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Choosing the right swimming pool and spa equipment

Choosing the right Automatic Pool Cleaner

Determining the correct pool cleaner isn't too hard.

  1. Do you currently have an automatic pool cleaner? What type? Many of the older pool sweeps like the Arneson Pool Sweep and the Polaris 180 use a separate booster pump. Provided the booster pump is still in good working order you can use it with many of the new pressure style pool sweeps, saving yourself a lot of money.
  2. What type of debris gets into your pool? Do you get a lot of large leaves, pine needles, or twigs in your pool? Or is it mostly dirt, dust and sand?
  3. What is the condition of your existing filtration system?

Suction Pool Cleaners:
Suction cleaners attach inside the surface skimmer or to a dedicated vacuum line on the side of the pool. Since these cleaners work off the vacuum of the pools filtration system, a separate booster pump is not needed.
This type of swimming pool cleaner is the least expensive to purchase and operate since you don’t need to pay to run the second pool pump. The suction cleaners install easily in minutes and they clean whenever the filter pump is running.
Pools with heavy leaf loads, especially large leaves, and pine needles aren't usually good candidates for suction style cleaners unless the heavy leaf fall season is short. Generally if a sweep can do all the work for you 11 months of the year , but requires a little help in the fall, that's usually acceptable.
Pressure Pool Cleaners (booster pump driven):
As indicated this style sweep is driven by a seperate booster cleaner pump. Unless you are replacing an older booster pump driven sweep such as an Arneson pool sweep or Polaris 180, then you will need to purchase the pump with your new cleaner as well as a separate time clock.
This type of cleaner works well in virtually every pool and they vacuum leaves, pine needles, twigs, rocks you name it, without a problem. The pressure cleaners gather up debris in their own bag, which you remove and dump periodically.
Pressure Cleaners without a booster pump:
This style pool sweep is a derivative of the booster pump pressure sweep. Instead of operating off a separate booster pump, this style sweep operates off the pressure from the filtration system. Normally a "T"is plumbed into the line between the pump and filter and pressure is bled off to run the cleaner. Because of this bleed off it's best to step up the size of the filter pump to make sure everything operates properly. It may be cost prohibitive to go this route.
Robotic Pool Cleaners:
If you are looking to get the most efficient and easy to use cleaner, then look no further than robotic cleaners. This cleaner combines the power of a suction-side cleaner with the easy and speed of a pressure-side cleaner. The only downfall to this type of cleaner is the price, which is significantly higher than most cleaners because it runs on electricity (low voltage – and much cheaper than running your circulating pump) instead of using your swimming pool’s pump and filter system to power it. The good thing about these types of cleaners is the fact that you can clean your pool without having to run your filter system, which is more expensive to run at 120V, and it’s much faster than all other cleaners. They have two motors, one for the pump and one that drives the unit. The pump sucks water and debris off the bottom, which gets filtered through a bag (much like a pressure-side cleaner). Then clean water is blown out of the top. This happens the same time where the other motor is driving the wheels along the bottom of your pool.

Choosing the right pool filter

There are 3 popular types of pool and spa filters.
  1. They are D.E. filters
  2. cartridge filters
  3. sand filters.
All 3 types work well and choosing between them is more a matter of personal preference and prior experience. We carry all types for this reason.

Choosing the right pool pump

When replacing an old worn out pump, keep in mind that the new replacement pump is of a different design,and has much more pressure and flow than the old one. If you are replacing an old bronze 1 h.p. pump, you would only need a 3/4 h.p replacement, due to the difference in performance and design.
When it comes to pumps, bigger is not always better. The amount of water a pump can circulate needs to be matched to the amount of water flow your plumbing size and filter square footage can accommodate. If not, you can cause pump cavitation and premature filter breakdown.
If your pool is plumbed with 2 inch pipe you can use a larger pump, but it probably isn't necessary unless you have a lot of return lines, a long plumbing run, or a pool & spa combination.

Choosing the right pool or spa heater

If your replacement heater will be used to heat your pool, then replace it with a heater of the same b.t.u. capacity as the current unit.

Do you want to heat just your spa, because it is cost prohibitive to heat the pool? If this is the case then a heater of just 250,000 b.t.u. or less is plenty to quickly heat most residential spas.
  • 100,000btu heater - up to a 300 sq. ft. pool,
  • 150,000btu heater - up to a 450 sq. ft. pool,
  • 250,000btu heater - up to a 700 sq. ft. pool,
  • 300,000btu heater - up to a 900 sq. ft. pool,
  • 350,000btu heater - up to a 1050 sq. ft. pool,
  • 400,000btu heater - up to a 1200 sq. ft. pool.
Swimming Pool Heaters
Figures based on a 30 degree temperature rise, 3-1/2 MPH average wind velocity and elevation up to 2000 feet above sea level.