Selection Criteria for Quality Pool Equipment Installations
When we look at quality pool equipment selection we take into account all the cost centres relating to swimming pool operation. We can give you the information that you need on which to base expenditure decisions. We look at quality pool equipment, chemical usage, expected ongoing repair costs, electricity, water and labour costs. There is nothing to be gained in achieving a good cost saving in one area only to have costs blow out in the other areas. We have the testing equipment that allows us to give accurate results on most existing sites.
We cannot loose sight of the purpose that quality pool equipment filtration and sanitation is for the health and wellbeing of those using the pool. 80% of diseases are water transmitted. The choice of the correct quality pool equipment is especially important in apartment buildings, sports centres, motels and hotels
As independent operators we are able to select the range of quality pool equipment that we sell. We look for items that have a proven track record regarding quality, length of service with reasonable spare part cost. While we do not carry all items of pool equipment that fulfil our requirements, we can supply any item of pool equipment for which you have a preference.
How do we define Quality Pool Equipment? When a pump we installed about 10 years ago only requires a simple shop service (Hayward Super 2 Pump) then that’s ‘quality pool equipment’. When a Chlorinator Cell lasts 7 years without any other service (Crystal Clear Manual Clean Chlorinator) then that’s ‘quality pool equipment’. When we have sold and installed over 100 Sand Filters over 12 years with only a rare barrel union replacement (Hayward 24 inch Sand Filter) then that’s ‘quality pool equipment’.
FiltersTYPES OF FILTER
When selecting a filter as part of your pool equipment, you are looking at an item that can be expected to last in excess of ten years, so that the cost should only be a minor consideration at best.
The different filter types have different efficiencies.
These filters are the most efficient and the most expensive. They require more work than a Sand Filter but not as much as a Cartridge Filter. They have the advantage of being able to filter out algae, which sand filters struggle to do. We have had numerous reports from people who have these filters, that they only run their filtration for 2 or 3 hours a day without any problems. You may consider this a useful item to add to your pool equipment wish list.
Cluster Cartridge Filter
These filters are very efficient. These filters can be operated for months without requiring cleaning which is a big advantage when water usage is an issue. When the time does come to cleaning them (as indicated by the pressure gauge) it can take quite a while and of course they can be cleaned elsewhere. Be sure to install a waste line with these filters.
These filters are more efficient than sand filters however they can be labour intensive as they may require weekly cleaning. They are ideal where space is limited but be sure to plumb in a waste line if installing from scratch. It is difficult to drop the water level or clean up a green pool without a waste line. It is better not to use granular chlorine if you install one of these filters.
These filters are the most popular due to their ease of use. They are, however the least efficient, especially if the pump has been oversized. The choice of filtration medium will also affect the filtration efficiency of a sand filter.
When choosing pool equipment, filter selection is the first decision, and we need to consider the
- pool volume
- expected bather load (during peak usage)
- expected debris load (at the worst time of the year)
- desired running times
- size and layout of the pool plumbing
- available space to place a filter.
|HAYWARD||StarClear Plus CARTRIDGE FILTERS 90 sq. ft., 150 sq. ft.200 sq. ft.||The tanks are made from extra durable glass reinforced co-polymer material. The are no PVC welds. The lid is an easy on and off without any bolts and clamps or difficult to undo lid locking rings. We have been installing these filters for over ten years without any problems. We are happy to recommend these filters as an item of your pool equipment. starclear-plus-brochure|
|HAYWARD||SwimClear CLUSTER FILTER 330 sq. ft.530 sq. ft.||Filter Tanks constructed of improved PermaGlass XL material. The beauty of this filter is that you can go for months without cleaning it. We have these on three of the sites that we service and can verify the length of time between cleaning. One we installed in December 2006 has cartridges which are still in good condition although this is assisted by a Robotic Cleaner. swimclear-brochure|
|HAYWARD||Pro Series SAND FILTER 24″, 27″, 31″, 36″||Moulded of durable, corrosion-proof polymetric material. We have installed dozens of these filters over the last ten years without any re-calls or warranty issues with the tank or valve proper. Some of the Multi Port Valves have had new gaskets (which is normal) in that time and some of the old barrel unions had to be replaced but, we haven’t had that problem for years. The Multi Port Valves are 50mm which reduces the back pressure compared to a 40mm valve. This would be one of the most popular items in our pool equipment range. Pro-Series-Top-Mount|
|HAYWARD||Pro-Grid D.E. FILTER||Filter tanks made from durable glass reinforced copolymer. Self-aligned tank top and bottom make access to servicing the grid elements fast and simple. 2″ full-flow internal piping and plumbing for less resistance to flow. As pool equipment goes, if you want the best filtration then these are the filters that will do the job. These filters will filter our algae (dead or alive) whereas sand filters won’t. People with DE filters are able to get away with running their filtration systems for 2 or 3 hours per day, especially if the pool isn’t getting used.|
PumpsTYPES OF PUMP
Understanding the differences between different types of pool equipment is important, especially in selecting a pump, because this is where the costs can mount up.
These are the pumps that most of us are familiar with. One speed with set power consumption.
Variable Speed Pumps
These pumps have the ability to save power in two ways.
Firstly, by running a pump at a lower flow rate, that is, at a lower shaft speed, there is a considerable saving in power consumption. There is a very interesting relationship between shaft speed and flow; between shaft speed and pressure (or head); and, between shaft speed and power, known as the “Affinity Laws“. Flow is proportional to shaft speed. Head is proportional to the square of shaft speed. Power is proportional to the cube of shaft speed (refer to Wikipedia). Running this type of pool equipment on its lowest setting will result in a substantial power savings, even when you run the system for longer.
Secondly, power is saved as there DC pumps run far more efficiently. A single speed AC pump runs at about 65% efficiency (apparently). Noise and heat rob these pumps of their efficiency and power. Efficient operation varies according to manufacture and model, as well as age. This applies to both AC & DC pumps.
Before installing one of these pumps you will need to know if it will work on your system. The efficient operation of these pumps my be restricted by your pool equipment or your existing plumbing. The installation of the wrong pump for your system may even lead to greater power consumption than your existing system. You might not have the space for a DC pump. You need to know if the flow through the chlorinator cell housing can be set low enough to save you power. If you have a suction cleaner (i.e. a cleaner which works out of your skimmer box), you will need to consider how you intend to use it, especially if you rely on you cleaner for good circulation of the pool water. Again, you will need to know if you will be able to save power if you want to have your cleaner running at all times. This will not be a problem if you have a Robotic Cleaner.
We can test an existing system (in most cases) to see if a Variable Speed Pump will save you money.
Two and Three Speed Pumps
These a similar to variable speed pumps. The difference is that the speeds are pre-set by the manufacturer and cannot be changed. You need to be certain that you will save money before installing one of these pumps. As pool equipment goes, these are not a good choice. They were on the market before the variable speed pumps were sorted out.
When replacing a pump we are usually faced with plumbing that cannot be changed and the existing pool equipment that does not need replacing. Incorrect selection of a pump can result in years of filtration problems as well as higher than should be running and maintenance costs. Care should be taken when choosing this piece of pool equipment.
The pump price should be the last consideration in the selection process.
We can test most systems so that we can advise the best pump options.
Our preferred variable speed pumps are the two Hayward pumps. They have a German motor which has very smooth operation. We don’t know for certain how long any of these variable speed pumps will last as they have not been on the market for long enough as a pool equipment item. When choosing this item of pool equipment we look at the length of the warranty period, the cost of the pump and calculated power savings before we recommend a particular make and model of pump.
|HAYWARD||TRI STAR VS||This pump has the highest star rating on the market. From the tests that we have done after installing these pumps, that claim certainly looks to be true. This pump is a perfect piece of pool equipment for an apartment block. TriStarVS Brochure.|
|Hayward||Max Flo VS||While this pump does not have as high a rating as the one above, it certainly is a very nice power saving item of pool equipment, more suited to a domestic pool. MaxFloVS Brouchure.|
Where the situation does not allow for a variable speed pump or our testing shows that you will not save any power costs by paying extra for a pump then the following are the options that we recommend.
|Hayward||Super 2 Series||We have been installing these pumps for over 10 years. We have been very happy with their length of service and lack of problems. They have a very efficient wet end which has resulted in very quite operation. Super-II brochure.|
ChlorinatorsTYPES OF CHLORINATOR
As pool equipment goes, chlorinators have made pool care easy. When you look at the cost of running a chlorinator compared to the cost of cleaning up a green pool, you would be crazy not to add this item to your pool equipment range. If you rent out a property without a chlorinator you are begging for trouble.
Older Technology Type Chlorinators
These units use a basic power transformer (either E&I for the really old type or a Toroid), which results in a heavy control box. They run at about 65% to 68% efficiency, as the heat loss is quite high, but they do have the advantage of handling the harsh environment and will run for many years. The repair costs for these units are quite reasonable.
A 30 amp chlorinator on a 50,000 litre pool draws about 1 amp per hour which is 240 watts. If the chlorinator is run at full output for 8 hours a day the annual cost of power would be $196 (calculated as 0.24 kilowatts x 0.279158 dollars x 8 hours x 365 days) on tariff 11. If the system is run on tariff 33 (off-peak power) the power usage would be 68% of the $206, being $140. During the cooler months chlorine production should be turned down and many systems are run for less than 8 hours per day, further reducing the power consumption.
Care needs to be taken not to put too much salt in the pool as the excess salt will only result in more heat production which will damage the chlorinator especially if the area is not well ventilated.
Switch Mode Chlorinators
These units use switching transformers (like those used in a computer) which are a lot smaller and lighter. They run at about 93% to 97% efficiency, so they use about 2/3 of the power (a saving of about 2 cents an hour for an average size pool) that the older units use to get the same result. They can be prone to damage from insects. The repair costs for these units can be quite high.
They will operate under high levels of salt without causing any problems
If the pH of a pool is not controlled then you cannot expect the documented promises of a manufacturer to be met.
When adding a chlorinator to your pool equipment we take into account
- pool volume
- pool usage during December & January at which time we can expect severe weather conditions that will also increase the demand for chlorine
- filtration running times
- water turnover rate
- maintenance frequency
- the debris load on the pool
- weather or not there will be diligence in adjusting the pH
|Standard(Manual Cleaning)||Crystal Clear – 20 amp, 30 amp and 40 amp||This is an ‘older technology’ unit. We have been installing these chlorinators for over 10 years. We have found these units to be reliable with a good cell life. Repair costs are reasonable|
|Self Cleaning||Puraflo 25 g and 35 g||This is also an ‘older technology’ unit. The manufactured units have a similar reliability record to the Crystal Clear. Repair costs are reasonable.|
|Self Cleaning||Pentair||This is one of the new technology switch mode units. The repair costs for this unit are reasonable.|
Chemical FeedersWHAT ARE THEY?
Chemical feeders add acid, chlorine or both chemicals at a set rate or in response to a chemical probe reading. As an item of pool equipment they are far better at maintaining water balance when they are running correctly, than other sanitary systems.
The addition of chemicals at a set rate is determined by the user and limited by the unit chosen. This method is best reserved for use by people who understand pool chemistry and are prepared to test the water on a regular basis. These units are a reasonably priced option for the addition of chlorine to an unused pool.
Chemical addition in response to a probe reading is an electronic method of maintaining chemical levels in a pool to a pre-determined set level. The probe measures the Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) of the water in millivolts. The level of chlorine and the pH of the water are directly related which is why both liquid chlorine and acid are added via these units.
This type of pool equipment is very good where continuous chemical dosing is required and where chemical costs need to re contained (e.g. in a well used apartment block pool). Water turnover rates need to be considered as the rates of chemical depletion and replenishment need to be taken into account.
|Aquarius Technologies||SL Series(Also available are SE series that control chlorinator operation and add acid, as well as the SC series for the liquid chlorine and carbon dioxide systems)||For pools using liquid chlorine and liquid acid. We have had one of these units on a property for over two . That unit has remote monitoring installed which allows us to check the pH and chlorine levels (along with everything else) at any time of the day via internet connection. This gives us the ability to respond very quickly to any problems that arise, such as a power outage turning the pump off. We check the pool before 5am and about 3pm daily. We are alerted by e-mail if the system goes into alarm. This is an excellent piece of pool equipment for a pool which can be described as a Category 1 or Category 2 pool (under the Queensland Health Guidelines 2004) where there is no-one who can reasonably be expected to take responsibility for the health of the swimmers.|
|Pool Controls||Chemigem||These units have been around for many years.|
|Astral||Rolachem RC9||Automatic chlorine and acid doser.|
|c||Rolachem RO9||Automatic Control System|
|Rolachem RP9||Automatic Control System|
|Rolachem RC1||Semi-automatic chemical dosing pump described above as a ‘set rate’ system|
Pool HeatingHEAT PUMPS
Some of the Equipment Installations