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Thread: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

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    New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    We recently purchased a home that was a foreclosed home. It was what looks like it was intended to be a very nice inground pool and spa. We have never owned a pool, and the pool hasn't been opened in probably 2+years.
    The pool is L shaped, with a round spa on the inside corner of the L. It's about 40 feet on the long side and 30 feet on the short side. It currently has a vinyl cover on it, which has a few holes, but we did a walk test on it, and it seems to be intact. We know the spa heater is broken (neighbor told us) and we can see some of the pipes above ground level are broken. Looks like someone ran into them with a mower :/ We know equipment is missing - we can find no ladders or handrails, and there does not appear to be any vacuum equipment. There is a slide, but that's broken/cracked and will be removed. if it wasn't attached, they took it. Looking at the control panel, it seems there are lights in the pool, and it's all Jandy equipment with an aqualink board.

    What's the best way to go about learning about our pool, and how to properly care for it?
    Should we have someone come out and evaluate the equipment/pool to see if it's operable??
    Should we do that now, or wait until spring?
    We have not removed the cover, so we don't have a visual for the condition of the pool. We'd rather leave it on, as it sounds like a big job to get it back in place.

    I'll continue reading here - Soooo much info that seems overwhelming when we don't even know what we have!

    Thanks!

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    Hi Prariegirl,
    Welcome to TFP. If you might be able to post some pics of the plumbing we could help more with that.

    The first thing to do, is to get the plumbing fixed and if you dont have a pump and a filter, then get one.
    Without any way to circulate and filter the water, then its no use in cleaning it up.

    As far as pumps go, there are different types. a. Single Speed Pump, b. Two Speed Pump and c. Variable Speed pumps.
    Two speed pump would be your most economical far as electrical costs go because it can run high speed or low speed as needed. I would also recommend installing a timer for the pump.

    There are different types of filters also. Sand filter, which is probably most commonly used. A cartridge filter and a DE filter (DE stands for diatamacious earth). Do a bit of research on the different types of filters and think about which type might work best for you. One note though, when it comes to filters, the bigger filter, the better. So, get as big of one as you possibly can.

    Here is a link to typical pool plumbing diagrams, to give you an idea of how water circulates in one. There is not a single plumbing set up, there are multiple ways to plumb all of the equipment.
    Google
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    I feel for you! We also bought a foreclosed house/pool/property. EVERY room needs work BUT it was all work we could do ourselves thank goodness!

    I agree with Dave that pictures will help us help you the most. Use photo bucket or such to share the pics.

    If you are handy at all we should be able to get you going in the right direction to fix your pool in time for a Spring swim!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    I have pictures of our set up. Thankfully, there are labels and arrows on many of the pipes, so that's giving me some clues. I'm sure eventually I'll get how they all work together!

    The pool



    The equipment



    The equipment control panel?




    Pumps and pipes (yeah, I know, obvious!)





    Filter?





    Broken pipes





    Non-functional pool heater



    Other things





    So, after looking up some of the model number on the filter, it looks like I have a cartridge filter.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also did some google searching and looked up country property assessment aerial photos from multiple years, and I think the pool was built around 2007 or 2008. I peeked under a corner of the cover, and it looks like the steps are concrete, so I'm guessing the whole pool is a concrete pool?
    27,000 gal. plaster IG with round spa built in 2007. TFT-100 test kit XL w/ Speedstir
    Jandy CL580 cartridge filter. Jandy 1.0 hp filter pump, 1.5 hp booster/spa? pump.
    Aqualink RS One Touch controls. Paramount PC2000 In-floor cleaning system (1.0 hp pump?). Jandy LX pool heater, apparently broken.
    Missing so much gear due to previous foreclosure, it's sad.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    well the damage doesnt look as bad as I imagined.
    All you need to do is dig down a little bit to expose more pipe. Cut out the broken part and glue in some new pvc. I'ts just regular pvc parts available at lowes, HD and plumbing shops.

    That a big cartridge filter and it has 580 square feet of filter area. Its a good one too! You will need to periodically clean the filter cartridges inside.

    The pump closest to the filter is the Pool Filter pump.
    The one in the middle runs the infloor cleaning system.
    the pump on the right is the spa circilation pump.
    It appears to me, that the Spa and Pool operate on completely independent circulation systems. I could be wrong about that, but I dont think so.

    The grey thing behind and to the right of the filter is an ozonator. Basically, they are worthless. If I were you I wouldnt worry about if it works or not, and leave it turned off.

    The white thing just to the right of the filter is a chlorinator. That is what chlorine tabs go in. You can screw the top off of it.

    All of the valves with the red handles are currently in the CLOSED position. Turn them 90 to open them so water will pass through. Dont open them yet though, until you are ready to pump water through.

    The 1st pic below "other things" is the spa blower. It makes lots of bubbles in the spa.

    The 2 things that are to the left of the equipment pad, are the infloor cleaning system valves.

    Hopefully all of the pipes are labled. The filter pump will suck water through the pipes labeled Drains, or Main Drain, and Skimmers.
    The pump will pump water back to the pool through the pipes labled Returns. Thats the basics of the pool circulation.

    If I were you, as mentioned, first thing is to fix all of the broken pipes.
    Then, make sure all of the pumps work. If they do, then you are good to go with starting to maintain the pool.
    Oh, and yeah, Im sure its a plaster (a.k.a. concrete) pool.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    Hi and welcome. I was in your shoes 4 years ago when I bought a foreclosure! Dave has you in good shape, but here's what I did to find out more about my pool:

    - Did property lookup to determine name of owners at time of build
    - Owners were not the foreclosed
    - Called around to pool builders referencing te build (address/owners names) to get info on construction
    - found the builder right away, paid to have them inspect condition and teach us operation...in this case worth te few hours because our build had included an uncommon sump pump-out due to water table and we'd never have known to reverse the pump flow after heavy (eg 6") rains had we not found them

    - In the mean time, also lucked out in that I found the original owners and THEY walked me through ALL the hydrogeology/drainage etc. work done on property...bless their souls! (We were nervous about buying because its a couple of acres on a hill by the river and had evidence of a broken French drain and two septic tanks etc,)

    So, you're off to a great start, but it might not hurt to call around. It looks like its in pretty nice shape!

    Since you're in IL, you've got til spring to plan for any swamp recovery of the actual water...if its bad or black when you open in spring, post and pm me because I have tips and will help you assess the most efficient way forward

    And just because you're new, no offence, I want to make sure you don't take this comment of Dave's literally as in right nw if you're closed:
    All of the valves with the red handles are currently in the CLOSED position. Turn them 90 to open them so water will pass through.
    -- You don't want to do that until you're opening in spring and you will have to first put plugs back in your filter and heater, remove a gizmo from the skimmer box, etc.

    Congrats on your find!

    PS...We had the PB inspect prior to closing on the deal not as a condition but to insure the pool had been closed properly. Freddie Mac doesnt like conditional deals but had agreed in this case to pay for proper closing and determine condition.

    Since it sounds like you've closed, its up to you, but if you found the company that's most recently serviced it, it might not hurt to have them out now before the snow to just check that lines/had been closed properly, are clear and help you map out operating function. But if you want them to actually check working condition, they'll have to reopen and close again...which in your case I might wait til spring.

    One last note: plan to open very early in spring, eg early or mid April if you can. Your cleanup will be faster when the water is too cold for new algae growth and you may need a good few weeks to get 'er cleaned up
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    ALL that Swamp said..............^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^...................she has "Been there, Done that" for sure!

    You are off to a good start!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: New owner, old pool - how do I learn about my pool?

    Finding the builder is a great idea, I would bet you can just go to your city office and take a look at the original permit.

    If you decide to go it on your own you may want to take a look inside the filter to be sure the O ring is in good shape, you have the cartridges, and that it is not full of water (If it has survived 2 years I am sure it is dry but why chance it). Knowing now will allow you to do some internet searches before you have to have it and save some money over pool store prices. If you do decide to take a look inside turn the valve at the top to be sure there is no pressure inside (again I am sure there is no pressure but it is a safety piratic that should always be done before you open the filter) do a YouTube search for cleaning a pool filter watch a couple and you will get the idea. You can do the same for the pump basket lids to be sure the O rings are in good shape.

    When you do test things in the spring before you start them be sure to dump a few gallons of water in each of the pump baskets to wet it and help with priming.

    Two other things I would do not required but may be a good idea, 1 get some bender board or redwood 2X4 and frame out 2ft past the pad put some weed barrier and ground cover down to avoid future weed eater mishaps. 2 once you get the pipes fixed might be a good idea to paint them except the threaded parts, handles and vacuum breakers to keep them from yellowing and becoming brittle. It also makes thing look a bit nicer (black is slimming ) If you do paint be sure to diagram or take readable pictures of the labels on each pipe before. If the equipment is on the north side of the building probably not needed since it will not see much if any direct sunlight.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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