Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by DKN1997

  1. I don't believe pentair and hayward are the same. Hayward is very popular around here and I love their pumps. the H series heater is very reliable if you get the electronic version. don't get any heater that's millivolt (standing pilot) they still manufacture them, but don't go there if you can, especially on a new install where running another high voltage feed is very cheap and easy. As far as pentair heaters, they used to be called Purex. Junk back then, and did not get better when pentair put their sticker on them. maybe they have come out with some new heater in the last year or two, but watch out for the minimax or mighty max or whatever they call it. bad heater and factory tech support is a joke. You could also consider Jandy. thier pumps are ok, their filters are nice and the heaters are good too. excellent tech support and thier reps really take of the dealers. that means the dealer will take care of you and not try to weasel out of warranty claims because jandy pays parts/labor pretty much no questions asked. also, I feel that their aqualink controller is the best out there. I know the new eos is better on paper, but you cannot beat the aqualink for reliability and it's still a solid design. just expensive to upgrade because it's hardware based, meaning any significant upgrades require the purchase of chips.
  2. you could also look at the plug on the pump. or the outlet. if it's 110, it will look just like any other 110v device, with two slots parallell to each other, ground terminal round directly underneath. If it's 220, one of the slots will be perpendicular to the other....or it could be a twist lock with all terminals being in a circle, that's usually 220 also. or you could stab the outlet with a cheapie volt meter. home depot has them for about 20 bucks. very useful tool around the house.
  3. What type of pool do you have? If it's vinyl liner, good luck changing the water after it's been installed for 8 years. When it's empty and you start filling it up, the sun will shrink it up and you will have some nice windows in that liner. I don't really see the logic in changing the water unless a very detailed water test indicates that draining must be done. as far as calcium clogging up the filter, I don't see that happening if your calcium levels are kept at proper levels regulary. that's not to say your pool guy is totally off base, plenty can happen to a filter in 8 years. sand wears out, (if you rub it between your fingers and it's smooth,it's done) DE elements start ripping, cartridges rarely last 8 years without replacement. I have seen calcium clog up the filter, but only when calcium hypochlorate (granular shock) is added to the pool through the skimmers over a period of time. I say if it looks good and the water tests check out, don't drain it.
  4. I like the pentair sand filter, specifically the TR60 or TR100. It's up to you, but to save 400 bucks, let the pro install the salt gen. Not saying he will necessarily do a better job than you, but if you have any issues with it, it's on you now. I have found salt generators to be generall very reliable, but they are a machine that lives outside, so anything can happen. I don't know anything about the pentiar salt genny. I really liked the Goldline unit. we dont' sell it anymore, but I found it really easy to use. There is also a system out that zodiac sells called the Pro G. It is basically the old Nature 2 pure vision system integrated with a low dose chlorinator. it's a 2 chamber device with no electronics. one chamber is a low dose chlorinator that takes 3" trichlor tabs. the other chamber houses the nature2 mineral cartridge. It puts copper and silver into you water. your better algaecides have copper or silver in them, so you can see where they are going with it. the old Nature 2 system that my old company sold lacked the automatic chlorinator part, thus giving it a bad rap. the directions even said to maintain a 1.0 chlorine level by dosing the pool every couple of days with dichlor. not something most people feel like doing. I used to hate them. this new system seems to address the chlorination issue. the chlorinator part is not like a regular chlorinator, it's calibrated to deliver a lower dosage so you should not be able to screw up and jack your pool up to 3.0. I would go with a polaris 280, it's cheaper and works just as well. The 380's will go through belts depending on your water chemistry and use, easy to change, but you do have do a bit of disassembly to do it. The 280 does not use belts, totally gear driven. either unit will do an excellent job of cleaning the pool. Again, I would let the pro do it, besides, 1200 sounds like a decent deal to me. cost on the 380 with a pump is in the 7-800 dollar range, so if his price included running the pipe from the pool to the filter equ and plumbing the pump in, then it's pretty fair. If you elect to install the polaris yourself, make sure you read the manual before cutting anything. it will give you detailed plumbing instructions.
  5. maintenance seems really daunting at first, but once you grasp it, it's very easy. Here is what I would do: Once/week, vacuum, service filter (sand:backwash, cartridge: rinse every 3 weeks, de: backwash and replace with fresh earth every 3 weeks or if your pressure rises 5lbs above initial startup on your gauge) test chlorine and ph, add chemicals according to the dosage listed on the container for your size pool once/month, take a water sample to wherever you buy chemicals, most have computerized testors. They can test alkalinity, tds,calcium, stabilizer, etc...they will test for free so you buy chems from them. You could also buy a good test kit to test all of these things yourself. If you see algae, immediately shock to at least 3-5.0, higher for really bad algea, then brush the entire surface, service the filter, and set time clock for 24hrs/day until pool clears up. vacuum up dead algae to waste, don't run it through filter. It would help if you listed what equipment you have, if you have a salt generator or ozone gen, or some mineral purifier, then that changes things a bit.
  6. Dude!!! dont' click that again....look at the title!! the **/**** crowd has infiltrated this site!!
  7. you can buy sheer decents that have the lighting in them already, they look very nice. For me, Fiber optics are the best way to light up water features because you can actually put them in the water, there is no electricity where you see the light. also , water features generally need accent lighting, which Fiber optics is perfect for. LED's are pretty new to the pool industry, and they suffer a similar problem to fiberoptics in that they just don't provide as much or many lumens/brightness as standard incandescents. You certianly can light the pool with led's, but you will end up using more. Personally, I actually prefer that. I never liked the old school way of one big single light in the pool. My company has been using 2 or 3 smaller lights for 15 years now and I like the look better. you might be able to get the same light if you use multiple led's. I would say in a 16x32 pool, 2 or 3 led lights would probably do fine. cost would be more, but you would almost eliminate bulb changes. They are now making LED conversion bulbs to retrofit into old incandescent fixtures too. so if you went that way, you could switch to led in the future.
  8. If you want the extended warranty, usually you have to go with all new stuff, which in your case means the pump too. at least that's how jandy works it. My personal choice, Hayward DE4820 DE filter, Waterpik/Jandy LD400 heater. I will say that I have heard great things about the starite stuff too. I know I love their dynaglass pump and I spoke with a competitor recently who swears by their heater too.
  9. agreed!! it will not look right. best to leave the tiles that are there. the only option I see is possibly cutting out the hole a bit "big" and then using a marbledust type mix of a different color that accents both the tile and pool finish.
  10. on water jobs (high risk of ground water) we install weep lines and the aforementioned hydrostatic relief valves in the botton. the weep lines go under the pool and come up out of the ground in the filter area. when we need to drain one of these high risk pools, we bring an extra pool pump, hook it up to pipes and run it for the duration of the work being done. To pop a pool that has hydrostats, unless you have a serious water condition (like living right on the water) is hard to do. you would really have to work on it. We routinely drain pools for winterizing 18-20" and have never popped one out of the ground doing this. this may have to do with the soil conditions in our area and we also don't drain anything after protracted periods of rain.
  11. My experience with pool salesman is that you could write a book on what they don't know. I do not have much experience with fiberglass pools, but I have serviced hundreds of fiberglass spas. They get heated to 104 for months and years on end and I have never seen one damaged by heat.
  12. the beam is the vertical wall behind the tiles, it's what the tiles are stuck too. if that beam is crumbly or pooryly constructed, the tiles will fall off. the expansion joint is a space in between the patio and the coping (top stones on top of tiles) it allows the patio to move independently of the pool. At this point, it would be easier for you to have a professional come in and get a quote to fix it. estimates are free and he will most likely at least tell you what caused this to happen.
  13. IN an of itself, the "leaning" would not necesitate ripping the whole pool out. sounds like the beam has to be fortified and rebuilt. but the leaning could also mean that the pool was poorly constructed and the shell might not be sound, but that's jumping ahead. Check your patio/deck. if it's a masonary patio, make sure that there is an expansion joint of at least 1/2" between the patio and the coping/shell. expansion joint is a space left in between, usually filled with some sort of flexible sealer. this allows the patio to move without pushing on the wall of the pool and pop your tiles off. If you have proper expansion joint, then the tiles and leaning are probably caused by poor construction techniques. maybe not enough, or no rebar, poor concrete mix, or it burnt a little before they shot it. before you take any course of action, you need to determine what actually caused the problems. you don't want to rip the pool out only to discover that it was fine and that a poor or missing expansion joint caused your problems. I almost forgot...the leaning of your pool...is the high side higher than the surrounding patio, or lower. if it's higher, then some sort of undeground water condition (water table or underground stream) could have "popped" it.
  14. Here on Long Island, NY, there are not a lot of vermiculite hard bottom pools. If you tamp them hard, sand bottom pools are fine and you can get very sharp crispy lines too. I know because I have personally installed about 50 vinyl liners in sand only bottom pools. However, the hardbottom is better. the main reason is that when the time comes to change the liner, it is so much easier. on a 20 x 40, it can take 2 guys 2-3 hours to rettrowel sand. with hardbottom, you could do the whole job in that amount of time. I have no idea why the hard bottom never really caught on here. Maybe because it's such a "boom" area and contractors had more work than they could handle? sand bottom is certianly less work/time at initial install.
  15. Yes you can. but it's not easy. the individual anchors for the cover should be anchored into concrete. The best way I have seen is to obtain, with your cover, or from your cover manufacturer,what's called 'anchor in pipe' assembly. it's a standard mesh cover masonary anchor machine pressed into an 18" long aluminum tube. This alone won't make the cover safe or wear resistant. Fit the cover to the pool and simply hammer the assemblies in. once you are satisfied with anchor placement and fit of cover, get a can of marking paint. mark each anchor point. Then the digging begins. What you want is to anchor the assemblies into concrete. If it were me, I would get some 3" pvc to use as forms. I would cut them so they were at least 20" long and sink them into the ground at every anchor point. then fill with cement, insert anchor and pipe, pass go and collect 200 dollars! The reality is that most people will just whack the anchor in pipes into the grass and call it done. while this works, the cover always ends up saggy once it gets a snow load on it, once the snow melts, the cover is loose because the anchors got pulled in. Also, consider that failure to anchor at least 80% of your anchors properly will not only void your safety warranty, but also your wear warranty. These mesh covers have hard plastic wear guards sewn in on the seams at the outer edges. these are there to prevent your coping from wearing holes in the cover. once the cover gets loose, there is too much movement and possibility of the cover moving so much that you are no longer riding on the wear straps.
  16. agreed, especially in a gunite (plaster,cement, what have you) you will be adding a lot of acid to keep it that low. It's not so much work in keeping that level that concerns me, it's the fact that it's pretty low. I know it's nuetral, but your heater manufacturer might have something to say about that. No heate company will warranty a heate exchanger that has a hole in it from low ph. Not saying that it will happen for certain, but when keeping traditonal levels of ph (7.2-76 like we have been doing since forever) there is more room forever, if it dips down a bit it's still above 7. mainting 7.0 leaves no room for error. bear in mind that most pool heaters have heat exchangers with multiple "passes" which is a fancy of saying that the tubes get small and the water speeds up. this can "scour" the heat exchanger and wear a hole in it with low ph. most heat exchangers are actually designed to do this a little to prevent scaling or build up in the tubes. just saying "be careful" Incidentally, Ecosmarte came in and did a presentation for us and they seemed very knowledgeable and the product shows promise.
  17. Hey Joel, actually a single motor should cut it, but you have to know what you are doing when it comes to plumbing the filter system for it. with the correct check valves and properly sized plumbing and tees', a single 2-3hp pump should do fine. We rarely use 2 speed pumps, so I am not up to date on what the ratings are for low/high hp. If you could get one that ran on 1/2 or 3/4 hp on low and then could switch to 2 or 3hp on high, that would be chaep to run, it might not be cheaper to build, though ,since you are adding costs for extra valves, check valves, and a 2 speed pump is more expensive than a single. you do save on some plumbing running from filter system to spa, so it might be a wash.
  18. We have been building pool/spa combos for 20 years using seperate pumps. We started out by using a 1hp or 1.5hp pump (2" lines) for filter pump, then [2] 2hp pumps for 8 booster jets in the spa. each booster had it's own dedicated 2" suction and the returns were tee's together in a loop in the spa. then we discovered that while we get good flow, it's a bit overkill trying to push that much water through 8 tiny orifices in the spa heads. We then moved on to using a single 3hp booster with a 3" suction and a 3" return bushed down right at the spa itself. This flowed just as well as the previous 2 pump arrangement. Now, We have done some a third way, we will use a single 2.5 hp pump for the filter and heater, but now the spa filter suction line is 3", and in between the pump and filter is a valved bypass that connects up to another 3" return going back to the jets. this avoids putting too much water through the heater/filtr, yet lets you use a large enough pump to get the "action" you want in the spa. Definately not energy efficient. i will say that with our customers, energy consumption is not an issue that they ask about. So in your case, the two speed pump would be pretty good. with the right bypasses and controller, you could run it on low speed in pool mode and move valves and switch to hight speed in spa mode. in my opinion, a 1hp pump is not enough to get good flow out a spa like the size you are talking about. also, I mentioned 3 ways to do it, there are probably a few more. out of your two proposals, company b's seems better to me. go with that and maybe subsitute a two speed pump for the filter system. another added benefit from my standpoint (service manager) I like the two pump system because if you use the same model pump, in a pinch if the filter pump goes down, you can always swap the booster pump for it on the pad to get a customer through a holiday weekend if you have to order a pump or it's 8pm friday night, know what i mean? No matter how you go, I would ask the builder to run at least 2" lines for everything. this way you can change pump sizes to get the flow you want. one thing you can never do is get more water through a skinny pipe, the laws of physics are against you there. you can always easily solve a high water flow problem by downsizing a pump, but you cannot solve a poor waterflow problem by upsizing a pump with too small of a line.
  19. I am very biased because we sell Jandy. However, I have seen a lot of others and I can say that jandy is a really great company. We only sell their stuff because we think their stuff is quality and they give us great warranty service if we have problems, which is rare. service after the sale is huge. Jandy is one of the only companies we deal with that actually employs thier own technical field guys in all areas. If all else fails and my guys cannot figure out a problem, I know that the factory has my back. Better for us, Better for our customers. The reason pool companies stick to their favorites is because all of this stuff will break eventually. any company that's in it for the long haul tries to stay with the same stuff because that's less inventory to keep and carry on trucks, less training for the men, etc... the service guys get very good at fixing/diagnosing problems when every job has the same stuff. they really get to know it well.
  20. if you live where it gets cold, spring. We prefer to run the pools with balanced water for at least a month or two before closing for the winter. sometimes a late fall dust job cannot be kept open that long. plus, if you live where there is winter, you dont' want your nice fresh finish sitting all winter with some bits of debris/leaves on it.
  21. agreed, individual plumbing lines is the only way to go!! well....not the only way, but the best way. the old fashioned way of using t's to tie it all in and run just two lines to the system works fine and has for 40 years+. but the individual lines, as the builder told you, really make the water flow better and sure make it nice for the crew winterizing the pool. anyone who tries talking you out of it by saying there is more potential for leaks may not how to glue the pipe properly, or is old school form the days of using black poly pipe with mechanical (hose clamps/threaded) joints under ground. THOSE WILL FAIL EVENTUALLY. but modern pvc pipe is chemically bonded together. the chemicals clean the pipe as well as chemically melt it together. they previous poster was right, pvc pipe leaks just don't happen. always another cause. Now flexible pvc is another issue. Run far away from any builder who tries selling a job with flex. rigid pvc, glued joints will last longer than you will!!!
  22. My company built the pool at the bottom page of the fiberstars site. it has 10,000 fiber optic lights in the bottom. it's the one that says "lighted star floor kits" it's nice, but costs a ton of money should not be retrofitted. it can be done, but unless you have money to burn, not a good idea. and you can cut the fibers with a knife, but it has to be heated. the amount of heat is a bit of a crap shoot, so a dedicated hot knife is the best choice, just not the only choice. I have
  23. How do you plan on using the heat? If you plan on heating the pool all of the time, thereby maintaining a constant temp, then an electric heat pump makes sense. Solar can even accomplish this. but you are a victim to the will of nature. If you go solar, I would install a gas heater also. I would view solar as a way to lower your gas/electric/oil bill, but not as a primary means to heat a pool. If you plan to heat it up rapidly prior to occasional use, then gas or oil fired is the way to go. a high efficiency gas or standard oil heater can raise your pool temp as much as 2 deg /hour. normal 80-82% efficiency gas heaters will raise it about 1 degree/hour. fyi, 350,000 btu is the largest residential oil pool heater currently available. 400,000 is the largest residential oil pool heater currenly available. oil heats faster than gas (not including high efficiency condensating gas heaters) because you get a little more btu's out of the fuel, but the heat exchanger has larger passages so you can pass more water through it in a given period of time. there are no standard gas heaters that are more than 80-82 (maybe a bit higher but not much) thermal efficiency. they can make them better, but they start condensating and rotting out the heater. there are condensating gas heaters that are about 90% efficient, but they cost a fortune. but you can vent them with plastic pvc pipe, which is nice.
  24. get yourself a cheapie digital voltmeter, can be had for 20 cucks at home depot. set it for 2 on the dc volts scale. attach youmeter leads to the two wires coming off the pilot. ironicaly , the red one is the common, and the white one hot. does not really matter, but if you hook it up backwards, you will get the right reading, but there will be a - neg sign in front of it. take the burner tray out, disassemble and clean the pilot tubing/orifice and reinstall. light it. step one in the verifacation process is to see if the pilot stays lit when you release the manual knob on gas valve. now at least you know it's creating enough voltage to energize the coil in the gas valve to keep pilot lit. with the heater switched off and the knob in the pilot position (always run all tests on a MV heater in "pilot") test it. you should get 4-500 millivolts. On an unloaded pilot (wires disconnected, holding knob down to keep pilot going) the reading should be higher, say 550-650. some really old pilots used some sort of tube to transger the voltage from the pilot to the gas valve and then out to the safety circuit, if you have one of those, buy a new one. if your pilot burns ok, but will not create enough voltage to pass the tests and fire heater, you can buy just the thermocouple part, or generator, as it's sometimes called.
  25. None of this applies if you have somene above the age of 10 install the pool for you. Yeah, I am being dramatic, but it really is not rocket science to install a pool liner and not have it leak. Correct installation of the pool liner eliminates all of the above concerns. There literally millions of vinyl liner in ground pools across the country that dont' leak. can they leak around the steps and lights? sure. But so can a gunite (cement) pool. they have potential for leaks around skimmers, returns, lights. anywhere where the marbledust meets plastic/metal inlet fittings or lights. bottom line is that any pool will leak that is not built correctly.
  • Create New...