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Thread: New to the forum and pool ownership

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    jsmith58's Avatar
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    New to the forum and pool ownership

    Hi!
    I am new to the site, but have been lurking/learning since we decided to buy a home with a pool, which we closed on a little over a week ago, and finally got to move into this past weekend. First of all, this site is great and seems to be full of nice, helpful people! Second of all, I was able to do my first water tests today , which took me about 45 minutes. Besides the water tests, the only other thing Ive had time to do is clean out the skimmer and pump baskets. I tried to put as much info as I knew into my signature, but Ill lay it out again just in case I missed something. 18,000 gal, IG gunite pool with black sand mixed, DE filter with (according to PO), a nature II system. The pool as been maintained mostly by a pool/lawn company, and they have been using "smart sticks" The water is clear, but does seem to have a chlorine smell. My initial test results are:

    FC- 15 (High)
    CC-0
    TA-120
    CH-270
    CYA >100 Im estimating 120-150 (High)
    PH-7.5

    Based on what Ive read so far, I need to possibly remove the nature II insert (?), have a pool store test for metals in the water due to the nature II system, such as copper, and do a partial water replacement due to the CYA being so high. I have a couple of questions about getting things going the BBB way.

    1) If there are metals in the water, will a partial water replacement fix that and the CYA problem?
    2)How much water would you recommend draining? I have a fear of this thing popping out of the ground. My wife is already nervous enough about me maintaining the pool on my own.
    3) Should I go ahead and remove the float that Im assuming is carrying "smart sticks"?
    3) And after the water replancement, I feel I can follow pool school and use the pool calculator to then adjust my numbers accordingly. Does this seem like the right steps?


    Thank you in advance for all the help!
    Jeremy
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    18,000 gal Gunite IGP 33X16 ranging 4-6 ft
    Nautilus FNS DE

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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    I can't answer your questions, but I wanted to compliment you on your pool. Vert tidy and an overall nice backyard. Good luck with your chemicals!
    Walnut Creek, CA. 18k gallon Pebble Sheen + 1.5k gallon IG spa, 1.5hp whisperflo main pump, Pentair clean and clear 420, Intellichlor IC20, Polaris 360 w/booster,Jandy lite 2 natural gas, plus solar with Heliomatic 5000 controller and 3/4 hp booster

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    What test kit are you using?

    First thing I would suggest is doing the CYA test again, but starting with 50% pool water and 50% tap water. Then mixing with the reagent and do the test normally, only double the reading ... this will give you a little better idea how high the CYA really is. Also, get the sticks out of the water as they are just adding more CYA.

    We would recommend that you remove the Nature II cartridge as you are correct it is adding metals which could eventually lead to problems.

    Once you have a better feel for the CYA level, then you will know how much water you will need to replace to get it in check ... this will also reduce the metal concentration (assuming you do not have metal in your tap water). Do you have any feel for the level of the ground water in your area? Here in AZ it is often at 100s of feet, so fully draining a pool is not a problem. You have to worry about the pool floating when the ground water is higher than the pool water ... so if the ground water is more than 6-10' down, then replacing water should not be a problem. There is a method where a large plastic tarp is used to pump water from below while adding water on top, but I kind of doubt you would need to go to that effort.

    BTW, you FC is really not that "high" relative to your CYA level. IF your CYA was at 120ppm, then the normal FC level should be 9-15ppm and anything below shock level (~40ppm) is safe to swim in. One issue with the high FC level is that the pH test becomes inaccurate when the FC is > 10ppm.
    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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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Welcome

    Check out this thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/forec...t54326-60.html. Doing this you have no fear of popping the pool out of the ground as it is never empty.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Thank you for the replies and compliments! I am using the TF-100 test kit. I will definitely redo the CYA test to get better results. I have no clue as to how high the water table is in this area. Ill see if I can figure out that one. The tarp is a COOL idea, but maybe I won't have to do that. Good back up plan though. Ok, well after I re-test the CYA Ill repost the level, and hopefully get a better idea on how much to drain. Id like to try to drain it later this week. A couple more questions.

    1) Im assuming to drain a pool I divert suction to the main drain, and then open the valve that will divert that water to the drain that goes to the street instead of being sent back to the pool?

    2) Is there any other danger or concerns with draining a pool that I should be aware of.


    I think the CYA level is the biggest obstacle. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing after it is lowered.

    Thank you
    Jeremy
    18,000 gal Gunite IGP 33X16 ranging 4-6 ft
    Nautilus FNS DE

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    If your floor drain and skimmer are plumbed separately to the pump and you can isolate the floor drain ... then you should be OK to use the pool pump and multi-valve set to WASTE to lower the water. If you floor drains are connected to the skimmer and then the pipe goes from the skimmer to the pump, you may draw in air to the pump which could cause damage. If you only have a plunger backwash valve, you should not drain the pool using the backwash function and will have to rent/buy a submersible pump.

    Add some pictures of your plumbing and equipment if you want clarification.

    Besides floating the pool, I think the only other danger is falling in when there is not enough water
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith58
    1) Im assuming to drain a pool I divert suction to the main drain, and then open the valve that will divert that water to the drain that goes to the street instead of being sent back to the pool?
    Check your local regulations - some cities do not permit dumping pool water into sewers. If not a salt water pool most of the time you can irrigate with the water on a lawn without problems - not sure if you should do this where you have anything you are growing to eat however I'm also not sure you shouldn't.

    Also as stated in the previous reply before me - using the pump may or may not be OK. You can always use an inexpensive sump pump or the like.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Ok, I tested my CYA again following your directions and it came to 75, which I doubled to 150. I guess I should test it again diluting the pool water more to get an idea of how much to drain off, unless you guys have a rough estimate. But at least now I have a good number to go by! I took pictures of my pool pump set up. Like I said, not only is this pool new to me, but Im new to pool maintenance period. When I asked why the single main drain does not have a anti vortex cover on it, the PO did tell me that around the time the pool was installed, the problems were arising with children getting stuck to the main drains due to the suction, resulting in injuries and deaths. As a result, he said when the pool was built, a valve was put in that allows you to either 1) divert suction to solely the main drain, 2) divert suction soley to the two skimmers, or 3) send suction to both skimmers and the main drain (which he recommended, and supposedly he was told this setting alleviates the need for the anti vortex cover . I say all of this to say, based on what I was told, I think I can isolate the main drain. Hopefully. I will also check with the City of Houston to see if it is ok to drain in to the sewer, unless someone here knows. I wouldnt think they would put the drain out to/thru the curb to flow to the sewer if it was not acceptable, but I may be way off on that one.

    In regards to the picture, from what Ive gathered, the two pipes coming out of the ground on the right are water coming from the pool, one being for the two skimmers and the other being for the main drain. They are labeled as such, faded, but labeled. They gray container to the left Im assuming is the nature II system, which Im gonna try to open later and see if I can take a cartridge out. Coming off the "backwash, waste" valve to the left is what Im assuming to be the piping to lower the water level/drain. The PO said he piped it off to the left just to help water the grass, and that there is nothing wrong with the pipe barely sticking up out of the ground underneath it. He said just put a piece of pipe back on there to drain to the street. Hope this helps, and please let me know if im wrong about anything.

    Sorry so long winded.
    Thanks again
    Jeremy
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    Nautilus FNS DE

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith58
    Ok, I tested my CYA again following your directions and it came to 75, which I doubled to 150. I guess I should test it again diluting the pool water more to get an idea of how much to drain off, unless you guys have a rough estimate. But at least now I have a good number to go by!
    Yep that is a good number, no need to test again. Your test tells you that you will need to replace 2/3 of your water to get down to 50 ppm cya (the recommended high cya level per pool school) from the 150 ppm cya you currently at. As previously stated you may need to do this in multiple steps to prevent floating your pool.
    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 jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    No need to test again ... you got a reading of 75ppm which is in range for the test ... so the doubling puts you around 150ppm. That means you want to replace at least 2/3 of the water to get to the recommended range.

    The 3-way valve in front of the pump allows you select the floor vs. the skimmers. In the picture it is allowing water from both (not the CLOSED or OFF that is opposite the handle). So, if you turn that to only the floor, you should be able to pump the water out ... keep an eye on the pump basket for air once the water level is below the skimmer ... hopefully the 3-way will prevent air from being drawn from the skimmers.

    Sounds like you got a bit more info than many people buying a house. Interesting the way the wast pipe is done. So, I guess maybe you can pull the 90 elbow off and put a short piece into the pipe in the ground and then the water would go to the street?
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Thanks for the replies. 2/3's it is then! I hope to get to do this later this week.

    Luckily we bought from the original owners and he was willing and able to share some specifics about the pool the day they moved out. As im sure you know, taking on a new pool is kind of overwhelming. I think between the info he shared and with all the info on here, it will be a trouble free pool come swim season!

    Thanks again for all the help. Ill report back once I get my CYA level down and I start adjusting the individual levels.

    Jeremy
    18,000 gal Gunite IGP 33X16 ranging 4-6 ft
    Nautilus FNS DE

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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    While it is true that if you keep the valves setup to suck from both the skimmers and main drain that will reduce the potential problem with entrapment - it does not meet the regulatory guidelines applied to commercial pools. I'm not sure if insurance or local regulations require anything specific for your pool but it's something you should look into.

    As for the picture. I added my own labels and flow indications to help discuss it. The one thing I noticed - and it should not matter if you go BBB is that your booster pump is plumbed AFTER the chlorinator which is not how Polaris suggests to do theirs. I'm not sure if this is due to corrosion or if there is some other reason. However I have put a red X on the diagram there and a line back to the chlorinator and put a green "Booster T - here" on the diagram. I think that a T to the left of this label on the downward dropping pipe would correct the issue but, with BBB you won't be using the puck feeder very much if at all so the entire reaon for correcting this is moot. Personally I wouldn't touch it until you have to repair some plumbing or otherwise mess with the pipes.

    What is the open pipe shown on the diagram in the red circle with a "?" label?
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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderWaterVanya
    While it is true that if you keep the valves setup to suck from both the skimmers and main drain that will reduce the potential problem with entrapment - it does not meet the regulatory guidelines applied to commercial pools. I'm not sure if insurance or local regulations require anything specific for your pool but it's something you should look into.

    As for the picture. I added my own labels and flow indications to help discuss it. The one thing I noticed - and it should not matter if you go BBB is that your booster pump is plumbed AFTER the chlorinator which is not how Polaris suggests to do theirs. I'm not sure if this is due to corrosion or if there is some other reason. However I have put a red X on the diagram there and a line back to the chlorinator and put a green "Booster T - here" on the diagram. I think that a T to the left of this label on the downward dropping pipe would correct the issue but, with BBB you won't be using the puck feeder very much if at all so the entire reaon for correcting this is moot. Personally I wouldn't touch it until you have to repair some plumbing or otherwise mess with the pipes..
    Thank you for that information. Definitely not something I would have figured out on my own.
    18,000 gal Gunite IGP 33X16 ranging 4-6 ft
    Nautilus FNS DE

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith58
    Thank you for that information. Definitely not something I would have figured out on my own.
    You'd be surprised. I didn't know anything about pools last year. Reading here and learning as the in laws pool boy has been a quick ramp up in knowledge.

    You quoted my reply before I finished editing it BTW - you may have missed my question about what the open pipe by the ? is on the bottom left - do you know?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    They mentioned earlier that the pipe in the ground goes to the street. So you can connect the backwash pipe to it, instead of watering the grass.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    They mentioned earlier that the pipe in the ground goes to the street. So you can connect the backwash pipe to it, instead of watering the grass.
    So the waste pipe that is hard plumbed and ends on the left of the picture would have a flexible backwash hose attached there and run over to the one in the ground? It makes me ask why they disconnected this in the first place since it appears like it was originally connected that way and they made a hasty change to this. I wonder if the one in the ground is clogged or if regulations made them stop using it.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith58
    Thanks for the replies. 2/3's it is then! I hope to get to do this later this week.
    Don't forget that the water table question may need to be settled before you drain 2/3'rds out. If the water table is too high - the pool can float like a concrete boat. A tarp can be used as mentioned earlier by Richard or you can pump and fill and pump and fill - but you'll replace a lot more water that way.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Sorry, responding from my phone. The PO told me the pipe that you are talking about, that goes to the street is in working order, but ill def keep my eye on it. As far as the water table, ill watch that as well!!!
    18,000 gal Gunite IGP 33X16 ranging 4-6 ft
    Nautilus FNS DE

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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    A quick way to check that drain pipe to the street is to get the garden hose out and give it a few minutes of water.......

    Don't be overwhelmed (I know, easier said than done), been there done that too and that was with a small AGP!! Keep reading and learning and you will have a wonderful experience with that pool. I can't tell you how much enjoyment my stupid, silly, small little Intex AGP has added to the "fun". Now that I know, I would love to have a beautiful pool like yours in my back yard.

    This is a great forum and has lots of discussion going on, use these guys that have all the experience to help get you up to speed. BBB saved my pool life......so simple and straight forward. If you haven't bought the test kit here to support the forum, do so. Once I got my test kit a couple of years ago, that and BBB changed everything about pool upkeep.

    Bob E

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    jsmith58's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum and pool ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Safetybob
    A quick way to check that drain pipe to the street is to get the garden hose out and give it a few minutes of water.......

    Don't be overwhelmed (I know, easier said than done), been there done that too and that was with a small AGP!! Keep reading and learning and you will have a wonderful experience with that pool. I can't tell you how much enjoyment my stupid, silly, small little Intex AGP has added to the "fun". Now that I know, I would love to have a beautiful pool like yours in my back yard.

    This is a great forum and has lots of discussion going on, use these guys that have all the experience to help get you up to speed. BBB saved my pool life......so simple and straight forward. If you haven't bought the test kit here to support the forum, do so. Once I got my test kit a couple of years ago, that and BBB changed everything about pool upkeep.

    Bob E
    Thanks Bob, ill try out that drain with a water hose. And you're right, I think we will get a lot of enjoyment out of the pool. We have a large family with a lot of young folks! I'm gonna keep learning as much as I can.
    Thanks again
    Jeremy
    18,000 gal Gunite IGP 33X16 ranging 4-6 ft
    Nautilus FNS DE

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