Hello from California, Central Coast!


Sep 29, 2021
Santa Cruz, Ca
We are new owners of an older pool (late 1960's, in-ground gunnite with fiberglass/gel coat finish, 13,500 gallons, kidney bean style, 3ft shallow end and just under 6' at the deep end) with a number of things in need of attention. We are prioritizing a bit at a time, but pacing ourselves for want of budget, time, and learning. We removed the coping stones all around the perimeter of the pool and decked out over the entire yard with a custom picture-frame finish and fascia around the perimeter - this improved our ability to access the pool without the slip/trip hazards of the uneven landscaping, paver stones, and other mish-mash concrete slabs/decks that surrounded the area originally. Outside of that, the most interesting things thus far have been:
  1. Procure and cut-to-fit a floating bubble-wrap style solar cover to slightly heat and greatly reduce evaporation of the pool water
  2. Locate and purchase replacement main pump filters... and clean up the old ones for reuse since, though dirty, they still appear to be serviceable
  3. Design/Plan, procure, and install parts for a solar thermal water heater as a pre-heater leading to the main gas furnace to reduce heating costs (solar alone can get us up to 92 degree F with several consecutive hot days without the furnace in play... but we can raise it 3 degrees per hour with the two working together)
Now I am here looking for insights from fellow pool owners and/or experts to apply to some of our remaining goals including:
  1. Automation (water level top-off, temperature sense, heater enable/disable, low-power conservation mode, etc) with remote (IoT, schedule, manual controls, mobile app)
  2. Dealing with certain plumbing issues such as air trapped in the lines and best approaches to handling
  3. Replacing older components including furnace, booster pump (pool sweep), and multi-speed main pump
I am a systems engineer by trade, and a jack-of-all weekend-warrior for projects such as this. Looking forward to engaging with the group here!