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Thread: My experiences and current situations

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    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Reading, PA
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    My experiences and current situations

    I just joined this forum after several months of reading and searching posts. I thought I would share some of my experiences and am open to any and all advice!

    Background: I had over 10 years of experience managing all aspects of two large commercial pools. I bought a house last November with a 15,000 gal AGP. I thought I knew all I needed to know; I was wrong!

    The Pump
    The pump is a dual speed flo-master CP “HP 1.5 - .18 SPL” with a cartridge filter. There is no timer. The local pool guy recommended I let the pump run 24/7. He said it’s no worse than a 60 W bulb and that he loves people who use timers because he gets to sell them more pumps. I followed his advice. After the first $250 electric bill, we are now running on “low” and I am considering installing a timer.

    Wiring

    12 gauge wire from the panel feeds a 20 amp GFCI outlet in the basement. There is a 75 foot run of 12 wire from the basement to the 20 amp outlet by the pool. The guy who upgraded my panel put this circuit on a 15 amp breaker (I think he thought the white romex was 14 wire). It has not tripped, even though I am also running a washing machine off the basement GFCI.

    The GFCI started tripping two weeks ago. When I took the GFCI out of the circuit, the breaker did not trip. The GFCI continued to trip even after I removed the 20 amp outlet at the pump and capped the wires, so I assumed the GFCI was bad (the previous homeowner used it as a switch to turn the pump off and on daily). I envisioned digging up a lot of wire when the new GFCI also tripped. I started to investigate and found the romex by the pump was only in conduit about 2 inches into the ground. The GFCI stopped tripping after my cursory investigation, until I touched the now-exposed romex. So my assumption is that there is a short in the area of romex I dug-up and touched. My plan is to cut the line as far back as I can to still be able to install a junction box.

    This would obviously be a good time to install a timer, if I go that route. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Chemistry

    Coming in to the season with a decent grasp of the chemistry, I did “okay” until reading about the TPFC method, which has saved me a lot of time and money. Before TPFC, I used tri-chlor through an inline feeder. I still found myself accumulating CC and having to shock more often than I thought I should. I read about TPFC about the same time I noticed the $2.50/gal 10% sodium hypochlorite at Wal-mart, and the feeder has been in the shed since.

    I downloaded the “Pocket Pool Boy” app, which consistently tells me to add WAY too much bleach. I am now using Pool Math exclusively.

    I have been using a basic DPD test kit (the K-1004-6), which is pretty much the residential version of what I used when I ran commercial pools. Since I am only at about 30 ppm CYA, it seems to be in range (up to 5 ppm sanitizer). I plan on upgrading to a FAS-DPD kit, but am hoping I can put that investment off until next year so that I don’t have a lot of expired reagent. Am I playing with fire?

    I have a 9-day vacation coming up. I am debating on whether to have the 16-year old neighbor pour bleach in daily or just float a bunch of tri-chlor (I could use another 10 ppm CYA anyhow).

    Plumbing

    I only have one skimmer, and everything is run off flexible hoses. The pump and filter get put away for the winter. I am worried about the stress that the skimmer and heavy return line put on the pool wall, and have propped them up with old pieces of pvc and 2x4. I am considering hard-piping with pvc this fall once the pool is closed. Any thoughts?

    Sorry for the long first-post. I appreciate the wisdom on this forum and look forward to contributing in the future!
    15K gal vinyl AGP, 1.5 - .18 dual speed flo-master CP pump, cartridge filter

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: My experiences and current situations

    Welcome to the forum.

    Good post. For your vacation, either way is very acceptable. I like the idea of using bleach as it gives you a little more control. If you decide on pucks, Maybe your "helper" could help you by letting you do the first dose of pucks before you leave and then have him dose more pucks on or around the 4th day.

    That's a pretty nice pump and probably your whole system would do a little better if it was hard plumbed.......I would encourage you to do that. What is the rated gpm flow on your filter?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: My experiences and current situations

    Thanks!

    The filter is 150 sq ft with a 150 gpm max flow rate.

    Do folks with hard-plumbed systems put their pump and filter away for the winter? My dad has an IG pool and has always left everything out all year (he has high rate sand now, but has had DE and cartridge previously).
    15K gal vinyl AGP, 1.5 - .18 dual speed flo-master CP pump, cartridge filter

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: My experiences and current situations

    If you put in unions on the hard pipes removing the pump and filter from plumbing will only take a min or two. Probably quicker than undoing hose clamps on a flex hose. Storing your equipment indoors for the winter should help your equipment last possibly years longer than letting it sit out in the snow.
    Chuck-
    15x30 Above ground, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: My experiences and current situations

    Welcome to TFP!

    Definitely run your pump on low. A timer is a good idea, 6-8 hours a day on low is usually plenty. Romex in conduit is a no-no.
    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: My experiences and current situations

    Romex in conduit is a no-no.
    NM-B (non-metallic sheathed cable) (Romex) cable is required to be in conduit by National Electrical Code 2011 when there is danger from physical damage. However, when in conduit, the ampacity is reduced due to the lack of cooling by ambient air.

    National Electrical Code 2011

    ARTICLE 334 Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable: Types NM, NMC, and NMS

    II. Installation

    334.15 Exposed Work. In exposed work, except as provided in 300.11(A), cable shall be installed as specified in 334.15(A) through (C).

    (B) Protection from Physical Damage. Cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, Type RTRC marked with the suffix -XW, or other approved means. Where passing through a floor, the cable shall be enclosed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, Type RTRC marked with the suffix -XW, or other approved means extending at least 150 mm (6 in.) above the floor. [ROP 7-94] Type NMC cable installed in shallow chases or grooves in masonry, concrete, or adobe shall be protected in accordance with the requirements in 300.4(F) and covered with plaster, adobe, or similar finish.
    Hopefully, the cable in use here is not Romex (NM-B), but UF cable. NM-B is not permitted in underground or wet locations. Some people confuse the two because UF looks like NM-B. In NEC "Permitted Uses" (article 340.10) and "Uses Not Permitted" (article 340.12), UF cable can be used in conduit, that's how the cable is protected when it exits the ground. And it can be exposed to sunlight if the cable is listed as sunlight resistant.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Reading, PA
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    Re: My experiences and current situations

    It is UF, I was using Romex generically.

    Thanks for for the replies. I was going to install a timer when repairing this short, but the local Home Depot and Lowes don't stock the 120 v outdoor ones. So it looks like a junction box outside and a timer in the basement, since I don't want to wait to repair the short.
    15K gal vinyl AGP, 1.5 - .18 dual speed flo-master CP pump, cartridge filter

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