Random Questions

IL_WS

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2012
125
IL, NW of Chicago
We recently purchased a pool this summer. Being the uneducated buyer that I appear to be, I have some questions:
  • How long can we expect things to last like pump, solar cover, other?
    We don't have a heater yet, but is there a best time to purchase based on typical sale cycles?
    Again with a gas heater, how long can we expect it to last?
    Related to heating, is there a good analysis that would help me decide the cost/life/heating capability trade-offs?
    During a normal season, how can I determine how long to run my pump for?
    My cartridge filter has a pressure gauge that goes up to 100 IIRC. I typically run about 2. Can I use a different gauge that goes to a much lower max?
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
433
Chicago, IL
I inherited a pool this summer, so I am new as well, but have been reading this site regularly. There are people on here who say they've had the same pump for 30 years, so I think, depending on how they are built and maintained, that they can and do go a while. Others have had them go out after just a few years.

Solar covers - Just bought mine about a month ago, but consensus seems to be that they last about 3 seasons and that is about it, and it doesn't much matter if you pay up for the heavier guage ones, therefore, go cheap. That is what I did.

Heater - no experience, but I am strongly considering solar panels for next season. You might look into that as I would guess they are much cheaper in terms of initial investment and of course, the heat is free. The combination of solar cover and solar heat seems to get people a good 10-15 degree increase in water temp.
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
433
Chicago, IL
And I missed your last two questions:

How long to run your pump - I think there may be something on this somewhere in pool school, but the rule of thumb is you want to turn your water at least once a day, but there are other variables. I was so paranoid at first that I was running it 24 hours. As I realized this was overkill, I dropped it to 12 hours and saw no difference in water clarity. By late August/early September I was down to 8 hours (which should turn my water twice) and everything still looked good. I do have a pretty light bather load though.

Can't recall what my pressure guage goes to, but I'm sure it is less than 100. You can get a new one for under $20, probably closer to $10. My pressure has consistently been about 10-12 psi.
 

BoDarville

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2012
3,844
DFW, Texas
Pauls234 said:
How long to run your pump - I think there may be something on this somewhere in pool school, but the rule of thumb is you want to turn your water at least once a day, but there are other variables.
Here's the Pool school article on determining pump run time: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/pump_run_time.
This is the method I used to establish my typical pump run time. Went from 10-12 hours/day before BBB to 4-5 hrs/day under BBB. With proper FC maintenance, the water was actually clearer than before. As Pauls234 mentions, there are other variables to consider. I increase my pump run time after events such as a pool party, heavy rain, or an increase in wind-blown debris that necessitates extra filtering time.

As for the gauges, I prefer glycerin-filled. More accurate and longer-lived than non-liquid filled gauges. I would suggest a PSI range of either 0-60 (preferred) or 0-100. Typical filter pressures run somewhere between 12-25 PSI depending on equipment, valve settings, and how clean/dirty the filter is. A good source of gauges is http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_gauges

Our pool heater is 22 years old. Has a few cosmetic "age spots" but still cranks out the heat. Plan on keeping it until it quits or needs an expensive repair that justifies a new one. Run the heater periodically to get the most life out of it. This will keep rust at bay.
 

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