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Thread: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

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    Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    The more I read in this forum, the more I feel like I've stumbled on the Mother Lode of pool knowledge. There is just SO MUCH! For a green-as-grass newbie, there is probably almost TOO MUCH. I have some questions I feel I need to ask in a consolidated post so I can have consolidated answers and make something happen. June is here. My wife and daughter are paying attention to the calendar...

    Over the weekend I installed, hooked up and tested our new Intex SF60110 2450 GPH (according to Intex) or 3000 GPH (according to Amazon) sand filter. That didn't go too badly. I didn't damage anything and I didn't have anything left over. I thought that was encouraging. I plugged it in and followed the instructions to backwash and rinse prior to filtering. It did. Switched to filter. It pulled a heck of a lot of air through the SFS1000 skimmer that used to hold the cartridge filter and anemic 1000GPH pump. Filter flow rate was NOT what I expected. Neither was the flow rate through my wimpy little Skooba vacuum hooked to the skimmer plate. Hmmm... Houston, we've got a problem. To make matters more interesting, the prefilter basket leaked like a sieve when the system wasn't running. OK, time to get wet.

    Glitch #1: The leak in the prefilter basket. Specifically, the leak in the prefilter basket lid. This one was easy. I managed to lower the air and water pressure to the point where I could get this thing loose and then off. I had to drop the water level to do it. Not happy, but I haven't used chemicals yet. I know I need to, but I want the filter to work properly first... The gasket was kind of scrunched up. Not damaged or anything. Apparently just not seated right. Reseated it and closed the prefilter basket back up. Leak: gone. Skimmer: still sucking air. Filter flow rate: still disappointing. Skooba function: Whoa! So much suction was generated, the sides of the SFS1000 canister buckled inward a little, but I wasn't picking much algae up. I shut it off REAL quick.

    Glitch #2: The sand. Following the directions in the "Mom guide" post from 2012, I had bought 2 bags, or 100 pounds of #20 silica sand to put in the holder. Stupid me. I probably should have read the instructions before I bought and then poured the sand. Two bags doesn't even get my filter up to the MIN marking. Guess I need to get me some more sand. I'll bet that's where SOME of the issues are coming from, anyway...

    And finally, we come to Glitch #3: The wimpy skimmer. The thing is NOT getting it done. The pump can't pull enough water through it to stop the "great sucking sounds". One reason for that is that I can't get the water level much more than about 3/4" above the MIN marking on the skimmer. This is because the sand was not compacted before the pool was put up and the part of the pool directly across from the skimmer is lower than the skimmer side. I know this needs to be dealt with, but this is beyond the scope of my capabilities. I will get some help and deal with this. In the fall. This year, I think I may well be the only person swimming in the pool, with the exception of a rare daughterly dip. I think my wife just wants all the brouhaha done...

    So, I would like to know if I could just close up the skimmer with a cap (like the one that came on the bypass pipe on the filter) and then add a new STRAINER fitting. Like the one below. I'd like to install it 4" to 6" inches lower than the skimmer so I can guarantee it's submerged and will get the water it wants. Should I replace the existing, small, curved return with the partner of the pictured strainer also? If so, should this be submerged as well?

    All advice appreciated! Oh, test kit being ordered as soon as I have the basic mechanicals sorted out.

    One more thing: how in the world do I vacuum? I'm going to take that stupid Skooba out behind the barn and shoot it...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by axeslinger1957; 06-01-2016 at 05:15 PM. Reason: meant to type "skimmer" instead of "strainer"
    Intex 16' dia, 5500 gallon above ground

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    Have you looked through Useful links for fellow Intex Pool Owners

    The problem with having the suction below the surface is that you get no skimming action. Every leaf and grain of pollen and insect that ends up on the surface will stay there until it gets waterlogged and sinks. Then you get to vacuum it up. A lot of people have installed full-sized skimmers on the side of their Intex. You might to consider it before you start cutting.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    I see. Yes, good advice. Thank you. I had a hunch this was not going to be easy.
    Intex 16' dia, 5500 gallon above ground

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    Re: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    Re: "but I haven't used chemicals yet."

    Um, even wo the filter running, you want to have good FC levels so you don't get a swamp growing!
    A mere quart of 10% hypochlorite or ~8 oz of trichlor shock will get you in the right FC range to start, and easier to keep FC stable w some CYA, IF the pool is still crystal clear.
    12,000 gal concrete IG, Sta-Rite MaxEGlas 3/4 HP pump (230v 8A) Sta Rite System 3 Filter, Hayward Ultra crawler.
    10% Bleach bottles on bottom of pool. AquaChek 7 Strips, Clorox SmartStrips, Bakersfield City water.

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    Re: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by VWFeature View Post
    Re: "but I haven't used chemicals yet."

    Um, even wo the filter running, you want to have good FC levels so you don't get a swamp growing!
    A mere quart of 10% hypochlorite or ~8 oz of trichlor shock will get you in the right FC range to start, and easier to keep FC stable w some CYA, IF the pool is still crystal clear.
    I was focused on the filter. My apologies. I DID add a gallon of 12% bleach to the pool on Sunday or Monday. The water was clear yesterday. I don't know if you could call it CRYSTAL clear, but I can see everything on the bottom.
    Intex 16' dia, 5500 gallon above ground

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    Without some CYA in the water the sunlight will burn off the chlorine very quickly
    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
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    Re: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Without some CYA in the water the sunlight will burn off the chlorine very quickly
    Guess I'd better get some in there.
    Intex 16' dia, 5500 gallon above ground

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    Re: Potentially Dumb Questions to Keep Me From Making Big Dumb Mistakes

    OK, working on the CYA and getting some more chlorine. In the meantime, I found a thread that made it look like this could possibly solve my sucking problem because I could get it below the water surface. Thoughts, anyone?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Intex 16' dia, 5500 gallon above ground

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