One of the least enjoyable aspects of pool ownership is keeping the pool clean and healthy. A good pool water circulation system can be key to achieving this. But how many of us know how good our pool systems really are?
Below, we have taken an in-depth look at pool circulation systems. You can find out why they matter so much, what they do, and what your options are when it comes to choosing the best system for your pool.
Why circulating your pool water matters
If the water in your pool is not moving, it is not healthy. Think of what happens to a pond or stream when it can only flow slowly – the water turns green and goes stagnant. Swimming pool water is no different. So, if you want to maintain a clean pool which is safe and healthy to swim in, you need an effective pool water circulation system.
Failing to circulate your pool water properly can have all kinds of negative consequences for your pool. Algae and bacteria can grow on the underwater surfaces, which ruin the appearance of your pool as well as being potentially harmful to your health. Have your ears ever hurt after swimming? This is caused by bacteria which has unwittingly been left to grow and multiply in the pool water.
For the sake of you and your family’s health, you need to ensure your swimming pool jets are doing their job and the pool water is being circulated properly.
In addition, correct pool water circulation makes it far easier for you to keep your pool clean. As you will know if you are a pool owner, cleaning the pool can be a laborious and time consuming job. And nobody looks forward to it!
However, it is far harder if algae and bacteria are growing in your pool. If you have an effective pool water circulation system, it makes for easy pool ownership. This improves the entire experience of having your own pool, not just swimming in it.
What makes a good pool water circulation system?
Australian pool standards recommend that the entire volume of water in your pool needs to be pumped out, filtered, sanitised and recycled back into the pool at least once a day. That’s a lot of water to move and treat within a 24-hour period.
Some traditional pool circulation systems are capable of achieving this. However, there can be problems arising from their operation. In order to understand these issues, it is important to know how these traditional systems work.
How a traditional “eyeball and skimmer” system works
A traditional pool water circulation system, which most backyard pools have, is known as an “eyeball and skimmer” system. The “skimmer” refers to the pool skimmer box, which is powered by a pump and removes the pool surface water. This water is then propelled through the pool filter box which cleans it before returning it to the pool through the pool return jets.
These pool jets are known as “eyeballs” due to their shape. They are usually located between 30cm and 60cm beneath the surface of the water, on the wall opposite the pool skimmer box.
This might seem like a reliable method of circulating your pool water. But it does have a number of significant disadvantages:
1. Your pool set up needs to be powerful enough
Your pool pump needs to be powerful enough to cope with circulating the entire volume of water in your pool every day. If you have a large pool, you will need an extremely powerful pool system.
This is not something which every pool owner researches thoroughly enough before they buy. As a result, many pool water circulation systems are inadequate for the job they are expected to do. The result is that your pool water will not be circulated quickly enough. It can become stagnant and create the right conditions for algae and bacteria to grow.
2. Pool pumps can be expensive to run
Pool pumps can cost a significant amount of money to run. This is especially the case if you have an older pool and filtration system. Old systems are not nearly as energy-efficient as modern pool technologies.
Because of this, many pool owners restrict the time that they leave their pool pumps operational to cut down on energy usage and costs. This can be detrimental to the sanitation of your pool water.
If the pool pump is not left on for long enough, it will not have time to circulate enough of the water. And much of the pool will still contain unfiltered water which can have bacteria lurking in it.
3. Not all pool systems circulate all the water
The most serious problem with an eyeball and skimmer system arises from the positioning of the pool jets. As they are located so close to the surface of the water, only the top third of the water is getting re-circulated over and over again. This means the water nearer the bottom is never getting circulated or cleaned. In addition, your pool chemicals are not being distributed evenly throughout the whole of the pool.
This can cause serious problems. The unfiltered water in the bottom two-thirds of the pool continues getting dirtier. It can create ideal conditions for bacteria and algae to breed.
You can think your pool is clean and the circulation system is doing its job, but everything might not be as it seems. Suddenly you can find your ears hurting after swimming, or your pool turning green. Without the right pool circulation system in place, it is difficult to know what to do about these issues.
This circulation problem can also result in the heat not being distributed to all areas of the pool, producing “cold spots” lower down in the water. Having an unevenly heated pool can seriously impede your swimming enjoyment as well as increase your energy bills. It requires much more heat for your pool to reach a comfortable temperature.
Alternatives to traditional pool water circulation systems
Just like all technology, pool innovations are moving on all the time. These days easy pool ownership is possible thanks to some of the innovative pool cleaning and circulation systems which are now available on the market.
In-floor pool cleaning systems are becoming more and more popular with pool owners in Australia, and with good reason. These systems solve all the problems which can occur due to traditional eyeball and skimmer systems. They also provide a number of other important advantages for those looking for an easy pool to clean and maintain.
The Vantage in-floor self-cleaning system from Compass Pools Australia has led the way in this innovative technology. Designed by some of the top innovators and engineers in swimming pool design, it works in a highly efficient and effective way. This ensures that all of your pool water is circulated continuously, creating a clean and healthy pool environment.
The Vantage system is truly smart pool technology. A series of nozzles are embedded within the floor of the pool. When the system is not operational, these nozzles lie flat, so you cannot see them and they do not impede on your swimming space in any way.
When you set the system to operate, the nozzles raise up, shooting clean water upwards towards the top of the pool in a circular motion.
This process ensures that all of the pool water is constantly being circulated, not just the top third. As a result, every area of the pool is cleaned, and the pool chemicals and heat are distributed evenly throughout the pool. This eliminates cold spots, and it also ensures that there are no areas where bacteria or algae can begin to grow.
The Vantage in-floor pool self-cleaning system also has a number of other advantages for pool owners:
1. Your pool literally cleans itself
The highly efficient circulation of the Vantage in-floor pool cleaning system ensures that the water is cleaner, healthier and safer. This is because of the even distribution of your pool chemicals and the entirety of the pool water being circulated.
However, it does much more than this in keeping your pool clean. The powerful pool jets in the floor of the pool also push dirt and debris into a collection zone. From here it is pushed by a single nozzle into the main drain and collects in a specially designated debris canister.
This cleans your pool more effectively than any form of manual or robotic cleaner. You save significant amounts of time and effort in cleaning your pool and this allows you to enjoy the pool more fully.
2. It saves you money
Due to the extremely high efficiency of the Vantage pool system, it requires far less energy to run than a traditional pool circulation system. It also only needs less than half the amount of pool chemicals as they are circulated much more effectively.
This saves you significant amounts of money – up to $600 a year – on energy bills and pool maintenance costs. In addition, it has a positive impact on the environment due to reduced energy usage, something we all need to think about today.
Of course, no system is perfect. The main problem with in-floor pool water circulation systems is that they cannot be fitted retrospectively. If you already have a pool, you cannot have it adapted to include an in-floor system.
However, if you are considering buying a pool, it is an important consideration to think about. A number of pool companies in Australia now offer their own in-floor pool cleaning and circulation systems. These are only available with their own pools, just as Vantage is only available with Compass fibreglass pools. It is important to do your research and find out exactly which pool water circulation suits your needs best.
Find out more about pool water circulation
The right pool water circulation system is key to an easy-to-maintain pool. It improves the quality of your swimming experience as well as making your pool more low-maintenance. With the choice of systems available, there is sure to be one which can meet all your needs.
If you would like more information about the Vantage in-floor self-cleaning system, or any other Compass Pools features and options, you can find details on our website. Alternatively, please contact us to discuss your needs, and our team will be happy to help.