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Thread: New to the forum, new to pools

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    New to the forum, new to pools

    Hi guys my name is Josh. Just stopping by to say 'hi' and maybe get some help with our new pool. My wife and I just bought a house with a pool. We weren't exactly looking for a house with a pool but the house we fell in love with happened to have one so here goes..

    I do have a couple of questions about the equipment and such. Our setup is as follows.

    1 in-ground pool with 1 skimmer and 1 drain at the bottom of the pool
    1 in-ground spa which waterfalls into the pool and 1 drain at the bottom of the spa
    1 pump, 1 filter, 1 heater
    2 3-way valves located near the timer/GFI/light switches for the spa/pool

    With a little tinkering so far here is what I have come up with..

    The 2 3 way valves that I have seem to control the send and return from the pool and spa. Moving them around has resulted in a few strange goings-on. Once I drained the entire spa (into the pool, I assume). Turning the other valve full-on one way causes the jets in the spa to bubble (though not very much or for very long). Some clarification on this, if possible, would be awesome.

    Our heater seems not to work very well. If I turn it on it will run warm water into the spa for about 5 minutes and then the water goes cold again. From there it alternates about every 1 minute between hot and cold. This is only allowing the water in the spa to get to a "luke-warm" state, never really getting hot. We have noticed a flame icon that appears on the display during this cycle which might indicate over-heating.

    How do the jets in the spa work without a separate pump for that specifically? I noticed a 2 inch PVC stub up next to the valves which makes gurgling sounds when I change the valves to certain positions.

    Here are some pictures of our setup..



  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    Josh,

    Welcome to TFP.. you will love it here...

    I'll get us started, but I'm sure others will follow soon.

    I can't see your valves very clearly in your pics, but generally, there are three basic configurations that your Pool and Spa can be in:

    1. Pool mode.. this is where the valves are set so that the pump sucks water from your skimmer and/or main drain into the pump, through the filter and heater and then via another valve back into the pool.

    2. Spa mode.. this is where the valves are set so that the pump sucks water from your Spa's drain into the pump, through the filter and heater and then via another valve back into the Spa.

    3. Spillover mode.. this is where the valves are set so that the pump sucks water from your skimmer and/or main drain into the pump, through the filter and heater and then via another valve back into the Spa. In this mode, you put water in the Spa which has no where to go but to overflow into the pool.

    I suggest you play with the valves so that you can duplicate the above conditions.

    How do you plan on keeping your pool chlorinated?

    I don't have a Spa or heater so I'll let others step in with some ideas on your heater issue.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    Welcome aboard! This is a great resource, you'll find it very easy to take care of your pool once you get the hang of it.

    Put your pool info into your signature, buy yourself one of the recommended test kits, and read up in Pool School.

    I'm in San Marcos - whereabouts are you?
    16 x 32 IG plaster pool, 23k gallons, built 1992, DE filter, Pentair VS pump, IoThyngs controller, Taylor 2006 test kit, SoCal water restrictions
    Newbies with green pools, see SLAM and Recommended Test Kits. My company: IoThyngs

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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    I'm in the La Mesa area Amail. I've been looking at the test kits and reading a bit from the Pool School section. I would add my pool details to my sig but at this point I don't know much about my setup. How can I determine how much water is in my pool?

    Jim, I had a 'pool inspection' done by a local pool care company before we purchased the house. The inspector mentioned that the two 3-way valves in the first picture (just to the right of the timer box and obscured by the plant a little) were for directing the water flow to and from the pool and spa. I've played with them a bit but can't seem to wrap my head around how they are diverting the water flow.

    So far I have been using chlorine tablets to chlorinate the pool. I'm not averse to other methods but tablets seemed to be the most straight-forward, albeit rather expensive, method.

    Another question I had is about the pool water. It tastes salty. Not like the ocean but it definitely has a salt taste to it. Guests have mentioned it as well. A quick Google search turns up results indicating 'old water' whatever that means.

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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    You'll want to wean yourself from the tablets and go with liquid chlorine. They raise the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level, which plays with the effectiveness of your chlorine. See Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart for information about CYA. Once you get your test kit you can figure out what your CYA is and subsequently what level FC you'll need.

    It will be a bit of hand waving to calculate volume of your pool, but here goes. Enter average length by average width by average depth in the volume calculation section of http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html.

    As for the saltiness, you may have a SWG system although I don't see any evidence in your photos.
    16 x 32 IG plaster pool, 23k gallons, built 1992, DE filter, Pentair VS pump, IoThyngs controller, Taylor 2006 test kit, SoCal water restrictions
    Newbies with green pools, see SLAM and Recommended Test Kits. My company: IoThyngs

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    Josh,

    Your pool may have had a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWCG) at one time. Around here a number of pool maintenance companies "lease" a SWCG to the homeowner as part of their maintenance package. When the homeowner, sells or moves out, the SWCG is replaced with a pipe.

    Personally, I love salt water pools. They are very easy to take care of because they generate a constant supply of chlorine. A little more cost up-front, but none of the chore of manually adding chlorine to your pool on a daily basis.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    There doesn't seem to be any evidence of a salt water system having been used. Although I admit I probably don't know what to look for. The water has been salty since we moved in, roughly 2 months ago, and doesn't seem to really bother anyone but most people take note of it almost immediately.

    The pool didn't seem to have been very well taken care of when we viewed the house either. It was fairly dirty on the bottom though the water was actually clear. The previous owners did leave a pretty beat up chlorine float, leading me to believe that they were using chlorine tablets as well.

    I used the calculator in that link and measured the pool. Its 3 feet on either end and 5 foot deep in the middle so I used 4 feet for the depth and otherwise it is about 13'x28' though it is an irregular shape. The calculator said about 11,000 gallons which seems right. I updated my sig with that as well as my pool equipment specs.
    13'x28', 11,000 Gallon, In-Ground, Plaster, Pentair FNSP36 Diatomaceous Earth Filter, Pentair Whisperflo WFE-6 Pump, Raypak P-R206A-EN-C Heater, Spa which overflows into pool

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    Josh,

    Some people prefer the feel of a saltwater pool and add salt without the SWG. But, I would say they are in the minority.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    I had considered that Jim but at this point I don't really have any way to check. Most of the info i've found online, however inconsistent, recommends a partial drain and refill to get rid of the salt flavor. Personally it doesn't bother me hardly at all and I feel like the salinity makes the water very easy on the eyes and skin.

    The valves, however, are the main mystery at this point. I tried changing them all around while writing down what was happening in the pool and spa at different settings but the results were, to me, inconclusive. It seems like multiple settings have the same effects. I was able to figure out how to isolate the spa and isolate the pool but I still can't figure out how to run both of them at the same time. It seems like this should be possible with 3-way valves.
    13'x28', 11,000 Gallon, In-Ground, Plaster, Pentair FNSP36 Diatomaceous Earth Filter, Pentair Whisperflo WFE-6 Pump, Raypak P-R206A-EN-C Heater, Spa which overflows into pool

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    Josh,

    If you take a couple more pics of your equipment pad from a different angle, we might be able to tell you more. Your whole set up is a little odd. I've never see anyone run unfiltered water through the heater first. Below is a diagram of how your pool is most likely set up, except for the location of the heater. See if the "standard" configuration diagram below is of any help.... See of you can identify the "Intake" valve and "Return" valve in your set-up..

    img013.jpg

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: New to the forum, new to pools

    Yes yes, i'm starting to see the picture now. I believe that the right hand valve in my first picture is my return/jets. When I turn that valve away from us (in the picture) I get jets in the spa. They're not terribly strong and there aren't a ton of bubbles, but there are some jets. If I also turn the left valve away from us then the spa stops overflowing into the pool. This is the config I have decided must be the spa isolated. The pool isolated is the exact opposite, with both valves turned all the way toward the camera.

    That brown painted PVC pipe in the first picture makes some funky gurgling sounds when I turn on the jets for the spa. Is that how the air is getting in for the jets?

    I'll try to take some better pictures tomorrow, of the pad as well as the valves.
    13'x28', 11,000 Gallon, In-Ground, Plaster, Pentair FNSP36 Diatomaceous Earth Filter, Pentair Whisperflo WFE-6 Pump, Raypak P-R206A-EN-C Heater, Spa which overflows into pool

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