Hello all, first post.
First this Forum is FANTASTIC. I have been reading through lots and lots of posts trying to learn as much as I can.
Background: My wife and I bought a home in Phoenix in October with a "play pool". Its about 12k gallons, averaging about 4.5ft deep, 5 feet at the center. We are both first time pool owners and neither of us grew up around pools. So here are my questions/problems.
Specs: I have a Hayward 1.5hp Max Flo II pump and a Unicell C8417 (175 sf) cartridge filter (this is the filter that was installed when we moved in). I have a pop up system with two centralized drains and there is no vacuum installed.
1. Is this pump/filter combo adequate for the size of the pool that I have? I am wondering because I run the system every night from 9pm until 5am and the dirt at the bottom of the pool isn't going anywhere. In addition I have noticed that if I turn on the skimmer, the pop ups don't want to come up and do their job (lack of pressure perhaps?)
2. The suggested flow rate on the cartridge housing is 45 gpm when using the Hayward OEM CX1750RE (doing some browsing it looks like the Unicell is roughly equivalent). Unfortunately the gauge on the housing measures PSI (and runs between 25-30) not GPM. How am I supposed to know if I have adequate flow rate? Should I buy a new replacement cartridge or is it undersized and I need to upgrade? If I need to upgrade ....
3. While discussing these things at the local pool store, the owner suggested I have him install a new 1hp pump and 36" sand filter for a mere $1600. When I asked why I should buy a less powerful pump than I already own, he said I have a low head pump and I need a high head pump. Does that make sense?
4. In addition he said that pop ups are not very efficient and that I should install a vacuum system to run while my filter is on for another $400. So for a mere 2k he would fix me up !! Is he giving good advice or just desperate to sell me stuff in order to garner work for himself during tough times?
5. Would I be wasting my money/time by buying a manual vacuum and a new cartridge filter and seeing how far that gets me?
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in these matters. I hate putting stuff off but 2k is a fair amount of cash to throw at the problem. That's fine if its what it actually needs (ie the previous homeowner got cheap and undersized his system) but if its overkill and I can do something just as good at a lower cost I would like to do that.
Once again, this forum rocks and I look forward to learning an incredible amount from all of the wonderful posts.