The AGP journey part 2 - it's swim time down under

AusPhil

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
40
Canberra ACT
The journey for this year includes a new three speed pump, SWCG unit and a new equipment pad to set it all up on.

Let's get out of winter mode first though........

It's Springtime down under and time to prepare to open the pool up. Last summer we put up a 24x12 Bestway pool Bestway 12'x24' x 52" Site Prep, setup and Post setup changes and mods
Around 6 months ago we pulled the solar blanket over the pool for the last time and then placed the OEM black plastic cover over that as well.
it gets cold enough here in winter that I usually loose the garden hose ends every winter as i forget to take them off and they freeze and burst... i know bit dumb. It's certainly not northern US cold though.
As the future plan is to have a SWG we have increased the salt levels to around 2000-2500 (untested) which will have depressed the freezing point far enough that the -6/-7 type temps we see shouldn't have worried the above ground piping. Theory seems to have played out really well with the pump running about 1hr in the middle of the day just to stop and stagnation in the pipes and pool and now signs of any frozen water.
Some frozen water on top of the cover some mornings but no ice in the pool itself.

I hate winter so combined with some health issues the love expressed for even the closed pool was essentially non existent. I did drop in a few litres of bleach over winter and conducted the first test on the water about 6 weeks ago with FC=4.5, CC=0 mmm not bad...... water was crystal clear. Just stuff lying on the bottom making the pool look ugly.

At the end Sept the water finally creep over the magic temp number so I've increased the random release of bleach into the pool over the last weeks and we are now around 1000ml every few days ... I'll be really glad to commission a SWCG.

5th Oct we pulled the black pool cover off and reeled up the solar cover to see nice crystal clear 20c water with a bunch of non algae type Crud on the bottom to be vacuumed up ... an hour or so later back to nice clean pool.

Since then the weather was been a real mix with single digit overnight temps still normal. The pool water has reached a not so bone chilling 21 twice but still not staying above 19c overnight even with the solar cover doing a decent job of trapping the heat. We have a week of high 20's low 30s for the end of October and Sat 2nd Nov is predicted at 28c so hoping the week warms the pool up enough to use it to cool off on the weekend :)

I know, pictures needed ...........
 

AusPhil

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
40
Canberra ACT
One of the things that has bugged me is the default Bestway pump. fairly certain it was the 2100gph version. It worked perfectly well to skim the surface with the bestway over the wall skimmer and could be used to vacuum by closing one of the two ports giving just enough suction.

Spent some time looking around earlier in the year and had settled on the Pentair EnviroMax 800 three speed pump. One of the online shops ended up having a 20% off sale and we ordered one a few weeks ago. Awesomely it turned up inside 48hrs and got installed a couple weekends ago now.

240v AC and everything just plugs in over here so this stuff is reasonable simple. I had bought a power monitor meter to check the watts drawn by the old pump and to see what the new one would be using at various speeds.

The old Bestway pump is surprising energy efficient, watts being used was around 210w @ 240v. As you may guess energy savings were not the goal here, the goal was to have more suction/water flow for vacuuming and for back washing the sand filter.
Plugged the Pentair in and run it up on medium speed and checked power draw..... gradually decreased the rpms to 1700 to match the power used at around 210w.
This gave me 6PSI on the sand filter instead of 4PSI before so we have greater volume flow for the same power which is giving better circulation and skimming action.

all the equipment needs to be moved to a new equipment pad before we get to far into spring/summer
 

AusPhil

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
40
Canberra ACT
As far as liquid bleach goes the main hardware chain over here (Bunnings) carries returnable 15l (4us gallon) containers of 12.5% and i'd picked up 2 of them back in March. These are blue plastic with air tight seals.
With all the horror stories on here with older bleach and check the date stuff i fully expected the chlorine to have degraded but adding a set value and retesting 30 min later showed the expected FC rise based on the % and amount added.
 
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AusPhil

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
40
Canberra ACT
The new pump in it's temporary location next to the pool
_Z206877 by Phil Gartner, on Flickr

And this will be the new equipment pad, i've got a space 6' x 3' there that will allow a nice spacious layout and hopefully easy access to everything .... got a shipping advice today for the new SWCG unit and we will plumb in take offs for a possible solar heating setup on top of the garage roof :)
Just need to finish this with some more rock fill then a 2" concrete slab. The current plan is to bring the pipes up at the front of the pad.

The blackpoly piping actually has nothing to do with the pool and is for garden irrigation system
_Z206872 by Phil Gartner, on Flickr
 

AusPhil

Active member
Jan 23, 2018
40
Canberra ACT
speaking of overkill stakes .... when we do the plumbing it will all be 2" and the pump and SWCG are 2" but the existing Sand filter is only 1.5". To actually get 2" fitting i have to move up to a 32" version so it looks like we will buy a new sand filter and look at selling the existing 21" ....