If you’re like the majority of people, when it comes to a swimming pool, all you really care about is swimming. How the pool works, what keeps the water clean and how the thing was put together doesn’t really matter to most swimmers. However, we also like to appeal to those who prefer to understand how things work. In line with that thinking, we’ve come up with an article to help answer the question, “How does an inground pool work?”
The fact is that no matter the shape or size of the swimming pool, all inground pools work in the same fundamental way. Water is circulated, filtered and heated to allow for clean, safe and healthy swimming.
To prevent your swimming pool from becoming a stagnant pond full of algae, molds and mosquito larvae, the water must be consistently circulated. This allows dirt and debris to be filtered out and supports the circulation of chemicals that help keep the water chemistry balanced. To help with circulation a swimming pool has drains on the pool floor and skimmers along the top edge of the pool walls. The drains on the floor of the pool suck up any dirt that falls to the bottom and pumps it into the filtration system. Because the skimmer is located along the water’s surface it collects dirt and debris that floats on the water. The largest contaminants are collected in a strainer basket before sending the water to the filtration system.
The water filtration system is composed of a water pump and filter unit. The water pump is an electric motor that drives a component known as an impeller which creates enough suction to cause water to flow. The water pump contains its own strainer basket through which the water passes before moving onwards to the filter. The water filter is filled with a fine material such as sand or diatomaceous earth which catches any remaining particles not captured by the strainer baskets. The water filter is monitored with pressure gauges which indicate how plugged with debris it has become.
There are several types of heating units that keep the water temperature high enough to be comfortable for swimming. Gas heaters work the fastest but rely on burning propane or natural gas to warm a heat exchanger which in turn heats up the water. Heat pumps are more ecologically friendly but take longer to work and are dependent on warm weather. They extract heat from the air and transfer it to the passing water. There are also several types of solar heaters that can be added to the flow after the filtration system. These typically involved the use of long lengths of tubing which exposes the water the sun to allow it to heat up before being pumped back into the pool.
To learn more about inground pools and how you can create the perfect backyard for your home, download our free Backyard Escape Guide.