Pool Info: Pool Cleaning Equipment
Along with the joy, excitement and long lost relatives that come with pool ownership there are also the maintenance challenges. There are many tools and items available to make your pool owning experience less troublesome. Even if you have an automatic cleaner, you will need some basic pool cleaning equipment. Telescopic poles, skim nets, pool brushes and a test kit are necessary for any pool owner. The following is a glossary with descriptions of swimming pool and spa cleaning equipment.
The first thing you need is a good telescopic pool pole for skimming, vacuuming and brushing. Tele poles, as they are called, come in a variety of lengths and quality. The safest and most durable pool poles are made from fiberglass, but most are aluminum. 2 or 3 nested poles extend and then twist lock in place with internal locking cams. Most tele-poles have 2 small holes at the attachment end, that are designed to accept the butterfly clip, used to attach a wide range of accessories discussed below.
The easiest way to make a dirty pool look good is a good vacuuming. All pools need to be vacuumed on a regular basis. The vacuum head attaches to the pole, and then a vacuum hose is attached to the vacuum head. The pole and vacuum head are then lowered into the pool. Prime the hose and connect it to the skimmer. There are two different types of vacuum heads. One has wheels and is weighted for concrete pools. The other is designed for vinyl lined pools, and has brushes instead of wheels.
In order to vacuum debris from the pool walls and floor, you will need a vacuum hose. The vacuum hose connects to the vacuum head and telescoping pole (both above). Then, lowered into the pool. You fill the vacuum hose completely full of water, and then plug the hose end into the skimmer suction hole or a dedicated vacuum line in the wall. The water and debris are pulled into the filter pump basket thru the vacuum hose. Skimmer vacuum plates or in-line strainers can prevent clogging small pump baskets.
The leaf trap or Leaf Canister is connected to the end of the vacuum hose just before the pool skimmer. A small 3’ hose connects the other end of the leaf trap canister to the skimmer or vacuum line. Inside the canister is a large basket that will trap the leaves and debris, to prevent clogging a smaller pump basket or skimmer basket. Leaf Traps are used to vacuum pools, and can also be connected to a suction pool cleaner, for longer cleaning cycles, without having to stop to empty the pump basket.
The skimmer vacuum plate or Skim Vac is a plate that fits over your skim basket, with a raised center hose adapter. Connect it to the end of the hose after priming the hose with water and then place it quickly on top of the skimmer basket. Now, instead of vacuuming into the pump basket, you trap debris in the larger and easier to clean skimmer basket. Skim Vac plates are specific in size to fit particular sized skimmer baskets. Skimmer vac plates are a great time saver for vacuuming messy pools.
The most popular pieces of equipment around the pool are the skim net and leaf rake. The skim net is a flat mesh net that attaches to the tele pole. It can be used to remove light debris floating on the pool surface before it sinks to the floor. The leaf rake is also a mesh net, but is much deeper, with a large deep debris bag. Leaf Rakes are great for scooping debris or toys from the pool floor or to spot clean steps and spas. You may need replacement Butterfly Clips or “V” clips, every few years.
Swimming pools should be brushed at least once per week to remove algae and other films and dirt on pool walls and pool floors that can’t be removed by vacuuming. There are several types of Pool Brushes. Stainless steel is perfect for plaster or concrete pools, but should not be used on vinyl pools. Plastic bristle brushes can be used on any type of pools, and are ideal for above ground and vinyl pools. Combination steel / plastic bristle pool brushes are also recommended for plaster pools only.
One of the best inventions for swimming pool cleaning since the telescopic pole is the Leaf Bagger. Created as the Jandy Leaf Master, we have the Big Sucker, the same venturi-jet style vacuum that uses water pressure from your garden hose to vacuum. The water pressure pulls the debris up from the floor and into a large bag. The leaf bagger is ideal for a quick spot clean or cleaning a pool floor full of leaves. Available with a mesh leaf bag, or a very fine mesh bag.
The Jandy Stain Master is a siphon driven device that can suck muriatic acid from a 1 gallon bottle on the pool deck to a stain on the pool surface. Perfect for small localized stains on plaster pools, especially metal stains, rust stains, or mineral deposits. Head unit attaches to any pool pole, and the 30’ hose will deliver any liquid, such as chlorine or acid directly to a stain. 4” cup holds the chemical over the area, with a push-button valve that releases the chemical only when the cup is held flat on a surface.
Another method for removing localized stains or deposits on concrete pools is the pumice stone. Pumice is a light porous glassy lava stone that can be rubbed over a pool stain to remove it by grinding it off the surface. PoolStone Blocks are pumice stones that can attach to your tele-pole or a pumice stone that has a handle you can swim with. Works great on cement stains, berry stains and calcium deposits on plaster or tile. Can also be used to scrub black algae heads from pool surfaces.
Pool Scrubbing Mitt
As part of your weekly maintenance schedule, busy commercial pools scrub the tile band and the inside of the skimmer well with a chlorine based abrasive cleanser like Comet™ or Soft Scrub™. See our Tile Grout Scrubber and our Pool Scrubbing Mitt, both are great for water line scum and stains, or applying a chlorine paste or pH decreaser to underwater stains. Vinyl pools should use a Tile & Vinyl Cleaner, and avoid chlorine or acid based cleansers.
Though not normally thought of as a pool cleaning tool or piece of pool cleaning equipment, the skimmer weir plays an important role in the skimming action of your skimmer. Misaligned, broken or missing weirs cause a pool skimmer loses most of its effectiveness. Skimmer Weirs are easily replaced with spring loaded generic replacements, or a new dual door skimmer weir can be installed. For even more skimmer power, the SkimDoctor 2.0 can triple your skimmer suction.
Properly aimed return Eyeball Fittings help to direct the pool water in a circular fashion, and create a slight surface ripple to help transport floating leaves around in front of the skimmer. New venturi return fittings increase water volume and give more precise aim. Eyeball fittings are also important to maintain the proper amount of back pressure in the filter system, and are used to balance flow among wall returns. Use larger eyeball fittings further away from the pump and smaller eye diameters closer to the pump.