I'm new to the forum and seeking advice .... I'm married in my mid-50's with an 8 year old daughter, a solar/wind power consultant with a master's degree in mechanical engineering with a tendency to overthink things....3 years ago I bought an 1850's era frontier house that has a large pool (65'x21', about 52,000 gallons) built in 1946 out of limestone rock (lined with plaster) that was originally filled with diverted creek water, decades later some minimal pool equipment was added.
We LOVE the pool, but it is an enormous time sink. I have eased into improving it over the last 3 seasons and developed some unconventional workarounds, but am ready for major upgrades for the pool's 70th birthday.
1) Pool Leaks (initially a colossal 5" per day but after plugging some holes now about 0.1 to 0.25"/day -- pool has some structural damage and all pool repair companies wanted to build a new pool inside this one.... we have accepted there will be some leakage.
2) Heavy organic load (lots of trees including a 20 foot tall trumpet vine on a tree trunk that hangs over the pool -- it is beautiful but does host poopy critters and a constant drop of leaves & flowers).
3) Inadequate circulation (old, undersized sand filter, 4 returns all on 1 side of pool & 2 skimmers which rarely "skim" as water level is often 12 to 18" low (as it will leak less -- we have additional water intakes near the skimmers to feed the pump and a solar robot skimmer that works pretty well). Main drain & 1 skimmer combine together on a 1.5" pvc line to pump, which often has priming issues being 2 to 5 feet above water level and occasional suction-side air leaks.
4) "Green Powder" Pool is filled with well water each spring and looks gorgeous initially (Ph tends to run 7.8 to 8.0), but by mid-summer gets "green powder" (possibly pollen, dead algae or a cocktail of different junk) that makes the water cloudy green while swimming, but will entirely settle on the bottom if undisturbed a few days)... if this was an MMA fight, the green stuff would be declared the winner every autumn 3 years running. (this green stuff passes liberally through my filter after sand gets somewhat dirty / mostly passes through my Dolphin robot cleaner / 1 micron filter bags attached at returns catch it unless the pump is running at very high speed, e.g. start-up)
5) Too much time on Maintenance - I backwash the old filter ( BakerHydro HRV-30 (500 lb of sand)) lots -- more than weekly once the green stuff shows / shock regularly (I suspect part of the green junk may be inerts from the powdered shock from Leslies which doesn't seem to dissolve well unless the Ph is lowered to 7.2-7.4 range) my in line chlorinator doesn't seem to work properly so we have 4 or 5 floaters with 2 or 3 tabs generally in the pool) / My new Hayward Multiport Valve didn't last 6 months before leaking & replaced gasket failed even quicker.
6) Flooding - perhaps once every 10 years the pool and pool equipment go under water when creek swells after big rains.
PLAN OF ATTACK:
Upgrades I've already made include: Pentair 3hp VS Intelliflow Pump, 2" ball valves on suction-side lines, robot skimmer, suction side robot & Dolphin robot, and custom flex lines with cam locks instead of a multiport valve... Next Steps:
1) Upgrade Filter. Thinking about a Pentaire Quad DE 100
2) Automate Sanitation - Was thinking about SWG but have rejected the idea as everything is old soft limestone and pool leaks a lot into creekbed (which is usually dry) that is directly over my water well.... next was thinking about UV/metals/and hopefully reduced chlorine , but after reading this forum, plan A is now automated liquid chlorine dispenser
3) Selectively Upgrade Plumbing. The 1.5" line from main drain & skimmer needs to be larger & I probably should punch additional returns in other walls to encourage circulation.
QUESTIONS FOR FORUM:
1) Green Powder Problem: Is there another filter better than DE Quad 100 for grabbing fine green stuff? Are there other steps to undertake other than using the robot vacs regularly to try to stay ahead of it?
2) Liquid Chlorine Dispenser Suggestions: What are good choices for large automated dispenser suitable for 52,000 gallon pool? Does anyone have suggestion for where to buy cheap/bulk liquid chlorine in San Antonio? (I usually just get unscented generic bleach at HEB when I've used it to shock)
3) Circulation/Plumbing: Are there any resources / links to advise me on return & intake placement & design for improving the circulation in the pool. The white PVC plumbing is almost entirely exposed on creekside of pool (probably for 10 years or more) should I be concerned about UV degradation of the PVC?
Thanks for any help that is forthcoming.
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