My husband has designated me as the official "pool girl". Part of that is because I am the one at the new house, until the other house sells, and partly because he does not have the patience to measure and count drops, etc. It has been an odyssey so far. We hired a local company to open the pool on May 12th because we have not had an inground pool until now and because we are overwhelmed with everything else going on in our lives, trying to sell a house, moving stuff, a new job for me and fixing one thing after another at the new house. The house and probably the pool are 20+ years old so things are wearing out. Here is what has happened with the pool...
May 12th, two bozos show up, remove the cover, turn on the pump, dump in E-Z Pool, dump dry DE in one of the skimmers and charge us $250. "Just keep vacuuming for 4-5 days and you will be fine." They couldn't or wouldn't answer any of my husband's questions about the pool except in vague generalities. So, we ran the pump and vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed. We didn't know we should have set the valve to bypass the filter, so we would backwash when the pressure got high. And the pressure was always over 20 PSI. The skimmers barely pulled any water, the vacuum barely pulled any water and most of the dirt would blow right back in the pool. Two weeks ago, we unaccountably lost about 4 inches of water. Where did it go??? Disassemble the filter and clean it. It was literally coated in clumps of grey goo and there was about 3 inches of goop in the bottom of the tank. Make a slurry and pour it into the skimmer, LIKE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO! The south skimmer is not pulling like it should. Run a garden hose down the line and clear the blockage. Incidentally, that is the skimmer they dumped dry DE in. Refill the pool, more vacuuming, more backwashing, it's looking better and the pressure is 8-10 PSI. 10pm, go out to check the pool and lost 3 inches of water again. Walk around with a flashlight and discover that water has been leaking from the backwash hose. Hmmmmm, must be a valve issue. Get the manual out, get on line and order parts. My husband was delighted that I figured out what was wrong...finally. Next day, take apart the valve, oh, a whole section of the spider gasket is missing and other parts are warped. Next chapter. Parts arrive, gasket goes in, everything works. Still getting air in the return jets. What? Huh, what is this extra mess connecting the input/output line? What do you know, an injector for chemicals that aren't there. It's just sucking air. OMG That will be eliminated next week.
Given that the pool has set for days and days without being able to run the pump for fear of what would happen, the water is pretty clear. I've put in shock and gallons of chlorine and also more E-Z pool to keep it from turning into a swamp. Now, we are finally ready to get it into shape for swimming. The frog that was diving in the pool last week is gone, though I still have a few of those water bugs happily zooming around. I had put 4 lbs of CYA in the day we lost water for the second time, as well as several gallons of bleach. Yesterday I put 2 more gallons of 10% bleach in and when I tested late in the day, chlorine came up 0 on the test strip, as did CYA. (I do have a Taylor test kit, but hate to waste reagent if the results are going to be 0) I got two more 4lb bottles of CYA and poured them into socks and placed them in the skimmer today. I'm not sure why the chlorine is not registering. The water is not quite crystal clear, so could there be algae that is using up the chlorine? I'm about worn out by this whole process. Oh, and the automatic pool cleaner died a quiet death yesterday, too. We plan to bury it in the garden.