New Pool Owner, Already Planning Repairs/Upgrade

#1
Hi all,

New pool owner here - purchased our first house recently with a relatively small (12-13k gallon) inground pool with a basic pump and Hayward cartridge filter system. Supposedly the pump motor, seals, cartridge filter had been replaced last August. I have a letter from the previous owner's pool maintenance company stating this (but not an actual receipt, so take that for what you will).

The pump motor just died on me last Sunday. The Intermatic mechanical timer hadn't been working properly since we moved in - no matter what I tried it would simply not engage the main dial to rotate so I was turning it on and off manually. Sunday morning, with water in the basket, I went to turn it on like normal and it made a humming noise with no suction and then completely died. Off the top of my head it's a US Motors 1081.

So I figured while getting it replaced I would also add on a SWG. (Can you tell that I've been doing my research on here already? :D) I've got quotes from a couple local companies:

Company A: the company that the previous owner used - I can't even get them to come out to look at it for at least 2 weeks! Nuts.
Company B: pump replacement to Century 1.5hp, Pentair iChlor30 - $1500
Company C: pump replacement to Century 1.5hp, Autopilot Digital Nano - $1550 (if I want the Nano+ it's $400 more)

How do these products/quotes sound? If I were to go with one of the quotes I've gotten so far, I'm leaning towards the Nano but I wonder if it's a bit underpowered, but the additional cost on the Nano+ seems waaay high.

Does it make sense to source the items and perform the work myself? I see CircuPool often noted here and I've been checking out this table, but I'm a little apprehensive about doing work on my first pool with zero prior experience.

Thanks in advance!
 

tim5055

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#2
Prices are going to be a regional thing, but Google the parts and see what on line prices are.

I'm guessing that in St Augustine you have Florida Flicker & Flash (FP&L) as your electric utility, but why are you replacing with another single speed pump? If I were just going to go back to a single speed pump I would just pull the motor and take it to a place like this (just found thenm thru Google, no idea about them) and get it repaired: St Augustine Electric Motor Works

Buying new I would look at at least a 2 speed, and maybe even a VSP. They will cost a little more but save you in the long run in electric costs. Most people spend way too much on electricity for their pools because they have too large a pump, running at too high a speed for too long each day.

If you are handy, both of these replacements are well within the scope of a competent home handyman. Basic electric and basic plumbing with PVC pipes.

How about a photo or two fo the equipment pad.

Oh, while you research and source things add liquid chlorine to the pool and mix it as well as possible;e with your brush/net. A small pump would be even better.....
 
#3
Prices are going to be a regional thing, but Google the parts and see what on line prices are.

I'm guessing that in St Augustine you have Florida Flicker & Flash (FP&L) as your electric utility, but why are you replacing with another single speed pump? If I were just going to go back to a single speed pump I would just pull the motor and take it to a place like this (just found thenm thru Google, no idea about them) and get it repaired: St Augustine Electric Motor Works
Hadn't thought about getting the pump itself repaired.
Buying new I would look at at least a 2 speed, and maybe even a VSP. They will cost a little more but save you in the long run in electric costs. Most people spend way too much on electricity for their pools because they have too large a pump, running at too high a speed for too long each day.

If you are handy, both of these replacements are well within the scope of a competent home handyman. Basic electric and basic plumbing with PVC pipes.
I love the idea of not wasting money on electricity. No one has mentioned these to me yet.

As for the concept of doing the work myself... I'm not totally intimidated by it - I just don't want to screw anything up. Moreover, I'm slightly confused by the valve situation as shown in the pad pics.

Pipes running to the pump: the valve on the far left says "MAIN" on the left hand side. The valve to the right of that one has "CLEANER" on the pipe going behind the valve and "SKIMMER" on the right. Setups I've seen online usually have just one valve like this, not two.

Then there's those other two valves which go to the filter - those aren't labeled. I'm assuming the water flows from the pump, through the filter, through these back to the pool.

Imgur link
 

tim5055

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#4
Pipes running to the pump: the valve on the far left says "MAIN" on the left hand side. The valve to the right of that one has "CLEANER" on the pipe going behind the valve and "SKIMMER" on the right. Setups I've seen online usually have just one valve like this, not two.

Then there's those other two valves which go to the filter - those aren't labeled. I'm assuming the water flows from the pump, through the filter, through these back to the pool.

Imgur link
I'm going to guess that the "Main" pipe is direct to the main drain and the other two are selictable to be from the skimmer OR a suction cleaner (is there a capped pipe on the inside wall of the pool for the suction cleaner?

Yes, the pipes leaving the filter split and go to your returns in the pool.

It actually appears to be one of the easier ones needing work.

For now, keep chlorine in the water and stir it up well
 
#5
Okay, I think I'm doing the install myself. The cost savings is insane. I'm looking at the CircuPool RJ30Plus because of the 7-year self install warranty, and they're running a $100 off sale right now. I've been researching VS pumps, not really sure what works best with that. I'm also thinking about having Leslie's install their Jaccuzi (Astra) 1.5HP VS with the 5-year warranty for $900 total, and then I'd self-install the SWG.

Liquid chlorine has been mixed into the pool and brushing just about daily now. I'll have to check on the suction cleaner question. The only thing I remember is the skimmer.

EDIT: I'm thinking of going for this combo with the Plus upgrade.
 

tim5055

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#6
Keeping chlorine in the water is a good thing. You may get some Junk in the pipes, but not a lot of algae as it needs sunlight to grow.

Other than knowing that the size of the SWCG you are looking at is good (rated twice the size of the pool or more) I'm not that much of an equipment guy. I'll call out the troops to take a look at what you are looking at.

The one thing I will point out is that the previous owner had the pump installed with junctions, so that you can remove the pump without cutting pipe. That is a good idea and should be repeated if possible.

Any thoughts on the filter?
 
#7
The current filter is a cartridge - Hayward C900, I believe. The pump's label indicates it is rated for salt water too. No plans on changing it at this time as from what I can tell it's functioning properly and should have the proper capacity, unless someone here indicates otherwise.
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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#8
po,

We have a number of members that have the CircuPool salt systems and for the most part they get pretty positive reviews .. The RJ30 would work fine in your size pool.

As far as the pump goes, we do not have much feedback on SmartFlo VS Pumps... I did not see anything that raised a red flag about the pump, just don't see many users... but for the total price of $1,200 I think that I would go for the combo...


Thanks,

Jim R.
 
#9
Thanks Jim. I've ordered the kit and it should be delivered tomorrow. Hopefully I can get the pump installed this weekend, and once I've got the water balanced, I'll put the SWG in. I'll update this thread with the results!
 

Jimrahbe

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Bedford, TX
#10
po,

Sounds like a plan to me!!! You will be out test subject for the combo kit... :D

We would love some install pics and feedback as to how the unit operates...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Fuldo

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2017
57
0
Port Orange, FL
#11
For what it's worth, the pump problem is likely just a defective starting capacitor. The motor hums and can't start, then the thermal shut-off will kick-in eventually and the motor will likely try to restart later when it cools if the power is left on. This is very common especially in hotter climates. I had the same thing happen and simply replaced the starting capacitor in about ten minutes. They cost about $30-40 retail at most pool supply stores but can usually be found for much less on-line including Ebay. If the impeller turns freely this is most likely the problem. There are some Youtube videos on the problem and repair. A new multi-speed or variable speed pump would clearly be nice but the single speed can do the job, repairing what you have would save you a major expenditure and electricity in Florida is fairly inexpensive so upgrading will take a long time for ROI.
 
#12
just to add on to what Fuldo said about the capacitor. the way to tell if it is bad is simply by looking at it.
The capacitor is going to look like a small soda can. if one end is bulging out it is bad.
 
#13
Thanks Fuldo and ljjasper - I am okay with the longer ROI on the VSP. The pump is right outside our master bedroom wall, and when it's running it's very loud inside. Moreover the timer is broken, so I've been having to manually turn it on and off. I just have the sense that the VSP will be quieter, last longer and will give me the options I want.

That said, I'll still check out the capacitor just for kicks and giggles.
 
#14
Update all: I did the install myself successfully! The trick to the PVC work was dry fitting everything first. Measure 18 times, cut once!

I got lucky in that my existing pump was running on 230V and the timer's hardware had been replaced to a T104P. I left the timer in place and am just leaving it on with the pump handling the schedule. I'll have an electrician over at some point to remove the timer and put in a new breaker for the SWG. I will get pics when the crappy weather leaves northern FL.

I'm so happy I upgraded to the VSP. Even at 3000 RPM I am barely hearing it inside, where as the old pump was annoyingly loud. At 2k RPM and under, it's silent inside. The energy savings is really a bonus.

Next step is to get the chemicals to where they need to be, and then I'll put the SWG in. I got a TF-100 test kit and I'll be testing once this rain is gone...
 

tim5055

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#15
Update all: I did the install myself successfully! The trick to the PVC work was dry fitting everything first. Measure 18 times, cut once
Wonderful!!

There are so many tricks to PVC work I forget to mention them.

You are correct, measure multiple times cut once

Buy a set of PVC scissors, they are wonderful

Dry fit everything

Use a Sharpie to draw a line thru each connection to show where the joint should be set when glued
 
#16
Yet another, overdue update: the RJ-30+ is installed!
We went on a trip a couple weeks ago and when we came back, the pool was looking pretty green and nasty. I decided to suck it up and install this - which I found to be more nerve-wracking than the pump installation due to the small area I had to work with to fit the cell and flow switch.

IMG_20180624_131729175_HDR.jpg

Thanks for everyone's advice! I'll share some pictures when the pool area's cleaned up a bit.