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General Safety
Chemicals and Electrical
Pump Suction and Trapped Air
Routine Maintenance
More Info

Pump Suction and Trapped Air
Pump Suction

Stay off the main drain!

Your circulating pump creates a strong vacuum at the main drain at the bottom of your pool. In fact the suction is so strong, it can trap adults or children underwater.

We recommend removal of the automatic pool cleaner when swimming.

Read the cleaner or vacuum owner’s manual for safe operating information.

Make sure your pool or spa has the following:

  • An emergency shut-off switch for the pool circulation pump and the spa jet pump in an easily accessible, obvious place near the pool or spa. Make sure bathers know where it is, and how to use it in case of emergency.
  • At least two suction outlets from the pool to the main circulating pump.
  • Either one of these outlets should be able to supply the pump by itself without exceeding the flow rating of its cover. (Many aboveground pools use the skimmer as the suction outlet, and have no main drain; these pools don’t require a second suction outlet.)
  • Each outlet must have a cover fastened down with screws, be designed so that they won’t trap body parts or hair, and be certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Plastic deck and drain covers may deteriorate, and crack or break from exposure to sunlight or weather. Routinely replace them every 3-4 years.

Trapped Air
The piping and filter systems on pools and spas can trap and hold large bubbles of air until they build up pressure that can separate filters, strainers, and separation tanks. The following can help you avoid this situation.
  • Learn how to safely bleed the air out of your circulation system by reading your owner’s manuals carefully.
  • Never try to adjust or service your pool or spa filter unless you have read the owner’s manual and understand how to release all pressure from the system. Make sure to shut off power and release the pressure first!
  • When starting up the system after a period of non-use, re-read the start-up instructions in the owner’s manuals first.
  • Never connect your pool or spa filter system to a household water system. The pool equipment is designed to run at much lower pressures, and may split or burst if subjected to household water system pressure.
  • Make sure shut-off valves downstream of the filter remain open during system operation.
  • Make sure the pool skimmer is not sucking air (“vortexing”) as well as water. This can pull a large amount of air into the filter system, and it can be corrected by raising the pool water level, reducing the flow of water through the skimmer, or both.
  • Before using a vacuum or suction-side cleaner, submerge the hose completely and let it fill with water before connecting it to the pump suction outlet.

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