Hello all, I purchased a home with a 23 year old Sylvan in-ground plaster pool. It's 16x32 though I don't know avg depth I estimate 17,000 gallons. It has original plaster though I believe the filter/pump have been upgraded at least once. I've been reading the forums since before I purchased the house so it's been many months. Received during the winter a Taylor K-2006 kit and took initial numbers the other day. The pool was meticulously maintained up until a couple years ago at which point the older woman who lived here had it closed and it stayed closed for at least 1 summer, more than likely 3 full summers and winters.
CC didn't test
Though it's not included in the pictures the water was extremely cloudy, maybe 1.5-2ft visibility and is murky brown. The plaster is rough and tiny gritty sandy pieces will come off into my fingers if I rub it. The plaster is quite brown. It looks as though the top smooth surface is long gone.
My goal is to use the pool perhaps 1-2 summers before replastering and renovation. I at least have to see the condition of the pool before ordering replastering so I have to open it. As shown in the pictures, 1-2 of the decking slabs have sank in a bit and the extremely soggy yard and recent downpours filled up the pool from under the cover. I do not believe the pool leaks but I cannot say for sure yet. If I drain it down the level stays down. If I fill it up the level stays high.
When I originally was looking at the house I hired a pool guy to come in and do an inspection. He tested the pump, light and pressure tested the plumbing. He decided the plumbing was fine but the lamp didn't light for whatever reason (it didn't trip the GFCI so not that kind of problem, probably a burnt out bulb). The pump sounds fine though we didn't run it with water, we ran it dry for a second or two.
I assume the CYA is 0 because the bacteria over the last couple years has eaten the CYA so I'll probably have to use an absolute ton of chlorine. The sample was not cloudy - AT ALL.
My strategy is probably going to be to use cal hypo to perform an initial shock with the water on recirc. Open the skimmers and get the water clear. Then vacuum the mud from the bottom of the pool on waste, then hopefully be fine. Maybe get a couple skimmer socks. The skimmer look okay and had bottles half-full of water in them. We didn't have a really hard freeze this year. I have a lot of things I need but I don't have any recent chemicals, all old stuff sitting in the garage. Is it okay to use the old chlorine and DE up? Also I need a wheeled vacuum head, and a vacuum hose and probably a skimmer adapter. I also need a very long waste hose so I can get it to the driveway. Any suggestions as to a good cheap place to buy from? I also have a ton of leslie's chemials in the garage... ph increaser, reducer, TA adjustors, etc. All trash?
Any suggestions in terms of my strategy? I've been reading a lot but that's NO substitute for experience. Any suggestions are most welcome. Should I hold off opening until it's warmer?
Today I got up nice and early and completely R&R'd the rear fence of my yard. Looks good. (pics included) I then proceeded to empty the water tubes from one side of the pool and began to uncover it. Man those decomposing earthworms/algae on the cover are horrible smelling. When I got the cover pulled to one end I learned a tough lesson. I'm not that strong! I had to drain out the rest of the water off of the cover before I could pull it completely off of the water. The water underneath was mud/green colored and visibility was about 1ft. (I had trouble seeing the return plugs). Speaking of the return plugs, I had to reach deep into the skimmer to pull them and that was absolutely positively nasty - not to mention brutally cold. I took a plug out of both skimmers and took a plug out of what I assume are the returns underneath each skimmer. I took one final plug out of the pump basket. There's no eyeballs for the returns so I have to buy them I suppose... Not sure how important they are? My multiport valve was pretty well stuck so I opened it up and lubed everything up and it seems to work now. The spider gasket is still okay. I installed the DE filter (a simple matter of pushing the filter into the bucket). tighten the nuts until the spring coils touch (again, couldn't be simpler). Fill the pump basket and start up in recirc. The pump primes and proceeds to empty my skimmers - FAST. So I filled the pool up to the halfway mark on the tiles and it still did it. I eventually figured out that you need to regulate the intake or perhaps return valves a little bit until you get it filtering and thus get some head pressure in the system. Adding the DE was as easy as I thought it would be, I just made sure to do it slowly to a fast moving skimmer. The system went up to about 6 psi and is now around 10psi hours later and rising. When I got everything stable i cleaned up the rest of the water tubes and took a break. I added the granular dichlor later. poolcalc informed me I should add 2 cup 3 oz and I did just that. We'll see I looked a little later on and I could see to the bottom of the steps. I *definitely* need to vacuum the muck out. It's all brown and filthy.
The pics are updated!
And of course everyone's favorite. PICS!