we recently purchased a home in West Fargo, North Dakota.
For some equipment info, here is what I can tell:
- Splashpool Omega 20 ft circular pool (stated to be 9000 gallons) and ladder
- Cartridge based filter with extra filter (total 2 filters)
- 75 gpm pump (it has like no switch, you just plug it in and it just runs)
- Pool heater system (uses natural gas or propane, not sure which)
- Brush (looks like a plain jane sweeping brush)
- 16 ft telescoping rod (just got this as nothing before)
- some really basic vaccum piece and variety of tubing
- chroline tabs floater thing
- skimming net
Due to the weather which was ridiculously hot on the days we moved then of course turned cold after, we neglected to get out to work on the pool and add the shock that the previous owner recommended. No chlorine tabs in the floater, also we didn't run the filter.
So of course when we go to check out the pool, its swamp city and smelled a bit too.
Not knowing anything about pools, I started looking online for information.
Seeing the variety of chemicals here the previous owner left, I started with the shock packets that he had and the clorox brand test strips. From my initial tests, the Free Chlorine (FC) was at "A" or 0, so basically bad. And my PH and Total Alkalinity were very high according to the Clorox test strips.
After viewing some youtube videos, in particular ones from this guy:
The BBB method - Using Bleach, Baking Soda Borax to Maintain Your Swimming Pool - YouTube
I went and started adding in bleach to the mix to get the Free Chlorine (FC) up. I went with Walmart's great value brand as oddly the Clorox one here did not state the percentage on it.
The darker swamp color went to more clear ( I can see the bottom of the pool now) and the smell went away too. What I see now is what appears to be patches of clumping algae I think that as soon as you barely touch it with a brush it breaks all into "water dust".
I am not sure however how "clear" the water is supposed to look relative to the pool I have itself (maybe stained?). I did take water out of the pool to have it tested this morning when I went to get the pool a pole and the guy who tested it said the levels looked fine, with the chlorine being elevated, I think he said like 8. So I am assuming that since I am trying to kill stuff here, I need to up the Free Chlorine (FC).
He recommended that I vacuum the algae areas and run the filter which I have been doing pretty much 24/7. As I have a cartridge based filter, I tried to just "backwash" (this is how the owner described it) it by removing the filter output line that goes back into the pool and directing it into the lawn, taking out the filter itself, and vacuuming the pool.
I tried this, and ran into a problem where once I had good suction, as soon as it appeared the line would get any bit of air in one of the extension hoses (I did run them under water before adding them), my pump acted like it went into a "safe" mode (no suction at all) until I unplugged it for a bit. I also don't know how much "suction" I should expect either. I found that leaving it all connected normally with a filter, I got better consistent results, but still had the "safe mode" issue too.
So right now I am trying to decide my next course of action. As it sits:
- Can see the bottom of the pool pretty easily
- Only true green style cloudiness comes when I kick up whats on the bottom (no leaves here, pretty open prairie land)
- water still has a light to medium green hue to it
- Filters when checked and cleaned after 8 hr session have good amounts of green on them that I wash off
- I am adding in a 2 gallons of Walmart Great Value brand bleach each day
- I have 2 Clorox brand tablets floating in the pool dispenser thing
- I try to brush the pool at least twice a day
Here is what my latest reading after adding bleach and a bag of shock about 1.5 hrs ago based on the test strip:
Total Chlorine: High
Free Chlorine: off the charts (was like dark purple)
stabilizer: I'd say between 100 and 150 (oddly, it says "100" is okay, but I am hearing that is not the case??)
Things I am considering:
Based on this info, thinking I need to drain the pool some or add some water, not sure how much though...
- Purchasing some sort of auto cleaning thing (previous owner mentioned some kind of "bug" device)
- Purchasing an auto skimmer that attaches to the side of the pool
- Buying an algaecide like Swamp Treat as seen on some Youtube videos to kill whatever is remaining
- Continue with the BBB method as I saw on a youtube video
- Having a bag of Shock on hand, adding maybe once a week?
I do have questions about winterization in my region where it can get in the negatives easily but will ask that once I get closer to that timeframe.
I appreciate any advise. I am hoping that I can figure this out and keep the pool versus just selling it off. My wife and I are willing to give it a go!