The Best Equipment for your In ground Pool

There are many manufacturers of in ground swimming pool equipment.  By equipment I am referring to pumps, filters, heaters, etc.  However they are not all the same.  Like anything else there are different levels of quality associated with them.  The brand of equipment that I have found to be the best is Jandy.  In my experience Jandy offers the best features and highest quality associated with their equipment.  They also have a very extensive selection of accessory goods ie. lights, water sanitation, automation, and pool cleaners.  One of the coolest things that is offered by Jandy is their automation systems.  This is a system that will allow you to link the aspects of your pool together to be controlled remotely without having to physically open valves, adjust your pump, or adjust your heater.

If I were having a pool built I would definitely look into what Jandy products fit my needs and lifestyle.  I don’t necessarily mind putting a little work into the things that I have, but at the same time it would be really nice to not have to worry about it.  With the right Jandy products I would be able to just sit back and enjoy my pool rather than worry about how much time I will have to spend getting the pool ready to be enjoyed.  For instance if I were having a pool party over the weekend I could simply go to my controller and adjust the heat so it is ready for swimmers.  I could also toss the robotic cleaner in for a while to remove all of the debris from the pool.  I could set the system to turn the waterfall on when my guests arrive.  I could even program the lighting to cycle through the various colors throughout the evening.


So clearly I would want one of their automation systems.  The type of automation system that I would get would depend on the number of items I want to control.  If I only needed to control four or less items then I could go with the Z4 system.  Anything more would require me to move up to one of their RS systems.  Either way I could make sure that I could control the components that I want.


They have several pump options available, from single speed to variable speed.  All of their pumps are designed with efficiency in mind so I won’t have to worry about an over usage of electricity increasing my power bill.  If I were going for quiet efficiency I would choose their Stealth pump.  As the name suggests this is a quiet, powerful, and efficient pump and it is available in several models depending on my horsepower needs.  Lets say that I already have a pool and my current pump has just failed.  In this situation Jandy offers the FloPro pumps for easy replacement of existing pumps.  Several different bases for these pumps are available which change the height of the pump allowing you to install it in an existing system without having to alter the plumbing.


They also have several styles of filters available.  They have everything from sand filters to DE (diatomaceous earth).  For me I would likely go with one of their standard cartridge filters, and I will tell you why in a minute.  Their cartridge filters are designed with efficiency in mind and will work well with their pumps and heaters.  With a cartridge filter their is no need to backwash so their are no long hoses that I would need to stretch out to the street or under the fence into the neighbor’s yard for a few minutes only to have to wrap it all back up.  In addition to that I find cartridge filters easier to maintain.  When it comes time to replace the cartridges it is a fairly simple process whereas with a sand filter it can be difficult to remove the old sand.


When it comes to heating I will always spoil myself.  I am not a big fan of swimming in cold water.  That being said, when I go swimming I want my pool water to be warm.  Jandy offers a few different options when it comes to heating.  They offer a heat pump as well as a standard gas heater.  With the gas heaters they even come set up for either natural gas or liquid propane.  The difference between the gas heater and the heat pump is simple.  The heat pump uses the ambient temperature to heat the water, whereas the heater burns LP or natural gas to heat the water.  This means that the heater will heat the water much faster than the heat pump.  On the other hand it typically costs more to run the heater than it would to run the heat pump.  However when it comes to warm water versus cold water I am willing to pay a bit more to be comfortable.  It really comes down to personal preference.

Versa Plumb System:

With Jandy products, when you use a pump, cartridge filter, and heater you have the option of using their Versa Plumb System.  This is basically a way of plumbing the entire system allowing the best hydraulic efficiency.  They provide you with the fittings and pipe needed and it is just a matter of putting it all together.

These are all reasons why I think that Jandy has the best equipment for your pool.  They have so many options available that they are able to fit the needs of anyone.  In addition to that I know that their standards of customer service are set much higher than any other equipment manufacturer out their.

Pool Pumps – How To

I have written about a lot of different topics relating to swimming pools.  Mainly due to the fact that the purpose of this blog is to inform you, the reader of all things related to swimming pools.  I have geared the posts toward the pool owner rather than the pool professional.  This is due to the fact that as a pool professional they are more than likely already aware of everything that I am trying to relay in this blog.  Keeping that in mind, today I want to discuss the pool pump.  I know that in the past I have touched on certain aspects of these things but today I will approach it from a different perspective and that is through the eyes of the swimming pool owner.  A homeowner that is getting their first pool will often times start to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the new information they get regarding their pool.  It is almost like watching a baby see something amazing like fire works for the first time.  They are not sure what it is or does for sure but they know that they like it.  Hopefully with today’s post I can alleviate some of the fear that a new pool owner may be feeling in regard to their pool equipment.  So being that the pump is the first step to the system I will start there.

The pool pump is the device that brings the water from the pool and sends it through the filter and heater/heat pump.  It is also the thing that is generally making the most noise.  Take a look at the diagram to the left.  You will see that the pump consists of several different parts.  Those parts are pretty much standard on all pumps regardless of brand.  This particular pump has two or three inch inlet/outlets.  This is ideal in that the pump will not have to work as hard to draw the water from the pool.  Think of it as if you were drinking through a straw.  If you drink through a really narrow straw like one of those coffee stir sticks you will have to suck rather hard to get any fluid to your mouth.  Conversely, if you drink through a large straw like one of those you might get with a fountain drink at the gas station you will find that you do not have to put much effort into it to get very good results.  It is the same for pool pumps, well pool plumbing in general.  The larger the pipes, the easier it is for your equipment to work.  This will increase the flow and cut down on noise and vibrations from your pump.  Anyway notice that the pump has two main parts to it, the pump body and the motor.  These are separated by the seal plate.  The two parts are also considered the dry end and the wet end.  Basically the motor is what draws the water from the pool into the pump body.  The seal plate is what keeps the water from entering the motor.  The motor is powered by electricity and obviously water and electricity don’t mix, so the seal plate is a very important component to the pump.  There are some other things going on internally as well that you should know about.

The picture to the right shows the element known as the diffuser.  What this does is controls the characteristics of the water by decreasing the speed and increasing the pressure.  This allows the pump to send the water through the filter and the heater/heat pump more easily.

This next picture on the left shows both the wear ring and the impeller.  The impeller is attached to the motor shaft which spins when the pump is running.  This spinning is what creates the suction and draws the water from the pool.  The wear ring is basically a barrier between the impeller and the diffuser.  This protects both the diffuser and impeller from premature failure due to friction and heat.  Without it you would likely have to frequently replace the impeller or diffuser.

Next we have the picture on the right which shows the motor shaft and what is known as the mechanical seal.  These are located behind the impeller which is located behind the diffuser.  As I said before the motor shaft is connected to the impeller.  The seal goes around the motor shaft and is what keeps the water from entering the “dry end” of the pump.  The item in my hand in this picture is another seal which also goes around the motor shaft and aids in keeping water out of the motor.  Without these two seals in place you would have water entering the motor and causing damage.  These seals will need to replaced from time to time.  Extended dry runs of the pump will increase the potential for damage to the seals.  You will know that the seals need replaced if you see water coming from the motor end of the pump.  The motor has bearing in it that need to be kept dry.  If you get water through the motor of the pump then the bearings will be susceptible to corrosion.  You will know that the bearings are going out by the fact that the pump will become much louder than before.

Now these motors come in several different sizes.  Commonly pool pumps will range from 1HP to 2HP. (1 horsepower and 2 horsepower)  There are others available but most residential pools will use 1, 1.5, or 2HP pumps.  Typically the more HP you have in your pump, the more expensive it will be.  Figuring out what size pump you will need on your pool gets kind of tricky, and in my opinion is best left up to the builder to decide.  This is another reason why it is important to use a trustworthy builder from a highly regarded company to build your pool.

Most pool pumps will give you a gpm rating or gallons per minute.  To figure out how many gpm your pump must be capable of producing you will have to do some math.  You need to figure out your approximate pool volume in gallons.  Use the equation length X width X depth.  Most modern in ground pools have a shallow and a deep end if this is the case then you will first have to determine the average depth of the pool.  For that you simply have to take the deep end measurement and add it to the shallow end measurement and then divide the result by 2.

For instance if your pool has an 8′ deep end and a 4′ shallow end then you add 8+4 which = 12 and divide by 2 which gives you 6.  6 is would be the average depth of the pool, so to figure out the total approximate volume you take the length X the width X the average depth.  For example if your pool is 20′ wide X 40′ Long then you would take 40 X 20 X 6 = 48,000gal.

To get the gpm of the pump you will need for a pool that size you need to take the pool volume and divide it by the turnover time.  A turnover as it relates to pools is when the pump has successfully pumped out all the water in the pool and put it back.  Typically you want this to happen every eight or ten hours.  So to get the gpm you take the 48,000gal divided by 8 = 6,000 then take the 6,000 and divide by 60 = 100.  So you will need a pump capable of pumping at a rate of 100 gallons minimum per minute to achieve a turnover every 8 hours.

But we can’t stop there we now need to figure out the maximum flow rate for the plumbing.  The maximum flow rated is determined by the size of the plumbing used.  For instance the maximum flow through a 1.5″ pvc pipe is 44 gallons per minute.  So you will need to count the number of intake lines to determine the maximum flow rate.  For each 2″ intake you will get a maximum flow of 73 gpm to the pump.  For a 1.5″ intake you will get a maximum flow of 42 gpm.

This will give you a good idea as to if the pump you have is sufficient for the size of pool or if it is over kill.  In all honesty there are a few other things that come into play when sizing pumps but to keep from overloading anyone today I am going to leave it at this.  If you want more information on pump sizing you can find a lot of information on line.  I found some of this information at

For other information pertaining to in ground swimming pools and specifically vinyl liner in ground swimming pools please check out my other posts.  I have written about many different topics.  If there is a topic I have not yet covered that you would like me to discuss please feel free to let me know.

Equipment I Will Need for My Vinyl Liner In Ground Pool

Thinking about getting an in ground swimming pool?  Then I will first recommend that you get a vinyl liner in ground pool.  There are other types of in ground pools that you can get but in my opinion the vinyl liner in ground pool is the best bang for your buck.  I am not going to get into the reasons that I feel this way at this point but if you would like more information on why I personally feel this way please check out my blog post titled “Why My Vinyl Liner In Ground Swimming Pool is Better Than Other Types of In Ground Pools” or “Types of Swimming Pools and Which is the Best”.  These two posts go into detail about the different types of swimming pools and the pros and cons related to each.  The reason for this post today is to let you know what type of equipment you will need on your swimming pool.


Heat Pump

To start we need to identify your expectations of your swimming pool.  Are you the type of person that does not like to add additional chores to your list?  Are you like me and find that doing certain light chores is more relaxing?  The reason we need to ask ourselves these questions is to figure out how much you want to do as far as maintaining the pool.  Also if your pool is in an area that gets a lot of sun you may decide that you don’t want a heater or heat pump on the pool.  In my opinion though if you are spending the money to have a pool installed then you may want to go ahead and get the heat pump or heater anyway just in case.  It is better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.  So this brings me to my next point.  Heater or heat pump?  The difference is that a heater uses natural gas or propane to heat the water and the heat pump uses the air temperature outside to heat the water.  There are some drawbacks and benefits to each one.  For instance a heater has the ability to heat the water quickly and in lower temperatures.  The downside is that the heater costs more to operate each month.  A heat pump is electric and does not require a gas line to be ran so the initial install will be a bit cheaper for you.  Also running the heat pump costs significantly less than a heater.  The downside of this is that a heat pump will not heat the water in lower temperatures and it generally takes longer to heat the water.  However once the water is up to the desired temperature the heat pump will kick on and off to maintain that temperature.  For more information on heat pumps and heaters please check out my blog  titled “Gas Heater V.S. Heat Pump.

Once you get that figured out you will have to decide on if you want an automatic pool cover installed.  For this decision you may want to check your local codes that regulated swimming pools in your area.  For instance here in indiana it is state law to have either a auto cover or fence around your pool.  That may be the case in other states as well or there may be a variation of that law.  Ideally if you have the means, it is a good idea to have both.  A fence is a good safety measure to keep unwanted guests out of your pool or neighborhood kids.  The automatic pool cover will do the same thing and in addition to that will help keep the cost of heating the pool and chemical cost down as well.  I am big on safety and I feel that having two or more barriers to get past is safer than just one.  many auto covers require a code or key to operate and a fence will help prevent children from gaining access to your pool area.  For more information on swimming pool safety please check out my blog posts with “Safety” in the title or visit which is a government website dedicated to keeping pool users safe.

Now you will have to decide on how much time you want to spend on maintaining the pool.  In recent years some pretty dramatic steps have been taken to lessen the amount pool owners will have to spend on maintaining their pools.  I have gone into great detail about this subject in several of my blog posts.  However just to recap, Paramount Pool Products have a number of products that will keep the cost and time of maintaining a pool down considerably.  Their Swing Sweep system is a wonderful in floor cleaning system that will literally clean debris out of the pool for you.  In addition to that it promotes better circulation of both water and chemicals.  That alone will help keep the cost of heating the pool down.

If that is not something you are interested in then you might be thinking about an cleaning robot of some sort.  If this is the case I would most definitely recommend Jandy’s Polaris 9550 Sport.  This product comes with pre programed cleaning patterns as well as the ability to control it with a handheld motion sensing remote much like that of a certain video game system.  This is something that could turn a chore into a fun activity for the kids.


There are also a few other products by Paramount that I would recommend in addition to the Swing Sweep system.  Their Clear O3 and Ultra UV can be used in combination to dramatically reduce the cost of pool chemicals for you the pool owner.  If you were to use these items in conjunction with the Swing Sweep system and Venturi skimmer than you could potentially have a maintenance free swimming pool and could then use all of your spare time to just enjoy the pool.  I have also posted about these items in the past including the Venturi skimmer for you to take a look at and I assure you                                                         that you will be intrigued.

AquaLink Z4


AquaLink RS One Touch

Another line of very intriguing products are Zodiac’s automation systems the AquaLink Z4 and AquaLink RS.  Both of these systems allow you to sit back and let the pool take care of itself.  The RS system is a little more complex as far as what it can do but both of these systems are designed to be user friendly and allow you the pool owner to make certain changes to the pool at the touch of a button.  One of the coolest things is that you can now hook up these systems to the internet and access them from your mobile device.  Out of town? Forget to turn down your heat pump?  Leave the water feature on?  Just pull out your phone and turn it down, or turn it off without burdening a neighbor to go over and do it.

These products are all things that are available today.  for more information look at my other posts, or go to the websites,  Talk with your builder to see if they offer these products and if not you may want to consider another company.  These products work well and could potentially create a very relaxing environment free of the stress of pool maintenance.

How Much Work Does Owning A Swimming Pool Require

Owning a swimming pool can be a wonderful experience and create lasting memories for those who have them.  Just think about all the good times that can be had without leaving the comfort of your own property.  I’m talking about pool parties, backyard bbq’s, forming bonds with your family members, getting the kids outside for a change, getting well needed exercise, relaxing after a long day, or a special date night with dinner and drinks on the patio overlooking your beautiful backyard resort.  These are all things that owning a swimming pool can provide.  For some though, the requirement to maintain the swimming pool is enough to deter them from making the decision to actually get one.  This doesn’t need to be the case.

Bonus Points Being Earned

When I envision my backyard in the summer time I see my beautiful patio overlooking the pool where my family spend most of their time in the summer.  I see myself teaching the young ones how to swim without having to purchase a Y membership or ever leaving the backyard.  I see lunches on the patio with the family, and dinner being cooked on the grill.  I see my beautiful wife sitting in the sun overlooking the kids as they play.  I see family friends over enjoying the pool on weekends, and the kids having pool parties with their friends.  I see my wife and I sitting outside in the evening after the kids have gone off to bed, wine glasses in hand with the lights from the pool reflecting off the house as we enjoy our time alone.  Most of all I see smiles on the faces of everyone that takes the time to enjoy our pool.

Unfortunately some people do not see those things and instead they visualize themselves spending countless hours cleaning and maintaining the pool.  They see themselves spending far too much money on chemicals and they see themselves spending more time working on the pool rather than enjoying it.  To those who think this way I want to tell you that those days are over.

I have already written about how to have your vinyl liner inground swimming pool clean itself but I want to reiterate it so those of you that have not read it can get a better idea of how it is done.  First of all if you live near a lot of trees you might think that if you get a pool you will be cleaning it every day.  When the leaves fall and get blown around in the wind they will inevitably get into the pool.  This is probably true, but with the technology that is available that does not necessarily mean the you will need to get the pole and net and fish them out every day.  Sounds unbelievable right?  Well believe it because it is true.  Paramount Pool Products has created a system that will remove the debris for you, so all you have to do is enjoy your pool.


They have come up with a system using a special main drain called the MDX-R3 that will suck up any leaves, bugs, or dirt that comes near them.  With the MDX-R3 you will get a secondary drain called the SDX.  This drain gets installed on the wall of the pool to provide some added safety.


So if the MDX ever gets blocked by something the SDX is capable of taking on the full suction of the pump.  This has two benefits, one is that the pump won’t run dry, and the other is that if the object blocking the MDX-R3 is a person they won’t become stuck.  As an added bonus the SDX will remove any small debris that happens to be floating by mid level.


In addition to the MDX-R3 and the SDX Paramount has created a special type of return jet called a SwingJet that will help to push the debris to the main drain so it can be removed.  The way it works is that the swing jet moves in a 90 degree arc and has plenty of power to push debris away.  The key is to have a few of these SwingJets strategically placed throughout your pool to effectively deliver the debris to the main drain where it is sucked up and removed.

As an added benefit the SwingJets will also circulate the water much better than a standard return.  This will allow the heater or heat pump to work more efficiently and reduce the cost of chemicals.  Now you may be wondering where the debris goes from there.

Well I’m glad you asked.  There are a couple things that can be done with it.  You can either let it be strained out by the pump basket, or you can have their Debris Canister collect it for you.  If you expect to have a lot of debris in the pool I would suggest the Debris Canister as it can hold much more than a standard pump basket.  The canister will be installed deck side where you can access it without having to leave the pool area.  You will basically just need to open a lid, remove a basket, dump it, and re-install it in the canister.  Because it holds a significant amount of debris you will find that you will not have to dump it all that often, and when you do you will see that the process of emptying the canister takes far less time than it would to sweep the pool by hand.  I’m talking a matter of seconds versus maybe an hour to sweep the pool.  So with this system you will find that you will be spending far less time if any actually cleaning the pool.  Now you might say “Okay, that’s all well and good for larger debris and dirt and stuff, but what about all the tiny little organisms and bacteria that grows in a pool?  I will still be spending a bunch on chemicals.”  Well to that I would say that Paramount has got you covered.

Clear O3

They offer two products that effectively eliminate 99% of that without requiring you to lift a finger.  The Ultra UV and the Clear O3 are two products that sanitize pool water and reduce the amount of chemicals you will need to maintain the pool.  The Ultra UV uses ultra violet light to kill those nasty little things that grow in the pool and the Clear O3 utilizes ozone to kill these types of things.  When the two products are combined with the SwingJets, MDX-R3, and the SDX you get a virtually maintenance free pool.

For more information on how to have a virtually maintenance free pool take a look at my 3 part blog post titled How To Have Your Vinyl Liner Inground Swimming Pool Clean Itself.  Also check out Paramount’s website