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Thread: Another swamp to pool project in the works

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    Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Intro:
    Let me start out by saying this is a very long post but I want to provide everyone with all the details. My name is Jay and I am not actually a pool “owner”. I am a neighbor trying to assist a recently widowed friend with opening a pool that sat idle last year. Another neighbor (a pool owner) offered to assist her, but then backed out after taking a good look at the situation. Prior to last weekend, I knew nothing about pools, I still know very little.

    The Equipment:
    The pool is an in-ground with a vinyl liner. I estimate the volume at about 30,000 gallons (that is pretty accurate). It has a sand filter with a 1 HP pump that is rated at between 50-80 GPM (depending on Head in Feet). In checking the equipment, I found the most elaborate collection of pumps, filters and valves I have ever seen. After studying the setup for some time I was able to determine that one pump/filter set was for the pool, one set was for a spa that had been removed and the other is to prevent freezing of the pool in the winter (I think). I have/will attach photos if I can.

    The valve handle on the filter moves as it should and I have been able to determine which pipe valve allows you to control the flow of pool water from the skimmer or the floor/bottom drain. The actual water pump was frozen and would only hum at first. I removed the motor from the pump and was able to free it and get it running smoothly. I reassembled the pump and it seems to be working well although it is very warm to the touch after it runs awhile.

    The Pool:
    The pool sat idle since the fall of 2010. When I removed the cover (which had some split seems) the water looked like strong coffee and swimming on the surface were tadpoles by the thousands. A quick test with the dip net determined that a good 3”-4” layer of rotted leaves was sitting in the deep end of the pool.

    What I have done so far:
    I started out by renting a trash pump and pumping out about half of the water. The liner is only two years old and I reasoned it would still have some elasticity. I was careful to keep a little water on the shallow level and I did not get any noticeable wrinkles during the process. After draining half the water, we scoped up all the tadpoles and other critters and sent them packing. We then scooped all the leaves we could from the deep end floor. Since it was impossible to see the floor, we did the best we could. We then added back much of the water and drained the pool a second time while stirring the deep end in order to pull out as much silt as possible.

    This water exchange seemed to work well, as we could see the floor in the shallow end and see almost to the bottom of the deep end. When we had the pool about 80% filled, we added 5 gallons of conditioner, 6 gallons of bleach and about 6 pounds of powered chlorine (on the advice of the recently re-interested pool owning neighbor). I then ran the pump for about an hour to stir in the chemicals and we continued to fill the pool throughout the night.

    We purchased a quality test kit from Leslie’s Pools and I did the first test this afternoon, here are the readings:
    FC is at 5 (top of the color chart)
    TC is also at 5
    Bromine is at 10
    pH is at a low 7 (maybe 6.8)
    TAK is 100
    CH is 60
    CYA is at 100+ (maybe 110)

    Aside from continuing to remove dead leaves, should I be doing any additional chemical treatments at this time? The water is a little cloudy and you still cannot seem the bottom of the deep end clearly, but it is looking much better. Any input and advice would be much appreciated. In the meantime, I will continue to read and learn.
    Thanks in advance,
    Jay
    Attached Images Attached Images
    OkieJay
    Oklahoma City Area
    Pool: In-ground, vinyl liner, about 30,000 gallons.
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1 HP, 60 GPM
    Filter: Cristal Flo 24" (300 lbs) sand filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    CYA over 100 is a major problem, and not expected after replacing that much water. When you said "powered chlorine", what specific product were you using? The two common chemicals for solid chlorine are dichlor and cal-hypo. Dichlor contains CYA, and rapidly raises the CYA level out of control. Cal-hypo contains calcium, but adds calcium much more slowly compared to acceptable calcium levels.
    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: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    wish we could have seen pictures of the aquatic life before the drain
    Theresa and/or Gary

    Complete DIY: 20x40' rectangle. Resin walls, vinyl lined. 33000 gallons. Full width steps. 8' deep. Diving board, slide. Hayward pro series super pump, sand filter. Raypack 336K BTU heater. Main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, 2 amerilite lights with quick change lens Aquamatic auto cover and a partridge in a pear tree.
    Breaking our backs in the hopes that one of our six kids will care for us when we are old ;)

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Another swamp to pool project in the works

    I would say to drain at least half the water and re-fill. The amount of stabilizer (CYA) is going going to make getting shock levels very difficult to maintain.

    While the pool is refilling, read the Pool School section of this website ( link in the upper right corner of this page) and get ready with some liquid chlorine or bleach ( your choice). You may need a better test kit too. Also, most pool stores will recommend a bunch of expensive chemicals to clean up this pool but here liquid bleach is the tool of choice. It's cheap and very effective.

    Read the pool school, it will explain it all.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Trust Jason. He typed faster than I did on my iPad
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Time to go re-read How to shock your pool again, carefully. If the CYA level is really and truly 110, you'll need chlorine by the drum, not the jug, to clear the swamp. So you may end up draining some more. Secondly, that Chlorine tester is useless for this purpose. Fortunately, all you need is the FAS-DPD testto round out the kit. Third, with high FC, you pH readings are suspect. Ignore it until the pool is clear.
    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.
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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Thank you all for your responses.
    I have already learned a few things, I sent the neighbor to Leslie's to pickup a Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test kit and they sold her a DPD Complete Chlorine Kit. I did not notice the difference until now. I am going to return the kit they sold her and get the correct kit tomorrow. I will retest again (this was my first time ever) and post the new numbers tomorrow after work. I will also find out exactly what type of powdered chlorine we have. Lastly, I will reread the other "swamp to pool thread" and the "How to shock a pool" section. Thanks again, I will post undated info tomorrow.
    OkieJay
    Oklahoma City Area
    Pool: In-ground, vinyl liner, about 30,000 gallons.
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1 HP, 60 GPM
    Filter: Cristal Flo 24" (300 lbs) sand filter.

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Only the Leslie's Commercial outlets know what FAS-DPD is, and I think there might only be single-digit numbers of them in the country. You need to order the FAS-DPD from tftestkits.net. If you got the K-2005 from Leslie's, you can get just the FAS-DPD test to add to what you already have.

    Powdered chlorine most likely has CYA in it, otherwise it'll have calcium in it.
    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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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    More progress:
    I noticed the pump had a pretty steady drip that I wanted to take a look at. I disassembled the pump housing and inspected, everything looked fine. I cleaned the seal, applied a little dish soap to the seal and reassembled slowly applying even pressure as I went. The drip is still three, but it is about one drop every 15 seconds. I can live with that.

    The pool water looks pretty good, you can see the bottom in the shallow end very clearly. The bottom in the deep in is still cloudy with a light dark pattern in the center where some leaves were still there. I think I have 99% of the old leaves out, the last few leaves I pulled up were still firm, so they were fairly new. The pool owning neighbor came over took a look and said it was time to flock. But I said I wanted to retest the water and see where the levels were first. I tested and got the following readings:

    FC is at 5+ (top of the chart)
    TC is at 5
    pH is below 7 (maybe 6.8)
    TAK is 75
    CYA is at 100

    Please note, I was asked what type of chlorine I added yesterday, it was Leslie's Chlor Brite (99% dichloro-s-triazinetrione per the website).

    After looking at the readings, he suggested we hold off on the flock and add Soda Ash to get the pH up, he suggested about 1/2 a tub (about 5 lbs. based on the tub he suggested we purchase). He explained that the pH needs to be up for the chlorine to do its work. His instructions were to add the ash and let the pump run overnight and then check again tomorrow. Right now I am waiting on the neighbor lady to return from the pool store with the ash and and a bottle of Super flock for later. I trust his advice, but I would like a second opinion from you folks. I know I am supposed to be shocking the pool with above normal levels of chlorine and if getting the pH up will assist in that process, then it sounds good to me. But I have been able to maintain a high chlorine level for two days now (I won't know how high until I get a "FAS-DPD chlorine test kit) without adding soda ash, so I have a little voice in my head saying is this really needed.

    I am trying to read my way through Pool School, but work and the family are slowing me down and the neighbor lady wants her pool open ASAP. Until I can fin for myself (keeping the nautical theme), I am afraid I will be leaning on you fine folks for assistance. I tell you without hesitation, I will learn and I will pay it forward. Thank you all for your patience and assistance,
    Jay
    OkieJay
    Oklahoma City Area
    Pool: In-ground, vinyl liner, about 30,000 gallons.
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1 HP, 60 GPM
    Filter: Cristal Flo 24" (300 lbs) sand filter.

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    After doing some more research and taking a hard look at the CYA of 100, I think I should hold off adding any chemicals and replace about 30% of the water. Does that seem like a wise plan?
    Jay
    OkieJay
    Oklahoma City Area
    Pool: In-ground, vinyl liner, about 30,000 gallons.
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1 HP, 60 GPM
    Filter: Cristal Flo 24" (300 lbs) sand filter.

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Quote Originally Posted by Okiejay
    After doing some more research and taking a hard look at the CYA of 100, I think I should hold off adding any chemicals and replace about 30% of the water. Does that seem like a wise plan?
    Jay
    Yep. If you get your CYA down even to 50, your shock level (of chlorine) will be way lower. Less bottles of bleach is always a good thing And start using liquid bleach, Clorox or store brand is fine, but the big yellow jugs of pool store chlorine will probably scare your pool-owning neighbor less That dichlor is just going to jack the CYA up more.

    Nobody around here uses flock for a normal cleanup. You cleaning the filter regularly?
    IG Plaster 20,000gal, attached spa w/ spillover, hayward C12002 cart filter, 1 1/2hp pump w/ polaris 360
    6/16/12 - PH 7.6, FC 6, CC 0, CYA 30, TA 80, Calcium 310

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Quote Originally Posted by Okiejay
    After doing some more research and taking a hard look at the CYA of 100, I think I should hold off adding any chemicals and replace about 30% of the water. Does that seem like a wise plan?
    Jay
    What fill water are you using, and what's the pH of the fill water? The pool store is actually right about the pH - if it's higher, the Chlorine will be more effective. But more importantly, the acidity is bad for the equipment. I'd get it up above 7 before the drain and refill.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski
    Quote Originally Posted by Okiejay
    After doing some more research and taking a hard look at the CYA of 100, I think I should hold off adding any chemicals and replace about 30% of the water. Does that seem like a wise plan?
    Jay
    What fill water are you using, and what's the pH of the fill water? The pool store is actually right about the pH - if it's higher, the Chlorine will be more effective. But more importantly, the acidity is bad for the equipment. I'd get it up above 7 before the drain and refill.
    I am using city water. I just tested and the pH was a little over 8.0 (maybe 8.2).
    OkieJay
    Oklahoma City Area
    Pool: In-ground, vinyl liner, about 30,000 gallons.
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1 HP, 60 GPM
    Filter: Cristal Flo 24" (300 lbs) sand filter.

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Quote Originally Posted by Okiejay
    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski
    Quote Originally Posted by Okiejay
    After doing some more research and taking a hard look at the CYA of 100, I think I should hold off adding any chemicals and replace about 30% of the water. Does that seem like a wise plan?
    Jay
    What fill water are you using, and what's the pH of the fill water? The pool store is actually right about the pH - if it's higher, the Chlorine will be more effective. But more importantly, the acidity is bad for the equipment. I'd get it up above 7 before the drain and refill.
    I am using city water. I just tested and the pH was a little over 8.0 (maybe 8.2).
    Then don't fix your PH until you've replaced all the water you want to get your CYA down.
    IG Plaster 20,000gal, attached spa w/ spillover, hayward C12002 cart filter, 1 1/2hp pump w/ polaris 360
    6/16/12 - PH 7.6, FC 6, CC 0, CYA 30, TA 80, Calcium 310

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Thank you all for you help, we now have a swimming pool. Water is still just a little cloudy, but the chemical levels are looking good.

    FC is at 9 (according to the pool store)
    TC is at 9 (according to the pool store)
    pH is at 7.8
    TAK is 130
    Cal is 70
    CYA is at 45

    The next hurdle I am facing is a loss of suction whenever I try to vacuum. When I place the skimmer cover over the basket, I have great suction for maybe one minute and then I lose it, the pump runs dry. I had someone else put the skimmer cover on while I watched the pump pot and within a few seconds, I saw bubbles build up in the pot. The bubbles continued to build until the pump lost its prime. I have replaced the O-ring on the pump pot cover and pretty much ruled that out. I run a hose over the value that selects feed from the skimmer or bottom drain, no help. I also run the hose over the skimmer and bottom drain feeds where they come out of the ground by the pump and that did not seem to help. One other thing, upon further inspection I noticed that when I am on filter and the pump is running, I do see a small amount of bubbles in the pump pot and I can hear bubbles in the control valve on the top on the sand filter. Anyone got any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Jay
    OkieJay
    Oklahoma City Area
    Pool: In-ground, vinyl liner, about 30,000 gallons.
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1 HP, 60 GPM
    Filter: Cristal Flo 24" (300 lbs) sand filter.

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Hey fellow Okie

    I know it's nice to have any help you can get, but I would tell the "pool owner neighbor" to take a hike. I would say he lost his recommending privilidges when he bailed the first time.

    Listen to these guys and do exactly what they say. I know there is a lot to take in on this site, but the pool will be going in no time with some work and the tried and tested knowledge available here.

    Good luck! Oh, and stay away from Leslie's
    15,000 Gallon IG
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    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Oh, did you submerge your vacuum hose to get all of the air out before connecting it to te skimmer?

    I could be mistaken, but aren't you supposed to take the skimmer basket out when you put the vacuum on? Just asking, as I don't know....
    15,000 Gallon IG
    StaRite System 3 Cartridge Filter with new cartridges!
    Pentair Whisperflo 1 1/2 HP Pump
    RayPak RP2100 Digital Heater
    And, most importantly, the TF-100 test kit!

    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Check that vacuum hose for leaks.

    You can also try pulling out the skimmer basket and inserting the hose directly into the port at the bottom of the skimmer.
    In the industry, CSP (Certified Service Professional) by the NSPI and it's successor the APSP. My company services over 600 pools every year. I think the practices regularly espoused on this forum (especially the BBB method) are outstanding; however my comments will be often oriented towards the goal of getting it done, and getting it done right now!

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Quote Originally Posted by Qwaxalot
    Check that vacuum hose for leaks.

    You can also try pulling out the skimmer basket and inserting the hose directly into the port at the bottom of the skimmer.
    Not the hose, it is new. To be sure, I tested by placing the vacuum cover over the skimmer without the hose (water level was high enough that it did not draw air) and I still lost suction. I am afraid the guys did not get something right when they replaced the liner two years ago. I will keep after it.
    OkieJay
    Oklahoma City Area
    Pool: In-ground, vinyl liner, about 30,000 gallons.
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1 HP, 60 GPM
    Filter: Cristal Flo 24" (300 lbs) sand filter.

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    Re: Another swamp to pool project in the works

    Looking at the pictures above, I can see that the diverter valve before the pump is drawing from only one intake. Turn the handle towards the pump so it is drawing from the skimmer and the bottom drain. Disregard if you have already made the adjustment. I'm just going by the picture above.

    Listen for any air leaks, especially around the pipe unions. The one by the pump would be my first suspect for the bubbles in your pump basket. There should also be an air bleed valve on top of the filter to get rid of the air in it.
    15,000 Gallon IG
    StaRite System 3 Cartridge Filter with new cartridges!
    Pentair Whisperflo 1 1/2 HP Pump
    RayPak RP2100 Digital Heater
    And, most importantly, the TF-100 test kit!

    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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