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Thread: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

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    More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    Hi Pool Folks,

    I too have been lurking here a while and wanted to thank you all for the information you provide.

    My wife and I recently bought a house that came with a pool (pic attached). I've never had a pool before, so have been reading what I can and trying to learn to maintain it. So far, that has not been hard to do. I've pretty much just let it do what it was doing when we bought the place. That is, the timers are set to run the filter pump for ~6 hours per day and the sweep for ~3 hours per day.

    From what I can tell, the skimmer is the only place that water is drawn from the pool. There is a drain looking thing in the deep end, but I do not feel any draw when I place my hand over it. At the slab where the pool pumps are located, there is only one line coming from the pool (1.5" copper, looks like). When I look down in the skimmer (Hayward brand, I think), I see the outlet pipe and a black square plug next to it. Could the plug be the line to the main drain?

    There are two return lines to the pool at the pump slab. One seems to go to the port for the pool sweep, and the other to a couple of outlet ports on the left side of the pool (from the view point of the attached pic).

    At the pump slab, there is a 3/4hp (Hydramax II, IIRC) filter pump, a 3/4hp booster pump that powers the sweep, a cartridge filter, and a "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. The chlorine generator generates chlorine from salt, but this is not a salt water pool - salt is added as a consumable. And there are two intermatic timers that control the pumps.

    Anyway, as you might notice in the picture, the house has a small array of solar panels. They actually do wonders toward reducing the electric bill but I would like to update the pool pumps and see if I can really make a difference. We are remodeling the house (it's down to the studs at the moment - no stucco, no drywall!), so the pool remodel is probably going to need to wait a year or two. At that time, I'll update the pool plumbing and the deck around it. Looks a little.... sterile the way it is.

    In the meantime, however, I'm thinking I'd like to at least change out the pumps and turn it into a salt water pool. Research has led me to the Pentair Intelliflo VS and probably the Easy Touch controller with the Intellichlor chlorine generator.

    I'm hoping that I can get rid of the booster pump, and just use the VS to handle both functions. Run the VS on low most of the time, and kick it to a higher speed when its time to power the sweep.

    Is this a dumb idea? Will I have trouble with the 1.5" plumbing being undersized?

    Thanks for any input you've got!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    San Jose, CA - 27,000g in ground plaster pool. One 3/4hp filter pump. Cartridge filter. "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. Blue Diamond pool cleaner.

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    I'm sure an expert will be along soon to comment on your questions. I just wanted to give you a heads up that your power provider probably offers a rebate for getting a 2 speed or variable speed pump. Good luck with the house remodel, and the pool looks great!!
    18k Inground Plaster pool / TriStar Variable Speed Pump and Controller
    48sq ft Hayward DE filter/ Swim pure Plus 40k cell / Kreepy Krauly
    Solaxx Ph-Tek

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    Welcome to TFP!

    The IntelliFlo should work out well. It is the best of the high efficiency models available right now.

    The IntelliFlo will not work with a pressure side cleaner designed to use a booster pump. But it will work well with a pressure side cleaner designed to work off of a normal pool pump.

    1.5" plumbing isn't ideal, but it shouldn't cause any problems. The only real disadvantage is that it will cost just a little bit more to run the pump with the smaller pipes.

    It is quite possible that the main drain connects to your skimmer. It is also possible that the main drain used to connect to your skimmer, but was sealed off because of leaks.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    Quote Originally Posted by dravenone
    I'm sure an expert will be along soon to comment on your questions. I just wanted to give you a heads up that your power provider probably offers a rebate for getting a 2 speed or variable speed pump. Good luck with the house remodel, and the pool looks great!!
    Ah, right - good point! Thanks for the reminder. I think PG&E has a $100 rebate for the multi-speed pumps right now.

    http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergy...nal/poolpumps/
    San Jose, CA - 27,000g in ground plaster pool. One 3/4hp filter pump. Cartridge filter. "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. Blue Diamond pool cleaner.

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Welcome to TFP!
    Thanks! I'm glad you guys are here.

    The IntelliFlo will not work with a pressure side cleaner designed to use a booster pump. But it will work well with a pressure side cleaner designed to work off of a normal pool pump.
    Ah, ok. Good to know. I will admit that the sweep likes to get itself stuck in the shallow end all the time anyway (I think it's a Polaris 380). Is there a replacement you'd recommend if I wanted to use only the Intelliflo pump?
    It is quite possible that the main drain connects to your skimmer. It is also possible that the main drain used to connect to your skimmer, but was sealed off because of leaks.
    Doh! What are the recommended next steps here? I'll see if I can get a picture of the inside of the skimmer, maybe that'll be a hint as to whether the main drain was plumbed to it. Do I even need a main drain?

    Thanks!
    San Jose, CA - 27,000g in ground plaster pool. One 3/4hp filter pump. Cartridge filter. "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. Blue Diamond pool cleaner.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    For pool cleaners that will work with the IntelliFlo, take a look at http://www.troublefreepool.com/are-t...mp-t11606.html.

    On the drain, there are various things you can try. One would be to release some food dye near the drain and make sure it really isn't doing anything. If it is drawing in water the dye should be pulled into the drain. Assuming the drain isn't drawing water, the next step is to open up the plug in the skimmer and see what is under it.

    A typical main drain plumbed to the skimmer setup has two identical pipes in the bottom of the skimmer. You said the plug in the skimmer was square, which doesn't sound like the usual pipe plug. Posting a photo might turn up someone who knows what it is.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    If you're on the west side of San Jose, The Pool Guys in Saratoga has a buy-one-get-one-free deal on cases of 10% liquid chlorine. Cheapest I've found.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    For pool cleaners that will work with the IntelliFlo, take a look at http://www.troublefreepool.com/are-t...mp-t11606.html.
    Cool. Thanks. Looks like I've got some options.
    A typical main drain plumbed to the skimmer setup has two identical pipes in the bottom of the skimmer. You said the plug in the skimmer was square, which doesn't sound like the usual pipe plug. Posting a photo might turn up someone who knows what it is.
    I didn't describe it well. The square part of the plug looks like it might be just the top where you'd attach a socket to remove it. I'll post a picture tonight when I get back to the house.
    San Jose, CA - 27,000g in ground plaster pool. One 3/4hp filter pump. Cartridge filter. "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. Blue Diamond pool cleaner.

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    If you're on the west side of San Jose, The Pool Guys in Saratoga has a buy-one-get-one-free deal on cases of 10% liquid chlorine. Cheapest I've found.
    --paulr
    Thanks for the tip, Paul. I live just down the road from them and will stop by to see what's up.
    San Jose, CA - 27,000g in ground plaster pool. One 3/4hp filter pump. Cartridge filter. "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. Blue Diamond pool cleaner.

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    Welcome to TFP!!

    To help clarify, the plug itself is round and has a square 'knob' to latch onto to install/ remove it 8)

    IF that plug is a port to the drain, you'll need to have some sort of regulating device in the skimmer to allow you to regulate the suction between the skimming action and the drain action. Hayward calls them "Flo - selector valves" and I can give you the part # if you can tell me the model # of your skimmer.

    If you have any trouble identifying your skimmer or any other question, we are here to help you!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Skimmer pics

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP!!
    Thanks!

    To help clarify, the plug itself is round and has a square 'knob' to latch onto to install/ remove it 8)
    I think that describes it perfectly. Here are two pics of the skimmer. I don't see any part #s anywhere, but I'm guessing it was pretty standard. In this orientation, the pool is up. There is a rectangular flap that seems to regulate pool water flow... Is that the suction regulating device?

    Hmm. Any reason other than a leak to seal off the line to the main drain?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    San Jose, CA - 27,000g in ground plaster pool. One 3/4hp filter pump. Cartridge filter. "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. Blue Diamond pool cleaner.

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    malaxi, PLEASE take NO offense from what follows Newbies are wonderful! - they ask the questions that we take for granted and remind us that some of the simple questions (that haven't been covered in Pool School) are valid and need to be addressed

    In this case, the flap, called a weir, does nothing to regulate the flow from the drain - it increases surface draw and prevents debris already in the skimmer from going back into the pool.

    I see a big "H" on the skimmer lid, which says that the skimmer was made by Hayward On the underside of the lid you should be able to see some raised letters and numbers which will read (something like) SP 1080 B, if you can post those, I'll check my parts book and find the proper 'Flo selector valve" for your skimmer 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    No worries, no offense taken. Thanks for being patient with me.

    The underside of the skimmer top says that it's Hayward, and has multiple model #s. "SP1070, SP1070-S, SP1070-2, SP1070-2S"

    So, ok, did some research to see what the flo-selector valve looks like and I see how it works. I'm still wondering why the previous owner would have plugged the main drain line, though.

    Is that something you would typically do if you didn't have a flo-selector valve handy (to get more flow from the surface?) Or is it more likely that it was plugged because it was leaking?

    Thanks for the help!
    San Jose, CA - 27,000g in ground plaster pool. One 3/4hp filter pump. Cartridge filter. "Pool Perfector" chlorine generator. Blue Diamond pool cleaner.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: More newbie questions -replace pumps and chlorine generator?

    There are three main possibilities:
    1) There isn't anything connected to that port at all, the drain is connected somewhere else. Many builders always use two port skimmers and simply plug the second port when they don't need it. Of course that leaves the question of where the main drain connects open.
    2) The drain leaks and was sealed permanently. In this case it will have also been sealed underneath the main drain cover at the bottom of the pool. This is fairly common.
    3) Someone used a permanent plug to winterize. This doesn't seem exactly likely, but all kinds of strange things happen now and then.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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