I'm thrilled to find this site! Other sites I have found have so little use that questions go unanswered for months.
I look forward to the education from you and your other users.
This is a very long post - I put all the details here in my Intro so I won't need as much info in my questions in the forums, I will just refer to this post for the details
I bought a House last winter - and got a really nice pool with it. ( My first pool)
For the first many months I only saw the Winter Cover, and some blurry pictures the old owners had of the pool.
The Owners husband passed away unexpectedly, and she had no knowledge about anything to do with the pool - So it was just us and the Internet this first year.
20 x 40 Inground Lazy L Concrete Painted Approx 20 years old
3ft shallow end 8 ft cereal bowl deep end ( 25000 gal ??? I guess)
The Pool Shed contained the following when I opened it:
2, Half full 5 gal buckets of Bromine Tabs
1/2 bottle Qt - Metal and Stain remover
1 Gal pail of Alkalinity Increaser (* yes increaser - read on)
1/3 Bottle Qt of Algecide
1 Gal pail of Stabilizer.
and 2 empty cans of the paint last used to paint the pool (several years ago)
Winter cover was filled with water and leaves - pumped the water off for hours until I realized the level of the pool was dropping, I realized the cover leaked and would never completely empty. We pulled the cover to the shallow end and eventually pulled it off but dumped a lot of water and leaves in the process.
Initial inspection - Water as green as the deepest ocean, and no sign of bottom - not even the first step of the stairs.
Step 1 - Leaf rake for hours - worms - frogs and lots of leaves and twigs.
Step 2 - reassemble the filter and pump, lubed the O rings cleaned the threads, remove plugs.
Step 3 - raise water level to test out filter ( hoping a vacuum might speed up the cleaning)
Step 4 - Test filter - Dome Top was cross threaded and would not open -not sure if it had sand in it or not.
Filter began working fine - yes it had sand. But the filter sucked a LOT of air.
Step 5 - Vaccum to waste - till filter basket filled (every 10 - 15 minutes) Surprisingly the pool began looking beter.
Waited a week (work out of town) For sludge to settle
Step 6 - repeat - Leaf rake, then vacuum
Step 7 1st water test (Test Strips) TA - way off chart, Calcium way off charts, Bromine 0 PH off charts low
Step 8 (Filter has no bromninator) Filled floating Brominator with tablets, Shocked Pool, added Algecide, added rust and stain remover. Test again No change in any readings. Brush and vacuum once daily from here on sometimes twice
Step 9 Go back to the internet for Info.
Step 10 - Bought 3 gal of Muriatic Acid to lower alkalinity - Used 2 and waited, brush and vacuum - Shock again!
By now the green is gone, the water is still very cloudy, and I can barely make out the Main drain, I now see brown stains all over the bottom of the pool.
From this point on each day brought improvements - each chemical treatment (shock, algecide or floculant) always caused clouding of the water, but it would clear a bit by the next day - never being crystal clear always hazy.
I had Both valves replaced (Skimmer/vacuum and Main Drain) the skimmer now does not suck any air, the main drain sucks air after the pumping for about 5 minutes. I suspect I have a leak in a pipe somewhere. I run the filter for 7 hours starting at 11pm till about 6am then again for 6 hours from 11am till 5pm. I usually also turn it on when working on the pool early afternoons or when we would swim. I am out of town 4 days a week and then home for 3, so for those 4 days it is just the filter running, then for the 3 days I spend hours each day cleaning
Total alkalinity never dopped much below 200, calcium remains sky high, and I finally resorted to punching holes in a 5 gal bucket with about 2" deep Bromine tabs to try to bring up the bromine. Bromine tests Ok 5ppm after shocking but drops off soon after). The water eventually cleared up - can see the drain fine details on the bottom of the deep end are fine, but at night with the light on I see millions of tiny reflections in the light. Then there were those pesty brown stains. I kept trying the metal and scale chemical, but only shocking and brushing seemed to help but not eliminate them. After a good shock, the stains would be lighter and gone from some areas - then I noticed - everywhere the stains appear there are calcium deposits all over the bottom of the pool, they bleach out the stain, but in a few days they turn brown again, and its time to shock again.
The final Issue was paint chipping - my filter basket is always full of little flecks of paint, and the bottom shows more and more little paintless spots. Next spring a new paint job is on order.
If you read all this - WOW - Thanks! any advice is appreciated,