Hello everyone and greetings to the good people of the forum.
I'm in the San Diego area and would like to do some upgrading to my mom's ~50 year old pool. It is a 32' long oval, with a shallow end that is a bit deeper than normal, maybe 4.5' (?). I have heard a size estimate of 15,000 gallons from one of the local pool service companies.
What happened was -- well long story, but we had to run new power out to the pool, and also the underwater light is kaput. The new power line is installed and the old pump is hooked up. The pool turned green in the meantime. Funniest thing, Google Earth actually happened to get a shot of the place when the pool was green.
First of all, I'd like to put in a variable speed pump, maybe one of those Pentair Intelliflo 3hp numbers, in order to reduce power consumption.
Also a new filter. Currently she has a DE filter, I'm not sure of the size but the pool people seem to think it is a bit small.
A new pool cleaning device would be nice. I have had recommended a Pentair Racer Pressure Side Cleaner, vs. a "Rebel", vs. Hayward Navigator Pro. Apparently the Pentair would require a new booster pump as well. Considerations are that pool isn't that big, I don't want something too heavy to be lifted out easily, the pool isn't plumbed for it. The current device has PVC pipe crossing the pool deck from its pump.
I would like to put a new pool light in, and I know this will be expensive. We went ahead and made a cut in the concrete deck so it is ready to be trenched out down to the light. I noticed in the pool store yesterday an LED replacement light with different colors that looked interesting, anyone ever seen that before ? BTW, if I let the water level down, trench out down to the light level, and have my electrician do the wiring, what's a reasonable cost for them to set the light in place? That's the main thing I would like them to do, as I have my own people for the other work and they seem to want an arm and a leg for running the wire over to a new junction box from the new subpanel we put out there. I would likely give them a contract for pool maintenance service, not trying to take advantage of them but it seemed a bit exorbitant, let me put it that way.
Here's the toughest question: What are the most favorable options for alternative sanitizing systems? I would like to reduce the chlorine needed. I personally just don't like it after years of spending hours and hours in pools, including competitive swimming and waterpolo through university. My mom is 90 and she loves to swim, but as you know people tend to get more sensitive as they get older.
I checked yesterday, the underground part of the pipes are copper. The pool equipment is right nearby to the pool itself, within 10 feet.
I understand that there may be issues with salt water systems and copper. One other thing is that she has ladder handles mounted in the deck, and above the water, that are made of stainless steel. (see below)
I don't want to get controversial here but the loveliest pool I have swam in (and there have been many) used ozone + chlorine, but I understand that can also be a problem with copper. I had a chat with the Del company about there Eclipse 20 device but was told it wasn't compatible with copper.
Are these copper issues absolute, or just things that can happen if your chemistry gets way out of whack ? How about mitigation by using one of these zinc anodes ? ? ?
How about copper ionizer + chlorine systems? Again I don't mean to be controversial, just want to find out if there are ways to significantly reduce the annoying smelly chlorine. I have seen some suggestions online that these systems are completely bogus ! But I do understand that for both ionizers and ozone systems, some chlorine is needed and that is fine.
I stumbled across one more type of system that seems controversial, and that is UV light + chlorine. Can someone give me the skinny on that? Legit or pie in the sky ? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I don't mind using some chlorine but if it could even be one third of the usual amount that would be great.
Or put it this way, since I don't understand about the compounds vs free chlorine etc etc, what I'd like is a significant reduction of the effects generally attributed by the lay public to chlorine.
If I get someone to do the "plumbing" part of the installation, how hard is it to program the pump, etc. ?
Lastly, I hope it doesn't sound sacrilegious here, I'm thinking that using a pool service for ~$110/month would be good insurance to make sure everything stays perfectly balanced, since I am a fairly busy professional and live across town from my mom, and as I mentioned she is 90 after all. Is OK ?
If I may summarize:
I. Alternatives to regular chlorination, considering copper pipes
A. Salt Water
B. Copper Ionizer + chlorine
C. Ozone + chlorine - Del Eclipse 20 (this puts out a lot of ozone)
D. UV + chlorine
II. Copper pipes
A. How likely is damage from Salt or Ozone ?
B. Mitigate with Zinc Anode ? (How well does this work ?)
III. Pool Cleaning Device
A. Suggest effective, durable, and good value models ?
B. Requiring extra pump vs. not ?
C. Suction vs. Pressure vs. Robotic
IV. If I DIY pump, filter, etc, with my own contractor, how hard to program ?
V. Reasonable cost to set the underwater light ?
VI. Multicolored LED light ?
I think that's about it !
Please no flaming or tirades if you have a special grudge against any of the "alternative" sanitizing methods, for all I know they may be complete scams. I'm a total noob to this and just would like calm objective info !
Appreciate all the great stuff posted by the friendly people here!
The stainless rails above the side steps look something like this