This guide is intended for first time owners of swimming pools which are managed by Pooled Energy. Some but not all of it is applicable to conventional, un-managed swimming pools.
Skimmer box – designed to collect leaves, debris and scum from the surface of the water before they sink to the bottom. Clear it periodically. The more that is left in the skimmer box, the harder your pump has to work and the less effective it will be. The cleaning frequency will be highly variable depending on the leaf load. Check between weekly and monthly and adjust based on how much material is collected. Emptying each time you swim may be a good habit.
Pool Sweep – there are three different types:
- Pressure-side sweeps such as Jet-Vac/Polaris – The leaf bag will fill with leaves, keep an eye on it and empty as required. If you take your sweep out of the water please make sure you open the Pool App and indicate that it is out of the water. If you don’t do this, during the next scheduled operation the sweep pump will run and if the hose remains connected it will drain salt water from your pool, probably to the detriment of the garden. If disconnected, it won’t cause a problem but it will waste energy.
- Suction sweeps – operate via a hose which connects to the skimmer box. You can read in more detail in the FAQs why we generally recommend against the use of suction sweeps.
- Robotic sweeps – these are the most recent generation of pool sweeps. They’re more energy efficient than other models and are faster at cleaning your pool, but fiddlier and heavy to lift out of the water. You should avoid leaving them in the pool when not in use.
Maintaining water level – the water level should be kept at 1/2 to 2/3rds of the way up the skimmer basket opening. The water level will constantly go down due to evaporation and go up due to rain. Be very careful that the water level does not drop below the skimmer basket as it will cause your pumps to suck air in which can damage them.
To top up: put your garden hose in the pool and set a timer to remind yourself to check on it periodically.
To drain: if you’ve not backwashed recently (see below) start with a backwash. Once done, switch the filter to waste and run the pump to lower the water to the desired level.
Pool covers – help on multiple fronts. They will increase the temperature of your pool without heating, reduce heat losses and hence cost if you are heating, keep leaves from entering the water, reduce chemical consumption and hence filter pump energy consumption. They can be fiddly and hard to handle, depending on the type. Important points:
If you have a pool cover on a roller, ensure the cover itself is shaded from the sun when it’s on the roller
Keep it on the pool as often as is practical to maximise your water temperature.
Use a broom or leaf blower to collect leaves from the cover before taking it off the pool.
Water filtration – your pool equipment performs two major functions:- a) to filter dirt particles from the water and b) chlorinate it to kill algae and bugs. Removal of dirt particles works by pumping your pool water through a filter that is filled with sand (or crushed glass media). This traps the dirt which is later disposed during the backwash process. Water is sucked in via the skimmer baskets and passed through the filter and finally pushed back into the pool via one or more return pipes. Ideally all of the water in your pool will pass through the filter twice each day.
Backwashing – is required to remove the dirt particles trapped in the filter. Normally required once every 4-6 weeks in summer. It works by pumping water in the reverse direction to filtering at a very high speed and in such a way that it is able to separate dirt from the sand in the filter. You can either follow our detailed backwashing procedure or use the step by step guide in your pool app.
Heating – pools can be heated via solar, gas or heat pump heaters
Pooled Energy Intelligent PoolController
How the automation system works – our controller remotely monitors most aspects of water chemistry and controls the operation of your pumps, chlorinator and other accessories. It communicates via your home WiFi and Internet or via a cellular data link if you prefer (at an extra charge). It communicates to our central control systems regularly. Importantly:
You do not need to carry out water chemistry tests
You do not need to manually turn on / off pumps or maintain time clocks for normal operation.
You do not need a regular water technician
Typical chemical replenishment is once or twice a year
Buttons and flashing lights – some controllers contains a green and yellow buttons which themselves are lights. . If you do not have lighted buttons, please use the Pool App.
Pool App – a smartphone app is available for Android and iPhone. This provides you with:-
access to support guides on using the system,
status information on your pool,
allows you to manually control operation of your equipment.
Manual control – for the most part operation of your pool equipment is taken care of by Pooled Energy and you do not need to make changes yourself. The tasks do require your involvement are:
- Raising the water level (with a hose)
- Lowering the water level. This is best done by backwashing the filter
- Backwashing the filter
- Adding chemicals as and when requested
- Keeping the pool clean of leaves and debris
How to avoid breaking things
Whilst there are many steps you can take to keep your pool in tip top condition, as a new pool owner it can all be a little overwhelming. If nothing else you want to ensure you don’t do things which will damage your pool equipment resulting in costly repairs. To avoid damage remember the following tips:
- Make sure there is always enough water in your pool. If the water level drops below half way point on your skimmer your filter pump may suck in air which can burn it out. With Pooled Energy, this condition will normally be detected and the pump will shut-down automatically.
- Regularly empty your skimmer basket. If it is allowed to completely fill with leaves it can restrict water flow and allow air to be sucked in or overload the pumps.
- Valves on your plumbing. Many pools have one or more valves (or gates) that allow you to stop or change the direction of the flow of water through the pipes. If for any reason you need to turn a valve, remember where it started and make sure you return it to the same direction when you finish. Take a photo if it helps.
- Filter multi-port valve (the big handle on top of your filter). Make sure you leave it in the FILTER position after use.