Final stages completed

As a complete beginner to owning a pool, our pool got it's final parts fitted today.
I wanted a 7M x 3.5M pool, my wife did not want to give up any of her garden so guess what size we ended up with, 6M x 2.5M!
OK, not huge but sufficient to cool off from the Brazilian heat and easier to maintain.
We contacted a few companies here in Santa Catarina and decided on IGUI for a supplier after checking up on previous installations by them. We gave them the contract to install the pool and hired a local contractor for the other works, the electrics and drainage work I did my self. The excavation and install went without a hitch but a change in weather hampered the surrounding construction. A break in the weather allowed it to progress and work proceeded reasonably well. Concreting, retaining walls and tiling done I was left with the additional work that required a pathway and the design of a suitable cascade as the ones I looked at were either crappy looking fibre glass or inox piping, neither of which I liked.
I opted for designing a cascade made from granite based on a video I saw on YouTube.
Cleaning the pool to a standard acceptable and balancing the chemistry wasn't a hardship as we opted for a non chlorine system from IGUI negating the use of chlorine and associated chemistry. The pool maintains a pH value of 7.6 and filtration is done with a fibre system instead of sand with filter bags than can be thrown in the washer.
Hopefully the pool will give us a lot of pleasure and I am open to comments in regards to the pictorial history of the build in the media section and my commentary here.


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Hot tub with with 400 ppm CH

I'm on day 5 with my new 400g hot tub. The water where I live has 400 ppm CH. From what I've read, with a high CH I should keep my TA around 50 and my PH low around 7.2 to prevent scaling on the heater.

Here are my current levels:
Cl - 2
TA - 70
CH- 400
Borates - 50
CYA - 30
PH 7.8

My water is crystal clear right now but it gets pretty foamy when the jets are on high. I assume this is due to leftover detergents on bathing suits and hair. Is there anyway to combat this foam?
I'm using MA to get my TA and PH down. Is there anything else I should be doing?


Single Speed Pump finally died. Went with a Hayward TRI-Star VS 950. Anyone run theirs 24/7?

I’m interested in playing around with Affinity Laws, (because science), and running my pump at 1000 RPM/76 watts. 24/7. I have a Jandy System 3 filter and it’s at around 5 psi. I don’t have any features other than a spa waterfall that I don’t really care about unless I want it on, no chlorinator, heater, etc. My calculated turnover rate at this speed/time is about 1.3.

Anyone have any experience with running their pump in this manner? Anything to look for in particular?

I figure I’ll run like this for a week or two and depending on my numbers adjust accordingly. Pool looked crystal clear this morning. I live in the hot part of SoCal, so I’m guessing as summer rolls around my chemistry will change significantly, but for now I’d like to play around with this low power setting.
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Compressor for Closing Pool

image.jpgSo I’ve gotten accustomed to opening my pool by myself for two seasons now. However , I would like to start closing it myself. The pool store charges almost $200 to close my pool and I don’t know if I want to go pay that right now. The pool store uses a cyclone Compressor.

Attached you’ll see my pool equipments. When the pool store comes over to close my pool, they put the compressor plug where the gauge is and blow out my lines.

I just need to figure out what type of compressor is use for my pool. Not sure.

Pool Paint

First post here, but have been a reader for the last year or so since we bought this house. This place has been massively helpful in getting my chemical levels in control and keeping the water beautiful.

On to my issue - we didn't know when we bought the house 1.5 years ago, but the previous owners had recently painted the pool. There were several plaster cracks but the pool inspector said they were likely cosmetic / surface only. Its an in ground pool - concrete with plaster. After probably 6 months of owning it, it had begun to drastically fade. We also started to get areas of notable chipping (not huge, but quite a few, and visually ugly). We also found we had a water loss problem.

Got some quotes for a replaster which was much more than expected. We're saving up for that, but are still probably 3 years out at this point from having enough (its a lower priority as its just cosmetic at this point).

Last winter we leak tested the pool and found the concrete crack (which had previously been poorly repaired). Then drained it, repaired the crack the right way - with staples, and spot repaired the other cosmetic cracks. We sanded the areas with adhesion issues down to plaster and we scuffed the rest of the pool with 80 grit. We repainted using the exact same paint the previous owners had used (to avoid compatibility issues) - cheap INSLX acrylic.

Almost a year later and there are a handful of spots with flaking (likely insufficient prep on our part as theyre tough to reach areas in an empty pool), the paint has faded again as expected (its a royal blue so it starts off pretty dark) and we've got to touch up a couple of our plaster spot repairs (they shrunk a bit more than expected and collect dust now).

My question is - is it better to do the same thing again - just keep scuff sanding the pool and putting on this super cheap acrylic each year until re-plaster, or might it be worth sandblasting all the paint off and putting on a more expensive paint one time (in the hopes it looks ok for the next 3 years)? I think the cost will be about the same as quality paint looks to be 2-3x more than this cheapo stuff, but maybe it could save us 2 winters worth of prep labor.

Before anyone says it - I searched, and I get it - re plaster is the way to go. Its just not possible in the budget today (the pool needs several other major services done at the same time - both on the decking and coping, so the whole reno project is fairly expensive), and it already had paint on it when we bought it, so there's no going back on that.

Thanks in advance!

Struggling maintaining Chlorine levels after adding solar heater

I have a 10k Gallon gunnite pool (Pebbletec). The build was finished in April of this year. It has a Hayward T9 cell (rated for 25k) gallons.
After some newlywed time, i settled at a salt cell generation of 38%. Which constantly kept my Chlorine levels between 2-4ppm. The PH required a cup of acid everyday or so. It's been like that for 6 months or so.

I recently added a solar heater. Since doing so I've struggled maintaining chlorine. I increased the salt cell to 50% and barely can keep 0-1. I need to super chlorinate all day to keep levels.

PH is 7.4
Phosphate 0 ppb
Average temp 80 night-85 day
Alkalinity 100 ppm
Calcium 325 ppm
Stabalizer 70-80 ppm
Salt 3300 PPM

I've tested with multiple kits, Taylor 2005/2006 and even tried strips and let the pool store test. All come back within range, but my chlorine is fleeting.

Salt cell has been cleaned and tested and is producing chlorine. Water is clear, no visible buildup/algea.

Any thoughts?

Pool and Spa Leaking at Same Rate but Equipment Dry

Hey all, I assume I'm going to have to bring in a professional, but I'm wondering if this awesome community can help me out with identifying a leak. It's an in-ground gunite pool with attached spa. Here's what I know so far:
  • Definitely a leak. I did the bucket test. The bucket dropped about 1/16", while the pool dropped 1"+. The water level goes down about 1" / day.
  • Not in the return jets, vacuum line, or skimmer- the water keeps going down when it's well below them.
  • Doesn't appear to be in the light fixture - did a dye test and didn't see any significant "suckage".
  • Water line continues to drop at about the same rate even with the pool equipment off.
  • May be a problem with the main drain - identified by the dye test. Dye did not leave trails getting sucked in, but did not disperse upward normally. (FWIW, I used food coloring if that matters).
  • No damp spots in the ground. Though I do live in FL with sandy soil, so I imagine the water just seeps downward quickly.
However, this is what stumps me a bit:
  • The spa water level is also going down at about the same rate.
  • The dye test seems to imply that water is leaking through its bottom drain as well (similar dispersal patterns).
  • The main drain and the spa drain do not combine until just before the pump, above ground, and there is no sign of water in that location.

What are the odds that I have 2 separate pipes or drain covers break at essentially the same time? The leak started happening right around the same time that I got a new Dolphin robot (had a The Pool Cleaner previously). I did run it in the spa once. Maybe it damaged drain cover attachments in both my pool and spa? Does that happen? We did not have any water leaks prior to this. However, we did have an issue with some air entering the system when the pump switched off. It would have to prime for maybe 3-5 seconds pushing a bit of air out before switching to the set speed. It rarely has any issues if the main drain or spa drain were engaged though, and does not encounter any as long as it is kept running.

14 year old Jacuzzi repair or replace?

It's a 14 year old Jacuzzi J-345. It now trips the circuit breaker when the pumps come on. It's middle of October in central Illinois. I'm going to have to drain it due to upcommin freezing weather and the fact that I can't run the heater, filter pump, and ozonator if it can't be operated without running the pumps at startup. I can tell you none of the valves valve anymore. Anything adjustable will break off in your hand if you try to adjust it. Should I buy a new one? I don't know if anyone rebuilds them, or is it just junk? I am not physically able to rebuild it myself. I learned a bit, like speakers in a hot tub is dumb. haha! Looking for some helpful advise. Thanks


Build Delayed


Hoping to get some input. Still waiting on one more quote, but below and attached are details on the leader so far. Any insight or thoughts on what you see that's right, wrong, or doesn't make any sense would be really appreciated.

A few items:
1) The "Premium Backfill" is 304 recycled aggregate. Any downside into using that instead of 57 stone or equivalent?
2) No footer drainage, is that needed? It doesn't appear our yard will have a groundwater problem.
3) No automation system is included
4) The SWG is Pentair Intellichlor
5) 3 Returns
6) Pentair 1.5 HP Variable Speed Pump
7) No main drains (I don't personally have an issue with this, a pool I had at my previous home did not include main drains)
8) While I'm comfortable with this pool builder (great references, been around a while, does lots of pools, very responsive and listens to me), I have some hesitation because he doesn't do all the work, subcontracts some out, and the build process from start to finish is likely a 6 week or more timeframe. The other builder I'm waiting on last quote from I was leaning to initially because he only runs one crew, he does all the work and is on site every day, and he typically does his builds in 10 days or less (also has greater references). However, I'm afraid his quote will come back too high.

Thanks again for all your help and input, fire away with any questions and thoughts.


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Instapark Betta review

I thought I would post my impressions of the Instapark betta and my experience with it. The beta does an excellent job cleaning the pool, it is the only skimmer I found on the market that has a very large container for collecting debris. I get a lot of pineneedles in my pool and this feature was the main selling point for me. The beta also comes with a remote control that you can drive the robot around manually with, and provides a convenient means to retrieve it from the pool, and to spot clean. It has a total of five different modes, which are indicated by the LEDs on the back of the unit. In it’s autonomous mode, the LEDs on the back blink blue. When the robot is being controlled with the remote control the LEDs are solid blue. When the robot is running low on power the LEDs will turn red. If robot experiences a fault or a jammed basket, the LEDs alternate between red and blue. When it is completely out of batteries it enters a sleep mode and no LED lights will display on the unit. The batteries seem to last a long time, as it can run all day and all night. However you cannot charge the unit with an outlet. It can only charge via the sun. What I have discovered is that if I run the robot a full day then let it run all night and if the next day is cloudy the robot will run out of power. This will require that the robot charges in the sun all day before it can run it again. Because of this, I choose not to run it at night, and it always seems to have enough power to run several overcast days in a row. This isn’t unique to the betta though as other solar skim bots are designed the same way. I wish that it had the option to charge it via an outlet.

I have had several issues with the product and I am on my third unit. The good news though is that the company is very responsive and when you have a problem they will ship you out a new one immediately. They also are constantly making updates to their robots and I am hopeful that they will eventually resolve the reliability issues myself and other owners have reported experiencing. There are at least three different versions of this robot that I am aware of at the time of this post. The first version of the robot apparently was having issues with their motors and they would not recommend the robots for use in salt water pools. The motors were rusting and seizing up apparently. The first one I received was the first version that was released for use for salt water pools and I have never experienced any issues with the motors on my previous two robots. The issue my first robot had was that it seemed to have gotten stuck in it’s error mode. When I would power on the robot all it would do is blink blue then red. Instapark sent me a new unit to replace it with. This robot seemed to do better and had its programming updated. The first robot seemed like it would just swim along in the pool full speed until it hit a wall. The new robot would slow down and turn before it would hit the wall. It also seems to do a better job avoiding objects in the pool. The issue that I eventually had with this robot was that it started swimming around in circles, which was a common problem on the first generation of robots due to the motors freezing up. That didn’t seem to be the case with this one though. I noticed that the robot would stop spinning in circles if it took up rather violent whack into the side of the pool. When it would start swimming in circles, I could give it a whack or two around it’s sensors and it would correct the issue for several days. The other issue it seemed to have, was it would go into its error mode when it would stubbornly try to fight the currents from the return jets. Instead of turning around to avoid going headlong into the current, it would eventually just give up and would enter into its error mode and start to flash blue and red. When this would happen I would have to turn it off and on again or just wait 20 minutes as the robot restarts itself 20 minutes after experiencing a fault. I have received my third robot last night, and I’ve yet to use it because it needs to charge. This new robot seems to be a different revision, because it has a much smaller power button then all of the previous ones. I’m not sure what the reasoning is for this but it does indicate to me that the company is making changes to the hardware of the robot on a fairly consistent basis. The newest revision as of the date of this post has a smaller button and red propellors. I will update this thread when I have more experience with this new robot. I am hopeful that this one doesn’t experience any issues, as when it’s working correctly it does a wonderful job and keeps my pool free of all the pine needles that I experience every time I have a massive storm. It does an excellent job keeping the pool clean. If it didn’t have the issues that I have experienced, I would be more than happy with it, and would highly recommend it to anyone.67CD3419-E68A-4171-9EDD-B2D45CB11FD9.jpegEA7E450F-F50E-45B3-A4A2-B6570AAE1877.jpegBE272681-DA3E-48DA-89E8-7B905AB2A0F4.jpegF940C02C-70F6-42A5-9851-66E093C4451A.jpeg997602CD-BB5E-4F6C-8B90-E8D716DCB2B7.jpegB46417A7-C658-4C35-9D62-BF9E1C065F78.jpeg
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Umbrella wobbles in deck sleeve.

How do you stabilize an umbrella pool in a deck sleeve? We had 2 inch aluminum sleeves pour in our deck. This rubber cone helps but doesn't go down far into sleeve so the bottom of the 1.5 in pole still moves around. Causes umbrella pole to tilt.

Patio Umbrella Cone (Brown) Fits 1.5" Umbrella. Weather Resistant Polyurethane. The Original Made in the USA.

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First test for salt with K-1766 kit, and I'm unsure

Hello all
After opening a brand new kit, I decided to measure the salt in my pool out of curiosity since my SWG isn't installed yet.
From the first drop, the water turned milky white, and a precipitate formed (as mentioned in the instructions). I continued to add drops, and the water remained white and never turned salmon-colored; more precipitate formed. I stopped after 10 drops so as to not waste more reagent, and the precipitate was not allowing the pill to spin freely in the spiner.

My FC is 11.

Do I have any salt?

New Quote Help-San Antonio

4B397AD0-4E58-419A-B871-CAE5A1C6CD3A.jpegHowdy y’all. We just received our plans and a quote from a reputable builder in the San Antonio area (we’re in Cibolo). We are new to pools and the quote seemed high to us, so looking for some feedback and/or comments. I’ve included specs and a picture of the plan. Thanks for your help!

Pool plan:
32’ x 20’7”

16,312 gallons


15” elevated spa (3’6”)

8 spa jets with arm rest

1-2.7 HP variable speed

1-1.85 HP variable speed

7 inlets

1.5” bubbler

399,000 BTU heater w/ buried 250 G propane

1-60 sq ft DE

2 - surface skimmer

1 - AquaStar ozone unit

1- Polaris Quattro Sport IG robotic vacuum

9” Grade 60-1/2” 16’ gauge steel

6”-8” 4,000 PSI concrete

Flagstone coping

6” tile

974 sq. ft. Decking with cool deck finish coat

2- LED lights in pool

1- LED light in spa

Tier One Pebble Tec plaster

Sun shelf with bubbler

14 LF weeping waterfall 30” above coping

Las Vegas Pool, Spa, Swim-Up Bar, and Sunken Kitchen Construction Started

Well… After months, and months, and months of planning, coordination, HOA, and county permits we finally broke ground a week and half ago. I’ll be updating the thread with pictures as time progresses but it’s been a long time coming to get going!

After waiting nearly 45 days for the permit, we got the permit on the 14th and excavation started on the 16th. They wrapped up excavation Monday this week the 27th. The plumbers showed up today, two days later, and started moving along. I’ll snap a few pictures in the morning of today’s progress.

Needles to say I’m happy see the progress and the quick follow-up from the PB.

Pool Size / Spa Size
  • 37’x16.5’
  • Perimeter 135’
  • Depth 3.5’ - 5’
  • Spa - 9x6
  • Gallons - 16k
  • Wet Deck 1 - 10’x16’
  • Wet Deck 2 - 10’x7’
Build Specs
  • 2 Skimmers - requested and confirmed plumbed separately
  • 1 Main Drains
  • 4500 psi shotcrete
  • 3 36” sheer decent water features
  • Pool Finish - Finest Finish Radiant Fusion (color TBD)
  • 4 Barstools
  • Decking - 24x24 Porcelain Pavers
  • Pump - Pentair IntelliFlo 3.5 VSP
  • Water Feature Pump - Pentair VSP
  • Filter - Pentair 520
  • Automation - Intellicenter
  • Pool / Spa Lights - 11 Pentair Microbrite
  • Heater - Pentair Mater Temp 400,000
  • SWG - Pentair IC40
  • Cleaning System - A&A IFCS (I know a lot of folks on here aren’t fans, but that’s what we preferred to go with after speaking with several friends and family members who have pools)


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Considering getting an IC-40 IntelliChlor and Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Questions

I'm not sure if I'm posting this question in the right section as it covers multiple things but here is the background:

I have a 30x16 inground pool. I need a new liner and while I am doing that I was thinking of getting a new Pentair Clean and Clear 420 filter and also adding an IC-40 IntelliChlor. The company that quoted the liner replacement recommended that model filter and Chlorinator when I asked about them.

I currently have an old Hayward Bump DE filter, 2 speed Hayward 1 1/2 HP 2 speed pump (I replaced the old single-speed pump motor a few years ago when it died). I also have an Intermatic T104-R timer but I currently just leave the timer on all the time and turn the pump on and off manually using the 2-speed switch on the pump.

Will I be able to use the IC-40 IntelliChlor with my current setup or will I have to replace my existing timer or add a control system?

Also, will the Pentair Clean and Clear 420 filter be big enough for my pool? I have seen some posts recommending the 520.

Saltwater Aurora above ground build thread

This happened a few months ago but I figure better late never!

Purchased from: The Pool Factory
Model: Saltwater Aurora
Material: 100% Resin (except for the stainless steel screws/plate)
Size: 21 ft

I’ll start with tearing out the old pool. It was pretty solid and lasted over 15 years but rust was starting to get to it.

We probably could have gotten a few more seasons out of it but we’re building a deck that goes around the entire pool and didn’t want to try to retrofit a new pool into a wrap around deck in a few years.

Chose the Saltwater Aurora because it’s 100% resin and those don’t rust. We also installed a saltwater generator which is working flawlessly.


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Light not flush after plaster

Our Pebble Tec was installed today, and one of the lights ended up recessed in the plaster instead of flush like the others. My pool builder has already had to do a lot of rework on our lights and this step because of mistakes they made earlier on, so I doubt he's going to want to do anything to fix this.

So, my question is should I expect everything to work properly and be easily replaceable in the future if it is left as-is? Our lights are Microbrites installed in the normal 1.5-in. wall fittings. Has anyone else experienced this before? This is our first pool build so I appreciate any insights people may have.


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Risk of cover leak when using automatic sump pump?

The last 2 years I've rested my automatic sump pump on top of my solid pool cover (just a big tarp). Its been so nice not having to worry about water on my cover. However, I was thinking to myself, what if my pool cover developed a leak? The sump would just run continuously until it basically drained the pool! With all that exposure to the elements, my pool cover will eventually spring a leak. Of course I always look for a leak when I first place it on. Any ideas on how to prevent this? Thanks!!

Liquid Chlorine Strength Loss

I picked up 2 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine at the hardware store last week. I added 100ml of liquid to my 500G hot tub and it raised the FC by about 3, where poolmath said it should have raised it by about 5.

It’s KemTek with a date code of 2121013:15C, so the 210th day of 2021. Today is the 291st day of the year so it’s almost 3 month old. I’m in the Sacramento CA area so outside temps were routinely over 100F between those dates. The chlorine was in the garden center (outside), but in an area that is shaded, plus the cardboard outer packaging kept the direct sunlight off the liquid. No idea what the storage was like before it was brought to the garden center, but I would assume a hot warehouse at best.

My questions are:

1) Is the strength loss about what I should expect for 3 month old 10% that may have been sitting above 80F the whole time?
2) Is there any problem with just using this, but needing to use more since it’s basically 6% bleach now?
3) Am I better off if I use fresher gallons of household bleach (6%)? Assuming I can find plain bleach without any chloromax additives.


Jandy LXi Heater Loud Humming

I have a 7 year old Jandy LXi that has been mostly trouble-free up until about a month ago and no changes have been made to the system since installation. It started making the exact sound from this video (note: I know this is a JXi but sound is 100% identical):

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1. Sound only happens with the heater on (pool or spa mode)
2. It starts up about 1:30-2:00 minutes after being turned on

Here is what has been checked so far:
1. Air Flow - I took off the top and vacuumed/removed any debris to ensure unobstructed airflow.
2. Water Flow - My pool guy wanted to increase pump speed but I don't have a variable speed motor so can't do that. I also appear to have adequate flow back to the spa to operate the jets.
3. Build up in Heat Exchange - There is no visible reason to believe that we have build up (chemistry is good, there is no physical evidence of calcium build up in the pool and there is no signs of debris when cleaning out the salt cell), but my pool thinks he can flush it out with a water additive. I suggested flushing directly by with while vinegar or low dose of muriatic acid/water but not sure if folks here recommend this (Jandy said it wasn't in their manual so can't recommend it).
4. Gas Flow - Nothing has been added to the gas line there shouldn't be a flow issue. In the forum that I took the video from it recommended replacing the Thermal Regulator Value for the JXi but I don't see this part on the LXi. Is there a comparable part that could be causing the issue?

Any other thoughts would be more than welcome.