Ok, so we're getting close to closing on a house that has a nice swampy pool in the backyard. The home is a foreclosure and at best the pool hasn't been kept for at least 5-6 months, and perhaps even longer depending on what the previous owner was doing. The pool right now is covered in chicken-wire/plastic sheeting, I assume the city did this about the time the house foreclosed to protect against kids and the blood sucking insects.

So I need to get it looking nice again, I forgot to measure the pool the last time I was out there, but I'll guestimate it at about 16x30 (I can count the tiles around the pool), no idea on depth so I estimated high at 4ft (I figure it has a 6-7ft deep section and normal shallow). I estimate it to be around 15,000 gallons or so? Of course I'll get exact numbers before doing any work providing everything works out closing wise. The pool has a 1hp Hayward Super Pump and a Hayward Star-Clear Plus cartridge filter.

My question is basically just to get some ideas on how much bleach and other chemicals to have on hand to get the process started. I've searched and read through every thread I could find on similiar situations, including the sticky at the top here, so I understand the process to do the work (and all the testing), but I don't know if I should have 10 gallons of bleach handy, or 50 gallons - 1lb of Borax or 10lbs, etc. The basic reason for asking is I'm trying to budget all the "need to do" stuff, and I'm betting that getting the pool running will be more than a simple misc expense.

2. Check out the links in my signature to get you started... the stickies will tell you all you need to know (and more!), the TF100 is the best investment you will make for your pool, and Jason's calculator will calculate how much of what chemicals you need to add, down to the teaspoon, in some instances!!

Get that test kit first thing, and welcome to TFP!

3. For 15,000 gallons, you'd need about 6 standard jugs of ultra bleach to reach shock level. Within a few hours, you'll use that much again. You'll go through 20 gallons of bleach, so I'd head to Walmart and get the big jugs of Great Value. Notice that they aren't gallon jugs.

Use Jason's pool calculator http://www.poolcalculator.com/ to figure the exact amounts.

Be persistent and check it at least every 4 hours until it starts to hold. You'll need a decent test kit, and Dave's at TFtestkits.com is a good deal.

Get the pump running first, and I'd want to have a spare cartridge on hand, or maybe even two if the one in there now is shot, because algae will clog the cartridge quickly, and it's nice to have a spare so you can keep it running while you clean one.

4. The test kit is already in the budget But I'm not going to buy anything until I know the home is mine (obviously).

I guess my question is more along the lines of how fast the algae will consume the chemicals in the pool, going through the pool calc it says I need to add say 3 gallons of 6% bleach to bring the FC up to shock levels (as an exmaple). But how much more will I need to add a couple/few hours later, the next day, etc.

I realize that it's almost impossible to answer with any kind of authority without knowing more exact numbers, but I'm just looking for a ballpark idea so I can get some costs for our budget. If some of the experts here saw a pool like that, what would you have on hand to battle the problem?

5. It is very difficult to guess at what you will need without doing a full set of water tests. 10 gallons of bleach and a test kit might do it or it could be far more than that. It all depends on how out of balance the water is and in what ways.

Keep in mind that pools have a habit of become expensive. If you need repairs, which won't always be obvious without a very through inspection, it could be thousands of dollars. And even if everything is fine the list of pool toys and pool related furniture that you "really really want" tends to keep getting longer.

6. Aj, welcome to TFP - GREAT start to doing this!!

If the pool is a swamp, I'd say pick up 10 gal bleach to start - you may end up running out for more after you start cleaning the pool, but even at the worst - it'd be enough to start. The trouble is that we don't have a specific gallonage nor any test #s to go from - without those - we are giving our best guess. But, as guesses go, I'd stock up on ~6 lbs borax for a start, again, you may need to run out and pick up more - but that should be enough for an initial couple of doses. As Grace points out: 'a good test kit will aid in this' ~ as much as the chems you add (adding chems 'blindly' will either bite you in the a** by creating a whole new problem by adding too much of something or by not adding enough when you need to) - Duraliegh's kit is arguably the best, but I know that there's a lot of \$ flying out of pocket when buying a new house - so you can get the 6-way kit at Wal-mart for < \$15, which would get you through the first few weeks.

Good luck in closing on the house! (even if you don't end up getting it, you've gained a little knowledge for another house w/ a pool - or if it doesn't have a pool yet, you know where to come when you decide to add 1 to the yard )

7. Is this a vinyl liner, fiberglass, or gunite? If gunite with plaster, depending on age, I'd say there is a fair chance you'll need to replaster in the near future. That kind of neglect can't have been good for the longevity of finish. I'm not sure of the going rate, and I'm sure it varies but I would budget around 3k until you know otherwise.

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