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Thread: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

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    New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Hi. This is the first time I've had an inground pool. The previous owner covered it with a tarp that apparently had holes in it, so over the winter it filled up with leaves and other nastiness. We have taken the cover off and a pool person put 8 gallons of shock in it, but I don't think that was right. We're left with this nasty murky mess that's full of leaves and debris. I've tried using my net to fish it out from the bottom, but it's really not working so well. I'd like some advice on what to do. Pics of the pool and equipment are below. I don't know what kind of equipment I have or how to turn it on. Any advice or suggestions that you could give us novice pool owners would be awesome. The pool is kidney shaped, about 40-50 years old and roughly 48000 gallons according to the old owner. It is 12 feet deep.

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    Last edited by Tpow; 04-13-2016 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Added pic

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    smforte's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Welcome to TFP...someone should be along shortly to help you with your equipment etc. I can tell you you'll need a good test kit and lots of regular ole bleach. I'd answer more but I'm a newly myself and wouldn't want to give you wrong info. These folks will help you get that beauty crystal clear!
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Are you interested in continuing to care for the pool yourself or just fix it and let the pool guy back in? Either way really you *need* your own reliable test kit. Sometimes even pool guys are clueless. You need to monitor your pool because even if the water is clear it could be so chemically whacked that its hurting the pool and equipment.

    We only trust 2 test kits: The Taylor K-2006C or the TF-100 kit. Both avail from TFTestkits.net . You'll also need a good leaf rake to get all the schmutz out of that pool or you'll never get it cleared up.

    Please get the test kit pronto and tell us what these tests show: FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, CYA.

    Get cozy with an adult bev and hit the Pool School articles up at the top of this website and "putcher learnin' cap on!" We're here for help and any questions that come up.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Welcome to TFP and congrats on the new pool! That is a great pool and nice yard!

    +1 to a leaf rake to scoop out the schmutz!

    The pump on the left should be for a pool cleaner. Pump on the right is the filter pump. Both pumps might need to be on for the cleaner to work properly. Those are probably switches for the pumps on the wall. One of the valves probably controls flow from the skimmers and one to a bottom drain. That is a sand filter. That is some pretty old stuff.

    I am not well versed on how to use a sand filter. This should help, Pool School - Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filters

    Once you get it figured out you can add your pool info to your signature so we can help you better in the future, Pool School - Read This Before You Post
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Thanks. We do want to maintain it ourselves. We used our leaf net to drudge up some of the leaves, but theres so much algae in the bottom of the pool that its almost like a paste down there on the concrete. Im thinking that we probably need to turn the pump and filter on and try to get a vaccuum in there, but I dont know how to use our equipment. When we turn the power on nothing seems to happen except a little bit of water leaking. Our equipment is pretty old, i do know that, but it works. It was running in the late summer/early fall when we looked at the house. Any ideas on how we might go about getting the leaves and muck out of the deep end of the pool? Its so green and murky now that I cant see anything in there. I almost want to just drain the whole thing and refill it, but that would cost a small fortune on my water and sewer bills. haha.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Okay lets start at the basics and go from there............Look at this link:

    Pool School - Visual Encyclopedia of Pool Equipment

    Now compare this to YOUR equipment. What do you see that looks like your stuff? Is there ANY labels on your filter? (the big round thing on the right)

    How far from the pool is the equipment? Do you have anyone that can help you by being by the pool while you are at the equipment?

    Until we are able to teach you how to use the equipment there is really no use in draining the pool LOL. Now once we teach you how to use the stuff we will go from there.

    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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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Have you ordered your TF approved test kit yet?

    If you do decide to vacuum you don't want to risk it picking something up and clogging your pipes, so use a leaf canister (photo in Pool School's Visual Encyclopedia) to isolate the chunky stuff from getting into the plumbing.

    As to the power issue- was the pool winterized by someone else who may have shut off valves or added plugs someplace you've missed?

    Draining and refilling might not be as expensive as you think? You can do it in stages so that you don't risk it floating out.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    I am a newbie on this site, but we bought our house 2 years ago and we had never had a pool before. My wife googled the internet and found several people who do what they call pool school. It cost me 100.00 to learn about my equipment, what valves did what and so on. It really helped me since I had no clue on what was what. It may be something to check into. I just recieved my water test kit today and will be testing and maintaining my pool chemistry myself from now on instead of taking water samples to the pool store and having them sell me all kinds of stuff I dont need. Hope this helps.
    I live in Arlington TX. It is a in ground plaster pool approx 25,000 gallons. It has a Nautilus NS DE filter with a 1 1/2 hp starite pump. It has a pool cleaner brand suction style pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Thanks for the links.'I'll have to spend some time reading through them. I'm going to be out there today and I'll try to identify what all our equipment is.

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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Post pictures of your pool equipment and someone will be able to help you identify it and help you get it up and running....
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Ok so I was able to get the pump and filter o and get the backwash process figured out. It's looking a bit better, but there's a TON of debris at the bottom of the pool. It's all basically mush at this point and disentrigrates when we try to fish it out. So, that means we will need to vaccuum the pool right? We don't a working pool cleaner. The one that came with it is dead. Any suggestions on a replacement?
    48,000 gallon Inground cement pool, kidney shaped. OLD sand filter.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    If you can't scoop it out with a leaf rake then vacuum to waste is a good option. A pool cleaner isn't going to help you right now. It will only take your pool from clean to cleaner. It will clog up in a couple of minutes.

    When the time comes, you will need to know if your cleaner is a pressure side cleaner or a suction side cleaner and does it have a booster pump. I just looked and you have a pressure side cleaner with a booster pump. That is the left pump.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    You can get a manual vacuum from Walmart for cheap---------long enough hose and a vacuum head and pole to control it. When you get this let me know and I will walk you through how to hook it up and get it going.

    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 to pools-how do I fix this mess

    The cleaner that is on the left is dead. The motor gave out and it doesnt work properly. Do you have a recommendation for a vaccumm for a concrete pool? We are starting to get a bit of a scum line.


    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    If you can't scoop it out with a leaf rake then vacuum to waste is a good option. A pool cleaner isn't going to help you right now. It will only take your pool from clean to cleaner. It will clog up in a couple of minutes.

    When the time comes, you will need to know if your cleaner is a pressure side cleaner or a suction side cleaner and does it have a booster pump. I just looked and you have a pressure side cleaner with a booster pump. That is the left pump.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Our depth is 12 feet. Will it work for that depth?


    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    You can get a manual vacuum from Walmart for cheap---------long enough hose and a vacuum head and pole to control it. When you get this let me know and I will walk you through how to hook it up and get it going.

    Kim
    - - - Updated - - -

    So we ran into a snag today. I back-washed the filter this morning and everything was fine. My husband tried to do it when he got home and no water was coming out of the discharge line. Then, when we tried to turn the motor back on, there was no pressure on our filter. We had to open some little valve by the main pump and put the hose in it for about 15 minutes for it to fill up. Then we turned it on and the returns in the pool spit out air for a couple minutes before the pressure got up to 10 and we could see water in the little bubble thing on top of the filter. the returns are pushing out water now, so we have circulation back in the pool, but Im concerned that we did something wrong or that we have a plumbing leak somewhere.

    I looked in the equipment link that someone posted above. I guess our equipment is so old that there are no reference images that look like what we have out there. The sticker on the pump is so faded all I can make out is the word Dayton.

    I am ordering the water test kit today.
    48,000 gallon Inground cement pool, kidney shaped. OLD sand filter.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    It sounds as if at some point, too much air got into the system causing the pump to lose "Prime" resulting in the loses of air pressure at the filter and all the bubbles. Now that you figured it out, that's good. Hopefully try to avoid such situations so your pump doesn't run "dry" (without water) as we call it. Next time, before you start, you can post a question or two and we can maybe walk you through some steps to help prevent that from happening. Maybe.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Tpow, first off, welcome

    Secondly, is it possible that when hubby backwashed he closed the valves to the skimmer/drain when he shut the pump off and forgot to reopen them on backwash? That's the kind of noob mistake I've been known to make back in the day

    Another tip is that the system will behave that way/suck air if the water level drops too low in te skimmer, which can happen. So generally, check that your water level is half way up the skimmer plate.

    Lastly, while your pool doesn't look as debris-laden as the swamp I recovered a few years ago, if there is a lot of sediment, it CAN clog a line. You can to some degree prevent this when starting up a neglected pool by only having your drain valve partway open so it doesn't pull larger clumps in.

    If the sediment is really bad and you have trouble clogging a regular vacuum, another option in extreme cases is to rent a trash pump somewhere like harbor freight and pump off the bottom gook, adding freshwater, then performing the SLAM, which would then be quicker for you.

    What kind of surface is your pool? The rule is to never drain a vinyl liner below a foot in the shallow end...other types can depend on water table.
    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 to pools-how do I fix this mess

    I am also thinking a deep clean of your sand may be helpful. Here is a link:

    Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    Use all of this info we are throwing at you (take small bites at a time) and see what works for you and your pool.

    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 to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Tpow, first off, welcome

    Secondly, is it possible that when hubby backwashed he closed the valves to the skimmer/drain when he shut the pump off and forgot to reopen them on backwash? That's the kind of noob mistake I've been known to make back in the day

    Another tip is that the system will behave that way/suck air if the water level drops too low in te skimmer, which can happen. So generally, check that your water level is half way up the skimmer plate.

    Lastly, while your pool doesn't look as debris-laden as the swamp I recovered a few years ago, if there is a lot of sediment, it CAN clog a line. You can to some degree prevent this when starting up a neglected pool by only having your drain valve partway open so it doesn't pull larger clumps in.

    If the sediment is really bad and you have trouble clogging a regular vacuum, another option in extreme cases is to rent a trash pump somewhere like harbor freight and pump off the bottom gook, adding freshwater, then performing the SLAM, which would then be quicker for you.

    What kind of surface is your pool? The rule is to never drain a vinyl liner below a foot in the shallow end...other types can depend on water table.

    Weve gotten most of the surface debris of faith the net. Now the problem is all the gunk that's at the bottom. We try to scrape it off with the net, but after a few passes it churns up so much that we can't see anything. Especially in the deep end. I'm thinking that a vaccuum is the way to go, like Kimkat suggested. I also think cleansing the sand filter might help too. We just need our equipment to make it through this season, as were budgeting to replace it all next season.

    Could someone suggest a vaccuum for a concrete kidney shaped pool with wedding cake stairs that's relatively affordable?
    48,000 gallon Inground cement pool, kidney shaped. OLD sand filter.

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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    Yes, i know exactly what you're talking about...over a 12 day period after removing 30 wheelbarrows full of leaves, we had too much silt to even vacuum properly at first without clogging. You're gonna have to vacuum blind, slow, and then let it settle again, rinse and repeat

    I think what you're looking for to start with is the standard plate, hose, and vacuum head that operates with your filter...the plate goes over the skimmer basket, the suction comes from the filtration system, with your filter set to waste. In this case, I'm not sure there's any brand differential -- its standard operating proceedure to have the base the with the pool and I'm kinda surprise there wasn't one onsite when you purchased.

    Robots or side suction cleaners aren't really suited to this kind of cleanup (when you're ready for that though I love the Dolphin M-series.)
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: New to pools-how do I fix this mess

    ok this is what I was thinking of getting. Kimkats,is this what you were talking about?

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Rotative-V...ingMethod=p13n
    48,000 gallon Inground cement pool, kidney shaped. OLD sand filter.

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