Hi there -
We recently moved into a house that has an outdoor water feature that's essentially an above ground pool. It's L-shaped with the sides being about 22' and 19', respectively, and it's about 7' wide and 18" deep. There's a pump underground somewhere that sends water up through 4 different openings at the bottom of the pool, the water spills over the edges of the pool, falls into drain channels that move the water back to the underground pump, and so on. Other than a mesh strainer at the intake to the pump, there's no other filtration system, chemical treatment system, etc.
When the water is clean and clear, it looks great and the water trickling sound is very pleasant. But the big problem that we're having is that inevitably, we'll get (dead) algae accumulating at the bottom. We try to keep ahead of it by periodically adding chlorine and algaecide, but if we have a lapse (or if the chemical balance gets out of whack), we end up having the dead algae on the bottom.
The previous owner had put together a DIY vacuum system, which we've tried to use but which is very cumbersome to use and doesn't work well (more details about its construction and photos are at the end of this post). I'd love to find a better solution -- either some kind of permanent ongoing filtration or a portable vacuum/cleaner of some sort. It's a big enough hassle that I'm willing to spend a decent chunk of change to get it addressed -- though of course I'd also like not to spend more than necessary. And though I'd love for it to be as "hands off" as possible, I'm aware that realistically it'll probably require that I do active work on an ongoing basis, and that's okay too.
For a portable vacuum/cleaner, I'd be fine with pretty much anything as long as it wasn't too much harder than using a regular vacuum on carpet. And although I'd prefer to have the water filtered to remove the algae and returned to the pool, I could be okay with just sucking the algae out from the bottom and dumping the water (though that seems wasteful).
And just to reiterate, I'd be glad to find a commercially available option that would just work out of the box. But I'm also open to putting together a DIY system (or even modifying our existing system) if that's the best option.
Would really appreciate any guidance or advice! Thanks.
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Info on existing DIY system:
The previous owner left us with a DIY system that's a combination of two elements put together on a hand truck. From intake to output, here's the sequence of components:
- There's a 1.5" intake hose, which is about 12' long. The idea is to connect one end of that hose to a vacuum head that's attached to a pole and that can be rolled along the bottom of the pool.
- The other end of the intake hose is connected to a Pooline cylinder that has a strainer inside (see photo 1).
- The other end of the Pooline unit is connected to a Splapool pump for swimming pools and spas (see photo 2).
- I'm assuming that the pump sucks in water from the intake and pumps it out to the filter cartridge (shown in photo 3).
- After going through the filter cartridge, the water is sent back out through an output hose (presumably back to the pool).
One of the main issues we have with the system is that it's not self-priming and so it's a pain just to get it started. [We dunk the entire intake hose into the pool, then reach in and use our hand to cover the end that connects to the intake of the vacuum system, try to quickly attach it to the system (the small time gap is probably what's introducing air into the line), then we open the Pooline cover and fill it with water, close the cover, and turn on the system.] It usually doesn't work well and we have to do that several times before it does work. Also, the entire contraption is so bulky and cumbersome that it's hard to move it around to vacuum the entire pool.