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Thread: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

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    JenniferJuniper2's Avatar
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    Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    This is a beginner question so I am posting it here.

    I've read that it's not safe to swim with the pump on. But we have to run our pump in order to run the waterfall. We are having a pool party in a couple of weeks. Is it okay to run the pump/waterfall while people swim?
    15k gal freeform sport pool with rock waterfall. Replastered 5/2016 with Tahoe Blue Quartzscapes
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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    I prefer it that way. I like to see moving water. Ever been to a resort or a public pool that doesn't have the equipment running? Curious where you read such a thing?
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Yes it's safe.
    I see your pool was re-plastered recently did they install or did you already have dual main drains? Single drain is about the only safety concern but pools had those for years before the safety upgrades, common sense and supervision are the main safety features you need. If your pool has a separate valve for the main drain you can turn it off for an added measure of safety.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    michaelrbanks's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Yes - ours never shuts off (variable speed pump). Some members of the forum will likely recommend only running the pump at certain times of day for set intervals, mostly to turn over the water in the pool & save energy. I've never seen a recommendation against swimming while it's on.
    16,661 gal IG PebbleTec w/ Spa; 60 ft2 Jandy DE filter, 2 HP Jandy Variable Speed pump; 2 skimmer; 400K BTU Jandy heater; Polaris Sport; opened 9/15/14; TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Yes, totally fine to swim with the pump on in a permanently installed, bonded and grounded swimming pool. The conversations you see originate with Intex pools that are plugged into a wall outlet. Intex recommends not swimming with the pump in their owners manual.
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    One caveat might be main drain and whether you use yours. Mine isn't "Hooked up" both pipes enter into the skimmer, and to use it I require a diverter valve. Which i do not use. The stories I've heard of things going wrong with main drains will give you the willies. If you use a main drain, running with the pump off might be safer depending on what kind of cover you have over it.
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    OP, thanks for asking this question.....I would have never asked since I thought the answer was soooo obvious that it would have never crossed my mind. But now with people mentioning the dangers of a main drain, and having a six year old who keeps testing himself touching the floor on the deep end, has got me worried.

    I have a valve for the main drain, should I close it and just use the skimmers? If the answer is to close, is there ever a reason to open it?
    23K gallon, IG, Vinyl, Hayward DE-3600 Filter, Raypak 406A Heater, Hayward 1.5HP SP2610X15 pump aka AO Smith UST1152, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrguzmanr View Post
    If the answer is to close, is there ever a reason to open it?
    Better, more complete circulation.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Does your bottom drain have one opening or two? Modern pools have a main drain that is teed under the pool and plumbed to two drain covers making it impossible to become trapped. If the pool is older with only one drain cover then you can replace the cover with an anti-entrapment cover. Inyo Pool and Sunplay both sell them.
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    My main drain has one opening. With a quick Internet search I found that some drains are compliant with a code to prevent getting stuck. How can I find out if my drain is compliant? I wish I had thought of this last year, when I changed my liner.
    23K gallon, IG, Vinyl, Hayward DE-3600 Filter, Raypak 406A Heater, Hayward 1.5HP SP2610X15 pump aka AO Smith UST1152, TF-100 Test Kit

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    JenniferJuniper2's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Thanks for the replies! Our pool is older and only has one main drain. I didn't even know there was a way to shut off the drain...? When the pool was replasteres they did install a "safety" cover. I am not sure why it is supposed to be safer, but it is longer and skinny (the old one was round)
    15k gal freeform sport pool with rock waterfall. Replastered 5/2016 with Tahoe Blue Quartzscapes
    Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 test kit
    Jacuzzi 2002 J 310

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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrguzmanr View Post
    I have a valve for the main drain, should I close it and just use the skimmers? If the answer is to close, is there ever a reason to open it?
    You can close it if you want there are many on here that believe main drains are not needed as the circulation benefits are minimal. They do keep the temperature of the water a bit more consistent as they prevent stratification and they can keep your water flowing in the event you get a plastic bag in the skimmer (ask me how I know ) beyond that not much benefit. If I had a dedicated valve for my main drain I would close it down so that it is only about 20% on enough to provide flow in the event of a problem but not equal to the skimmer this will also increase skimming of the surface.

    In general terms a safety cover will be at least 8" in diameter, square or round, somewhat dome shaped, with holes or slots small enough to keep fingers from getting stuck. The dome shape and size make it nearly impossible to completely cover the drain and become trapped by the suction.

    Edit long and skinny is another version I did not think of, same principal applys hard to cover the whole slot and get traped
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    atttech-2 thanks for the info. My drain is around 8" in diameter, round and somewhat dome shaped. I guess I will put some goggles on, take a deep breath, get down there and see what I can read.

    OPS, thanks again for the question!
    23K gallon, IG, Vinyl, Hayward DE-3600 Filter, Raypak 406A Heater, Hayward 1.5HP SP2610X15 pump aka AO Smith UST1152, TF-100 Test Kit

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    stevenmverrill's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    I had the same fear of a guest getting stuck to the drain. With a friend maning the pump cut off i made many efforts to get my self stuck, and failed.

    Now i also have a skimmer by pass pipe i made. With that in place not a doubt in my minde some one (even strong) could get stuck on the drain.
    18x36 rectangle built early 90's, 9ft well, "black onyx" vinyl liner, 1 1/2" plumbing, 2 returns, 1 skim, 1 drain/return, plumbed chloranter, 48sf de filter, multi port valve, and 1.5hp jandy pump.

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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    I have a main drain about 8" in diameter as well with plenty of venting so it would be very difficult to completely cover it up and cause such suction that you could get stuck.
    As for running the pump, I too run mine 24 hours, at varying speeds to circulate and maintain crystal clear water. I am also heated so the pump needs to run to keep the water warm.

    I was warned to not completely shut off the main drain as since the shut off valve is not air tight, a vacuum effect could damage the pipes. Does this have merit?
    16' x 32' IG, vinyl, 80k litre (21k gal), "lazy L" (kidney like at deep, squared off at shallow) shallow 3', deep 8', Hayward sand filter 300 lbs, 20gal/min Mod S-244T, Pentair Superflow VS 1.5 HP Model 342001, Raypak Heater 266K BTU Mod P-R266A-EN-C, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, diving board, Southern Ontario (Canada) climate.

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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Your pump does not produce sufficient suction to harm your pipes.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrguzmanr View Post
    OP, thanks for asking this question.....I would have never asked since I thought the answer was soooo obvious that it would have never crossed my mind. But now with people mentioning the dangers of a main drain, and having a six year old who keeps testing himself touching the floor on the deep end, has got me worried.

    I have a valve for the main drain, should I close it and just use the skimmers? If the answer is to close, is there ever a reason to open it?
    My pool has some thingy on the sidewall so if anything plugs my drain it shuts it down and pulls water from the thingy releasing the pressure from the drain. That is what my pool company tells me anyway. I do know that it is hooked to the main drain somehow and when they close it has to be blown out by itself.

    I wanted to add...I do shut my skimmer off when I brush and pull from the main drain only. I brush towards the main drain. It really does make a difference when brushing my pool.
    16x32 IG rectangular 21,800k new vinyl liner 2014, Triton II TR 50 sand Filter, Pentair 3/4 hsp whisperflow pump, 3 returns, TF100 test kit w/speedstir. Maytronics s 300i robot.

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    Re: Is it okay to swim with the pump on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissykr View Post
    My pool has some thingy on the sidewall so if anything plugs my drain it shuts it down and pulls water from the thingy releasing the pressure from the drain. That is what my pool company tells me anyway. I do know that it is hooked to the main drain somehow and when they close it has to be blown out by itself.

    I wanted to add...I do shut my skimmer off when I brush and pull from the main drain only. I brush towards the main drain. It really does make a difference when brushing my pool.
    I do the exact same thing. Great for inbetween vacuums
    18x36 rectangle built early 90's, 9ft well, "black onyx" vinyl liner, 1 1/2" plumbing, 2 returns, 1 skim, 1 drain/return, plumbed chloranter, 48sf de filter, multi port valve, and 1.5hp jandy pump.

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