Hello, first time posting.
I bought a fixer-upper with a pool and need some help. I have a odd skimmer from the 1950s... it didn't use a normal basket from what I can tell, but a stacked filter system. It was like a stack of mesh "pancakes" and I don't know if it had paper filters or maybe DE was added as well??? All that was left was the rotted plastic which got thrown-out by a worker before I could photograph it. I don't know if there was another stand-alone filter connected to the pump, or if the skimmer filter was it, as the water pipes going to the pump were cut and the equipment removed before I got there. I'd like to identify the make of the skimmer so that I could get a replacement basket or filter assembly. The skimmer is made of fiberglass and approx. 19" across the top and 30" deep, and as it doesn't leak, I'd like to try and re-use it rather than rip it out.
I have an 1 1/2" line and a 1 1/4" line to work with coming out of the ground. The larger of the lines goes to the bottom of the skimmer, (the pump suction) and the smaller lines goes to the returns, and the hole in the side of the skimmer goes to the bottom drain which suggest the skimmer and bottom filter are joined underground. How do I pressure test lines that are already installed??? there's no threads on the returns so I was thinking of using the inflatable "hotdogs" that plumbers use to do standing water tests.
I will need a new pump, I'd like recommendations on a Energy Efficient pump, I was thinking the 3/4 hp "Eco ultra efficiency" and a Sand filter of somewhere between 2.3-2.8 sq ft. Given that my pipes are small (by today's standards) I'm concerned about head loss and water velocity, so want a filter that won't make the problem worse. (Dumb question... are pumps water proof or do I need to protect it from the rain?)
Without a heater, I get about 4 good months of swimming in Tucson Arizona, so I was thinking about adding solar heating as well. It's a one story house, so it's only 8' to the roof, directly above the pump where I would mount them. Any thoughts an inexpensive solar set-up.
Also, As I need to re-plaster the pool, I thought I'd "punch" in some holes for a couple of SAVI LED lights, an auto-leveler, and a separate vacuum line all which require only "small" holes and would appreciate any thoughts on the process. What should I expect to pay for a re-plaster with new waterline tiles? Except for the plaster--I'll be doing the rest of the work myself as I'm a remodeling contractor and like to learn new skills--any help to avoid mistakes would be appreciated!
It's approximately 12,000 gallons, in ground, and plaster. One more BIG issue... it's a rental property so I want it to be low-maintenance. I plan to hire a pool service, as I don't want the renters responsible for the up-keep, but I do want it idiot proof and to keep the utility costs low on a monthly basis.
Thanks in advance for the help!