Swimming Pool Blog

Best Pool Community Q&A

Best Pool Community Q&A
by Mark Garcia May 31, 2016

Our Pool Community has many great topics of interest to pool owners. For today's post, I spent some time going thru the past year's Ask the Expert questions, pulled out some that I thought were interesting, and hopefully useful.

So then, without further ado, here is some 'repurposed content', given the light of day so that it may help others. :-)



Question        Is it safe to run a sand filter on above ground pool to clean without being home,or can I run the pump for 48 hours without backwashing?
Answer        Sure, many sand filters can run for many weeks, or longer without backwashing. When the pressure gauge reads 8-10 lbs over the clean pressure, give it a backwash. And run the filter 8-15 hrs daily, or enough to keep the water clean and clear.
Question       Question on Bromine used for outdoor pools. Pool Blog Aug 2014. Currently using chlorine. How do I transition to Bromine tablets? Could I use the chlorine floating container to disperse bromine? How long would it take for the bromine to be active on a 16000 gal. pool? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Answer       Hi Hugh;  The floater wouldn't deliver enough bromine, you would want to install a bromine feeder, on the return line, after filter and any heater. It may take a few days to build a bromine bank, up to a week. You can use granular chlorine to keep a low chlorine level until it builds, or add granular sodium bromide. You won't be able to stabilize bromine from bright sunlight, but if your pool is shady and/or covered, that could be a small concern.

Question       need to replace an anthony pool light: Model 30, 120v 300 watt white 30 foot cord. What is the best replacement?


Hi Bob 
The Old Starite/Anthony lamp (the old workhorse) is no longer made, but if you use the MAC light ring adapter, you can install a Pentair Amerlite or Intellibrite lamp (if you have the stainless steel light niche). If you have a very old copper light niche contact MAC for adapter advice.  Mac Underwater Light Ring Anthony - http://www.poolcenter.com/p/mac-underwater-light-ring-anthony-or-purex-cdh-stainless


Question        I have a 16 year old gunite pool that has never been painted. For several years, it has had pretty bad etching and scaling. More recently, two materials appear (I assume) to be coming off, from the pool walls/floor : a fine dust and a course sand with some blue sparkles (sparkles similar to the pool surface/plaster). My question : is it possible for a paint to adhere to the surface that appears to be coming off, as I described above ? Thanks

Pool paint would adhere to the surface, after proper preparation, including acid washing and pressure washing, and TSP washing the pool first.

Paint is not as durable a surface as plaster, and deteriorates as well. Epoxy pool paints can be considered a 5 year surface, before it will need to be repainted. The cost, however, is considerable cheaper than re-plastering, which can approach $5000 for many inground pools. Painting can be done (DIY) for around $1000 (but remember, you'll need to repaint 3-4 times over the next 15-20 years, which is the normal lifespan of plaster.

Plaster does require good water chemistry to stay looking and performing well, but so does paint. Pool paint in poor water chemistry can deteriorate much more rapidly than plaster. So it's not a panacea for your issues, but yes you could paint your pool. I'm not against painting, just want you to know the full details. Pools that are plastered are not intended to be painted, but they can be. Let me know if you have other questions. - Rob

Question        Vulkem #45 SSL Self Leveling Sealant
Is this product a neutral cure chalk?
Is it UV stable?
Answer      Hi David; Yes, it is neutral cure and UV stable - Here's some links from the manufacturer with much more detail...

Question        how do you remove the sand from the filter
Answer       Hi;  I usually scoop it out with a large plastic tumbler cup, or a super gulp cup, or any large scoop - after draining the water. You can also use a shop vac, especially if you let it drain overnight first. When you get near the bottom, be careful not to hit the laterals as they may crack if they are brittle. Use a smaller cup to scoop sand from in between the laterals. I often don't replace the sand beneath the laterals - to avoid cracking the laterals, and because it's usually always clean (sand). If the laterals are more than 10 years old, you may want to replace them now.  Rob
Question        My motor is making a new sound. Not normal & I'm wondering what it may be & about how to troubleshoot on a budget. I am a new homeowner and have been dumping money into this pool since I moved in. The sound appears to be coming from the rear of the motor. I have a video that I'd like to share.
Answer        Hi; The usual motor sound that is made is the sound of a failing bearing. It can sound low and gravely or higher pitched and whiny. There are two bearings inside the motor - a front and rear bearing, sealed - of a specific size.

Other sounds of something loose and rattling around are usually short lived. At 3500 rpm, anything loose is worn down to a nub very quickly. Sustained noises is always a bearing. But, just to be sure, open up the rear of hte motor and look at all the parts and such, to be sure nothing looks loose and wobbly.

Depending on the motor, it may be cheaper to rebuild the motor (with new bearings) as opposed to buying a new motor, which is always cheaper (well, depending) than buying a whole new pump. You can send me video to rob -at- poolcenter.com - Rob
Question        How do I know what size pool heater I need. Is it determined by total water or surface are?.
Answer        Hi Maggie; Generally both, although other considerations too - such as, are you using a cover (automatic or solar)? Or are you using the heater to heat up an attached spa (to 104 degrees)? Or, what temperature rise (on average) are you looking for (10, 20, 30 degrees?). here's a link to a page on our site about sizing, if you have other questions, email me back! http://www.poolcenter.com/heatersWhatSize - Rob
Question       Hello. I have an expansion joint along the wall and bottom of our pool (underwater). It is approx. 1” wide and runs the entire width of the pool (from coping, down the wall, across the bottom, and up the opposite wall). In some areas it seems the joint is 3” to 4” deep. Do you sell a filler of some sort that we can use to fill this joint? The joint is fully submersed during the summer season. Thank you for your time and have a good evening. Chris
Answer        Hi Chris; What you need, is an elastomeric (flexible) waterproof sealant or caulking. We sell Vulkem caulking, but it's self-leveling caulk- which is too runny for vertical surfaces. You need what's called Gun-Grade caulking, which is mixed with a heavy duty drill and troweled into joints by hand. Deck-O-Seal is a brand that can be used - unfortunately we don't sell it (but others do). - Rob
Question       Just purchased a Polaris turtle mechanism from Pool center and the Turtle 65 still does not work correctly. It goes around in circles and will not backup. What could be wrong
Answer        Hi John;  Sorry you're having trouble with it, here's a data dump on things to check... Is the hose the proper length? Not too long... Is there any pressure loss anywhere in the feed hose, from the wall to the unit? Are there other wall returns or pressure outlets that can be throttled to provide more flow to the cleaner? Is the pump basket, impeller and pool filter all clean and operating correctly? Is the Polaris wall strainer clean? -- these things will rule out a low flow issue, but too much flow could also be a problem. Pressure should be between 5-10 psi.

Also if the hose was stored tightly coiled it can retain some memory, stretch it out in the sun, on the deck to help relax it. And are the hose weights properly positioned? The randomizer ball should move at least every 2 minutes, if it does not, clean the filter connector part, it may have small debris or grit. Hope that helps, here's the owners manuals if you need: http://www.polarispool.com/products/pressure/polaris-65  - Rob
Question        I have a concrete pool that was installed in 1998 we think. There is a Nautilus FNS 24 DE Filter. The Multi port valve has on top of it Purex Triton SM 10 2 D.E. It leaks out the backwash exit. We have been given 3 different tales on this 1.) the whole multi port has to be redone ($1200.) plus labor. 2.) The Multi port valve has to be rebuilt and replumbed and possible new motor, it may have been damaged because of the water leak out of the backwash $2500. 3.) New multi port valve, new filter and pump $5000. I was at a dental meeting and was asked how the house was coming. I told them of the issue with this pool. The house had been empty for 3 years and there was a lot to do just cleaning up and seeing where all the problems were. several people at the table stated they thought all 3 were wrong. I could just rebuild this valve myself. I can't even find this Multi port valve much less find the parts to rebuild it. Everything points me to a Pentair product. Is this the same thing? Can I rebuild this part myself?
Answer       Hi Karen; You need a new pool guy - those prices are crazy!

For the repair, it is likely a $15 gasket, or if it was the whole valve we sell it for under $100. Here's the parts schematic: http://www.poolcenter.com/p/1-5-top-mount-side-mount-valve It's likely that you need No. 2, pn 271104. Spider Gasket. Our blog has many articles on replacing a spider gasket (easy). If that didn't fix it, the next logical step would be to replace the Top Valve assembly, pn 270068, listed as No. 1. Sure you can do this! Let me know what other questions you have! - Rob
Question        How many bags of salt do i need for my pool is a 16x48 and has 5145 gallons
Answer        Hi;  If you have -0- salt in the pool now, you'll need about 135 lbs of salt to raise it to 3200 ppm. There's a chart on this blog post - http://blog.poolcenter.com/article.aspx?articleid=6520 - Rob
Question       Any recommendations for having a Hayward pool pump rebuilt? Only three years old and just stopped working. Probably only needs motor repair. I'm in northeast Ohio. Thanks, Ben
Answer        Ben; If you are looking for a service/repair company to fix the motor, most pool/spa companies will do it, but they'll probably just take it to an Electric Motor Repair shop, and then double their fees, plus removal, replacement labor and trips costs... A typical "rebuild" on a pump motor is new Bearings and Seal - probably costs under $150 if you take it to a local motor shop. Just Google Electric Motor Repair + your town, and you'll find some options for repair. - Rob
Question        I am looking at getting a leaf net for my pool. I have a 24 foot diameter pool and it is surrounded by a deck. Could you tell me how the net attaches to the pool. Thanks
Answer        Hi Paul;  Leaf nets come with a cable winch set up, like aboveground pool covers. But, if you are laying it over your solid winter cover, you don't really need to use it, you just pull it over the pool evenly, letting it drape over the sides. You may want to clip it or tuck it on the side with prevailing wind. If you were going to use it by itself, without the cover underneath, you can use the cable/winch to keep it taut. Remove and store it after all the leaves have fallen. It will last longer if not left out all winter. You can replace it again when the trees bloom in spring, to catch spring debris. Great product for heavily treed lots. For inground pools, they just slip under the water bags. - Rob


 I hope that these answers continue to provide value. If you have questions - you can post them in Pool Talk, or use our Ask the Expert. Who knows? Maybe your great question will live on - forever!


Thanks for Reading!

Mark Garcia