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Thread: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

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    1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    So far, I have my in ground pool about 1/2 way empty. Do I continue pumping water out, or scoop out dead critters and leaves and fill it back up?

    Condition- dark green swamp.



    10K in ground pool, 3 feet shallow end, 5 ft deep end, kidney shaped, no vinyl liner-(concrete? fiberglass? gunite?), paving stones around it, Hayward sand filter, Hayward above ground pool filter 1HP.

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    Lightbulb Trash Pump and Cleaning the Walls

    I managed to pump out about 1/2 of the water in my 10 thousand gallon Gunnite pool (at least I think it's gunnite, maybe concrete?). I know I need to remove the sludge/leaves/dead critters out from the bottom, but I cannot physically manage lifting that much gunk out, so I think that a trash pump might be my best bet.

    I am aware of the dangers of draining an inground pool due to the water table (I'm in southeastern Michigan). It hasn't rained here for a few days, and only a 40% chance of rain for an hour or so tomorrow- after that clear skies for about a week.

    I read about laying visquine down and trash pumping underneath while filling with clean water on top, but I'd like to drain the pool completely and scrub the walls down, if I can. The trash pump should be able to get what is remaining out in about 30 minutes, then I thought I would remove anything remaining with a shovel and wet dry vac/sump pump. As far as the walls, I am unsure as to what to clean them with- power wash them?

    Here is a look: http://i.imgur.com/XhrTEhz.jpg

    I think that I could have it emptied in an hour or so, maybe a couple hours of scrubbing and then fill it back up. Before I go and spend on a trash pump rental, somebody stop me if this is a terrible idea.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    If you continue to drain, we advise to not drain any more than the lowest step or about 12" in the pool for the pool shell protection and stability. But at this point, it sounds as though the more you get out now, the less chemical treatments may be required later. Good luck!
    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: Trash Pump and Cleaning the Walls

    I think the trash pump is probably a good idea, especially if you have limitations for getting in there and lifting too much. But you should still be careful about the pool shell. We generally advise to not drain below the last step or about 12" from the bottom. If you get that far, that should allow you to expose most of the bulk junk at the bottom for manual removal. Once done, power washing or aggressive acid treatments to clean the wall are an option if your plaster is still in good shape. Once you refill, you'll probably do a TFP "SLAM" to kill any residual stuff in the liners, filter, or help with staining as well. Be careful and good luck!
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Trash Pump and Cleaning the Walls

    Hurray! I have read so much, and I think this is the best way to go, as well. I am going to try a power wash at a lower pressure, and an acid wash. Crossing fingers!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I might do a chlorine wash, still researching.

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    Re: Trash Pump and Cleaning the Walls

    I've used trash pumps to clean out pools in similar condition... they usually work great. As for the walls, first pressure wash all the algae off then acid wash the walls... last give it a chlorine bath (avoid mixing acid and chlorine). I'm always nervous draining pools all the way (even though I do it)... if it floats, not good. So be careful and good luck.

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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazarets View Post
    So far, I have my in ground pool about 1/2 way empty. Do I continue pumping water out, or scoop out dead critters and leaves and fill it back up?

    Condition- dark green swamp.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Texas Splash is right ... draining a pool all the way is risky (even if you know what you are doing, it can still be risky). An alternative is to drain half way (as you did), then fill it back up, then drain it down half way again (then refill).

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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Is there a risk of floating if I drain the rest out in about 30 mins, then spend an hour or so washing walls, then begin the refill with 2 garden hoses? Could it pop out in 1 day?

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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    I'm too scared. Gonna go back out and buy some Visqueen, and lay it over the pool and start filling it with clean, while I pull the sludge out from underneath.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Add your pool info to your signature so we know if you have vinyl, FG or gunite. More here on what to put in your sig and how to do it, Pool School - Read This Before You Post
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Whatever can go wrong, will. I rented a gas trash pump, got it home and out by the pool. Everything hooked up, turned on and boom! Water spraying everywhere. Took a closer look, and whoever had it before me had cracked the discharge nozzle underneath, unusable. Home Depot said bring it back and we will put a new part on. Got there, and they didn't have the right part. So, they gave me a submersible pump to use, as they don't have any other trash pumps. So now, I'm stuck with this thing, and I'm going to have to get all the sludge/dead critters/leaves out of the bottom by hand!

    I'm not sure I am up to the task, and a little overwhelmed. I had planned to lay out the visqueen and fill with clean water, and then pump the garbage below out with the trash pump.

    Now, should I just forget the visqueen entirely, and pump down to about 12 inches and then (YUCK!) stand in the sludge and scoop it out, and then just fill it up with that gross black water still in there? Or, pump like crazy and empty it (I know, danger of popping), and then scoop and then refill?

    My pool is pretty small, so I could have it drained by tonight and set it to refill overnight. What should I do?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    How long will it take them to get the trash pump repaired? If you have the option of waiting a couple of days and getting credit for the rental for today it may be worth it. Forget the visqueen, pour a jug of bleach in the deep end and swish it around it the pool net. That should help kill off any nasties lurking in the water. Work slowly and rest when you need to, or better yet find a couple of teenagers to hire to scoop out the muck!
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    How long will it take them to get the trash pump repaired? If you have the option of waiting a couple of days and getting credit for the rental for today it may be worth it. Forget the visqueen, pour a jug of bleach in the deep end and swish it around it the pool net. That should help kill off any nasties lurking in the water. Work slowly and rest when you need to, or better yet find a couple of teenagers to hire to scoop out the muck!
    I'm scared! There's a submersible pump that could empty it in about an hour. Then my 12 year old and I can scoop out what we can. Then chlorine bath the sides and fill it up. Is that safe to let it drain till the bottom, if it will be filled by early morning?


    10K in ground pool, 3 feet shallow end, 5 ft deep end, kidney shaped, no vinyl liner-(concrete? fiberglass? gunite?), paving stones around it, Hayward sand filter, Hayward above ground pool filter 1HP.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    You would need to know what the current groundwater conditions are for your area. I don't know what they are so I can't tell you if there is a high risk of floating your pool. If you can wait til tomorrow to start you could contact your local water authority or county extension office and get better information than what we can give you.

    Have you tried scooping out debris with the water level where it is?
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    It's done! Refilling now. I'll post pics tomorrow! Hurray!


    10K in ground pool, 3 feet shallow end, 5 ft deep end, kidney shaped, no vinyl liner-(concrete? fiberglass? gunite?), paving stones around it, Hayward sand filter, Hayward above ground pool filter 1HP.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Yay! I'm sure you're relieved that part is over!
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    Cool Success! Swamp to pool thanks to my super son (pics)- Now what do I do?

    Thank you to everyone who helped me figure out how to handle my icky swamp problem. I decided to drain it completely, which I know is risky, but I read almost everything on here for advice, and looked up water table levels in my area before attempting it. Drained half the first day, and yesterday my 12 year old SUPER SON helped me drain the rest, scoop out all the nasty, give it a chlorine bath and by 7 pm last night, it was refilling with clean water. I couldn't have done it without him!

    I've put up some progress pics here: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    So, once it reaches my skimmer again, I know it will be time to turn on the pump.

    Do I do a "backwash" to clean the filter first, or pump some to waste??
    Should I be putting chlorine in right now as it fills?

    I know I can attack the staining in the next day or two, but what steps should I take as I finish refilling today?

    Mod Note: Merged your two threads
    10K in ground pool, 3 feet shallow end, 5 ft deep end, kidney shaped, no vinyl liner-(concrete? fiberglass? gunite?), paving stones around it, Hayward sand filter, Hayward above ground pool filter 1HP.

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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Yea!! What job that was! You go SUPER SON Nice job!

    Now lets get your water balanced so this does not happen again. We will work on the stains when your water it balanced.

    First things first-You HAVE to get a good test kit. I know the pool $tores will test for free but is it really free if you walk out with overpriced stuff you really do not need? Think of the test kit as an investment to keep you from having to ever do this work again! Look in my siggy to find the test kit I think is the best bang for the buck.

    I am going to give you a shopping list AND a reading list. We have to get the water started but you also need to know WHY and how to do things.

    Shopping list:

    -CYA-can be found in Walmart or Lowes-it might be called stabilizer-get two bottles. Do NOT put them both in yet.

    -chlorine-you can buy plain, store brand bleach (8.25%). Some Walmarts are selling their Poll Shock (10%) for a good price also. Some people are able to buy liquid chlorine at their close by pool store. You will need to call around and see what is the easiest and cheapest for you. Get 5 gallons to start.

    -plastic measuring cupx2-for measuring your chemicals. The reason I say two is because you will need one just of the Muratic Acid (MA) (which you are not getting yet). Everything else will use the other one.

    Now I want you to go here:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Go down to the bottom and figure out your pool size in gallons. Add that to your siggy please.

    Once you get home with your CYA and chlorine use Pool Math to figure out how much CYA you will need to add to get it up to 20. You will be at 0. Put that in the NOW box and put 20 in the TARGET box. Click on calculate and see how much it tells you to add. Use your measuring cup to put the CYA into a sock (yes, a sock like you wear). It might take two socks or so. Tie off the top and put one in your skimmer making sure to know block the water flow and have your SUPER SON walk around in the pool squeezing the other sock! Or you can hang it in front of the return.

    I would add about 1/2 gal of chlorine in your pool each day until your test kit gets there.

    You could get one of the cheap test kits from Walmart to work on your Free Chlorine (FC) and PH. That would be helpful to have until you get the big test kit.

    Kim

    - - - Updated - - -

    opps forgot about the filter-do a deep clean:

    Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here is what I give all new pool owners:

    Print these out:
    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Bookmark these:
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Make sure to ask any and all questions you might have no matter how small! We have all been where you are at one point.
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    Re: 1/2 way empty- remove sludge then drain more? Or refill

    Oh my gosh, you are just THE BEST! I am going to sit down today and start my homework! AWESOME, kimkats. For years, I have known NOTHING. My dad just told me to keep dumping chlorine in, and I've had horrible problems, but was unsure what to do about it. I am looking forward to learning what to do, so my pool upkeep isn't so awful!
    10K in ground pool, 3 feet shallow end, 5 ft deep end, kidney shaped, no vinyl liner-(concrete? fiberglass? gunite?), paving stones around it, Hayward sand filter, Hayward above ground pool filter 1HP.

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