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Thread: Musings from a Newbie

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    Musings from a Newbie

    Just bought a 1964 built house with an equally old pool. Came in knowing nothing about pools. After reading this site for a few weeks and The Ultimate Guide to Pool Maintenance I've steadily taken over managing the pool. I fired the pool service yesterday. A few thoughts so far:

    1. Only major near disaster was when I learned the wet way that the hydraulic concerns are very different having a pump a couple feet below the bottom of the pool from having one above the surface. Read all about the difficulty priming a pump after you clean the strainer basket. Didn't occur to me that I had a very different problem. I took a bath in a hurry. I had visions of the entire pool emptying in about 20 minutes before I stopped panicking and shut the valves.

    2. We want to do a major pool renovation in a year or two, so I'm trying to decide what's worth doing in the mean time. Lot's of ideas from reading this site. Primarily a SWG is clearly in order at some point. Lugging around this much bleach is going to get old.

    3. The first full electric bill was nuts. I figured out the Polaris was running WAY too much (had been set to run whenever the pump was on). I'm sure the ancient looking primary pump is an energy hog as well. I'd love to redo the wiring and replace the pump. I think I'm up to the plumbing work, but I might need an electrician. I'm pretty comfortable with 110, but 220 is beyond what I've done before.

    4. The only maintenance task that scares me is breaking down the filter at some point. Scared the thing won't go back together and I'll be stuck.

    5. I'd like to redo the controllers, but don't know if I should wait until I'm replacing pumps or doing a more major renovation. The mechanical dial timers are fine when I'm down there, but I've got to treck down a slope behind the pool to turn the pump on or off right now which makes for a pain to manually turn the Polaris on or off (instead of always on like before) or if I want the pump on to add chemicals or while we're swimming. Any recommendations for good remote controlled controllers?

    6. Does anyone with an irregular shaped pool really know how big it is? I can guess at surface area, but the slope to the deep end sure makes for a huge margin of error. I'm somewhere between 20k and 30k. I figure I should guess low for chemicals and high for any new equipment until I can narrow in.

    7. Pool services are expensive. With the $300 a month or so I'm saving I can pay for a SWG and lots of other toys pretty quickly.
    ~20,000 in ground plaster pool (once black plaster but now a Stary Night knock off due to chlorine bleaching all over that actually makes a kindof cool effect) built in the 60's
    1.5 HP pump, DE Filter and a booster pump running a Polaris unit
    Austin, TX = Lots of sun

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Musings from a Newbie

    I was pretty much in the same situation as you a few months ago. I replaced the aging motor on the main pump with a two speed high efficiency model. I replaced the two intermatic timers with a TightWatt2. Most recently I added the SWCG.

    As far as estimating pool volume, check out this thread.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Re: Musings from a Newbie

    I've read that technically the pump and motor are different components, but I've assumed they are always together. Did you really just replace the motor? Is that cheaper?

    Do you use the X10 remote control stuff? I know X10 used to make nothing but junk, is it ok now?
    ~20,000 in ground plaster pool (once black plaster but now a Stary Night knock off due to chlorine bleaching all over that actually makes a kindof cool effect) built in the 60's
    1.5 HP pump, DE Filter and a booster pump running a Polaris unit
    Austin, TX = Lots of sun

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    svenpup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    835

    Re: Musings from a Newbie

    Yes, I just replaced the motor and reused the "wet end" since it was in fine shape. I got what I consider to be one of the best two speed motors you can get and it only cost around $240. Add in another $20 or so for a new shaft seal and o-ring set, and I wound up way cheaper than an equivalent two-speed pump.

    I saw that the TightWatt is X-10 compatable, but I don't use it. My pump is only a short distance from the pool.

    ETA You have to make sure you get a motor that is compatible with the pump. There are several frame/flange configurations that are common for pool pumps.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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