If you have a pool, you most likely have a pump. The pump is what's responsible for keeping the water circulating through the filter and heater so it's clean, sanitary and at a comfortable temperature. In an ideal world, the pump would quietly do its job and circulate the water day in and day out without causing any problems but, unfortunately, there are certain issues that can arise over time.
The pump itself consists of several different parts, each with their own potential problems. But the impeller, which the motor turns to move water through the system, is often the cause of performance issues or total breakdowns because it gets clogged. Many things can block an impeller, but plant matter is frequently to blame.
Here are five of the plants that lead to blockages and what you can do to prevent them from getting into your pool pump.
1. Deciduous Trees
Trees that drop their leaves in the autumn spell trouble for pool owners, as there's a good chance at least some of the leaves will end up in the water. This is an annoyance, at the very least, but it can also quickly cause an impeller blockage when the leaves find their way into the pump.
Ideally, there wouldn't be any deciduous trees anywhere near your pool, but you might have planted some long ago or even have neighbours with them. Keep branches back from the water as far as you can and consider covering your pool when the leaves start dropping. You should also be meticulous in your leaf-sweeping.
2. Pine Trees
Leaf-dropping trees are not the only ones that can be a problem. Pine trees and similar species are also a risk. Although they don't go through a phase of dropping all of their needles, they can lose a scattering throughout the year, especially when it's been particularly dry. Pine needles are, unfortunately, perfect for getting lodged in pump impellers.
Keep pine trees watered to minimise the chances of needles dropping. You should also give them a good trim from time to time, especially if they're planted quite close to the pool, and don't leave dropped needles lying on the ground where they can get blown or kicked into the water.
3. Flowering Shrubs
Plants that flower don't keep their blooms all year, and eventually, they're going to die and drop off. Although this doesn't sound like a big problem, when you have a large number of flowering shrubs, it doesn't take many dropped petals and stamens to block an impeller.
When the flowers start dying off, pull or cut them from the plant and either throw them away or compost them. This will stop them from falling to the ground where they can end up in the pool and work their way through the pump system.
The upside of grass is that it's unlikely to lead to blockages through its natural lifecycle. Instead, it's your own activities that can be the issue by creating lawn clippings.
When you mow your lawn, keep the cuttings safely contained and dispose of them carefully. If you don't have a lawnmower with a built-in grass collector, you should consider investing in one. Don't leave cuttings in open bins or on top of compost heaps where the wind can blow them into your pool.
5. Fruiting Plants
Larger fruits like apples aren't a problem as they're too big to fit through a pump. Small berries are the fruit commonly responsible for blocked pump impellers.
When you have fruit growing that you can eat, harvest it as soon as it's ready, and don't leave it on the plant to drop. For plants that have inedible berries, cut them off and compost them or feed them to the birds far away from your swimming pool.
If your pump isn't performing well and you think the impeller might be blocked, don't wait for it to break down completely. Contact Shenton Pumps to arrange a service and we'll get it working like new again.