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Thread: A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

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    A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

    My husband and I moved into my FIL's house 3 years ago, after he passed away. The last time the pool was opened was the summer of 2000. From what I can see, it was winterized. There is a gizmo in the skimmer near the pump, but I cant see if there is a plug or gizmo in the skimmer on the other side of the school. The pool was built in 88 and is vermiculite, with vinyl lining. Now there I believe is a big proplem. The liner is completely destroyed, and we have no idea how long its been that way. Also, the water table here is extremely high. My husband believes the motor on the pump is shot. I would also like to know what the pipe is that is sticking about 8" out of the concrete near the pump (in the pic it has a screw driver sticking out of it). I really have no idea where to start, and I dont want to waste money on chemicals just for them to drain the pool to put a new liner in. When should I start all of this, any idea on the extent of damage (roughly), about how much am I looking at spending? Please help me, I want what use to be a beautiful pool back!!! I really appreciate all of the help!!!!

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    http://s1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc433/bethabbott49/
    21K gal, vinyl IG vermiculite, Hayward S200 sand filter.....current swamp!!!!!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

    Welcome to TFP!

    If the liner is definitely bad then you are looking at $3K to $5K just to replace the liner, plus presumably another $500 to $1K for the pump, as a minimum. There is also the question of how intact the underground pipes are, which will be difficult to determine until later. Freeze damage to the underground pipes could substantially increase your repair expenses. Other things to check: Is AC power getting to the pump? Are the deck bolts that hold the cover all intact. What kind of shape is the deck in? Can you find the drain plug for the filter (it is often in the pump strainer basket)?

    I can't make out what that extra pipe might be from the photos. Having extra pipes hanging around from previous renovations is not uncommon.

    There is no point in using any chemicals until the liner is good and the plumbing is confirmed working.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

    we dont feel comfortable replacing the liner ourselves, so we will hire a professional for that. My husband is an industrial mechanic/electrician, so he can replace the pump, and fix the plumbing. The deck is in great shape (thankfully), so Im assuming (I know I shouldnt) thats a good sign. I wasnt sure if the extra pipe was to pump ground water from under the pool. My husband was only 7 when the pool was put in, so he wasnt sure what it was either. What is the possibility that the vermiculite is in decent shape with all of that water sittin on it for all these years? If the skimmer that we cant tell if its been plugged is in bad shape, can we run with just one skimmer? BTW, the pool is (According to the 2 quotes) 17' x 35'.
    21K gal, vinyl IG vermiculite, Hayward S200 sand filter.....current swamp!!!!!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

    The vermiculite should be fine, and if there are any problems they will be easy to fix. That kind of thing is normally included in a standard cost liner replacement. There would be much more risk to the vermiculite is the pool had been drained for years. The weight of the water tends to hold everything in place.

    You can run with one skimmer. Two is definitely better, but one works.

    A system for pumping ground water out would normally have a larger pipe, often an 8" dry well pipe, so a sump pump can be lowered into it. People do things all kinds of different ways, so that is still a possibility, but I don't think it is likely. It is difficult to get the complete context from your photos, but it looks like the extra pipe is on the return side of the pump? If so that suggests some kind of disconnected water feature, perhaps an old disconnected fountain of some kind.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

    Thank goodness!!! Finally, a ray of hope Where should I begin? Should the liner be changed first, the plumbing tested, or replace filter and pump first? What kind of filter (I would prefer something low maintenance)? When should I start? I plan on getting what I believe is called a Durawall liner. Should/Would they use padding on the walls? Are the walls vermiculite as well as the floor? They feel like smooth cement. The bolts for the cover are in great shape, but there are one or two missing when the concrete was busted up to access plumbing years ago. The job on the concrete that was poured back leaves a lot to be desired. Will the missing bolts or rough looking cement job cause an issue? I know Im full of questions, but I want to make sure Im somewhat educated and have a good idea of what to expect before starting this project.
    21K gal, vinyl IG vermiculite, Hayward S200 sand filter.....current swamp!!!!!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

    I would want to know that the plumbing is good before investing in a liner replacement. They'll have to drain the pool to replace the liner, and the plumbing can be checked then.

    Pumps and filters are easy, since they are above ground. With your husband's background, they won't be a big deal to replace if needed. For ease of maintenance, you can't beat a sand filter like you have. Cleaning it can be done in 5 minutes without getting wet or dismantling anything, and it won't need cleaning very often.

    Hindsight being 20-20, this would have been a good fall project since pool work isn't in as much demand then. If you are going to do it, I'd expect you want to get in touch with somebody ASAP so they can do it before the rush in April and May.

    The walls are most commonly steel, but there are block walled pools, plastic walled pools and even wooden walled pools. They are usually padded with material that is similar to the foam that electronics are packed in.

    I think you might benefit just to pay a pool builder to just evaluate things for you. Your county might have records of the permit process that could tell you who did the original construction. Even if they aren't in business, other PBs might be familiar with how they did things, which could help in figuring out what you have.

    Good luck!
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A Real Swamp!!! Please Help Me!!!!

    The first step is to get a couple of people out to make bids on replacing the liner. They will take care of draining, dealing with the water table, and removing the old liner. They will probably want you to remove the old cover yourself, though some might throw that in as part of the job. They will probably want to wait do the actual work until it starts getting into the 70s during the day.

    Meanwhile you need to look into what kind of shape the filter is in and decide if you want to go with the one you have or not. Any pump/filter parts or replacements should be ordered. Even if the motor is bad (likely) you might want to keep the pump and just replace the motor. As soon as it is reliably above freezing all the time you can pressure test the plumbing and see if there are going to be problems there or not.

    Missing a few anchors for the cover can be lived with, though it would be better to have the anchors replaced. It is difficult to tell for sure, you may need to new cover as well. Rough concrete is merely annoying, not a problem. You can replace it if it bothers you enough.

    The walls are probably metal, though other materials are possible, including wood, plastic, and concrete, while the bottom and sloped areas of the sides will be carefully packed dirt covered by vermiculite, possibly with a layer of sand or pool crete in-between.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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