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Thread: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

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    First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Hello,

    My wife and I just bought a house with a pool and I have never maintained one in any way. I have read all the pool school articles and talked to several other pool owners and companies and seem to get a lot of conflicting information.

    Background
    We live in Dallas, TX. Moved into the house on 1/3 of this year. The previous owner had a pool service so I elected to just continue with that company when we moved in. I am currently on their bi weekly plan that they told me would be fine for the winter months. I would like to learn enough to maintain the pool myself at some point so Ive been reading.

    So far I have replaced the timers on the main and Polaris pumps as recommended by the pool inspector to added freeze protection and slaved the Polaris off the main pump. I have also purchased one of the recommended test kits from the pool school and waiting for that to come in.

    Issues/Questions
    I am a consultant and travel for work. I am usually out of town Monday Thursday. The BBB method sounds like it requires daily monitoring and adding of chemicals and that is not possible for me. It sounds like the tablets in the floater are not a good solution because of the increase in CYA. I was reading threads about this and noted people suggesting liquidators, injection systems, and SWG. These look to be expensive solutions and have no idea which would be best or right for me.

    What really has me confused is the pool company is telling me that once a week service during the summer should be fine for water chemistry and I just need to keep leaves out of the skimmer basket.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Tom,
    22k IG plaster pool, Haywood DE6020 Pro Grid DE filer
    Century Centurion 2 HP single speed with Challenger Pentair front housing replacement. Polaris 280 and Polaris PB4-60 pump. Stenner Injection
    Pool is probably 1980-1990 vintage. Concrete deck

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I used to have a pool service .... they never kept the water as nice as I do now. What they generally do is raise the CYA very high to protect the FC from the sun and then raise the FC very high when they come. The chlorine is lost to organics and the sun over the course of the week and they just hope that there is still some FC left when they show up again. As soon as the FC drops below that which we recommend depending on your CYA level, algae starts to grow. The company just hopes that when they show up, the water is still clear and when they jack the FC up very high again, hope that it kills whatever was starting. It is a big roller coaster of FC levels. Right after they show up it can be pretty high and I noticed irritating. Right before they come, the FC may be too low to effectively be sanitizing your pool. All they really hope to do is keep the water clear ... maybe not comfortable or safe, but clear as that is all most owners care about. And what happens if it turns green, well, they show up and raise the FC even higher to try to clear it (possibly damaging the pool and equipment), you lose the use of your pool during this period, and of course, you get no refund for loss of use.

    That and finding this site is why I ditched them.

    Any of the 3 automated chlorine systems you mentioned would work well for you in maintaining a consistent FC level while you are out of town. You will still need to test when you are around to get the system dialed in and check the other levels (most important are the pH and the FC/CC levels). Only the SWG allows you to not have to continually be refilling the bleach tank. The cost comparison has been done many times on the forum and in the long run (3-5 years) the running costs of using bleach or a SWG are very similar, the SWG just has a higher upfront cost.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    I would say that you can easily justify the up front cost of the SWG simply by eliminating the cost of the pool service. You already have a MUCH better testing system coming than they most likely use. And pool school will tell you exactly what to add, when and most importantly--WHY! Have you discovered the pool math app?
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Thanks. So the more I research it's becoming clear I should go with some type injection, Liquidator or SWG. I'm seeing anything from a $60 Hayward CL200 Automatic Pool Chemical on up to 1k+ SWG systems. Maybe the Liquidator is the middle of the road option? Also, what is there a good breakdown of brands for these devices like the test kits page?

    As for installation. I am pretty handy on do most jobs my self. I can handle plumbing and electrical no problem. I'm assuming I can just buy a Liquidator or SWG online and install myself?
    Tom,
    22k IG plaster pool, Haywood DE6020 Pro Grid DE filer
    Century Centurion 2 HP single speed with Challenger Pentair front housing replacement. Polaris 280 and Polaris PB4-60 pump. Stenner Injection
    Pool is probably 1980-1990 vintage. Concrete deck

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    That $60 Hayward is a tablet feeder and you already know that is not a good idea.

    As far as upfront cost I think the Liquidator is the cheapest, then a peristaltic pump, then the SWGs.

    Stick with any of the major brands and you should be fine. The installs are pretty easy, so you should be fine.

    For SWGs, the Pentairs are a limited in the amount of control you have when you do not have their automation system. Compupool seemed to have a decent produce that is lower cost that many members seemed to be buying, have not heard much back though. The Haywards are a middle of the road SWG that have been around for a long time. They have a few common issues that are well documented online and DIY repair. We recommend sizing the SWG for 1.5-3 times the size of your pool, so look for something in the 40k range.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    I went with a Stenner Injection system as I wanted to be able to control when the chlorine was added to the pool and not just when the pump was running (liquidator). I think you need to decide if you want to use a SWG or Liquid Chlorine to chlorinate your pool. What type of stone / rock do you have around your pool? There are reports of some moss rock and Oklahoma Flagstone that does not do well with saltwater pools (mostly I hear about them in the Houston area). There are others that have moss rock and Flagstone that do not have a problem.

    I followed this thread almost exactely in setting up my system:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-pump-injector

    If you can find bleach in bulk in your area, it is even easier. Right now, I have to buy the 1 gallon jugs and refill 2-3 times a month depending on the time of year (use more in warm weather)

    Thanks,

    Steve
    20,000 IG WetEdge Satin Matrix Northshore Plum, Filled 8/24/12

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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by shuye View Post
    I went with a Stenner Injection system as I wanted to be able to control when the chlorine was added to the pool and not just when the pump was running (liquidator).
    I guess Stenner Injection makes it easier to regulate chlorine levels? I was leaning toward the Liquidator as it seemed like less moving parts to deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by shuye View Post
    I think you need to decide if you want to use a SWG or Liquid Chlorine to chlorinate your pool.
    As far as I can tell the only major advantage of SWG over Liquid Chlorine is not having to buy and fill the chlorine. If I can go 10 days at a time I have no issues with the extra labor required with liquid chlorine.

    Quote Originally Posted by shuye View Post
    What type of stone / rock do you have around your pool? There are reports of some moss rock and Oklahoma Flagstone that does not do well with saltwater pools (mostly I hear about them in the Houston area).
    I have a concrete pool deck
    Tom,
    22k IG plaster pool, Haywood DE6020 Pro Grid DE filer
    Century Centurion 2 HP single speed with Challenger Pentair front housing replacement. Polaris 280 and Polaris PB4-60 pump. Stenner Injection
    Pool is probably 1980-1990 vintage. Concrete deck

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    One disadvantage of the liquidator is that the amount of bleach injected is a function of the suction the pump is pulling. If you have a multi-speed pump, the speed affects the amount of bleach injected. Also as the filter/ pump basket / skimmer basket get dirty, that can affect the suction and thus the chlorine injection.

    With the stenner type pumps, the amount of bleach injected is independent of the pump speed/suction.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    I'll just make one comment on the LQ. If your pool is 20,000 gallons, you likely won't get more than a week out of the LQ, and in all probability less.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp 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: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Ok based on this discussion and the link shuye posted I think I'm going to go with Stenner Injection.

    For parts list I'm looking at
    Stenner - 45mphp10
    http://www.uswatersystems.com/stenne...sure-pump.html

    Going to pick up 15 gallon barrel locally. As far as the timer goes what are the requirements? I have an old Intermatic mechanical timer that used to run my pump. Would I be able to use that or do I need something digital? Will it need to cycle once a day or many times a day?
    Tom,
    22k IG plaster pool, Haywood DE6020 Pro Grid DE filer
    Century Centurion 2 HP single speed with Challenger Pentair front housing replacement. Polaris 280 and Polaris PB4-60 pump. Stenner Injection
    Pool is probably 1980-1990 vintage. Concrete deck

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    It should only need to be on once a day (just like we only add bleach manually once a day). I think you need to be sure the water is flowing when the stenner pump is on ... the risk with having 2 separate timers is if they somehow get out of sync.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    What timer do you have on the main pump now?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp 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: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    What timer do you have on the main pump now?
    Just replaced the two single timers for the main and Polaris pumps

    http://www.poolplaza.com/P-INT-30-681-T.html


    With dual slaved timers with freeze protection

    http://www.poolplaza.com/P-INT-30-640-T.html
    Tom,
    22k IG plaster pool, Haywood DE6020 Pro Grid DE filer
    Century Centurion 2 HP single speed with Challenger Pentair front housing replacement. Polaris 280 and Polaris PB4-60 pump. Stenner Injection
    Pool is probably 1980-1990 vintage. Concrete deck

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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    I have my Stenner on a separate digital outdoor timer that I bought at Lowes or Home Depot. It is a 7 day programmable timer and I currently have the Stenner set to run for 30 minutes around 7pm while the main pump is circulating. (I have the pump running on low speed (2-speed pump) from 6pm to 9pm every night).

    This gives me the flexibility to adjust the amount of time the Stenner runs if I need to add more or less chlorine. During the summer, I need to increase the run time on the Stenner to 45 minutes to an hour.

    My timer is similar to this one, but digital and programmable for 7 days with up to 8 timers I believe:

    http://www.amazon.com/Industries-601...=outdoor+timer

    Over the past year, I have found the timer has reset itself once or twice, primarily after power outages that last for more than a hour or two. I make it a habit to check it and the chlorine tank every few days and check the operation of the Stenner at least once a week.

    Steve
    20,000 IG WetEdge Satin Matrix Northshore Plum, Filled 8/24/12

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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Looks like my options are:

    1. Get a fixed output pump and regulate the flow with a separate timer.
    Pros
    - Cheaper
    - More control
    - Less run time
    Cons
    -Possibility of timer getting out of sync

    2. Get a variable pump and run it on the same timer as the main pump
    Pros
    - Never worry about it running while main pump is off
    Cons
    - More expensive
    - Clicking noise
    - Runs longer (more power consumption and wear and tear on stenner pump)
    - Can't run main pump without Stenner running (if I want to run my main pump more I would have to disconnect Stenner or adjust the output to compensate)

    Sounds like option 1 is better overall but I worry about the times getting out of sync. Since I'm away so much I may not be home to catch it if there is a power outage or something. How big a deal is it if the Stenner runs while the main pump is off?

    Bama Rambler, I read a thread where you said if you did it over you would go with a fixed output instead of a variable. Is there anything other than the cons I noted above that gave you that opinion?

    If I got a variable couldn't I adjust it to full output and use it with a separate timer like a fixed? Are there any drawbacks beside the additional cost to doing that? That woul give me the flexibility to do option 1 or 2 correct?

    Is there any way to wire the timers so that the Stenner cannot come on if the main pump is off? The Intermatic dual timer box is setup to do this with my Polaris pump. I was going to try to wire my old single Intermatic timer in to main timer the same way but I'm worried that it will not give me fine enough adjustment for the Stenner. I think 30 minute increments is as fine as it gets.

    Thanks for all your feed back. So glad I found this site. My test kit should be in when I get back home tonight so I'm going to get to test the levels for the first time. Hoping my pool company has maintained them at decent levels.
    Tom,
    22k IG plaster pool, Haywood DE6020 Pro Grid DE filer
    Century Centurion 2 HP single speed with Challenger Pentair front housing replacement. Polaris 280 and Polaris PB4-60 pump. Stenner Injection
    Pool is probably 1980-1990 vintage. Concrete deck

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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Is there a possibility that your wife could be trained to pour XX amount of bleach in everyday? If so, you could save alot of money and she would have ownership in the pool. Specifically, I will come clean.......get a Taylor Speed Stir, show her how easy it is to test chlorine levels, have a chart made so that at X level of chlorine you add X amount of bleach. Problem solved for the cost of a Speed Stir + you get backup for you playing with the pool.

    Bob E.

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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Safetybob View Post
    Is there a possibility that your wife could be trained to pour XX amount of bleach in everyday? If so, you could save alot of money and she would have ownership in the pool. Specifically, I will come clean.......get a Taylor Speed Stir, show her how easy it is to test chlorine levels, have a chart made so that at X level of chlorine you add X amount of bleach. Problem solved for the cost of a Speed Stir + you get backup for you playing with the pool.

    Bob E.
    I considered this but I don't think it's not going to happen. She's just not good with stuff like that. She still has issues getting the entertainment system to do what she wants. Plus she travels with me frequently so I still need a solution for that.

    I don't mind setting this up anyway. I like DIY projects like this. Just trying to get all the info before I jump in.
    Tom,
    22k IG plaster pool, Haywood DE6020 Pro Grid DE filer
    Century Centurion 2 HP single speed with Challenger Pentair front housing replacement. Polaris 280 and Polaris PB4-60 pump. Stenner Injection
    Pool is probably 1980-1990 vintage. Concrete deck

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    Re: First time pool owner looking for a strategy.

    I went back and looked at my charts from this past summer.

    My pool is around 17,000 gallons and gets full sun from about 10am until 6pm. We live in Missouri City, TX (right outside of Houston by Sugar Land)

    For comparison, I have the 10gallon per day fixed Stenner pump 45MPHP10 (High pressure model). The most I ran it during the summer was for 75 minutes which provided 66.67 oz. of bleach (8.25% concentration from Wal Mart). I maintained a CYA of around 50-60 during the summer.

    Each pool is different, and with your pool being a little larger, you will probably use a little more bleach, but I think I was adding a little more than necessary.

    My assumptions:

    1. From your description, you do not have a spa, so your main pump will only be on when your are filtering and circulating water and when running the Polaris.
    2. If you bought the 45MHP10 adjustable rate pump (high pressure model, goes from 0.5 to 10 gpd) and ran your main pump 6 hours a day, you could adjust the Stenner pump rate according to your main pump run time (slower rate the longer you run the pump)

    From my calculations: 0.5 gpd = 2.67 oz / hr, 1 gpd = 5.33 oz / hr, and 10 gpd = 53.33 oz/hr.

    If you ran the pump 6 hours a day and needed an estimated 75 oz of bleach a day (slightly more than what I used) then you do the following calculation:

    75 oz / 6 hr = 12.5 oz / hr rate. Then 12.5 oz / hr divided by 5.33 oz per hr = 2.35 gallons per day setting on the pump.

    If you run the pump longer or shorter you just adjust the formula to get your new rate and calculate what to set the pump on.

    This just proves that you can but the adjustable rate pump and set it so that it runs whenever you are running the main pump to add a constant amount of bleach throughout the day.

    1. If you have a spa, you will be adding additional chlorine (bleach) whenever you run the main pump.
    2. If you buy more concentrated bleach (10% or 12%, your volume of bleach needed per day will be lower than the amount I used)

    If you buy the 15 gallon tank, you could put 14 jugs of bleach at 121 oz per jug = 1694 oz of bleach.

    If you use 75 oz per day, that would be 22.5 days of bleach before you have to refill.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Steve
    20,000 IG WetEdge Satin Matrix Northshore Plum, Filled 8/24/12

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