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Thread: A little overwhelmed

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    A little overwhelmed

    My wife and I just bought our first house, we and our 3 kids are very excited! But I'm a little overwhelmed with our pool / spa. I had an in ground pool growing up and it was pretty easy, there was only one valve and it had lots of settings like backwash, drain, vaccuum, etc and I could just turn it to whatever I wanted to do.

    Not the case with our new pool. There are 7 different valves, 2 of them are automatic, and no labels. I will attach pictures below.

    I had a pool inspector come out before we bought the house, and he was able to do whatever he wanted to do in this pool. He was able to turn on and off the fountain in the spa, adjust the power of the Kreepy Krawly, etc. I tried to pay attention to what he was doing, but I failed.

    Some specific questions I have are:

    • How can I adjust the power of the Kreepy Krawly?
    • How can I get the Kreepy Krawly to explore the shallow end of the pool as well?
    • Why does it seem like some times the Kreepy Krawly is working, but other times it appears to be doing nothing?
    • How can I turn on/off the fountain in the spa?
    • When I put the 3" chlorine round tablets in, do I fill the canister to the top?
    • How do I figure out what all of these valves do, and how do I use them?
    • Is there any other maintenance for this type of pool that I should know about?
    • What exactly is happening when I push the "Spa" or "Pool" buttons?


    Here are the pictures:



    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    25k gal in ground w/spa - Gunite
    2HP WhisperFlow Pump - Pentair 320 Cartridge Filter
    H-400 Hayward Heater - 2HP Q.T. Blower
    Kreepy Krauly - Compool LX 3400 Controls

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Welcome to TFP!

    It will probably take several of us to answer all your questions, but I'll get this party started by answering those that I have experience with.
    Quote Originally Posted by jjmac
    When I put the 3" chlorine round tablets in, do I fill the canister to the top?
    No. I would advise against that for the following reasons:
    1. In most attached pool/spa setups, the check valve (which keeps the spa water from draining into the pool when the pump is off) is plumbed in just downstream from the auto chlorinator canister. This means that this valve and its seals will get a highly concentrated dose of chlorine, especially if the canister is filled to the brim with tabs. This will lead to early failure of the check valve - not to mention the initial frayed nerves when you go outside one day and see your spa is partially drained and wonder what happened. Although replacing the check valve is relatively simple, its life can be greatly prolonged by avoiding the use of tabs on a regular basis, which brings me to my next point...
    2. We do not recommend using tabs for chlorination on an ongoing basis. Instead, we recommend liquid bleach (plain unscented bleach without any thickeners). I would suggest reading the ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry for more information on what chemicals we recommend and which parameters to test for.


    Quote Originally Posted by jjmac
    How do I figure out what all of these valves do, and how do I use them?
    It would be worth an hour or so of consulting fees to have a trusted pool maintenance guy come on-site and consult with you 1:1 on the operation of your specific pool/spa setup. I did this when I first moved into our current house and it was well worth the $99 fee. Also make sure you know where all the drain plugs are (and give each a quick twist while the pool guy is there) so that you know how to drain your equipment if a prolonged power outage hits during below freezing temperatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjmac
    Is there any other maintenance for this type of pool that I should know about?
    In addition to reading the ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and the Recommended Pool Chemicals articles, I would also familiarize yourself with the FC/CYA Chart. The first pool maintenance topic you should focus on learning is the chlorine/CYA relationship. Once you understand this, you will eliminate about 80% of the problems that many pool owners experience in regards to water chemistry / sanitation.

    Finally, one other tool that will help you properly dose your pool is the Pool Math tool.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    While I am not a fan of chlorine tablet feeders, they are designed to be filled to the top roughly once a week.

    If you post a couple of pictures of your equipment pad we can help you figure out what the valves do. It will still require some experimentation to pin down completely, as you can't always know where a pipe goes underground, but we should be able to help with the basics.

    Switching between pool and spa mode typically involves turning two valves and changing the goal temperature on the heater. It sounds like you have an automation system that has electrical valve actuators and turns the valves for you and changes the heaters target temperature at the press of a button.

    The Kreepy Krawly's activity level is normally controlled by changes in the valve settings. Details depend on the specific pool. This likely will also affect it's ability to get into the shallow end, though in some situations you need to move it around manually.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Thank you guys for the good advice. I will get a consultant out and have him show me the ins and outs of our particular setup, and I will get to reading the guides. I thought maybe the Kreepy Krawly would need to be manually repositioned occasionally but I just wanted another opinion on it.

    JasonLion, I did post images in the original post but I posted them as links instead of in-line pictures.
    25k gal in ground w/spa - Gunite
    2HP WhisperFlow Pump - Pentair 320 Cartridge Filter
    H-400 Hayward Heater - 2HP Q.T. Blower
    Kreepy Krauly - Compool LX 3400 Controls

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Sorry, I missed the picture links.

    The valve right in front of the pump is an automated valve that switches pump suction between the pool and spa. Just to the left of that and lower down there are four valves that control suction from four different locations in the pool. You will need to experiment to figure out which is which.

    To the left and higher up there is an automated valve on the pipe coming from the tablet feeder. That valve determines if water returns to the pool or spa. To the right of that and just slightly lower down is a valve that turns some pool return water thing on and off. You will need to experiment to see what that controls.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    First I want to say welcome!

    Second, if you don't have one you need to pick up one if the recomended test kits. Test your own water and ignore what the pool store tells you. Never trust pool store testing. They have a vested interest in telling you something is out of whack and that you need to by some magic to pour in your pool. If your water is perfect they will make something up like your TDS is high so they can sell you something else.

    As a matter of fact, if you follow our methods you don't even need to go in the pool store. Everything I use is purchased at WalMart and Lowes.

    As you read through the pool school articles remember this: chlorine tablets = CYA/stabilizer = eventual algae blooms
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Welcome to the forum jjmac

    Might be a good idea to spend some time reading some threads here and asking questions before you get someone out. That way you would have a better understanding of what that person might be recommending or suggesting and a fuller idea of your options.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    You've gotten good advice so far. I want to reiterate the reading requirement. It will take a lot of reading, both pool school and others' experiences, before everything comes together, but fear not, it will happen.

    Welcome to the forum.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Well hello there! Texas seems to be taking over the board LOL!

    You are on the right track! You found TFP and asked questions! Well done!

    Next please, pretty please order a good test kit. The TF-100 is the best buy for the money. See my siggy below for the link to the different kits we use.

    I would video tape your pool expert so you can go back and rewatch it for any thing you might miss. I would also have tape and marker to label while he is there to make sure.

    Take a picture and write on it as well so you have a permanent record of what everything does as well.

    Good luck and happy swimming!

    Kim
    Last edited by kimkats; 03-20-2015 at 05:44 PM. Reason: changed word
    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: A little overwhelmed

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Sorry, I missed the picture links.

    The valve right in front of the pump is an automated valve that switches pump suction between the pool and spa. Just to the left of that and lower down there are four valves that control suction from four different locations in the pool. You will need to experiment to figure out which is which.

    To the left and higher up there is an automated valve on the pipe coming from the tablet feeder. That valve determines if water returns to the pool or spa. To the right of that and just slightly lower down is a valve that turns some pool return water thing on and off. You will need to experiment to see what that controls.
    Perfect, my guess was right about the 4 on the bottom, but explaining the rest really helps me understand what is happening here, exactly what I wanted to know about the pipes.

    Everyone's advice here has been great, I'm looking forward to maintaining this pool myself. I've read the guides here at least 5 times each, I'll be purchasing a decent test kit soon and start getting some numbers. Right now I just have one of those colored test strips, I've managed to get everything in the "good" category but after reading a little more on these forums I understand that it might not be the best way.

    Thanks so much for the replies.
    25k gal in ground w/spa - Gunite
    2HP WhisperFlow Pump - Pentair 320 Cartridge Filter
    H-400 Hayward Heater - 2HP Q.T. Blower
    Kreepy Krauly - Compool LX 3400 Controls

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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Just FYI, it may not be truly "good" going by the strips.

    Considering the costly investment of a pool, a test kit is extremely cheap insurance and maintenance money.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Ok I spent some time with the pool this afternoon and with your help I've figured out what most of the valves do. The 3 return pipes in order from left to right are spa, pool, and fountain. The 4 suction valves from left to right are kreepy krawly, deep skimmer, ? and shallow skimmer. I still dont know what the 3rd one is, maybe the drain at the bottom of the pool?

    I also decided to clean the filters, the pressure was at 22 but I have no idea what is considered ordinary for this pump. I took it apart and I was not prepared for just how much dirt and debris was going to be in there! I had planned on it taking 30 minutes, it took closer to 2 hours. I got all 4 filters cleaned, cleaned the debris in the leftover water the best i could and put everything back together. The pressure only went down to 20 after this. The valve to the right of those 4 is the spa.

    Still one problem though, after I put it back together there is water leaking from the seam, I guess I didn't get something fit on correctly. Should I just take it apart and put it back together again trying to make sure everything fits properly?
    25k gal in ground w/spa - Gunite
    2HP WhisperFlow Pump - Pentair 320 Cartridge Filter
    H-400 Hayward Heater - 2HP Q.T. Blower
    Kreepy Krauly - Compool LX 3400 Controls

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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Should I just take it apart and put it back together again trying to make sure everything fits properly?
    Any water leaking anywhere in the system should certainly be fixed. They never get better........but often get worse.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Yes, take it back apart and do over.
    If you dont have any, get some siclicone based lubricant for lubricating the o orings and gaskets every time you open something up. It will help it seal better when you put it back together.
    I use Aladdin Magic Lube... lowes, HD, harware and pool stores all have it.
    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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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Some seals are adversely affected by even silicone lubes.

    Also, never use petroleum based lubes on pool equipment seals/O-rings.

    Here is a good safe lube to use on pump seals and others.

    Pump seal lube
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    I can't get either link to work
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Quote Originally Posted by kiss4afrog View Post
    I can't get either link to work
    I couldn't get them to work on my mobile then I realized they were linking directly to a pdf. You might make sure you have an appropriate plug-in installed in your browser or try right clicking and downloading the target.
    25k gal in ground w/spa - Gunite
    2HP WhisperFlow Pump - Pentair 320 Cartridge Filter
    H-400 Hayward Heater - 2HP Q.T. Blower
    Kreepy Krauly - Compool LX 3400 Controls

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    Currently, the first link works, and the second link is broken for me.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    I changed the link to a supplier of the the lube.
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    Re: A little overwhelmed

    I took the filter apart, cleaned the seal and both surfaces then generously applied silicon lubricant to the seal. It worked perfectly, not even a drop leaked when I put it back together. Thanks for all the advice, now I need to get the chemistry under control, still going through pool school, great information there.
    25k gal in ground w/spa - Gunite
    2HP WhisperFlow Pump - Pentair 320 Cartridge Filter
    H-400 Hayward Heater - 2HP Q.T. Blower
    Kreepy Krauly - Compool LX 3400 Controls

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