Two Essential Pieces of Equipment : Skimmers & Filters


Welcome to the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beach’s online podcast. With your hosts Holly Colasurdo and Elizabeth Varian.

Elizabeth Varian: Hey everybody. Elizabeth Varian here. I’m here with Holly Colasurdo. Say, hey, Holly.

Holly Colasurdo: Hey guys, welcome back.

Elizabeth Varian:  Yes we are having a very interesting topic today. We’re going to be covering Basics 101 in pool maintenance, which is very important.

Holly Colasurdo:    Yay.

Elizabeth Varian: Yeah.

Holly Colasurdo:  Basics are good.

Elizabeth Varian:   We haven’t really covered a lot of things that you need to have in the pool and keeping it up and, I guess, I’d really like to know if I really need to only have two pieces of equipment, what would they be?

Holly Colasurdo: Well the two … skimmers and filters. They’re really important.

Elizabeth Varian: Right off the bat. Just right in to those two items. Why? Why would they be my essentials?

Holly Colasurdo:  Well, they keep your pool clean from large debris to small microbes.

Elizabeth Varian:  Okay, which is highly important. Let’s break it down and say … Let’s start, I guess, with skimmers. What is it? All I can think is skimming. So what is it skimming?

Holly Colasurdo:  Right. You’re right in the word itself. What it is, it’s a little plastic container that goes into the top of the pool on the side there, everybody can see it, and you can see it when you’re in the pool. That little square that’s cut out when you’re swimming and you’re tempted to put your hand in there? That’s a pool skimmer. It definitely makes your life easier having a skimmer. It’s just meant to preserve a clean pool surface. You know, ridding it of floating leaves, twigs, bugs-

Elizabeth Varian:  Ooh, those are very important to keep  out of. (laughs)

Holly Colasurdo: Something that you can readily see. (laughs)

Yeah, I remember growing up and pushing all those things toward that skimmer, because I knew that once I put them in there, they weren’t coming back out.

Elizabeth Varian:  So, do I have to run that on a regular basis?

Holly Colasurdo: Well, your pool should do that on a regular basis. The skimmer is just an object that sits there and does that. When your water flowing and moving-

Elizabeth Varian: Oh, how wonderful.

Holly Colasurdo:  It’s being pushed through.

Elizabeth Varian:  I love that.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah.

Elizabeth Varian: So, it’s already installed. It’s all part of it. It’s, definitely, necessary. Because we definitely don’t want any of that stuff when I’m going to go for a swim.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah. Well, it’s easy to take them out, too, and clean them. Even as just … Your own pool. Your pool guy does that if you have a pool service, but if not, you just lean over, pick up that basket, dump it out, put it back in. It’s easy. Very easy.

Elizabeth Varian: Oh, good. So, then what’s the difference between that and a filter? What does filters do?

Holly Colasurdo:Alright, a filter is a lot different. That is over by your equipment, and what that does is … You know, the water from the pool pushes through that sand. There’s different types of filters, and there’s three different types and we can talk about that. And, that does sit by the equipment, and that filters out all those little tiny microbes that you really don’t want in your pool. And, they’re different. You have a cartridge filter, you have a sand filter, and a D-E filter. D-E stands for diatomaceous earth.

Elizabeth Varian: Oh, that’s a mouthful.

Holly Colasurdo:  Really neat stuff.

Elizabeth Varian:  (laughs)

Holly Colasurdo:   Yeah. (laughs)

Elizabeth Varian: And, do I have all of those in my equipment? Or, I only get one type of filter?

Holly Colasurdo: No, you get one, and you better figure out which one it is. All filters are different. Before you buy a pool filter, you just need to know the three types and which one best suits what you want to do.

Elizabeth Varian: Oh, okay.

Holly Colasurdo: So, if … And, they all their own pros and cons. They all have water that goes through them. The purpose is the same for everything. It’s just, which do you like best? Say, for instance, the sand filter. It’s perfect for people that are on a budget, and they want to spend less time maintaining their pool. They’re really large tanks, and they are, believe it or not, this is going to sound funny … ‘Cause you don’t want sand in your pool, but they’re filled with pool-filter sand.

Elizabeth Varian: Really?

Holly Colasurdo:  But, it’s so small, it’s like a silica sand, which is almost like you can’t see it. But it’s so important-

Elizabeth Varian:  So it catches stuff as it goes through, but still allows the water to go through?

Holly Colasurdo: Yep.

Elizabeth Varian: Oh, that makes interesting sense.

Holly Colasurdo: It filters out … Yeah, it’s really neat. It filters out particles before going back to the pool water. You know, eventually, they do build up. Which is why it’s important … Remember you heard the term “backwash” when you have to backwash your pool?

Elizabeth Varian: Yes.

Holly Colasurdo:  Because if they build up it raises pressure inside the filter tank, which is indicated actually by the pressure gauge.

Elizabeth Varian:  Okay.

Holly Colasurdo: It’s like a multi-port valve. It’s easy maintenance with the back washing and rinsing, which, again, if you have a pool service company they will do for you. The filter sand, I think it lasts between five and seven years.

Elizabeth Varian: And that’s one type that’s more budget-minded.

Holly Colasurdo:Right.

Elizabeth Varian: So, then you can get more filter. Like, I’m thinking air conditioning filter where it’s not sand. (laughs)

Holly Colasurdo: Right. When it’s not the sand filter, it’s the cartridge filter. Which is, typically, most of what our clients have. You spend less time maintaining the pool when you have a cartridge filter, they’re both energy-efficient and cost-effective. It is a large tank, although not as large a sand filter, so that’s where the cartridge filter goes and the water is filtered through there. There’s no loose filter, like the sand or the diatomaceous earth. They remove particles, I think, as low as 10 microns.

Elizabeth Varian:  All the gross- (laughs)

Holly Colasurdo:  Because of the large surface area … Right, because it is a bigger tank. It has less resistance and performs well at slower speeds. It doesn’t need back washing, to some that’s a plus. But, instead, the cartridge filter is removed.

Elizabeth Varian: And then you clean it out?

Holly Colasurdo: At the office here, we … Yeah, we have the techs that call. They say, “Okay,” … They go and they clean it out and as much as they do that, and then after a year, they last maybe about a year. It depends on how much use they get.

Elizabeth Varian:  Gotcha.

Holly Colasurdo: Then, the tech says, “You know, Mrs. Smith needs a new cartridge.” And, then that’s when we say we got to get her a new cartridge. So, it just requires a little less elbow grease. It’s just, you have to spray it out and clean it out.

Elizabeth Varian:  And, then, get a new one every year.

Holly Colasurdo:  That’s the pro of it, the no back washing, performs well at a lower speed, and now that most of the pools have variable speed pumps, that’s really good, as well. And, it helps conserve water. The con about it is, maybe, it takes more work than the sand filter, because you have to replace the worn-out filter cartridges. But, that’s it.

Elizabeth Varian:   Oh, that’s fantastic. If we have to think about it, like, in air … We have to change our air filter every so many months, don’t ask me how many, because I let someone else do it. (laughs)

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah. Right.

Elizabeth Varian: If you have a pool and it’s collecting all this stuff that you don’t want in the pool, it makes sense that it, then, has to be changed out. Because cleaning can only help so much.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. It just depends on what you want-

Elizabeth Varian: And, when you do that, you give the client the advance notice, “Hey, we’re going to order another filter for you, just want to let you know.”

Holly Colasurdo:  Yep. That’s why we do our-

Elizabeth Varian:   Awesome. And, that’s part of the regular service that you’re checking it all. Absolutely.

Holly Colasurdo:  So, people could be educated. Most people don’t even know, and they say … And, when our next one is the D-E filter, the diatomaceous earth filter. Which, is only … It’s a powdered form of fossilized exoskeletons that remove particulars.

Elizabeth Varian: That is weird. (laughs)

Holly Colasurdo:  Yeah, I know, it does sound weird. It performs like the big sand filter, but better because of how small that is. But, every time you do backwash, if you have the D-E, you have to add fresh D-E powder to the skimmer. So, it’s different for everybody. It needs to be broken down and cleaned regularly, which is, again … If you have a pool service guy, that’s what he does.

Elizabeth Varian: Yes.

Holly Colasurdo:  It’s kind of the same as a cartridge filter, but sometimes you have to check with your township or county. Sometimes they restrict the back washing of D-E filters. So, that’s a question, but the pro is very small particles. And, the powder can be added easily to the skimmer. The cons is, it’s probably the most expensive filter with higher maintenance. The D-E powder-

Elizabeth Varian: But, it seems to catch the most.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah. The grids need to be deep-cleaned once a year. And, again, if your town or city- if they have those types, I think that they look at them, I don’t think most really do. But, those are three filters. It’s really interesting. It’s very important to your pool, but it’s something you can do on your own if you don’t have a pool service guy, but if you do then that’s what he does.

Elizabeth Varian: Absolutely. Well, I can see why you’re saying these are, absolutely, the two essentials.

Holly Colasurdo: Right.

Elizabeth Varian:  Because, we really do want to make sure that when we’re diving in … This is our skin, which is our largest organ in our body, we’re swallowing in through nose and mouth the water, and you want to really make sure that you have the cleanest and healthiest experience, if you will, that you possibly can.

Holly Colasurdo: Right.

Elizabeth Varian:   And, definitely, makes sense. So, wow, you’ve educated me. I’m sitting here wondering how the sand doesn’t get into the pool. But, it sounds like the system is structured so that the sand is catching everything-

Holly Colasurdo: Oh, yeah.

Elizabeth Varian:   So, that’s an interesting concept in and of itself.

Holly Colasurdo: It’s neat.

Elizabeth Varian:   I never would have put sand and pool together. Sounds like we have Maya at the office today? (laughs)

Holly Colasurdo:   Yes, she’s here. She’s working, too. We put her to work.

Elizabeth Varian: The hard working Pool Doctor pup. So, if you’re listening to this-

Holly Colasurdo:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Elizabeth Varian:   And skimmers and filters, you’re learning more from it and you really don’t want to be dealing with it yourself. Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches is, definitely, highly recommended to take care of your pool maintenance on a weekly schedule. Talk to them about some free week service when, I believe, it is you sign up for an annual plan. You can give them a call at 561-203-0270. Again, that’s 561-203-0270, and Pool Doc- pools of Palm Beaches dot com. And, also, I want to let people know. If you go on to their Facebook page, Facebook dot com slash pool doctor Palm Beaches, E-S. You’ll actually see Holly in a video and she is-

Holly Colasurdo: (laughs)

Elizabeth Varian:  Actually out there showing off one of the pools that they created. And, you are Vanna White of pools now.

Holly Colasurdo: No [crosstalk 00:10:23]. (laughs)

Elizabeth Varian:  So, check them out on Facebook, and give them a follow. And, until next month, make sure you got the best skimmers and filters going on to keep that pool clean.

Holly Colasurdo:  Yep.

Elizabeth Varian:   So, we’ll talk to you again next month. Have a great one.

Holly Colasurdo:  Okay, thanks, bye.

Elizabeth Varian:  Bye.

Thank you for listening to our monthly podcast. Be sure to contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches for your South Florida pool needs. Call 561-203-0270, or, visit us online at www dot pools Palm Beaches dot com.


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FL State License Pool & Spa Contractor CPC1458452

Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches
1408 North Killian Dr., Suite 103
West Palm Beach, FL 33403

Phone: (561) 203-0270
Fax: (561) 537-7151

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South Florida Cities: Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Jupiter, and Tequesta

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