Hi everyone ... hopefully this is the appropriate sub-forum for this question, but if not please correct me and move it. To preface the actual questions, I have an Intex Ultra-Frame 22'x52" above ground pool (~12,300 gallons). Along with the pool I purchased one of the Intex Krystal Clear combo systems that is a 2150gph pump / sand filter / and saltwater chlorine generator all-in-one (a previous model of this: 120v Sand Filter Pump Sanitation - Above Ground Pools - Store - Intex). The pool and pump are now 2 1/2 years old and the pump was taken down, drained and stored indoors both winters we've had it. The previous two summers were great with very little maintenance required once I got all my levels right, and this summer started out the same. Unfortunately, mid-June I noticed the pump wasn't on one day during it's normal time to run and found that the service light was on. From a little research this didn't seem uncommon and had a few potential causes. Long-story-short(er), I did all the debugging I could and traced it to insufficient voltage coming from the transformer on the unit. This causes the SWG to fail to cut on (I verified the cell was good by connecting it directly to an external 12V source and it began producing chlorine) which results in the pump cutting off after a minute or so. Needless to say, without that unit producing chlorine there was a LOT more maintenance required and, to be honest, I never got it quite right - partly because I didn't stay as on top of it as I should.
Soooooo, I want to replace that pump (or potentially purchase another control unit if that's the best route) before next summer. Since it seems I'm not the only one to experience issues with these Intex units and at least one or two threads I've read seem to indicate a higher rate of failure on the transformers in hotter climates (I'm in Southwest MS ... so yeah ... hot), I wanted to inquire about possible alternatives to the Intex. Are there good alternatives that might be better quality while still not costing more than I paid for the pool itself? Or should I stick with the Intex, either replacing the whole thing or at least the control unit which would contain the transformer? And *especially* if the recommendation is to stick with the Intex, any advice on helping prevent future failures of this type?
Thanks in advance for any direction you can provide!