HELP! Flow Problem!

KOBrien12

Member
May 29, 2020
8
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Hi Everyone, I'm new to TFP and to pool ownership. We purchased a home with an 30k gallon IG gunite pool 2 years ago (this is our third summer). Here is a quick run down of the first issue I want to tackle with this pool:

Year 1
  • We swapped out the old pump for a VS-SVRS pump and had no issues.
Year 2
  • Tile had to be repaired after the winter (live in CT). Job was messy, I spent most of the summer vacuuming up cement and chipped tile from the pool (was careful and used the vacuum attachment to catch the large pieces to prevent them from going into the filter.
  • Began having a flow issue with the VS-SVRS pump, resulting in the Filter being turned off constantly because of the SVRS feature. Wasn't very educated on the SVRS function other than being told if you have kids it's safer. Our drain is on the deep end of the pool so the safety feature of this is a mute point for our particular pool. I battled with the Pump ALL SUMMER and because it would not run consistently, the pool was terrible to maintain ALL SUMMER. I spent more time working on the pool than swimming in it, complete nightmare.
Year 3 (THIS YEAR)
  • Changed to a Variable Speed Flow pump and got rid of the SVRS pump.
  • Converted to a salt pool by adding the Pentair EasyTouch system with the IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Cell, added the ScreenLogic 2 to control the system by phone
  • Changed to a Pentair DE60 filter (replaced an old cartridge filter)
  • Added a Raypak Electric Heat Pump
THE PROBLEM
  • We had the above equipment installed by a local pool professional who wasn't familiar with automation or ScreenLogic, however after 2 weeks that's under control as of today - pool is still very Green but today was also the first day the IntelliChlor read a proper salt level and activated. The past two days our pool guy put shock tabs in our skimmer basket. I'll figure out chemistry eventually but the main problem I need help with is the following:
    • The new IntelliChlor was initially displaying a low flow error and the pump appeared to have difficulty with priming. That eventually went away, however when running the pump we're now receiving a "Max Pressure Limit" warning and the pump seems to be using a lot more Power Usage (Watts) and RPM to achieve the flow we are setting it at (currently 40 GPM). For example, right now the pump is set to 40GPM and reads 996 Watts, 2935 RPM, and 21 GPM....so it's working really hard to not even achieve the 40GPM it's set to.
    • Given the flow issues we had last year and the tile repair job, I was wondering if there could be a blockage in our skimmer lines, however our pool guy brought over his air compressor and blew out the lines with no blockage detected. Interestingly, he ran the system on recirculate (multi-port valve), bypassing the brand new DE60 Filter and the pump ran MUCH quieter, achieved the desired GPM, and RPM and Watt usage significantly decreased. He then opened the Filter, completely cleaned hosed off the inside, added DE again. It worked for a short time and then the same issues happened (decreased flow on salt cell so I ramp up the GPM on the pump, flow is achieved by the RPMS and power usage is through the roof with a "Max Pressure" error). I understand some resistance will occur when water passes through the filter compared to recirculating and bypassing but the difference seems significant.
    • As a comparison for readings:
      • During Backwash Earlier:Set to 51 GPM, Reading Flow: 51 GPM, Power Usage 464, RPM 1872
        • I only ramped up the GPM to 51 during backwash just to see what readings I'd get.
      • After Backwash Before DE: Set to 40 GPM, Reading Flow 39 GPM, Power Usage 966, RPM 2651
      • Current: Set to 40 GPM, Reading Flow: 21 GPM, Power Usage 996, RPM 2935, Max Pressure Warning
    • I have no idea if the issue from last summer relates to this summer but without good flow, it's going to take forever to circulate the water and it's going to cost a lot of energy and strain on the pump to achieve a poor flow rate. There appears to be no blockage in the skimmer lines since the recirculate valve achieves great flow at an efficient rate. When the water runs through the NEW DE filter, that's where the issues seem to occur. A main goal is efficiency (which is why we have a variable speed/flow pump). I also want to make sure we're not at risk of burning out the pump running it right now at almost 3,000 RPMs.
  • IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEAS OF WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP THIS FLOW/POWER ISSUE IT WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED! We are at a total loss and we already lost the month of May to use the pool. We bought all new equipment hoping we could have a problem free experience this summer and we're already off to a terrible start. Resolving the flow issue would be a miracle at this point.
    • And I've been on top of emptying the skimmer baskets, the basket on the pump, backwashing, etc.
 

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KOBrien12

Member
May 29, 2020
8
Bridgeport, Connecticut
As an update, during the night the error changed from Max Pressure to low flow on the chlorinator. I turned it off for a few hours, backwashed in the morning, added some DE, started it up again around 8:45am, it's just 11am now and the flow is already reporting "low" already after going through this cycle of high rpms to achieve less than 40 GPM. Despite being set at 40 GPM, it achieved around 36 for a little then progressive decreased to less than 16.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,788
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Certainly you are learning the new features of a DE filter. :hammer: Your problem is not Flow nor mechanical, the filter is doing its job perfectly. What you have is ALGAE and is clogging up your filter. You need a proper SLAM Process but for that you need a proper Test Kits Compared. For now you can add 3ppm of liquid chlorine/bleach per day so it does not get worse. Also turn you SWG off and put your filter in recirculate. If you keep trying to increase GPM you will break something. My SWG runs fine at 1200rpms. You can find this out by having your filter on recirculate and start the SWG, then start with 1500 rpms and with your screenlogic app start turning down the rpms until the red no flow light turns on. Then start increasing until the light goes green again and go 200 rpms above as a safety mesure, that will be your SWG running flow/rpms. And just as a heads up, you need to record your clean filter pressure and when it rises by 25% you need to clean again. It will be a pain for the slam process.
 
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KOBrien12

Member
May 29, 2020
8
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Felipe - thanks so much for your reply it was definitely helpful. I fought the fight and with backwashing frequently, and going through a ton of DE because of it, I finally have my pool crystal clear! Now I just have to figure out the proper schedule for running the VSF Pump in order to make sure I achieve sufficient flow for both the SWG and the Heat Pump, to make sure we're being as efficient as possible, but most importantly keeping the pool crystal clear. I know this will be cost in running a pool which I don't mind, I just want to find the balance of how much and how fast do I need to run this now, while keeping it as efficient as possible. Any help or advice on run-time, schedule, flow rate/rpms you set it at, etc would be helpful!

-Kyle


Sorry forgot to Welcome you and point you to some reading. ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and an example of my screenlogic

View attachment 142708
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,788
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
The minimum flow will be dictated by the equipment(swg,hp), let say the swg turns the green flow light at 1100rpms, increase 25-30 more rpms for a safety margin and that will be your speed. Same goes for the heatpump.
 

KOBrien12

Member
May 29, 2020
8
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Thanks! I might post this as a separate question but I'm able to set my VSF pump to the 20 GPM that are required and then the RPM vary some days they're higher than others but by setting the Flow rather than the RPMS, the pump is doing what it has to do to meet the minimum flow rate required.

That said, even if I run it at the slowest speed needed to activate the SWG and the heater...my pool isn't getting enough chlorine. Second week in a row I tested the pool water and it's saying I need more chlorine (a pool store water test last week said my stabilizer was fine but I finally got my own test kit and the stabilizer is showing it needs 8lbs so that should help with chlorine). If I run at the lowest GPM needed for 8 hours, that's only turning 9600 gallons....I have a 30,000 gallon pool so I'm not sure for the chlorine level which option is best:

A. Run at the lowest GPM required (20), with the SWG set at 50% for 24 hours a day (would turn 28,800 gallons)
B. Run at a higher GPM (40) with the SWG set at 50% for 13 hours (would turn the full 30,000 gallons)
C. Run the SWG at a setting greater than 50%? And when making that powerful, is the goal still to turn the pool water completely in a 24 hour period? So should the first goal be run it at a speed to turn the pool water once a day and then figure out if 50% on the SWG is sufficient and move up or down from there? Looking for the answer that will keep the pool clean at the most energy efficient settings (if possible).

Thanks!
-Kyle


The minimum flow will be dictated by the equipment(swg,hp), let say the swg turns the green flow light at 1100rpms, increase 25-30 more rpms for a safety margin and that will be your speed. Same goes for the heatpump.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,788
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Your mindset is with GPM and Turnovers, which is not valid(erase the concept). If you look up in PoolMath app under effects of adding, select SWG. For a 30k pool you need to run your pump for [email protected]%SWG to create around 3.5ppm of FC which is around normal consumption(2-4ppm). That is why we always recommend 2X SWG, you needed an IC-60 cell. Forget about FLOW, the settings wont be able to register that low flow for your SWG to run a green light. Did you try what i asked? You can easily run. 1150rpms. and the SWG will turn green. The idea that. only the water that goes. through the swg gets chlorinated is false. FC diffuses on. the whole pool once its out of the cell.
 

KOBrien12

Member
May 29, 2020
8
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Ah okay thanks so much for your help!!! That's where I was stuck, so many websites say you should turn your water once in a day had be confused on how to do that while running low GPM....so what I need to focus on instead is just generating enough Chlorine...Pentair told me not to get the IC60 and I was leaning toward that, wish I was on these boards back then...for the next Cell I'll be sure to buy a 60. Now that I have this cell, it sounds like your recommendation would be to run our pump for 15 hours per day, at the lowest RPM possible that reaches the minimum flow for the SWG and Heater....and to bump the cell up from 50% to 100%? Does this wear out the cell a lot faster running it at 100%?

Thanks again for your expertise, still a novice here!! Appreciate the guidance more than you know! I'll use your suggested settings for a week and will will re-test and let you know how it goes!


Your mindset is with GPM and Turnovers, which is not valid. If you look up in PoolMath app under effects of adding, select SWG. For a 30k pool you need to run your pump for [email protected]%SWG to create around 3.5ppm of FC which is around normal consumption(2-4ppm). That is why we always recommend 2X SWG, you needed an IC-60 cell. Forget about FLOW, the settings wont be able to register that low flow for your SWG to run a green light. Did you try what i asked? You can easily run. 1150rpms. and the SWG will turn green. The idea that. only the water that goes. through the swg gets chlorinated is false. FC diffuses on. the whole pool once its out of the cell.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,788
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Cell is either on or off. 50% means it runs around 50% of. the time its running. Wear of. the cell is in.time in. the. on(green light) position. You. might. need 2. schedules since flow will be. different for SWG. and Heater. If. not you. will. need to. run. the higher flow needed(probably. heater).