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Alex Simmons

The pool thread

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Starting to think about mine too. I've got a constant low salt warning, even though levels are fine. I also have another issue that has cropped up in the last 6 months. If I have it on auto, it turns itself off with a "No Flow" warning after a few minutes. It does this after the initial high flow start-up, when it settles into normal low speed. Some reports say it is a safety trigger that detects hydrogen bubbles in the cell, and these build up as the flow decreases, but I'm yet to see any.

I may have to resort to spending & getting an expert to look at it. :(

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On 12/4/2017 at 11:19 AM, Alex Simmons said:

On another pool cleaning matter - I was interested in surface skimmer options as I do get plenty of leaves and the manual skimmer is a bit tedious. Brought into focus today as my leg is playing up again and walking/standing sucks dogs' balls.

I found a few options, main ones I can see are:

  • Floating Pool Cleaners, that attach to hose and skimmer basket and move around the pool. Seem to be 2 types - one that need to be attached to a floor cleaner and one that don't need that.
  • Venturi effect units that attach to the pump outlet and are statically positioned
  • Independent Robots

Of those above, I think this one probably suits my set up:

https://www.dragonfly.biz/dragonfly-floating-pool-cleaner/

Anyone have one of these or something similar?

I ended up getting one of these dragonfly skimmers. It's been hooked up for a couple of days now and it really works quite well. When the unit is on it seems to drag in all the surface stuff and the water looks great!

Bit of wind today so some stuff is collecting on the pool while the filter is off - but once it comes back on this arvo it won't take long to clear it all up.

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On 1/11/2018 at 9:22 AM, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Starting to think about mine too. I've got a constant low salt warning, even though levels are fine. I also have another issue that has cropped up in the last 6 months. If I have it on auto, it turns itself off with a "No Flow" warning after a few minutes. It does this after the initial high flow start-up, when it settles into normal low speed. Some reports say it is a safety trigger that detects hydrogen bubbles in the cell, and these build up as the flow decreases, but I'm yet to see any.

I may have to resort to spending & getting an expert to look at it. :(

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

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15 minutes ago, Alex Simmons said:

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

Did that a couple days ago. Salt Cell is cactus, but I thought that. The other issue was a dry joint on a resistor that caused the fan to go intermittent. That caused the transformer to start burning out, which was what was causing the earth-leakage to throw back in the meter box. Just over $600, which when you look at the cost of a new unit is pretty good.

My main issue was constant days over 30 degrees, with a lot of rain previously, and we are without a system till next Monday. I managed to rig up a U-piece to go where the cell was, gave a top up dose of chlorine, and have run the filter for 6 hours a day manually from a powerpoint. Seems to be surviving. I'll top up some more chlorine tonight & again on the weekend.

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17 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

DiI managed to rig up a U-piece to go where the cell was, gave a top up dose of chlorine, and have run the filter for 6 hours a day manually from a powerpoint. Seems to be surviving. I'll top up some more chlorine tonight & again on the weekend.

Sounds like a nice bit of MacGyvering.

Old school added chlorine and keeping pH at right level will keep water in good shape. That's pretty much how I'm keeping mine at the moment until I get a better handle on costs involved with cell replacement.

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Pic of my pool area taken earlier this morning. It's a bit old fashioned (I guess a late 80's or 1990s addition). We plan to at least update the daggy garden and I'll need to give those pavers a high pressure water hosing I think, spuce them up a bit.

My salt water auto chlorinator isn't working properly, so have been doing it old skool just staying on top of pH with a little acid every few days, chlorine via powder every couple of days and checking alkalinity levels, with occasional check of other stuff via pool shop tests.

A full chlorinator system replacement is $1750. I could gamble and just replace the cell in my existing system for ~$500 but that may not be the answer and it can't be used with the replacement system. Ouch.

The floating skimmer works OK, the water has looked really good and it definitely reduces the leaf load reaching the pool floor.

Photo 19-2-18, 9 07 33 am.jpg

Edited by Alex Simmons
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I finally got around to replacing the auto chlorinator cell and it's pumping out the chlorine like it's nobody's business. So glad to get that one done, and glad it was just the cell and not the control unit. Water is looking great, just a little acid each week and it's good to go. Indeed I've needed to drop the chlorinator setting right down as it's working a bit too well.

Also fitted a replacement pool light, the original never worked since we arrived but I never bothered with it, until it came away from its housing - not a good look have a wire loose in the pool when with family coming at Christmas (even though it's safe), so figured I may as well do that too.

Worked fine with the existing transformer. I got one of those remote power switches so I can turn it on/off wirelessly. I switches between white, green and blue light. Look out Disco Duck.

Since I got solar PV system fitted, I've adjusted the timing of the pumps to daytime running only.

The floating skimmer is working well, and the robot floor cleaner also still going strong. The former has reduced the workload of the latter.

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On 29/11/2017 at 8:08 AM, Ayto said:

We put a new pool in 2 years ago. after a considerable amount of research.  Ended up going with an 11x4.5m job with in floor cleaning, approx 50,000L.

In my view the in floor cleaning is a must and well worth the $6/$8k spend.  (Touch wood) Only effort we really need to put in is a check early in the season, add some salt and various bits as the test advises and apart from that we barely touch it all year.

We have an electric heater (split system) instead of solar heating, as we already had the house on solar and run it off that. No noticable increase in power costs.

Overall very, very happy with the product.  Notwithstanding that, there has been some issues:

- The industry seems to be full of rogues and to an extent unregulated.  We were 75% of the way through the project and discovered that the mob we were using were uninsured (or in their words self-insured). Created issues as to that point we had paid cash, however the last 25% was funded via our bank and the bank wouldn't release funds until proof of insurance was held. Cuased a catch 22 and stalled the project for nearly 8 weeks.  We only resolved it by threatening to call work cover (as we had an un-fenced full pool).  Work was completed and then bank was able to completed a final valuation and released funds accordingly.  Was  a huge headache at the time

- No formal handover done so we have had to call them back on various occasions to show us how to use the system.  Rather than invest the time to give us a proper demonstration they show one thing and then disappear, only coming back when we contact them again once we discover something else we didn;t know.

- Further to above, we have already had to replace one pump and the other is on the way out, and system wasn't running optimally and caused damage to the pump.  They tried to blame us until we reminded them of the numerous call outs we have had to get them to show us stuff.  Ended up covered under warranty however I did pay a little extra to get an upgraded, better brand.

My suggestion if putting one in is to do your research and then do some more.  We knew a little bit about the attitude of these guys, but were best of a bad bunch.  We addressed this early only, being very upfront telling them what we had found during our research, and they assured us this would be the case.

Turns out that a leopard doesn't change its spots.

As I said, overall very happy with the product.  It really is a "set and forget set up".  Apart from the annual check at the start of the season I check the filters every 3/4 weeks or so and that's about it.  Barely use it enough to justify the cost, but whatever........its there if we want it.

Cheers

Ayto

 

 

Bit of an update from me as well.

As alluded to above, the second pump was indeed on its way out.  After numerous calls to supplier, he finally asked us to leave gate unlocked so he could call around one Saturday morning "for a look".  We arrived home later that day to find the whole thing replaced with another pump.

All good, except when the invoice arrived several weeks later for $560. I rang him to discuss the work completed and why it was done without advising us prior nor advising us of approx cost before works were completed.  A bit of argy bargy and we settled on $400 and 30 days to pay.  To be honest, I could have paid the full amount on time but it just grinds my gears when shit like this is done without discussion.

We now have the gears for the infloor system have failed (second time for these as well) and, again despite numerous requests, he has yet to turn up and either "have a look" or replace the bloody things.  The replacement is very, very simple as the replacement unit simply drops into place except they are jammed in there and I don't want to force anything  for fear of damaging anything else.

Overall, the pool is pretty easy and looks after itself.  If the follow up service was up to scratch any of these issues could be dealt with in a simply and timely manner, however our experience is that there is no service so these issues tend to blow out over time causing frustration and angst.............and the subsequent argy bargy.

Still happy with it and glad we went to the trouble of installing, but the service piece just leaves a bit of a sour taste

cheers

Ayto

 

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I have to say the people from my local Poolwerx crew I've had do my pool stuff have been really good. They do what they say they will, turn up when they say they will, we agree in advance on what to do and costs, and they suggest alternatives to consider. Always happy to answer questions and take the time to explain things about the system or how a new bit of kit works.

I've not had a pool built of course, I can imagine that's a different set of headaches.

I've been using it a bit lately, it's been good for me to do the gentle shoulder exercises I need to do for my rehab. And it's most relaxing just floating, like a meditation.

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On 05/12/2018 at 1:05 PM, Alex Simmons said:

I finally got around to replacing the auto chlorinator cell and it's pumping out the chlorine like it's nobody's business. So glad to get that one done, and glad it was just the cell and not the control unit. Water is looking great, just a little acid each week and it's good to go. Indeed I've needed to drop the chlorinator setting right down as it's working a bit too well.

Also fitted a replacement pool light, the original never worked since we arrived but I never bothered with it, until it came away from its housing - not a good look have a wire loose in the pool when with family coming at Christmas (even though it's safe), so figured I may as well do that too.

Worked fine with the existing transformer. I got one of those remote power switches so I can turn it on/off wirelessly. I switches between white, green and blue light. Look out Disco Duck.

Since I got solar PV system fitted, I've adjusted the timing of the pumps to daytime running only.

The floating skimmer is working well, and the robot floor cleaner also still going strong. The former has reduced the workload of the latter.

How much and how often do you put salt in? I reckon I  am at about one bag every 6 to 9 months.  Normally the chlorinator seems to either work well (lotsa bubbly stuff coming off the plates) or doesn't (not much bubbly stuff) and that seems to me to be the time to add salt - but I am sure there must be a more objective way to determine if salt is needed......

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

How much and how often do you put salt in? I reckon I  am at about one bag every 6 to 9 months.  Normally the chlorinator seems to either work well (lotsa bubbly stuff coming off the plates) or doesn't (not much bubbly stuff) and that seems to me to be the time to add salt - but I am sure there must be a more objective way to determine if salt is needed......

For me it's when the light on the controller tells me to add salt. :)

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A few months ago I bought a Zodiac CX35 to replace my old Barracuda. I wish I had done this years ago. It cleans the pool much better than the Barracuda.It cleans the entire bottom of the pool perfectly and does a good job on the sides. It is not very good on the steps so I manually sweep them before I put the cleaner in.

I bought the fine filter as I found that the filter than came with the CX35 did not collect the fine dirt very well.

Advantages

  • It does a great job of cleaning the pool.
  • It is silent. No more thump, thump of the Barracuda.
  • The surface skimmer picks up the surface dirt better now that the Barracuda is no longer plugged in all of the time.
  • The entire pool is cleaned. The Barracuda would always miss bits.
  • We no longer have to pull the Barracuda out of the pool each time we want to use the pool.

Disadvantages

  • More expensive to purchase. I used to spend a fortune on replacing parts for the Barracuda so I am hoping that the CX35 parts do not need replacing as often.
  • You have to remember to put it in the pool once a week.

 

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4 hours ago, Pete said:

How much and how often do you put salt in? I reckon I  am at about one bag every 6 to 9 months.  Normally the chlorinator seems to either work well (lotsa bubbly stuff coming off the plates) or doesn't (not much bubbly stuff) and that seems to me to be the time to add salt - but I am sure there must be a more objective way to determine if salt is needed......

Only really need it if you have a *lot* of rain or need to replace a lot of water for some reason. Put it this way, I hadn't put salt in for over a year as there was no point given the chlorinator wasn't working and I was doing it old skool style with added chlorine granules.

The pool guy tested it and it was down to about 2500ppm. It needs to be about 4000-6000ppm for my pool. He put 3 bags in and it's cranking along just fine. Next time I head into Coffs I'll take a water sample for the pool shop to do a test and see if I could use a little more.

The salt is automatically regenerated in a circular chemical process - it isn't used up. Else it might be a bag or three a year I guess. And it's cheap like $5 for a 20kg bag or something like that.

My controller has a low salt warning, so that's a sign. Some modern controllers show you the salt level. You can also get a salt measurement device. I have a cheap one but I'm not convinced it's reliable.

The thing I'd like to add is an automated pH control unit - having pH in a tight range really helps the chlorine do its job. Aside from chlorine - it's probably the most important thing to keep on top of.

I'd also like a better salt meter and cyanuric acid test kit.

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1 hour ago, Ironnerd said:

A few months ago I bought a Zodiac CX35 to replace my old Barracuda. 

Yeah I have the CX20 and it's pretty much the same, does a great job.

 

1 hour ago, Ironnerd said:

I bought the fine filter as I found that the filter than came with the CX35 did not collect the fine dirt very well.

Yeah, it's also on my list. It's still cleaning well with the standard 200 micron filter but I'll be interested to see the results when I do get the 100 micron filter.

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On 07/12/2018 at 7:02 PM, Alex Simmons said:

Next time I head into Coffs I'll take a water sample for the pool shop to do a test and see if I could use a little more.

Salt was sitting at ~5500ppm, so after more than a year of not putting salt in, 3 x $6 bags was plenty. My own meter said 5050ppm.

I've had to turn my new chlorinator setting right down as chlorine levels are very high. Setting options range from from zero (off) to 8. I had dropped it to 5, then 4 but still way too high. I've now set it to lowest setting 1 and will see how that goes.

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