Part 3: Plumbing, Valves, Timers, Heaters, & Automation
Earlier I wrote about the lifespan of your pool motor, pool pump, and pool filter. Now I will discuss the other items on your equipment pad.
The plumbing should be scheduled 40 or better PVC, and if not subject to a lot of direct sunlight should last 15 to 20 years. If it gets brittle or warps it’s time to re-plumb the system. Pinhole leaks are an indicator you have waited too long. If you have old galvanized pool plumbing or any home replacement piping that is not up to code, please have our team update your pad ASAP!
Pool valves tend to last between 5-7 years before the exterior plastic parts need to be replaced. As long as the internal parts are working handles can be replaced. If the valves are older than 10 years you may want to replace the whole thing versus replacing just handles. Multiport valve manufacturers build their units to be rebuilt, and as long as the main internal parts are okay, the wear out o-rings and gaskets can be replaced. If the main internal parts are broken it usually isn’t cost effective to bring one part of the valve back to 100% while the rest of the valve is worn down through use to 75%.
Your pool timer is in a steel or plastic box. The box itself can last for 20 years as long as it closes properly and keeps the elements off of your timer in the box. The timer can also last as long as 20 years, but tend to be a favorite spot for “critters” like lizards, ants, frogs, bees, wasps, hornets, snakes, etc. that end up electrocuting themselves in the timer and shorting it out.
The nonshock card needs to be in place and whole. It needs to be checked at least annually to prevent stray fingers from getting back in the electrical section of the timer box.
Pool and Spa Gas heaters lifespans depend a lot on their proximity to salt water. Near the Gulf, heaters tend to last 5-7 years maximum, though new units with less metal in the housing tend to do a bit better. Away from dripping eves and saltwater spray, Heaters last between 7-10 years typically. I will say that in our experience it doesn’t make sense to put repair money into heaters 7 years or older, as it ends up nickel and diming the customer. Repair if 3-6 years old, replace if over 6 and issues arise.
Heat Pumps should last 10-12 years unless they are subject to salt water spray. Newer heat pumps are much more efficient than older units so the cost savings in operations plays a factor on when to replace. If older than 7 years, take a long look at replacement over sinking money into repairs.
Pool Automation is technology-based, and even though it should last you 10 years or more, you need to weigh the advantages of new simpler and more advanced automation products against the repair costs of your old automation. Do you fix your 7-year-old computer or get a new one? The same is true in pool automation.
Please take advantage of our Spring Special – get the experienced and professional pool mechanics from Pool Troopers to look over your entire equipment pad and have you ready for the swim season! Contact us today.