Pool School 115 Returns and Circulation

EcoBluEyeballThe most overlooked aspect of swimming pools is the lonely Return Jet. When I refer to a return jet I am speaking about the port on the side of the pool where water enters the pool from the filtration system. Returns Jets are so simple yet vitally important and always overlooked. I want to take a moment and give these simple devices all the respect they deserve.

The way water returns back to your pool from the filter is important to keeping your pool clear and algae free. The first thing to keep in mind is that water is like all of us, it is lazy. That is right we are all lazy, we do things the easiest way possible, we don’t want to work hard so we find the least resistant method of doing something. Water is the same way it takes the path of least resistance. With that in mind if you have more than one Return Jet in the pool most of the water will go to the jet closest to the filter system because that is the easiest route. In order to make the water flow efficiently we have to use different size returns eyeballs. Return Eyeballs are the devices we screw into the fitting in the pool wall that allows you to direct and restrict the flow of water back to the pool. For proper water flow balance you want to put an Eyeball with a smaller opening on the fitting closest to the pool filter and the return or returns farthest from the pump you want to install an Eyeball with a larger opening. But be careful you want some back pressure on the Eyeball to get it to project the water further into the pool. Think of a garden hose if you take the spray nozzle off the end of the hose and just let the water run out of the hose it only projects a few inches from the end of the hose, however if you put your thumb over the opening and restrict the flow you can get the water to project a few feet from the hose. This same principal applies to your Return Jet.

With the advent of two speed and variable speed pumps, projecting the water flow becomes even more important. When you run the pump on the lower speed the water flow back to the pool is reduced, so restriction becomes even more important. In order to achieve the best water flow you would have to change the Eyeballs out each time you switched the speed of the pump. To resolve that issue we have a new style Eyeball called a EcoBlu iBall. This Eyeball has a special silicone eyeball that expands and contracts with the change in velocity of the water flow. With the EcoBlu iBall you don’t have to worry about what size eyeball you put in the port as it will automatically adjust to the optimum opening size. Problem simply solved. We have these Eyeballs at Aegean Pools.

Now that we have the return jets balanced we need to configure the eyeballs so that the water flows in a pattern that includes the entire pool. We don’t want to have dead areas in the pool. Many people, including a lot of service technicians, overlook this very important aspect of pool care. First, if you are like most people you have your Eyeballs pointed at the surface of the pool water because it is cool to see the water moving; however, this is not helping your water circulation. The best direction for the Eyeball is pointing it to the side and down at a 45 degree angle. Next we want to get the water moving in the same direction, so make sure when you turn your Eyeballs they will be consistent with the first Eyeball you set. Also, if your return Eyeball is next to the automatic surface skimmer you want to point the Eyeball away from the skimmer. It is counterproductive to have the water that was just filtered going directly back to the filter, we need to bring in that stale water from across the pool back into the filter system, so point the Eyeball away from the skimmer. With the Eyeballs pointing the water in the same direction we can drive the debris on the surface of the pool to the skimmer so it can pick it up.

You have now been to school on how to properly adjust your water flow to keep your pool looking its best and stop algae dead in its tracks. Now stop ignoring your Return Eyeballs and go spend a little well overdue quality time with them! Class dismissed.


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