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Thread: Taking over care of our pool!

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    Taking over care of our pool!

    Hello TFP,

    My girlfriend and I have been in our home for a year and a half. Our pool was in VERY bad shape when we moved in and having never had a pool before we decided to hire a “professional” to get our pool into swimming condition. About halfway through the summer we realized he was a scammer and not doing us any good for the money we were paying him. Subsequently we fired him and finished out the summer on our own, doing pretty well utilizing the knowledge found at the local pool supply store. However while these guys were nice and more helpful, they still didn’t seem to be able to help us with everything we were looking for. So we decided this year we would just take in on ourselves with me doing the learning and manual labor.

    I waited too long to get going and the pool is now a cesspool (I tried to attach picture but I can't get them small enough). I have spent the last couple of days reviewing everything I can find in this forum and feel confident that I am ready to take on my pool. Tonight as the sun was setting (so as to lose as little chlorine to the sun as possible) I began to bring the pool to shock level (20 ppm). I only had the Walmart test kit on hand so went to Lowe’s and bought some strips that at least had a CYA test. My CYA test came back in the 30 to 50 range so I let it rip on the Chlorine. I had already bought a bunch of dichlor at Sam’s when it was off season to save some cash so I am going to use that up first.

    My testing capabilities only allow me to test my TC up to 10 ppm, so I have to do a little guessing but I am trying to guess on the liberal side. I put in the initial dose and tested and added more the times over the next four hours. I scrubbed the entire pool surface and skimmed as best I could. I will be getting up early to test it before work, leaving the pump on overnight.
    Now I have a couple of questions.

    One of our fall backs last year was our sweep never seemed to be doing anything and got stuck on the steps all the time. I am reading in here that many pressure sweepers require a booster pump. With my pump and filter is that what I am looking at? I have noticed however that if I take all of the flow from the two returns and send all the flow through the sweeper it has plenty (maybe too much) power.
    Our main drain does not seem to function. I purchased a Drain King and utilized the Jandy Valve to figure out which run was Skimmer and which was Main drain. Obvious flow through skimmer. Nothing through main drain. Any suggestions? Thoughts?

    Thanks ahead of time for the help. I’ll continue to post pictures as the pool progresses.
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Hi, welcome to TFP!
    You can use photobucket or any other online photo sharing site to host your pictures to post here. They will size them correctly for use on any forum. You can also use paint if you have a pc and re-size your picture there and save it under a different name.

    It will help us troubleshoot your main drain if we have pictures of the equipment pad and the main drain. It is possible the previous owner plugged the main drain, but you won't be able to find that out until you can swim down there and look. It could also be clogged with debris.

    I strongly urge you to purchase an FAS-DPD based test kit such as a Taylor k2006 or the TF100. These kits will allow you to test FC (free chlorine) at very high levels you need to shock the pool efficiently. Total chlorine will not tell you how much is FC which does the sanitizing, and how much is CC (combined chlorine) which is the by-product of oxidation of organics (think of it as chlorine poop!) and eliminating CC is part of the shock process. The test kit will also allow you to accurately test your CYA. Knowing your CYA is essential for pool care. Test strips are notoriously inaccurate. A good test kit is an investment in the health of your pool and family, and should contain enough test reagents to last 2 pool seasons. You may burn through the FC tests quicker if you have a prolonged shock process.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Hi moljourn and welcome to TFP!
    I'll let some of the more experienced members help with your hardware issues.
    As your starting to understand this, you need to know that shocking is a process of using chlorine.
    Most of the time the best method when shocking is to use liquid chlorine (or 6% bleach-same thing) only, not dichlor powdered shock which is adding more CYA and will/can hamper the proper shock process.
    The CYA chart is to follow as what ppm you need to be at shock level here:
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    Here's the page from pool school, how to chlorinate your pool..

    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    Your pool must be protected from germs, bacteria, algae and a variety of other organics. Without reservation, chlorine is simply the best sanitizer for your outdoor pool. There are other sanitizers available but, in one way or another, they all fall short of chlorine.

    Okay, you're convinced. Now, let's get some chlorine in your pool. It is important to understand that chlorine is a consumable item that is constantly being consumed and must constantly be replenished. Usually you must add about 2-3 ppm daily to keep the pool properly sanitized. Here are the various ways you can do that:

    1. Liquid chlorine - Household bleach and liquid pool chlorine are the two common sources. They are identical in every aspect except strength, household bleach is typically 6% and pool chlorine is usually around 12%.

    The huge advantage of liquid chlorine is that it introduces nothing into your pool except chlorine and a small amount of salt. It's almost the perfect chlorinator except for one thing...it's very bulky and, as a result, the handling of it is a nuisance compared to other forms.

    2. Trichlor - Commonly sold as tablets or pucks that you simply put into an automatic container that passes pool water over them and they slowly dissolve - putting chlorine and CYA into your water and lowers the pH. They are incredibly convenient and incredibly insidious. The CYA that they put into your pool water doesn't get used up, and instead accumulates. Eventually the CYA level will build up to a point that renders your chlorine ineffective. Typically, everything is fine, until one day you start to develop algae and don't understand why.

    3. Calcium Hypo - A convenient, usually powdered, form of chlorine. It's big advantage, like trichlor pucks, is it's convenience. Long term, that convenience makes you pay a price. Roughly 1/3 of Cal-hypo is Calcium that, again, goes into your pool water and you can't get it out. Constant use of cal-hypo usually results in the calcium level getting way too high in your pool which can cause scaling or cloudiness.

    4. Dichlor - A stabilized, granular, fast-dissolving form of chlorine. Because it dissolves so easily, it is often sold as "shock". Like trichlor, dichlor adds chlorine and CYA to your water and lowers the pH. Use of dichlor can raise your CYA level very quickly.

    Pool water chemistry works, but you can't be guessing at it!
    MY suggestion is to purchase a professional kit, the TF100 is the most prefered kit, great value for the size of the kit with top quality products, best of all, you can test anytime you need to.

    Continue to keep reading and learning here, you will succeed IF you follow the system that is in place here.

    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Ok, here are pics (I hope):





    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Also I was wondering, due to my location and the predominantly warm weather year round, is it necessary for me to close my pool for the winter?
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Welcome to tfp, moljourn

    That is a great looking pool...other than that algae

    I will defer to someone else who lives in a warmer climate than I do (preferably yours) to discuss your need for winterization.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Winterizing is to protect the plumbing and equipment from extended periods of freezing weather. If your climate normally stays above freezing most hours of a 24 hour period during the winter then there is no need to winterize. Some folks will do a modified winterization so they do not have to tend the pool in the off season, but leave the water level up and the equipment in place so they can run the pump in case water does dip below freezing. In mild freeze conditions keeping the water circulating is enough to prevent damage to pipes and equipment.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    I know the picture of my pad is less than revealing and because of location it is tough to get a better look so here is a basic paint rendition of what I have for the MD question I have.
    [attachment=0:1ztb6cmz]Plumbing Diagram.png[/attachment:1ztb6cmz]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    What happens when you turn the valve from skimmer to MD? Air in pump basket? Filter pressure drop?
    What did you do with the Drain King?
    Just wondering how you arrived at the no flow from MD conclusion.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Here are the day two pictures. I have been able to maintain the FC at around 20ppm. I will be ordering the TF-100 soon so that I can get a better grasp on what the chemical levels are.




    As far as what was done with the MD, while swimming last year I noticed that there was not any suction to the drain. I used the Drain King to isolate the Skimmer and MD line. I could see back flow to the Skimmer. I could not from the MD. That being said, When switching the line from Skimmer to MD I do not lose pressure and air does not enter the basket to the pump. Am I just incorrect in assuming the MD is not functioning properly?
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    I guess I am not sure how to use a drain king ... do you disconnect the pump from the suction pipes and then put the drain king in and turn on a hose to force water backward through the pipes ... either opening the skimmer valve or the main drain valve?

    Seems like if you just close the skimmer valve and open the main drain valve, turn on the pump and see if you feel water being pumped back into the pool would pretty much answer the question. Do not want to do this for very long if it is indeed clogged and you are not moving water as it can hurt the pump ... but a few minutes should be ok.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    In essence that is what I did. I turn off the pump open the basket, insert the Drain King into the incoming line from the pool and turn on the hose. Then I closed the valve to the return so all the water was forced to the main drain. I did this before I put any chemicals in the pool or scrubbed so I could see if any of the crud surrounding my MD was disturbed by the water being forced through. It was not.

    I'm still curious about the possibility of a booster pump for my sweeper as well. This morning while I was out checking my levels, I manipulated my valves so that most of the flow was going to the sweeper instead of the returns. This worked a little and the sweeper crawls around better than if the valve had the flow at 50/50, but it still doesn't seem to be doing much. When I put the valve so that all the flow goes to the seeper, it goes gangbusters, but then there is no water to the returns, effectively negating the skimmer. Also in this configuration the sweeper hose seems to have a pressure release mechanism at the pool side connection that spouts water so I think it is getting too much flow this way. Am I right? I would really like my sweeper to work this summer so I am prepared to install a booster pump and or replace the sweeper. What ever is needed.
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    My pool has a MD, but I am not sure if it works either. I was told that first they run such low draw that it's not something I might feel just by going down and feeling for it working. Was told I can dive down and try letting some food coloring go near the drain to see if it's drawn in. Second, I was told the previous owner might have closed it off. Either way I have had zero isssues keeping my pool clean all year 'round.

    Also wanted to warn you that your shocking process may take as long as 2 weeks or more. Just be patient and keep it at shock levels. You'll know better if you are at the proper levels once you can accurately measure your CYA and FC.

    Keep it up, can see it getting there already!
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    No one wants to takle my booster pump question? I think that will be huge if I do in fact have a MD problem, right?
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Can you not turn the sweeper valve like slightly off of full on? From reading this sounds like you checked a 50/50 split and full on and maybe something a little more. If full on seems like too much, I am surprised that a small turn towards off would not be enough for the sweeper.

    I do not know much about these, but wouldn't a booster pump also require a suction line? Or you tie it in to the existing suction line ... but is your current pipe large enough to handle that?

    Can you add a couple more pictures of your pad from different angles and one a little further away? ... they sure packed all the plumbing into a small area. (although I guess the drawing you made explains it)

    EDIT: have you confirmed that there is nothing wrong with the cleaner or if it need a wear item replaced? Did it used to work well?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    but then there is no water to the returns, effectively negating the skimmer
    If the pump is moving water, then the skimmers should be skimming, whether you're using the pool cleaner or not. If the pump is moving water when the valve is switched over to main drain only, then the drain isn't plugged (completely, at least). I agree that not feeling water flow doesn't necessarily indicate a problem either; my main drain doesn't feel like it has much flow when the skimmers are on.

    Some cleaners are designed to be used with a booster pump, some are designed to be used without a booster pump. Need to figure out what model you have first. Inspect it, or perhaps post better photos. The fact that the relief valve on the cleaner hose opens is probably to your favor; it means you're giving the cleaner adequate pressure. I have a Polaris 380 with booster pump, and the relief valve is always open and flowing a little water when the cleaner is in use. This is by design.
    Maryland
    18000 gallon plaster pool, Pentair Triton II sand filter, Purex Triton Minimax Plus 300 gas heater, 1.0 HP two-speed Pentair Superflo, Polaris 380
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  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    48 hours after beginning treatment pictures. Still haven't recieved TF-100 but test strips show the FC at >20ppm after adding zero chlorine in the last 24 hours!!! Making progress. Can't wait to get test kit to see my real numbers!




    I'll get some more info on the sweeper tomorrow! Thanks for everyone's help thus far!
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    For the booster pump question, my automatic sweeper is a Letro Legend II. I have to have the valve turned to about 75% Sweeper/25% Returns to get the sweeper to operate (slowly). In order to really get it moving I have to turn all pressure away from the Returns which I don't think I want. With it 100% to Sweeper the release valve opens on the sweeper and blows pretty well, but when that release valve isn't blowing the sweeper just doesn't seem to want to play.
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Quote Originally Posted by moljourn
    I'm still curious about the possibility of a booster pump for my sweeper as well. This morning while I was out checking my levels, I manipulated my valves so that most of the flow was going to the sweeper instead of the returns. This worked a little and the sweeper crawls around better than if the valve had the flow at 50/50, but it still doesn't seem to be doing much. When I put the valve so that all the flow goes to the seeper, it goes gangbusters, but then there is no water to the returns, effectively negating the skimmer. Also in this configuration the sweeper hose seems to have a pressure release mechanism at the pool side connection that spouts water so I think it is getting too much flow this way. Am I right? I would really like my sweeper to work this summer so I am prepared to install a booster pump and or replace the sweeper. What ever is needed.
    The vacuum requires a good bit of pressure to operate correctly. The Letro Legend II doesn't require a booster pump but it still requires a good bit of pressure. Setting the pump to flow to the cleaner only, is the way it's supposed to work. The relief valve should be bypassing water for the vacuum to work correctly. You can probably get by with mostly closing the flow to the returns but you'll need plenty of flow to the cleaner to get it to work correctly so your returns won't have much to work on. Your skimmer(s) will still work because the vacuum is still putting water into the pool. Granted, they won't work nearly as well but the cleaner shouldn't be in the pool but a little each day if it's operating correctly. It would also be a good idea to inspect the cleaner and make any needed repairs.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Taking over care of our pool!

    Thanks Bama, So when using the sweep I should just close the returns. Should I use the sweep every day? As far as inspecting the vacuum, I took it apart last year to check it out and will do it again. When doing so last year though I noticed there is almost nothing to it. Is there anything specific I should look for?
    Thor
    Yuba City (Near Sacramento) CA
    3,000 Gallon, IG, Fiberglass
    Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Northstar

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