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Blog | Ordinary circulation vs. In-Floor circulation

What we are addressing today is ordinary circulation of pool water, which is what most standard pools use. The body of water in the vessel is drawn to the equipment via suction pipes that draw water from the surface through surface skimmers, and from the bottom via the main drain(s). The water runs through the filter and is returned to the pool by returns in the side wall of the pool. These returns are usually 18" below the surface, and a pool will normally have 3-6 returns. By filtering water using this method the surface water is kept near the top so it creates what is called a layering effect. The surface of the pool is warm, the middle is cool, and the bottom is cold. The other disadvantage is that the sanitizer used is dispersed less effectively with a high percentage of chemicals accumulating at the surface. This is why test kits advise you to dip down 18" or lower for a water sample to test the chemicals. Another downside to this method of circulation is the heating aspect. A swimming pool is basically a large solar collector. The sun heats the surface of the pool and the water returns near the surface. This is what causes the layering effect I mentioned earlier. Now we will examine the difference of an In-floor circulation system.

With an In-floor system the pool water is drawn to the equipment in a similar way as a standard pool. The big difference is in how the water is returned to the pool. The in-floor system uses a water driven valve that runs through a cycle. This cycle pops heads up in the floor of the pool. It is designed to clean the entire pool, steps, benches, tanning ledges and spas. What happens is the returned water to the pool is now coming out in the floor vs. the side. There are many more in-floor heads in such a pool than there are returns in a standard pool. These heads pop up and shoot out a jet of water that reaches about 6'. These heads are on different banks, and usually a normal set-up will have 6 banks with 3-6 heads per bank. So as one bank goes down another one comes up. As these heads retract they ratchet to another position. That way when they come up again they are cleaning a different area. This approach to circulation has a three fold effect.

Firstly, the water is now being dispersed out of 20 to 30 different areas. Also remember that these are not stationary but also move in a circular pattern. Now your sanitizer is being dispersed over a broader area much more effectively. This reduces the amount of sanitizer you need to keep your pool sparkling clean. Thereby saving you money on sanitizers.

Secondly is the solar collector effect I mentioned earlier. This surface water is now being returned from the floor of the pool thus making the pool a more uniform temperture. This helps eliminate the layering effect. Also when the time comes that you need to use the pool heater, this method heats from the bottom, up. A more effective way and a true money saver. You will spend less on gas or electric, whichever you are using.

Lastly, this method of circulation is much more efficient. In order for a pool to be clean and sanitized it is recommended that the entire body of water be turned over 2-4 times in a 24 hr. period. This means that all the water has ran through the filter at least twice in a 24 hr. period. With this more effective way of circulating the body of water, your pool water is turned over more effectively. Which will run your pool circulation pump for less hours per day. The cost savings in electricity is one aspect, the other is wear and tear on the pool pump. Here is a link to Paramount pool products web site. It contains a lot more information you should find helpful.

Topics: all , In-floor cleaner , In-floor pool cleaner , In-floor system

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