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Basic Swimming Pool Features
Home Basic Swimming Pool Features

Basic Swimming Pool Features

A swimming pool is a closed system designed to hold, circulate and filter water.  We only service “in ground” concrete/fiberglass pools. Most of the pools we service are between 8,000 and 30,000 gallons.


The surface water is the dirtiest water of the pool and where much debris collects.  A skimmer is designed to “skim” this surface water by drawing it into the pump.  Inside the skimmer is a ‘skimmer basket’ (its purpose is to collect larger debris). The skimmer basket should be emptied periodically to ensure proper flow. The water flow through the skimmer is controlled at the pump via valves.  In most cases, the skimmer should be set for maximum flow. *the pool water level should be at least half way up the skimmer opening.

Main Drain

The opening at the bottom of the pool (in the deep end). The main drain is another place where the pump draws water for circulation. The amount of flow through the main drain can be controlled by valves located near the pump. Typically, we keep the flow through the main drain to a minimum (about 1/8th opened). The cover that goes over the main drain (“main drain cover”) should comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

Vacuum Port

A suction port is typically located on the sidewall of the pool.  They are used to attach automatic cleaners.  In most cases, we recommend a cleaner called a “Hayward Navigator Pro” … and the new Hayward AquaNauts 200/400

Pool Returns

Located on the side walls of the pool. They are designed to allow filtered water to return to the pool. The returns should all face the same direction to ensure proper water circulation.


The pump circulates the water in the pool. Most pool pumps range in horse power from 3/4HP to 3HP. They are controlled by an automatic timer (typically set to run 8 hours per day). The part of the pump that you need to be concerned with is the pump basket… the pump basket collects debris that is missed by the skimmer basket (or from vacuuming). It’s important to periodically clean the pump basket… how often depends on the pool – this is something you’ll learn as you go.


The timer allows you to set the time of day the pump is active. For most pools, the pump should run approximately 8hrs during the daytime (when it’s warmest). Most timers are similar and will be easy to use. Timers are connected to breakers – if the timer does not turn the pump on, check to see if the breaker is off/tripped.


A filter cleans the water so the pool stays clear.  There are 3 types of filters:  SandDiatomaceous Earth (D.E.), Cartridge.