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Thread: New pool owner, need some advice

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    Join Date
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    New pool owner, need some advice

    Hello to all!
    I stumbled upon TFP a couple weeks ago and have been reading almost daily since. Just closed on our house and have been a 1st-time pool owner for about 2 days now, and I'm very excited to get started on various projects. While my wife would rather have me concentrate on interior remodeling projects, I'm eager to establish a lawn and pool maintenance regimen.

    Will be ordering one of the recommended test kits soon and will try to calculate the size this weekend. In the meantime hoping to get some advice to determine whether I need to get a bunch of stuff repaired/replaced, and if the prices are even in the right ballpark.

    We had a pool inspection done during escrow, after which they advised the following:
    -Repair/Replace old Laars heater ($300-$3000)
    -Fix a leak near outlet of "Premier brass" pump ($135)
    -Replace a valve on suction side ($300)
    -Replace GFCI for pool light ($300)
    -Patch minor cracking spa wall ($185)
    -Replace Fafco solar controller ($550)
    -Repair valve leak on fill system ($225)
    -Replace antivortex drain covers ($250 spa, $800 pool via scuba)

    This link should show you what I'm working with.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1125619...eat=directlink

    I'm told by the previous owner that April to mid-November was when they used the pool. And that they haven't used the gas heater for years, since the solar system was installed. So I'm wondering if I even need the gas heater anymore. Water is pretty cloudly and will obviously require a serious cleansing. The pool inspector suggested I take him on for a few months just to get it up and running, which I'd rather avoid if it's just a matter of following the simple directions in Pool School.

    Thanks for all the helpful info already!
    Ed
    19k gal IG gunite w/ spa, Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS, Sta-Rite System:3, Polaris 3900 Sport w/booster pump, Heliocol, EasyTouch4

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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    Just looking at that list most of the things could be done yourself, even the drain cover, with a bit of hose to breath through!! The prices look ridiculous for most of those items. I would get to know your pool first before making any decisions, I'm sure many items on their shopping list will not be required, the previous owners will have a fine idea of the pools operation and with a tf100 test kit and this forum you definitely don't need to pay someone to do it for you. You'll learnfar more from pool school than you'll local expert who is not independent and has a conflict of interests (perhaps not the correct descriptor) selling his services to you
    Stuart Murray
    Scotland UK
    UK NPPOC

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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    Thanks Stuart. I'll hold off on calling in the pros until I get a better feel for what I have and how it works.

    Learned a lot by sifting through old documents & drawings from when the pool was originally built and I updated my signature line a bit.

    1. O-ring and clamp on the main pump is sputtering water out, particularly when I shut it off, and I can see a pocket of air through the clear cap. Does replacing the O-ring and applying some lube generally fix this?

    2. I looked at my electric meter and was able to determine that the main pump draws 1 kW and the booster pump draws 1.33 kW. Seems like an awful lot of power. Any suggestions on replacing these with something more efficient, yet cost effective (less than $1,000)?

    Most of this stuff is about 32 years old, sitting uncovered, developing rust.
    19k gal IG gunite w/ spa, Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS, Sta-Rite System:3, Polaris 3900 Sport w/booster pump, Heliocol, EasyTouch4

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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    I got a quote $3,300 to replace the pump and filter with:
    1) Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3050
    2) Pentair/Sta-Rite System 3 - 300sqft
    3) Updated plumbing for the entire pad

    But they're telling me to contact a separate company that handles solar to assess the condition of my panels. If all checks out, its another $800 to install the SunTouch.

    Common sense is telling me to price out a few other contractors, but the swamp in my backyard is pressuring me into making a quick decision!

    I'm pretty much good to go with the pump upgrade. Was reading another post that debated the Clean & Clear Plus being easier to wash than the Sta-Rite 3... plus the cartridge replacements for the C&CP seem cheaper. Having a tough time figuring out if they are selling me a better filter unit or not.

    Thoughts on the price and the filter?
    19k gal IG gunite w/ spa, Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS, Sta-Rite System:3, Polaris 3900 Sport w/booster pump, Heliocol, EasyTouch4

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    I am a little unclear (or maybe did not read closely). Is the pump and filter functional? If so, you can clear up the swamp before replacing anything and then just take your time.

    You could save some money by getting a 2-speed pump instead of the VS ... running on low will save a good bit of electricity. But, you would likely have to run on high for the solar ... that is where the VS could save some power, but dialing down the speed for solar. That said, solar is most efficient at higher flow rates ... so you will save $, but not heat as much.

    All this depends on how handy you are. I recently re-did my pad and replaced the pump myself ... I am sure they could have done it faster, but cheaper for me to learn and do it.

    Look at prices online. The VS is < $900. A filter is < $500. Redoing the plumbing and valves is probably < $200 in materials.

    I certainly would not replace the heater until you know if you actually want/need it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    Thanks for the reply.

    The existing pump leaks and is eating up 1Kw/hour. It took a week to source a replacement 6" basket lid o-ring from Leslie's. They sold me a Sta-Rite that wound up being too thick for my Premier. Old model with limited parts apparently. Then I find that the Lexan lid itself has cracks in it. The setup is older than me.

    I took apart the DE filter last weekend and hosed down all the green build up from the grids. But in the process, I found that some of the plastic parts inside were broken. The plumbing was not setup to allow backwashing, and it looked like about 34 years of sludge. Don't really want to deal with handling DE either, so I'm ready to go to cartridge. Just want to make sure I'm getting a low maintenance but quality product.

    I'm handy enough to take it apart and put it back together, but not confident enough to redesign the layout of the valves and such, so I'm ok with paying a professional a "fair" price to do it right.

    Just spoke to the solar company they referred to get the panels and sensors checked out, $132 for 15 minutes, and $40 for each additional 15 minutes. Maybe I'll hold off on the solar controller replacement, since I won't be doing any heating until Spring.
    19k gal IG gunite w/ spa, Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS, Sta-Rite System:3, Polaris 3900 Sport w/booster pump, Heliocol, EasyTouch4

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    If you can manually turn the solar on, you will quickly find out if there is an issue by looking for water leaking out of the them. The controller is very simple and only requires hookup to the actuator on a valve and 2 temperature sensors. What makes them think the controller needs replaced?

    For your size pool, we would recommend at least a 300 sqft cartridge filter. That would be fine ... since you will be open year round (not shutting down the pool) ... going a little larger on the filter would reduce the frequency of having to clean the cartridges (possibly only have to do that once per year).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    The pool inspector that came out before we bought the house/pool said the Fafco controller was broken and stuck in the ON position. The valves from the pad to the roof are manual, with a pinch valve in between them which is what I assume is stuck ON.

    That said, when the pump was running with roof valves open, no leakage was noticed on the roof from the ground by the previous owner, pool inspector, or me. Sounds to me like the pool contractor doesn't want to be responsible for the roof/panel/sensors. It is two-stories up, not sure if this is a normal practice or a sign that I need to keep shopping.
    19k gal IG gunite w/ spa, Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS, Sta-Rite System:3, Polaris 3900 Sport w/booster pump, Heliocol, EasyTouch4

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    Ah. I now see that you have posted about these things in other posts (that pinch valve gave you away ) .... that is why it is generally nice to keep all your posts together, so we are not asking the same questions.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    More than likely You will save money running the pump less on bbb. You may still want to replace it due to condition. What is your electric rate?


    - Sent using Tapatalk
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    Haven't received the first bill, but we've been living in an apartment in the same zip and we're paying $0.13/kw, nighttime usage mostly.

    I finally got the right GFCI circuit breaker in thanks to some guidance in another thread. I turned the pump and cleaner back on today. The Magic Lube I applied to the old O-ring on the strainer basket seems to have stopped the pump leak, however I'm now seeing water coming from the filter O-ring. Sigh.

    Now I'm thinking maybe I should just pickup a cartridge filter online and swap out my DE filter myself. THAT much I feel comfortable enough to swap out on my own.

    Jblizzle, you were saying a 2-speed would be good enough. Any suggestions on which pump brand/model would be a simple swap in with my Intermatic T104 and be enough to handle the solar and spa requirements? A WhisperFlo perhaps? Something that pairs up with the filter I'd be installing. 2" plumbing thru most of the system, 220V. Current motor is 1.5hp, SF 1.30.

    Thanks everyone!
    Ed
    19k gal IG gunite w/ spa, Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS, Sta-Rite System:3, Polaris 3900 Sport w/booster pump, Heliocol, EasyTouch4

  12. Back To Top    #12
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, need some advice

    If the pump works just change the motor.

    -sent with Tapatalk 2
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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