We just purchased a house with an AG pool, that has been closed for 5 years or more. No experience with pools besides daily brushing and skimming during the summer as a chore in high school for an IG pool. My husband wanted to tear it down as he remembers hours and money being thrown into the pool his family had. I endured to keep it as the realtor assured us it was easy and not costly, and the janitorial/pool store said I could handle it on my own. We took the cover off, not having the knowledge or the tools to make it ready for use, and hence started my journey to pool expert. At first I got scared and overwhelmed with all of the varying methods and opinions on the internet and tried to call a pool professional, only to be scared away by the cost he quoted in order to reclaim the swamp that once was a pool.
With Debbie the pool expert at the Janitorial/pool store, I planned on taking this thing on, and have come close to borrowing the neighbors backhoe to rip it out. Here is a short recap of what has transpired below, if needed.
Initial filter set up: Dreamline (by Hayward) sand filter S190 (found out this was an obsolete filter because no one knew what I was talking about); filtration area 1.8 sq ft, flow 25 gpm, max pressure 50 psi, 175 lbs of sand. Used with our current filter. First I shoveled several buckets of leaves and debris from the pool, over a week. Then after slipping and hurting myself on said slimy debris that fell on the ground my husband drew the line and said we HAD to be able to see what we were dealing with. Debbie said to put in 6 lbs of shock and brush sides of pool. 9pm I poured in shock, by morning it looked blue! I was ecstatic. I ran the pool on recirculate, bypassing the filter, 24 hours. We didn't know anything about this filter, couldn't find any information on it, so we thought it would be safest to bypass it. I sprayed an entire bottle of Revive over the pool, at 9pm again. I let it sit over 48hours because it didn't appear clear. though I could see dark patches in the water, the water remained cloudy and was now going from an aqua blue to green. I tested the water and my pH strip said it was 6.2, added 5 lbs baking soda to the water and waited 30 minutes and tested again, it came up 6.8, but not to acceptable ph. Debbie asked me to bring in water sample. she advised me to vacuum to waste until all debris was removed, (skimmer basket in place) but would lose suction and have reduced water volume out waste line. I think the issue might have been there was HUGE debris in the pool still. It started working in the beginning, but after hitting a big dark patch it started having issues of reduced water volume out of the waste line. My pool was getting greener and starting to smell like a lake, so I picked up the rake and started to try to get out the remaining big leaves but I was scooping out enormous amounts of sludge, that once out of the water would melt through the netting. Very little leaves. This gunk would feel so heavy! So next, I backwashed the filter and rinsed, then poured in 4 lbs of shock and some pre measured amount of algaecide that Debbie gave us. I decided to sweep, stirring things up in hopes to get it in the filter, but after an hour I noticed the water coming out the inlet was weak, PSI was up to 24. So I backwashed and rinsed, hoping it would fix the issue. Restarted the filtration system, and I continued to stir the pot. After about another hour it happened again, again I backwashed and rinsed. Started the filter again, and this time I baby sat the gauge and it started at 14 psi and it slowly crept back up to 24. Since it was Sunday (not a day that I would be able to get assistance) and I knew I had to keep the water moving for the chemicals to work, so I turned the filter to recirculate . I had a very difficult time getting ahold of Debbie as pool season had opened and she wasn't able to answer the phone or return my calls. We ended up with a broken bearing in the valve handle; no longer able to turn the valve. To replace it was going to cost half of the price of what a NEW and LARGER (proper size) sand filter would cost, so we ordered a new filter and sand. Once we got over plumbing issues, we were back to a real swamp again, (complete with smell and animal life) it was advised that we dump 20 lbs of shock in the pool, but I only had enough to do 16 lbs. And ran the filter non stop ever since. Backwashing and rinsing every day 2x a day, sweeping 2 x a day to stir things up, adding shock to keep the chlorine up. It was suggested to floc the pool, but when I researched what was required for it, there was controversy whether it was worth it, or better to take the long way about it. And that is when I ran into your forum. Unfortunately, some of the shock I got from a neighbor, last week, they just brought over, was a multi solution shock that included algaecide and floc with the chlorine and other filler. I used about six of them. I had also used some soda ash to get the PH up in order to use the floc before I read the controversy. I didn't know anything about a conditioner needed to keep the chlorine stable, so I poured some of that in, but not enough to get it up to register, I am in need of more conditioner for my size pool and situation than what i had on hand.
Currently; my pool is cloudy whitish blue. Running filter 24 hours, back wash and rinse 2x a day, brushing at least 1x but most 2x or more a day, adding Hydro Chlor 65% to keep the chlorine levels up.
Here are my current test strip readings from a LaMotte Insta-Test Pool4 Plus (my TF 100 XL is ordered)
I don't think I have any questions as of yet . I am waiting on my real test kit so I can SLAM my pool with Chlorine Bleach, (not the powdered shock I have been using). I have read other threads that had a green pool, and the one thing that has been repeatedly pounded in was the necessity to SLAM the pool exactly as written, without doing anything else because it will only prolong the issue or have a re occurrence of the issue. I want to get to the point of saying that I have a Trouble Free Pool!!
PS I have nick named our pool Goliath, as we started this endeavor May 26th and up until THIS week, I would only make just so much progress before one mishap or another would happen, and we would go right back to swamp. I was beginning to think I would never over come this giant pool. This site has given me not just a hope, but I can see the light. Thank you!