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old pool, new tricks?

Posted by garyduse (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 1, 08 at 2:16

Ive been reading a lot of the threads here and getting acquainted with the current state-of-the-art in pool design and equipment. Obviously, there have been a lot of changes since our pool was built (in the late 60s). Id appreciate some of the experts here to review my equipment and operation, and make any recommendations for improvement.

What we have here is a 40-year-old in-ground pool in the Pacific Northwest, 32,000 gallons, operated pretty much like it was originally designed, although some of the equipment has been updated or replaced:
Main circulation pump: Sta-Rite, 0.75 hp, 240v, A.O.Smith motor
Booster pump: Mfr. Unknown, 0.75 hp, A.O.Smith motor, 120v
Polaris 380 pool sweep
Filter: 24" sand, American Products, Stainless steel; after backwashing, filter pressure runs approx. 12 psi.
Heater: Jandy Lite 2 LJ (electronic ignition)
Timer: Intermatic digital, with freeze protection (controls main pump and heater)
Single 12vdc 300w submersible light
All plumbing is 1-1/2". Suction line is approx. 25, return lines are 20-40.
All equipment is below water level.
Over the past 20 years, Ive had the motors overhauled 3 or 4 times.

We rarely get a prolonged freezing spell in the Seattle area so I dont shut the pool down for the winter; during cold spells, I simply keep the circulation pump running and that seems to keep enough flow going (even through the booster pump and return lines) to avoid a freezeup problem.
For most of the year, I run the circulation pump for 6 hours and run the pool sweep every week or two. During our relatively brief swimming season, I activate the heater, use a solar blanket overnight, increase the chlorine dosage (tablets added to the skimmer), and run the sweep more often (once or twice a week).

OK, here are my questions:
1) Any general comments on the equipment setup and/or operation? Recommendations for improvement?
2) The Jandy heater (with the addition of a $70 relay) can also control the pump and has built-in freeze control. Is there any benefit to operating this way instead of controlling with the external timer?
3) Would a 2-speed or variable speed pump result in significantly lowering my electric bill?

Thanks-
-Gary


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