Lots of issues on Pump Pad - Looking to replace pumps + add SWG and need guidance


Apr 8, 2020
Dallas, TX
I'm in my first summer of taking care of a pool (using the TFP method!), and have a few improvements I want to make. However it's hotter than the sun in Texas, and I'd like to wait to do some of these until sept/oct if I can. Also I don't want to be without a pump right now since we're using the pool several times a week.

I've posted some photos to help show my setup.

Summary of issues:
  1. DE Backwash line busted. I tried a rubber coupling but the pressure is too high to hold. Since it's been repaired multiple times (the whole pipe just looks like couplers), I can't fix this without digging up a fair bit and then replumbing from there. Also, the line busted because the pad shifted, so I don't especially want to replumb until I fix the pad
    1. Instead of backwashing, can I open the filter and remove the screens and hose them down? Or will that not have enough pressure to get enough of the DE out? Note I've never done this....the pool guy did it in Feb or so just before I fired them. I have been backwashing about once a month since then
  2. The pad is completely out of level and putting stress on the pipes. I already had to pay the pool guy to replumb my main pump and "level it", which was just putting a 2 dollar concrete paver under it. Anyone have experience in this issue? I'm assuming I need to jackhammer it all out, and then pour a new pad, which I'll probably hire someone to do. The other option is to call a foundation repair company, but not sure if that would be cost effective for such a small area. The other option is to create some wedges to go under my filter to level it out and do the same for any pumps. I plan to be in this house for 10+ years, so I'd rather do it right so I don't have to mess with it in future seasons. Either way, this will probably wait, because it would take my pump offline for a few days which I don't want to do right now, but I'm just trying to figure out the best steps.
  3. I want to replace my pump(s) with a variable speed to save on energy cost and also get an SWG. I assume one variable speed pump will replace both my main pump and my booster for the Polaris 280, is that correct? How exactly would you plumb that ...just a T to my polaris return like I have but without the booster pump?
  4. I'm tempted to get the SWG sooner than the variable speed and the pad fix as finding chlorine this summer has been challenging. Can I insert it inline between the filter outlet and the Tee to the booster pump? It appears as though the SWG's need about 12-15 inches in line, which I think I could manage. I also assume I could wire the SWG controller to the analog pool timer I currently have, is that correct?
  5. Does anyone have guidance on a SWG+Variable pump /controller combo as I do plan on replacing it all? I've been browsing the threads in the SWG forum but still at a bit of a loss on where to start. I'd like to pay once to get everything compatible and possibly get a bundle discount, even if I don't install it all at once.

Thanks in advance! Hopefully the photos and info in my signature is sufficient but please feel free to ask questions!




Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
Katy TX
Hi fellow Texan.
Removing the filter cover and hosing down the screens is similar to backwashing. Backwashing is just an easier method (normally) because you do not need to remove the cover. I remove my cover (have a DE filter) twice a year to do a thorough cleaning. Does you backwash line go to your sewer drain or out to the street? Just curious. I have a multiport valve that allows me to easily move between backwash, rinse and filter modes. Something you may want to investigate if you plan to do major replumbing.
You will always need a separate booster pump for your Polaris cleaner. This needs a dedicated pressure system. If you switch to an electric robot cleaner you can remove your cleaner booster pump or use it and its flowline for a water feature.
Also, if you decide to keep your Polaris then I recommend you use hard plumbing for it and ditch the flexible hoses. I had those and they only create leaks due to pump vibration and deterioration due to UV rays. Maybe that was done because your pad became unlevel and pipes would not align.
It is key to get your pad level. That ensure you reduce stress on your pipework and equipment.
I see you have a empty space where a natural gas heater was placed. The gas line is plugged off and so are the Tees to your inlet and return. You need to decide if you want to install another heater after you get your pad level and other pumps installed.
Others will provide you feedback on SWG and variable speed pumps as I do not have that - yet!


Apr 8, 2020
Dallas, TX
Thanks for the clarifications! I only have a push pull for filter vs backwash on mine - and backwash goes to the sanitary sewer. I'll just remove the cover and hose it to clean in the short term.

As for the booster, I'll keep that in place for now. I am well versed in the flexible hoses...one popped less than a month ago and drained a few inches from my pool. I redid it with fresh connections because as you mentioned, it was much easier with the titled pad. I'll probably switch to an electric model when the pump or cleaner kicks the bucket, but for now they do a decent job.

The previous owner had a heater but it went bad and they never replaced it. Maybe we'll add it in later...with the other upgrades we will wait.

Hope to hear from others on the SWG/Variable pumps.