Friday, June 27, 2014

Grounding and Bonding: What's the Difference?

Most people have no clue what the difference is between grounding and bonding in a swimming pool.  This has become a more popular topic due to the recent incident where children were shocked in a swimming pool in Florida due to faulty wiring.  Improper grounding or bonding of a pool can result in bodily harm or even death, and should not be taken lightly.

Equipotential Bonding Box
The proper name for bonding a pool is Equipotential Bonding.  The concept is pretty simple: you want the pool water and everything in and around the pool to be at the same potential, or voltage.  If there is a difference of less than 4 volts, you will feel a tingle.  If the difference is more than 4 volts, you can feel a greater shock.  Proper bonding of the equipment ensures the same potential (voltage) anywhere in the pool area.  Bonding is achieved by connecting anything metal in and around the pool together with a #8 wire which then leads back to a common ground.  The National Electric Code requires any fixed equipment made of metal that is within 5 feet of the pool to be bonded.

Grounding is a process meant to protect people against a possible fault in the electrical system.  Grounding equipment is achieved by connecting a ground wire from the pool motor or other equipment back to the home breaker panel.  If there is a short of any kind, the grounding conductor allows the short to go back to the source of power and trip the breaker.

To check for proper grounding and bonding be sure to contact your local ASP location for a thorough diagnostic!

Friday, June 20, 2014

What is the best filter for my pool?

This is a common question that a lot of our customers ask us this time of year. Our answer is always the same. We simply reply to the customer with a “Well, it depends.” You first need to know what type of filters are available for you to use. We have listed out a description of the three most common swimming pool filters.
  • Sand Filter: The most common type of swimming pool filter. The sand filter is typically round in shape, and is either a plastic or fiberglass shell. The sand is what actually filters the water as the pump pushes the water through the system. A sand filter can capture a micron (particle) the size of .30 when filtering the water. To clean the sand filter it must be backwashed once per week, and typically the sand needs to be replaced with new sand every 3 years.  Also, the sand filter’s up-front cost is the least expensive form of filtration for swimming pools.

  • Cartridge filter: The cartridge filter is typically oblong in shape, and is either a plastic or fiberglass shell. The cartridge is what actually filters the water as the pump pushes the water through the system. The cartridge does a better job of filtering the water than a sand filter does. In fact, the cartridge filter can capture a micron (particle) the size of .10 when filtering the water. To clean the cartridge filter, you must remove the cartridges from inside the filter and rinse them off. It is recommended that the cartridges be cleaned at least every 3 months; however, depending on the season and overall use of the pool the cleanings may be needed more often than that. Also, the cartridge filter is more expensive in cost than a sand filter.

  • DE Filter
    D.E. filter: The D.E. filter looks similar to the cartridge as it too is either a plastic or fiberglass shell, and has an oblong shape. The D.E., which stands for diatomaceous earth, is a powder that coats the grids that are inside the filter, and the D.E. powder is actually what is being used to filter the water. The D.E. filter is the best form of filtration for a swimming pool, as it can capture a micron (particle) the size of .03 when filtering the water. To clean the D.E. filter, you typically backwash every 3 weeks; however you must “re-charge” the filter after backwashing by adding more D.E. powder to the skimmers. It is also recommended to remove and clean the grids inside the filter every 3 months. The D.E. filter is the most expensive filtration used for swimming pools.
So, which is the best filter for your swimming pool? Again, it all depends. If you are on a budget then you may decide to go with the more economical sand filter. Or, you may decide the extra money may be better spent on the best filtration available with the D.E. filter. Or, you may decide to simply meet in the middle and go with the cartridge filter. At the end of the day, you will be happy with whatever choice you make because all three filters do their jobs very well. We do recommend that you consult with your local pool professional to inspect your pool equipment system before changing your filtration. The pool professional will be able to provide you with additional insight that may help you make your decision. Visit our Locations page to find the ASP closest to you!

 
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