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 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 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,