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Thread: Clean or drain the swamp?

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    Onslow's Avatar
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    Clean or drain the swamp?

    Hello TFP people...

    About a year ago we purchased a house with an AGP (signature) that we haven't been able to give any attention until now. We removed the improvised black plastic cover earlier this summer to find a green mess that is filled up to about a few inches below the skimmer.

    According to the previous owner they've not used the pool for at least a couple of years. They left us a Hayward pump and a sand filter, some hoses, pole, and various older looking cleaning attachments and chemicals.

    We are now trying in earnest to open the pool. I recently wet-dry vac'ed out the sand filter (nasty smell) and cleaned with a light bleach/water mix. Ironically the bottom circular array of the standpipe was broken off exactly at the mid-circle point ("circle" being where all the eight fingers screw in). However if I hold it together and gently put the fingers back in evenly the collective torque holds the whole thing together! I'm not sure if I broke it during cleaning (I tried to be as careful as possible) or this happened to the previous owner and they just kept it "under the rug." We've had a lot of surprises with the house along the same lines so I would not be surprised if it were the latter.

    Anyway here's the question: The people at the local pool shop are saying that I should drain/clean out and refill the pool as opposed to trying to clean the existing water. They said by the time I got done fooling with chemicals and what-not that it would be easier to refill to assure a clean baseline. They offered some additional tips about partial draining and cleaning to avoid letting the sun bake an empty liner as well.

    Does this sound like a good approach? I've read the clean the swamp article but I want to go to a SWG system so I'm asking for clarification of approach. I have a submersible pump that can do the job. I'm just concerned about the whole "ruined liner" thing.

    Thanks all! The site is a treasure of the web!
    * 18' x 33' - 48" oval AGP - new liner Summer 2014
    * Hayward Pro Series S210T Top Mount Sand Filter
    * Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1 1/2 hp Pump Model SP5615
    (equipment on posts prior to summer 2014) Hayward PowerFlo 1 hp pump - Jacuzzi "Tidewater" 190L, sand filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Welcome, Onslow!

    Drain or clean to me would sort of depend on the rest of the chemistry. If the swamp has high CH or CYA, drain it. If it's just algae, a truckload of chlorox will set things right.

    I'd worry about that filter. If there's any way that crack can open up when it's under pressure, you'll get sand in the pool and it won't filter worth a sheet.

    You need a test kit ASAP. Whether you are shocking or just going to maintain it after a drain, you'll have to have it. Just bite the bullet and order a TF100XL and a speedstir. Add some salt test strips, too, and save on shipping.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    There are a few things we need to know to give you better advice than Richard has given you so far.
    Where are you located for one and do you know if your fill water has high CH for another?
    Is it feasible to replace the water of do you have really high water costs?
    Are you on a well or does your fill water have metals?

    If your pool is just swampy, enough scooping, vacuuming and bleach will clear it up.
    Whether or not you want a SWCG makes no difference until you get it clear and balanced.

    P.S. I second Richards recommendation of the TF-100XL.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Onslow's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Okay, here's where I'll go from here...

    • I've priced various replacement standpipes (hard to find one where they don't want you to buy the whole assembly)...looking at about $45 including shipping.[/*:m:3tbohyje]
    • ...also will order the test kit and speedstir (does stirring require this?).[/*:m:3tbohyje]
    • I'm on city water and have estimated it will be about $150 to refill the pool. If scooping and bleaching will take care of this (how much bleach?) at-or-under 70% of refill cost I'm game.[/*:m:3tbohyje]
    * 18' x 33' - 48" oval AGP - new liner Summer 2014
    * Hayward Pro Series S210T Top Mount Sand Filter
    * Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1 1/2 hp Pump Model SP5615
    (equipment on posts prior to summer 2014) Hayward PowerFlo 1 hp pump - Jacuzzi "Tidewater" 190L, sand filter

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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Draining and refilling for $150 has some advantages but I see two obstacles.

    1. The condition of that old liner may not take well to the drain, dry out and scrub process.

    2. If you've got a lot of organic staining (and you probably do) thay can be a real PITA to get cleaned up. Often times it is easier to clean them with your pool full of chlorinated water.

    It's a guess without seeing your liner after it's drained but I personally would clean it up as is and leave the water in it.

    It'll take a while and you'll use a TON of bleach but it is probably the safer.

    PS - even if you drain, refill and scrub, you will have a lot of cleaning up to do as the pool fills and you will still use quite a bit of chemistry.....just not as much.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    We cleaned my sisters pool and it had tons of stuff in the bottom that had to be scooped and vacuumed out and it took about 30 gallons of bleach to get through it. That's about $55 worth of bleach. No two pools are alike but that should give you a ballpark guess at what it may take. Hers ran on the high side of what it normally takes because we had an issue getting rid of the CC's due to some algae lurking in the ladder legs.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Not that I know anything about AGPs but is there a compromise here, partial drain and refill?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Onslow's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    anonapersona: That's definately a consideration that I'd like to look more into! Someone told me that would let me wade in the pool to clean out the gunk/scrup while protecting downward pressure and bottom of liner from direct sunlight.

    Bama Rambler: How did you know that 30 gallons was the right amount? Which test would indicate where to stop?

    duraleigh: I'm definately concerned about the liner. The outside/back end of the return broke off in what was apperantly a thick industrial rubber hose. The pool store person said if I did not ensure the part it screwed into was held steady while putting a new one in that the liner around it would fall out/away (!!!).

    Richard320: Is there a better (cheaper) way to get Clorox other than gallon jugs? I'll check again on the BBB page as well.

    Thanks again all!
    * 18' x 33' - 48" oval AGP - new liner Summer 2014
    * Hayward Pro Series S210T Top Mount Sand Filter
    * Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1 1/2 hp Pump Model SP5615
    (equipment on posts prior to summer 2014) Hayward PowerFlo 1 hp pump - Jacuzzi "Tidewater" 190L, sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    You don't know how much it'll take untill you're done. There's a link in my signature to the best test kits anywhere. The TF-100XL that Richard posted about is in there. That kit will allow you to shock properly and to know when you're done shocking.

    You buy 10 to 15 jugs of bleach at a time from your local Walmart and go get more as you use it up.

    There's an article in Pool School (link in my sig too) about how to properly shock your pool and how to know when you're done.

    You also need to learn to use the Pool Calc (see sig again) while you're waiting on your kit. The condensed version is to get the test kit and test the water. Once you have the results you enter them into the PC (pool calc) and it'll tell you what your recommended shock level is and how much bleach to add to get there.

    Once you're ready to get started post back here and we'll guide you along. Then once you get into it we'll discuss how to know you're done.

    If your local pool store sells 10% or 12.5% liquid chlorine it may work out cheaper than bleach. You can post the prices of bleach and liquid and the % and we can figure which is cheaper.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Onslow's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Thanks. I'm looking over the recommended reading and have a couple of updates:

    For my pool size I'm getting calculations ranging from 15,700 (Pool Calculator) to 14,000 gallons (other sites and pool shop). Based on those figures it will cost $70 - $105 to do a total refill (as opposed to earlier estimate of $150).

    Local pool shop sells 12% for $4 gal. Wally World's house brand 6% sells for $1.40 for 3 qt bottle.

    I am unable to find replacement lateral assembly on any Internet site. There are many "close" replacements (my laterals are screw-in whereas all the online replacement are snap-in so I can't use existing laterals - either way they are all out of stock). As a last resort I've PVC glued the laterals into the assembly . It held together even without the glue so I'm hoping glueing all eight threads and then screwing them in will be enough to get us through this year. The filter tank seems solid enough (although for some reason there is a rusty bolt where the pressure guage goes I'll order a replacement for that.
    * 18' x 33' - 48" oval AGP - new liner Summer 2014
    * Hayward Pro Series S210T Top Mount Sand Filter
    * Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1 1/2 hp Pump Model SP5615
    (equipment on posts prior to summer 2014) Hayward PowerFlo 1 hp pump - Jacuzzi "Tidewater" 190L, sand filter

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    The Wally World bleach winds up being a little less expensive:

    • 128oz of 12% = 15.36oz @ $4.00 = $0.26 /oz

      96 oz of 6% = 5.76oz @ $1.40 = $0.24 / oz
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    If the local pool store's chlorine is close to 12% there's not much difference in price between the two with WW being slightly cheaper. If WW has the 182oz jugs it may even be cheaper than the 96oz jugs.

    Your pool should be real close to 13,700 gallons. You use the actual water level to figure the volume not the wall height.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Kincer, the PVC glue sounds like it could work, but I really don't know. If it doesn't, you'll just be spinning your wheels trying to clear a pool without a working filter.

    Any thoughts from you sand filter folks concerning the laterals?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    My thought would be to replace the laterals and the assembly with the new style but then you could probably buy a new filter for not much more.

    I say, try it. All you have to lose is a little time cleaning it up and replacing it if it doesn't work.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Onslow's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    That's exactly my thought. I would be royally &*$!@d if I spent $70 - $100 on standpipe lateral replacement and found out something like the multi-port valve was also bad. By that point I'd need to buy a new filter anyway.

    Someone told me once that the "19" in 190L filter meant it was 19 inches. If that's true than can anyone recommend a best bang-for-buck replacement (just in case ?
    * 18' x 33' - 48" oval AGP - new liner Summer 2014
    * Hayward Pro Series S210T Top Mount Sand Filter
    * Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1 1/2 hp Pump Model SP5615
    (equipment on posts prior to summer 2014) Hayward PowerFlo 1 hp pump - Jacuzzi "Tidewater" 190L, sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Take a look at something in the same size range or a little bigger. Pentair or Hayward are the top name brands and you can't go wrong with either of those. Amazon has some good prices on them with free shipping. Make sure it comes with the multiport valve whichever you go with.

    A lot of times you can get a good used on from Craigslist too.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Onslow's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Revising my sig. I thought it was 48" depth but it's apparently 36" to the skimmer. Why would such a large oval be so shallow?

    Anyway the kids are still small so they'll love it!
    * 18' x 33' - 48" oval AGP - new liner Summer 2014
    * Hayward Pro Series S210T Top Mount Sand Filter
    * Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1 1/2 hp Pump Model SP5615
    (equipment on posts prior to summer 2014) Hayward PowerFlo 1 hp pump - Jacuzzi "Tidewater" 190L, sand filter

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Quote Originally Posted by kincer
    Revising my sig. I thought it was 48" depth but it's apparently 36" to the skimmer. Why would such a large oval be so shallow?

    Anyway the kids are still small so they'll love it!
    I guess you won't be doing any cannonballs to impress the kids, then.

    So what about the rest of the update? Is the pool clear and sparkly?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Onslow's Avatar
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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    Unfortunately we're still cleaning out. I got a leaf rake attachment and have been scooping out the algae on evenings as time permits.

    Today we replaced the return pvc stem. The liner did not fall off. It really wasn't that much trouble other than stooping under the deck and crawling up to it.

    I think we are going to try the drain-and clean approach. There is a concern about the condition of the liner (looks like a hook-on running about an inch below the topmost part of the pool's top perimeter). We'll just have to be careful and try to do it when there's not a lot of direct sunlight.
    We're looking to do this next weekend.


    We need to get about 200 lbs of sand and get some replacement hose parts. And of course the test kit.

    Does anyone have a favorite liner algae scrubber product/method they can recommend?

    Also, we will do BBB after reading these posts over the past few weeks. It sounds like CYA will be nil with a fresh refill so is there a preferred method for bolstering that up (dichlor or straight CYA)?
    * 18' x 33' - 48" oval AGP - new liner Summer 2014
    * Hayward Pro Series S210T Top Mount Sand Filter
    * Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1 1/2 hp Pump Model SP5615
    (equipment on posts prior to summer 2014) Hayward PowerFlo 1 hp pump - Jacuzzi "Tidewater" 190L, sand filter

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Clean or drain the swamp?

    kincer there is something for you to consider here if you have not already. When you use water you get billed for it twice. By that I mean...you get charged for the sewer portion as well. A phone call to the city clerk will ensure that you only pay for the water which will cut your water bill in half. Just have all the information on the gallons used.

    1) 8500 Gallons (18 foot, 52 inches deep)
    2) Hayward Cartridge Filter
    3) Above Ground Pool
    4) Hayward 2 HP pump

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