Understand Your Swimming Pool Filtration System
Man using pool cleaning tool on in ground pool

Owning a swimming pool is a big responsibility. After you’ve taken care of one for a few years, there’s a good chance that you’re a pro at cleaning it and keeping your pool filtration system running at its best. But if you’re a first-time pool owner, it may seem overwhelming trying to understand every part.

That’s why Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas is here to break it down for you and explain.

How Does a Pool Filtration System Work

As a pool owner, you’ve probably heard about in-ground and above-ground pool filtration. As the name suggests, pool filtration refers to the system and processes used to clean and maintain the water quality in swimming pools. Usually, both above-ground and in-ground swimming pool filter systems consist of the following elements.


Pool Filtration System

1. The Skimmer

Every pool filtration system begins with a skimmer. No, not the flat net on a pole that you use to remove debris from the pool’s surface; that tool is known as a hand skimmer. A normal skimmer refers to the small square or rectangular opening found at the top of the side of a pool.

This opening is often half-submerged beneath the surface of the water and has a small door on it that allows dirt and debris to flow into it but not return to the pool.

2. The Pump

Through the skimmer, there is often a basket to catch larger items that cannot go through the filter. Beneath this basket is an opening. This opening brings the water to the pump.

The pump is an essential part of the pool filtration system as a spinning impeller inside of it helps pull the water in from the pool. Once the water is in the pump, large debris that made its way past the skimmer is held back and the dirty water is pushed by the spinning impeller into the filter.

3. The Filter

When it comes to what kind of filter you can have for your pool, there are a few options, including sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth filters (DE filters).

  • Sand Filters: A sand filter cleanses pool water by using, you guessed it, sand! At the bottom of a sand filter are laterals, which are a series of plastic tubes that prevent the sand from entering the pool with the clean water. These types of pool filtration systems are valued for their durability and ease of maintenance. Also, sand filters are cost-effective and require relatively little maintenance. Usually, you will need to replace the sand inside the filter every three to five years.
  • Cartridge Filters: These filters are typically made from polyester that strains the dirt and debris out of the water. These filters do not need to be backwashed like the others do, but the cartridges themselves need to be cleaned often and replaced every few years.
  • Diatomaceous Earth Filters: Lastly, diatomaceous earth filters (DE filters) consist of a series of plastic or polyester grids that allow the water to be filtered through. These filters require a DE powder to filter the water; without the powder, water would pass through without getting cleansed.

4. Return to Pool

If a pool is heated, the water will also run through the heating system before making its way back into the pool. However, if the pool is not, the water goes from the filter straight back into the pool through return jets. Return jets are the little circular openings on the side of the pool that are fully submerged underwater. They bring the clean water back into the pool and also create a current that moves dirty water into the skimmer, repeating the process.

Get Help from The Pool Professionals

Keeping your swimming pool in pristine condition takes work. It requires a thorough understanding of how the pool filtration system works. Whether it’s the skimmer that initiates the cleaning process, the pump that moves water through the system, or the filter that removes contaminants, each plays a vital role in the filtration cycle. Knowing how each component works can help you keep the system running at its peak. Remember, a well-maintained pool filtration system is the cornerstone of a healthy and enjoyable swimming pool.

Whether you’re an amateur, a seasoned professional, or looking to become a pool owner, Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas has just what you need. Contact our pool professionals for anything from parts and chemicals to pools and installation!