We have a 12.5'x21.5'x52" Esther Williams Millennium oval pool buried 29". It also has a salt system, solar panels on a flat roof (10' high about 25' away). The pool came with an AG sand filter + 1HP Pentair Dynamo combo sitting on a pre made plastic base which then sits on a concrete slab. The pump is self priming. I want to make changes in order to minimize noise from the pump and have more flexibility with the pump+filter base. The pump is plugged into a GFCI 115v outlet which is connected to a 15amp breaker in our panel. The pump stays outside during the winter ( in Toronto, Canada). Here are some questions which are simple but have baffled me.
1- Can I get rid of the plastic base that so many of these ABG pump+filter combos come with and place it on something else sitting on the concrete pad? What could that something be? Air conditioner units seem to sit on some plastic wood on concrete. The idea is to minimize vibrations from the pump. Where would you get this sort of thing?
2- The current pump is self-priming. Can I get away with one that isn't? For example, Waterway makes a 2-speed pump (1HP) which is appealing but is not self priming. They have a 1HP model which draws 8.8amps@115v and a 1.5HP which draws 11amps@115v. Our current pump draws 11amps@115v. Does this mean the 1HP Waterway pump is really a 3/4HP pump?
3- Would a cartridge pump, such as the Hayward XStream 100 or 150 sq ft be better than a sand filter in terms of filtering out small insects, debris from trees and such? Is it easier to clean or maintain than a sand filter? We had to pay someone to replace our sand and the job did not seem trivial. How often would you have to open the cartridge filter in order to clean it and is it easy. Would the Hayward filter work with a Pentair Dynamo pump or Waterway pump?
4- How difficult would it be to swap out the sand filter+Dynamo with say a Hayward XStream cartridge+Dynamo/Waterway? Are there better, ie easier to maintain, cartridge systems for this type of pool ( only 8k gallons). Does the cartridge filter need to be secured to the concrete?
5- We had original bought a Hayward SuperPump VSP which could go from 600 to 3700 rpm or so but the 220v issue became overwhelming. However, that pump was very quiet at lower rpm. Obviously overkill, but silent. The pump seemed to have quite a few electronics in it so I worried about keeping it outside during the winter ( no pool shed). Is that really an issue? Dismantling it would have been a pain.
6- The water is currently 4' deep everywhere. When the liner is changed would it be possible to increase the depth at some parts of the pool safely by simply digging more (by hand)?