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Thread: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

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    Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    My wife got her wish, a house with a pool. I got what I expected, trouble. Neither of us is particularly excited about the magnitude of the pool.

    I think we've already tracked down the approximate location of a fairly significant suction side leak under concrete decking using a mechanic's stethoscope. I can see that at least some of the pressure side plumbing is copper, whereas some of the suction side looks like schedule 80 grey pvc. The skimmers appear to have been replaced or repaired evidenced by cuts in the concrete decking.

    Not sure exactly what the pool's structure is, but it has at least one layer of fiberglass that appears to have been sloppily applied.

    It has the old Swimquip light well which I am waiting on a backordered J&J LED replacement for.

    There is an inground spa with a 2" overflow into the pool that I would like to fill in.

    In a perfect world, I'd make the pool 15x30, 9' deep, and move all of the plumbing to a new location with lots of control flexibility. For now, I just want fix the plumbing leaks so we can vacuum it!

    arri
    33k gal IG Concrete and Fiberglass, 20'x40'x7' max depth rect built 1970, 2hp Hayward SP3020EEAZ pump, 48 Sq Ft DE4820 Hayward, 2 skimmers, 2 eyeballs, drain disconnected, 250k BTU Hayward H250ED2 heater, IG spa, 3/4hp Waterway Booster WB075, Dolphin S300i

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Hello Arri and welcome to TFP! Nice to have you with us.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Welcome to TFP and congrats on the new pool!

    Hopefully you can have some good days in the pool this summer on the way to your perfect world!
    TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    It does sound like you have a nearly 50 year old fixer upper, I am sure you will be much happier with it when you get all those patched repair jobs fixed right and then it will hopefully all be smooth sailing
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    HI! Look at your pretty badge under your name! LOVE IT!

    You will love having a pool with TFP helping you every step of the way! Share some pics of your pool so we can get you started on IDing everything.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    I just have to say that I love your thread title! Good luck with everything!

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Thanks everyone, I know the kids will enjoy the pool. Actually, they already have as we're running water temps in the mid 70's.

    Please provide advice on my signature, I don't know if saying IG fiberglass means a fiberglass shell like I've seen dropped into a hole in the ground or fiberglass coated masonry which is what I suspect mine is since they couldn't possibly have driven a 20' wide fiberglass shell down the road

    I'm going to continue reviewing threads before I start my own "problem" threads on individual issues. Supporting the forum was the least I could do given how much information I've already found and the savings on a TF-100 so I can track my wife's use of trichlor before it becomes a problem. That's about the only good thing about a leak, it probably helps keep the CYA in check!

    As soon as I get the plumbing water/air tight the pump will be replaced with a variable frequency one as my electricity runs over 40 cents per kwh during summer months.
    33k gal IG Concrete and Fiberglass, 20'x40'x7' max depth rect built 1970, 2hp Hayward SP3020EEAZ pump, 48 Sq Ft DE4820 Hayward, 2 skimmers, 2 eyeballs, drain disconnected, 250k BTU Hayward H250ED2 heater, IG spa, 3/4hp Waterway Booster WB075, Dolphin S300i

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Arri, thank you very much for being a TFP supporter! Your signature looks very good and detailed. We'll keep an eye out for any questions you may have down the road. Enjoy the site!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Sig looks good, we've seen pools like that before. Yes, you definitely need a variable speed pump! When you start researching check for rebates from the state, city, electric company, etc.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    For reference, this is an overview of the pool, facing West. There are two skimmers and two eyeballs setting up a clockwise flow. The spa is underneath the furniture and decking in the foreground. I think I've mostly got everything identified, just dreading cutting open the cement at the furthest corner in the image (the NW).
    IMG_6322.jpg

    You can see from the plumbing that most, if not all of the equipment has been replaced at least once since 1970. I suspect the copper return lines are all that is left of the original build. I'd love to move this to the NW corner of the property from the NE area against the house where it is now but it just isn't economically feasible.
    IMG_6331.jpg
    33k gal IG Concrete and Fiberglass, 20'x40'x7' max depth rect built 1970, 2hp Hayward SP3020EEAZ pump, 48 Sq Ft DE4820 Hayward, 2 skimmers, 2 eyeballs, drain disconnected, 250k BTU Hayward H250ED2 heater, IG spa, 3/4hp Waterway Booster WB075, Dolphin S300i

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    I am late to the dance, arri, but have you absolutely confirmed you have a suction leak at that location? Give us some more info before you break out the jackhammer.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Absolutely? No. More like deduced, with the most substantial evidence being the time delay (>20 seconds) to induce bubbles at the pump when moving the Jandy valve 100% to the skimmers. Of the two skimmers, the closer one is less than twenty feet of pipe away from the pump. Whereas the far one could be closer to sixty feet. At standard pipe velocities it would seem highly unlikely the source of air was within twenty feet of the pump.

    That coupled with a stethoscope locating the loudest source (I even had my wife try it) under the concrete.

    I have tried charging the suction line with air (15psi) to get a better sound from the line without any luck or rogue bubbles on exposed fittings.

    I also tried flooding every joint I could get to on the suction side of the pump as well as a new gasket on its basket cover to alleviate the bubbles at the pump.

    I'm open to suggestions as to how to absolutely confirm a leak by all means.

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    You are there so you can tell better than anyone else but suction leaks are very, very seldom underground.

    If it is under your concrete, it should be sucking in some mud,etc.
    I have tried charging the suction line with air (15psi) to get a better sound from the line without any luck or rogue bubbles on exposed fittings.
    did it hold pressure? How did you seal up the skimmer?

    Last, what do you think caused this underground break? Is the concrete settling? That would be a good indicator.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    I closed one skimmer and the pump with test plugs and injected air at the remaining skimmer through a bushing which didn't have a good enough seal to do an actual pressure test. Interestingly, there were no bubbles coming up from the pool drain so it doesn't appear to be tied into the skimmers as I would have expected. I have since then verified by putting a piece of vinyl over it that the drain is not operational. Both skimmers have 2' square concrete repairs made around them so they are not original.

    As far as the concrete decking having settled, it is really hard for me to judge since I've only just acquired the property and have no history. The concrete decking is more uneven than I can imagine was intentional, but I've discovered stranger intentional construction at this house already making it difficult to judge.

    Our soil is pretty sandy and drains far better than I'd like. It is possible that any visual clues in the pump basket have come and gone years ago as this problem may well be that old based on the prior owner's modus operandi. That being said, it's worth a closer inspection when the pump hasn't been running for a while during that initial 30 second startup period before it starts pulling air.

    I'll try and find an alternative means of pressure testing so that I can more confidently accuse the suction side plumbing. It will probably involve test plugs at both skimmers and maybe drilling and tapping one of the fittings near the pump where I could put a vacuum gauge in the future.

    While I can use the Jandys to maintain prime and a decently operating pump by pulling a small amount of water from the spa, when I swap from a position where zero air is present inside the pump basket to 100% pool suction a few bubbles (not enough to hurt the pump) become present immediately. Ten seconds later a deluge of air hits the pump and it will generally lose prime. Here's a link to a video where I move the suction side Jandy from evenly Spa/Pool to 100% Pool suction at the one second mark. https://www.dropbox.com/s/5foiq6a0msl7v3y/IMG_6334.MOV

    I'm open to further suggestions.
    33k gal IG Concrete and Fiberglass, 20'x40'x7' max depth rect built 1970, 2hp Hayward SP3020EEAZ pump, 48 Sq Ft DE4820 Hayward, 2 skimmers, 2 eyeballs, drain disconnected, 250k BTU Hayward H250ED2 heater, IG spa, 3/4hp Waterway Booster WB075, Dolphin S300i

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    might be obvious/already tried but when the pump basket empties on full skimmers only, are you seeing a vortex / draining effect in either of your skimmers at that time?

    If that's the case, the water level needs to be higher. We've seen some skimmers (mine included) that require "higher than the usual middle level" of water entering to maintain prime
    without causing vortex/sucking air.

    Are the weir doors on both skimmers present?

    Gorgeous looking pool by the way.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    might be obvious/already tried but when the pump basket empties on full skimmers only, are you seeing a vortex / draining effect in either of your skimmers at that time?
    Thanks, don't assume anything is obvious to me! Yes, I did check the skimmers for evidence of vortex. The skimmer furthest from the pump (at the West end) has what feels like half the flow of the one closer to my hand but neither is able to generate much in the way of a swirl of water much less a vortex.

    The other skimmer, the one closer to the pump, is missing a weir but I have been maintaining water level healthily high to take that out of the equation. It can almost generate enough of a swirl to actually form a dimple in the surface when the basket is out and everything is good and still.
    33k gal IG Concrete and Fiberglass, 20'x40'x7' max depth rect built 1970, 2hp Hayward SP3020EEAZ pump, 48 Sq Ft DE4820 Hayward, 2 skimmers, 2 eyeballs, drain disconnected, 250k BTU Hayward H250ED2 heater, IG spa, 3/4hp Waterway Booster WB075, Dolphin S300i

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    Welcome to TFP. Just want you to know that there is a wealth of info here and we've seen some very old pools brought back to life over the years.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Newly acquired 1970 trouble full pool

    I have sent a cheap camera down my skimmers and come up with some more info on the suction side air leak, I hope. Check out pictures of the problem here:
    Suction Side Underground Leak... verified by photos!!
    33k gal IG Concrete and Fiberglass, 20'x40'x7' max depth rect built 1970, 2hp Hayward SP3020EEAZ pump, 48 Sq Ft DE4820 Hayward, 2 skimmers, 2 eyeballs, drain disconnected, 250k BTU Hayward H250ED2 heater, IG spa, 3/4hp Waterway Booster WB075, Dolphin S300i

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