A few questions about maintaining my equipment

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Just_another_newbie
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon 13 Aug, 2007 20:14

A few questions about maintaining my equipment

Postby Just_another_newbie » Mon 13 Aug, 2007 21:23

I just moved into a new house with my first pool.

A few questions:

What does the filter need? I know i need to backwash/rinse etc, but is there something else i need to do? I keep reading about adding things to it. It is a sand filter.

Does the chlorine feeder need any maintenance?

Do i need to brush and manually vaccuum even though i have an aquabot turbo T2?

What pressure should the pump/filter be at?

Why do i keep reading about using bleach and borox? What are the advantages of these as opposed to actual pool chemicals?

Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you :)


Backglass
Swimming Pool Superstar
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Posts: 727
Joined: Tue 29 May, 2007 09:02

Re: A few questions about maintaining my equipment

Postby Backglass » Tue 14 Aug, 2007 08:58

Just_another_newbie wrote:What does the filter need? I know i need to backwash/rinse etc, but is there something else i need to do? I keep reading about adding things to it. It is a sand filter.


The filter needs nothing but to be run long enough to "turn over" your pool at least once per day (filter all the water). This is usually 6-12 hours depending on your pump & pool size. You change sand only after several years, but since you don't know the history of the filter, you might do it next year when you open the pool. Sand cleaning chemicals, etc, are pretty worthless. You backwash when the filter psi is 10psi high than after the last backwash. Some people add some DE to there sand filter to increase efficiency, but this is purely optional. Other than that they are very maintenence free. Always turn your valve hand in the same direction, even if you need to go back only one "notch"...go all the way around instead. This will help preserve the gasket inside the valve.

Just_another_newbie wrote:Does the chlorine feeder need any maintenance?


Not really. I don't have one, but I do understand they get kind of gunky after a few years and need to be taken apart and hosed out.

Just_another_newbie wrote:Do i need to brush and manually vaccuum even though i have an aquabot turbo T2?


Generally, no.

Just_another_newbie wrote:What pressure should the pump/filter be at?


Every pool will be different. There are many variables...pump HP, filter size, piping size, pump GPM, suction and return line distance from/to pool, height of pump above/below pool water level, etc. There are very complicated formulas to figure this all out, but it's way over my head!! Assuming you don't have something drastically over/undersized, you just note the PSI immediately after a good backwash, then watch the guage. When it is 10-12psi above the noted value, it's time to backwash. This may be a few days when you open your pool and are trying to clear it, or a few months later in the season.

Just_another_newbie wrote:Why do i keep reading about using bleach and borox? What are the advantages of these as opposed to actual pool chemicals?


Ahhh, yes. BBB (Bleach/Borax/Baking Soda). Listen and learn young Jedi!

The bottom line is that Bleach, Baking Soda and Borax ARE "actual pool chemicals". Many are exactly the same thing, but with FAR different prices.

Pool pucks are chlorine. Bleach is chlorine. Pool store "Liquid Shock" is chlorine. Chlorine is chlorine. Starting to see the picture? As far as the chlorine goes, it's all the same just different concentrations and forms (granular/powder/liquid/solid/etc). Now, pucks and some other forms also contain stabilizer (CYA) which is necessary in moderate amounts, but continues to build up over time to high levels. Once you have an adequate level of CYA, many of us switch to liquid chlorine (bleach) as it is a MUCH more cost effective chlorine source with no unnecessary additives.

The TA+ powder you buy at the pool store is Sodium Bicarbonate which is Baking Soda...exactly the same as Arm & Hammer. The PH- you buy at the store is powdered acid. Muriatic acid from Home Depot is stronger and cheaper. Borax is an excellent chemical to raise ph without raising TA. Washing Soda (in the laundry isle) is excellent to raise both ph & ta. You know it as pool store "Soda Ash". Yup...the exact same thing for half the price.

Remember, these household chemicals ARE just chemicals after all. Most are exactly the same as the pool stores, but without the fancy pool packaging (and pool price).

GO HERE and read the sticky called "BBB" topics. It will open your eyes.
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