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Thread: newbie closing pool in Houston

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    newbie closing pool in Houston

    Hi Guys,

    I moved from Scotland 3 months ago & am just about to buy a property with a 20x40ft irregular shaped inground pool with an automatic filter & clorination system ( see pic ) The property is just north of Houston and im not sure if I need to do anything for winterizing over the "winter" I use "" here cause Ive been told it never even snows here let alone freezing solid like I am used to back home..

    I have read through many of the posts about it on this site and Im getting the feel that all I should need to do here is leave the pump running when it gets near freezing temperatures, which hopefully shouldnt be very often ?

    The previous owners didnt have a pool cover of any sort and just left their system running at the same settings all year, is this safe ?

    Should I get a cover ? what kind would be the most cost effective ?

    Id appreciate any advise,

    kind regards,

    SS
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Welcome to TFP! And the US! I love Scotland...we got to spend a couple weeks there last summer; I even got to hack my way around the Old Course!

    As you suspect, you'll be fine with no cover or winterizing, just making sure that the system runs when the temperatures are below freezing.

    During the winter you can run the system much less, thus saving some electricity. How much does the pump run now?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Open the pump timer box and see if you have a freeze protection control inside. I'm near Austin and leave my pool open year round. My timer has the freeze protection thermostat that turns the pump on any time the temp is below about 35 degrees. After 5 winters here the plumbing is still doing fine.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Thanks for the rapid replies guys !

    I dont know how long the pump system runs for at present as I havent actually purchased the house yet, closing on the 29th ( less than 2 weeks ! )
    I get the hacking round the course comment, despite heralding from the land of golf I've only ever played half a dozen times and every single one of those was here in Houston !! ( go figure ?? )

    So basically you guys agree no need to go through the blowing out and capping off process for all the pipework and filters just make sure the pumps running if it gets close to freezing, ( im not sure about the control system or what it can do as it was just a visual I did on it but its an Aqualogic system installed by blue haven pools in around 2008 ( see pics ), gonna have to try and download a manual to work it out I guess, any idea where I would find such a thing ? )

    How about pool covers ? are these nessecary ? cash is gonna be really tight for a while what with buying this house, buying a car and all the associated moving costs im incurring right now but if it is a worthwhile investment I will concider it

    thanks again guys,

    SS
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Other thing I was going to ask was can anyone easily identify all this pipework ( based on the earlier pics I attatched ) ? I understand the big cylinder is the filter, there are 2 pumps one to supply the main circulation ( left side ) one to run the pool cleaner ( in the middle ) Tcell 15 which converts salt in water to chlorine ( control system carried a "check cell" error when I saw it but the pumps werent running at the time so im guessing that could be why ) Im GUESSING this is on the output side of the filter heading to the pool return lines ? so the other pipe from filter would be the discharge from the main pump.

    The arched pipe with the valve on the other side of the main pump would be the suction line from the pool connecting to another valve and 2 other suction lines ? ( why 3 suction lines ?? )

    The booster pump for the cleaner appears to be completely seperate from this system ano one line would be the suction from the pool lower one with l-bow and back to the outlet for the cleaner, higher one with the long looped hose ?

    i have no instructions & am unlikely to get any from the seller as I think he had a "pool guy" who dealt with all of this..

    Do my guesses sound right or have I got it all backwards ?

    thanks,

    SS
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    I don't close my pool, and don't cover it ever. Keeping the leaves out is a bit of a pain because I have a ton of trees, but other than that it's just plain easy to keep it open. I don't run the pump all the time unless temps get down into the low 20s. Otherwise, during wintertime, I just make sure I have the timer set to run from about 1 AM to 5 AM, during the coldest time of the night. It worked for me during the "severe" cold and ice storm we had around the time of the 2011 Super Bowl. No problems at all. With your equipment outside, you are at more risk than I am, so running even when only a little below freezing is probably best for you.

    The salt cell will be the last thing in the line before the water goes back to the pool.
    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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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Quote Originally Posted by speedysteve
    Other thing I was going to ask was can anyone easily identify all this pipework ( based on the earlier pics I attatched ) ? I understand the big cylinder is the filter, there are 2 pumps one to supply the main circulation ( left side ) one to run the pool cleaner ( in the middle ) Tcell 15 which converts salt in water to chlorine ( control system carried a "check cell" error when I saw it but the pumps werent running at the time so im guessing that could be why ) Im GUESSING this is on the output side of the filter heading to the pool return lines ? so the other pipe from filter would be the discharge from the main pump.

    The arched pipe with the valve on the other side of the main pump would be the suction line from the pool connecting to another valve and 2 other suction lines ? ( why 3 suction lines ?? )

    The booster pump for the cleaner appears to be completely seperate from this system ano one line would be the suction from the pool lower one with l-bow and back to the outlet for the cleaner, higher one with the long looped hose ?

    i have no instructions & am unlikely to get any from the seller as I think he had a "pool guy" who dealt with all of this..

    Do my guesses sound right or have I got it all backwards ?

    thanks,

    SS
    You seem on track the Filter is indeed the tall tan object with two pipes. Does it have any labels?
    The suction lines (three) are setup with mixing valves to adjust suction and balance it between two ? and then those two and one other. Do you have maybe 1 skimmer and 2 main drains or vice versa?

    The booster is odd - I've never seen one plumbed like that but I'm a newbie myself. It does appear to have it's own suction and it's own return. Is there some water feature like a fountain or is this for a pressure side cleaner?

    Not sure what the capped off elbow in 1" (or 3/4") pvc is about. Maybe they plumbed for a slide and didn't put it in?

    The T cell you identified correctly; not sure if the cell is working however - you might want a pool specific inspection.

    Looks like just one filtered return unless that splits on the way to the pool.
    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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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    There are no additional features other than a polaris type cleaner thing which is driven by the booster and this appears to be a totally seperate circuit.
    No idea what that highlevel plugged off line is either ?
    I photo'ed the labels on the filter and motors ( attached )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    and booster pump label
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Hi guys,

    Due to this cold front we are experiencing in Houston the pump has been kicking itself in periodically during the night to avoid freezing ( a good thing ) however when it starts up there is a very load squeeling noise comming from the pump unit that last for around 30mins, it sounds like dry bearings to me and is kinda worrying... like I say the noise goes away after 30mins so I dont think anything is wrecked yet but I'm kinda worried about whats gonna happen long term, Im guessing its the bearings in the motor and wondered if these things can be user serviced ( regreased ) or possibly bearing replacement ? Im a mechanical engineer so I can handle the technical aspects, where would I find a manual or schematic drawing for the assembly to know where to pull it appart if this is possible ?

    Im guessing the motor is just bolted to a seperate fluid end that would be independantly sealed so should be able to pull the motor without messing with the fluid system ?

    Id appreciate any advise.

    ( changing the unit is not an option right now as finances are really tight

    All the best,

    SS
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    The bearings are easily replaced. You'll have to pull the pump apart at the wet end in order to get the impeller off to get to the bearings but it's not a big job for a handy person. You need to replace the shaft seal while you're into it. The casing should be bolted together and you can remove the motor end without messing with the plumbing end by removing the casing bolts.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    I had an identical issue that I lazily left for 3 years. When the pump started in cold weather, the bearings would squeal until the motor warmed up. It probably is not an urgent repair, but it sure is annoying!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Thanks guys,

    any suggestions as to who I can get the seals / bearings from or are they generic ? only asking as I have no local knowledge, if I was in the UK I would have no problem finding such parts but havent built up a contacts list in Houston yet...

    SS
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    They're generic in a sense. Most pool stores will have the seal and they may have the bearings but if not, any bearing supply (Motion Industries, etc.) will have them.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    I am worried about your booster pump. That is not a "self priming" pump and should be plumbed with the intake comming from the pressure side of the filter pump, right????? I would bet this might be the source of your squeel????
    Brent and Lisa
    23,000 gal IG plaster pool with 750gal attached hot tub
    60 sqFt DE filter Hayward EcoStar VS pump Hayward PS-4 Automation T-15 Turbo Cell.

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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Hi BHall235 im not sure about how the polaris booster should be plumbed in but the squeal is only from the filter pump which is switched on automatically when the control box sences air temperature below around 37 deg F the booster and polaris system does not come on with the freeze protection ( dont ask me why I inhereted this from previous owner ) so far other than the squealing till the motor warms up there have been no other problems..

    Incidentally I now have the chlorinator down at 55% instead of the 85% it was previously set to and my chemical test for chlorine is starting to approach a colour that is on the scale initially the chlorine test ( HTC kit ) was an orange colour instead of the yellow shown on the comparator sheet, water is chrystal clear so im guessing the ch was way too high ?
    20x40ft irregular IG pool around 20,000 gall plaster/tile, cartridge filter, Hayward pumps ( currently 2 speed Century motor burnt out high speed coil ) with SWG & Polaris on seperate circuit, all installed around 2005, various test kits usually HTC for PH & Clorine twice a week.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    If freeze protection is not controlling the booster pump and it is on a dedicated loop no water flows in it or the plumbing for it - which means it is vulnerable. Plumbing this normally (post filter, pre-Chlorinator) allows water to flow in it at all times that the main pump is turned on.
    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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    Re: newbie closing pool in Houston

    Speedysteve, No one has mentioned it yet, but you really really ought to invest in a good test kit. I suggest the TF100, sold online by a beloved forum member. It is the best value out there and has everything you need. If you can prevent just ONE issue with your pool, you will make up the full cost of the test kit. And the kit ought to last you for about a year, then you will only need to refill about a half of the items. That is the key to getting the pool under control. Really.

    For example, that SWG always needs to be turned down after the summer. Also, you will need to test TA to keep pH steady and CH to keep the surface of the pool from pitting or scaling. Most important, you must know the CYA of the pool, for the stabilizer level is key to keeping FC in the pool.

    I had a friend who had all sorts of problems with their saltwater pool; black algae, frequently the pool turned green, the kids got ear aches. Turns out there was no stabilizer in the pool. The SWG was running at 100% but could not keep up with heavy usage or grass blown into the pool when the sun was out.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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