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Thread: Pool Auto-Pilot?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Seattle area
    Posts
    17

    Pool Auto-Pilot?

    Last year, after years of using tri-chlor pucks, I finally got burned with a high CYA level and a difficult yellow mustard problem. As a result, Im now a born-again BBB School of Pool disciple. However, while I fully embrace the BBB philosophy, Im not wild about having to manually add liquid chlorine on a frequent (daily?) basis. I want to be able to take off for a few weeks at a time and not have to hire somebody to keep up with the chlorine routine; Id like to have a more automatic operation.

    Im in the greater Seattle area (Bellevue) and typically only have to worry about algae formation about 6 months out of the year. When were done swimming for the year, I typically remove the cover and leave the pool uncovered over the cool months, only running the circulation pump a few hours a day and running the Polaris only as needed to clean out leaves and misc debris. I dont pay much attention to the chlorine level after the water temp drops. The circ pump runs off the heater controller and is set to turn on the pump if the outside temp approaches freezing (typically once or twice a year for a few days only).

    As the pool temp begins to rise in the spring, I put on a solar cover and begin more rigorous and regular chlorination.

    Im basically looking for the approach which requires the least frequent amount of maintenance, a system that, once balanced and adjusted, can be ignored for a week or two during the warm (algae-forming) months and then pretty much shut down during the colder fall/winter/spring months. While overall cost (non-recurring installation and recurring annual maintenance) is a factor, its not the primary driver. Im also pretty comfortable with reading instructions and doing the installation myself.

    So, Id love to hear any comments and recommendations from others on the forum. Are there approaches available, which would let me visit Montana for a couple weeks this summer and not have to worry about my pool turning green?
    And even if I hired someone to look after the pool while Im gone, Id like to have that oversight and potential service be as simple as possible.

    FYI, recent test results:
    FC = 4
    CC = 0.5
    pH = 7.6
    TA = 100
    CH = 190
    CYA = 80
    32,000 gal. IG plaster (circa 1967); 24" dia sand filter; Jandy Lite 2 (250,000 BTU)
    1 hp circ. pump (Single speed, 53 gpm); 3/4 hp booster pump (Polaris 380)
    1 bottom drain, 1 skimmer, 2 return lines from circ pump, 1 return from booster pump, all 1-1/2" PVC plumbing

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Pool Auto-Pilot?

    read the automation forum. you could go saltwater. Or with a stenner pump to pump bleach in from a 15or 30 gallon drum you could go 2 weeks to a month without adding chlorine manually
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,333

    Re: Pool Auto-Pilot?

    I agree with March, either a swcg or an injection system is going to be the best choices, BUT be forewarned, there are no maintenance free systems. They all require some amount of regular maintenance. I wouldn't leave the pool for two weeks without someone going by and at least cleaning out the skimmers and checking to make sure things are still operating as they should every few days.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Seattle area
    Posts
    17

    Re: Pool Auto-Pilot?

    Quote Originally Posted by march2012
    read the automation forum. you could go saltwater. Or with a stenner pump to pump bleach in from a 15or 30 gallon drum you could go 2 weeks to a month without adding chlorine manually
    Thanks for the input. I'll head over to the automation forum and educate myself before deciding between Stenner pump injection or swg.
    32,000 gal. IG plaster (circa 1967); 24" dia sand filter; Jandy Lite 2 (250,000 BTU)
    1 hp circ. pump (Single speed, 53 gpm); 3/4 hp booster pump (Polaris 380)
    1 bottom drain, 1 skimmer, 2 return lines from circ pump, 1 return from booster pump, all 1-1/2" PVC plumbing

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