First post here... Looks like a friendly place to ask a question or few. I have quite a few problems with my pool and I educated myself on how pools work but I still need help.
It's an in-ground, 40'x20' pool, roughly 30,000 gallons. I bought the house two summers ago. The first summer everything operated great. The previous owner showed and explained to me how to operate the pump, what valves to open, which ones to close. Then, last summer I was too busy to operate the pool and didn't touch anything, didn't open it, didn't do anything. Come this summer, the pool cover completely tore around the edges over the last two years and tons of leaves and debris fell in. Last weekend I cleaned it out and took out about 6 huge bags of leaves from the bottom. The water was swampy, so I shocked it and brought it to a pretty good condition over the course of two days. Then I noticed the problems.
1. Liner is very wrinkled especially in the deep end. It looks warped with many small and large bubbles. I read that I can try to use a plunger to try to fix those. I will do that as soon as the water warms up a bit. In a couple places though I see it's starting to separate at the top and in the corners it's not taught with the sides but it looks like it pulled away from the sides.
2. Main drain does not work at all! This one freaks me out the most. I have been filtering through the skimmer port. The main drain pipe and the skimmer pipe join at the entrance into the pump. Each has an open/close valve. If I open the Main Drain valve, not a single drop of water enters the pump. With the pump running or with it off. I thought the pipe could be blocked. I stuck a garden hose with a drain-unplugging bladder up into the pipe to see if I could get any debris out through the MD into the pool. The hose ran on full blast for about 10 minutes and NO WATER came out from the bottom, from what I could see.Then, when I took the hose out, a little water ran back out but WHERE did all the water go!?? That really freaked me out because it made no sense to me. So, for now I'm still filtering through the skimmer port only.
3. The suction on the skimmer port is not always great and the backwash suction is sometimes really poor. The impeller works great. I stuck my hand in the basket by the impeller and it almost sucked me in. It seems like there is a blockage inside the filter that is not allowing the water to come in from the pump. Can that be? Can it be the multi-port valve at the top of the filter that's broken? When I switch it to "Backwash" I hear weird clicking noises coming from it. Does that mean something? Can it be that the filter is just very very dirty? When I backwash it, the water comes out dirty, but after a little while it turns fairly clean.
4. I would like to inspect the sand and possibly replace it. My filter (Jacuzzi brand) looks like the top half sits inside the bottom half. How do I separate the two? I've seen filters where the two halves were bolted together in the middle, but I'm not sure how to disassemble mine. It's also pretty old so I'd be afraid to use force if I didn't know what I was doing out of fear of breaking it.
I think that's about it for now... I'd really appreciate some advice, especially about questions 2 and 4!