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Thread: Newbie with 50-year old pool has circulation issues

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    Newbie with 50-year old pool has circulation issues

    I just bought a 1961-built house with a pool that was also built in 1961. The pool is 16 x 36 feet, and 3 to 8 feet deep. It has one skimmer basket, two returns that re-circulate water back into the pool; the pipes are 1.5" in size. The pool still uses the 1960's pump and filter, and unfortunately the circulation is not enough to keep the top surface clean (ie: there is floating debri that makes the pool uninviting). I've had two different pool guys out. One guy says to replace the pump with a variable speed one, put in a bigger filter, replace pipes with 2.5" PVC, and put in eyeball jets to help direct the flow advantageously. The second pool guy said I would only need to replace the filter and pump, but make it a regular, not a variable speed, pump since I'd want to keep the circulation up at a reasonable pace, and that that would be enough.

    What do you guys think? I was thinking that, if I went with the 1st guy's advice and replaced the pipes that maybe I should add a second skimmer bucket and outflow pipe to suck water to the pump and filter station from the opposite side as well. Or am I wrong for even considering this? I can't wait for summer, and the pool looks great since about ten years ago, one of the previous owners put in a pebble-tec surface (Tahoe Blue I believe) and new brick coping. However, he did nothing to upgrade the infrastructure. It's hard to believe that, for 50 years, the owners of this pool put up with the trash on the surface, but I can't stand it.

    All thoughts are welcome!

    - Drewster

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    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Flower Mound, TX

    Re: Newbie with 50-year old pool has circulation issues

    Welcome to TFP!

    Personally, I like the advice that you got from the first guy. You would be surprised how much better your circulation will be with a new pump and filter. In fact, by changing to a new pump and filter, you will probably find that your one skimmer is plenty.

    Go for the variable speed pump. Also, the larger the filter, the more efficient it will be.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Metro Atlanta, Georgia

    Re: Newbie with 50-year old pool has circulation issues

    I had a similar problem with my 40-plus year old pool, which was cured with new functioning skimmer weirs (doors).

    I would guess you would get a lot of energy savings by upgrades, which might be a good enough reason to do it. I went with a two speed, because my cost per kw would not justify a variable speed. Google pumps (bottom left), there is a lot of information here on selection and sizing for your needs.
    My cement pond is a 36K gunite 20X40 built in mid 1960s, Hayward S244S filter, Aquarite SWCG, Jandy 1.5HP 2sp, TF-Test kit and Nitro Wall Climber

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    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    San Diego, CA

    Re: Newbie with 50-year old pool has circulation issues

    What was his estimate for repiping the pool? You should be fine with the existing pipes and new equipment at the pad - plumb all the pad stuff with 2". If the pump really is that old then there's no way its running with the same power I used to have. Good luck and welcome to TFP! Let us know what you do
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Newbie with 50-year old pool has circulation issues

    What is the pump model and what is the filter model/type and filter pressure?

    The problem could be due to a clogged impeller, suction pipe or even the filter. It doesn't necessarily mean that you need to start replacing equipment although that is probably not a bad idea either. But if you can get the equipment working properly, you will be able to make a better decision about the replacement equipment.
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Newbie with 50-year old pool has circulation issues

    My house was built in 1954, and we aren't sure if the pool was put in then, or as part of a later upgrade (but not much later). At the very least, it's from about the same time as yours.

    My pool is 118' around the perimeter, 44,000 gallons, 9' deep at the deepest part of the pool. It drops incredibly fast and early, as just confirmed by the pool guy that was here today to discuss resurfacing it.

    I have 4 returns at the shallow end, all pointed toward the deep end. My SINGLE skimmer is in the very worst spot it could possibly be in, near the middle of the pool.

    My pool stays crystal clear all year long. Removing leaves is a manual process, because I have no standard ports to connect a Polaris or similar leaf removal system to.

    Without even knowing what filtration system you have, I'd say attack that first. If that filter is truly that old, it most likely needs to be replaced. I've been extremely happy with my Triton sand filter, but you can make your own decision on filter type and brand. I replaced mine last year, replacing the one installed in 1989. It had broken laterals, or I'd still be using it.

    If I were buying a new pump, I'd probably purchase a 2 speed (not variable) so I can run it longer on a lower setting, saving electricity, but have the high-power setting for when needed. This is totally opinion, and not based on any scientific facts or studies.

    Here's my pool. Picture taken from deep end (I know, it is obvious), all 4 returns at opposite end pointed toward deep end, skimmer can be seen on the right side. The main drain seen at the bottom of the pool is no longer functional.

    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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