So I am new to the forums, but have been reading constantly, moved into my house last year. We have an old Gunite pool. I live in CT. All the equipment is from the 1990's (YIKES), but it all still runs, and does the trick for now. 1HP Magnetek pump, and some old metal sand filter. Even the piping is old flexible black PVC until you get to the equipment, where it connects to regular 1.5' PVC. I believe the pool is 34 feet by 15 feet avg depth is 4.5 feet (between 12k and 13k gallons) I've been in the pool once, its way to cold to swim in. I want to change that, to make it a usable pool.
To start I'm going to replace the pump with a Pentair VS 1.5HP pump (or two speed), and I'm also adding a 266 BTU Raypak heater. All the equipment is located in a shed where part of the floor is cut out and the equipment is placed below the floor on a cement pad. Pretty crazy looking. I plan to replace the floor cutout and keep everything in the shed. I live in the woods and want to minimize the chances of rodents finding there way in my equipment. I keep reading there is no rule of thumb for filters. I'm about to have a kid, and I'm not in a position where i want to spend lots of time back washing and then adding chemicals, etc. My thought was a Pentair clean and clear cartridge filter 320 Sq.Ft. I prefer to oversize the filter to extend periods between cleaning. The hesitation comes from where my pool is located. Its on the side of my house, It barely gets any sun except in the morning because of the positioning of the trees, and I seem to be cleaning out leaves, and Acorns, or worms depending on the time of summer. I also have to vacuum weekly to get all the dust out of the bottom of the pool. My friend who's parents have a pool said I'm crazy to get a cartridge filter, because I will be cleaning it constantly. Should I be looking at a DE filter at this point. I'm just looking for some direction, and to be put at ease. I'm very new to this pool stuff, and the pool is only open 4 months out of the year, and want to be able to enjoy it. Cartridge seems like a very good option, but i dont want to buy it and regret it.