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Thread: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

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    Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    Ya'll,

    First time poster, and soon to be first time pool owner. I'm purchasing a house just north of Houston, TX with a 20,000 in ground plaster swimming pool with attached spa. I don't close until the 8th of September, but I'm trying to do my research well before it becomes my responsibility. Its an older pool, but structurally in great shape. Most of the pool equipment is also in good shape, the oldest date my pool inspector could find was 2004 on the heater. It does need a few little things for me to be happy with it, replace an air blower who's bearings are going out, add a pool timer, and refinish the concrete deck.

    However, my big concern now is figuring out what I want to do for sanitation. The current homeowner are retired, and have plenty of time everyday to maintain the pool. Nothing is plumbed in now, they add chemicals manually and the chlorinator is a floater. I work a ton, and travel alot for work, so I'm trying to find the best option for me. My real issue is because of work I travel often two weeks at a time. I don't want to pay the 170ish bucks a month it would cost for me to get a pool service, so I'm looking into some type of pool automation that could keep the pool in good shape for about 2 weeks.

    I've looked into everything I can find, from regular chlorine to ozone, and I realize that as much research as I can do, people that have done it awhile can give me better advice.

    I do believe I will augment whatever primary sanitzation I do with a UV light, but thats just based on my own reckoning. I don't think I get a compariable amount of UV just by the water sitting in the pool during the day here in Houston, but i could be wrong.

    What do you guys think would be my best option for pool sanitation that can get me by for about 10-14 days without needing manual adjustments, or chemical additions to the system?

    I understand I may end up needing a system with a large liquid chlorine tank, but I also don't know if I cant just dump a bunch of extra salt in the pool before I leave and an SWG would be good to go.

    Thanks in advance!
    Spring TX, 20,000 gallon in ground plaster pool, about 30 years old, attached spa, Raypak RP2100 heater, Whisperflo WF-26 Pump, Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter, Circupool SI-45 SWG

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    Hi, welcome to TFP! You don't need a UV system in an outdoor pool, especially in Houston! We already get plenty of UV from the sun. UV will burn off chloramines, which is the waste product of chlorine oxidation. A UV system cannot treat the water fast enough or in a large enough volume to be an adequate sanitation system for your pool. Same with ozone, it will not treat enough water quickly enough to make a difference in sanitation. A SWG system would probably be your best bet. It will run on a timer with your pump and unless there is a lot of splashout or water replacement your salt level should be fairly consistent over the season. You can't just dump in extra salt, too much salt will cause the SWG to shut down.
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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    So if there is no swimming in it, and the only changes would litterally be from rainfall and evaporation, the SWG would be my best bet to get me through two weeks without coming back to a green pool?
    Spring TX, 20,000 gallon in ground plaster pool, about 30 years old, attached spa, Raypak RP2100 heater, Whisperflo WF-26 Pump, Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter, Circupool SI-45 SWG

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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    + for SWG, but know that you will need to occasionally use muriatic acid to lower ph/TA when needed and maybe occasionally a boost of liquid chlorine. I haven't in the time (March) I've had my SWG installed. Baking Soda in case you to raise TA ( I haven't done that since I changed from tabs/shock over a year ago. But it really doesn't take much time to maintain your pool either way Bleach/liquid chlorine or SWG. Daily testing and cleaning debris are about the most time consuming part of maintenance . For me that's about 20 minutes/day. I haven't had to add any salt either. I went on a two week vacation in June and came back with the pool looking the same as I left it. I DID have someone looking after it to add or replace water when necessary and to net debris/clean skimmers as needed . They Loved having access to the pool during that time. Didn't ask them to do any testing.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    Another vote for SWG.

    If you need to leave the pool on self-pilot for 2-week stretches, SWG will do a fine job at preventing green. Just make sure you're keeping an eye on pH as soon as you get back from the trips.

    Ozone and UV systems are not useful in an outdoor, low bather load pool (compared to the way public pools are usually filled up with people). Save your money, and forego those.
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    SWG with an automation system is going to be your best bet.

    There are automation systems that you can hook up to your phone so you can make sure things are working right without having to eyeball it in person.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Otis Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    When you head out for a trip check your water level. Your pump won't prime if the water level is too low. You will lose some water to evaporation and if your pump doesn't prime it won't run and your SWG won't generate any chlorine.

    I'm still a newbie but my understanding is your water level should be about half way up your skimmer or just below your overflow grate.
    Inground Gunite, plaster surface. 28,000 gallons, modified L shape with diving area and play area, attached spa, all pentair equipment, SWG, variable speed, DE Filter, Nature 2 Express. Taylor 2006 test kit.
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    Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    Definitely another vote here for SWG!

    But, I have to say, if you're going to be away for long stretches, like the 2 weeks you mention, you're going to need help. Some folks say just put the system on auto pilot and the SWG will be fine but I don't agree with that. Your pool needs daily attention even if it's just doing the old eyeball test (does everything look ok?)

    Can your spouse or kids help out and learn to do some basic water testing? It's not all that hard to learn and routine testing is the best way to make sure you head off a problem BEFORE it gets out of hand. Many of us have gone on big 10 day holidays and just let the pool ride, but I'm sure we all spent lots of time prior to that getting the water just right. And even then, I doubt anyone can say that they didn't have the thought that maybe they just might come home to find the green monster.

    Just saying that 2 weeks is too long to just let a pool sit around. Get some help with it and it'll be fine.

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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    Just saying that 2 weeks is too long to just let a pool sit around.
    I agree. 5 day or so every now and then would likely be not a problem but as a rule, pools don't do well being unattended as long as you would like in your scenario above.

    PS - You also need to take a very long leisurely stroll through "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. Your posts tell me you don't have a really good grasp of the basics yet which will REALLY help you make these decisions
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    I agree a swg system is probably best. But if you don't or can't use salt then I would suggest a steiner pump. Plenty of threads on here on how to set one up.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Buying house with my first pool, debating sanitation options

    Adding unnecessary salt is not a good idea. It will not generate chlorine any better while you're gone. In fact if you put to much additional salt in, it could shut down generation completely! I put my salt in in March and haven't added any more since. The box says it's 3800 and that's a only a loss of 400 since installation.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

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