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Thread: Equipment needs overhaul - and concerns

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    Equipment needs overhaul - and concerns

    I recently purchased a house with a ~18k gallon in-ground concrete pool (rectangular 16x30, ~3.5 deep on one end to ~6.5 on the deep end, plus a ~6x4 spa). I'm beginning to feel like I'm in the deep end!

    The age of the pool is unknown, but I do know it was replastered in 2006. It's definitely no older than 1969 (when house was built).

    You can see the pool here: ... ge/018.jpg

    And the equipment here: ... ge/003.jpg

    (Yes I know the URL looks... suspicious. Don't worry, the entire site is SFW)

    The pump is an old bronze-head Anthony wet end, powered by an AO Smith Centurion motor (unknown hp; I need to get a camera or mirror on site to read the label; I'm guessing 1.5 as it appears to use 10kwh to run 5-6 hours). It seems to work fine, gets good suction, pushes the water up to the solar.

    The underground pipes are believed to be 1.5" copper, while almost everything above-ground is 2" (or 2.5"?) PVC. There is one skimmer and one drain in pool, one drain in spa. Has 2 returns in pool (one on either end) and 3 returns in spa. The only evidence of copper pipes are a 1.5" copper pool return pipe and a 2"(?) copper spa return pipe, both on the pad.

    The filter is an old Anthony(?) Flowmaster 4000, DE filter.

    There is a solar heating system, controlled by an old Goldline? controller (~8 years old). The solar heating is one story up on a ~45 degree slanted roof. I think the heater is a Hayward gas heater; it's really only needed for the spa. No sign of the solar heating leaking during recent roof inspection.

    There are 3 valves in total - one to control intake from pool or spa (I think?), one to control return to pool or spa, and one with an actuator to redirect water into the solar system. Two of the valves (the non solar ones - the intake source valve and return valve) are metal, and I suspect both leak a tiny amount; I know the return valve has a slow leak.

    The previous owner used an Aquabug, which is only meant for above-ground pools. I wanted to switch to a Kreepy Krauly, but a salesperson at Leslie's told me that it would get caught up on edges near steps and even the rounded corners of the pool, and suggested I get a Hayward Pool Vac (either classic or XL).

    I want to replace the pump with something more efficient, such as an EcoStar, but it was suggested that I should not go with anything greater than a 3/4 horsepower whisperflo or I will have cavitation issues with 1.5" copper pipes, and that this pump will not be able to both push water up to the solar AND drive an automatic pool vac. However, the current pump (HP and GPM unknown) does not appear to cause any issues, and the suction on the skimmer line seems just as strong even when the solar is active.

    The filter is old, and after the pump shuts off it makes hissing and gurgling/ticking noises for a good few hours. The hissing is coming from the clamp (at the dome top), the gurgling/ticking from within. It runs at about 20 PSI when the pump is on (believed to run high). Servicing the pump would be about $100 and it was suggested (by my more local pool store guy, not Leslie's) that this may not fix the hiss, so I am thinking the money may be better spent on a brand new filter.

    When the pump first starts up there is a LOT of gurgling and air coming out of the returns for about a minute - whether solar is active or not - and then it's a smooth flow (no telltale champagne-bubbles of an air leak). When the pump shuts off it sounds like all the water remaining backflows out and air rushes into the system. Is either of this normal? According to the neighbor it's done this as long as he's known (9+ years).

    The heater is my least concern right now, as it's not needed except to heat the spa - which is actually quite enjoyable with just the jets and no additional heating (the solar gets the pool up to 90). However, I may consider getting it replaced with the rest of the equipment anyway if it doesn't add more than $500-700 to the costs.

    Do these concerns have any basis in reality? Should I avoid the Ecostar due to the plumbing? Can I mix a pool vac with solar heating and 1.5" copper plumbing? If the suction isn't an issue, will a kreepy krauly work in a non-lagoon pool? Should I be budgeting to rip the plumbing out and redo everything from skimmers/returns on back to the pad?

    Someone throw me a life preserver... or at least a pool noodle or two! Please!

    Edit: when I mentioned to the Leslie's salesperson that I was looking for an FAS-DPD kit, and needed something to read 5 ppm or better of Chlorine, because with my CYA around 55-60 I was trying to keep the Chlorine at 6-7 PPM, he was shocked that I would keep it higher than 1-3... sigh.
    Inground free form, 26,000 gal, tired paint over plaster, Intelliflo VF pump,
    Targus TA100D sand filter, Pool Valet infloor cleaning

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    Re: Equipment needs overhaul - and concerns

    An update - I think the filter is backflowing dirt and DE material into the pool when the pump shuts off. I can vacuum, and the next day find all sorts of dark debris spat up into the spa and pool around the drains. Also the pool is a bit cloudy with what might be fine DE material - really only visible at night around the pool light.

    I have two options:

    1 - $100 on a service, and unknown cost to install a check valve on the intake into the filter. I'm not sure how hard that would be to install myself.

    2 - Given how old it is, I think I'll replace it with a Hayward DE Pro Grid. Hayward recommends a 36sqft model for a pool my size, but my pool store guy (a good guy, most of his recommendations are pretty much in line with stuff here) recommends a 60sqft. Estimated cost to replace and have installed is ~$1000.

    I have a feeling #2 is the wisest decision. We can afford it, but it's an expense I would rather defer as we are still dealing with all the move-in expenses with the house.
    Inground free form, 26,000 gal, tired paint over plaster, Intelliflo VF pump,
    Targus TA100D sand filter, Pool Valet infloor cleaning

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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Equipment needs overhaul - and concerns

    Briefly, it sounds like your single biggest issue is that you have a leak or two in your system....probably on the suction side of the system.

    A suction side leak occurs between the skimmers and the pump's impeller and allows air to be sucked into the system when the pump is running. It may or may not leak water when the pump is off. If you start searching out that/those leaks, all your hissing and gurgling, etc. will come to an end.

    I would not be in a hurry to replace either the pump or the filter until I fixed the leak problems.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Equipment needs overhaul - and concerns

    When pump is active, suction seems good and I get good pressure at the filter. No gurgling or apparent air. The gurgling is only after the pump shuts off, the filter drains out.

    We've identified two leaks on the filter - one at the bottom and one at the clamp. There is also a leak on the return valve.

    I gave in to option number 2 and ordered a new Hayward Pro Grid 60sqft filter; it should arrive Monday and be installed within the week. I may request a check valve installed between pump and filter.

    Edit: Now that I think about it, there might not be a check valve between the solar system and the filter - so when the pump shuts off, half the water in the solar system is probably trying to rush push back down the line back to the filter!
    Inground free form, 26,000 gal, tired paint over plaster, Intelliflo VF pump,
    Targus TA100D sand filter, Pool Valet infloor cleaning

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