I have been reading a ton of posts over the last few months to learn in preparation for a home purchase with a pool. So, thanks for all the good info! It has been incredibly useful.
Background Info (This may be too much info, but wanted to share some of my initial pains after the purchase, of course):
Due to my initial lack of knowledge about pools and pool equipment, It has been a steep learning curve. Since my home purchase (See Signature) a few months ago, I have had to fix a few things and still am troubleshooting some issues.
First, the intermatic timer motor stop working. Replaced motor. Fixed
Second, I couldn't get the water clear regardless of proper chemistry and running the filter for extended periods of time, thus suspecting a filter issue (I initially thought it was sand channeling). I was unhappy with the pluming inefficency from the pump to the filter (see pictures), and the inability to remove the filter Multi-Port value because the plumbing was hard plumed into the multi-port valve with no PVC unions. So, in fixing the plumbing and installing unions to gain access to the filter, I found that the Stand pipe was shattered in multiple places, effectively rendering the filter useless. I changed the sand (all 500 lbs of it), repaired the standpipe and clean/inspected the laterals. Filter seems to work like a champ now.
Third, I was getting air bubbles in return lines and in the Pump housing pointing towards a suction side Leak. Using the plastic bag method, I was able to determine that it was coming from the PVC union entering the pump...Fix in progress. Apparently, the previous owners/pool maintainers couldn't figure it out so they decided it would be a good idea to caulk all of the union parts together as opposed to inspecting the gasket. So, I'll have to cut away a ton of Silicone to remove/unscrew the union and inspect it.
My current issue/Question:
Due to the pool heater being inoperative before we closed on the house, it was replaced with a brand new Raypak 266K BTU Propane heater free of charge. I tested the heater a while back, but just recently attempted to heat the attached spa. It took 6.0 hours to raise the temperature from 70-86 (16 degrees). I am 100% sure that the valves were set correctly to isolate only the spa. The spa itself approx 6ft x 6ft . It seemed to be operating correctly, but I couldn't imagine that it would take that long to heat just the spa and we didn't even get it up to the 94+ degrees we were hoping for in that time frame. Anyone with a similar issue or explanation?
Thanks again for all the great info.