By Platinum Team November 15, 2015

A Closer Look at Your Pool System and Coverages

Within this post, we’ll take a look at a typical pool system. What are all those parts, and what do they do? What’s covered in our home warranties, and what’s not covered?

A quick snapshot of common pool components

What are the main components of a typical pool system, and what do they do?

There are a lot of parts to a pool system. While each pool is unique, some of the biggest players include:

Skimmer [not covered] –The skimmer assists in pool cleaning by skimming water and capturing floating debris (leaves, flower petals, dirt, twigs, dead insects and oil). Skimmers should be cleaned daily during swim season.

Timer [covered] –The timer automates the functions of the pool. It also allows the pool equipment to be more energy efficient and aids in prolonging the the life of the system.

Filter [covered] – The pool filter removes debris and oxidized material from the pool’s water. It also can provide circulation and distribute chemicals within the pool, preventing formation of algae. The three main types include:

1. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter – Diatomaceous Earth is a white powder made up of the microscopic skeleton of Diatoms, an ancient, subaquatic creature. Under high magnification these skeletons resemble sponges. DE filters are the most efficient type of pool filter. Annual service on the filter is needed to clean the filter grids.

2. Sand filter – Sand filters are recommended for pools with trees nearby. Dirt, pollen and plant material can clog other types of filters. To prevent clogging, pool water is filtered through the sand. Larger particles are trapped before the water is recirculated back to the pool basin.

3. Cartridge filter – This filter is similar to a DE filter. Water is instead filtered through fine pleated mesh. Backwashing is not used in this type of filter.

Heater [not covered] – Some pools have a heater to warm the water within the pool. The three main types include:

1. Convection Heaters –Like a convection oven, this type of gas pool heater circulates heat. Convection heaters rely on a large flame to heat a constant stream of hot, flowing water.

2. Tank Heaters – Tank heaters use a small flame to heat a large volume of water. For some regions, they can be cost effective. Tankless models are eco choices also.

3. Coil / Flash Heaters – Coil/flash heaters are the most common type of gas heater. A flame heats a coil through which a small, fast-moving stream of water passes.

Auto Leveler [not covered]– When water evaporates from the pool, an auto leveler will keep the pool filled to a certain depth at all times.

Chlorinators [not covered] – Chlorinators automatically feed chlorine directly into the pool instead of running it through the filter first. This protects the filter from chlorine corrosion. It also eliminates the need for a floater with chlorine pucks.

Return [not covered] – The return allows filtered water to return to the swimming pool. It can also aid in keeping debris off the bottom of the pool, if adjusted properly.

Pool Pump [covered for main circulation pump] – The pump contains an electric motor and impeller which pulls the water through the filter and back out through the inlet.

Booster Pump [not covered unless additional pump coverage is purchased]– The booster pump is an independent pump from the main circulation pump. It draws water from the circulation plumbing and is used to power the cleaner by way of a dedicated clearer line.

Valves [covered]– Valves regulate the flow of water or air. There are quite a few types of valves:

1. Backwash Valve – These come in two types:

  • Push-Pull are simple to operate and mount to the bulkhead of the side of a Sand or D.E. Filter.
  • Multiport also mount to the bulkhead on the side of a Sand or D.E. filter. They can also be a top mount style.

2. Gate Valve – Gate valves are very similar to a garden hose spigot. The center of the valve may require repacking after continued use and age.

3. Ball Valve – Ball valves are a common and inexpensive valve. Ball valves are replacements for old brass gate valves. They are not a serviceable valve and can easily break. If the valve does break, it must be replaced and cannot be repaired.

4. Combination Valve – The most common type of a combination valve is called a Jandy valve. It allows for easy access to the internal components of the valve as well as allows installation flexibility based on the needs for the specific pool.

Automation System [not covered] – Controllers can be used to control the filter cycle, chemical additions, water temperature, water level, pool sanitizing equipment, outdoor lighting, safety equipment, pool cleaning, pool covers and other automated equipment.

When ordering your warranty, how do you ensure pool coverage?
Pool coverage is optional, additional coverage that must be selected when you order your home warranty. This coverage is available for built-in pools and spas only.

If your pool and spa share common equipment, both are covered within the single pool/spa add-on. If they have separate pumps and filtration systems, then only the pool system is covered. Optional additional coverage may be purchased for the separate spa system.

What is covered under a home warranty?
In order to receive any pool coverage, you must select the optional coverage package when ordering your warranty.

Some of the main items covered within the built-in pool/spa coverage include the main circulation pump/motor, heater, valves, gaskets, timers and auto levelers.

For complete details, be sure to look at our terms and conditions.

What isn’t covered under a home warranty?
Some of the main items pool/spa coverage does not cover include filters, in-floor cleaning systems, lights and underground pipes.

For a comprehensive look at what isn’t covered, be sure to look at our terms and conditions.

What regular maintenance is required to keep your warranty valid?
To keep your warranty valid, be sure to perform regular maintenance.

  • Skim debris, and clean out baskets
  • Vacuum pool, and brush walls and tile
  • Clean pool filter
  • Check and maintain water level
  • Maintain pool chemicals within range
  • Report leaks immediately
  • Run pool pumps 1 hour per every 10 degrees of ambient temperature
  • If applicable, clean salt cells with muriatic acid

Are saltwater pool systems covered?
We do offer saltwater pool system coverage. In order to receive this coverage, be sure to select for the “saltwater pool system” add on when you order your warranty. This optional coverage must be selected by in addition to regular pool/spa coverage. The saltwater pool system option covers the cell plates as long as they have been properly maintained.

If you have questions regarding coverage, please give us a call at 1.800.871.2339.

And, if you’re looking to keep your pool in top shape, be sure to take a look at these related blog posts: 10 Tips to Maintain Your Pool and Pool Pump Maintenance Tips.