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Cleaning your pool

Keeping a pool clean is a combination of two important procedures – purifying water and removing any surface debris such as leaves and other stray matter.

As no-one wants a dirty pool, the cleaning regime is very important and here are some ways of making the job quick and simple.

Manual cleaning tools, such as long handled leaf scoops, and skimmers, brushes and underwater vacuum cleaners come high on the lis of functional accessories.

The simple procedure of attaching a manual vacuum cleaner to a telescopic handle and a flexible vacuum hose through the skimmer allows you to clean the pool in virtually the same way as you vacuum your carpets indoors. However, these may have little to contribute to the aesthetics of your pool but regular use does much to keep your pool clean and in tip top condition.

Automated systems minimise the amount of time and effort required to keep your pool in good condition and contribute only a fraction of the overall cost of a pool installation.

There are three types of automatic cleaners found in domestic swimming pools; suction, pressure and low voltage electrical cleaners.

The first two types works hydraulically with suction cleaners using the power of the poo’s own filter pump. While pressure cleaners have a separate electric pump to boost water pressure.

Electric cleaners are self-contained, with an integral filter and although they are powered from the mains electricity supply, this is generally reduced to 24v via a safety device. Although very safe, the pool should not be used when these cleaners are in the water. Other than for aesthetic reasons, or when there is likely to be particularly heavy pool use, both suction and sweeping cleaners are designed t be left in the pool and are completely safe.

Suction cleaners are simple to install and are powered by the existing filter pump and plugged into the skimmer box. Acting rather like an underwater vacuum cleaner, the unit travels up the walls and across the floor. It travels in a random pattern, with the suction unit n contact with the surface of the pool lining. Dirt laden water and debris is carried through a flexible hose into the pool filtration system.

Large particles are caught by a basket in the skimmer box or the pump, while finer materials passes through to be removed by the filter system, these cleaners will switch on automatically when the filter begins to operate.

Although there are a number of machines on the market, all work on the same principle. Some use oscillating valves to create a mini shock wave, another has a diaphragm, a third utilises a turbine driving two wheels, while yet another employs four vibrating skids which propel the unit along.

Pressure cleaners require an independent pump and motor and must be professionally installed. They can be operated via a time clock, or turned on manually when the pool needs cleaning.

The water from a booster pump drives a turbine which drives the cleaner randomly round the pool.

The debris is then normally collected in a silt bag attached to the unit, which has the advantage of not blocking the pool filter.

Coarse dirt is caught in a bag above the machine, while fine debris is blown away to the main drain by a rear sweeping hose.

Electrical self-contained cleaners look rather like a small bulldozer and this type travels around the pool on ‘tank-tracks’ deriving its power from an internal low voltage electric motor. An internal vacuum pump sucks water into the unit which filters the dirt out by passing through a cartridge type filter, or a gauze bag.

The machine travels randomly about the pool covering the floor and walls until its task is completed. This type of cleaner is also only used when the pool is unoccupied.

Each type of cleaner offers generally similar results with the choice depending upon your specific requirements and budget. Please ensure that you check if the pool cleaner that you which to use is designed to clean either the floor and/or the walls.


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