We bought this house last year knowing the pool needed to be re-plastered soon but felt it was a good deal so we moved in. The house is 20-years old and I think the pool is almost that old. A co-worker recommended a pool specialist who came out and sold us a DE filter, a new salt cell and a booster pump and Polaris cleaner. The pool has an older 2HP Stealth pump. We had no problems all year long. The pool was crystal clear and the heater and spa worked just fine. There wasn't enough return pressure in the spa to suit me, but with the blower it was fine.
We decided this year to go ahead and re-plaster. As part of that process I wanted to have the equipment re-plumbed because before it was crammed together so closely the salt cell was almost impossible to remove for blade cleaning and the multi-port valve was behind the Sta-Rite System 3 filter and all in all it was a mess.
I hired a contractor to handle the remodel and she said she had a great plumber who was very good. I gave him virtual Carte-Blanche and told him to use all the space he needed. I had already extended the concrete pad so he had plenty of room.
I should explain that this pool is a little odd in that it has only four 1" jets for an 18x36 33,000-gallon pool. The return pipe for the pool is apparently a 1 1/2" and the pipe for the spa is 2". All of the drains are 2" and include two skimmers, a pool main drain and a spa drain.
I asked that all of the lines be pressure-tested and if necessary blown out, including the skimmers and drains. This was done and no problems were found. However, when the plumbing (see attached picture) was finished and the pump was started the problems began.
First, the primer pot is never even close to full. Half-way at best, and you can hear water sloshing in the heater, the Polaris booster pump and see bubbles coming out of all the pool jets. So obviously air is getting in somewhere. However, the man who did the plumbing has supposedly checked and double-checked and found nothing.
Today, the contractor called Leslie's and asked them about having someone come out to look at it. They said they didn't need to, that the problem was the 2HP pump. They said that was too much for a residential pool, even of this size. Perhaps that's the case and a variable speed would work fine, but this pump worked last year and the changes in the plumbing were supposed to improve the situation.
As I said, I'm attaching a picture of the plumbing and I would really appreciate all the help you could possibly give me. I'm at my wits end, the end of my checking account and don't want to keep throwing good money after bad.
From the pictures, does it look like the plumbing contractor did a good job? Is there anything obvious?
The heater sounds like a washing machine and I never even heard water going through the equipment before.
Thanks in advance and I'm sorry for the long post. But I didn't know how to make it much shorter.