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Thread: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

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    Question New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Howdy folks, first things first. Totally new to pools, so I know -27 things that I should know. So please be patient

    Second, recently purchased home in NE PA, which has I'm guessing a1970's concrete Sylvan pool. I suspect it hasn't been completely filled or run in several years. It's a 20x40 pool guessing 10-12 foot deep.

    First big question is, I have what seems to be hydraulic pressure forcing water up through the drain. I am HOPING this isn't a sign that the drain has failed and is allowing water to push up through. I have read that there may be an equalizer/check valve that will allow pressure to push through to prevent the pool from floating. Question is, would this be the case with such an old pool?

    The pool being relatively empty for an extended period, the original finish was thin and chalky, so I drained completely, acid washed, patched any chips or cracks with PC-11 marine epoxy and applied two coats of epoxy paint. From all my reading I've come to the conclusion that this won't be the end all, and I'll have to refinish in a few years. But before I go whole hog, I want to make sure everything is in order before I do anything more expensive.

    Pics of the handywork below.









    Still have to paint the steps, going to go with white.

    So the HUGE question I have, the pool decking seems to have sunk.. Knowing nothing about pools when we bought the house, I figured it'd be just break up the concrete and lay down new. But with the pool being empty for an unknown period, and looking closer, I've become concerned that the pool may have floated? Thoughts? I'm worried about it cracking when I fill it? Should I be concerned? Anything I can do to prep for the worst?





    The other question I have is the drain and "jets". The main drain is concrete with no screw holes, I bought an SDX concrete retrofit, is that the best way to go?

    Also the "jets" under the skimmer have a single screw hole in the center. I can't find any fittings online for them, as I don't know what they are called. Any ideas what each is (inlet/outlet) and what I'll need to cover them?



    Thanks for all your help so far... I am certain there will be MANY more questions.

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Well, got the steps painted last night/this morning. Hope some of you have an idea what I'm looking at here


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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    have I stumped the professionals?

    Waiting for the paint to cure before I install the SDX retrofit drain cover. So I have a few days to wait.

    I guess the big question that remains is what inlet/outlet jets do I use? My pipes have a center hole nearly flush to the pool wall maybe set back 1/2" the typical screw in outlets obviously won't work.

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    great news! found the fittings, for the I'm now guessing outlets, in the pump house. They look like faucet downspouts. So theres something fixed. I'll clean them up and paint them this weekend. Putting the drain cover in Sunday, then it's time to start filling.

    I'm hoping the water will settle the pool back down if it popped. If not, then it's just the decking.

    Any recommendations before I start filling? Going to have to read up on the chemistry stuff, as well as priming the system and starting the filter. Already plan on replacing the sand from the filter, who knows how long it's been in there.

    Any other suggestions?

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    No need to replace the sand. It survived a few million years before being stuffed into the pump, it'll very likely be ok. You can, however, deep clean the sand if you want (probably a good idea given how long things have been sitting). There's an article here in Pool School on how to do that.

    The water coming out of the drain area, hopefully, is due to a hydrostatic valve that is designed to keep the pool from floating.

    With regards to the difference in height between the pool edge and the surrounding decking, my guess since it's extremely un-uniform is that it may be the decking itself settling.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Boy, that's quite a project! I had missed your posts until now. You've done quite a lot already.

    I would be concerned about the pool being floated, rather than the decking sinking because of the water you've seen come through the main drain area, perhaps that may be broken as well. If there is an issue with the main drain, such as the pool won't even hold a foot of water because it's leaking badly, you can simply cap/fill and abandon the main drain. Main drains are not required and really don't improve circulation by much. They are really only handy for being able to drain the pool below the skimmers in the fall when closing or for other draining situations.

    I would do a test fill to see if it will hold a foot or so of water and work your way up. If the pool has floated a bit, depending on how long ago, rain may have washed enough dirt and sediment to support the pool on the sides. You'll only know once you start filling!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Ohh... and forgetful me, Welcome to TFP!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    WOW you have done a ton of work looks great. You want to get a good test kit as soon as you can if you plan to start filling soon. Most get the TF-100 form HERE there are some other good kits you can see them compared HERE but they can be under sized epically when you are learning to test or like to obsessively test like I do.
    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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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    No need to replace the sand. It survived a few million years before being stuffed into the pump, it'll very likely be ok. You can, however, deep clean the sand if you want (probably a good idea given how long things have been sitting). There's an article here in Pool School on how to do that.

    The water coming out of the drain area, hopefully, is due to a hydrostatic valve that is designed to keep the pool from floating.

    With regards to the difference in height between the pool edge and the surrounding decking, my guess since it's extremely un-uniform is that it may be the decking itself settling.
    I am hoping you are right, I am almost sure that is the case, but I do know my luck! Either way, it won't be cheap to replace the decking, but less cheap to do whatever with the pool/drain combo.

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    Boy, that's quite a project! I had missed your posts until now. You've done quite a lot already.

    I would be concerned about the pool being floated, rather than the decking sinking because of the water you've seen come through the main drain area, perhaps that may be broken as well. If there is an issue with the main drain, such as the pool won't even hold a foot of water because it's leaking badly, you can simply cap/fill and abandon the main drain. Main drains are not required and really don't improve circulation by much. They are really only handy for being able to drain the pool below the skimmers in the fall when closing or for other draining situations.

    I would do a test fill to see if it will hold a foot or so of water and work your way up. If the pool has floated a bit, depending on how long ago, rain may have washed enough dirt and sediment to support the pool on the sides. You'll only know once you start filling!
    Well, the somewhat good news is there was a foot or three in there when I started. I'd say closer to three foot, it was up over the curve from the bottom/side portion of the deep end. So Hopefully that wasn't water table stabilization and it was "holding" water. I'll fill past that level and see if it holds. Where does the water from the main drain go? is the skimmer also attached to that? I only have the skimmer, main drain and looks like two "outlets" below the skimmer. So I am a bit confused on how this all works.

    Oh and a question I think I know the answer to already, but I'll ask it since I know I'll be eventually pulling the decking anyway.

    How hard is it to retrofit a pool light in this thing?

    Thanks for the welcome!

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    How hard is it to retrofit a pool light in this thing?
    I probably wouldn't even consider the traditional niche light....the concrete might be more than a foot thick!

    I have seen some surface mount lights (can't remember where, now) that looked just fine and could be made to look reasonably attractive. Others will chime in to help track them down.
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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    With regards to how the skimmer/drain/jets are plumbed, your guess is as good as ours at the moment. Do you have a photo of the bottom of the skimmer and the pump/filter area?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Good news is I got the retrofit drain cover on, popped my temporary plug and got about 100+ gallon rush once it popped, talk about hydrostatic pressure...

    I got all that nasty silt filled water pumped out and have been slowly filling with city water. It's up over the original level that was standing in the pool.

    Snapped some photos of the pump, skimmer and outlets. I'll post them up tomorrow when I'm on the laptop.

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Ok, so good news this far is it's filling nicely. Already up to the shallow end of the transition as of this morning. So I suspect it was a relief valve under there!




    So here are pics of the pump, skimmer and outlets.
    How am I supposed to hook up a vacuum to this? There is a vacuum in the pool house, so I know it is possible







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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    It probably has a plate to hook it up to the skimmer.
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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    OK folks, water line is over the transition hump So I got the water tested,

    FAC: 0
    TAC: 0
    CH: 100
    CYA: 0
    TA: 60
    pH: 7.6
    copper: 0
    Iron: 0
    dissolved solids: 0
    Phosphates: 1000

    Dunno if I'm going to buy a SWG yet, or if I'm going to stick to chemicals this year.. Either way, where do I get started before the pump starts running?

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Just bought a SWG, 40k gallon. I should be just over 30k gallons.

    So I know I need salt, what else?

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Do you have your own test kit? That will be essential to proper maintenance of your pool! If you don't, we highly, highly, highly recommend the TF-100 kit.

    You are going to need Cyanuric Acid. You can buy it almost anywhere that has pool chemicals. Get the granule version, not liquid (it'll save you some money)
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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by normie View Post
    Just bought a SWG, 40k gallon. I should be just over 30k gallons.

    So I know I need salt, what else?
    At an average depth of 8', given your dimensions above, PoolMath has you at near 48k gallons. Are you sure about your 40k 30K gallon estimate?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Yeah. I remeasured the pool, previous owner said 20 x 40 it's actually more like 16 x 30.

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    Re: New House, OLD pool, LOTS of questions

    Ahh! That makes more sense.

    Don't forget to add your pool info to your signature when you get a moment. You can do that under Settings in the top nav bar (right side).
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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