Providing exceptional service since 1987

Pool Equipment Terms and Definitions

Backwashing filter (or backflushing)

The proper term is “backwashing.” This is sometimes confused with a filter clean. Backwashing the system is a separate function and is only performed when the pressure increases 8 to 10 lbs. over normal or the water level is extremely high. The filter should be backwashed every 4 to 6 weeks.

Backwash handle difficult to move

  1. O-rings need to be lubricated.
  2. O-rings need to be replaced.

D.E. going back into the pool

  1. Filter needs to be cleaned, grids and manifolds inspected for damage.
  2. Backwash valve may have broken or missing o-ring.

D.E. Low Filter Pressure

  1. The water level in the pool too low - proper level is half-way up the tile.
  2. Skimmer weir door may be stuck from debris.
  3. Possible suction leak on the pump.
  4. Check skimmer basket(s) and pump pot for debris and empty, if needed.
  5. Clogged impeller
  6. Skimmer line is clogged.

Filter Cleans

A DE filter should be cleaned every 6 to 8 months to maintain optimum performance. Or if filter pressure rises and maintains 8 to 10 lbs. over normal PSI, it may need to be cleaned more often. Proper cleaning is to totally disassemble the filter, taking the grids off of the top and bottom manifolds, washing them until white, and inspection each grid for rips or tears and both manifolds for cracks.

Cartridge filters need to be cleaned every 6 to 8 weeks. These filters cannot be backwashed.

Sand filters need the sand changed every five years and requires specialty sand engineered for filters. This filter can be backwashed.

The “clean” pressure should be written on the filter to give the basis of when it needs to be backwashed or cleaned again.

D.E. Filter pressure is high

  1. The filter needs to be backwashed.
  2. After backwashing, if the pressure remains high, it needs to be cleaned. High pressure is considered 10 pounds over normal. If pressure reaches 38 psi shut off the system for safety and contact a trusted pool service company like Sterling Pool Service.

Leaks on Filter

  1. Leak at band clamp: tighten but if it does not stop, band clamp may need to be replaced.
  2. Band clamp leaking: tank o-ring may need to be replaced.

Leak at pump

  1. Seal plate o-ring or seal pump are leaking and needs to be repaired.
  2. Pump lid o-ring has an air leak.
  3. Plumbing leaks.

Pool cleaner (sweep) not moving or slow

  1. Check pump and skimmer baskets; empty if needed.
  2. Clean or backwash filter.
  3. Check the finger screen for debris.
  4. The backup valve may be bad.
  5. The pool sweep may be old and need to be replaced.

The pump motor is loud/noisy

  1. The pressure side of plumbing may be closed. Check valves for proper settings.
  2. Pool motor is starting to fail

Pool or Sweep motor won’t come on or hums

  1. Check for tripped circuit breakers.
  2. A hum usually indicates the capacitor has gone out.
  3. If there is no hum, the motor has likely failed.

Pump loses prime or will not prime

Prime means the air has been mostly purged from the swimming pool water pump and that the filter pump is moving pool water. When the pump has lost prime, the pump is no longer pumping water through it. Sometimes it can be very difficult to regain the prime on the pump. Reasons for possible loss of prime:

  1. The water level in the pool is too low - the proper level is half-way up the tile.
  2. Impeller clogged.
  3. Pump lid o-ring bad or needs to be cleaned.
  4. Possible suction leak on the pump.

Spa loses water when the system is on

  1. Check valves for proper settings.
  2. The internal check valve is bad and needs to be replaced.

Spa drains or overflows when in normal or spa mode

  1. Check spa valves for proper settings.
  2. The internal check valve is bad and needs to be replaced.

The system is “sucking air”

If the water level is allowed to drop, the pump will “suck air” through the skimmers. Proper pool water level is essential at all times and is half-way up the tile. If the water level is not at this level, water will not run through the system and can cause the equipment to burn up.

Time Clock

A pool time clock is a device that can be set to turn the pool equipment off and on automatically at specific times.

Water is not circulating; filter pressure is low or zero

  1. Check pump and skimmer baskets; empty if needed.
  2. The water level in the pool is too low - the proper water level is half-way up the tile.
  3. Skimmer weir door may be stuck.
  4. Impeller may be clogged.
  5. Possible suction leak on the pump.