I inherited a pool with several issues when I bought my house and was hoping for some advice on the best and most cost-effective way to update it. It is a 30 year old 30,000 gallon gunite freeform pool with a “spa” area. I put that in quotes because there is absolutely nothing separating this area from the rest of the pool and thus no way to keep the water temperature higher than the rest of the pool. It does, however have its own 4 jets hooked up to a 2 ˝ hp pump. The spa appears to have had its own drain at one time, but this is no longer attached to any plumbing. I’m guessing it leaked. Currently, the intake for the spa is from a repurposed jet in the deep end of the pool. This of course makes it even more difficult to heat the spa area.
Plumbing: I have two single speed Hayward super pumps (1 ˝ hp for the pool and 2 ˝ hp for the spa), one filter, and one gas powered heater. There is a complex system with 4 turnable valves to allow heated water to be directed to the pool jets or the spa jets. Heater and pool pump are on an intermatic mechanical timer. The spa pump used 2 inch pipes and the pool pump uses 1 1/2 inch pipes.
Currently, the return line for the pool close to the pump is leaking badly. I definitely need to fix that, but figure this would be a good time to deal with some of the other annoyances.
1) Switching from pool to spa mode is at best too cumbersome and at worst, problematic. I’ve done it wrong a couple of times which resulted in sand from the filter shooting out of the skimmers. Not good.
2) Spa cannot maintain water temperature higher than surrounding pool
3) Everything is manually controlled in an inconvenient location.
1) Put up a wall between spa and pool; dig out and replace piping from spa drain. Get 4 valve actuators and an automation system to control them. This is just going to be too costly.
2) Same as #1 without putting up wall. Still costly and limited ability to heat spa. Doesn’t seem worth it
3) Simplify plumbing with shared intake (skimmers), single pump (which one?), and a single valve to select spa/pool. This would allow heated jets for the spa although they would be less powerful if I select the smaller pump. Selecting the larger pump would increase energy bills.
4) Same as #3 but with a new variable speed pump. Would give powerful heated jets for spa when wanted and could lower speed when not using it for energy savings.
5) Simplify plumbing to make two separate circuits with no valves to turn. Spa circuit would be unheated (and I think without filter unless there is a way to include it) but would provide powerful jets from the 2 ˝ hp pump. A simple remote control could turn on the spa jets without any valve-turning.
I would like to improve this system and at least start on the path to an overall upgrade but without spending thousands of dollars now. I would appreciate any input and suggestions. Thanks in advance!