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Thread: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

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    Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    When we rented this house, it came with a pool (not something we were looking for), but the house was cheap and the pool was crystal clear when we moved in. Not joking, the very next day it was cloudy and we've been fighting the beast ever since (last august). We were only left with 3 test kits and a lot of broken pool equipment. I gave up all hope in December since the pool heater which was supposed to be in working order was actually completely disconnected. Now we have a swamp complete with frogs and salamanders. I would love to be able to use this pool this summer, but I am POOR. I cannot waste time and money on this thing.
    I talked to a pool tech today who was amazingly helpful, but he is having surgery and won't be available for a while-so he pointed me here.

    First - here's my current levels = I started some chemical therapy before talking to him, so I may have wasted my time, but here goes:
    FC - 2.5
    TC - 5
    pH - 8
    TA - 90
    I was told calcium didn't matter with vinyl pools
    All three test kits were missing the CYA reagents

    My questions are these -
    1. I need a good vacuum to get huge chunks from the bottom of the pool (I plan on vacuuming to waste) -any suggestions?
    2. Do test reagents go bad, and if not, can I just get some new CYA ones, or do I need to buy another whole kit?
    3. My pool tech says to use Alum to make the algae sink to the bottom and then vacuum - do I need to kill it first or just brush? Any thoughts on Alum?
    4. Once I vacuum all the big chunks, I was told to start the shock process - is there a link to describe exactly what that is-I keep reading snippets of it, but need the whole thing explained.
    4. I have my doubts about this filter - landlord says the sand was changed last year, but vacuuming to filter just blows it right back into the return. He's lied before (like about the heater) and I need to know if the sand has turned to concrete and/or how to change it myself. Judging by the rusty bolts, it hasn't been taken apart in years.

    All help is appreciated. Hope I am not being redundant.
    in-ground pool, vinyl
    roughly 10'x20', 7500 gal
    sand filter (don't know flowrate)
    located in Seattle, WA (I know, why, right?)

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Buckeye, AZ 85326

    Re: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Can you take a sample to a local pool store to confirm your test results and get your CYA tested? At least until you can get a good test kit. Most places will test you water for free. Just dont buy anything from them until you get the guidance you need from the good folks here.
    Have you read through Pool School yet? It is a must read if you want to care for your pool properly.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
    Blue Granite Pebble Sheen finish
    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
    2' Powerfall

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    Re: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    I definitely will take some water to be tested to the place I talked to today - I have that planned for Monday.
    My landlord is coming over tomorrow morning for a little meeting about the pool. I put a significant deposit down on the pool itself and don't think I should have to invest thousands on pool equipment and repairs - I should just have to cover maintenance. I would love advice from anyone who rents a house with a pool as to what your agreement is regarding the pool. Our lease is very vague and I wish I had known what I was getting myself into.
    Regardless, I also appreciate any all money saving tips - like using bleach instead of these really expensive chlorine tabs I just bought. Grr.
    in-ground pool, vinyl
    roughly 10'x20', 7500 gal
    sand filter (don't know flowrate)
    located in Seattle, WA (I know, why, right?)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    To answer your question about test kits, they can last a couple of years (there was a recent message thread detailing which reagents last longest) if kept in a cool dry dark place, if the age is unknown you should not trust it. Around here we generally suggest the TF-100 test kit from who happens to sponsor this site, or alternatively the Taylor K-2006 test kit. The TF-100 costs a little more, but is a much better value as it gives you more of the reagents that you use most, instead of all matching size bottles.

    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    I don't recommend alum unless you are in a huge hurry. The filter will take care of things given time. Alum is a kind of floc. Floc treatments cause debris that is suspended in the water to clump together and fall to the bottom. You can then vacuum them up to waste. If not done extremely carefully you can easily push the debris back into suspension and have to start over. Also, floc treatments won't work until after all of the algae is dead.

    It sounds like it is time to open up the filter and clean and resettle the sand bed. There are basic instructions on how to do that in this post.

    How to shock is described in detail in Pool School, follow the link near the top right of any page or in my signature.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Glendale, CA

    Re: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    If you really want to keep the costs down to a minimum I would suggest :

    1) Invest in a good test kit (TF-100). It's a little pricey but will really save money over time.
    2) Spend enough time in pool school until you are very comfortable before you do anything.
    3) Clean the pool thoroughly by hand before shocking - get all the leaves and other solid stuff out - it'll save you gallons of chlorine.
    4) Service the filter before shocking to make sure it's working properly
    5) Heaters can be really expensive to run - just something to keep in mind.
    6) Shop around for a good source of chlorine. If you have a pool store that sells 12% by the case - $12 a case is a pretty good price. If you can get your pool down to 1 case per month that's good.
    7) If you are paying for the Electrical - look at keeping the pump run times to a minimum and during lower tier pricing times.

    Any cheapo pool vacuum head will work for you. Use a leaf canister when doing this. Dont rely on the pump strainer basket to catch stuff. You dont want to run all the gunk through your pipes - they can clog.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    I appreciate all the advice. I'm definitely going with BBB for the time being until I can get my pool back. It already looks better with the little cleaning I've done so far. The landlord agreed to get the bare minimum of equipment including a vacuum and longer poles so we can reach the bottom. Then it is a matter of fixing the pump timer, filter pressure gauge and breaker switch for the light. He finally admitted that the last tenant just drained the whole thing which made it easy for him to clean and refill without knowing a lot about pool care himself. However, it was quite the expense water wise for him and he seems happy we want to take care of it without doing that.
    We still have some time before the rain stops here, which is good, because a good rain can fill up the pool one to two inches and will allow me to continue to clean slowly without putting new water in. I'll hold off on the alum unless I get in a hurry. We have to enjoy the sun while its here, so I may have to get in a hurry if the weather clears up. Our heater is propane and we get a pretty good discount from our tool rental store because the business we give them. Heat is worth it because it could extend our 2 month hot season 2 or 3 more months when we have sun, but not a lot of hot weather to heat the pool (it stays at a balmy 65 degrees except in July and August when you are lucky if it gets to 75).
    Thanks again for everything - I'll be in pool school for the remainder of the summer I bet. elf
    in-ground pool, vinyl
    roughly 10'x20', 7500 gal
    sand filter (don't know flowrate)
    located in Seattle, WA (I know, why, right?)

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Renting a house with a pool and way over my head...

    The best time to go BBB is after you get the pool back!
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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