Need to replace old equipment...but with what?

Hi, have a new home with a pool that has mostly broken equipment (confirmed with 2nd and 3rd opinions from pool companies). It's an in ground 15,000 gallon saltwater pool with a 6' spa that overflows into the pool. I'm looking for a few features in the new equipment - energy efficiency, simple maintenance (if that exists), and modern automation (would love an iphone app to control everything). Budget isn't the primary concern although I don't have a blank check either. I've heard I should get the same brand pumps as my automation system but honestly don't know where to start. The pool companies all want to sell whatever they have in stock with egregious markup. So, how would you replace the equipment below?

Current Equipment:
1. Broken Polaris PB4-60 booster for cleaner
2. Broken Pentair MiniMax NT natural gas heater
3. Old but working 1.5 HP whisperflo for the pool
4. Broken 1 HP whisperflo for the spa
5. Partially broken aqua logic automation panel (doesn't keep time)
6. Fully functional filter
7. Fully functional TurboCell 940

Converting cleaner line to water filler

Line for Polaris cleaner was installed when pool was built, but never used. Planning to add an irrigation valve & controller at the pad to add water to pool via that line on a time basis.


1. Do I need a check valve between pool and valve? Valve is anti-siphon, but is that enough?

2. The outlet in the pool has never been opened and I'm assuming it's just a pvc NPT female with a male plug. Hopefully I won't have too much trouble getting it apart, but had the fiberglass pool resurfaced several years ago and it was coated. Anyhow, should I just leave it as is with exposed threads or use some sort of eyeball?

Finding optimal pH level

I had reached the conclusion that adding acid weekly was just a fact of life for my pool. It’s not a huge deal, as it is the only regular maintenance I have to do, but would love to eliminate or reduce it, if possible.

I tried borates several years ago and it didn’t have any effect on my pH drift. After reading several posts recently, I wanted to revisit the pH drift topic. I read where several people mentioned finding their pool’s optimal pH and letting it stay there. I’ve never been able to keep pH from getting to 7.8 - 8.0 (maybe even higher?) if I don’t add acid regularly. I’ve tried various TA levels, ranging from 60-90, none of which made a difference. Should I expand the range? Any other suggestions? Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Current test results:
FC - 6 (I increased SWG a bit too much. Should be back at 4.5-5 in a couple of days.)
pH - 7.4 (added 1 pt of MA yesterday. Will be back to 7.6 by tomorrow or next day.)
TA - 70
CH - 450
CYA - 65 (store was out - will increase to 70-80 prior to weekend)
salt - 3200

Rookie Pool Owner - Need help with SWG

Hi there! I bought a house with a pool a couple of weeks ago and I'm trying to learn all there is to know about taking care of my pool (properly). I've never owned a pool before. My husband knows some from growing up in AZ, but not enough. While learning about my plumbing and equipment, I recently discovered there is a SWG installed, but I'm wondering if it is working. I'm kicking myself for not asking more questions before we bought the house.

I attached a couple of photos. In the first photo I circled the SWG device and a valve on a pipe that goes from the filter to the SWG, but that valve looks like it is closed. I'm new to this though. Am I seeing this correctly?

The previous home owner only owned the house for 5 years and were using tablets to chlorinate. I'm guessing the SWG is not functioning and someone didn't want to pay to replace it so they just closed the valve and started chlorinating on their own (obviously incorrectly). I don't know for sure when the pool was installed, but I'm guessing 2006 when the house was built.

Any help is appreciated!


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Question about SWGs

New to this forum with a question about SWGs. I live in Tucson so the sun shines daily and you can see the chlorine leaving the pool on it's way to the sky :) My pool service guy is pretty strongly against Swgs. says every on he services is a bear to keep balanced. I am thinking of a Hayward since I have a Hayward controller on my solar heat system. My pool is a little over 12,000 gals, in ground, and uncovered during the summer (April - November).
Also would be interested in thoughts about Solaxx . There does not seem be a lot of reviews on their site.

Chlorine/CYA Balance

Hi Everyone,

I reviewed the chart and watched the video but want to get more of an idea of where I should target my CYA. I tested today and my results are FC- 3.6 and CYA- 35. Should I be targeting 70 like the charts recommends? I pretty much ran the same numbers last year and had no algae and my water is crystal clear. My pool does get direct sunlight with no shade. So sunlight is hitting my water from sun up to down.



Hayward Policy on SWG warranty - 1 year for those purchased online (June 2020 update)

Wanted to share some feedback around a policy from Hayward on their SWG cells currently (as of June 2020 at least). Tagline: Looks like online sales for the standard model like a T-Cell-15 is now only 1 year and not 3 years.


I purchased a cell through Amazon - sold through Amazon - the unit that arrived was a "Hayward TurboCell T-Cell-15". On the product listing this was stated as a "W3T-Cell-15", which I had seen before should have a 3 year warranty on it... but that is not the case here.

When the unit arrived, I checked the serial number, and it was instead a "1E19XXX" which indicates only a 1 year warranty and manufacture they confirmed in Dec. of 2019.

I messaged Hayward about their warranty to confirm, and thought the TFP community would be interested to see:

"Any pool equipment that is now purchased thru an on-line
pool company will only carry a 1 year warranty. If purchased thru a
local reatiler you will get the 3 year warranty. By the serial
number this cell was made in December of 2019.


Hayward Technical Services
One Hayward Industrial Drive
Clemmons, NC (USA) 27012

He also confirmed that warranty starts at the date of purchase, not date of manufacture or installation.

That said, looks I will return this unit for now, and wait until mine totally dies before getting a new one, otherwise you are bleeding into a much shorter warranty period anyway!
Hope this helps anybody else searching on this information, as it seems to have changed over time.

Muriatic Acid Question

I'm lowering my TA using Muriatic Acid.....All I could get was Kleen Strip Green 90% Lower Fume. I was wondering if this new kind of liquid muriatic acid is OK.....Also have above ground pool so I figure use 1/4 to 1/3 cup diluted in 5 gal bucket of water would be safe for vinyl and see how results are everyday and then aerate PH back up....I think that is the correct process. Thanks

Plan of attack following first test results

2 year old pool, San Francisco bay area, maintained by others up till now. I am the owner and planning to do it fully myself starting shortly but haven’t yet given notice to service guys. I've read quite a lot but am unencumbered by experience :)

The pool is currently clear and water quality appears fine. It is covered most of each weekday, only uncovered in late afternoon/evening. It is uncovered a lot more at the weekend but timings vary. It is 89 degrees without heating at present.

I’ve ordered TF Testkits but in the meantime took the water to a good reputation local pool shop for a testing baseline and found the following:
FC - 0.65
CYA - 5
CC - 0.12
Salt - 2679 (at odds with the control system which is reporting 3292 ppm average salt level)
PH - 8.1
TA - 93
CH - 254

I am assuming that things are working OK despite these FC levels because the pool is mainly covered and there isn’t much CYA.
However I believe the pool is vulnerable especially if we uncover it more or if pH naturally drifts any higher.
I am trying to work out what order to fix things. Current thought is to hold off on addressing low CYA for now and do the following:
  1. Increase period of SWG function to increase FC (30% --> 50% of filter run time)
  2. Clean SWG cell to see if that brings salt reading more in line with pool company test - maybe recalibrate?
  3. Add Calcium Chloride to increase Calcium levels per TF calculator calculations
  4. Add Muriatic Acid to reduce pH per TF calculator calculations, which should further increase FC
Assuming this all goes well, I’ll follow up with CYA addition slowly. I’m wary of short term FC reduction from this. I’ll add more salt once I’m confident that pool shop salt level reading is accurate.

Is this a good plan of first few steps or should I be doing something else?
Any other recommendations?


Pump sucking air

Hi, bought a home last November with a 15 by 35 fiberglass 22,500 gallon pool. Found TFP for advice on water chemistry and have a sparkling clear pool. Problem I'm having is with the pump sucking air. There's been a few times basket runs full but most of the time it's not. I've looked all around lid and basket housing for leaks or cracks when I shut pump off and can't find anything. It's a 1 hp motor and sta-rite 240 sand filter. Impeller is clean. Any advice? Thanks

How much muriatic is reasonable?

The pH is always creeping up in my pool - I add a little under a cup of muriatic per day, on average. I initially chalked it up to the pool being new (2018) but it seems like this shouldn't still be an issue. I've had pools before and never had pH issues, but they were all older. Is this normal for a two year old pool?

Before adding acid this morning:
pH - 8.2+
TA - 90
FC - 4
CH - 150
CYA - 70
Salt - 3000

New Pentair Warrior long term maintenance

Received a shipment from Marina Pool Spa & Patio and ran the Pentair Warrior in one of our pools.

For long term maintenance, any recommendations to perhaps rinse clean between in-use/days, monthly or quarterly rubber/plastic parts checklist or even annual spare parts to replace or at least purchase in advance ?

Anything else?

Yes, I know on one end of the bell curve many just leave the robot in pool all time, some diligently follow a weekly schedule and both experience no issues. Am just attempting to have an idea of looking ahead for a year in a maintenance mode view, similar to how we maintain family cars ourselves.

New pool owner. Do I even need to winterize where I live?

New pool owner here, looking for some opinions. The previous owner had the house for 2 years, and was clueless about pool maintenance. They ruined the protective pool safety cover and replaced it with a blue bubble-wrap solar cover. I know that they never winterized the pool for the last two years. My question is this: if I continue the trend to not winterize, will I be damaging my pool?

About the pool:
Vinyl liner
Solar cover (blue bubble-wrap style)
1hp pump

About the location:
North Texas (northwest of Dallas)
Average high in the coldest month is 54, average low 33.
We get about 1-2 days of snow per year.
2020-07-15 09_35_03-Window.png

Short-lived Non-SWG pool

Less than 7 months ago, I resurfaced my SWG pool and was convinced I would be happier with a non-SWG pool. Almost everyone I've interacted with at TFP told me SWG was a better option, but I was convinced otherwise. I was wrong.

Never having owned a non-SWG in Texas (only in upstate NY), I had no idea how much chlorine this pool would demand once the weather heated up. I originally thought I was going to use chlorine tabs, until I realized that 1) the tabs I thought did not contain CYA do, in fact, contain CYA, because there is no such thing as a 3-inch tab that does not contain CYA, and 2) the volume of tabs I would go through would send my CYA levels through the roof. When that happened and I had to drain thousands of gallons out of the pool to bring the CYA level down, I switched to 10% liquid chlorine. But the volume of chlorine I was adding was ridiculous. So I quickly realized I was not going to be happy and had a Jandy TruClear system installed and connected to my iAqualink controller.

I've only had it two weeks, but I am very happy with it. I was already running salt at about 2000 ppm for the "feel" of it, so added about 280 lbs more salt. But no more gallons and gallons of chlorine each week. BUT - and this was one of my major complaints about a SWG in the first place - I've already seen the acid demand increase, from about 5 ounces per day (average), so about 13 ounces per day (average). This may change as I get more time to track acid demand post-SWG-install, but that's how it looks right now.

I realize that acid demand is higher in the first 6-12 months of a new surface, but it seems to be increasing instead of decreasing, and my previous SWG experience was that acid demand always stayed high. Is there any easy way to reduce this high acid demand, or is that just the way it is?

Cats & pool water

Looks like we've been chosen by a local stray. Problem is, he doesn't like the clean water we leave out for him, but he will readily drink out of the vegetable planters and the pool. Is there any long-term adverse effect to him doing this? We use chlorine and I'm pretty good about keeping the water balanced. He doesn't appear to be very afraid of the water; he will walk on the pool railing to say hi when I'm adding chemicals into the return stream.

Once we get him checked out and fixed we'll see how he does indoors. If we decided he's a good fit for us, we'll work on training him to drink clean(er) water, but for now I don't want him to get accidentally poisoned. And if anyone has tricks on how to make fresh water more attractive, I'm willing to listen!
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Intex 16x48 Ultra Frame with Fencing

Hi, I figured I would share our success with pool fencing on an Intex. I hunted all winter to see if it was possible and finally came across one mention of it. So, we took the dive and tried it. Here is a pic to show it is doable. The hubby had one spot that did give him an issue so he will attempt to fix it:)We just finished it up this evening so please ignore the landscaping and my dug up yard (that's this week's project:) The driveway had to be dug into in order for us to fit the pool and now needs fixing:(



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Pentair VS randomly stopped working code 000f

I saw the other thread, but there was no conclusion. I bought this house this year, the pump has been running fine, went away for the weekend came back and it won't stay on anymore. I took it apart and noticed the wires in the power cord were pretty much garbage, old, cracking falling apart and obviously touching/shorting, so figured that was it.. wrapped them up with electrical tape, issue persists. I switched the breaker, issue persists.. Took the pump apart to be sure nothing was clogging it, put it back together, and it ran fine BEFORE I primed it.. ran and ran and ran.. the second I primed it and put it under load it failed with 000f again. Could it simply be that power cord needs to be replaced? I'm not sure what else to try at this point.

Thanks in advance!

Small back yard...risky to keep pool for too long?

My main concern being property damage from collapse or something unforeseen. Our pool is about 4 feet from the side of our house, about 5 feet from the wall separating us from the house behind us and maybe 10/20ft on the other 2 sides from the wall next to the other 2 houses. We have a 6,500 gallon oval pool. It has held up great since March and kids have loved it. We bought it due to covid, but I'm wondering if it's best to count my blessings by the time October rolls around and tear it down and be done. As much as we have enjoyed it, we never planned to be pool owners, this was just to get us through hopefully a one time closure of public pools for summer. Tbh this thing terrifies me at the idea of it collapsing somehow and the cost it would take to repair our house plus others property. Just curious if I'm being rational in this concern or not. I would ideally love to keep it 4-5 more summers but don't want to tempt fate.

A Request from TFP, and a few updates

An old married couple were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family. At this party the wife stood up and started speaking of her youth and her old dating habits. She spoke of guy after guy who she'd bring home to meet her parents. Never did her father approve of her choice. Wanting to find a special one who his father would approve of she went out and found a guy who looked just like her father, sounded just like her father, and walked just like her father. After a few months of dating she brought him home to meet her family........and her mother hated him. :confused:

We all make decisions that often don't go exactly how we planned, and last year TFP made a decision that didn't go completely as planned. The decision to migrate to new software cost the website several thousand dollars plus a fair amount of work. The end result, we had a horrid year membership wise. ? Between some behind the scene technical issues plus weather that totally stunk up the place the website saw a decline in new members, posts, hits to the server, and just about every other item we tend to look at to measure our progress. Long story short........I cried alot last year.?:cry:

That said, this winter we went to work and have really started to fine tune things, and we're asking for your help. For starters TFP has published roughly 5 new Pool School articles, several new Wiki Articles, and have completed about 10 new YouTube videos. When Spring hits this year we plan on really starting to push this new content to our users. We plan on doing multiple email campaigns this Spring/Summer highlighting new content and bringing our teachings to our users. Lastly we've been working on the Homepage and have brought some more "bling" to that page to help us highlight important content to our users once the season really kicks off. Everything we've really done this Summer has been focused on creating new content for our users and figuring out new ways for us to deliver it to our users...........just as it should be.

Now, a few requests from me to you......
First is the obvious one......we need to continue to Support TFP. Your donations are key to allowing us to continue to make upgrades to the website and allow us to continue to create new content to help teach Pool Care. Each year our expenses increases as we bring more and more users to the website. To date our supporters have done an AMAZING job allowing us to keep the site free of advertising. Even though we've had requests from some major companies you'll notice there's NO affiliate links or Ad banners on the site. We work hard to keep our advice focused on our members and keeping things free of financial incentives is vital. If a user gives you advice you can rest assure they truly do believe what they're saying and that there's NO money involved.

Now, I fully understand not everybody can dish out money, but many still want to help. I've got a few other options that can GREATLY help TFP out. Many of these can be done even if you do donate to the website as the payoff is HUGE for the website.
  • Please visit the App stores you've used to download PoolMath on and rate our App. A five star rating and a positive review goes very far to get our App out there for new users.
  • Next, Please visit YouTube and Subscribe to our channel. Take a few minutes and watch all the old videos and give them positive ratings. These small steps help improve our rank on YouTube and increases the chances our videos will be shown in the future.
  • Lastly, tell your friends about the website and how much we've helped you this swim season. By far the best advertising we've got in the past is that from our users. Next time your neighbor is drooling over your sparkling water, let them know it was TFP that taught you how to maintain your pool. The more we can get our name out there, the better!

Even though the weather is cold outside and most pools are closed, I still wish to thank each and every one of you here. The support you give us is nothing short of amazing, and it's a HUGE pleasure to continue to work to improve Pool Care thanks to each of you.