the pressure is at a at a much higher rate. So you’re going to go to your automation panel
and press auxiliary two or aux two, A-U-X two inside your automation panel and that
is preset to increase the speed of your pump to about 2,800 to 3,000 RPMs, or rotations
per minute. So that’s going to increase the flow of water
and the pressure inside your filter. Now after doing that, we’re going to check
the gauge. If the needle on the gauge is reading higher
than 10 PSI or pounds per square inch, then we know that the cartridge is dirty and needs
to be cleaned. So, head to your auxiliary panel, hit aux
two, auxiliary two and then come back and monitor that needle. So let’s say you’ve done that. You’ve increased the speed of your pump through
the automation panel. We’ve identified that the filter indeed needs
to be cleaned because the PSI is greater than 10. So how do we get inside and do this? The first thing we’re going to do is we’re
going to shut off the pump by pressing the start stop button under the lid on the back. Just like we did with the strainer pot when
we cleaned it, we’re going to close the valve and put the off tab facing towards the suction
line to prevent water from flowing into the system. Then we’re going to release the air from the
filter itself. We’re going to let the pressure off. Then we’re going to grab the ring itself and
we’re going to be undoing this and separating the two halves of the filter housing. So there’s two little buttons on the underside
and we’re going to depress those and turn counterclockwise and the ring should slide
right off. We’re going to set that aside for now. The next thing we’re going to do is we’re
going to separate the two halves and this gets a little tricky. Sometimes it sticks a bit. You’re going to take one hand and place on
the opposite side. There’s two handles on the top, grab the opposite
side, and take your second hand and place it right on that seam and we’re going to gently
pull until the two halves separate. Okay. It looks like this. So we’re going to set this aside for now and
check out the filter. Okay, now that we have the housing off the
top, we’re going to notice two things on the inside. We’re going to see the filter cartridge itself,
and then the air bleed sock. Now what this little rascal does is it keeps
debris from entering into that air relief valve that we loosened up right before we
pulled the lid off. If we get debris caught in there, then we
don’t have the ability to release the pressure or bleed air from the system and remember
too much air in our pump and filter system is not a good thing. So this little rascal is important. So we’re going to go ahead and pull him off
now and get him hosed off. Get him cleaned up and put him right back
in place. The next thing we’re going to do is we’re
going to pull the dirty filter out. Now we recommend that everyone have two filters
on hand because once you pull a dirty one out, we want to put a clean one back in place. So by pulling this out, you simply grab your
fingers … Stick your fingers in a couple of pleats on either side, place your thumbs
on the two tabs on top and pull up and it will loosen just like that. Now I’m going to ask Patrick to toss me this
clean filter pool. Beautiful. And we’re going to set the two side by side. Okay, the reason we recommend having two filters
is that once you pull a dirty one out, you’ve got a clean one to put right back inside the
housing and get you up and running that much quicker. But the second reason is that we’re going
to hose this dirty cartridge off to get debris out, but we’re going to set it aside to dry
and as it dries, the pores inside the fabric are going to loosen up and when they loosen
up, they’re going to release even more debris so that the next time you place this one inside
the housing, you hose it off one more time and that gets even more dirt and debris out
of this filter. This extends the life of your filter cartridges,
allowing you to go much farther before having to replace them. So with this clean one that has been dried
and then rinsed off once more, we’re going to place it back inside the filter housing
in just a moment. We’re also going to take a look down inside
to make sure there is no debris. Sometimes stuff sneaks in here. And so the way we clean that out is just simply
taking a water hose and spraying on the inside and then on the bottom side we’re going to
open up the drain to let that dirty water out. So just check the inside, give it a quick
glance. This is a pretty rare thing, but just in case
there is debris in the bottom, easily hosed out and drained with the plug on the back. We’re going to take a look at the cartridge
before we place it back in and note this side up so we know exactly how to place it back
inside the filter. Fantastic. And one last tip, just to keep your cartridges
straight in case they are the same color, you can simply take a marker and write one
and two, indicate you know exactly which one you’re working with. All right. We’re going to place the top of the filter
housing back into position and we’re going to snug it down by simply putting a little
pressure to get it down as tight as we can by hand. We’re going to place the ring back on top
and we’re going to rotate counterclockwise until we hear it kind of drop into place and
you’ll feel it as well. So there it dropped in place, going to tighten
it down until it clicks. You’ll hear that click. Okay, we’re ready to go. We can now open up the valve again before
our pump and press the button on the motor itself to turn everything back on. We’re going to let it run for just a moment
with the air bleed assembly open until water shoots out. And what we’re doing is allowing air to escape
the filter cartridge, the filter housing rather, get air out of the system and this could take
a few moments. Here we’ve got a little water. It’s beginning to come out so now we can turn
the air bleed valve to the off position. The filter is clean. The system is running. We’re good to go. Okay, so there you have it. Now you know everything you need to know to
properly maintain your pool and keep it free from debris on a regular basis. You know what level your water needs to be
maintained at in your pool. You know how to clean that strainer pot on
the front of your pump and you know when and how to clean the filter to keep your pool
fresh and clean. But, but, a clean pool requires filtering
and sanitizing and so that’s what we’re going to discuss in the next video and we’re going
to talk a little pool chemistry. Cristian: If this video was helpful, give
it a thumbs up. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more
educational pool content from us here at River Pools. I’m Cristian. We’ll see you in the next episode. Catch the wave.

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  1. Just want to say thank you for these videos, and all the videos you produce. I am getting an in ground FG pool within a few weeks (Thursday Wellspring 40) and your content has helped me a great deal. Keep up the great work.

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