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Thread: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

  1. #1
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    Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Just closed on a house with a in ground 15K pool and hot tub. A little history on the pool. The house has been empty for 8 months, no one has been in the pool and the owner used a pool company to maintain the pool who only kept the chemicals in line, did not clean or anything else. The pool is about 25 years old and is gunite with the original finish. A pool inspector told me all the equipment was in good order and that the pool was going to need a new surface in the next couple of years. Yesterday I tested the FC and PH with my trouble free test kit. the FC was 15 and ph was 7.1. the pool was clear. Well I got in the pool and noticed a white substance coming off the wall when I touched it causing the pool to get cloudy. Fast forward to today. I did a complete run down on the pool with the following results.
    FC-14
    ph-7.1
    TA-80
    CH-500
    CYA-50

    Well I added some soda ash to bring the PH up, I hit 7.5 later on in the day but the pool became very cloudy. So I took the cartridge filter apart and it was pretty dirty so I washed it up and continued running the pump. Then went to scrubbing the sides of the pool to get the white powdery substance off. (Which I believe is calcium). Now the pool is a complete mess, its very very cloudy and does not seem to be clearing up. Just wondering with that high of a calcium level is it going to clear? What am I going to have to do to bring the level down? I have read that I may need to drain part of the pool, but I am clueless on how to even go about doing that. I left the pump running tonight in hopes it might help, but I guess I will see in the morning as I have no moved in yet.

    Thanks for any info, just wanting a clear pool to enjoy this last part of summer. Sorry for such a long first post.

  2. #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Welcome to TFP.

    With a CH of 500ppm and a low pH, I suspect that the white stuff is something other than calcium. Chalking paint or deteriorated plaster are possibilities.

    You'll want to leave the pump running 24/7 until things clear.

    I'd plan on at least one new cartridge for the filter. How is your pressure reading and flow through the returns?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Pressure is showing about 10 right now. Flow on returns is pretty slow.

  4. #4
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    We had an annoying calcium clouding issue but our numbers were significantly worse at the time -

    CH 1100
    TA 260
    Ph High 7's, low 8's

    We were also using a lot Cal-Hypo to shock the pool - CYA 120.

    We've been crystal clear with
    CH 1100
    TA 90 ish
    PH 7.2 - 7.5

    Give it some time. It's impossible to tell what's been going into the pool during that 8 months. With FC 14 you'd expect the maintenance company has been a little heavy handed with the chems.
    15500 Gal Gunite/Plaster circa 1960

  5. #5
    Mod Squad Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Sounds like your filter needs to be cleaned (again...)! With cloudy water, any filter will fill up pretty quickly.

    I think the stuff coming off the walls could be calcium scale; if the pool had higher pH under the previous owners, it could have lots of scale that's started to crumble a little bit. Pictures of the surface could help nail that down.

    What's the CH of your fill water? If it's reasonably low, I'd do a partial drain and refill to get the level down (assuming water's not terribly expensive). How much to drain depends on the CH of the fill water.
    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!
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  6. #6
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Quote Originally Posted by lightingguy
    We had an annoying calcium clouding issue but our numbers were significantly worse at the time -

    CH 1100
    TA 260
    Ph High 7's, low 8's

    We were also using a lot Cal-Hypo to shock the pool - CYA 120.

    We've been crystal clear with
    CH 1100
    TA 90 ish
    PH 7.2 - 7.5

    Give it some time. It's impossible to tell what's been going into the pool during that 8 months. With FC 14 you'd expect the maintenance company has been a little heavy handed with the chems.
    Thats good to know. I forgot to say But the pool has been painted, so I guess that could be that also.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    It could be plaster rotting, or paint dissolving, or possibly calcium. My brother-in-law painted his pool last year and says that he gets calcium on the surface that rubs off and makes it cloudy when anyone swims. I personally haven't seen it, nor tested his water..heh,heh,heh.

    Just remember, it didn't all get there overnight, it won't all go away overnight, either. I'd keep the pH sorta low and brush it a lot. Also make sure the main drain is flowing; as you stir stuff up and brush things towards the bottom, you want it to go somewhere. I'd also get a new cartridge, just so I had a clean-pressure baseline with the new house. You don't even know if your gauge is accurate, yet!
    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!

  8. #8
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    It could be plaster rotting, or paint dissolving, or possibly calcium. My brother-in-law painted his pool last year and says that he gets calcium on the surface that rubs off and makes it cloudy when anyone swims. I personally haven't seen it, nor tested his water..heh,heh,heh.

    Just remember, it didn't all get there overnight, it won't all go away overnight, either. I'd keep the pH sorta low and brush it a lot. Also make sure the main drain is flowing; as you stir stuff up and brush things towards the bottom, you want it to go somewhere. I'd also get a new cartridge, just so I had a clean-pressure baseline with the new house. You don't even know if your gauge is accurate, yet!
    What kind of PH would you shoot for? Also how do I go about checking the gauge?


    Thanks so much everyone!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Here is a thread about a painted concrete pool that was having similar issues - I recommend you read the thread and see if you can garner any info from that, if it helps any...

    concrete-pool-milky-water-t11780.html

    TA can be from 60-120, depending on your pools features and source of chlorine. Tablets - high end, SWG with water features - low end of the range.

    Hope this helps.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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  10. #10
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Welcome to TFP.

    Just want to give you a word of encouragement. POP (pool owner patience) goes a long way to help one get through pool issues. I had a situation over the winter, as I was treating the pool for slow release of calcium scale. When I got my new pump and big filter in I expected the clouding to clear really fast. It took over two weeks with lots of cleanings of the filter and reminders from the great folks here to practice POP. It eventually cleared and has been sparkly and perfect ever since.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  11. #11
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    Re: Just bought a house with a pool, need help

    Well little up date. this morning the pool was some what clear. then I Cleaned the filter's and they where covered in white powder. Vacuumed the bottom of the pool. Pool was still somewhat clear. (When I say some what I could see the deep end bottom of the pool) Then I started scrubbing again and the whole pool got very cloudy again and could not see more than 12 inch into the pool. After running the pump all day its still this cloudy. Im guessing Im just going to have to keep this process up until I can get it clear. Tested the water again and all the results where about the same as yesterday.

    One thing Im starting to wonder is if my bottom pool drain is working. When I have the valve on the spa only the pressure jumps up to 12 psi. When I move it over to the pool only its only at 6 psi. Is this normal? Also when I was vacuuming out the pool the spa became very cloudy, what could be causing this?

    Sorry for all the questions just trying to figure all this stuff out.

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