First, a big thanks to those running this site and answering questions. I've read a lot and am converting to BBB this season. Lots of Pool School this past winter!!
I have my TF 100 test kit, but I'm having issues with my opening. The whole system is about 15 years old. The heater was added two years ago and the pump replaced last year. Replaced the multiport valve and all the sand in the sand filter last year. Inspected all laterals and they were in good shape. Replumbed pump front side because of leak in a valve. I was hoping to only have to deal with learning the BBB method on startup, but that is not to be.
The previous owners had a brominator on the system at some point, but had converted to chlorine before we bought the house in Jul. '06. On the return side is a drain plug and plugged brominator port. When the heater was installed, the installers did some interesting 90 degree bends to leave both plugs there. Had I known better I would have told them to get rid of both of those.
The problem is the old brominator plug was leaking on startup this year. I tried plugging it with some pool epoxy and then make a coupling and used PVC glue to try to seal it. I shouldn't have even tried to take the easy way out, but I really wanted to get the pool circulating. I've given up trying to repair it in place and am getting ready to replumb the return side this year. The picture shows the return with the wet spot right under where I tried to repair the brominator hole. I'm planning on removing everything from the return on the bottom of the heater to the two return lines (top two pipes on left). I'm replacing the connector to the heater, the valves and all the connectors down to ground level. The smaller pipe on the bottom left doesn't seem to do anything at all (tried it open and closed last season with no change anywhere). We don't know if it was plumbed for something in the past, but there wasn't a slide, spa or water feature anywhere. So far, the plan is to cap it off and leave it in place since I don't want to dig up the patio to see where it goes.
Mainly I wanted to see if the experts had any opinion on my replumbing plan. We'd like to add a SWG, but probably not this season. I don't have a lot of room for one after the heater if I plumb it using the shortest possible path, but I don't like all the bends that are in line now. My clean filter pressure went from 10 psi to 20 psi with the installtion of the heater and I attribute it mostly to the bends.
Once I get it circulating, I'll post numbers so I can tackle the big green monster that's lurking under my winter cover (I opened it enough to install the returns and open the skimmer. I know I'm facing a huge algae problem once I can start attacking it.)
PS. Sorry it was so long. I'm often guity of "too much information".