Hello, Lots of great info here and I appreciate all of the useful posts I have found thusfar.
I'm Looking for some recommendations, as I am planning to get out the sawzall, and re-do my pool pump and filter equipment this year.
Somewhat large residential pool, (I guess), built by previous owner in ~1988 (Swan Pools was the builder) and resurfaced in 2002. it is about 40' long and a free form style with 11' deep end/diving board, a large area of 3' deep shallow end, pebble-tec finish, one small waterfall feature.
Here are a couple pics to help:
Pentair FNS Plus 60 sq.ft. DE Filter
2.5 HP Hayward Northstar Pump (single speed pump) which just runs off an old-school intermatic mechanical timer
Solar heating (Harter HiTec) 12 panels. very simple (Compool) Solar controller w/three way motorized jandy type valve:
About a 50 foot run, each way, all 3" PVC, from the filter out to the solar panels (up on roof of a single story ranch), and back down to valves/ back to pool
Letro Legend pool sweep, which runs off of a return port to the pool (no booster pump is used) works OK
Very Dry, windy, and dusty Northern California summers (farm fields close by, I get plenty of airborne dust/silt)
1. Switch to a variable speed pump to reduce my utility costs; I am paying dearly on a tiered rate structure, at 30 cents per kWh for more than half of my total household usage.
2. Get a better filter with better flow characteristics, longer lasting internals that is easier to maintain
1. Variable Speed pumps. Which one is best for my situation?
2. Automation. What is the best simple system for controlling a couple of three way valves and managing the pump? I can't afford, nor do I want, a really fancy system; simplicity of use for my family members and reliability are key. I really don't need a wireless handheld remote, etc.
3. Filtration. I really hate the design of the FNS Plus DE filter that I have now, whomever designed that manifold, and method for getting all the grids connected to it, should be strangled. Every maintenance session with that thing is a curse-fest. Anyway, I don't think there are any viable options, apart from a DE....?
4. Backwash Valve. I currently have a vertical slider that came with the FNS, and I know that the port sizes on it are killing my flow rates, the ports are so small, about 1.5". Does anyone make a Backwash valve that flows better?