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Thread: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

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    Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    First, Thank you all for this website. It's gotten me entirely up to speed on understanding pool maintenance.

    I thought I'd post some updates on my pool opening, which has been a week long process, and still going.

    Some background: I rent my home in NJ, which came with a 16x32 in-ground pool, which was in complete disrepair 3 years ago. After a bad winter one of the walls collapsed, so we had a tough time one spring getting things in order. After the heavy lifting was done, I learned the tools of the trade in terms of pool maintenance. This for the last 2 years have been bags of shock, chlorine tabs, and the occasional ph up/down which I all bought from Home Depot.

    At the end of last year, I was traveling a lot for work at the end of summer and did not maintain or close my pool until mid-Oct. During which the pool filter stopped working, the pool was brown/black, and I could not see the bottom of the pool. I called a professional to clear the pool and inspect filter. They said everything was fine, we'll deal with it next spring, threw some chemicals in the pool and closed it up brown/black. I ended up opening my DE filter, realizing that it has 2 years of waste, and sprayed it clean after the pool was closed. I was quite annoyed with the way the pool service closed my pool an I vowed not to use them again.

    So... here I am Memorial day weekend 2016. Day1. I opened the pool and I'm back to the mess the pool guys (and let's be honest, this was mostly my neglect) - a wonderfully dark, disgusting mess.

    day1.jpg

    I went to Leslie's and bought a deluxe opening kit and Black Algicide (because that looks, black right?). I came home and started dumping chemicals, and following the guide from the opening kit...

    About a day later, I started getting loads of dirty foam in my pool



    So... Everything up until this point, I'd been doing on my own. the foam, all be it a result of poor maintenance, caused me to go into research mode, and I found this website. After about 6 hours of trolling through this site I learned the following:

    1. Foam comes from using non-Polyquat algecide, and more than likely I didt need it to begin with. The dirty foam is actually a lesson I learned last night: too many organics in the pool.
    2. Test strips suck. I went back to Leslie's and bought a FAS-DPD Chlorine Test kit. I ordered a CYA test kit from Amazon, which is coming in today. I'm currently using strips to measure CYA, but I'm not confident in the test results.
    3. Most household Bleach = Chlorine. My wife, who does all the laundry, laughed at me. I guess I should pay attention more. I'm going to return the tub I have of chlorine pucks and sub- Concentrated 8.25% bleach, which I'm getting for $2.99 per 141fl oz at Target.
    4. DE filters need to be cleaned, and new DE needs to be put back into them.... This has been a dirty job, but I'm getting used to it.
    5. I'm starting to use Borax to maintain pH levels. Once I have a clean pool I'm going to get my Borax up to 50ppm, I've got most of the Borax and muriatic acid needed for this. I'll order a test kit for Borax as well as Salt next week.
    6. Lastly, I'm going to add some salt to improve the feel.


    OK back to my project.... (next post)

    Here's a link to all my picks:
    http://s1084.photobucket.com/user/wlutz3/library/
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Theios; 06-02-2016 at 09:46 AM. Reason: cant seem to add more than 2 pics

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Quite a mess you had there, but at least you're with TFP now and have learned quite a lot. Nice. Make sure to post a pic once you've completed the SLAM and get things cleaned-up.
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    I just reduced my picture sized to get more up, hangon.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    So, after a few days I believe my numbers are as follows:

    FC - 15
    pH - 7.2 (I keep using Borax to increase it to 7.5, but I think my TA is too high)
    TA - 120
    CYA - 30ish (will know more when my tester comes in today).
    CH - 350+ (still using strips so who knows)

    After 2days of maintaining SLAM, the water started to clear up in the shallow end, and I could even see the bottom. Finally a sign of hope!. I still have foam from the darn algicide, but that should clear out. The deep end was still a green/dark hue. Last night I realized something... there was still a mountain of debris in my deep end!!! I spent an hour cleaning out debris last night, and another hour this morning. I scooped out at least 2 garbage bags of leaves and debris... The pool is back to a green haze, but I'm pretty sure I have 80% of it out. I'll go again with the leaf cleaner tonight after things settle. In the meantime, I have faith. will continue to SLAM until we get some where good.

    PS - I'm back washing the filter nightly. Should I add more DE every time? I've been back washing for about 5min, and the water coming out looks pretty clear. Is this good?

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    You must add DE after every backwash.

    Only backwash when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure.

    Check out the "use and care of DE filters" article in Pool School.
    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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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  6. Back To Top    #6
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    Quote Originally Posted by Theios View Post
    First, Thank you all for this website. It's gotten me entirely up to speed on understanding pool maintenance.

    I thought I'd post some updates on my pool opening, which has been a week long process, and still going.

    Some background: I rent my home in NJ, which came with a 16x32 in-ground pool, which was in complete disrepair 3 years ago. After a bad winter one of the walls collapsed, so we had a tough time one spring getting things in order. After the heavy lifting was done, I learned the tools of the trade in terms of pool maintenance. This for the last 2 years have been bags of shock, chlorine tabs, and the occasional ph up/down which I all bought from Home Depot.

    At the end of last year, I was traveling a lot for work at the end of summer and did not maintain or close my pool until mid-Oct. During which the pool filter stopped working, the pool was brown/black, and I could not see the bottom of the pool. I called a professional to clear the pool and inspect filter. They said everything was fine, we'll deal with it next spring, threw some chemicals in the pool and closed it up brown/black. I ended up opening my DE filter, realizing that it has 2 years of waste, and sprayed it clean after the pool was closed. I was quite annoyed with the way the pool service closed my pool an I vowed not to use them again.

    So... here I am Memorial day weekend 2016. Day1. I opened the pool and I'm back to the mess the pool guys (and let's be honest, this was mostly my neglect) - a wonderfully dark, disgusting mess.

    day1.jpg

    I went to Leslie's and bought a deluxe opening kit and Black Algicide (because that looks, black right?). I came home and started dumping chemicals, and following the guide from the opening kit...

    About a day later, I started getting loads of dirty foam in my pool



    So... Everything up until this point, I'd been doing on my own. the foam, all be it a result of poor maintenance, caused me to go into research mode, and I found this website. After about 6 hours of trolling through this site I learned the following:

    1. Foam comes from using non-Polyquat algecide, and more than likely I didt need it to begin with. The dirty foam is actually a lesson I learned last night: too many organics in the pool.
    2. Test strips suck. I went back to Leslie's and bought a FAS-DPD Chlorine Test kit. I ordered a CYA test kit from Amazon, which is coming in today. I'm currently using strips to measure CYA, but I'm not confident in the test results.
    3. Most household Bleach = Chlorine. My wife, who does all the laundry, laughed at me. I guess I should pay attention more. I'm going to return the tub I have of chlorine pucks and sub- Concentrated 8.25% bleach, which I'm getting for $2.99 per 141fl oz at Target.
    4. DE filters need to be cleaned, and new DE needs to be put back into them.... This has been a dirty job, but I'm getting used to it.
    5. I'm starting to use Borax to maintain pH levels. Once I have a clean pool I'm going to get my Borax up to 50ppm, I've got most of the Borax and muriatic acid needed for this. I'll order a test kit for Borax as well as Salt next week.
    6. Lastly, I'm going to add some salt to improve the feel.


    OK back to my project.... (next post)
    You can get more ftp space to store pictures here by becoming a supporter or just open an account somewhere else and link to them there. Posting Photo's Tutorial

    This picture alone is reason enough to want to include this cleanup in my Inspirational Threads thread.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    Thanks, I threw up a bunch of pics on photobucket. I added the link in the main thread.

    Also here: http://s1084.photobucket.com/user/wlutz3/library/

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You must add DE after every backwash.

    Only backwash when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure.

    Check out the "use and care of DE filters" article in Pool School.
    Awesome. this is great! Thank you.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Pool Disaster - From Zero to Hero (the Hero part is a work in progress)

    your pH reading will not be accurate when you get above 10 FC. Best idea is to get it to 7.2, then raise FC to your SLAM level.

    If you have high TA and want to raise pH, you just need to aerate/agitate the water, with a water feature or a return just turned upwards. Something like that. But I wouldn't worry about your pH for now.

    Get a good CYA level, raise your FC to the SLAM level for that CYA, and brush/strain/rake everything you can, especially with a DE filter.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
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