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Thread: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

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    New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Hi all,

    I recently took the cover off my my pool in my new home. The water is a very green/brown/black color and I have heaved a lot of leaves out already. I have a leaf pool vacuum coming tonight that I plan on ensuring all of the gunk at the bottom is removed.

    It is a VERY old Gunite pool. The skimmer cover opening is branded refinite, and there is not currently any basket to be found for it. I have no idea where the returns could be in this pool, let alone know if they are closed off, or even would be.

    I did pull the plug from the skimmer, and hook up all my piping. I have turned the pump on and it seems to partially prime (slow water flow to the pump) but after a few seconds to a minute, the water flow stops, and there typically is a fair amount of rocks/leaves/whatever is growing in the pool in the pump basket. I empty it and start again.

    My question(s) are what should I be doing to clean out the bottom of the pool, and what really are the best steps to start dealing with a pool that is such rough condition?

    I have read through all of the pool school details religiously, and I am trying to avoid throwing chemicals in until I can ensure the plumbing is working correctly.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    The best way to start is to remove all of the debris from the pool you possibly can, and, while you are working on that, continue trying to get the pump running.
    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: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Thank you for the quick reply. Is it safe to assume that if there is stuff at the bottom covering the main drain, the water flow only from the skimmer won't suffice?
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Probably. If there is debris in the pool you can be sure eventually it will make it down to the main drain. Like Jason said spending allot of time scooping the debris out will speed up the shocking process.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    I was able to clear out some with the new tool, but as I cannot see below about 2 inches of water, I can only hope I got as much as I could. I have an automatic vacuum I have been running non stop basically to clean out what I can, and was able to successfully get the pump primed, and filter running. Should acquire the tester this week to get all the goodies to hopefully clear it all out!
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Welcome to TFP! It sounds like you are on the right track and will have your very own trouble free pool soon!

    What test kit are you getting? The TF-100 from http://www.tftestkits.net come highly recommended on this forum!

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Small update --

    Ordered the tft-100. While waiting for it to arrive I thew money at liquid chlorine, and it started to look a little better, aside from days where i would try cleanding some sludge of the bottom, at which the ploom of brown overtook the pool.

    First readings were low ph (6.8), No CYA, 0 FC, TA 110 I think, and i forget the others.
    Bought some CYA and tossed a bunch in. The dot was harder to see but still visible with the tube full. Put more in going to test again tonight.
    Tossed in more chlorine and got the FC to 5.5, and the CC to .5.

    Tossed in some washing soda and got the ph to 7.2.

    Pool looks a "little" better today, but nothing special.

    Of course its supposed to rain all week but I am determined to make this 60 year old pool sparkle darnit!
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fooled
    Bought some CYA and tossed a bunch in. The dot was harder to see but still visible with the tube full. Put more in going to test again tonight.
    Tossed in more chlorine and got the FC to 5.5, and the CC to .5.

    Tossed in some washing soda and got the ph to 7.2.
    Are you measuring the amount of chemicals you are adding? It would be wise to use the Pool Calculator to determine how much (of each) you should be adding. You do NOT just 'toss in' a bunch of CYA..because if it gets too high, that is something that cannot be easily fixed (requires partial drain).

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Yeah I measured it out. I am guaging my pool to be about 11k Gallons, so based on the calc. the amounts I added would have been a bit low. I have read everything about CYA being the silent killer

    Now that I tested it and saw it was still visible (well below 20 but fading as the tube filled, and slightly still visible) I added about another 18 ozs, and am going to test again tonight. I am hoping Ill still be at a low good level for shocking, and then I will adjust it higher as needed for general maintaining.

    Thank you for checking in and making sure I am not being careless!
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)


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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Sounds like your on the right track!
    12k gal gunite, Sunstone Plaster, Pentair IntelliFloŽ VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Pentair CCP520 cart filter

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Getting there. Given my work schedule it has been a little tough to maintain the high FC levels for shocking. I did not notice much a difference this morning when I got up in the color/clearness. Still can only see down about 1-2 feet max. This morning I only had time for the quick OTO test and it was above 5. Ill have to check it with the drop test tonight and get the CCs too. CYA last checked yesterday was about 25-30.

    Question: The water temp is probably only about 45-50 degrees. I do have a heater I have not turned on, would it be beneficial or otherwise to turn it on and raise the temp?
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Nope, don't bother with the heater. Keep on shocking; you're making progress!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    I thought I should post a few pics of the progress, and thank you all so far for the help!

    The initial swamp


    After tossing in some bleach not knowing what I was doing


    After some more low octane bleach, before I got my test kit


    2 Days after getting my tf-100, raising the cya to 25ish, and getting liquid chlorine to properly raise FC to shock level, and also raising my PH from 6.8 to 7.2 with washing soda



    Getting there, I get excited to check the progress every morning when I get up and every night when I get home!
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Progress, indeed! You are getting closer

    I don't see any ripples on the water....is your pump running 24/7? Are you getting ready to scoop out those leaves and any other solids that are on the bottom? Have you brushed to stir things up?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Yes pump is on 24/7. I only have a vague idea where the inlets are in this pool. It was built and installed in the 50sa, and actually used to be fully enclosed in the house! When I first turn the pump on I can see a few air bubbles where the inlets are. I can also see the water circulating usually, but never any large ripples

    I scoop leaves out every night, and more return every night! I used the leaf rake early on in the process and pulled out about 5 large garbage cans full of leaves and debris. I also have been running the cleaner-bot while I am home to clean some out, but that fills awful quick...Mostly just with dirt and sludge now not leaves.
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Looking much better already!

    How are you levels doing? You should be testing pretty frequently, making sure to keep your FC at the appropriate shock level.

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    The lowest I have seen the FC since I started testing a few times a day is , which is a little low but not terrible given my CYA of about 25. I do the more accurate tests at night when I get home. I havent bothered with the overnight test yet since its nowhere near clear.
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fooled
    The lowest I have seen the FC since I started testing a few times a day is , which is a little low but not terrible given my CYA of about 25.
    Still not sure what the FC is, but it sounds like you have a good handle on what you are doing.

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    Re: New to Pool, DIY'r Opening Question(s)

    Oops, I wrote 8, then edited some spelling and it disappeared ha!

    so to reiterate -- the lowest FC since I started testing was 8

    Last full test I ran was last night:

    FC - 8
    CYA - 25ish
    PH - 7.2
    CC - 2
    TA - 120

    I added more chlorine after backwashing the filter about 15 mins after this test. About an hour later, FC was 12.
    Inground Gunite Pool -- Unsure of Pool Size -- Sand WaterCo. T500 Filter -- Hayward SuperPump II (not sure flow)

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