New home purchase, 1990 pool, skimming and refurb questions


Well-known member
Dec 16, 2013
Sacramento, CA
Just started to dial in our "new" pool in the new house. Have an extensive renovation scheduled for July/August that will include resurfacing with Pebble Sheen, new tiles along coping, autofill, new Pentair EasyTouch 4 controller, build of a Cabo shelf, etc.

Pool Details:
-See picture that relates to my questions
-Built in 1990, roughly 15-20k gallons
-Has a main drain with 2 floor returns
-2 skimmer baskets
-1 waterfall, run by a 1hp pump
-1 VS Pentair pump pulling from both skimmer baskets
-1 Hayward filter, can't recall details right now, but can pull them if helpful
-1 plumbed fill line into concrete coping edge, must be manually turned on at the side of the pool deck, but shoots right into pool
-Corded pool robot cleaner

1. My prior pool had several returns built into the wall that did a nice job of pushing debris to the skimmer. Current pool is doing a horrible job skimming. I have the pump around 2500 RPM and while it pulls water in a bit, the surface skimming action is limited. I know nothing of pool design over the years, but are the skimmers supposed to "pull" with enough force to clean the surface debris? Or was the waterfall purposely designed to push the debris to the skimmer baskets? I.e., should I set up the waterfall on a timer every day for an hour or two to specifically clean the surface debris?
2. Per the picture, there is an existing plumbed water fill line (plumbed into the concrete coping). Because the pool company can access the plumbing there, they are going to put in a autofill. Anything to watch for, key questions to ask, key requirements I should push for? They are a reputable pool company (they have been building pools for 20 years) so I trust them a bit, but would like to know what questions to ask.
3. I can put this question over in the SWG threads, but thought I would ask here. I am currently manually chlorinating with HASA jugs and would like to put in a SWG. We are also going to be running pool solar panels later this year. We decided to put in a Pentair EasyTouch 4 Controller to run the pumps, the pool lights, the to be installed solar controllers needs, etc. I was researching the Pentair SWGs and saw they need some sort of power transformer. Would the EasyTouch 4 be able to serve that purpose or would I need a separate power center for the SWG? It looks like there are specific models that have the Intellichlor transformer and come with the Intellichllor cell as well, e.g., SKU#: 520593 EASYTOUCH SYSTEMS WITH INTELLICHLOR TRANSFORMER AND INTELLICHLOR CELL, EasyTouch 4PSC-IC40 - Single Body (includes SCG integration & IC40 cell)? So if I call the pool builder, they would likely "upgrade" the EasyTouch to a model like that, with the cell sized for my pool?

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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
1. The only returns are in the floor? The skimmers are not meant to pull in debris from very far. The pool returns, if in the wall of the pool, should create a slow swirl in the pool carrying debris by the skimmer. If you do not have wall returns, you will not have efficient skimming.
2. Autofills can be set up various ways. When you get a proposal, post it here for review.
3. That is the ET you want with the SWCG. The IC40 is good for your pool. I assume you will have an Intelliflo VS pump. The new Intellicenter would be better, in my opinion.


Well-known member
Dec 16, 2013
Sacramento, CA
Thanks! That is correct, no wall returns. ~40% of the pool is a huge pile of natural granite rocks (the side where waterfall is and opposite the 2 skimmers). When the pool inspector came out, he mentioned putting the waterfall on a 2x daily timer to push the surface water towards the skimmers. I'll look into the Intellicenter (saw a good comparison thread in another TFP post) and post the autofill proposal here when I get it. Thanks again.
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