Multiple Questions about Maintaining Older Pool

Oogbee

New member
May 23, 2020
1
Arizona
Hello everyone!

In the past year my wife and I purchased a home with a pool that I believe was built late 80s/early 90s. It has been a bit of a crash course learning how to care for the pool. Now I have multiple questions for the community to see if I can get some advice on what I should do... After writing this all out, I've realized that I have A LOT of questions and concerns built up. I'm hoping the numbered list helps organize the information better, but there is a lot to unpack here so thank you for taking the time to work through this. These questions are a little rambling, but I hope I've given all the necessary information to help. If more information is needed, please let me know. Thank you!
  1. Starting at the pump, we recently upgraded from a 1.5 hp single speed to the variable speed 1.5 hp SuperFlo VS. I'm having troubles making sense of how to calculate how fast I should run the pump. Ideally I would like to leave the Polaris 360 in the pool full time so that every day it can run normally for about an hour so that we still get some cleaning done on our lazy days. I have played around with the returns and I've found that I need the pump running at about 3200 RPM to get the Polaris 360 operating normally. What RPM and for how long should I run the pump when not actively cleaning the pool so that I can keep the pool clear?
  2. Next moving to the Pentair TR-60 sand filter, once the variable speed pump was put in a small leak started on the bottom bulkead. I got a quote for a local pool repair/maintenance company to come out and they wanted between $500 and $700 to do a complete service on the filter including changing out the sand. I'd rather DIY it myself (and not pay to replace sand) and thanks to this forum I think I've got all the parts I need to fix it except that...
  3. ... the lid to the TR-60 is stuck. I've tried PVC cheater bars and knocking the lid and wrench with a mallet. My wife even helped to try to keep the wrench seated while we attempted to loosen the lid. I've made sure to equalize the pressure before trying to loosen the lid and I've tried running the pump to see if the extra pressure would help (it didn't, but I was desperate). The only other recommendation I've seen here that I'm saving as a last resort is to simply cut the lid off and replace it with a new one. I'm waiting to hear back on a quote from another pool company to see what the service on the filter would cost to replace the bulkhead oring, but I'm also tempted to buy the aluminum version of the wrench from Inyopools. I'm wondering too if I shouldn't just bite the bullet and consider a replacement filter... I want to get the lid off so that I can replace the bulkhead oring and do a deep clean of the sand. Does anyone have any other advice here?
  4. The outlet from the sand filter goes to a three-way valve which splits the flow between two different sets of returns. One set is a pair of 1.5" standard returns set at opposite corners of the rectangular pool (presumably to help create a clockwise flow in the pool). The other set is a series of smaller threaded returns, currently without eyes on them, spread throughout the rest of the pool. I have the Polaris set on the one of the 1.5" returns and I have blocked the flow from the other. All of the smaller inlets are open, but I have adjusted the three-way valve so that most of the flow is directed to the Polaris 360 with some of the flow coming out of the smaller returns. My goal was to give the Polaris 360 the flow it needs to run for an hour a day, but also have better circulation throughout the pool when running the pump at a lower RPM and the Polaris 360 is under-powered. I just noticed this morning that when running at the 3200 RPM cleaning speed, I was getting some water leaking out of the three-way valve. I know the pressure is higher in the system now than it was when I only had the single speed pump and no Polaris 360, but it isn't anywhere near the max 50 PSI on the filter pressure gauge. I will look into replacing the oring in the valve, but is there anything wrong with this set up that I haven't considered?
  5. I recently SLAMed the pool and it was looking very clear over the weekend for the first time since we moved in. I then put the Polaris 360 back in the pool Monday evening and tried knocking the lid of the sand filter loose. When I then turned the pump back on I could see cloudy water shooting back into the pool. I'm hoping it was just finer sediment that got shifted while working on the lid, but is this anything I should be concerned about? My pool was looking less sparkly this morning (last night we tried knocking the lid loose again).
  6. Regarding the flow, with the Polaris 360 in the pool and the other 1.5" return blocked, my skimming is suffering. I also occasionally get air in the return, but until I can address the two potential leaks I have identified I'm not too concerned about the air at this time. I would like to restrict the smaller returns that are closest to the skimmer. They start at the skimmer and proceed clockwise around the rectangular pool and farther from the pump pad. I've noticed that the return closest to the skimmer has the largest flow and the flow in the next return feels weaker until its barely noticeable on the other side of the pool from the skimmer. I haven't taken any measurements yet, but I do know that these threaded returns are smaller than the 1.5" returns that seem to be the current standard. Does anyone know where I can source inlet/eye fittings for these smaller returns? I'd like to try to force the inlets on the opposite side of the skimmer to get the most of the partial flow from my current set up to try to improve filtration and skimming.
  7. The tree in the neighbor's yard drops these relatively fine pollen clusters which break down into small pieces over time. When it's windy this pollen gets blown into the pool. It isn't too much of a problem and I can manually skim it out when it's on the surface or the Polaris will pick it up when they sink. Would these small pieces of pollen eat up free chlorine in the pool? I can follow up on this questions in the chemical section of the forums, but I didn't REALLY pass the OCLT before I stopped the SLAM because the water was clear and my CC was 0.5 ppm (or less). I was still losing about 1 ppm FC overnight, but I chalked that up to the organic material in the pool from the wind. I was planning on potentially SLAMing again once I got the sand filter sorted out.
 
Last edited:

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
17,995
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

  1. Starting at the pump, we recently upgraded from a 1.5 hp single speed to the variable speed 1.5 hp SuperFlo VS. I'm having troubles making sense of how to calculate how fast I should run the pump. Ideally I would like to leave the Polaris 360 in the pool full time so that every day it can run normally for about an hour so that we still get some cleaning done on our lazy days. I have played around with the returns and I've found that I need the pump running at about 3200 RPM to get the Polaris 360 operating normally. What RPM and for how long should I run the pump when not actively cleaning the pool so that I can keep the pool clear?
Your Polaris cleaner needs a high RPM since you do not have a booster pump like is used with the Polaris 280 and 380. You don't have a SWG or heater so the rest of the time you can run your pump at 1200 - 1500 rpm or whatever flow gives you good skimming and cleaning.

  1. Next moving to the Pentair TR-60 sand filter, once the variable speed pump was put in a small leak started on the bottom bulkead. I got a quote for a local pool repair/maintenance company to come out and they wanted between $500 and $700 to do a complete service on the filter including changing out the sand. I'd rather DIY it myself (and not pay to replace sand) and thanks to this forum I think I've got all the parts I need to fix it except that...
  2. ... the lid to the TR-60 is stuck. I've tried PVC cheater bars and knocking the lid and wrench with a mallet. My wife even helped to try to keep the wrench seated while we attempted to loosen the lid. I've made sure to equalize the pressure before trying to loosen the lid and I've tried running the pump to see if the extra pressure would help (it didn't, but I was desperate). The only other recommendation I've seen here that I'm saving as a last resort is to simply cut the lid off and replace it with a new one. I'm waiting to hear back on a quote from another pool company to see what the service on the filter would cost to replace the bulkhead oring, but I'm also tempted to buy the aluminum version of the wrench from Inyopools. I'm wondering too if I shouldn't just bite the bullet and consider a replacement filter... I want to get the lid off so that I can replace the bulkhead oring and do a deep clean of the sand. Does anyone have any other advice here?
Seems to be a common problem. This thread has a bunch of tips to try...


  1. The outlet from the sand filter goes to a three-way valve which splits the flow between two different sets of returns. One set is a pair of 1.5" standard returns set at opposite corners of the rectangular pool (presumably to help create a clockwise flow in the pool). The other set is a series of smaller threaded returns, currently without eyes on them, spread throughout the rest of the pool. I have the Polaris set on the one of the 1.5" returns and I have blocked the flow from the other. All of the smaller inlets are open, but I have adjusted the three-way valve so that most of the flow is directed to the Polaris 360 with some of the flow coming out of the smaller returns. My goal was to give the Polaris 360 the flow it needs to run for an hour a day, but also have better circulation throughout the pool when running the pump at a lower RPM and the Polaris 360 is under-powered. I just noticed this morning that when running at the 3200 RPM cleaning speed, I was getting some water leaking out of the three-way valve. I know the pressure is higher in the system now than it was when I only had the single speed pump and no Polaris 360, but it isn't anywhere near the max 50 PSI on the filter pressure gauge. I will look into replacing the oring in the valve, but is there anything wrong with this set up that I haven't considered?
As I said earlier the Polaris 360 is not the best cleaner. It is a compromise for buyers who don't want to buy a booster pump. Have you considered trashing the Polaris cleaner and getting a robot cleaner?

  1. I recently SLAMed the pool and it was looking very clear over the weekend for the first time since we moved in. I then put the Polaris 360 back in the pool Monday evening and tried knocking the lid of the sand filter loose. When I then turned the pump back on I could see cloudy water shooting back into the pool. I'm hoping it was just finer sediment that got shifted while working on the lid, but is this anything I should be concerned about? My pool was looking less sparkly this morning (last night we tried knocking the lid loose again).
Hard to say. You have a lot going on in the pool.


  1. Regarding the flow, with the Polaris 360 in the pool and the other 1.5" return blocked, my skimming is suffering. I also occasionally get air in the return, but until I can address the two potential leaks I have identified I'm not too concerned about the air at this time. I would like to restrict the smaller returns that are closest to the skimmer. They start at the skimmer and proceed clockwise around the rectangular pool and farther from the pump pad. I've noticed that the return closest to the skimmer has the largest flow and the flow in the next return feels weaker until its barely noticeable on the other side of the pool from the skimmer. I haven't taken any measurements yet, but I do know that these threaded returns are smaller than the 1.5" returns that seem to be the current standard. Does anyone know where I can source inlet/eye fittings for these smaller returns? I'd like to try to force the inlets on the opposite side of the skimmer to get the most of the partial flow from my current set up to try to improve filtration and skimming.
Get a robot cleaner and then you can open up and adjust your returns .

  1. The tree in the neighbor's yard drops these relatively fine pollen clusters which break down into small pieces over time. When it's windy this pollen gets blown into the pool. It isn't too much of a problem and I can manually skim it out when it's on the surface or the Polaris will pick it up when they sink. Would these small pieces of pollen eat up free chlorine in the pool? I can follow up on this questions in the chemical section of the forums, but I didn't REALLY pass the OCLT before I stopped the SLAM because the water was clear and my CC was 0.5 ppm (or less). I was still losing about 1 ppm FC overnight, but I chalked that up to the organic material in the pool from the wind. I was planning on potentially SLAMing again once I got the sand filter sorted out.
1 PPM of CC can be normal sanitation. I would not get concerned unless it spikes higher.