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Thread: Pool Remodel Nightmare!

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    Pool Remodel Nightmare!

    Pool Equipment.jpg

    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.

    Last edited by DGBOKC; 04-18-2014 at 11:45 AM. Reason: File attachment

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Pool Remodel Nightmare!

    That's why I don't like Leslies in general. They make blanket statements without knowing all the details. How can they say 2HP is too big for a residential pool? Is there a certain size before a residential pool is no longer residential? My pool is large, but I've seen residential pools that will dwarf mine.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Join Date
    May 2013

    Re: Pool Remodel Nightmare!

    did you know a SWG salt water chlorine generator emits hydrogen bubbles? to find out if it is the SWG turn it off.
    but I also wanted to say with a manual diverter valve (before the pump intake) you have it may cause too much suction with the 2HP
    motor and suck air in at the strainer cover (my guess the diverter valve handle).
    or set the diverter valve to let full flow from both sides, and see if that stops the air you see.
    I am not sure if it can suck the air in from the pump shaft seal.
    the heater I can not guess. wow on the creative plumbing/wiring though........
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Pool Remodel Nightmare!

    The salt cell hasn't been on. The "creative" plumbing/wiring was certainly not my doing. If you could elaborate I would appreciate it. I need to understand what the did wrong. I paid them enough to do it right, believe me!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Pool Remodel Nightmare!

    A couple of obvious things to check, make sure the drain plugs on the pump are snug and not sucking air, and also lubricate the rubber gasket on the pump strainer basket with silicone or teflon lubricant (never petroleum jelly). I have the same style twist down strainer lid on my jandy pump and I have to relubricate it every time I open it or else it sucks air.


    p.s. plumbing looks fairly good, I am a little concerned that some of those sweep elbows look like drain pipe fittings and not pressure pipe fittings, although this should not be a problem above ground on a pool installations since the pumps are relatively low pressure, seldomly operating at over 20-30 psi.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Pool Remodel Nightmare!

    How high is the water level on the pool? Is it at least 1/2 way up the skimmer? If you see a vortex in the skimmer the water level is too low and you are sucking air into the system. Check the drain plugs on all the above ground equipment as Ike mentioned. If you have an air bleed on the filter open it while the pump is running. Not all filters have one but it should be on top near the pressure gauge. Check all the above ground pipe joints leading to the pump intake. Slowly drizzle water over the joints and watch to see if it is getting sucked in between the fittings. If it does then it is sucking in air at that point.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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