New Pool Owner - Learning - But Need Help - Northeast Louisiana


Active member
Mar 21, 2017
West Monroe, LA
I have a pool I inherited with the house I bought - about 21120 gallons (16x32), in ground - It has a puck chlorinator (which I'm not using - just putting in the skimmer for now because I don't understand how to use it), a 30" (i beleive Hayward sand filter), what looks like a Hayward filter at the pump with a US Motors 1081 Pool Motor (C55CXKMB-5012) pump on it (probably replaced), a Hayward Booster Pump 6060 for the Polaris and a Polaris 280. Over the time from when I bought the house in Nov. until now, I've rebuilt the Polaris and have it running pretty good, some minor changes to make, but it's WAY better than when I first moved in.

I just started working on chemical checking yesterday - I'm only using the strips because it's all I have at the moment (open to test kit suggestions..) - and my chlorine was a little low at 3 on the strips and my ph was around 6.8 - so been working on getting ph up a bit. I've read some of the forums here on water chemistry, but not sure I'm following all or getting it right yet. At least the water is not green I guess :)

#1 - I can't tell if the pressure gauge on the sand filter is moving or not - I swear it isn't. I backwash 1x's a week (per previous owner) and rinse right behind that. I don't see the gauge move. I assume it's broken - don't know if that's something I can replace or not.

#2 - The skimmer is on the same side of the pool as the the return jets. there are 2 return jets - 1 at each end of the pool, same side as the skimmer. The skimmer is in the middle. There is little to nothing pulled into the skimmer. Bits and pieces, but for as much stuff as I skim everyday off the top of this pool, I'd think there would be more. I tried the ping pong ball over the weekend, there was a very slight breeze, but not much and that ball went everywhere but where the skimmer is. I tried re-adjusting the jets to no help. Higher in the water for more ripple and lower in the water for less ripple. IT just seems to push to opposite side of pool an debris hangs out under the ladder. Grr. lol. I'm very frustrated in this area.

#3 - there is silt at the shallow end of the pool a lot. It;s better now that I have the Polaris working better, but is that a sign the sand filter is not working right or something? Don't know the last time the sand was changed.

I'll start here with this and work from here.

Thanks for the help and input - just reading before registering has been VERY helpful with the Polaris for sure!!


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Well hey there Vexter :) glad you found us. We can help-

For that size of a pool I'd recommend the test kit called TF-100. It is only $2 more than the only other test kit we recommend (Taylor's K-2006) but gives you more bang for your buck. These test kits will save you a FORTUNE on your pool because of their accuracy and that you won't be putting unnecessary chemicals in your water. You can buy either kit at : We do NOT trust "Guess-Strips" for good chemistry care of our water.

How high or low is your water level? We suggest it be at least halfway up your skimmer, which promotes the best skimming action.

Does your gauge go to zero when the pump is turned off? If not, it most likely is kaput. You can get a nice glycerine filled gauge for about $12 again at the same place/time as you order your test kit. They just screw on (a bit of plumbers tape) and you're good to go.

Sand filters do NOT need backwashing weekly. In fact, they work better when a *little* dirty. The working gauge will tell you when to backwash because we do that when it raises 20-25% over our clean filter level.

Sometimes the return eyes are directed in a fashion to help water go towards the skimmer. You may need to adjust these. Mine actually work in a fashion to collect any schmutz into a pile that is easily vacuumed up. I dunno why? LOL

There is a LOT of pollen in the air now, which may be the silt you are seeing. It falls to the floor. If you were to put a skimmer sock, or hairnet in the skimmer basket you might see it collect there in fluffy yellow mounds.

Have you read this: and the other articles in PoolSchool? That's a good place to learn stuff....
Yippee :flower:


Active member
Mar 21, 2017
West Monroe, LA
Thanks for the warm welcome Yippee! Much appreciated!!

I'll get a Tf-100 on the way stat. Done ;)

Water level seems ok on skimmer - it meets the 1/2 mark or slightly over. I did add some water over the weekend, so might be 'slightly' high - but it's not less the 1/2 mark you asked about.

The gauge does not goto 0 when turned off. I know I've not seen it move as it seems like it never leaves "12" - lol. So time for a new gauge - thanks for confirming that! I'll order with the chem kit.

Well noted on the backwashing - I think the gauge will help me know when - so good thing to get fixed. Another good piece of info - thanks!!! I just took previous home owner's word when he explained system - but glad to hear not to gauge on time, but pressure - that is easy ;)

I don't know which way to adjust the return eyes - there is a VERY good amount of pressure coming out them - so much so, when I tried adjusting while pump was running, it almost took my screwdriver out of my hand! lol - I'll play with them some more - It seems like I have a LOT of top ripple where the are - and I've tried both little to no ripple on top of the water - and I've tried left/right. I'll just have to tinker more. I just can't understand why you'd want the return jets AND skimmer on the same side of the pool, although it does seem commonplace. I can't seem to get enough circular motion to get stuff back over to the skimmer is my current issue (or at least it is in my But if it's supposed to be put in a corner to fall and then have Polaris come by to sweep it up, that's fine - so long as that is the way it's supoposed to work. The thing bugging me is all the 'stuff' on top of the water - I don't know if it's that time of year (remember...just bought house...learning...) - but man thing thing is messy - tons of seeds or seed like hulls just floating around - my leaf rake/net is def getting a workout ;)

I have read the ABCs but will re-read to make sure I'm on track.

Thanks for much for the input/help - I'm sure there are more questions on the way!