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Thread: First go at pool maintenance...

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Portland, OR

    First go at pool maintenance...

    Purchased our home last fall up here in the PNW. A 5 year old 36x18 pool (In ground w/ steel walls, concrete floor, and vinyl liner w/ in-ground auto cover) was included, the kids are can't wait for things to warm up. I'm wondering if I did not bite off more property maintenance than I can chew!

    Going to make some mechanical and plumbing changes over the next month. The pool is right at 30K gallons, there is a nice finished pool chalet where the pump, filter, and chlorinator are housed inside, and a heat pump is outside on the back. I'm relocating the the filter to the back (outside) of the building to free up the space inside (wife wants to use the space as a guest room).

    Anyway, we kept the pool open all winter and maintained the levels to our best, water looks good. The pump destroyed our energy bill, so I am changing it to a IntelliFlo VS 3HP when I begin the filter relocation. In the process of shopping for the pump, I was informed that my 120SF cartridge filter was undersized, and I should consider an upgrade. I'm considering the Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420. I'll likely Craigslist the existing 1.5HP pump and filter.

    I'd welcome any comments on my choice of pump/filter.

    Looking to this summer, my family loves the idea of a salt chlorinator water feel, but the other components will chew my budget for this- this year. I'm also concerned about corrosion on the pool cover motor/rails and perhaps the steel walls beneath my liner. I've been reading about alternatives to improve the water feel and came across the "so you want to add borates..." thread on this forum. Read the whole thing, and have done some research into safe Boron consumption levels. I don't raise this point to spark a debate, just to say that it's not going to work for me to add 30-50ppm boron with the age of my youngest kids. So...what are some alternatives to creating a soft, low as possible Cl- environment and keeping things clean??? If I can swing the Salt Chlorinator, what are the odds I'm going to wreck my cover/walls?

    Look forward to the answers.


  2. Back To Top    #2

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Fletcher, OK

    Re: First go at pool maintenance...

    Weclome to TFP

    Sounds like a great update, I tend to have a different take on these things... what would I do with the info you gave, hmmm

    A clean and clear 420 or 520 would be perfect (I have the 320 and love it)
    I would go with a 2 speed pump, they work great and will save you money on the install and running it
    A Salt Water Generator, I would not live without one and you could afford it with a 2 speed pump

    I bet your salt content in the pool now is close to 1500ppm depending on how the pool was chlorinated in the past, so really you already have a salt water pool. with that said, the equipment/metal may have less life in it with a 3000ppm water.... the pool shell might last 50 years instead of 55 if there is a leak.

    I think the auto cover would be my only concern, you could get a hold of the company and ask if it has been tested with salt water.... How does it look now, remember it has been exposed to salt water for years already.

    Above all else I would get a great test kit, we live by them... I would recommend the xl option, speed stir, and the salt test.. I love the TF100 in my sig below but the Taylor K-2006C will also work.

    Hope this helps
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: First go at pool maintenance...

    Welcome to the forum!

    While 420 is likely fine, it's hard to go wrong with over sizing to 525 sq ft. If you don't mind the extra spend that is, but I think it's more prudent to over size carts even more than other types.

    Risk for your cover is not a problem, but you'll find varying opinions on how much threat there is to some of the other components you mention. I'm pretty neutral about Borated pools, and don't use them, but I don't know about the issues you raise with toxicity concerns to younger children. If it matters to you, then it does, and that's all that matters. How much "softness" borates actually add is very debatable anyway. Some feel it, others don't.
    TFP Moderator
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Portland, OR

    Re: First go at pool maintenance...

    Thanks for the replies. I have ordered the pump and filter. I just built a retaining wall on the back side of the pool house and am moving the equipment to the slab to be poured supported by the wall. I'm going to leave room for a future salt cell on the return line just before the PVC enters the pool house (after the heater/solar loop). The current plumbing set-up has no check valves, and no diverter valves, just a bunch of those hard-to-turn red handle valves. I'm thinking of plumbing a check valve just before the pump inlet, solar panel outlet, and around the spot where my future salt cholorinator will be located. Thinking diverter valves between the skimmer/drain (3way), just after the pump for a pool drain option (3way), at the solar inlet (2way), at the heater bypass (3 way), and possibly between the step-jet/main jet (3 way). I'd like your opinion on the proposed locations and recommendations for products.

    One complication I have is that the Skimmer/drain and step-jet/main jet are plumbed up through the slab in the pool-house, and they are set such that the 1 1/2 PVC is 4 inches apart, so a straight-forward three way diverter installation cannot happen without swinging one of those lines out a few inches and then back least I cannot think of a way (see picture).

    Thank you!

    Attachment 47853

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