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Thread: Swamp to pool conversion

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    Swamp to pool conversion

    Going to try cross posting this... Still looking for some comments directed toward some assumptions that I am making. Thanks.
    P.S. Test kit is on the way.

    I am getting an existing swamp/pool that comes with a foreclosed home, I have listed some of the things that I know, as best I could, in the sig. It was installed 20-21 years ago, and I assume the equipment is the same age.

    It is listed as 16x32 and is kind of a squared off oval. I estimate 18000-21000 gallons based on the visible square footage and a guess on the depth (there is a diving board, so I assume at least 6-7 feet depth at that end).

    First question I have, is how do I tell what type pool it is? I assummed plaster as I did not realize there were other surface options for in ground pools. Looking at some of the forum pics I noticed many have a vinyl wrap around the edge of the pool and others have concrete or stone leading all the way too the edge of the pool. The pool I am inheriting has the vinyl wrap which is making me wonder if that is a characteristic of a vinyl lined pool.

    Second question is, how do I clean it? From what I have gathered, trying a drain and refill is a bad idea, especially for an inground pool, and even moreso for vinyl lined. (please confirm) My thought process then is try and remove (by skimming) as much of the solids as possible. Then fire up the pump and filter and let it do some of the more finer filtering off the water and start adding chems and testing as per the swamp -> oasis write up.

    I have also been trying to figure out what and where to buy. Sams club seems to have the best price on bleach locally, and I have a lowes/home depot nearby that should have acid. I have been considering picking up a tub of tri-clor in the case I need CYA with the added benefit of providing additional shock power (as a relatively cheap Cl source). I have a SWG, so at some point a will try to get that installed as well.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Samantha_in_AL's Avatar
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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Welcome to TFP! We love swamp conversions and pictures... please post lots and lots of pictures. This should be a very interesting thread.

    To answer your first question, you probably have a vinyl lined pool. Can you post a picture?

    Question #2 - Don't drain your pool. Start skimming and scooping out all of the debris you possibly can. The more you can get out, the faster your water will clear. It may take alot of time, but in the end it will be worth it.

    Question #3 - Sam's Club or Wally World will be fine I'm not sure I would add any CYA until you get your test kit and find out sure sure how much is already in there.
    AG 18' X 52" Round Pacifica Pool w/ Metal Diamond Unibead Liner. Installed in March 2007.
    2.5 HP Baquapure 2 Speed Pump, 200 GPM Waterway ProClean Cartridge Filter System.


    Former Baquacil user
    Converted to BBB in Fall of 2009 - Now I have a truly trouble free pool!

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Thanks for the confirmation.

    The wife and friends all agree to drain the pool completely, clean it up, then refill with fresh water. Normally I would agree, until I have read all the dangers of cave-in and vinyl warping. Also as you say there already may be CYA in there, which could be costly to replace. Chlorine is nil I am sure, and Ph is probably lower than a refill would have it, but all easily adjusted if I follow instructions and the pool calc.

    I have considered creating a photo or video time lapse album, and a daily log which might be useful to someone down the road. I am sure all situations are different, but could help give an idea of what to expect.

    I do not have access to the property til at least Monday, but then the fun begins.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    We love pics here! Great for those that are in your same situation to see that it can be done, and fun for those of us that are already doing BBB to watch.

    You are correct in that if you even think it may be a vinyl liner that a drain and refill is not a great option. You would likely find yourself replacing the liner... if you're up for that, fine, but if it's holding water you might as well try and salvage it and save yourself the expense.

    I'm sure your wife and friends think that a swamp can't be converted and that it sounds gross but the process you will take to make it clean will make it perfectly safe and swimmable in the end w/out the risks to the liner you may possibly have.

    First thing is to get the debris out that you can and get yourself plenty of chlorine. Better to have too much than not enough. If your FC goes to zero at any point during the process you will begin backsliding and it will take longer.

    Make sure you get yourself a test kit on the way ASAP, as it will become your best friend during the process!

    Good Luck
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    I'm just chiming in to re-emphasize what samantha and SQ have already said.......your first (and hardest) step is to remove ALL the physical debris you can. You will need a VERY good quality leaf net capable of reaching the bottom of the middle of the pool and you will be sick of it (the net) by the time you finish. The more physical debris you get out, the easier the next step will be.

    While you're soothing your aching muscles with an adult beverage, read all you can up in Pool School. Especially "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" and "How to Shock Your Pool".
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by shortdogOH
    The wife and friends all agree to drain the pool completely, clean it up, then refill with fresh water. Normally I would agree, until I have read all the dangers of cave-in and vinyl warping. Also as you say there already may be CYA in there, which could be costly to replace. Chlorine is nil I am sure, and Ph is probably lower than a refill would have it, but all easily adjusted if I follow instructions and the pool calc.
    I have considered creating a photo or video time lapse album, and a daily log which might be useful to someone down the road. I am sure all situations are different, but could help give an idea of what to expect.
    I do not have access to the property til at least Monday, but then the fun begins.
    A) Read Pool School!
    Jason posted an EXCELLENT process on changing a swamp into an oasis. It's at http://www.troublefreepool.com/turni...sis-t4147.html

    He's gone through the trouble of detailing each step. It's VERY important to remember to get as much of the organics (leaves, sticks, algae, etc.) out manually. That'll be that much less that has to be oxidized by the chlorine that you'll be using.

    You will need a GOOD test kit. Get the TF test kits; it's the best value for the dollar and will allow you to test just about everything, including high FC levels, which you will have during the shock process.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

    You do not want to drain a vinyl pool. The liner will shift and form wrinkles when you start to fill it, and you may introduce additional stresses at the corners and wall/bottom joints that may cause failures.

    Do you have *any* idea what was used to sanitize the pool? Are there any chemicals or chemical boxes/packages left anywhere? Is there a chlorinator near the pump and filter that you would put the stabilized "pucks" into? Posting pics of the equipment (pump, filter, etc.) would also help.

    Get ready to make a Wal-Mart run for bleach and have fun.

    Terry in NC
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I'm just chiming in to re-emphasize what samantha and SQ have already said.......your first (and hardest) step is to remove ALL the physical debris you can. You will need a VERY good quality leaf net capable of reaching the bottom of the middle of the pool and you will be sick of it (the net) by the time you finish. The more physical debris you get out, the easier the next step will be.

    While you're soothing your aching muscles with an adult beverage, read all you can up in Pool School. Especially "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" and "How to Shock Your Pool".
    Wow, I think I found the correct topic to post!! Thanks for all the replies.

    I have been considering the best way to remove debris and the leaf net sounds like a good option, but I am not sure where to get one (or what one even looks like). I have never set foot in a pool store (and do not plan too if I can avoid it).

    I do know I need to go back to pool school. I am already forgetting much I what I have read

    I am going to try and post some pictures my wife got not too long ago. There is grey twist off part that I cannot identify, perhaps it is an inline filter or clorinating device. The only thing left with the pool is a roll up cover and a solar blanket (I beleive). There are also 3 of the 4 rail base covers (the rails are gone).
    [attachment=0:1wvg5ngf]Pump Section.jpg[/attachment:1wvg5ngf][attachment=1:1wvg5ngf]Heater.jpg[/attachment:1wvg5ngf][attachment=2:1wvg5ngf]Overview.jpg[/attachment:1wvg5ngf]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    The grey lid is the pump strainer basket. It catches any debris that gets into the drain or skimmer before it goes into the pump.

    A good early step in your research would be to take that lid off and see if there are loose threaded plugs and caps inside it. If not, pull the basket out and see if there is an open hole in the bottom of the housing. If those plugs aren't laying loose in the basket or stored someplace else, but are still installed, it is a sign that the pool wasn't winterized, and you may have freeze damage to your equipment.
    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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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    The grey lid is the pump strainer basket. It catches any debris that gets into the drain or skimmer before it goes into the pump.

    A good early step in your research would be to take that lid off and see if there are loose threaded plugs and caps inside it. If not, pull the basket out and see if there is an open hole in the bottom of the housing. If those plugs aren't laying loose in the basket or stored someplace else, but are still installed, it is a sign that the pool wasn't winterized, and you may have freeze damage to your equipment.
    Thanks John, I was close. That helps me figure out the direction of the water flow as well (not sure how useful that is to know, but it was something I wanted to figure out). I have no idea what the condition of the equipment is, but hope for the best.

    Another question, what is the proper water level? how is that measured?
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Leaf rake/leaf net:


    The proper water level in the pool is between about 1/3 and 9/10 of the way up the skimmer opening. There needs to be enough water getting into the skimmer so that a vortex does not form.
    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: Swamp to pool conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Leaf rake/leaf net:


    The proper water level in the pool is between about 1/3 and 9/10 of the way up the skimmer opening. There needs to be enough water getting into the skimmer so that a vortex does not form.
    Thanks Jason the skimmer is underwater at the moment,so I either need some major evaporaton or a bit of draining.

    Kit arrived today and I am also about 40.5 gallons of bleach richer than i started the day. Also picked up a "mini leaf rake" which looks like a butterfly catcher for kids, but it might do the trick for the pool cleaning. Thanks again.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Dang, Monday can't come soon enough. I am going to enjoy watching your pool go from slime to shine!
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Dang, Monday can't come soon enough. I am going to enjoy watching your pool go from slime to shine!
    Indeed.

    I also picked up a water vac on sale called a catfish. Hope that will be worth it. Going today to grab a bit of borax and some MA for PH adjusting and then I think I am all set to get started. Two questions though,

    In testing, is it necessary to shake the reagents before adding or does that just lessen their shelf life?

    Second, there has been much mention of the sun eating FC. Would it be wise to get a large tarp (or tarps) to cover or partially cover the pool to prevent this effect or would that slow down the natural oxidation process?

    Thanks again.

    Oh and I re-read the swamp -> oasis and it was much more comprehensive than I first remebered. Definitely sounds like a winning plan.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    You don't want any kind of cover while cleaning up algae. Once the pool is clean there are some advantages and disadvantages to having a cover, mostly advantages.

    None of the test reagents need shaking, the simple inversion as you turn the dropper tip down to count drops is enough to mix them. I don't know of any reason shaking would cause a problem, it simply isn't required.
    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: Swamp to pool conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You don't want any kind of cover while cleaning up algae. Once the pool is clean there are some advantages and disadvantages to having a cover, mostly advantages.

    None of the test reagents need shaking, the simple inversion as you turn the dropper tip down to count drops is enough to mix them. I don't know of any reason shaking would cause a problem, it simply isn't required.
    Good to know, thanks. Not much time to work on it tonight like I had hoped, but I have the next two days off. Going to work on trying to narrow down the capacity, inspect the equipment, get some pictures, and remove the beer bottles and the like from the water. Will begin with chems tomorrow I think, so I can get some feedback on the test numbers and then I will have a good 10 hrs solid to begin the process and hit it hard. Should have pics and test results later this evening. Looks like the forum is heating up, but hopefully someone finds time to read this.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    TC 0
    pH 7.3
    TA less than 30
    CH 200
    CYA 0

    Inspected the pump filter, could not find any plugs but the basket needed serious cleaning. No time to fire up the equipment, but the sand filter reads 30 PSI with the system unplugged. That has me worried. Sams sold Di and TRI chlor, I will be headed back there. Not sure if I can add enough borax to raise TA to the desired level. That CYA test seems one of those things you have to see it done once to really understand it. Maybe I can find a video online.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Can I just pop in to admit feeling like a voyeur?? We've had our pool all of 2 days. And yet I feel drawn to read these swamp to oasis threads. Thanks for posting, I learn a ton from them.
    Cindy

    4.8 K gallon AGP: sharkline opera 12'x17'x52"
    Sandpro 4511 sand filter and pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Get a new gauge. They are cheap.
    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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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Use Not sure if I can add enough borax to raise TA to the desired level. That CYA test seems one of those things you have to see it done once to really understand it. Maybe I can find a video online.
    Use baking soda to raise TA, not borax. We use borax to raise pH, which yours seems fine.

    Use the Pool Calculator (link in my sig) to calculate doses.

    You can also determine the "Effects of adding chemicals" near the bottom of the calculator.

    Here's a visual from Taylor on the CYA test: http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Chemi ... ntentID=44
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    Re: Swamp to pool conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    Use Not sure if I can add enough borax to raise TA to the desired level. That CYA test seems one of those things you have to see it done once to really understand it. Maybe I can find a video online.
    Use baking soda to raise TA, not borax. We use borax to raise pH, which yours seems fine.

    Use the Pool Calculator (link in my sig) to calculate doses.

    You can also determine the "Effects of adding chemicals" near the bottom of the calculator.

    Here's a visual from Taylor on the CYA test: http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Chemi ... ntentID=44
    Thanks, I thought Baking Soda and Borax did roughly the same thing in raising TA and pH, so I did not buy any Baking Soda, but that is easy to find.

    That CYA demo is extremely helpful, was not sure what was supposed to happen, my solution did not get cloudy at all
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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