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Thread: Leaky filter, unknown actual TDH and interesting pumbing - oh my :) Koi pond?

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    Leaky filter, unknown actual TDH and interesting pumbing - oh my :) Koi pond?

    Good morning from Ontario, Canada. We've purchased a house with a pool back in 2014 which is an inground 18x36' pool that is approximately 25,000 gallons with a vinyl liner. I "think" I have gotten up to speed with a lot of the concepts and ideas quickly but know that there is a heck of a lot more to know. I fantasize from time to time when I get frustrated with it that I want to stock it with Koi. I've read a lot (bought a pool "bible" book) and researched quite a bit on the forum but I've reached a point where I need some expert help - hence this forum . I'll be forward when I say I try and be a bit more exact than my father (just dump it in) as I measure things and use spreadsheets (I know...). I'm really quite stumped now with what to do next...

    Key Issues now:

    - Filter is leaking between tank and valve (it is a Hayward S244T from 1996 I think). A shut off valve is being used on the waste port (spider gasket probably gone). One has said that the filter is not using the right style of clamp (newer design vs. old metal design). Other pool shop said don't worry about the leaky multi-port - the shut off valve is "normal" and I should not be concerned - just add a new gasket and replace the sand and inspect the laterals. My existing multi-head has 1.5" inlets (SP0714T multi-valve and was told that could get a 2" 24" filter for 499.99 so considering just swapping it out with new tank, etc.). It needs to be backwashed every several days. Sand gets blown into the pool after you backwash it. Planning on replacing the sand but need to know if I am rebuilding it, buying a new multi-port replacement (1.5") or buying a new filter. Currently the unit is a Hayward 24" that does 63GPM. Have the model number if that is helpful (previous owner kept the sticker after it peeled off). Regardless, i'm plumbing in a union so I don't have to cut it out if I need to work on it in the future.
    - Pump Presently have a 2 year old Pentair superflow 3/4 that works out to .92hp when service factor is factored in. Energy rates are brutal (.18/kwh during the day) and I've been running 24/7 since I finally got the pool clean after it being opened 2 weeks ago (green algae). I have a timer and historically ran it during the night for 12 hours which is not efficient. Looking at a variable speed pump but I don't currently have a way to measure the GPM or really have any idea what the true TDH is so am on hold. Pool shoppes say that I am simply making things too complicated - not a big deal as long as the pool seems clear and use a system of trial and error. The place that installed the liner when I bought the house said don't use a timer and just run it 24/7. I disagree. You can't program it (IMO) if you don't know what the flow is to ensure proper circulation.
    - Piping - seems a bit frankensteinesque...have 1 skimmer that I thought was 2" (looks like bottom of skimmer pipe is 1.5" ID but it is 2" that comes out of the ground) and 2 x 2" returns. Looks like the suction line is reduced to 1.5" also coming out of the ground to the Pentair pump and then 1.5" flex line to the filter. Note black line coming from the ground was for a main drain that prior owner had disconnected. I would like to cut out and replace with straight pipe to avoid potential multi-valve issues and reduce potential TDH resistance. Was told by a pool shoppe to leave until it starts to leak. Also looks like 2" piping reduced out of filter to heater (which we don't use) to 1.5". Not quite certain of what plumbing "method" they used for the heater (lots of silicone) but I really don't want to disturb it unless I have to as it presently does not leak.
    Hydraulics - Did some estimates from the plumbing I can see and came up with 63.42 TDH which, looking at the Pentair performance table for this pump, seems theoretically impossible. So much for 2 hours of measuring pipes with a tape measure, counting pipe fittings, crunching numbers, etc. That said, the filter and pump are quite a distance from the pool so the estimate could be right. Currently looking to order a vacuum gauge and a pressure gauge and tap into the PVC (or put in a T fitting with a plug and tap it that way since I don't think I should or even can attach to the drain holes in the Pentair pump) which is what I've seen recommended on other sites. Guess I am just concerned if you strip/damage the threads to your pump drain - could be a big deal...
    20160604_085100 (Large).jpg20160604_085105 (Large).jpg20160604_085110 (Large).jpg

    Thus my proposed strategy:

    - Think I need to determine the actual TDH since don't know what is really buried. Nothing in the pool documentation and know that new return lines were put in after the pool was installed (likely due to the heater installation I am guessing). They didn't replace the lines for the skimmer. Don't think my TDH estimate seems right (although the pool skimmer is around roughly 63' from the pump, for example) even though I counted all the fittings, etc.
    - Planning on ordering vacuum and pressure gauge to calculate the TDH which should permit me to calculate the GPM with the existing pumps. No pool shops carry a flow meter and special ordering them for a blue-white one (which is highly recommended) is around $200. Planning on just tapping them into 2" PVC (which is really hard to find up here BTW) unless I should use some sort of T fitting and bushing combination (smallest I have seen is 2" to 3/4" and I need to go down to 1/4 NPT).
    - Originally was planning on ripping out the 1.5" piping but am a bit concerned about the 1.5" pipe below the skimmer so now wondering if it makes sense now (and if I should even consider upgrading my sand filter intake from 1.5" to 2"). Was toying with multi-valving the heater connection out to avoid the 1.5" reduction there. Regardless, I do want to rip out the multi-valve for the disconnected bottom drain. When the new liner was installed in 2014 the installer stated that the previous owner had the bottom drain removed.
    - Based on above and feedback from the forum, repairing/replacing my 24" filter so it does not leak/properly sized for my system. Am concerned about putting any money in given I don't know the GPH or the TDH or the requirements that I really should be doing (i.e. is the filter big enough, etc.).
    - Based on the above, will look into a variable speed pump. Ideally was looking at a Pentair Intelliflow but have had some local dealer issues (i.e. not really great customer service) and don't really want to spend $200 to have someone wire it in (had to rewire the original installation since the wire was not protected from the weather) and connect two unions. My understanding is that you don't get a 3 year warranty if you don't get it professionally installed via the dealer. Have been told that the Hayward Tristar would be ideal given the size of my pool.
    - Planning on keeping the koi plan out as the wife and my 9 month old son really like the pool .

    Sorry for all the questions with everything but really don't know what best next steps should be..

    Thanks very much in advance for taking the time to review this.

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Leaky filter, unknown actual TDH and interesting pumbing - oh my :) Koi pond?

    Welcome to TFP

    TDH, GPH, sizing and length, may sound crazzy but once already built does not really matter if your system is filtering and working your good. Could you replace all the pipe, yes, it may add 2 more gallons per hour "or so" is it really going to work any better...

    your power and VS pump: that is something to look at but only if your pump is bad, power outrageous, or you just want to change it out(you are dealing with at least 1 of these).. you are correct on the warranty, I installed my pentair pump bought off amazon and had a whole 90 day warranty but knowing it has a good long life and power efficient I did it anyway, going on year 2...

    They probably went with a 3/4 HP pump to save on energy costs, you could use a 1hp 2 speed pump like mine and it uses 1/3 of the power on low and moves half the water of high speed but if you are going to replace the pump anyways I would go VS because of energy savings... If you do decide on a VS also install a surge protector, VS pumps hate power fluctuations and lightning strikes nearby..
    Amazon.com: Eaton 109420 Ultra Surge Protection 3Rd Edition: Electronics
    Intermatic AG3000 120/240 VAC Universal HVAC Surge Protective Device - Computer Surge Protectors - Amazon.com

    filter: that is a good size filter, but bigger is always better, at 300 pounds of sand it's on the low side and I can see how you are backwashing a lot, remember to backwash when your pressure rises 25% over normal.. as for leaks if it is just piping I would redo the pipe and do a deep clean on your filter.. Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    if you want to replace the the TR100 or 140 are big huge filters

    How does your water look and how are you testing? I know the test kits are hard to find up there and cost a lot...

    I 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
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Leaky filter, unknown actual TDH and interesting pumbing - oh my :) Koi pond?

    Casey has you covered. Look at his install (his first item in his signature). You will see that he does things the right way.

    I would not worry about the gauges. That is overkill and not really needed. The only gauge we use is the pressure gauge on our filter. Of course you can do it if it makes you happy. We use our test results and appearance of our water to gauge how things are going. We DO use graphs and logs for our pools in that we keep track of our test results and such.

    Let use know what test kit you are using. We can help guide you on that for use!

    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: Leaky filter, unknown actual TDH and interesting pumbing - oh my :) Koi pond?

    Thanks Casey and KimKats! I historically have used the test strips but, since I weigh and measure my chemicals (I know...), always am questioning how accurate they are as the tones are really close most of the time. I did finally buy a test kit but the best one I could find was a $19.99 one that was not a FAS-DPD one and i'm not overly comfortable with the testing results (the PH scale provided with the kit, for example, flaked off and it is somewhat hard to read now). The other pool places push their testing (and a lot of the chemicals that I really question) and don't carry other more complicated and accurate kits. That said, I miss my time in the US because you can order anything . Anyhow looking at the Taylor K-2006-6 (the only FAS kit I can seem to find online up here). I admit that i'm a bit against spending $125 for a kit like this (or so - checking with a distributor but seems what they go for up here) but I've realized that I can quickly blow through that with chemical wastage. Reached a point where I am starting to ask "WHY" since algae just doesn't jump out, does algaecide actually work (costco stuff) or is it just a big waste of money (I suspect that if everything is managed correctly likely not required). I have not researched that yet.

    For the filter - it leaks between the multi-valve and the plastic tank because the way it is coupled on and (looking at it closer) it does not seem "snug" the way that it should be even though it is fully tightened. The wife complains about how hard it is to turn the valve but it does seem to work. I think the regular backwashing was because of the green algae that kept being sucked up when we first opened the pool. Pressure seems pretty good now after all that dead algae was removed. Now need to make a filter decision (regardless I think the sand is original to the pool since the pumbing looks aged to the pool heater). I'm toying with just buying a new multi-valve for $130 and doing a deep clean and keeping the existing sand (was going to replace it but seems that most don't pick to change it unless there are some major rare issues). Just don't know why I get sand blown into the pool after a backwash and a quick clean cycle. Someone mentioned the laterals but that doesn't make much sense...because wouldn't sand always go into the pool during the filter then?

    Casey - will look into the pentair filters but have a feeling they'd be quite expensive up here (guessing $1,200 but could be wrong). Do Pentair make a better filter than Hayward from a quality and reliability perspective?

    Water now is clear and warm (took a lot longer than I planned due to conflicting pool shop chemical tests interestingly enough :P (at least relatively but no OK temperatures nor FL temperatures). It's a regular battle keeping pine needles and pine cones and toads out of the pool but c'est la vie they say.

    Thanks again!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Leaky filter, unknown actual TDH and interesting pumbing - oh my :) Koi pond?

    I am glad to hear it is clear! Nice job doing it with limited testing. Now keep it clear and enjoy swimming!

    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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