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Thread: Wanda the Whale installation questions

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    Wanda the Whale installation questions

    Hello; I just bought one of these. One problem I'm having is that the bumper ring was not on the perimeter wheels when I opened the box, and the instructions say I may have to re-position it to be on the wheels. For reference, here's a picture I just googled of the cleaner:



    That black at the bottom is what I refer to. On the inner surface is a protruding edge, which rides on wheels around the circumference of the unit. Those wheels each have double edges with a recessed valley in between, so that the black ring fits inside those valleys. Once in, it should be a snug fit and stay in there.

    But I'm having trouble getting it in there, because the diameter of the black ring, while wide enough to fit in those valleys, isn't wide enough to get over the double edge to get in there, and the instructions say nothing about how to accomplish that. Does anybody here have any tips by chance? The manual is viewable here, and the sum total of what it says on the subject is (on page 5, step 6): "It may be necessary to reposition the ring on the small wheels."

    The second thing I noticed while reading the instructions are that, to my surprise, it sounds like they want me to disconnect the skimmer basket and insert the cleaner hose directly to the bottom of the skimmer, which mean all the debris will go straight to the pump basket unfiltered. Is this safe? I always thought the first line of defense should be the skimmer basket and that the pump filter basket should get whatever manages to get by there. If so, I guess I'll have to start regularly cleaning out the pump filter basket. So far, it's stayed pretty clean because the skimmer basket has been keeping all the large debris out, while the small tiny debris that makes it through, also makes it through the pump basket, and the sand filter then catches it.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    Well after grabbing the wheels and pressing in while pressing the ring out, I finally got it mounted, but it took quite a bit of pushing and forcing; I hope I didn't damage anything.

    I have a new question though: the instructions say never to lift the cleaner by its hose, that I should use the "molded in handle". There is no such handle, unless they mean the whale tail. I watched the DVD that came with it, but it demonstrates the aqua bug, which does have a molded in handle.

    I can only assume I'm supposed to lift by the tail, even though the tail is not secured all that strongly. It snapped into the body, but the tabs that hold it are really small. I guess I'll see how it goes carrying it around by the tail.

    One other note: it says I can't coil the hose, or it will develop a memory and not work as well, so that when storing it, I have to disconnect the segments (which are 32" each), and store them straight. I hope that won't get to be a drag, basically disassembling and reassembling the hose every time I use it.

    Say, since I won't be swimming all winter, do you suppose it might okay to leave it hooked up all winter long? Or maybe it's better to unhook it, and just let debris collect in the water all winter, as the water will probably go dormant[1] anyway.

    [1] by "dormant", I mean the water will get cold enough, that probably nothing will grow in it, I assume.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    Do you keep all the equipment hooked up and run the pool an hour or so a day during the winter, or do you close the pool? If you leave everything running, I would just leave it hooked up and run it to keep the pool clean. You will also need to add chlorine every now and then just to keep some in the water. If you are planning on closing the pool, then remove the cleaner and store it with the hoses kept straight.

    It looks like the tail is the handle, but you have to decide if it is meant to be the handle.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    It's hooked up and seems to be doing a good job. It had been almost a month since I vacuumed so there's a certain amount of leaves on the bottom. So far it's picked up over half of everything , but I think I could tell suction power may haver dropped a bit, so I figured I should clean out the pump basket filter.

    I did so, and now a new problem. The lid over that basket leaks. I'm fiddling around to see if I didn't put it on straight or something.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    After several tries, I just screwed it on pretty tightly, and now it doesn't leak anymore.

    The strange thing is that that lid didn't come with any O-ring. I'm surprised it can stay watertight.

    The wanda is again at work vacuuming my pool.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ping View Post
    Do you keep all the equipment hooked up and run the pool an hour or so a day during the winter, or do you close the pool?
    This is my first winter with this pool, but I'm inclined to leave it hooked up and operational.

    My last pool, by the way, as an inground pool with a temperature sensor that automatically turned on the pump if the temperature dropped to 32 degrees, to prevent freezing. My current cheaper above-ground pool doesn't have that, so I hope I'm not in danger. It's rare for pipes to freeze as far south as I live though (Austin, Texas).
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    By the way, I went there this morning, and it has the appearance that a maid has scrubbed the pool spotless.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    I have Wanda the Whale also and love her!

    I bought a different hose for mine. I found that the sections would leak at some of the connections. I bought a hose that was all one piece.

    When I take Wanda out I lay the hose on the ground on the back side of the pool (out of sight kind of).

    When I pick Wanda up to take her out of the pool I do hold her up by her tail BUT I do not trust the tail to pick her up all of the way so I use my other hand on the bottom to help pick her up. I angle Wanda so that the black filter is towards the water so it will drain out that way.

    I do not leave her in all of the time. I just put her in when I need to use her. I worry about the sun, water, clhorine will shorten her life.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    This being my first year to have a pool at this house, I totally didn't realize how many leaves were going to get dumped in the pool. I have no trees hanging over the pool, but I have a large pecan tree upwind of it, plus other trees at different spots of my yard, all sizable trees.

    My pool now has a huge amount of leaves in it, so rather than overwhelm my pump basket filter, I just disconnected the Wanda, cleaned out the basket, put the skimmer basket back on, and ordered a leaf cannister. In a few days, when it arrives, I'll install it, and start up the Wanda again, and hopefully that will make quicker work of my leaves than the pump basket filter would have.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    The leaf cannister arrived, and I tested it, but bad news. It works, but the capacity of the cannister is a small fraction of the amount of leaves in my pool, so I'll have to empty it many times to get it all out of there. What's more, every 2-3 minutes, the intake port of the Wanda gets clogged up with leaves, and I have to unclog it.

    I'm wondering if I should only use the Wanda and cannister when the pool is not gigantically overwhelmed with debris. Back in the 90's with my first pool, I used to own something like this:



    It worked great for handling large amounts of debris in short amounts of time. I see Amazon has one for $21.65. Maybe I should invest in it.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    I love that leaf getter. It works great for lots of leaves. THAT would be the thing to large amounts like you are getting.

    Wanda can work for you on the light days.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    yostmatt's Avatar
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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    I have Wanda too. I only cleaned my pool by hand once last year. It was just some spot cleaning behind my steps where some sand came out of them while trying to fill it with water. Typically I would toss it in once a week on Saturday mornings. I would put the pump on high and let her run for a few hours. I do disconnect all the pipes and put them in a long plastic bin when done. Next season, I will get a single piece of pipe, and just keep the sections as a backup. I also remove the basket, and put it right into the bottom of my skimmer. I have also thought about the water skipping the basket, but I don't get many leaves in my pool, so I didn't think about it long.
    ~Matt~ Radiant Metric 24'x52" 14k- built into a slope. CircuPool Si-30 SWCG. Jandy 200 SqFt cartridge filter. Pentair Optiflow 2-speed 1HP pump. Wanda the Whale. TF-100 Test Kit. Hard Plumbed.
    My Build w/ lots of pics

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    Wanda the Whale installation questions

    Strange that I no longer see my post to this thread regarding the huge amount of leaves that are in my pool. Anyway, last weekend I thought I'd give the leaf canister a try to see how many times I'd have to empty it to clear my pool of leaves, but it quickly became apparent that the number would be quite large. So I abandoned that and immediately ordered a leaf eater (I posted a picture earlier, but it's not there anymore). It's supposed to arrive this Friday

    (Edit: the missing post is back now.)
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Wanda the Whale installation questions

    Well I tried out the leafeater this morning and was disappointed. Here is what I bought for $21.65 from Amazon (free shipping):



    1) it is smaller than I expected, and will take quite a few loads to clear the pool
    2) There are major leaks around a plastic ring in the underbelly, causing downward currents of water that partially cancel out the suction needed to pick up the leaves, so the leaves only weakly enter the bag. Because of the malfunction, I'm entitled to a 100% refund, so I'm returning it, and will shop for another one. (After about 3 bag fulls I gave up and stopped using it.) I'll also use the experience to look for one with a larger bag that can hold more leaves, and maybe a bigger circumference too, because some of the twigs that the leaves are attached to are longer than the diameter of the thing, and takes finagling to coax it in there. In some ways, maybe I'm lucky it's malfunctioning, as it gives me the chance to get my money back and get a larger model.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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