Tip #29:Filter Cleaning
It's a curious fact that most pool people don't own a pool. And, of those that do, few service their own pool. They'll simply have one of their employees do it.
What novice pool techs learn about service is what they're told and rarely what they experience. To understand a pool, you have to live with a pool.
Servicing the same pool every week often means only that they make the same mistakes week after week.
A quick example is to examine how they clean a cartridge filter. Steps to cleaning a cartridge are spelled out by cartridge manufacturers. Their only two concerns are (1) To get the cartridge looking clean again (2) To get you to clean that cartridge as often as possible.
The more you clean your filter cartridge, the sooner you'll have to replace it.
What they're not telling you is actually how to get the cartridge filter clean....... huh?
Standard maintenance calls for you to open the air relief valve, open the canister, remove the cartridge and briskly hose it down. Return the cartridge to the canister, close the canister, turn the pump on, bleed off the air and you're done, Right? Well, No.
When you turn off the pump and open the air relief valve, most of the grit and much of lighter contaminates fall from the cartridge and settle to the bottom of the canister. When you give algae a safe haven in the filter, it's got a running start on turning your pool green.
Every filter canister features a threaded drain plug. With your hose at hand, remove the plug (or open the hose bibb often installed here) and rinse out the bottom of the canister. Unless you flush this material, it will blast against your filter cartridge again as soon as you turn on the pump. You'll be clogging up your filter with the same grit week after week until you learn to clean it properly.
You should be getting at least a month long filter run during the swim season (with a screened-in pool) and several months when the pool's not being used. Any less and you're not really getting the filter clean and prematurely destroying the cartridge.
Pool lights are generally held in the pool wall with just one top screw and a bottom catch.
Your pool builder was kind enough (by code) to give you enough cord to raise the light fixture onto the deck. This saves you the time and expense of partially draining the pool anytime you have to replace a burned out light bulb.
It's easy enough to get the light fixture out of a wall niche. Always, the trick is getting it back in.
Properly sealed, a light fixture floats like a soccer ball. Even with mask and snorkel, you'll be working up-side-down and underwater, trying to get the cord wound properly around the fixture, securing the bottom catch and aligning a screw with an unseeable (three-handed people can use a mirror) screw receiver.
It ain't easy.
What happens is that eventually a screw is inserted at an improper angle and the receiver attached to the wall niche gets stripped. Force a screw into this receiver and you'll snap it off, leaving you with no good way to secure the fixture.
When the receiver will accept only a few turns of a screw and the fixture just wobbles in the niche, it's time to shim the screw.
Cut an 8" length of braided #10 or #12 copper wire (standard pump motor or light wire) and strip away the plastic insulation. Unravel the braids to obtain a single strand. Tightly wind the wire around the head of the screw and tie off with a simple clove hitch by drawing the wire end under the previous wrap and tighten and repeat once more. Installing the screw will permanently anchor the wire. The screw socket on the light ring is deep enough to hide a standard light screw.
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