New to a VSP and can I remove my suction pool cleaner year round?

zippdroid

Active member
Aug 6, 2018
26
Clearwater, FL
Hi everyone.

I'm 2 years in with this pool but still very much a rookie. I've done a good amount of research but sometimes it feels like I'm even more confused than when I started. I guess the biggest takeaway is every pool really is different.

My current setup:
  • 11,000ish gallon in-ground pool with spillover spa. (I did this math yesterday so i'm not 100% on it but it's a small pool so it seems right based on some photos).
  • A new sta-rite supermax variable speed pump.
  • Zodiac TR2D suction vacuum.
  • 3 suction side pipes which turns into 2 at the pump.
    • Main drain with it's own valve.
    • Skimmer (with the suction hose on it) and the Spa floor drain on a 3 way valve.
  • 2 return pipes on 1 valve.
    • Spa return (for the spillover)
    • Pool return
Additional Notes:
  • I'm in Clearwater FL. The pool is "open" year round but we're now in the time the spa is what is actually getting used.
  • The pool is completely screened in.
  • I currently have someone that comes once a week to clean it and handle chemicals.
    • He does an amazing job and is pretty cheap. My goal is to slowly start buying equipment to take over and understand this thing fully, but there isn't a rush at this time.
    • To start, I'll be focusing more on the cleaning/equipment aspect than the actual chemicals.
My questions:
  1. What do I lose by taking the TR2D out of the pool completely?
    1. The pool is always clean, especially since it's screened it. Also i'm happy to brush and skim it 3-5 times a week which I don't do now since it really doesn't seem necessary.
  2. Should I use the main drain? These seems dependent on #1. With the suction cleaner is seems like I don't need it, but if I just use the skimmer I should keep it on?
  3. I know the variable speed settings really are different per pool, but is there something I should be looking for specifically other than the spillover or suction cleaner?
  4. Am I able to fully close the pool return and rely only on the spillover, or should this be more like an 80/20 split on the valve?

If there is anything else I can answer, or anything else I should list out please let me know. I'll be updating my signature with all of this and hoping to be a more frequent user of tfp.
 
Last edited:

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,141
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Hi everyone.

I'm 2 years in with this pool but still very much a rookie. I've done a good amount of research but sometimes it feels like I'm even more confused than when I started. I guess the biggest takeaway is every pool really is different.

My current setup:
  • 11,000ish gallon in-ground pool with spillover spa. (I did this math yesterday so i'm not 100% on it but it's a small pool so it seems right based on some photos).
  • A new sta-rite supermax variable speed pump.
  • Zodiac TR2D suction vacuum.
  • 3 suction side pipes which turns into 2 at the pump.
    • Main drain with it's own valve.
    • Skimmer (with the suction hose on it) and the Spa floor drain on a 3 way valve.
  • 2 return pipes on 1 valve.
    • Spa return (for the spillover)
    • Pool return
Additional Notes:
  • I'm in Clearwater FL. The pool is "open" year round but we're now in the time the spa is what is actually getting used.
  • The pool is completely screened in.
  • I currently have someone that comes once a week to clean it and handle chemicals.
    • He does an amazing job and is pretty cheap. My goal is to slowly start buying equipment to take over and understand this thing fully, but there isn't a rush at this time.
    • To start, I'll be focusing more on the cleaning/equipment aspect than the actual chemicals.
My questions:
  1. What do I lose by taking the TR2D out of the pool completely?
    1. The pool is always clean, especially since it's screened it. Also i'm happy to brush and skim it 3-5 times a week which I don't do now since it really doesn't seem necessary.
Can't hurt anything to remove your cleaner and see how clean your pool stays. Being in a cage you don't get alot of debris. You can always put it back in.

  1. Should I use the main drain? These seems dependent on #1. With the suction cleaner is seems like I don't need it, but if I just use the skimmer I should keep it on?
Best to set your valves to have 10%-20% from the main drain and the rest from your skimmer. So crack the MD valve open a bit.

  1. I know the variable speed settings really are different per pool, but is there something I should be looking for specifically other than the spillover or suction cleaner?
What control system do you have? You should be able to set different pump speeds during the day.

What is your daily pool schedule for cleaner, spillover, pump run time, etc?

  1. Am I able to fully close the pool return and rely only on the spillover, or should this be more like an 80/20 split on the valve?
Running your spillover all the time will casue your pH to rise due to the aeration. WE recommend you run your spillover once or twice a day for 15-30 minutes to refresh the spa water. Otherwise you will be frequently addiding acid to lwoer your pH caused by the spillover running.

If there is anything else I can answer, or anything else I should list out please let me know. I'll be updating my signature with all of this and hoping to be a more frequent user of tfp.
You may find this helpful - Phasing out the Pool Guy - Further Reading

Also,



 

zippdroid

Active member
Aug 6, 2018
26
Clearwater, FL
Thank you so much. This is all a really great start.

I'll be removing the suction cleaner and opening the MD 10-20% in a few minutes and we'll give that a shot for a few days.

Regarding my pump schedule, this has changed drastically in the last 24 hours.
  • 1 week ago, I was running a single speed 1.5HP pump for 6-8 hours a day. We got hit with the storm and it was the cause for a new pump. We went the variable speed option as it was something we were able to afford to do now and hopefully the savings every month are really worth it.
  • Yesterday the new pump was installed and "programmed", which just seems like a starting point as no real testing or experimenting was done.
  • As of now it's set for:
    • 6am-12pm: 700rpm
    • 12pm-4pm: 2400rpm
    • 4pm-12am: 700rpm
As of now I don't have any valve actuators or anything so I'm just trying to make sense of it without putting any more money into it (for now).
My biggest concern with his schedule is trying to determine if the suction cleaner is still "moving water" outside of those 4 hours. I know it won't actually move around and clean, but if it's on the floor it seems like it has to be harder to actually get water moving through it. If I remove the suction cleaner, I feel a little better about this schedule.

I was also use to the spa/spillover always being on and in full spillover mode. I'm absolutely fine with it not being like that, especially without any actuators. I'm just trying to find the middle ground where I can keep the valves without having to change them regularly. Maybe I should just have both the returns open fully, so on the lower speeds it keeps the spillover pretty minimal but those few hours of "cleaning mode" should be enough to get some spillover.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,141
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Every pool is a bit different with equipment and you need to experiment changing RPM 100-200 RPM at a time until you find what works best for your setup.

If the pump basket is getting water and not cavitating then you have adequate suction and flow. But with water coming in from your suction cleaner then your skimmer is not able to do its skimming function.

A few more RPM at low speed does not cost a lot more in electricity...



Without automated valves you have to find the best compromise setting for your spillover and accept whatever affect it ahs on your pH..