Hello - I am grateful to have found this forum during my search for answers. I'm so discouraged I could cry. [This post below has gotten longer and longer. I apologize but don't know what information will help you best to help me, so it may be too much.]
Last year shortly after opening the pool and getting it chemically balanced, the motor (& sand filter) died. It was out of warranty, and I couldn't afford a new one. So that was that. That motor was a 2-speed, and I 'think' it was a 2 HP. The low speed barely moved, and the high speed was pretty powerful and the polaris did a great job getting the leaves off the bottom at the beginning of the season each year (though it needs those internal parts almost yearly).
This year, I just bought and received a pump and cartridge filter (description below signature) - and was directed that a 1 HP would be sufficient by the saleswoman who has a pool my size and said the 1.5 HP would be overpowered, more than I needed, needlessly expensive to run, etc. After using it for 3-4 days, I am miserably worried it is undersized, because the pressure is so faint coming out of the return.
The polaris 65 / turbo turtle model was doing it's one-sided thing, so I picked up the two new internal parts and changed out the piston. I have yet to put it back in to try it, because the pressure against my hand on the return wouldn't push a paper boat across the surface. It's practically non-existent, so I turned off the motor. I've relied on the polaris every year to clean out the trash on the bottom - and now there isn't enough pressure to do so (yes, the sales woman assured me before ordering that the 1 HP would be plenty strong enough; she would have made more by directing me to the 1.5 HP, so she must have thought she was correct - but the results are keenly disappointing).
(I put my last two gallons of 'splashes' baquacil type shock in it and had put an algicide in a month ago. It's pretty bluish, cloudy, but when running the net along the bottom, green does bubble up.)
This new pump & cartridge didn't come with gate valves (I didn't think to ask about that, and the information wasn't volunteered) - so I have struggled against the water tide (and stuffing the openings up) to hose off the cartridge twice already, because there was definitely a lot of algae in the pool that I thought might be causing the slowdown. (I got the idea 'somewhere' that a cartridge filter would be so much easier than a sand filter.) I had leaves in the bottom that I have tried to scoop out with a leaf net. I've been searching for reasonably priced gate valves, and there are no pool stores anywhere near here. I'm afraid I have wasted $250 am stuck with a pump that will never be strong enough, so besides the $35 on polaris parts, $40 on my last 2 shocks, and possibly $50+ on two gate valves, plus the chemicals I put in during spring, and the chemicals I will/would have to buy still, I'm unsure if I'm going to get to swim this year. In short - if the motor will never be any good and I've wasted my money, I won't sink $300+ in another bigger one this year in time to have any swim time left. Sometimes here in north Georgia by early September (with no solar heater) - the pool is too chilly for me to enjoy. So I'm fast running out of season. If it's too small, there's no point in adding more chemicals, buying gate valves, or stressing that motor by trying to make it run - If I'm going to have to try to get any money out of it by reselling it. But 'if' it's a dirty pool causing the problem, then I need to buy those gate valves so I can clean out the filter 'however' often until it's clean. (Every few hours?? or daily??) I am willing to spend money 'if' I can swim - but I am self employed during this tough economy, and I have no more money to waste on a losing proposition.
All these problems may have been moot with a 1.5 HP motor. I haven't seen or read of anybody having to hose their cartridge filter every few hours. I am stuck which way to turn.
So that's when I found this forum, while looking for gate valves. Number one: Is my motor too small to ever be of sufficient use? Otherwise, why does it barely push the water? I have put about 12-14 hrs on it at the most and don't want to risk burning it up. The pressure was 18 both before and after the two hose cleanings, although the water ran clear each time when I was done (very green before the cleaning). The return flow is as puny as the low speed on the other motor, which was so faint I never used it. I've read the pressure is supposed to go 'down' after cleaning. It's possible I didn't clean the inner folds well enough, and I didn't soak it, just hosed it, because of course I'm losing pool water the entire time with my bungee-rags water-blocking affair going on.
A real train wreck all around!
I'm so very discouraged and overwhelmed. Many thanks in advance to the kind folks who will try to steer me back on the road.