Booster Pump for Swimming Pool Cleaners

The majority of swimming pool cleaners either work of the suction created by the pool pump or as a stand alone cleaner powered by electricity. There is one other type of cleaner though, one that works off the return flow of water back to the swimming pool.

The choice to use a Return Flow pool cleaner is usually made at build stage of the pool because the cleaner usually plugs in to a socket built in to the wall of the pool with its own separate pipework. Back in the pool room there will be a booster pump to boost the return flow water and give the cleaner enough power to work.

Sooner or later the booster pump will fail and need to be replaced. This is quite a specialised pump and the market for them is quite small. The choices are limited but we think the best booster pump is the Blu Flo from Pentair. They make a 0.75HP version and a 1.5HP version. We are not sure why they bother with the 0.5HP version because it is not big enough. We sell the 1.5HP version. See it by clicking here


The Pentair Blu Flo Booster Pump for swimming pool cleaners

The Blu FLo comes with what Pentair call the Logic-Safe system. This protects the motor from overload or from running dry.

If you have any questions on this or any other type of pool pump call our experts on 0800 690 6288.

Shutting down a pool for winter

A huge number of our customers have been regular customers of ours since we began 17 years ago so we assume that they are experienced at closing the pool down for the winter but no matter how many times you have closed your pool down it never hurts to go over the procedure again so you can be sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

The water

You should have had the pH in the correct range but if not now is your last chance. Get the water  to a pH of 7.2 to 7.6 by adding Dry Acid or Soda Ash if necessary.

Kill off any possible remaining algea. Shock dose your water with unstabilised chlorine – raise the chlorine levels to 6 to 10 ppm. Keep your pump running for 6 to 12 hours to distribute the chlorine to all parts of the pool.

Keep the green stuff out for the next few months. Add a winterising product – this is a long life algicide designed to keep your pool free of algae over the winter months. Keep your pump running for 6 to 12 hours to distribute the algicide to all parts of the pool. We like Perfect Super Concentrated Winter Aligicide.

Allow for winter rainfall.  Switch your skimmer valve off and drain the water down to 4 to 6 inches below the bottom of the skimmer. This is to allow for the winter rainfall to bring the level back up otherwise the pool could overflow.

Allow for freezing. Protect your walls from damage by expanding ice by floating something on the water surface to absorb expansion. This can be polystyrene or used chemical containers half filled with water. It is a good idea to tether them around the pool because they can all end up in one corner.

The Covers

Tidy away the summer cover. Take your summer cover off and give it a thorough clean with fresh water. If possible jet it off with a pressure washer but don’t use too much intensity if your cover is quite old. Either fold it up and pack it away somewhere dry or leave it on the roller but cover it over with a winter storage cover.

Keep the leaves out. Put your winter debris cover on the pool to keep as many leaves out as possible. Always tension it as tight as possible. You do not want it dangling in the water. You may need to re-tension it after the first two or three days.

The Equipment

Proctect the expensive stuff. Once you have circulated your chemicals and drained down the top level it is time to drain the water out of your pump, filter and heater. Each should have a drain plug at the bottom to let the water out. This is so it does not freeze inside it and damage it.

Check the water clarity from time to time and if it looks like algae is coming back put some more winteriser chemical in. Despite what they say about lasting 6 months we think 3 months is the duration time for winter alicides.

A review of Aquacomet swimming pool enclosures

At PoolStore our product knowledge and expertise is second to none. We will not list a product unless we know exactly how it works and what it it does. But in the case of our swimming pool enclosures we cannot exactly take one out of the box and put it in our pool.

So we went to Hungary and the Czech Republic to visit the factories where they are made. Here is our opinion of the Hungarian made Aquacomet products. A review of the Czech made Alukov products will be posted later.

But first it is good to know where pool enclosures come from. There are no UK based manufacturers anymore. Nowadays they are all imported from Europe and the best manufacturers are in Eastern Europe. The vast majority of pool enclosures are sold in to the German market, the Germans demand high quality products and these demands are certainly met by Aquacomet and Alukov.

The first thing that strikes you as you approach the Aquacomet factory in Gyor, Hungary is that the place is huge! It is reassuring to know that the company behind our pool enclosures is not operating from a shed on a farm. On the contrary, Aquacomet’s facility occupies over 375,000 sq ft. They export to 24 different countries and have sold over 16,000 pool enclosures in the 20 years they have been in business.

The Aquacomet factory in Hungary is over 375,000 sq ft in size

In keeping with the huge scale of the site is the huge scale with which everything is done on the site. Massive machines to bend the frames, the racks full of aluminium frames waiting to be made in to enclosures. Acres of polycarbonate ready to be the walls and roofs. But despite the huge scale of the operation every enclosure is bespoke made the individual customer’s exact specification. The computer driven bending machines bend the aluminium profiles in to shape but then the humans take the profiles and place them on a pencil drawn line on the floor to ensure that every frame is the right shape with millimeter accuracy. Nothing is rushed, everything must be perfect.

We were very impressed by the professional way that the company is run. From the computer technology to design the buildings, the ease which which the design computers integrated with the factory floor machinery, the care taken with every item, the cleanliness of the facility and even the friendliness of all the staff. It is nice to know that your pool enclosure is being made by people with smiles on their faces.

When an enclosure is made it is carefully  packed and loaded on to an aquacomet lorry. The lorry drives from Hungary to the UK and a team of installers travel with it all the way from the factory to the site. The factory team install the enclosure and the installation usually takes about half a day.

High tech machines bend the frames to shape but every item is checked with human eyes

We at PoolStore act as an intermediary between this immense  factory and you as an individual pool owner. You can call us for expert advice, backed by personal knowledge, on aquacomet enclosures. We can give you a guide price for the enclosure you like and we can arrange for someone to visit your pool to give further advice, to show you samples and quote a firm price for whatever you require. All of this is free of charge and there will be no hard sell.

If you want to start the ball rolling with a new swimming pool enclosure then just call us on 0800 690 6288

What is the right sand for a swimming pool filter?

If you have a swimming pool filter then the likelihood is that it is a sand filter. As the name suggests a sand filter uses sand to filter the impurities out of the water. Sand is put in the filter vessel and the water is forced under pressure through the bed of sand. The water molecules pass through the gaps between the sand grains but solids in the water are held back in the gaps between the grains.

You cannot use just any old sand in a swimming pool filter it has to be a special refined grade of sand known as 16/30 grade. The numbers refer to the size range of the grains in thousandths of an inch. In 16/30 grade sand the smallest grain will be 16 thousandths of an inch, there should be no grains smaller than this. The largest grain will be 30 thousandths of an inch, there should be no grain bigger than this.

This type of sand is not usually kept in stock in builders merchants or DIY superstores but you can buy it from PoolStore. It comes in 25 kg bags and a typical filter requires 6 or 7 bags. Rather than load them all in your car, we can deliver them to you door the next working day.

It is essential to use the correct sand in your pool filter

If the grains of sand are smaller than 16thou they will pass through the laterals at the base of the filter and end up back in your pool. If you see sand grains in your pool then it is probable that they have come out of the filter either because the grains are too small or because the laterals in the filter are broken.

If the grains are bigger than 30thou they will be too big to catch the fine solids in the water.

After a while the gaps in the sand fill up with dirt from the pool and you have to “backwash” the sand by forcing the water through it in the opposite, upwards, direction. This loosens up the sand allowing the dirt to be washed out and then you can restart the process again.

Click here to purchase 25kg bags of 16/30 grade sand

A review of the Zodiac range of salt chlorination products

This article is about the Zodiac range of salt chlorination products and it is assumed that you know what salt chlorination of a swimming pool is and you are aware of the benefits of salt chlorination. If this does not apply to you then have a read of our article on How Salt Chlorination Works and The Pros and Con of Salt Chlorination

Zodiac are a leading manufacturer of salt chlorination products and dosing systems and we stock four of their products, We will explain here what each of them and how they work together (or not).

The Zodiac EI

The Zodiac EI is a great product. It is an easy to install retro-fit salt chlorinator. It is the entry level, manual control, salt chlorinator and is the only unit most pool owners will need.

The Zodiac TRI

The Zodiac TRI can be retro-fitted but it involves alteration to the pipework whereas the EI does not. The TRI is very easy to install on a new build pool. The TRI purchased on its own works exactly the same way as the EI so if all you want is a basic salt chlorinator then get the EI. The advantage the TRI has over the EI is that you can add modules to the control panel to turn it in to an automatic controller. You can add a pH control unit that will automatically regulate the pH or the “pro” unit will automatically regulate the pH and Chlorine level in your pool.

The Zodiac pH Expert

The Zodiac pH Expert is a stand alone pH dosing unit that can be used on any swimming pool to regulate the pH. If you have an EI unit you could add this product to make sanitising and regulating the pH easy. You don’t have to have a salt chlorinator to use the Zodiac pH Expert

The Zodiac Chlor Expert.

The Zodiac Chlor Expert is  also a stand alone dosing unit and is a bit of red herring in the context of salt chlorinators because you will not need this unit if you have a salt chlorinator. The Chlor Expert regulates the Chlorine level in your pool by injecting liquid chlorine when required. So a pool without a salt chlorinator could be fully automated by installing this unit as well as the pH Expert.

We hope that this article has given an insight into the four Zodiac product that we sell but if you have any questions then please call our experts on 0800 690 6288