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Thread: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt System

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    Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt System

    Hello -

    I'm having a ton of trouble with water level in the basket and flow problems this year after setting up my Intex sand filter/salt system combo on my non-Intex AGP 18' round and could sure use some advice, please. It was new last summer and is called: Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110.

    I feel certain I have my pool hoses and connections set up as I not only referred to photos from last year but when removing the hoses for winter before unhooking the connected motor and salt unit, I labeled the parts and their matching 'partners' with stick-on labels, A to A, etc. through F F.

    Same as last year, I have in the daisy chain a round solar pool unit, AquaKwik 4512, similar to what Amazon is now selling (the smaller unit) at this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

    The pool has the right amount of water, and the skimmer basket has been kept clean. I have also backwashed 3 times in about 6 hrs of actual use over the past three days, if even that much, because of the constant stopping and fiddling with the hoses etc.

    My problem is water level and erratic pressure, causing constant flow issues and warnings, bouncing between no water coming out the inlet at all - to plenty of water. First, I cannot get the water to stay filled to the top of the basket next to motor. Last year, a friend helped me set it up and hook the solar heater into the mix, and after a few minutes of waiting for it to rise to the top, he loosened the cap and that released the air lock and things were perfect the rest of the season.

    This year I tried the same thing. The water will fill to the top, and I hear noise from the pump like rushing water and the flow is good, then it doesn't take long before the flow is down again. I have loosened and tightened or removed every hose connection in blind attempts to make it work. Also loosened the cap and the little 'burp knob' many times. Also removed the hose where the water comes out of the solar unit; the water is moving through it. Each of these maneuvers 'usually' results in the water filling up in the basket with accompanying gurgling rushing water noises, but then it falls back off again. Occasionally it has run for an hour ok. Today the water was up full in the basket but over and over, there was no water flow going into the inlet. Water comes out fine in backwash and rinse and waste water.

    Does this sound familiar to anyone who can offer a suggestion of what I can do myself? I thought about trying to bypass the solar unit (remove it), but I'm not sure I can cobble the fittings on without it. Being non-Intex, it has been a real mess trying to get other parts to fit what I have with this Rec Warehouse pool from 2006.

    I will attach some pix from last season in case that will help. Thank you!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    First thing I see is that heater you have is on the wrong side of the pump. It should be on the discharge of the filter if it's anywhere.

    Also make sure that the pump basket lid o-ring is clean and lubed and doesn't have any nicks in it. As well as the pump drain plug(s) clean and sealed.
    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: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Hi Dave - Thank you for helping.

    Let me make sure I was clear that this setup worked fine last year. *Are you saying I may have the hoses not tight and there is an air leak?

    I noticed again this morning, the 'default water height' in the pump basket is below the incoming hose hole. When I loosened the plastic cap, then it filled up again (as usual, but it will drop again and go up and down).

    As for the heater, it appears to me to be where the directions say to put it. I don't expect you to look it up, but here's the link for the book, it's on page 6 of actual downloaded booklet. http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdf...c6a8ab09c8.pdf. I will take a screen print of that page and attach it.

    Is there any other way I can describe anything that will help you help me?
    Attached Files Attached Files
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    I understand that it worked last year, but there's something wrong and lets eliminate obvious things.

    I looked at the pdf and it shows it on the return side of the pump/filter not on the skimmer side as you have it. The more equipment and fittings you add to the suction side of the pump, the better the chance you'll have an air leak and that will cause the problems you're seeing.
    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: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    What you said makes perfect sense of course, trying the obvious first. I'm just trying to make sure I'm communicating clearly. But that was why I thought about trying to disconnect the heater entirely and then see how it works.

    I was utterly confused looking at the photo and thinking it was correct. Worse, the professional I paid to put it in last year is a building inspector and well respected local handyman. I 'think' what I just saw though is that, when looking at the diagram, with the heater on the left and to the left of the motor, it appeared correct - but I had not noticed the critical difference is that on the diagram, the skimmer and return positions are 'swapped'! Certainly we never noticed that. Doh! How goofy.

    OK, so I guess you are saying that the next step is to move the heater to the other side or disconnect it for testing? I do remember how 3 different handymen in the past have struggled with those adapter fittings to make the hoses fit, and this year I have no help. But I do have tools and a good attitude, as long as I can understand what to do. Do you have any tips from seeing the pictures, how I should proceed getting the hose to fit on the skimmer side? I do have more of the gray, nut-tighten style Intex fittings like you see on the return side, as I presume I would have to duplicate that setup after removing the black heater hose.

    I'm not sure what to think about that heater. Moving it to the left will put it in a very awkward spot, and I'm not sure how much good it did, really. Reviews on Amazon are mixed.

    I really appreciate and thank you for your time, Dave.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    The first thing I would do is remove the heater all together until you get everything working correctly. Then you can put it on the proper side of the pump/filter where it won't cause air to get into the system even if it does leak.
    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: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Right, that was my first thought, but I'm concerned about the hookup using the adapter. Do you think I can get the intex hose to fit by just putting the gray nut thing on the pipe? The left and right sides look a little different to me from the pix. Like I said, the skilled handymen doing this all struggled with the adapter. It must be awkward or unwieldly or ?? something. So I'm nervous I'll mess something up.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    The only thing you can do is try it. I think you'll figure it out without any problem.
    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: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Yes, there's no alternative. I'll just close the levers and hope I can get everything back if it doesn't work. By the way, the instruction page was for the wrong model. It doesn't change much, but I'm attaching the correct one.

    *Can you please tell me why you think the water stays low in the pump skimmer? I would like to understand what is happening to cause that, and I'm sure you have some ideas. It seems like once it gets up there, it would stay, but no.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    The water stays low in the pump basket because you have a leak somewhere on the suction side of the pump that allows air to get into the system. It could be the lid itself (o-ring) or the drain plugs, or some of the hose fittings leaking. You can have a leak that allows air into the system but not leak water when the pump is off.
    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: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Hmmm. I may be exacerbating this whole problem because I only have all the fittings hand tightened down to where they don't leak, so that I could open them up again. In my novice ignorance, somewhere I dreamed up the idea that opening them up would release air locks. Since the only way to get the pump basket full was to lift up the cap and 'release' air - or so I thought - I construed that to mean that air pockets in different areas might be cleared out by opening up the offending hose to 'let the burp out'. Oh me.

    Clearly something is wacked because the water level and water grumbling noises go up and down. I was just reading the trouble shooting section of the solar heater. They suggested 'trying to clear a clog' in it if there is low flow; so I'll first undo those hoses at the unit and shoot a water hose through it. (I'm avoiding removing it if I can clear it up another way).

    Thank you for that thorough description of the issue, which helps me understand things better as I try to get more educated about how things work.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Suction side leaks are a special animal. You can have a perfectly water tight system and air will still leak in when you start the pump creating a small vacuum.
    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: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Update:

    Removing the heater did nothing. Same exact issues as before.

    I remember now why it was so hard to make changes; it was a super time-consuming hassle putting the adapter on in place of the black heater hose, which fit perfectly. The original pvc pipe is a bit too large for those intex adapters to easily accommodate. Not only is it next to impossible to get the adapter over the pipe, but then it won't go up properly or tighten well. I had to use a hammer to even get it on; and it's crooked and unsatisfactory. I wouldn't trust it not to pop off during the running operation.

    As I think you were trying to say, from reading more up on it yesterday, I have a pump priming issue that I haven't been able to resolve. I also have to pick up some silicone lubricant today.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    New Update: Still have the suction side low water and low/no pressure problems.

    What I've done since last update:

    1) Removed the gaskets on the pump basket, checked them for damage (pump is new last summer) and put silicone on them.

    2) Had to hook the solar heater in the loop again because the adaptor does not fit the pipes and so was installed very sloppily, and I could hear gurgling air coming from the adaptor. I had checked for water coming through by running a hose in both ends. Having it hooked makes no difference either way in the symptoms.

    3) Put a garden hose inside the pump basket trying to force water in. Of course taking the lid off (pump off) made water gush out, so not sure how effective that was.

    Symptoms:

    1) When pump turned off, water is low, about an inch below hole in pump basket. I have to cheat to get it up, by loosening the lid. Then you hear the big gurgle. This has to be repeated up to a half dozen times or more. Sometimes the water stays up but there is not water coming out the return. I have to turn the motor off and on each time to stop the low flow alarm.

    2) The longest flow will run is 20-30 minutes after getting it going, then it peters out.

    3) Once this happens, another cheat that can work temporarily is to turn the motor off and position it to 'recirculate' rather than filter. There is a big gush of air/water noise when the motor is turned off in this position. I'm not sure the function of recirculate, but when this trick works, it makes the polaris 65 run great like it should (and did last year). I am doing the testing both with the polaris attached and not attached. Not using it makes no difference, except I cannot tell from inside the house when the flow has stopped and so I am captive to it. Like right now as I type, the thing has stopped again so I must go out and go through this all over. (It's been 20 minutes).

    4) Another thing: There is either one large air bubble visible beneath the lid of the pump basket, or else bubbles. For purposes of comparison, last year I could not even tell water was in there, because it went all the way to the top, there was no debris inside (still is not), and so it was completely clear. I also see bubbles in the clear pump tubes where the copper electronic thing is, as opposed to last season when everything was tight, full and clear.

    5) I absolutely cannot get the water level up without letting air in by loosening the pump basket lid.

    6) The pool water was somewhat above optimal level before running it the first time this year, not below, which I've read can cause air to get inside.

    7) The obvious skimmer basket, etc., are virtually clean and have never been the cause of a block.

    8) I have backwashed 3-4 times, considering it's only running part-time, this should be sufficient. The water was not awful to begin with, and the backwashed water is not awful.

    9) The pressure on the gauge when it's running is in the green zone. This morning it was slightly in the yellow, so I backwashed again for the 3rd or 4th time since Tues, and it went back into the green.

    10) I just back; it took about 20+ minutes to get the return water back. The water was at the top of the pump basket (with bubbles). Once shutting it down, the level goes down and must be forced back up as above. This time it took several tries of 'recirculate' to get things going after trying filter mode and getting no pressure. Recirculate gives the gushing sound. Filter is silent. With the pump basket lid off and the shutoff valves closed so the water was stable (and below the hole) I put a garden hose in the eye and saw that immediately water came through into the basket (so apparently no clog there). I also ran water in the pump basket hole. It seemed to accept the new water for awhile, not immediately flowing over (as it does when the valves are on open).

    11) Before this last try just now, I also firmly but carefully, with a wrench, tightened down the hoses to the sand filter, the ones between the motor and the copper and electronic works (clear tubes), and the return hose.

    12) After doing all that this time, my quick cheat of getting the basket full by loosening the lid was not working in either filter or recirculate mode.

    -- I hope some of this will offer a clue of what I should try next. I hope the recirculate mode with water noise and the filter mode no water noise, plus the basket fill cheat not working, will trigger someone's similar experience.

    {{I know it's a holiday weekend - so I have no expectations of a quick answer and am very patient to wait until it's convenient. I will be grateful for any responses whenever anyone has time.}}

    Thank you!
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Wherever it is, you're going to have to find where the air is getting into the system. It has to be somewhere on the suction side of the pump. Have you checked the drain plug(s) on the pump?
    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: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Yes, I agree - you've taught me that, and the searching I've done since indicates exactly what you say.

    I apologize, I do not know what the drain plug on the pump is. That's not the drain plug on the sand ball, is it? If yes, I checked it a few times, water comes out (not clogged), and it is tight.

    I'm attaching more pix of the motor in case you are able to please point me to the plug.

    *Oh - there is a slight difference after that last long series of attempts posted before this one. It will run longer before coming to a standstill. The basket water is still low but last time was not as low. I still have to run recirculate to get things jiggled back up to function even temporarily.

    Same as always, the pressure, once established, starts out strong and then peters down to nothing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Files Attached Files
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    See that white star shaped knob at the bottom of the pump basket? That's the drain plug. :-\
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Oh sure, thanks, that's the one I've 'burped' from time to time in attempts to get the water to fill; otherwise it's tight. After awhile of this agonizing journey it occurred to me to leave it alone because the pressure is what you're referring to, so to burp it kills the pressure.

    Maybe I don't know what you mean by 'have [I] checked it'? Checked how or for what, please?
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    Remove it and check the o-ring and/or seal to make sure it's clean and not nicked. If it's an o-ring you should lube it with some pool lube and put it back in.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Possibly Air Pocket Issues? Intex CS15110 Sand/Salt Sys

    I haven't had a chance to do your suggestion on the basket drain knob yet since I just read it, but there has been some progress. I sincerely hope you don't mind that I have asked some questions below that will help me understand what's going on better.

    Progress: The further tightening of hoses with a wrench vs hand tightening means that now:

    1) The water is staying up in the basket between shutting it off and on, as opposed to always dropping low between.

    2) The motor ran about 3 hours yesterday before slowing down to zero.

    3) There is still a large air bubble in the top of the pump basket that I can't get out. I tried loosening it to get the flow overflowing, tightened the cap, saw the bubble still there, then loosened the basket knob to see if the water would fill up, but no. Still have that big air pocket covering most of the top of the basket.

    Yet still, to get the pump pressure going again when it fades out, I have to put it on recirculate. After that then it starts out with decent return flow, yet not as much as during recirculate, which is very strong flow.

    Questions please, if you don't mind:

    *There should not be an air bubble or pocket in the pump basket, right?
    *What is there about recirculate that 'activates' the pump flow in filter?
    *Does it make sense that there is more pressure during recirculate than filter, or is that indicative of an ongoing problem.

    Yesterday when the return flow slowed way down after 3 hrs, the pressure gauge went to the top of the green. I backwashed (backwashed water looked mildy cloudy) - and pressure went back down and flow came back up. Right now I have a tendency to blame everything on a leak, so I don't know what is normal to expect about pool opening season backwashing on a sand filter, since I did not have these problems before with this and my original sand filter. (Had a terrible stint in the middle with cartridge filters, a real nightmare that was never resolved and wasted two years of pool downtime.) I'm still getting the pool water cleaned out from winter though.

    Question please: *Is it typical that backwashing that often during cleaning up and opening a pool from winter? The pool was not a mess, but there were some leaves on the bottom, therefore particles would have been in it.

    As to your suggestion: I do have the basket knob in very tight and no longer open it to release pressure. I can put silicone on it today.

    Thank you again for your advice. If I could afford to hire an expert to come out this year, I would have done so long before now. I have to get this going myself. I'm in a rural town, and there are no pool experts within many miles, and they charge a small fortune to come out. The ones I've called indicate they are used to servicing pricey inground pools and don't like/don't want to mess with sand filters, like it's a nuisance (which may be true, who knows). Then when I say Intex I can feel their eyes rolling backward. My chemical store (30+ miles away) did the same thing. Since it's not mechanical, this shouldn't be so hard I can't do it - especially and only - with your help, which is so much appreciated.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14” (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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