I recently purchased a home with an older in ground pool. The home is in eastern PA (Doylestown area) and is on well water (with low Ph but no other major issues noted). The pool needs a lot of work, including new tile and plaster. We'll save that discussion for later... The first order of business is to get it clean and swimmable for the rest of this season.
I have some pool experience, as I maintained my pool in Texas for 15 years. I can do the plumbing, wiring, etc. What I don't know are the hydraulics and other aspects of selection, nor which selections are better (I know that is subjective).
The first order of business is that it needs all new equipment. It currently has a 1.5 hp pump, a cleaner boost pump, an old DE filter, manual valves, an old style clock timer, and a pool heater. The filter is leaking at the bottom valve, the pump motor is noisy and the pump is leaking, the manual valves are stiff and many handles are broken off, the pool heater is disconnected from propane (so no idea if it works), and the cleaner booster pump is frozen. It is a mix of 2" and 1.5" plumbing. I did get it to circulate, so am at least making progress in getting the pool cleared up. But, it's time to start over with new equipment.
I would estimate the pool to be 20K to 25K gallons. It is irregular shaped with a shallow end and a deep end (estimate 10'). It has one 1.5" main drain and two 1.5" skimmers. There are 2 pool returns (from a 1.5" line), with eyeballs. It has an attached spa with an overflow into the pool. The spa has one 2" drain, 5 returns (from a 2" line), and an air blower (with non-functioning air switch).
I would like to add a solar heater, as there seems to be a great location for it on the roof of the covered patio (1 story high, maybe 50' from the pool equipment) and I want to extend the season as much as possible without using the propane heater.
And so the questions begin...
- Type and size of filter? My previous pool was a sand filter, so I'm comfortable with that. Not opposed to cartridge either, though it would seem I would need a pretty big one for this size pool. I'm not familiar at all with DE, is it worth the effort to learn? Recommendations?
- Two speed pump to cover the pool / spa / solar? Multispeed? Separate pumps for pool and spa? How big? What brand? Recommendations?
- Controller recommendations? I know the range is broad here. Looking for automation of the routine cleaning / solar valve operation / switch to spa mode, etc.
- Solar panel options?
- Pressure side or suction side cleaner? Booster? Brand? (my previous pool was pressure side, non-booster polaris, so familiar with that but would probably prefer the booster route so the cleaner doesn't run the entire time the pool is filtering)
The pump and filter are my first priority, as I'm not sure how long I'm going to be able to babysit what is there and sort-of working today.
Thanks in advance!
(edited to correct pool returns and add plumbing sizes)