Owned the house / pool for a couple months now - my bro-in-law recommended TFP and I've been running my chemistry, etc. per your standards ever since - love it. That said, I've done everything possible to try to get my suction cleaner to perform reliably and I've officially run out of ideas.
Here is the pool / pumping station layout:
- Approx 20,000 gal, 10 years old
- 1hp / 1.25 "total hp" Hayward single-stage pump, 2" PVC all around ("recently" replaced by prev owner)
- Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 420 filter
- 4x brand new cartridge filters (pleatco PCC105-PAK4 - http://www.pleatco.com/product/pcc105-pak4.html)
- hot tub heater (never used, just bought house in July)
- saltwater generator (don't have info on me)
- Brand new Hayward Pool Vac XL (same as Navigator Pro)
- Suction lines (all 2", each one can be lined up independently): 1x suction cleaner, 2x skimmer (1 is plugged), 2x main drain, 2x hot tub
- Discharge lines (" "): 2x hot tub (one main return, one for jets), 1x main return (to 2 return points)
The root issue:
- to get the suction cleaner to run, each of these must be done in order EVERY DAY: Line the pump up to only the cleaner and one skimmer, clean skimmer and pump baskets (spotless), and make sure pool is AT maximum water level. Oh and and not to mention pull out the suction cleaner to get TRACES of air out; i.e., when the timer turns on the system after all this the cleaner will not come until I de-air completely.
The house came with 4 dirty Unicel filters; they ran at 18 psi when full, 12 psi when clean. Is this even possible? Most pool owners I talk to run at 18 inH20, 2-5psi max. The gauge says PSI on it so I'm assuming that's what it is reading... Last time I cleaned the cartridges the pressure jumped back to 18 within a day; so they were replaced. The new filters read 12 psi brand new, maybe 11.5. If I line up the discharge to only the hot tub it jumps to 18.
How likely is it the pump is undersized? I have to pray/assume there aren't any line cracks - don't see any evidence of it and I couldn't afford to dig up concrete to fix anyway. The cleaner line might be partially plugged which is my last test but I have to plumb the PVC to reverse flow through it first. Which brings me to...
The pool has a water feature that for some reason has a dedicated, identical Hayward pump just for the feature; most of the water in fact bypasses the waterfall through a 2" discharge into the pool; If I close that off the feature is more like rapids - a little overkill. If none of the other fixes work, I am planning on plumbing the water feature pump to run in parallel with the main pump when I make the changes to blow out the suction line. How awful an idea is this?