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Thread: Think am in big trouble. help

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Think am in big trouble. help

    Hi there. Am very new here, but so happy to find this forum. I think we are in a bit of trouble and will need all the help we can get. We just bought a house that was abandoned and needs a lot of work. I have had pools before, but never had any problems with them as they were always kept up...until now. All we have to go by at this point is photos and could use some expert advise. Included the most telling photo below. It looks bad. We are extremely limited by budget and really don't want to have to fill it in, so all of the work to be done might have to be a diy project. Not really sure where to even begin and the thought of this part of the project is keeping me up nights. Below is the answers to the questions in the what we need to know section. Since we have never done anything this big before we are tracking our thoughts at

    1) The size of your pool in gallons. We think it's size is 30x15x6
    2) The type filter you have: DE most likely
    3) If your pool is IG (in ground)
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass: Can't see that far in yet.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump and the size (flow rate) of your filter: The outside says FNS Plus


    Seriously, any helping info would be great (please).

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Bensalem PA (Philly Suburbs)

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    Lots of people on the forums here have had pool that look that bad and turned them into sparkling clear water. The basic steps are:

    1. Read Pool School (pool-school/) , especially the shocking your pool section.
    2. Buy a good test kit (see pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison)
    3. Be prepared to buy a ton of bleach, and don't expect the pool to clear within a day... it took a while to get that green, it will take a week or two at least to start turning back to clear.
    4. Clean out all the solid stuff you can, the more you clear out the less stuff the chlorine bleach has to get used up on, and the less bleach and time you'll need.

    As for the filter and pump, once you get more info as to what they are, people can help make recommendations about them.

    Keep asking questions, plenty of people on here willing to answer
    18' x 38' x 52" oval AGP with 6' deep end (foam on the walls, preformed coving, and Happy Bottom floor padding)
    Pentair Optiflow 1 HP 2 Speed pump
    Pentair cc200 cartridge filter
    Pentair UltraTemp Model 110 BLK 108,000 BTU Heat Pump
    2 Intex SWG's (copper unplugged)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    Start by ordering the TF100 XL kit, it is the best value out there and you'll need to do a lot of testing along the way. No sense dumping chemicals in until you know for sure what you need.

    While you wait for delivery, begin hauling out every bit of trash that you can. Once you get the big stuff out, you will want to get a leaf rake (See the Visual Encyclopedia here, looks like a butterfly net, mine has a hard lip that makes scooping stuff a bit easier), and an extension pole. Use that to clean out all the debris you can. I suggest getting a Wall Whale brush as well. Brush and push everything to approximately the same place in the deep end, in a corner so you can scoop it out with the leaf rake. You will be working blind for awhile so try to aim for the same general area. The chlorine that you will add to clear up the green water will be consumed too easily by leaves and sticks and whatever dead stuff is in there so that all needs to be out first. Do the brush and rake routine daily until you are pretty sure it is clean, then repeat every so often anyhow, just to be sure.

    After you get it moderately cleaned out, then you can take a look at the pump and filter. I'm thinking that you don't want to get too much junk in the lines if you can avoid it. But, I've never cleaned out a nasty pool so do wait for more advice.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    Yowza! I just looked at the pictures on your blog!

    I'd fish the lawnmower(or whatever that is) and anything else that big out of the pool, and forget about the rest until you get the house livable. (Don't want rust stains) Actually, drag as much out as you can while you have a dumpster there. I'm sure you'll have at least one dumpster for that project.

    You might need to contact the local health department or vector control and see what they recommend you put in that swamp to prevent mosquitos from breeding in there. They might even furnish it for free!

    Seriously, the pool looks like a much lower priority than anything else right now. As for paint on concrete, there's this Jasco paint remover that works pretty good. That, a wide putty knife, and an endless supply of old newspapers to wipe the scraped sludge onto. And after that, maybe an acid wash to literally remove the top layer of concrete with the last paint stuck to it.

    When you can devote some time to the pool, you've already been given the best advice I could offer.

    Take pictures of anything interesting you fish out of the swamp and post them. We love pictures!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    Thanks. You guys Rock. Now at least I have a place to start reading while waiting for closing. Was thinking of just draining it, washing it, and starting fresh??? Have heard that can cause more problems than it's worth for some and others have said it is the only way to go. Hopefully the rest of the house will be cosmetic (hopefully), it's the pool that scares me the most. Found a photo of the filter that our realtor sent. Don't know if it helps, but thanks for the input. And no worries about the photos. There will be lots once we get there.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Virginia Beach

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    Would a drain and refill be a good option? That tractor leaked gas, oil, grease and battery acid (hydrochloric)into the pool. It's a pretty safe bet there's more stuff in there too besides the tractor. Judging from the pics of the house I'd wager there's buckets of paint and God only knows what else in there too.

    Looking at the pics, it looks like you've got quite a project on your hands. I wish you the best with it, and would like to know of your progress. If it makes you feel any better, this is also how my brother bought his first house. Their landlord refused to sell it to them for years. Once it was vacant it was vandalized by another former tenant, the landlord was then willing to sell it to him. After a complete refurb/redesign/moving walls etc, it was a nice house again for several decades- until they tore it down & built a bigger house on the lot. The good thing was he bought it cheap, and with sweat equity in that house he was able to buy another house around the block that needed some work. Once that one was rented the equity enabled him to buy another one, and so on and so on. At one point I think he was up to 6 houses, I'm not sure how many he has right now.

    Good luck with it!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' X 48" 7600 +/- gallons
    Columbia 50 LB sand filter/½ HP pump, $$ WELL spent(2nd best thing bought for the pool)
    Virginia Beach, VA
    TF100 test kit- Money WELL spent (best thing I've ever bought for the pool)
    Leisure bay hot tub

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    I think draining is going to be your best avenue of attack. Once you can get started post some mor pics and we can give you more advice.
    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

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Lynchburg VA

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    I kind of agree with draining, cleaning and refilling! And I as well would love pics of whatever your find in the bottom of the pool.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

    Pool School
    Pool Calculator
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  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    The long deceased and much missed Keith Moon once drove a Rolls Royce into his pool. If this was a copy cat action, it's a very poor effort.
    There could be some really nasty contamination in that pool. Be careful about getting it on any scratches or scrapes.
    16k gallon inground pool
    Sta-rite cartridge filter
    Diamondbrite surface (i think. I am not original homeowner).
    1.5hp Hayward Super Pump

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    Wow, drop some Mosquito Dunks in the pool. Calculate based on sf surface area. That will hold you for awhile, maybe 3 months. Don't call authorities for help, that is a huge safety hazard right now, no sense getting them on your back.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    As others have said, isn't this a "no brainer" to drain the pool, clean up the mess, and then refill it?

    Maybe some posters have very expensive water or perhaps they have a local restriction on what they can drain, but I would think the vast majority of green pools should be drained, cleaned, and refilled vs. dumping gallons and gallons of bleach in the dirty water over a couple of weeks. What am I missing?
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

  12. Back To Top    #12
    ultra800_96's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Pomeroy, Iowa

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    Wow, you do have a project there. As others have said, I would get everything visible out of there & run a leaf rake across the bottom. There are other posts on here that have had motor oil, brake fluid & other things put in, & they got through it without draining. Just takes alot of bleach, aka chlorine. Then if it were me before draining, I would get the pump running, at least on recirculate & make sure the plumbing, valves, pipes, etc. are in good shape & no suction or pressure leaks. That way if you do drain, you'll know what you will be facing for other repairs while you have the water out. Best of luck on all your repairs, & yes, please keep us updated. I've got your blog saved in my favorites.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
    1HP Hayward Pump w/S180T Hayward Sand Filter
    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    You don't want to start draining until you find out if you have a vinyl liner or not. My gut tells me no, but you need to find out for sure, unless you plan on replacing the liner anyway.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    TFP Supporter!

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    And I think you want to have an idea about the local water table. If water table is high, your pool can float out of the ground. Not common, but something to know before doing.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Think am in big trouble. help

    You guys are Completely Awesome! Your tips and homework are so helpful. The good thing (hopefully) is that at least it is holding water. I think we are going to go ahead and put a hose in to start the draining process as soon as we get there. It is safer for all working on the house as well as our dogs and will give me a chance to get in and start scrubbing while the paint dries. Will keep everyone updated and be asking loads of questions and posting tons of photos. Thanks so much for all of your help.

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