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Thread: Rose Garden Newbie

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    Rose Garden Newbie

    After a couple unsuccessful tries, my wife and I retired, sold our home of 30+ years, downsized and moved to our "urban cottage" in San Jose. It's an old two story home with a beautiful backyard pool, neither of which we have ever owned before. I have it inspected and the evaluation was that everything except the SWG was in pretty good shape.

    After about a year of noodling the pool's operation, I have a couple questions I'd like some help with.

    The original gunite pool was installed in 1957. I'm told that sometime in the 1990s the pool was upgraded with new plaster, coping, and decking, plumbing, solar, SWG and other equipment. After we moved in I replaced the water--Ca was off the charts--and installed a new SWG. I do my own maintenance and verify my water chemistry tests with the local Leslie's. I have two irritating problems:

    First, there are LOTS of bubbles coming into the pool from the return ports when solar is on. I'm told that it's probably--not verified--sucking air through the second story relief valve, because the 1 hp pump simply can't move enough water to keep the upper coils and water column full. If that's the case, I'm probably not getting full heat gain from the coils on top. Sounds reasonable, but the solution is a new pump. Anyone had a similar problem? How was it fixed?

    Second, if I replace the existing pump with Pentair Intelliflo, I want to be able to have the solar controller set the pump speed based on whether or not water's being pumped to the coils. We have our share of overcast skies and cool days when I don't want to run water thru the solar. At these times, I want the pump to run at minimum speed required for filtering. Pentair seems to have a couple controller options that look to be able to do this speed control. Anyone have experience with their Solarcomm, or Compro controllers doing this?

    Finally, I need to integrate control of the Polaris and is boost pump with the Intelliflo. Right now, both pumps are controlled by two rotary timers. Again, any suggestions?

    Thanks for the help,

    Paul
    I never really grew up, I just learned how to act in public.

    16k IG gallon pool, StaRite 1hp pump, Pentair 420 filter, Compool Lx220, Aquapure SWG, Polaris 380 w/ boost, 270 sqft Gull solar coils

  2. Back To Top    #2
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
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    8,649

    Re: Rose Garden Newbie

    Welcome to tfp, Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hastings
    First, there are LOTS of bubbles coming into the pool from the return ports when solar is on. I'm told that it's probably--not verified--sucking air through the second story relief valve, because the 1 hp pump simply can't move enough water to keep the upper coils and water column full. If that's the case, I'm probably not getting full heat gain from the coils on top. Sounds reasonable, but the solution is a new pump. Anyone had a similar problem? How was it fixed?
    Another possibility is a leak in the piping/joints up near the top on the return plumbing.

    One thought comes to mind... What type of filter do you have and when do you clean it? A restricted filter can decrease flow and reduce the ability of the system to fully prime the panels. Are there the same amount of bubbles when the filter has just be cleaned?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    4

    Re: Rose Garden Newbie

    Just after we moved in I had the roof replaced. The solar system was deinstalled and reinstalled. There were some initial pin hole water leaks that we plugged quite quickly. water leaks are really easy to spot because of the Ca deposits on the comp shingles. Thanks, I'll check the piping joints also, although there are no apparent leaks in the pipes & joints. I have a cartridge type filter (Pentair 420) w/ 4 large cartridges. I put in new ones last June and just cleaned them (pressure washed) a month ago. No change in bubbles. The pressure gauge on the filter has stayed pretty constant since I installed the new cartridges and before/after cleaning.

    I had a manual valve installed in the solar return line that feed the pump. If I partially close the valve ( about 45 degrees) to create some flow restriction, the bubble decrease a lot. I've been hesitant to really crank down the flow for fear of damaging the pump.
    I never really grew up, I just learned how to act in public.

    16k IG gallon pool, StaRite 1hp pump, Pentair 420 filter, Compool Lx220, Aquapure SWG, Polaris 380 w/ boost, 270 sqft Gull solar coils

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    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    10,157

    Re: Rose Garden Newbie

    Welcome to TFP!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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