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Thread: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

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    New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    This all very new to me, and i'll do my best to outline everything...having already felt like I was getting worked over at the pool store, I left before they suckered me into a bunch of stuff, and then found this site...I assumed there had to be an easier way. So hopefully i'm in the right spot.

    We bought our new house three weeks ago (5/31), and it came with a nice inground pool. The pool, had been closed ("professionally") and not opened for three years before we bought the house. As part of the P&S I made sure that it would have to open, running, clear, and clean. Somewhere around mid April it was all of that, at least looking at the pictures they had sent. They fixed some parts, replaced the main drain and skimmer shutoff valves, and also replaced some chewed wires in the pool heater (more on that later, but i've since shut it off once I knew it worked).

    Fast forward to the final walk through on the home...and of course what do I see? A green swamp in the back yard. Apparently, after it was opened, they never bothered to add any chlorine to the pool for the next couple month and half. Given the house was more important than the pool, we compromised and they had someone bring it up to "ideal" conditions. Not knowing what the heck that was, I agreed and took ownership.

    I've been battling it now for two weeks, and i'm not sure if going in the right direction. The pool has a grayish/blue tint to it at the moment. One thing that I think is making it hard to read is the pool liner is very bleached out to the point where it looks white.

    Last weekend I tried following the SLAM directions here, and had my biggest change in water clarity, and it move to this "bluer" color from the green. I've been cleaning the filter twice a day, and its usually pretty clogged up each time. This morning was the first time the FC didn't change overnight. I do think I put in far too much chlorine to start, and it was probably very high...I was flying in the dark without the proper test kit, and going off friends recommendations on how much shock to use.

    My test results
    FC 20
    CC 0.5
    pH 7.2
    TA 75
    CYA 50
    CH - I need to re-test this because I think I got an incorrect number, will check it again tonight

    My general questions are, when I run the brush on the bottom of the pool it sends up a cloud of brown (assuming dead algae), this has gotten less and less over the past week. Is it ok to just keep brushing it like that and have the filter catch it? Or is it better to vacuum, seems the vacuum just stirs it up anyways.

    There are spots of orangish brown on the bottom of the pool liner that don't brush up. We are on well water, its high in iron and manganese...could these be metal staining spots? Looking at a receipt from on of the pool companies that "professionally" opened the pool, added some sort of algaecide. I hopped in the pool yesterday, and these spots feel a little slippery, and kind of rub off with my foot?

    Pine needles...i've had an issue now with pine needles getting though the pump strainer baskets, and clogging the veins on the impeller, and overheating the motor to where it shuts down. Is there a solution/product to prevent this?

    Feeling rather overwhelmed at the moment. I have a kid and a wife who want to get in the pool lol...thank god there is a lake across street to go swimming at. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Matt.
    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    ckk81's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    Hi! I'd first run an OCLT.
    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    Which I believe will confirm you to need to SLAM.
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    As far as metals I'd get the water tested if they can do it at the pool store. BUT be strong against their sales pitch just take the results and RUN. Also ignore every level the give you save the metals. Bring your numbers back here and we can help lead you in the right direction for metals.
    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    Welcome, you are in the right place. You are well on your way and will get there. This is the longest part of the slam, filtering out the dead algae and junk.

    My general questions are, when I run the brush on the bottom of the pool it sends up a cloud of brown (assuming dead algae), this has gotten less and less over the past week. Is it ok to just keep brushing it like that and have the filter catch it? Or is it better to vacuum, seems the vacuum just stirs it up anyways. Do you have a vac to waste option with your cart. filter? You mention cleaning filters twice a day - is this based on pressure or flow or both? Is it most likely required, as cart. filters are efficient and do a great job of filtering. We generally recommend a backwash/cleaning after a 20-25% pressure rise from clean pressure.

    There are spots of orangish brown on the bottom of the pool liner that don't brush up. We are on well water, its high in iron and manganese...could these be metal staining spots? Looking at a receipt from on of the pool companies that "professionally" opened the pool, added some sort of algaecide. I hopped in the pool yesterday, and these spots feel a little slippery, and kind of rub off with my foot?
    You can have a pool store test for metals. If it feels slippery, I would think it's organic and will disappear with brushing and bleach. Try this - if you have a chlorine puck, set it on the spot for 5 or 10 minutes and see if it changes. If not, it's probably metals. You can take a vit. c tablet (think vitamin pill) and rub it on the spot (if you can) and see if that changes color.

    Pine needles...i've had an issue now with pine needles getting though the pump strainer baskets, and clogging the veins on the impeller, and overheating the motor to where it shuts down. Is there a solution/product to prevent this? My solution was cutting the pine tree down! Although I struggled with it, it was a wonderful decision, but I digress. Place hair nets or skimmer socks over your skimmer basket and pump basket. You will have to frequently empty them, but this will help extend filter rinses as well. Disposable Hair Net, Spun-Bonded Polypropylene, White, 100 per Bag: Science Lab Hairnets: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific

    Your course of action may depend on your metal test. If they are high, water replacement might be the best option. But I do think iron is manageable and if you stay the course on the slam you will be fine. Good luck and ask any questions that you might have.

    EDIT - Corrected link Disposable Hair Net, Spun-Bonded Polypropylene, White, 100 per Bag: Science Lab Hairnets: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    Thanks, i'll get the water tested for metals...I just know its been a struggle in the house as well, the softening system hadn't been maintained for several years either. I'll also try the puck, I think I have a couple of those in the garage (didn't know what to do with them lol).

    Yeah, the pine trees will eventually be cut down for numerous reasons besides the pool...but i'll pick up some of those hair nets you listed there.

    I'm not sure if I have a vac to waste option...there is a hose attached to the base of the filter that runs out under the fence, so I wonder if thats it?

    I guess I was just being overly cautions with the cartridge, and cleaning it a couple times a day...what I have noticed though is its significantly less brown that it had been, so I feel like its working.
    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    I see you have a good test kit. NICE!

    Now go do all of us a favor. Take a picture of the pool looking down at the steps. Take and share the same picture each day so we can all watch the color change. It IS changing but your eyes cannot see it day to day.

    Share a picture of your equipment so we can see the set up. Someone will know if you can drain/vacuum to waste.

    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 Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    thanks, i'll take some pictures this evening...I don't have any stairs, just two ladders.

    A week ago, I couldn't see the bottom of the deep end at all...now I can see the bottom, and vacuum, etc...
    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    So hopefully these pictures will help...

    I re-tested for CYA yesterday, as I thought I may have been doing it incorrectly. So I did it waist level, sun at my back etc...and its closer to the 60 line not the 50 line.

    I have a question about the valve labeled "MD" assuming its main drain...I dont have a main drain on the bottom of the pool?

    The color of the water has been grayish blue for a couple days now, last week it was lime green color.

    I put a puck on the orange staining for about 10 mins and it did not remove the stain. I will get the water tested for metals as soon as I can.






    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    Well your pool looks pretty good actually, it has definitely turned for the better. Keep Slamming to a CYA of 60 and pump running and it will get there.

    MD Valve - huh, no main drain huh? That is strange.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    ckk81's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    I'd be curious to see what happens if you close the skimmer valve for a bit while the pool is circulating. See if everything goes haywire or if water flows through the pipe labeled MD.
    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    You bought the house 3 weeks ago has the pool been cloudy the whole time is it possible there is a main drain you just can't see it yet? Perhaps it is just a trick of the light but in the first photo of the pool I see a circle to the left of the skimmer mid pool that could be a main drain.
    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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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    I saw that same circle in the picture and wondered if it was an anomaly or not. That valve is open so it apparently goes to something.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    So the spot on the liner, it is a circle, its a stain...at some point in the pools life the owners used plate weights (like gym weights) to hold the cover down...well that ended up in pool for some period of time, was removed, and of course there is a perfectly circular stain on the pool liner. Not much I can do about it...I was planning to do a pool line in the next couple of years. Miraculously it didnt puncture the liner.

    AS for the main drain...I have a side port on the skimmer side in the deep end. At first I didn't think there was suction in it, but I stuck my finger in there and I can feel the suction. Could this be the "main drain"? Would it be for draining it down for the winter?

    I can see the vacuum head/brush/etc all the way to the bottom of the deep end, so I defintely don't see any type of drain down there.

    So last night I checked my FC and it was 19 (around 10pm) at 7am this morning it was still 19...there was also 0 CC. I'm guessing this is a good thing?

    pH is still low at 7.2...should I raise it up at this point?

    The other issue im having is the brush doesn't seem to get the brownish algae off the side...at least I think thats alagae. It rubs off with my hands though? The brush just doesn't seem to do anything...so maybe the brush is worthless? Its rather small too at about 10" wide. There is also a lot that "puffs" up along the bottom of the pool when you push the broom along it.
    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    Take a look inside the skimmer if there is 2 open holes one goes back to the pump the other is likely and equalizer that goes to the port below the skimmer. There might even be an adjustable plate in the skimmer to restrict some of the flow form the equalizer. It is basically a backup incase the water gets below the skimmer or the skimmer gets blocked say by a plastic bag.
    FC holding overnight is a great thing
    Don't bother with the pH till the FC gets below 10 the readings right now are likely bogus.
    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 Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    yes there are two holes in the skimmer...one where I plug the vacuum into, and the other seems to have a small screen filter over it...

    so I guess now my question is, what is the side port suction for? vacuum? I have hayward pool vac that i've never used, as I don't know what it does or how to set up.
    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    humm small screen I have not seen that before a photo would be good. Perhaps some one who has something similar will chime in.

    My guess is the pool did have a main drain at one point but it was abandon when a new liner was installed. It's either that or the pipe labeled MD goes to the port below the skimmer and is intended for the vacuum as you suggested. Did you get a chance to turn the MD valve off and see if anything happens?
    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 Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    so what I thought was a small screen was not...picture shows the two holes. The other hole seems to be plugged somehow? There us a square inside the hole, reminds me of the inside of PVC threaded cap you would use for a future vent etc inside your house for the plumbing... However its complete packed with sand and small pebbles.

    Shutting the "main drain" valve to the off position stopped the suction on the side port. If I were to get the Hayward vac set up, would it be a good idea to just toss that so it can work during the day while i'm not there to vacuum the pool? Seems the suction is very low though, leading me to believe its partially blocked, possible with all that sand?

    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    So the second plugged port is just an option that was not used in your case for that skimmer to either to go to a MD or equalizer.

    I doubt the suction port it is clogged with sand more likely the pine needles you mentioned earlier form use of the vacuum by the previous owner. When you have time I would first try sticking a garden hose in that port with the pump on and slowly increase the pressure to see if you can dislodge whatever is potentially blocking it. If that does not work try a drain snake or fish tape and see if you can determine if it’s blocked you could even go as far as removing the manifold at the pump since it looks like it can be dissembled where the hose clamps are. In the meantime try putting the cleaner on the suction port and see what happens any amount of vacuuming while you are away is a good thing at this point. If the vacuum does not have a leaf canister you may want to invest in one at some point to stave off the pine needles.

    I use the hair nets mentioned above and they do work well. Also I think your filter is on the small side for a pool your size someday you may want to upgrade it for now keep cleaning as often as you can.
    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 Pool Owner and I'm Struggling

    thank you...that all seems to make sense, and i'll take a look at that once I get everything going in the right direction with the balance of the pool.

    I want to upgrade the pump to a 2-speed pump in the next year or so, so I'll likely look into the filter upgrade. I wonder about the size as well, given i've seen larger set ups on smaller pools.

    Right now i'm working on quotes for the pool deck, as gravel and pavers, might as well be rusty nails and broken glass; just about the worst thing I could think of to put around a pool.

    Thank you to everyone on the help, very much appreciated. I have a leaf canister, but i'm having a heck of a time keeping suction going with it when its attached? I sink the vacuum hose like normal, then fill up the canister with water, attach it to the hose, then put one more section of hose on that I then connect to the skimmer...once i do this, the canister half drains out and the pump starts drawing air?
    18'x36' IG, vinyl liner, 29,000 gal; cartridge filter (Sta-Rite), single speed pump (brand unknown), Taylor K-2006 test kit

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