How can I make my equipment last longer?

"How can I make my pool equipment last longer?" This should be a concern for most pool owners, and for most of our customer having to spend $1500 on a broken pump is going to hurt. If you own a pool and something breaks, it absolutely has to get fixed, and as soon as possible or else the cost will simply keep rising. If you wait to fix your pool because of budgeting issues, your pool is definitely going to turn green, and green pools are not the frugal option. They can have all kinds of adverse side effects on your pool causing the costs to rise later down the road. For starters, the costs to degreen a pool isn't cheap, whether you do it your self or pay someone. Also a sitting green pool could stain your plaster, meaning once you degreen the pool, there are going to be all kinds of green stains all over. Your system wants to run, if it doesn't, the seals on equipment dry out and the pool usually become more acidic through neglect, hurting your equipment and plaster even more. I saw one person get sued by her home owners association for her pool being out of code. When her equipment broke she decided to just turn the pool into a pond. We were back about sixth months later degreening the pool and fixing the equipment, which ended up being much more expensive.

So how can you make your equipment last longer? Well, you can take some precautions, but most of that is to just following proper pool care procedures in the first place. Unfortunately, pool equipment breaks, and I've been doing this long enough to see that it breaks pretty impartially. Pools are like cars that drive 6-12 hours per day. Most of keeping your pool equipment from breaking is just keeping your fingers crossed. In this post though I am going to emphasize a couple specifics to make sure that when something does break, it wont be because of something you could avoid, it will be because the bad luck fairy visited. 

1) Turn valves properly

Whether it's your multiport valve or simply a regular valve meant to divert water to your spa, you need to turn these properly. For a multi-port valve, the proper way to turn it is to first turn the equipment off, depress the valve all the way, and then spin in only one direction. Multiport valves are extremely notorious for breaking, the spider gasket and springs inside the stem are extremely finicky. For regular valves, simply turn them slowly to play it safe. Turning a valve too fast can cause whats called a 'hydraulic hammer effect', breaking your equipment.

2) Keep your PH level within normal range

If you constantly have low PH, the acidity of the water can hurt your equipment and your plaster. So make sure your PH is consistently around staying around 7.5. Also make sure you buy an inline chlorinator if you don't have one already. Ive seen a ton of customers who simply just throw tabs in the skimmer causing the dissolved tabs to flow straight into the motor. Dissolved tabs create very acidic water, which is bad for equipment. This is why inline chlorinator are at the end of your water flow timeline, meaning the acidic water flows straight into the pool diluting it.

Also, if you do have an inline chlorinator, make sure its plumbed correctly. Something else I see all the time is the pool builder will put the inline chlorinator right before a booster pump (The booster pump is a small motor that runs your polaris), making newly dissolved tabs flow straight through booster pump, literally defeating the point of having a chlorinator in the first place.

3) Make sure your motor is the right size for your pool and filter

A mismatched motor size is very common. There are tables when installing a motor that a builder or repair technician is supposed to follow that come straight from the manufacturer. A larger motor will create more pressure, and the filter needs to be able to handle that pressure. Some customers get sold the biggest and best motor because its the most expensive, but if it doesn't match your filter, you can break the equipment. On the contrary, if your motor is to small for your pool, you will just end up having to let it run longer to circulate the pool. This will cause the motor to wear out more quickly and your electricity bill to rise.

4) Build a cover over the pool equipment

This one isn't do or die, but the sun does cause things to wear out faster. If your pool equipment is being hit by direct sunlight its going to cause greater temperature swings on all the plumbing and parts. Temperature swings mean more stress on the equipment, and more stress causes an increase in damage. If the sun heats up the equipment, and then all of the sudden cool water runs through the pipes, it is going to change shape.

5) Make sure your pump doesn't run dry

This is very important. Keeping the correct amount of water in your pool and your skimmer and pump baskets empty. If you let the water level get to low, and your pump runs without water for too long, its going to break. If you have a pool cleaner, low water levels will also cause him to not be able to vacuum or clean your pool properly.

Tip: If your going out of town, turn the pool to run off the main drain only. That way in case the water level falls below the skimmer line, the pool will still have water.

6) Buy timers if you don't have them

A timer will not only just save you money on electricity, it will also save your equipment from wearing out as quickly because you can minimize the run times. This is the best, most efficient way to run your system.