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Thread: Need advice on cleaning freshly drained plaster pool

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Las Vegas

    Need advice on cleaning freshly drained plaster pool

    First off, this may be the best user-submitted, advice-driven website on the internet, and I'm not being even slightly hyperbolic. I've spent a great deal of time reading through the Pool School articles and various threads lately, and the amount of information that has been refined and perfected and happily delivered is pretty amazing.

    Moving on, I'm under a bit of a time constraint so I don't have the luxury of posting an introduction just yet, so I'll try to be concise with asking for help on this issue and allow this to temporarily serve as an intro. I very recently purchased a home with a broken pool pump motor and old (quite old!), undersized filter, so I had them both replaced on Thursday (see sig for current equipment details + pics). I like DIY projects but I had a professional do this as my home warranty will not cover the equipment unless a licensed professional installs it and, perhaps more importantly, I wouldn't have known how to do it anyway and I shy away from projects that involve rewiring of any sort (the prior pump was a single speed, 2 HP, 2500 watt piece of ancient, rebuilt junk).

    The pool has reportedly (prior owner info isn't reliable in my situation) not been drained in 5+ years and my default water in Las Vegas has a high TDS content, so I decided to drain the pool earlier today (thank you to TFP for showing me how to do this!). Additionally, I did not want to send a veritable swamp through my brand new and rather pricey equipment. Currently, the pool sits empty, it's dark outside and I'm going to begin cleaning it tomorrow at 5 AM sharp to make sure it's refilled ASAP.

    My question is, do you recommend a certain chemical or combination of chemicals and methodology to remove organic stains from the wall and floor? I'm not 100% certain all of the stains are organic, but the majority certainly appear to be. I can provide drained pool pictures first thing tomorrow if that would be of help. I've read up on using a kind of bleach/shock/chlorine paste and elbow-grease as an alternative to doing an acid wash (I'm not entirely adverse to an acid wash but I would prefer not to do this). Also, do you recommend using a pressure washer to clean the pool and if so, is there a certain PSI cutoff point for a plaster pool?

    Thank you kindly for the advice. Of note, I have purchased a lot of bleach and some CYA for my refill and I'm ordering the TF-100 tomorrow to make sure I get this right.

    Pool immediately before drain with old filter in the background:

    Additional angle:

    New VS Pump + 420 SqFt Filter (currently, pump is turned off + breaker is off as well):

    Edit: I will update size of pool in gallons after my refill tomorrow, but my approximation of 20k should be close (pool is 8 feet deep in center and shallows out on the two ends + I know the GPH movement of the sump and timed this out accordingly).
    ~20K Gal, IG Plaster, 3 HP Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Pentair Cartridge 420 SqFt, Pool Age ~25 Years, Hot Desert Climate with High TDS H20

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: Need advice on cleaning freshly drained plaster pool

    Welcome to TFP,

    I don't know what it looks like drained, but from what can be seen here that isn't so bad at all really. Post some drained pics, but unless you have something resembling metal stains, most likely there is little worry. I don't recall fill water metal out there, and it's highly probable you're very safe in that regard. Let's eee what you have, but if your stains don't resemble rust, or blue-ish staining, you may not need anything beyond dilute bleach and water solutions to scrub it out with, similar to what you mentioned.

    I don't kmow if theres a PSI cut off for a pressure wash, but just be sensible with the distance of the nozzle, and fan size of the spray. Its a moot point now, but running that through your equipment wouldn't hurt at all. Not an issue now, but you'll still need to perform a SLAM on the pool once refilled. Cleaned out well, it will be pretty easy.

    Let us know what you found with it drained, and let's go from there.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

  3. Back To Top    #3

    TFP Guide

    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Fletcher, OK

    Re: Need advice on cleaning freshly drained plaster pool

    we have seen way worse swamps than that run through filters with no issues and they are crystal clear now

    Hit it with some bleach water using some type of car wash bristle broom like this Carrand 93111 Car Quad 10 Brush Head: Automotive

    Hit it with wash afterwards and start filling her back up

    Order a great test kit today, the TF100 or the K-2006C are what you need (I love my TF100) below in my sig... You may get the kit by the time you are done filling and starting to balance your water
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Need advice on cleaning freshly drained plaster pool

    Welcome to the forum.

    First, I agree with Patrick and Cowboy. follow their advice.

    I would not worry too much if you can't remove all the can make it look good after it is full.
    do you recommend a certain chemical or combination of chemicals and methodology to remove organic stains from the wall and floor?
    Chlorine is the answer. As you continue to read, you find the product "shock" is just chlorine with some ingredients you don't want.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School......that's where it all starts. Get your good test kit (no shortcuts).

    Next, read the "SLAM" article in Pool School. It's what you'll do to get the pool crystal clear. Get the test kit first. You cannot succesfully complete the SLAM without it.

    Thank you for the very nice words about the forum. This is a great bunch of pool owners who love to share what they have learned.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Tallahassee, FL

    Re: Need advice on cleaning freshly drained plaster pool

    Good morning! You will have an easy time of it. Just do what they ^^^^ said and you will love your pool!

    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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