I am new to managing a pool, and have learned a ton from these forums - so to start things off a huge thank you to all who share their knowledge here. Also, I searched on this question and didn't see anything that I think applies to my situation, so here goes:
I have an 19k gallon inground pool, about 30-40 yrs old. It's running with a pentair intelliflow pump, and I have a polaris 280 running on it's own pump. The pool has 5 return jets, and a few days ago I noticed that only 3 were working ... and now today only 2 are working. I am much less familiar with hardware than with water chemistry at this point - so if I leave out relevant information please let me know. Also, please forgive the narrative - as I get more savvy my posts will be more brief with relevant bullet points only.
When we bought the house last winter the pool was not closed (Northern CA), so I maintained the water and kept the pump and polaris running as the prior owner had it set up. Since we weren't using the pool I'm not sure if all the jets were working -- but i think there were. Here's why: I usually add chlorine and any other chemicals by adding to the water at the return nearest the pump. Up unti about two weeks ago, that seemed to work fine. Then suddenly I no matter how much chlorine I added, daily, I was almost always at zero chlorine. This, desipite the fact that the pool is covered except an hour or two of use a day. At first I thought this was because we'd started using the pool daily -- but once I noticed the issue with the return jets, I switched to adding chlorine to one that was working and viola - I have much more logical chlorine readings and the water holds chlorine consistenly.
At the start of the season, I removed the filter and washed it with a hose. It was pretty dirty and though I now realize I didn't do the best job after reading a bit more about how to clean it, I did get it much, much cleaner. I have no idea how old it is, but the rings and other parts are in good shape.
Once we started using the pool, I increased the amount of time both the pump and the pool cleaner ran, to 10hrs a day at 1900 for the pump and 4 hrs a day for the cleaner during that time. Despite this increase, the pool floor and steps are much dirtier, and the skimmer rarely has much of anything in it -- and there will a few be leaves, etc. floating in the pool when I open it. I have one of those stocking/sock things over the skimmer basket, and that gets vey dirty very quickly. The polaris does run (I've checked multiple times), and it clearly picks up dirt, but there is dirt left in the corners, etc. where there wasn't before, and dirt on the walls after a couple of days where there wasn't before. I do make sure the hose isn't tangled so that it can reach the corners.
I clean the skimmer and skim the pool by hand daily, brush down the walls once a week, and remove all the polaris filters and bag and wash them out weekly. Also, the returns do not have anything on them - to direct the water flow - they are just "holes" in the sides of the pool.
As of this afternoon I'm down to two working jets and one has flow but is also showing some bubbles. Also, the pressure on the filter is up 4-5 degrees.
My suspicions are that there is not enough water pressure, either because something is wrong with the pump, the filter is clogged up, or another reason I don't know about -- but before I start messing around I am hoping to get some perspective from more experienced pool owners.
Thanks in advance for your help!
16x32 19k gallon inground pool, gunnite (I think!) pentair intelliflow pump, cartridge filter, currently using BBB method.