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Thread: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

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    New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    Hello Pool Friends,

    I'm new to pool care but I have been researching everything I can for the last two weeks. My goal is to be a master and take control of an out of control situation with the hope of having a well maintained pristine pool

    My parents have had this pool for 25 years, it was part of the house they bought and they were told everything was in working order. We had a pool man maintain it (we never used the heater though) for the first 15 years. Then my dad took over. His regiment was to chlorinate and brush on a weekly basis. Clean the filters every few weeks. That's it. Slowly but surely, the pool turned disgusting.

    I've run all the tests on the chemicals, had CYA through the roof. I have now drained the pool and refilled it. I have new filters and I'm ready to start things moving again. Before I start, I'd like to do this right and address some nagging issues that the pool has had and see if I can't resolve them through the help of this forum. I'm still having a hard time understanding the pumping system, so I've included pictures and labels to help convey my message and questions.

    Some of the nagging issues:
    1) Overall flow seems a bit low
    2) Sweeper doesn't drive around as fast and as vibrantly as normal. It still does a good job of picking stuff up and goes around the pool... But it's not like it used to be. This is a new sweeper too. (low pressure?)
    3) Skimmers don't seem to suck as strongly.
    4) Jacuzzi Jets? Or Pool in flow? doesn't seem to work as strongly
    5) Main drain...i don't think it's doing much

    Some "other" things to know about our pool:
    1) Heater either doesn't work or has never been turned on. Even though we were told it would work, it looks like it's going to fall apart. I don't need a heated pool...at least not until i'm confident in it, and right now i think it'll blow up.
    2) The pump doesn't have air bubbles in it and seems to be working just fine.
    3) My dad says the pressure gauge on the filter doesn't work. I will pay closer attention this time, but...I have no reason to disagree with him. I've never seen the indicator go up.

    Ok, here we go on a picture and question tour...

    Let's start with the Jacuzzi Jets/Pool Water in Flow.

    Here's a picture of the Jacuzzi section. The Orange circles are pipes that blow strong water when a light switch is flipped in our pool house area. The yellow circles look like spa jets, but they may just be pool water flow. Not sure, can somebody help decipher? I have also circled two areas outside the pool that have covers (similar to skimmer covers). Not sure what these are, or what the function is...


    Here's another angle:


    And here's what's inside the cover...what is this? How do i operate it?




    Ok, now that, that is squared away, let's go look at the guts of my pool system.
    I've labeled all I know.

    Here is the whole shot:


    Here is a closer look. I'm guessing the green arrows are valves for the skimmers? These are super tight, not sure why, how or when I would unscrew these. I don't know what the yellow valve is for.... There is also a blue arrow that points to a tank, inside here is a basket which is clear, debris never gets in here. The yellow valve and blue tank are attached to a pipe that is labeled "Jacuzzi in". There is also a faucet looking thing that i didn't label on the left, not sure how this plays a role.



    Another Angle:



    And then randomly another valve off to the side:



    And finally the heater...again i'm not ding ANYTHING with this now, and I don't need to...(if it were easy, then I'd love to, but seems like a big task. Here's a picture of how disgusting this looks.




    I understand the basic anatomy from previous posts and reading...but this one seems a bit more complicated. Any help in resolving the nagging issues would be hugely appreciated.
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    3) My dad says the pressure gauge on the filter doesn't work. I will pay closer attention this time, but...I have no reason to disagree with him. I've never seen the indicator go up.
    Get a new gauge ASAP. They are inexpensive even at the pool store.

    Now the pump/equipment folks will be along to help you with those nagging questions
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
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    Re: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    Low Flow - those old school valves can be a little tricky as to whether they are all the way open or not. Have you tried opening the one with the red and green arrows all the way? This seems to be the main inflow for the pool. One is going to be main drain, one skimmer - unless - - coming down from that hose spigot to the main pump - does that pipe continue underground or it that a 90* adapter?

    Your Jacuzzi light switch probably turns on the gold looking pump. The valve in front should be so you can turn it off and easily remove the pump for service. (I take that back - the hose clamp is on the wrong side.....)

    The valves under the skimmer lids - this looks like the kind of infrastructure you would put in to be able to fill the pool - but there is no indication that anyone ever tried to run water to those locations - so it's a mystery.

    Clearly there's been a lot of work done to this plumbing over the years so some of this may just be left over.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    Another question, as it's not obvious from the pictures.... Is the pool plumbed with copper piping? It appears that the plumbing at the equipment pad is all PVC, but it might be copper under the deck. That copper could be a source for plaster staining. To me, it looks like it might need some serious plumbing work. I'd start off by pressure washing the whole area to get rid of all the built up dirt and leaves. I agree that the heater looks nasty and dangerous. I would disconnect it from the breaker and gas line ASAP. The rest of the equipment appears serviceable, but will likely need some sweat equity. Have you broken down the filter to clean out the grids? It appears to be a typical DE filter, and when they get dirty, the pressure drop is quite significant, so that may account for the low flow issues. That could also impact the cleaner since it is probably plumbed in after the filter. I'm not sure what those red flexible lines are for, but I think you should probably replace them with standard white 2" PVC pipes. I'm not sure what that pipe is for in the deck box. I would guess it is for filling the pool, but does not appear to be an automatic pool fill system. That could be replaced with an automated one down the road. I guess the main thing is:

    1. Clean out the filter and exchange for new grids. Make sure to backwash a few times and get the backwash valve working easily. This may require breaking it down, cleaning it and lubing with silicone lube.

    2. Replace the pressure gauge. Lowe's has these for less that $10, or you can order online.

    3. Clean out pump strainer baskets.

    4. Clean out pool pump equipment area of leaves, dirt and debris. This will help you to get things working properly without having to do so in a messy environment.

    5. Check electricals. This might be a good time to bring things up to code by installing GFCI breakers to pumps.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    Thanks all for your suggestions. So, let me see if i can't address some of this stuff and give you guys a bit more insight. The pool has been refilled and looks 100x better than it used to. From green and mucky to turquoise and clear. I replaced the 4 cartridges in the filter, it's not a DE filter. I ran the pump and pool sweep.

    Glad to report, the pressure gauge DOES work!!!! It shot up to 10...and maintained 10 until the pump turn off, and now sits around 7, not sure where it's supposed to be though. The pool sweeper runs around and it's tail whips around like it used to. Very happy about that.

    Ok, now the down side...Only 1 jet is shooting out, but fairly strong. The rest of the jets around the pool don't work at all. Nothing coming out. The one that does work, occasionally will start blowing bubbles and a lot of air. The pump debris basket has no air bubbles....so my fear is that it's something else. I just don't undestand why no other jets would work at all.

    To Lightingguy - I have two skimmers, could those valves (red and green) be for both skimmers? They go directly into the ground. I've been wanting to turn these valves to "see what happens" do i run any danger while doing this? Obviously I would have to do it when the pump was on to test to see waht happens. In fact can I just turn any valves to see what happens without fear of breaking everything? I think that's my main question.

    Oh, and the valves under the skimmer lids. I already have a pipe that is built into the pool that manages adding water..these seem to be something entirely different.

    Craig - No idea if the pipe itself is copper. I've replaced the filters, cleaned everything (except the general area, this is going to be tough). The guage seems to be working now. From an electrical standpoint, I think we are quickly moving this from a DIY type fix to a "I need a pro", which I wanted to avoid, but if all else fails I guess that's my next step.
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    So those 2 valves could be one for each skimmer - OR it's 1 for the skimmers and 1 for the main drain. If there is a third inlet pipe coming to the pump that would then be the main drain (most likely). You can certainly turn 1 valve off at a time with the pump running - but you dont want to turn all the water off to the pump. You may not want to turn those valves though - they look old and may very well have rubber gaskets in them that could break apart if they haven't been turned in years. You'll know better than us.

    The gauge still sounds broken-ish. It may just be a bit rusty - but you would hope it returns to 0 with the pump off.

    As to your 1 jet - is that with the spa switch on - or just the main pump? It's possible that you only have 1 pool return outlet - and that's the "jet".

    Anyways - it sounds like it's all working-ish - at least enough to filter water and keep things moving. The equipment itself looks near the end of it's serviceable life.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    A pool pro might not be a bad idea, but I'd still spend a bit of time investigating things myself before hiring one. This way, you will at least have an understanding of some of the problems and be prepared for various scenarios. Only you know your DIY abilities and limitations, so if you feel that any of this (esp. electrical) is over your head, then a qualified electrician or pool tech should be brought in for diagnosis and repair.

    Bubbles in the pool does suggest a potential leak somewhere in the line, though there are several other possible explanations. If you plug the one operational jet with your thumb, does this cause another jet to start functioning (a helper may be necessary for this)? If you activate the "jacuzzi jets", does that lead to other jets functioning?

    Great to hear you are getting good pressure again. It's really important that you are getting good pool circulation to get rid of particulates. Good call on the TF-100 kit, as that will help you to get the water into great shape.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer...Bringing a pool back after 10 years.

    One thought on the bare pipe in the deck ... it could be (maybe a long shot) an air induction pipe. So when the cove jets are on, air might be sucked in through that pipe to give a jacuzzi effect ... the valve could throttle the air amount.

    I have a few seat jets and they put little PVC pipes that come out of the coping that allow air to be sucked in ... problem is they are right behind your head so it is pretty noisy. Previous pool had a PVC pipe at the pad to allow air to be drawn in.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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