I just moved into my house two months ago. This is my first time to own a pool. The house was a foreclosure and had been vacant for over a year, but the foreclosure lender did put in a new Hayward filter before I purchased it. The pump is a Reliant (don't know how old it is) which I have been told is not that great of a machine. The pool size is about 20,000 gal. I started with a green pool due to pump not running and water level being low. About a month ago I had a pool guy look at the pool and he told me that I would be looking at major repairs to get the thing in top shape. He told me that the decking looked to be in very bad condition and needed to be replaced. I know that there are leaks as it loses water--maybe two inches or more per week in 70 degree weather in the daytime.
The pool guy chiseled some of the area where the trap is so that I could get the water level to a point where the pump could work. The pool seems to hold water somewhat at a certain point where it only slowly leaks, but I had to get the trap in line with that point. He also gave me some pointers on starting out with a pool. He got the pump/filter running, ordered a new membrane for the filter, got a few other parts and advised me on a few thing to purchase at the pool store such as a brush, net and pole. He shocked the pool to get it back to blue.
At that point, I wanted to take over the care myself, so I purchased a Pool Blaster Max and have been trying to get the debris out. I wanted to get a robotic vacuum, but the pool guy told me that my system is old and it probably would not work. The pool never got totally sparkly. It has been cloudy since the first shock although some days get better as I add more bleach. I messed up by brushing the pool to try to get the debris in one area so that I could vacuum, so I've had to shock several times with liquid bleach. When I stirred things up, it became very cloudy. I vacuumed over the course of several days and that stirred things up as well. Now, almost all of the debris has been vacuumed, but I suspect that there is still more that i cannot see.
As for the filtration system, well it has issues. First there is air getting in from somewhere. Even if the water level is high, there is still bubbling going on. I sealed the o ring cap on the pump with lub, but I don't know it that helped. It does help to have the pool fuller, however it still has bubbling. When the pool guy first started helping me the filter membrane was not doing its job. It needed cleaning out about everyday. Then after he replaced it with a new one it showed signs of improvement. The pool was so dirty at that point that it overwhelmed the filter. It did okay for awhile, but every since I started vacuuming about a week or two ago the filter is doing something very strange. The needle on the gauge jumps rather like a needle on a speedometer when you press the gas peddle and let up. It does that for awhile after cleaning the membrane, but then it might settle down on one spot for a time. I am suspicious that some small pebbles may have gotten into the plumbing line that goes from the pool trap to the pump. The reason that I am suspicious of that is because when I was vacuuming around the main drain in the deep end of the pool a good amount of pieces of either pool material or small marble pebbles came up in the vacuum. Either I may have damaged the surface of the pool by vacuuming or those particles were there already and they just came up with the vacuum. Maybe by moving them around the pump was able to pull them into the line. (The pool guy told me that my pool needs to be resurfaced).
Okay, so I've put in a bunch of bleach, the water is blue but cloudy. I have taken water samples to the pool store on several occasions and have been told that something is eating my chlorine. (I'm ordering a Taylor kit tomorrow). Total and Combined Chlorine were both 0, FC 0, PH 7.6, Total Alk 100, Calcium Hardness 230, Stabilizer 0, Total Dissolved Solids 1,100, Phosphate 300. Pool store told me to shock again and add more pucks to the floater to get some stabilizer into the water (had two before, so added two more), so I did about 5 gallons of liquid bleach over 12 hours then went back for testing the next day. I had .5 FC and total but 0 on combined. PH went up to 7.7, Total Aka 100, Calcium Hardness 200, Stabilizer 0, Total Dissolved solids 1900. Now, the pool store recommends stabilizer--8 lbs. I came home without it and will order it online tomorrow. The reason they did not recommend stabilizer before is because I was losing water to a leak and would have to keep replenishing it and it is costly.
I have read through many articles on Pool School and find that they are most helpful. I don't know how to post pictures here, but if I figure it out, I will. I am concerned that the pool may be crumbling, I'm concerned about the filtration, and I'm concerned about the loss of water. If repairs are needed, I'll have to have them done slowly and may have to do some of them myself.
Here are some of my questions: The drain in the deep end of the pool, does that take water to the pump as well as the trap that takes water to the pump? What can you tell me about my issues and how can I remedy the problems? Should I be using those pucks in the floater?
Any help that you offer will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to our discussions in the coming days.