New poster here. Pretty new to pool ownership as well... Never owned a pool before buying a house in October 2014 that had (has) an above ground 15x30 oval that is 10,500 gallons. Have since taken the typical crash course in pool ownership and at this point, I think I have a pretty decent handle on the whole thing. I've had a few issues along the way, not the least of which was the liner tearing last year and requiring replacement, but it's all in good order. That was an adventure in 95-degree heat, but it was a good learning experience, along with all the others I've since had.
OK, so when we bought the house, there were THREE old (well, one was obviously old, but two didn't seem too archaic) pumps/motors in the shed. They were all dead. Struck me as odd, and I wondered why they were left behind. Nevertheless, I just chucked them. Never even wondered at the time why there were so many dead pumps. What was killing them? Well, the operational pump (Waterway PH1150-6) died 2 weeks ago. I think, at this point, I have determined that poor power not only killed that, but the previous 3 from the shed. It was all connected to a 100' 16-gauge extension cord that was all I had left behind from the previous owner. Never dawned on me until the pump death that power was an issue. So I've replaced that Waterway PH1150-6 with what amounts to the same exact thing that I found cheap online. Just wanna survive this remaining summer... I also went out and grabbed a 75' (don't need 100') 10-gauge extension cord that now powers it. I know that's overkill, but better safe than sorry. So power issues should now be gone.
Now, the actual filter is an old Proline sand filter, I suspect 22" or 24". Holds 150 pounds of sand. It's leaked all this time anywhere from small to gushing. I finally got around to taking the whole thing apart (assuming a bad gasket or something) only to determine that the body of the filter itself is actually cracked right below the collar. Can't be fixed. Ugh...
So to recap... At present, I have a cracked, irreparable sand filter connected to a replacement, low-efficiency single speed pump/motor.
For the long run, I want to replace it all with, well, better.
The only thing I know for sure is that I want to get rid of the sand filter method and the single speed (12 amp) pump. I don't mind higher up-front costs as long as better cleaning results and electrical savings/uture efficiency makes it sensible. So my fundamental questions are pretty simple... I've Googled all over the place for a lot of good info, but I thought I'd get some actual pool-owner interactions here!
D.E. or cartridge?
Best pump? Two-speed? Variable? I want efficient and quality. I want it all to last. I'm willing to do the maintenance work including disconnecting and storing for the winter (shed or actual house, whatever is necessary). Regarding maintenance, though, know that we have 5 kids, all of whom enjoy the pool while I do all the work. That is slowly changing, but I am a busy man and usually just end up doing most things myself for various reasons... I'm sure y'all understand.
The environment is pretty simple. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Haven't yet found a good cover solution over the winter. I merely cover in the Fall while the leaves fall, then once the trees are bare, I yank off the cover because it collapses and is rendered useless anyway. We are surrounded by trees and vines that drop a TON of pollen and other debris throughout the summer usage. I am constantly cleaning because there's always crud on the bottom and just as much on top. This current setup doesn't cut it. That being said, I do try to run the filter as little as possible due to power bills/etc.
So I wanna replace it all. Suggestions? I don't mind going a tad overboard now because this thing is gonna be a part of our lives for probably another 20 years (or more), unless it collapses or some catastrophe strikes.
PS. Oh... Right now, a coworker has offered me their Hayward Model EC65 D.E. filter that they used to have on an in-ground pool they filled in 2 years ago. It seems in good shape, but I know NOTHING about these things. I don't know how old it is or anything. The woman (divorcee) doesn't know either. Would this thing be useful to me as a long-term filter? Could this allow me to splurge a bit more on the best/most efficient pump possible? If it helps, I attached a pic I took of this filter's label.