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Thread: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottom of my pool?

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    How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottom of my pool?

    Help!!! We have inherited a pool that has not been opened in at least two years, probably 3. There is a very thick layer of leaves/debris/algae on the bottom of the pool. We have been slowly scooping it all out with a leaf net. Due to the blackness of the water, i have no idea if we are even making a dent. We are first time pool owners so any advice you can offer us to make this process a bit more efficient is very much appreciated
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    Join Date
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    Welcome to TFP!

    We have heard of folks doing this with a leaf net, rake, shovel, and other things. The answer is whatever works best for you.

    Does the pump work? Does the pool hold water? Once you get to a certain point where you are able to start things up and filter water, you can begin the process of shocking the pool to help things out even further.

    Please read Pool School. Also, pay a visit to www.tftestkits.net and get yourself a TF-100 test kit. This will aid you in your journey.

    Post all questions along the way and we will guide you through it.

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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    Thanks Sounds like we'll just keep mucking away. We do have the pump and filter running. Yesterday we added algicide and 8 lbs of shock...the pool has turned from black to a very dark green but it seems there is still a ton of sludge at the bottom...very difficult to tell if we are making any progress in removing all of it. Is it advisable to start adding the chemicals at this point to try and kill off the algae or is clearing the bottome of the pool first, the right thing to do. I feel like if we don't add the chemicals the algae will just stay way ahead of us as it has been extremely sunny here for days.
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    The more stuff you can get off the bottom, the less chlorine you will need to finish cleaning it up.

    Algaecide isn't very useful against a massive algae bloom, and can have negative side effects. Algaecide works best at preventing algae.

    Have you read Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis?
    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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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    Please add a signature to your profile and tell us what kind of pool/surface and equipment you have like mine below. Hang in there!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    You pretty much have to keep scooping blindly. I have been at mine for two weeks now and just when I thought I had everything, my pool lightened up enough (still light green) to see large shadows on the bottom, big piles of leaves that remained. If you keep shocking, your pool will eventually reveal what you have missed. Keep at it. Good luck, I know it is a mess.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    I've done many, many green-to-cleans (using TFP guidelines for cleaning)...

    When there's mud on the bottom and you're using braille to net or using the "leaf hopper", all you're doing to that mud/muck is kicking it into the water column. Once it is in the column it eats chlorine like there's no tomorrow. If you can, try to vacuum as much as you can to waste first (might be too late for that, as it sounds like you're beyond "not" kicking it up).

    HOWEVER... there comes a point where it's faster, cheaper and just plain simpler to just drain the pool - or at-least a fair portion of it. You'll spend upwards of $100 or more on gas/trips to wally world on bleach, when you can lease a pump for a $25-40 a day.

    As far as the cost of water, my home in the winter uses about 10-15K gal a month in flushing/bathing/showering, etc... for 2 adults and 2 kids (does not include lawn watering, where the use goes up 4X in the summer). So, for the price of about a month or two's water-bill, draining & refilling can be an option as well.

    And you can have it drained, washed out, muck removed, and start refilling in about 6-12 hours. Once your filled, you can superchlorinate with 1/10th of the chlorine to kill what you missed - and start re-adjusting the T/A, etc...

    The flip side of this is that you need to be aware of the local water tables, as they used to make boats out of concrete and a in very rare cases if the water table is high a shell could float/lift. We just plain won't consider draining if it's rained in the past week or so.

    I'm not saying to not continue doing what you're doing - as with lots of time and effort, it will work. I am saying that there are alternatives that can be considered when the pool's really, really, really bad - that will be cheaper and faster.

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottom of my po

    Thanks, yes... we started with that entry and have been working through it. We're just not seeing any result for two days of work. We've been putting 8 lbs of shock twice a day with no registering FC. I started some stabilizer in a sock by our jet as well, but just barely getting a CYA reading. The water as we've been stirring it up is a milky green. I've been vaccuuming also and that makes it more brown. Are we just being impatient?
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    This process does take some time. From your description, it sounds like things are getting better. As long as they continue getting better each day, you are on the right path.
    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: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    Separate question, but somewhat related... Should we be using clorinating tablets in a floater? Will they help the process? Do we use them at all throughout the year?

    You've all been helpful so far. We appreciate it.
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    I suggest you save the tabs for vacation or when your CYA drops a little, and keep hammering it with bleach/liquid chlorine.

    You could use a bottle of POP, Pool Owner Patience about now

    Just keep shocking it and try to be patient

    Can we see a pic?

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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    *****Be advised- These photos are not for the weak at heart. Images seen here may be disturbing******
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    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    kids catching tadpoles and frogs before we stirred things up...
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    chessie6's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    I'm helping my neighbor get his pooled cleared up and it looks exactly like yours. He was putting in liquid shock and the chlorine readings were going to 0 in no time flat, so we decided to clear the muck out of the bottom and Then hit it hard with bleach. We used a leaf gulper today which is a vacuum powered by a garden hose to clean up the bottom the best we could (vacuuming blindly in the cloudy water) and constantly emptying the bag and ended up dumping out about 8 dead toads and frogs along with pine needles, leaves, etc. . . and already his chlorine consumption has lessened. I will definitely support anyone doing this to keep getting out as much as the debris as possible first thing.

    Best,
    Jan
    Summer: 19 x 37 Pacific Graphex IG modified oval, aztec marine vinyl liner, 24,000 gal, 3.5 feet to 8 feet, 1 hp Hayward C4025 Swim Clear 4-cartridge filter, 12.5% Liquid Pool Shock for sanitizing, 1 super wide mouth skimmer, 4 returns (2 therapy jets in steps), Hayward Heat Pro heat pump, non-curved pool slide, 6' jump board, 8 ml blue solar cover, TF-100 test kit, had pink algae in 2010 Winter: Hot Springs Vista Spa, 500 gallons.

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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    So, we're still not clear as of today... been filtering 24/7. Loads of chlorine and our second bucket of stabilizer to get the CYA up. PH is good and hardness is good. Our alkalinity is still very high. I've been using 14 lb bags of baking soda to try to get that down. The water is a milky white and filtering it seems to really not be changing anything. Thoughts? I feel like I'm running a toxic chemical dump in my back yard.
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottome of my p

    Quote Originally Posted by ahaller
    Our alkalinity is still very high. I've been using 14 lb bags of baking soda to try to get that down.
    Put the Baking Soda down and back away!

    Now, go immediately to Pool School and read http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ater_chemistry. Especially the part about Total Alkalinity.

    Baking Soda raises TA!!
    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
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottom of my po

    OK.. rookie mistake there. Do I let it stay high and work it's way down over time, or buy acid to lower it again? Anything I should be doing other than filtering to get the cloudiness gone?
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottom of my po

    Lets start with a full set of test results and how you got them.

    We'll start making recommendations from there.
    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: How do I get all of this GUNK out of the bottom of my po

    FC: 10
    TA: 140
    pH: 7.8
    Calcium: 133
    CYA: 14

    This was from the pool store's ClearCare Expert Analysis
    25K gal. vinyl in-ground. Hayward Pump with DE filter. One skimmer, one jet, one underwater light! Steps, ladder, and green water galore.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: How do i get all of this GUNK out of the bottom of my po

    Pool store numbers are notoriously wrong. I'd suggest the next thing you do is get a good test kit. There's a link to the best one out there in my sig.

    Now using those numbers, the first thing you need to do is lower the pH a little to about 7.4 or so and then start shocking. Lets assume that your CYA is 20 so your shock level will be 10 which is where you are. The biggest problem you have is not being able to test and make sure it stays there until you pass the OCLT. And you can't run the OCLT because you don't have a good way of testing.

    While we're on the issue of testing. I suspect the FC number you got is wrong too because most stores tests will only go to 10 and report anything higher as 10.
    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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