First off, thanks for all the info, this site is great.
So I have an issue I need some advice on. My pool was built in the 80's I think, and the placement of the pool equipment isn't exactly how I would have done it. It sits off to the side, but in the middle of my yard sort off. So I am planning on relocating the pool equipment back about 6 feet, and pouring a concrete slab for it. I am constantly fighting grass and weeds around my equipment, so I'm planning on running the pipes up through the concrete, and have a nice clean install.
While I'm re-plumbing I thought I might make some changes to the equipment. I have always had an issue with the pop-up's where they don't really work well unless I close my side return jets. In addition I have a gigantic (looks like a giant black cannonball) filter. So I was thinking of maybe replacing the filter and the pump to get more pressure to the pop-ups, so I could run the returns at the same time, and also save some space by having a more vertical filter, then the giant one I have.
So I went and talked to the pool store guys, I guess to remind me why I don't go talk to the pool store guys. The pool store had a 3.2 ft2 sand filter for pretty cheap (270$). It was a top mount port, instead of the side like I have now. I was talking to the guy, and he said 3.2 ft2 filter was way too small for my pool since I had in floor pop-ups. He also said I didn't want to go with a top mount valve, because it puts too much pressure on the filter. The pressure comment amazed me, since from my reading it appears to be a blatant lie, however I would prefer the side mount anyways because of the ease of plumbing. He then said all pop-ups require at least a 2hp pump to operate well. I asked him about service factor, and how that plays into it, and he basically said that doesn’t matter much at all. I tend to agree on the needing more pressure, but seems like he might need to go to pool school on the service factor comment.
I put my pool information below and the different options for the filter and pump separately. Just interested in some basic advice. I have an obvious gap of information when it comes to feet of head. It’s been on my to do list to calculate, but I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet.
• ~9,000 gallons
• Current pump 1hp 1.65 SF single speed.
• Current filter unknown brand, but looks like a giant cannon ball. Pool store guy said it is probably a 4.9 ft2.
• Pop ups are Paramount pool valet 6 port (4 zones), with brand new gear/valve assembly.
• Normal filter pressure with pop ups and return jets open ~10 psi
• Normal filter pressure with only pop ups on ~20 psi.
• 2” pipes in and out. The pop ups drop down to I think a 1” before it hits the gears.
• 2 Return Jets, and a max of 3 pop ups per zone.
• Feet of head – I haven’t done the calculations on this yet, but I will try and gather something together.
• Keep the same filter.
• Replace the filter with another 4.9 ft2 filter.
• Replace the filter with a 3.2 ft2 filter, which my research shows should be big enough for the pool, but I’m not sure how this effects the pop ups.
• Keep the same pump (1hp, 1.65SF), and just run it with the side return jets almost off and most of the water re-entering the pool through the pop ups.
• Replace the pump with a 2hp pump and cringe every time I see my electric bill.
• Add a booster pump to just the pop ups to get the pressure high enough.
• Replace the pump with 2 smaller pumps, ˝ HP maybe? I’ve read this is even more energy efficient then some variable speed pumps. I’ve also read this can be a real pain in the butt, but it sure sounds cool.
• Bite the bullet, and buy a variable speed pump, and explain to the wife that it’s all worth it while we eat our ramen noodles and wash our clothes in the pool. This might not fix the problem, but variable speed pumps sure seem cool.