Pool pump, what is it and whether it is needed

Chemistry alone is not enough to keep a pool perfectly clean. Disinfection must be assisted by mechanical devices, one of which is the pool pump. It is responsible in the pool for moving the water through the system.

  • A pool pump is an essential device to help clean the water
  • The pump is selected on the basis of the pool volume
  • The device must be connected to a filter of the appropriate size depending on the size of the pool
  • The pool pump should be turned on for at least 8 hours during the day

How does a pool pump work?

The key function of a pool pump is to pump water to the filter for purification. The pump sucks water directly from the skimmer - or, in the case of an overflow pool, directly from the overflow tank - and pumps it back into the pool through the filter. This does not mean that it cannot be used in racked pools. Some designs have adapted holes to connect the pump. If these are not available, special suspended skimmers can be purchased. Forced circulation allows the filter to clean the water of sand, pollen and other dirt deposited in the tank.

Is a pump needed?

As you can guess, a pool pump is an essential element if you want to enjoy the delights of a hygienic and pleasant swim for a long time. A filter set consisting of a pool pump and a filter filled with sand or glass bed is the basis for maintaining crystal clear water. Without this set, it's impossible to keep the pool water in good condition for long.

The market is full of manufacturers offering - often - dubious quality equipment. For swimming pools, it is recommended to use monobloc pumps made from high-quality plastic with an integrated prefilter - i.e. a basket to catch the larger impurities. Smaller contaminants are caught by a filter installed behind the pump.

Types of pool filtration

We can distinguish between the two most common types of filter sets. The most common is the sand filter pump, in which water is pumped into a lump filled with sand of a suitable gradation or other suitable filter bed, which retains larger impurities. This solution is characterised by high efficiency, and this equates to more water being pumped.

The second popular solution is the cartridge filter pump. The principle is identical, the only difference is in the material through which the water is pumped. Inside is a paper filter rolled up in an accordion, through which the water flows. This solution is popular with small veranda pools because of its low price. Cartridge filters have a huge disadvantage - they get clogged very quickly and need to be cleaned or replaced frequently. In addition, in most cases it is impossible to maintain crystal-clear water with this type of filtration.

See all products in the filtration and pool pumps category

The efficiency of the pool pump is the most important parameter

When choosing the right pump together with a filter, one of the factors to pay attention to is its capacity. It is assumed that a well-chosen device should be able to pump all the water inside the basin four times in 24 hours. The system should be run for as long as possible. We recommend that it should run for at least eight hours during the day. Sunlight on a hot day promotes algae growth.

The pump should be selected with a 'spare', i.e. a little more powerful than the table on the product sheet would indicate. This will make filtration more efficient, as a pump that is too weak would be worse at removing pollutants from our pool. A well-chosen unit should filter all the water in the tank within 6 hours.

Check the electricity cost calculations*

If you are worried about costs, we will dispel any doubts. A pump designed for pools up to 35 m3 consumes around 450 W of power, depending on the model. With this system, the pump will consume 3.6 kWh with an 8-hour cycle (the price of 1kWh is approx. 60 groszy).

3.6 kWh x 0.6 PLN = 2.16 PLN/day
2.16 PLN x 31 days = 66.96 PLN

66.96 zł - this is how much will disappear from our wallet during a month of operation of the pool pump. This is a small cost for obtaining clean water that we can use all season long.

*calculations based on conditions and prices in Poland

Useful products

How to connect a pool pump

Depending on the type of pool, the complexity of connecting the pool pump increases. It has to be "mounted" between the intake (skimmer, intake nozzle, bottom drain) and the filter and inflow nozzle. The pump is connected by PVC pipes or hoses. For professional pools, we recommend that it is connected by qualified personnel with knowledge of pool technology. It requires correct hydraulic as well as electrical connection. The situation is different with filter kits for garden pools. These are usually simple to install and all you need to do is follow the instructions written in the manual.

Is the pool pump safe?

The filtration can be switched on even when the pool is in use. The motor operates independently and is well sealed from the water. It is also important that the pump is connected to a residual current fuse! In the event of an unexpected fault, it will switch off the power supply before an accidental electric shock can occur. When we use the pool, we move the water around inside the pool basin, which aids proper filtration. What's more, when we use it, we contaminate it at the same time, and ongoing filtration reduces the growth of micro-organisms. Sunlight and high daytime temperatures also encourage the growth of fungi, bacteria or algae, particularly in 'still' water. In the case of garden pools, where the pump is "in view", a cover can be created to protect it from getting wet.

Expert Advises!

Pool pump failure rate

When choosing a pump, do not be influenced by its price, but by its quality. Sometimes it's better to spend a little more for reliable and proven equipment recommended by specialists than to buy a low-quality product cheaply. We only recommend reputable pool pump manufacturers such as Badu, Astral Pool and Aquatechnix. We use their equipment in our projects and they work for many years without failure. However, as is the case with electrical equipment, they can fail. One of the most common is clogging of the prefilter basket, wear of bearings, overheating. Therefore, before leaving the filtration overnight, it is worth checking whether the appliance is running too loudly or is very warm. These are the first symptoms of impending failure.

The pool pump is the 'heart' of the pool. Water movement, filtration and chemicals keep the water crystal clear. This water must be in constant circulation, because when it stands still natural processes take place in it. The water becomes turbid, algae develop and an unpleasant odour is released. This is not only unsightly, but also unhygienic! The resulting micro-organisms can cause irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. The use of a pump with the right capacity will avoid many pool water problems.

Are cotton balls also a good filter bed?

Definitely NO. Such products have appeared on the market, but from experience we advise against their purchase. Sand is the cheapest and one of the best filter beds.

Are there any single-phase pumps?

Yes, depending on the power of the pump, there are 230V models.

Is the pump prefilter sufficient for water filtration?

The filter basket, or so-called prefilter, is used to catch large impurities such as leaves, twigs etc. It is not able to filter the water thoroughly of very fine impurities.

Can filtration only be run at night?

Sunlight and high daytime temperatures encourage algae growth. Turning on the filtration only at night can result in water that is not crystal clear.

FAQ - Questions and answers

Ask a POOLSYSTEM.PL specialist

Team Poolsystem.pl
Tomasz Tomkowicz

Specjalista Technologii Basenowej

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