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Thread: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confused.

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    I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confused.

    I need to apologize in advance for my glaring naivete, and I have spent a couple of hours browsing these forums trying to answer my own questions, but apparently my questions are so stupid no one ever thought of asking them before.

    I bought a house with a 4-year-old fiberglass pool about a year ago, and of course there was no information on pool care, so I've been learning as I go along. The pool is about 15' x 30', with a ledge all the way around, molded seats and a swim-out. It has just one skimmer at the deep end. It is also white, meaning that I have to vacuum it pretty much constantly, and so I would like to get some kind of automated cleaner.

    My first thought was a pressure side cleaner. The water returning to the pool leaves the filter, than splits into two lines; one 1 1/2" line that feeds the 6 or 7 jets around the pool, and one 1 1/2" line labelled "Pool Cleaner" that runs to a single jet in the side of the pool. I figured that I could just connect a Polaris to this port and all would be well, but I've been told repeatedly that without a booster pump a Polaris won't function. The thing is, this jet already shoots out water hard enough that it's painful...my daughters like to stick their pool noodle over it and shoot water about 10' out of the pool. The teenager at the pool store insists that without a booster pump, no dice.

    My next thought was a suction side cleaner, which I like less since when it's working the skimmer isn't, but at least I know that it'll function. But then it occurred to me that with with Jetzilla blowing water right across the middle of the pool, the cleaner would probably never make it to the shallow end of the pool; once the hose hits that jet, it'll blast it right back to the deep end.

    I could shut off the valve to the pool cleaner line and route all the water to the jets, thus allowing the suction cleaner to work, but I'm somewhat leery. In the year I've had the pool, I've had the pool company out 3 times to dig under the concrete and replace broken fittings. The first time was right at the time of purchase, and the repair company's theory was that our pool inspector must have been opening and closing valves while the system was running, thereby causing a water hammer effect and blowing out 3 fittings. While I refuse to believe that that should be possible on such a new pool, I'm somewhat concerned that by shutting off the pool cleaner line, I'll be doubling the pressure on the jets line, which by the evidence I've seen so far appears to be more fragile than glass.

    So I guess what I'm trying to figure out boils down to these questions.
    1) Is it possible that I can actually hook up a pressure-side cleaner to my pool cleaner port and have it work without another pump, and if not
    2) Should I really have to be concerned about shutting off the pool cleaner return line damaging the system?

    Thanks in advance for any advice. From what I've read so far, the average poster on here knows far more about pools than my pool contractor. When I ask him these types of questions, he gets the same look on his face as my dog gets when I tell her to go do the laundry.

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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    he gets the same look on his face as my dog gets when I tell her to go do the laundry.
    that really cracked me up!

    Hi, welcome. I'm sure that someone who can help with your question will be along soon. There are several construction experts here.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    If you were somehow able to borrow a pressure side pool cleaner to see if it functions properly without the booster pump, that would be the best case. Maybe the pool store has a loaner???

    If the pressure side cleaner is a no go, I think you can get a robotic cleaner for about the same price as buying a pressure side cleaner plus booster pump. Here's a good deal on a Polaris 9300 - $899 http://www.poolsupplies.com/cgi-bin/Com ... add=action

    I think the good thing about suction side cleaners is that they're cheap. The bad thing is that the suck the debris they vacuum up into your filter, rather than having a bag on the cleaner to catch the debris. If you have a sand filter, maybe not a big deal, but if you have a DE or cartridge filter which are more difficult to clean, iyou might not want a suction side cleaner.

    If you can afford the robot, I would probably go with that. Other on the forum should be able to help you pick the bes robot cleaner.
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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    There are also pressure side cleaners that do not require a booster pump such as Polaris 360.

    My friend has one that he raves about.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    Welcome to the forum

    Typically, a pressure side cleaner uses only a 1" pipe (both to and from the booster pump) so I assume that 1.5" pipe labeled "pool cleaner" might be for a polaris 360 like mentioned above.

    Is there any indication a booster pump was ever attached to that line or does it look like it has always gone from the split to the pool without interruption?

    Let's figure that out first and then progress from that point. Others might read this and have a different take.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Is there any indication a booster pump was ever attached to that line or does it look like it has always gone from the split to the pool without interruption?

    Let's figure that out first and then progress from that point. Others might read this and have a different take.
    There was definitely no booster pump ever on this system; it splits at a Jandy valve and goes directly to the pool. It appears that I have a dedicated pressure line that is intended for something like that Polaris 360.

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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    Yeah, that makes sense. The 360 gets pretty good reviews from most folks here on the forum and it would be your easiest and pretty close to the least expensive setup you could get.
    Robots by themselves or a pressure side cleaner requiring the booster will approach $1k pretty easily so the 360 may be your best bet. I have never used one.

    I don't think I would bother trying a suction side since you don't have a dedicated suction line. (although you could redirect that line from behind the jandy and plumb it over to the intake (suction) port on your pump but I can't see you gaining anything.)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    he gets the same look on his face as my dog gets when I tell her to go do the laundry.
    that really cracked me up!

    Hi, welcome. I'm sure that someone who can help with your question will be along soon. There are several construction experts here.
    The title is funny too! Welcome to TFP Waterstick!
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    The title is funny too! Welcome to TFP Waterstick!
    Hey, thanks. I've been trying to figure out the cleaner thing for weeks, and ya'll figured it out in an hour. I'll be sticking around, because I've learned more in a morning of browsing here than I learned the entire past year, and I'm just now beginning to realize how little I know about balancing a pool.

    If anyone has any input about my problem with the plumbing fittings at the jets spontaneously exploding every 6 months, I'm all ears. I'm sick of my backyard looking like a moonscape and having the pool repair guys on a first name basis with my kids. At this rate, I'll be able to declare them on my taxes.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: I'm new at owning a pool, but experienced at being confu

    Welcome to the forum Stick! You're right, this is a great place with a lot of good info.
    TFP Moderator
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