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Thread: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

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    New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Hello!

    My husband and I recently purchased a home with an inground pool. What we know so far is the pool was closed and winterized in fall of 2012 and hasn't been opened since. It is a Hayward S200 Sand Filter. At this time, as far as it seems everything works so that is one step in the right direction. We took off the pool cover this past Saturday (three days ago). The cover was one of those trampoline style safety covers so fortunately, it kept a lot of the debris out.

    We got two quotes to open up the pool and get our chemicals started.......one was $1850 and the other was $2500. Everyone I knew told me to just do it myself and it was EASY......I am doing it myself; however, I have been going back and forth to the pool store and easy doesn't really come to mind. We originally wanted to use baquacil for it's supposed gentleness as we have children with allergies, asthma and skin issues. The woman at the pool store said she used baquacil for years but that it is not as good as they make it out to be and strongly urged me to go with chlorine. Now mind you, she has been doing this for 40++ years so I have gone the route of chlorine per her advice.

    So, my husband and I agreed and proceed to buy our BioGuard products. When we opened the pool.......it was black. Today, it is turquoise or pretty green but there is still a lot of algae in it and every time I vacuum and think I've made some headway, I come back the next morning or hours later and the algae just looks like its back. I AM FEELING SUPER DISCOURAGED.

    Saturday I vacuumed all day. During this time I had to backwash A LOT.....like every 5 minutes. Now, I have to backwash less often but I still have the blob in the pool. Saturday evening we put in 6 bags of BurnOut Shock. We did not scrub the walls this time. We just left it overnight. Sunday we brushed the pool and vacuumed on and off all day. Sunday Evening we added six more bags of burnout shock and then brushed the pool. After an hour, we added Banish and let it set. The next day it rained all day so we did nothing. Today, I vacuumed the pool quite a bit as well as brushed it a couple times and still a blob. In the process, I've had to add water quite a few times due to vacuuming on waste or backwashing.

    We have vacuumed to waste as often as we can but between that and backwashing, my neighbors are going to kill me. I've flooded their garden and flowers. I'm on a small 100x100 city lot so I don't really have anymore options. I need to backwash as little as possible or I'm going to be looking at some other problems. Not sure if the filter needs changing or not......we can do this if absolutely necessary; however, I was kind of hoping to redo it after I got all the yuck out. Maybe this is not logical though....I'm not sure - New to the pool stuff.

    She told me to put some of my BioGuard Silk Smart Sticks in the skimmer. Currently, there are five of them in the skimmer that we added an hour ago. I don't want to keep dumping in shock day after day since it keeps dropping and it's not very cost effective at this point.

    I would like to note, the pump has been running 24/7 other than shutting it off to switch to backwash, etc.

    The only test kit I have is the Bioguard 4 way water test strips. I just tested it and the readings say:

    Bromine: 0-1
    Free Chlorine: 0
    PH: Below very low
    Total Alkalinity: not sure.....it's like a greenish yellow and my option is orangish at 0 and green at 40 so probably something in between - either way......very low

    she said she didn't want me adding any alkalinity/ph chemicals until i've gotten the algae out of the pool because she said it would just be wasting chemicals. I am supposed to bring her a test on Thursday when we go up there and I'm supposed to get the remainder of my chemicals for the season.

    The chemicals we have left are:
    1 more box of BurnOut Shock (12 pounds)
    Large Tub (30lbs) of Silk Smart Sticks
    Two bottles of something called BACKUP

    Any advice you have would be very much appreciated. I've started reading in some of the forums and ABC's of pool chemicals, etc.....and it's a little overwhelming but very informative.

    Thanks so much!!

    I've posted some before we started and then about an hour ago what it looks like. Yes, I know......major difference. Mostly I want to be sure I'm on the right path and that after all of this vacuuming.....I really am getting somewhere and this blob is not just some dark abyss.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    YIKES!!! ... step away from the pool store, forget everything you have been told, and stop using all those ridiculously overpriced chemicals.

    On the plus side ... you did not go the Baq route ... so the pool store did one thing right

    It is totally understandable that you feel discouraged ... but you are with family now and we will get you straightened out
    Within a week you can likely have a sparkling pool which you can maintain for the rest of the year for less than you have already spent on chemicals.

    Now here is the bad news, you need to spend more money
    But, I swear to you that it will save you SO!!! much money going forward.
    You need to invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits because accurate testing and knowing what is in your water is the cornerstone of what we teach.
    And if you will trust me a little bit further, just order the TF-100 with the XL option and optionally add the SpeedStir (which makes the testing easier and more fun ).

    I am not sure what most of the chemicals you have been adding, but I am worried that some of them might be causing more harm than good. I would suggest removing all the sticks and only adding 1 bottle of bleach per day until you have one of the good test kits and can post results.

    While waiting, start to read Pool School. This is a good place to start:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    - - - Updated - - -

    I am reading your post more closely ...

    PLEASE!!!! Stop adding any more chemicals. All those bags you are adding are very acidic and now your pH and TA have likely crashed horribly low and could be causing damage. GRRRRR right now I am SOOO angry at that pool store ... like seriously enraged and trying not to use words that will get caught in the language filter

    - - - Updated - - -

    SERIOUSLY ... NEVER!!!! go back to that pool store. Honestly I cannot recall ever getting so angry over a post since I have been on this forum.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    I am with Jason, the advice to ignore your pH and TA is just terrible advice that could cause permanent damage to your pool and equipment. Odds are that it isn't the small amount of chlorine in your pool but the fact that your water is extremely acidic that is killing the algae.

    I can attest that going the TFP route might seem overwhelming now, but it is really a route that will lead to ongoing clear water and much easier (and cost efficient) care for your pool.

    From my HTC One via Tapatalk
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Thank you Jason and JD! I have ordered my test kit and will have my husband go bleach shopping tomorrow. I have also pulled out the smart silk sticks and will continue reading up in pool school to see what basics I need to stock up on for the summer. I'm a little sad because I just literally spent $500 on Thursday and I cannot really return it. I also have a $100 gift card to that store that I purchased to take advantage of the annual 20% discount. Jokes on me....but, on a positive note, it sounds like I will have a truly clean and clear pool at a fraction of the cost and if everything I read on here is true, it will cost me less to take care of my pool for the entire season then it would be to just by the next round of chemicals at the pool store! So, a win for me if you're looking at the overall picture . Hopefully I can find $100 worth of cleaning tools and pool toys to spend my gift card on!

    Have a great evening!
    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Thank you for the decisive action to trust us and order a test kit!!!

    How much rain to you guys get up there? Do you partially drain for winter?
    With your short season, you very likely might still be able to use at least some of the chemicals you bought. But, you need to learn what all they are doing to your water to you stay in balance. It might last you a few years

    I really wish we could get a good read on your pH and TA and try to get that fixed ASAP, but test strips are so bad.
    Also related, given all the chlorine you have been throwing in the pool, there is a chance (although low) that it is not really 0 and could actually be high and fading out the strip.

    While I doubt it, if the pool store sells liquid chlorine, $100 will get you a LOT of it ... but brush/net/pole etc might be good too depending on what you have already.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    WOW! I am SO glad you found us! Welcome HOME! Where friends are just waiting to give you a and help get your pool looking like a jewel!

    Well I have one thing to say to the pool store- BYE! You will not get any more of their money unless it is for FUN stuff like floats and noodles!

    It is awesome she did not lead you down the bac road. At least they got that part right.

    I see you ordered your test kit! AWESOME! It should ship today and be there soon. I hate that you had to spend MORE money but like Jason said it will pay off in the end.

    As for what you have already bought, you should be able to return the unopened bottles of BACKUP (will have to look that one up). The other stuff will not go bad so just keep it in a cool, shady area.

    For right now do as stated above: add water back so your pool is filled to the middle of the skimmer and add a cheap, generic jug of bleach with the pump running each day to hold you were you are. NO scented or splashless. Just plain bleach.

    Oh wait! Many people are saying that Walmart has "pool shock" on sell. It is 10% and cheaper than bleach. It is in the pool stuff area. It is bottles like bleach. Just make sure to check the date code to make sure it is fresh (no more than 3 months old).

    Does your pool store sell liquid chlorine? If so you can use that. BUT I would use what is easy for you to get to on a daily bases for right now and not too pricey as well.

    We got ya! Here is another

    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 - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Welcome to TFP, I am so happy you found us

    Could you return what you have not used and "trade" for liquid chlorine? You can call them and ask if they have 10% or 12.5% liquid chlorine.

    I promise we will get you going, I really wish they would have told you to bring you PH and TA to proper levels but that is old news, we go from here..

    CHeck out the links in our signatures and ask any questions that you have You will love your new pool after your done with the SLAM
    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 :) **

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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Greetings and welcome, serenity

    There's no reason not to use that $100 gift card on the pool store's liquid chlorine. Just don't follow their advice or bother engaging in a conversation about it unless you feel like doing a lot of fact checking I've been in your shoes, and after a month of TFP, even though I liked the indie owner and attempts at helpfulness, it quickly became clear that if all you know is what the mfgs of your products tell you, you'll just never have the big picture to connect the dots and the half-truths are confusing.

    I bought a foreclosed pool (Er... house) with a blackwater swamp a few years back, and turned to TFP after $750 worth of pool technicians -- from the company that BUILT the pool originally -- couldn't make a dent. So you're already faring better financially

    TFP is founded on the science of the CYA to Free Chlorine relationship (see chart in signature.) Once you have your test kit and you balance your other parameters (eg. TA not zero...eg 50-70 fine and ph around 7.2 ....7.2 is lower than normal, but is ideal for slamming because the chlorine is more effective) it will be important to figure out how much cya you've added via the prefab sticks, bags of shock, etc.

    So run that CYA test a few times to confirm where you're starting at, as that will determine what SLAM level you use -- what the effective "kill zone" is, so to speak

    In the mean time, since you've been able to vacuum to waste without clogging so far, I'm guessing you don't have a lot of large debris left on the bottom. I am wondering with your concern for your neighbors if you could find a way with a longer backwash hose to route the water somewhere less objectionable? Some people will buy firehose (look on ebay) to use as a sturdy and extra long backwash hose.

    You will need to backwash every time your pressure is 25% above normal pressure for your filter...the filter has to be able to do its job because that's the vital last leg of the slam.

    With respect to your filter, you do not need to change that sand in my experience. Sand is millions of years old already I went 5 years post black water slam without changing mine and when we opened it up this season, the sand was as sharp as the day it was born. Kid you not.

    There is a "deep cleaning" proceedure here in the how-to threads that can be good maintenance annually -- my filter is in a finished pool house so that's not an option for me but IF for any reason you later feel the filter is not performing, you can do that.

    Now, about your "blob" -- my best guess is that the Backup, a suficant that changes the surface tension of the water (its an algaecide but some people use it to suffocate bugs in pools) has perhaps globbed up with the elixir of other products and particulate matter.

    Did you at any point add something called "floc" or "drop out" ? If so, that can also exacerbate blobs.

    At this point, I feel that your SLAM will break this stuff down and filter it out, because based on your water color-change to date, it looks like your filter is operating well. With a sand filter, it can take a week or two to get clear once the slam is underway. Mine took 12 days.

    We can revisit the blob later once you see what a few days of true slamming brings

    Sendin ya the swamp-to-sparkles mojo
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    A few links...you may not need any of this stuff, but if you do, thought I'd throw it out there.

    This attaches to a hose and sucks up larger items like leaves...leaf rake is best, but this helped my aching back at the time. Never used it since.
    Amazon.com : Universal Leaf Gulper Pool Vacuum : Swimming Pool Pressure Cleaners : Patio, Lawn Garden

    I have a lot of trees so I broke a few leaf rakes. This one seems sturdy -- leaf raking is great for debris on bottom and improves slam without vacuuming when you're trying to avoid drain to the neighbors flower beds
    Amazon.com : Purity Pool RBTD Red Baron 20-Inch Professional Leaf Rake, Tuff Duty Model : Swimming Pool Rakes : Patio, Lawn Garden

    And here's a video on testing cya for when your kit comes;

    How test the CYA Cyanuric Acid in a pool - YouTube
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
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    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Wow, a lot happening here in a short time. At this rate you guys will be all set in no time! Nice work so far.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Thanks everyone! Quick question....we are shopping for bleach today to add slowwwwly to the pool until my test kit comes and we can better assess where we are at but I want to make sure the bleach is OK.

    Clorox it says concentrated
    Sodium Hypochlorite 8.25%
    Yields 7.85%
    121 fluid ounces

    Is this percentage OK and do I add the entire bottle ....once per day for now?

    Thanks again!

    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Yes that is the stuff ... or usually the Walmart brand is cheaper same concentration. 8.25% is what you would put in as the strength in PoolMath.

    There is also liquid chlorine in the pool sections that is 10% and some pool stores sell 12.5%.

    Yes, one bottle per day until you can run a full set of test results.

    Just slowly pour the bleach in over one of the return jets in the deep part of the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Ok Thank you JBlizzle! I am going to pool store today for test only.....its got to at least give me a slight idea unless they are using one of those stick tests.

    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    OK, just remember to not let them use scare tactics to buy more unneeded chemicals
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Agreed, be very cautious of any advice they give, especially if it involves making more purchases. While I don't trust pool store testing as a rule, if they agree that your pH and TA are both extremely low then I would consider throwing some baking soda in. Not a lot since you don't want to risk overshooting without more accurate numbers, but maybe 20-30 ppm worth just to get something in there.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    OK, just remember to not let them use scare tactics to buy more unneeded chemicals
    Oh I won't this is a different pool store

    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Agreed, be very cautious of any advice they give, especially if it involves making more purchases. While I don't trust pool store testing as a rule, if they agree that your pH and TA are both extremely low then I would consider throwing some baking soda in. Not a lot since you don't want to risk overshooting without more accurate numbers, but maybe 20-30 ppm worth just to get something in there.
    OK, thanks! That is kind of what I was thinking. I don't want more problems because my alkalinity is way off.

    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Do you have any idea of the depth profile of your pool? Does the pool max out at 5 feet or so, or is there an 8+ foot deep end?
    We need start to try to estimate the volume. Without a depth idea, I can only estimate that the pool is between 19k and 29k gallons.

    If the pool store shows that your pH and TA are very low. Grab about 7-8 pounds of baking soda while you are out.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Do you have any idea of the depth profile of your pool? Does the pool max out at 5 feet or so, or is there an 8+ foot deep end?
    We need start to try to estimate the volume. Without a depth idea, I can only estimate that the pool is between 19k and 29k gallons.

    If the pool store shows that your pH and TA are very low. Grab about 7-8 pounds of baking soda while you are out.
    It is definitely eight feet in the deep end. It starts out probably at 3-4 ft and then gradually slants down to a much deeper level. Assuming eight feet.....I have to use my pole fully extended.

    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New to Pools - Pool Closed for FOUR YEARS.....HELP!

    And the first half or so of the pool is one kevel. It was put in sometime in the 80's. Not to be confused with the lake slope styke. So it's 3-4 feet for a ways then the slant starts and goes into the eight foot end.

    - Heather
    18x36 Inground Rectangular Pool, Vinyl, 24,000 *estimated* gallons, Hayward S200 Sand Filter, Hayward Super Pump,
    Mesh Safety Cover, Blanket Solar Cover, TF-100 Test kit with Speed Stir, Liquid Chlorine 10%

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