Pool Equipment Operation Help

AquaNouveau

Member
Feb 16, 2021
12
Palmdale, CA
Good evening, I just purchased a house that included an in-ground pool... I wasn't necessarily searching one out, but I'm glad to have it!

The pool seems to be in relatively good shape, the water is very clear and the pump and filter seem to be operating normally, but the previous owner essentially tossed the keys over the fence and took off to another state, so I'm left to puzzle out what I've got. The pump is on an old-school timer to run 6 hours a day.

After reading some of the beginner's guides, I've got the TF-100 on the way - will post results once it arrives and I complete the testing.

In the mean time, I have a few questions:
1) I'm trying to get the vacuum up and running to collect some plant debris that has accumulated on the bottom and can't be removed with a net or brush. The one that came with the house is a Hayward Phoenix attached to a long hose that is attached to a port on the side of the pool. I believe I need to throw some switches and/or valves at the pump to get it to start sucking, but I'm hesitant to just start trying things for fear of burning out the pump or pumping water into the abyss. I've attached some pictures of the equipment set-up.
2) There is something called a "Kreepy Klear" Automatic chlorinator, but it is not plugged in. Will this be useful, or is it better to just ignore it?
3) The DE filter pressure gauge is reading a little less than 20 psi. Since I have no baseline, I don't know how close that is to needing to backwash. Again, I also don't know which switches and valves to hit to make this happen.

20210217_235639700_iOS.jpg20210217_235659434_iOS.jpg20210217_235724552_iOS.jpg

Finally, in a slightly different vein, there is no cover or gate for the pool. I don't have children so this is not a concern short term, but long term I'd like to get a safety cover for the pool in case we have young guests, as well as to reduce evaporative losses and algae growth in the summer. Since there is no heater for the pool, this would also reduce solar heating... can anyone (especially with a similar climate) speak to how they balance water temperature with other concerns? I have an odd oval shape, but figure a rectangle fit to the largest dimensions in each direction would work.

I know I'm asking a lot, if anyone has any insight on even one of the questions, I'd be greatly appreciative! Also able to snap any pictures that might help.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,958
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!
As you have no booster pump I suspect you have a suction side cleaner. The hose will either plug into a port on the side of the pool or into the port in skimmer. You will have to adjust some valves on the suction side to get it to work if you use the port on the side of the pool.
Never heard of that kind of sanitizer. I suspect it is an ionizer or UV device? Those are worthless. You must use chlorine. Either from adding liquid chlorine/bleach every day or a SaltWater Chlorine Generator.
Filter pressure does not mean much until you know your clean filter pressure. You have a bump style filter. Read DE Filter Use and Care - Further Reading
During the early spring and late fall, a solar cover is useful to keep the pool warm. In the summer, you will not want to use one as your pool water will get quite warm. You need the overnight evaporation to cool your water. And a solar cover is NOT a safety cover. I am surprised you were able to buy a house that did not have proper safety systems in place for the pool. You need a fence and gate, etc. that meet your local building codes.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The Kreepy Klear is a saltwater chlorine generator (SWG). A quick internet search revealed a site that claims replacement parts are no longer available. If it doesn't work, it probably never will. But you might double check that.

The Hayward Phoenix is a suction-side cleaner, as Marty thought. Since you have only one three-way valve on the suction side of your pump, it's a good guess that valve balances the suction between your skimmer and your vac. Turn the pump on and slowly turn the valve part way. You won't hurt anything if you go slow and turn it a little at a time. Continue to turn the valve and observe the vac. If it starts moving, then that's your "on-off" valve for the vac. If you hear the pump start to bog down, then stop turning the valve and return it to its original position and report back here and we'll try something else.

Of course, the vac hose and vac would be connected to the pool's suction port when you perform this test. If you disconnect the hose from the port, there should be a spring loaded flap that seals the port. If this is missing, you should get it installed right away. An open suction port in the pool, especially with a single speed pump, can be very dangerous. Very. The flap protects against injury. The hose connected to the port is not adequate in terms of being safe, as it can pop off. The flap needs to be there, too, even if you never disconnect the hose.

But it's important that you never engage 100% suction to that port with the flap closed, as that will dead-head the pump and possibly damage it. And don't feel the port with your hand or fingers to see if the suction is active. Depending on the horse power of your pump that can be dangerous as well.

There is a way to adjust that three-way valve to lessen its hazard, but we'll save that for another day.

20210217_235639700_iOS.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Regarding the Kreepy Klear, the unit mounted on the post with the other electrical gear looks to be the controller. But I don't actually see the cell itself. If that thing works like the SWGs we know here, there would be another unit mounted somewhere on the pipe coming out of your filter that leads back underground. I don't see anything like that. So perhaps the cell was removed and only the controller remains.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Have you tried your switches? Do you have a pool light? Does one switch work the light, but the other switch does nothing?

If so, just a guess: there is some evidence that the pool once had a pressure-side cleaner. One of the pipes coming out of the ground looks like it might have been connected to a booster pump at one time. I think there used to be a booster pump to the left of the main pump. You might find some cut off bolts in the concrete, under that dirt. The non-functioning switch would have been for the booster pump. Like I said, just a guess. It's not an issue, just a curiosity. And might explain that extra switch (unless it actually does do something)...

When you have money to burn, you can someday upgrade your equipment pad. You can install a new variable speed pump, which will pay for itself over time in energy savings. And you can replace the defunct SWG with a new one, and automate the chlorine dosing.

If you still haven't spent enough, you can add an automation controller that will run/schedule your pump, your SWG, your vacuum and the pool light, all controllable from your smart phone. Though there's certainly nothing wrong with the simple setup you have now, it just requires a bit more electricity and manual control.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Piecing this together. I think I had it wrong earlier. It looks like the Kreepy Klear cell didn't mount on the plumbing, but rather directly in the pool. Here's a picture of the two components in the original box. You can see in the box the one part you have. Do you see the other part anywhere in your pool?

s-l1600.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Something else for you to check. If you have a pool light and find the pool light switch, you might turn it on and then test the GFI outlet you found at the equipment pad. Trip the GFI and the light should go off. If it does, that's good. That means your pool light is protected by that GFI outlet, as it should be.

The inside of the timer box reveals the pump schedule. Eight hours a day in the summer, three hours at night in the winter. That would make sense for a pool with a saltwater generator (they don't work in the winter, and need plenty of hours in the summer). If the SWG no longer works, you don't need to run the pump for 8 hours, 2-4 would likely be enough. That would save you some on the electric bill.

Right now it looks to be set to run six hours a day. You might adjust that to four. If the pool stays nice and clear, then four hours is enough filtering time. You could try less hours. Filter runtime is determined by how well the skimmer and filter do their job. You can dial up or down the pump schedule depending on if your pool looks clean or not. Just a matter of experimenting to find the necessary runtime. The runtime will vary throughout the year. Maybe more in fall (lots of leaves), less in winter. Somewhere in between for spring and summer. You just have to learn your pool in that regard.

There is some clue about the filter, too, but I can't decipher it:

FILTER 7/5 BW

BW = Backwash? It would have been great to see something indicating at what filter pressure to backwash, but who knows what "7/5" means...
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The mystery switch might have been for the Kreepy, wired to the timer so that the SWG would run only when the pump would. That'd be standard and a safety measure. You might experiment. See if the switch energizes the Kreepy. If should only do so if the pump is running.

That would punch a hole in my guess about the booster pump...
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,345
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
FILTER 7/5 BW

BW = Backwash? It would have been great to see something indicating at what filter pressure to backwash, but who knows what "7/5" means...
My interpretation since this is a DE filter is that it backwashed on July 5 although why they only have 1 date does confuse me.
A DE filter with a single speed pump will most likely have a higher filter pressure of 15-20psi when running. As a reference mine is at 20psi and I perform a backwash monthly or if it gets to 25psi.
To backwash you need to operate that plunger so it diverts flow to a waste line. I am not familiar with that type of plunger backwash valve but will do some research to find out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
It does look like a date, but seems odd it would be tracked like that, in permanent ink with no room for other dates. No matter. Once AquaNouveau figures out the clean filter pressure number, then he's good to go.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,345
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine

Attachments

  • Two Position Slide Valves for Pool Filters Owners Manual English.pdf
    891.6 KB · Views: 1

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,345
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
It does look like a date, but seems odd it would be tracked like that, in permanent ink with no room for other dates. No matter. Once AquaNouveau figures out the clean filter pressure number, then he's good to go.
one thought is the seller left that as a note to the buyer for the run times and last time filter was backwashed. Just an assumption but seems logical.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,345
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
@AquaNouveau We need your help to determine which pipes connect to which part of the Backwash valve. It appears the line from the pump goes into the lower port. Need to confirm what the 2 pipes are that connect to the Upper port and the one directly at the bottom going down. One should be a return to the pool and the other to a waste line. Also, does it say to pull up or push down for backwash.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

AquaNouveau

Member
Feb 16, 2021
12
Palmdale, CA
Appreciate the thorough information from everyone, more than I could have asked for!

Welcome to the forum!
As you have no booster pump I suspect you have a suction side cleaner. The hose will either plug into a port on the side of the pool or into the port in skimmer. You will have to adjust some valves on the suction side to get it to work if you use the port on the side of the pool.
Never heard of that kind of sanitizer. I suspect it is an ionizer or UV device? Those are worthless. You must use chlorine. Either from adding liquid chlorine/bleach every day or a SaltWater Chlorine Generator.
Filter pressure does not mean much until you know your clean filter pressure. You have a bump style filter. Read DE Filter Use and Care - Further Reading
During the early spring and late fall, a solar cover is useful to keep the pool warm. In the summer, you will not want to use one as your pool water will get quite warm. You need the overnight evaporation to cool your water. And a solar cover is NOT a safety cover. I am surprised you were able to buy a house that did not have proper safety systems in place for the pool. You need a fence and gate, etc. that meet your local building codes.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.

I am a little surprised at the lack of protection myself, but that's the state of things. The backyard is fully enclosed with high gate latches and all doors with backyard access do trigger audible notification from the security system (although not an alarm), so if you squint very hard it may be "acceptable", but it definitely needs improvement. I'll be exploring all options. I like the idea of the safety cover for evaporation reduction and algae reduction as well.

The Kreepy Klear is a saltwater chlorine generator (SWG). A quick internet search revealed a site that claims replacement parts are no longer available. If it doesn't work, it probably never will. But you might double check that.

The Hayward Phoenix is a suction-side cleaner, as Marty thought. Since you have only one three-way valve on the suction side of your pump, it's a good guess that valve balances the suction between your skimmer and your vac. Turn the pump on and slowly turn the valve part way. You won't hurt anything if you go slow and turn it a little at a time. Continue to turn the valve and observe the vac. If it starts moving, then that's your "on-off" valve for the vac. If you hear the pump start to bog down, then stop turning the valve and return it to its original position and report back here and we'll try something else.

Of course, the vac hose and vac would be connected to the pool's suction port when you perform this test. If you disconnect the hose from the port, there should be a spring loaded flap that seals the port. If this is missing, you should get it installed right away. An open suction port in the pool, especially with a single speed pump, can be very dangerous. Very. The flap protects against injury. The hose connected to the port is not adequate in terms of being safe, as it can pop off. The flap needs to be there, too, even if you never disconnect the hose.

But it's important that you never engage 100% suction to that port with the flap closed, as that will dead-head the pump and possibly damage it. And don't feel the port with your hand or fingers to see if the suction is active. Depending on the horse power of your pump that can be dangerous as well.

There is a way to adjust that three-way valve to lessen its hazard, but we'll save that for another day.

Appreciate the guidance with picture! You were correct, I fiddled with that valve and got the cleaner moving - it is now wandering randomly around the pool bottom. The spring-loaded flap on the port is intact, so that is good news. I also found the valve position that makes the pump unhappy, so I think I've got it figured out.

Have you tried your switches? Do you have a pool light? Does one switch work the light, but the other switch does nothing?

If so, just a guess: there is some evidence that the pool once had a pressure-side cleaner. One of the pipes coming out of the ground looks like it might have been connected to a booster pump at one time. I think there used to be a booster pump to the left of the main pump. You might find some cut off bolts in the concrete, under that dirt. The non-functioning switch would have been for the booster pump. Like I said, just a guess. It's not an issue, just a curiosity. And might explain that extra switch (unless it actually does do something)...

When you have money to burn, you can someday upgrade your equipment pad. You can install a new variable speed pump, which will pay for itself over time in energy savings. And you can replace the defunct SWG with a new one, and automate the chlorine dosing.

If you still haven't spent enough, you can add an automation controller that will run/schedule your pump, your SWG, your vacuum and the pool light, all controllable from your smart phone. Though there's certainly nothing wrong with the simple setup you have now, it just requires a bit more electricity and manual control.

I have tried the switches. The top seems to be a manual cut-off for the pump timer. If it's off, the pump is off, if it's on, it's up to the timer what happens.

I am 90% sure the bottom switch is for the light, but the light is burnt out. This must be recent as the home inspection reported it was functional (with picture, no less!), but since I haven't personally toggled the switch and seen the light go on and off, this is just an educated guess.

The equipment pad definitely needs some work... the "fence" surrounding it has seen better days and all that dirt actually looks "clean" to my eyes because I raked out several inches of leaves, debris, a subway cookie wrapper, and other stuff. A variable speed pump sounds like it may be the first order of business once I hit a happy steady state, I think there is even a rebate from the energy company. The rest of the house is becoming smart, so extending that to the backyard sounds good to me. All in due time.
 

AquaNouveau

Member
Feb 16, 2021
12
Palmdale, CA
Piecing this together. I think I had it wrong earlier. It looks like the Kreepy Klear cell didn't mount on the plumbing, but rather directly in the pool. Here's a picture of the two components in the original box. You can see in the box the one part you have. Do you see the other part anywhere in your pool?

The "in water" cell is nowhere to be seen. Additionally, there are two wires that were running from the Kreepy Klear control box a port in one of the PVC pipes, but those wires have been cut. I think it's safe to assume that it has been decommissioned and I won't be using it. I'll take it out at some point to keep it out of the way.

Something else for you to check. If you have a pool light and find the pool light switch, you might turn it on and then test the GFI outlet you found at the equipment pad. Trip the GFI and the light should go off. If it does, that's good. That means your pool light is protected by that GFI outlet, as it should be.

The inside of the timer box reveals the pump schedule. Eight hours a day in the summer, three hours at night in the winter. That would make sense for a pool with a saltwater generator (they don't work in the winter, and need plenty of hours in the summer). If the SWG no longer works, you don't need to run the pump for 8 hours, 2-4 would likely be enough. That would save you some on the electric bill.

Right now it looks to be set to run six hours a day. You might adjust that to four. If the pool stays nice and clear, then four hours is enough filtering time. You could try less hours. Filter runtime is determined by how well the skimmer and filter do their job. You can dial up or down the pump schedule depending on if your pool looks clean or not. Just a matter of experimenting to find the necessary runtime. The runtime will vary throughout the year. Maybe more in fall (lots of leaves), less in winter. Somewhere in between for spring and summer. You just have to learn your pool in that regard.

There is some clue about the filter, too, but I can't decipher it:

FILTER 7/5 BW

BW = Backwash? It would have been great to see something indicating at what filter pressure to backwash, but who knows what "7/5" means...

Since the light isn't working I can't test this now, but I'll be sure to check once I get the light functional.

The valve in front of the filter would be similar to this Pre-plumbed Valves - for 1-1 5 and 2 in DE and Sand Filters | Pool Valves | Pool and Spa (pentair.com) . Maybe you can confirm if there is a Pentair name on it. Would also be good to know the mfg. of the DE filter. I have also attached a manual.

I've attached a picture of the label from the filter. I believe it is the FNSP 36.
 

Attachments

  • 20210217_203014131_iOS (1).jpg
    20210217_203014131_iOS (1).jpg
    386.1 KB · Views: 3

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,958
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I like the idea of the safety cover for evaporation reduction and algae reduction as well.
It will help on evaporation, in the shoulder months. During summer, it will drive the water temperature up. A cover does nothing when it comes to algae. That is solely water chemistry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I am 90% sure the bottom switch is for the light, but the light is burnt out. This must be recent as the home inspection reported it was functional (with picture, no less!), but since I haven't personally toggled the switch and seen the light go on and off, this is just an educated guess.
If your light is wired correctly, then it's powered off the load side of that GFI outlet. Which means if the GFI is tripped, the light won't go on, regardless of the light switch position. So, yes, it could be a burned out bulb, but first be sure that GFI outlet is not tripped.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Sounds like you're sorting everything out. If and when you're ready to upgrade, do yourself a favor and run all your ideas by our experts before you buy anything. I trusted my pool guy, before I had found TFP, to pick out all my upgrades. Some were good, one in particular was a huge mistake. We can help you make sure you end up with just what you need, no more and no less... And while we like helping folks with their pools, we really like spending their money for them!! :ROFLMAO:
 
  • Like
Reactions: AquaNouveau

AquaNouveau

Member
Feb 16, 2021
12
Palmdale, CA
@AquaNouveau We need your help to determine which pipes connect to which part of the Backwash valve. It appears the line from the pump goes into the lower port. Need to confirm what the 2 pipes are that connect to the Upper port and the one directly at the bottom going down. One should be a return to the pool and the other to a waste line. Also, does it say to pull up or push down for backwash.

I've attached a picture that hopefully shows the plumbing more clearly.
20210218_201551265_iOS.jpg20210218_201610449_iOS.jpg
There is a "manifold" of sorts connected to the filter. The top of the pump connects to the lower side of the manifold. The pipe attached to the upper side of the manifold disappears into the ground (visible in first picture). There is also a pipe that comes out the bottom of the manifold that also routes around the far side of the filter and disappears into the ground - I'm guessing this is the waste line because it looks like it is angled away from the pool and the rest of the system. The other pipe from the pump connects to the three-way valve and both other pipes emerging from that valve disappear into the ground.

It will help on evaporation, in the shoulder months. During summer, it will drive the water temperature up. A cover does nothing when it comes to algae. That is solely water chemistry.

Gotcha, thanks for elaborating.

If your light is wired correctly, then it's powered off the load side of that GFI outlet. Which means if the GFI is tripped, the light won't go on, regardless of the light switch position. So, yes, it could be a burned out bulb, but first be sure that GFI outlet is not tripped.

Copy. I tested and reset the GFI outlet and no dice, but I can do a little more electrical exploration later today.
 

AquaNouveau

Member
Feb 16, 2021
12
Palmdale, CA
The valve in front of the filter would be similar to this Pre-plumbed Valves - for 1-1 5 and 2 in DE and Sand Filters | Pool Valves | Pool and Spa (pentair.com) . Maybe you can confirm if there is a Pentair name on it. Would also be good to know the mfg. of the DE filter. I have also attached a manual.

It looks like I have something very similar, although mine appears to use more homemade PVC. There are no obvious markings on the handle about what position it should be in, but the manual you attached should help with that! I'll probably save tackling a backwash until this weekend as the filter pressure doesn't seem to be in an obvious danger zone based on other's numbers, although I know I need to establish my own baseline to know for sure.

Sounds like you're sorting everything out. If and when you're ready to upgrade, do yourself a favor and run all your ideas by our experts before you buy anything. I trusted my pool guy, before I had found TFP, to pick out all my upgrades. Some were good, one in particular was a huge mistake. We can help you make sure you end up with just what you need, no more and no less... And while we like helping folks with their pools, we really like spending their money for them!! :ROFLMAO:

Yep, certainly appreciate all the help from everyone! Just wrapping my head around what is out there has helped a ton in knowing what to google and which articles in the "Pool School" to read (the answer is all of them) and what to buy (and what not to buy!). Going down the "gear" rabbit hole seems dangerous - in a fun way.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support