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Thread: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

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    New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    I'm not doing anything with the pool at the moment, but posting this now to make actual posting easier when the time comes.

    First, the background. I inherited my pool last year when I bought my house. I took ownership of the house in the middle of July, turned off the pump like an idiot and went back to San Diego until my move date of August first. I came home to a deep green pool and fought algae and ammonia for a month or so until we were finally able to swim in it once. It got super cloudy afterwards, and by that time it was well into September and the trees were losing leaves, so I drained it down past the skimmers and returns, but wasn't able to get a cover on it until there were piles and piles of leaves in it and the poor water was an extremely murky brown. Oh, lets not forget the 10" salamander that I pulled out of the skimmer basket just before I covered it...

    So it finally got covered, but it was murky brown, and now I'm waiting for the weather to warm up to attack the algae while it's still cold enough for me to get ahead of it. I plan to take the following steps - if anyone has any suggestions on my method, they'd be greatly appreciated.

    1) Wait for water temp to get between 50 and 60.
    2) Uncover and hope that it hasn't turned into the La Brea Tar Pits.
    3) Skim out as much of the **** as I can - but that's difficult because it's all settled at the deep end and it's hard to scoop out of 9' deep water when you can't see - and I'm DEFINITELY not getting into it until it's cleared up.
    4) Say a few prayers to the pool gods that my partial draining was enough to keep the lines and pump from catastrophic freeze bursting.
    5) Put everything back together (drain plugs, pump, etc) and lube/teflon all seals and connections.
    6) Fill back to normal levels.
    7) Prime and turn on pump.
    8) Follow normal BBB methods to get it back to sparkling oasis, hopefully WELL before it's warm enough to swim in.

    Step ALL: Post pictures of the carnage and cleanup as it goes.

    I'm going to keep a running track of all tests, chemicals, and money spent so that I have a decent reminder of why it's imperative to close your pool before the leaves start falling. I'm also considering getting an SWCG this year too - we had one with our last pool and never had issues like this one has had and I think the SWCG had a lot to do with that. I'll see how goes the normal BBB (ie: non emergency mode) method for a month or so though first.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool.

    RockstarNE:

    Overall, I think your plan makes sense. About the only tweak I would make is getting a head start on skimming the debris (leaves & other junk) out of the pool ASAP. This can be done before water temp hits 50F. Once the water temp hits 50F, I see no reason why you could not get everything back together, refill the pool, and get it operational. This will allow you to get a head start on the shock process to eradicate the algae. In mid-March, your average air temperatures are roughly what ours are in January here in DFW and most people here keep their pools operational year-round. Plus, the calendar is working in your favor as air/water temps will trend upward from this point forward. Even if you get a significant late-season freeze, just run the pump during that time and you will be fine (that's what we do here during winter).

    You will find that getting rid of the algae (using the Shock Process) will go much faster at water temps below 60F since algae growth is much slower below that temperature. In addition, there will be less chlorine loss due to sunlight in late winter-early spring versus later in the spring when the days get longer and the sun angle is higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by RockstarNE
    I'm going to keep a running track of all tests, chemicals, and money spent so that I have a decent reminder of why it's imperative to close your pool before the leaves start falling.
    Great idea on keeping a log. This will allow you to see seasonal trends and spot any aberrations early so they can be nipped in the bud.
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool.

    went outside today and there is no more ice on the cover. I figure I'll give it a few more days to make sure I'm not going to ice up again, then start the process while the water is nice and cold.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool.

    Alright. Time to take the gloves off. I'm going to remove the cover and start skimming what I can out of the swamp. Pictures to come soon, too.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool.

    [center:597bltje]PICTURES!
    We want pictures at each step of the way.[/center:597bltje]
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool.

    In the process of performing steps 1-6 today. I took the cover off and thankfully it doesn't look any worse than it did when I closed it, so I've got that going for me. Oh yeah, the water temp is a nice cool 44, so hopefully this will be a nice quick process since the little algae punks aren't going to be able to reproduce very quickly if at all.

    Potential issue: when I closed I drained the water down to about 2" below the return jets - after removing the cover I see that the water is about 2" above the return jets. Hopefully that's just from the water that was on top of the cover - and if not - hopefully it wasn't enough to freeze burst anything if the pipes did in fact freeze.

    I scooped out about 15 skimmer bags full of leaves at the bottom of the deep end and I'm pretty sure I'm only about halfway done. I've got the hose in it now and am filling, have to add approximately 8-12 inches of water into a 16x32, so it's going to take a while. Once that's done I'll put all the drain plugs and etc back in the pump/filter what have you and turn it on - see what happens.

    This is what it's looked liked since I closed last november. Well, there wasn't water on the cover when I closed, that's all from snow that fell.


    Here's what the water looks like on top of the cover. It's been like this for about 3 weeks now while I was waiting for all the ice to melt off and psyching myself up for the opening.


    Cover weights removed


    Cover removed. Looks great, doesn't it? At least it doesn't look any worse than it did when I closed...


    The shallow end.


    After some skimming. There's still a lot of junk that I can't see at the bottom of the deep end.


    The shallow end


    The deep end.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    That reminds me of my pool last spring when I accidentally dumped my winter cover and all the leaves in it into my pool... it took me like a month to clean out all of the leaves in the deep end. It's amazing how many leaves can hide down there when you can't see the bottom... and all those leaves will eat the chlorine too, so it's hard to kill the algae while they are still there. Have fun and good luck, it will turn back to blue eventually!
    18' x 38' x 52" oval AGP with 6' deep end (foam on the walls, preformed coving, and Happy Bottom floor padding)
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    I'm considering having someone come out to handle this first part of it for me - namely the debris removal. They use a 78% HCL PooLife Turbo Shock which looks like it doesn't add any additional copper or cya - at least the ingredients label for the product doesn't list them. They also use some kind of a binder to get everything to drop to the bottom - and then come out with their professional vacuums to get the junk of the bottom. It's 80 bucks a visit (60 + distance surcharge) and takes they say it takes 2 visits. I'm going to keep going as best I can for now, but I may have the professionals handle the vacuuming since I don't currently have a vacuum and I can't see what's going on.

    Still waiting on the water level to rise enough to be able to turn on the pump. Once that's done I figure it'll be able to get SOME of the nast out - and I'll use the DE trick too and just keep my eyes on it. I may end up not adding any chlorine for the moment since it's just going to get eaten up by the leaves - but we'll see. Hopefully running the filter for a few days will at least let me see what's going on down there.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    I had the pool guys come out on Friday. They tested with their Taylor kid and came up with the following numbers:

    pH 7.5
    FC: 0
    CC: 0
    TA: 250+
    CYA: 0

    So, we dosed to 30 FC w/ 10 lbs of 78% cal-hypo, circulated the pump for a couple hours, and then hit it with a 32oz REVIVE! treatment and let it sit until today. I'm not super keen on using REVIVE! since they don't list what's in it, but these pool guys impressed me with their knowledge (never once pushed a product on me and generally only use liquid chlorine and muriatic acid in their commercial pools) but said they'd had a lot of luck with REVIVE! and I'm desperate and running very low on POP. I'm not super keen on cal-hypo or REVIVE! for all the normal reasons, but in addition to being short on POP I'm also short on cash at the moment, and since both of those items are included in the price of the visit that I'm already paying... I'll deal with it for now.

    So they came back out today and took out 2 30 gallon trash bags full of leaves. Tested the levels again, and came out with:

    pH: 7.5
    FC: .5
    CYA: 0

    I've got pictures, and I'm still green but it's definitely not brown/black anymore. I'm going to give it another 10 lbs of cal-hypo tonight and another REVIVE! treatment. After this, hopefully the cash flow issues will be gone and I can switch back to regular liquid chlorine. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have an ammonia issue again this year, so I'll keep on the shock process after a few days (have to let the revive sit for 48 hours) and keep you all posted on my progress!

    Thanks for all your help and support! I'm so glad I found TFP and the BBB method (even though I'm not sticking to it 100%) and that I know that all I REALLY need to maintain my pool is chlorine!

    These are pictures, in order, from Friday evening after the 10lbs of 78% cal-hypo and REVIVE! treatment. Last pictures are from this morning.

    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    I'm going to follow the same set of steps they gave me on Friday today, one last time before switching back to BBB.

    1) In process (nylon in front of return method) 7lbs of 100% CYA. This should get me to between 30 and 40.
    2) After dark, Dose with 10lbs cal-hypo, brush like crazy, circulate pump for a couple hours, then apply 32oz of REVIVE!
    3) Let sit until Wednesday morning.
    4) Hopefully the REVIVE! will drop the rest of the metals and nast to the bottom, and I'll vacuum on Wednesday morning.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    Oooh, pretty colors!
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Vette's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    That a lot of Cal Hypo! Better keep an eye on that CH
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    yeah the ch concerns me a little bit it's a vinyl pool and no heater so I shouldn't have too much to worry about.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    It is low CH that you do not need to worry about. High CH can still result in scaling in any pool type.

    20 lbs of cal-hypo will raise the CH by a little of 50ppm ... so it you started off low enough you should be ok.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    As someone who spent a grand on an (at first) unsuccessful pool tech remedy to a swamp, I'm just going to share the "why they can't do what you can do" thing:

    Successful, complete conversion to sparkling blue requires initial constant monitoring and MAINTAINING the shock level at a super-chlor level (think mustard algae level.) So, the pool techs can come out, fish around for leaves on your dime, toss in some shock, walk away, and that debris will eat that shock in a few hours flat...in other words, its not their fault, but right now would be a great time for homeowner intervention if you're running out of POP I dicked around like that for a few weeks and ended up handling it myself in half the time and a teensy fraction of what they'd "spent/wasted".

    So get out your leaf rake (or google "leaf gulper" that you use with a hose...works pretty well when you're flying blind and trying to get organic matter off the floor...don't try to vacuum blind as the clogs will render it unproductive) and get some plain old bleach or 12% into that water and sustain that for a few days without letting it drop down and you'll be golden!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    SW, thanks for the advice, but I feel like you didn't read the whole thread. I know the sticking points with "professional" pool people, and it's obvious that I made a decision, for better or worse, and indicated that I'd switch back to BBB after the pool dudes did most of the labor of getting the nast out of the pool. The women in my house wanted someone else to take a look at it, and since I already had to pay them for the visit - their chemicals were included, it was a calculated risk in using cal-hypo and REVIVE!.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    Finally got fed up with waiting for the REVIVE! to work the way it's advertised - it didn't, go figure, so I turned the pump back on and started brushing and skimming again.

    These three pictures were taken this morning, later this morning, and this afternoon. I've got the pump running 24/7 at the moment, and back washing when pressure rises amply. We're looking a LOT better, but the wind is bring a right "fatherless child" and blowing from north to south, quite violently, and the skimmer is on the north end of the pool, which is why the south (shallow) end has all that nast in it and the top of the deep end looks "clear." Hopefully the wind will die down soon so the skimmer can do more work, but I can see a foot or so past the drop now, so the cal-hypo shocking did some good. No real idea if the REVIVE! actually did anything. I won't be using it again, that's for sure.



    I found two jugs of 12.5%, and I added one of them over the returns probably around noon today. These were sitting in various places since last year - sometimes in the sun, sometimes under cover, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, so I have no idea what their actual concentration is. I'm going to dump another one in over the returns now just to maintain some semblance of chlorine until I can get out tomorrow and pick up 40 gallons or so.

    Just ran my first Full TFT Panel of the year:

    FC: 2.5
    CC: 1
    TA: 250
    CH: 400-440 i can never tell with this test, but it's high - regardless.
    CYA: 40 <- 50 (between 40 and 50, closer to 40)
    NH3: 0 YAY! I had big issues with ammonia last year, so SUPER stoked that I don't have that problem (yet?) this year.

    I'm going to put the rest of the old 12.5% that i have on hand in right now, and I'll retest FC in an hour just to make sure it did some good.
    ~ Ryan P
    23,000 IG Vinyl ~ <1991 60GPM Pentair Triton TR-60 (Sand) ~ Pentair SuperFlo 1HP ~ Kennard, NE
    Unless otherwise noted, all tests performed with the TF-100. Proud Pool School attendee!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    You need to now follow the steps in Pool School for How to Shock Your Pool and get some fresh 12.5%. Stop wasting money on pool store treatments - Revive is a floc/phosphate remover. Your pool needs chlorine, POP, and some elbow grease (yours or someone elses...lol) I get a lot of calls from people who don't want to do the early (gross, PITA early stuff) so I don't blame you there.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    Oh, does the water level seem to be holding? Hoping you avoided any freeze damage...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: New Homeowner, first opening, BROWN pool [pictures!]

    Rock, I did understand, but I also knew that the products the techs were using weren't going to work, and time is of the essence with the warming trend, so I didn't want you stuck In my case, the first ten wheelbarrows of leaves and debris removed cost me a thousand bucks. The second ten, not kidding, cost me a weekend and about a hundred bucks in bleach, and as opposed to the grand, worked in five more days flat (after a week of pool tech mucking.)

    And look at the difference in your pool already! You will find that constant filtering and consistently shock level chlorine dosing will even likely clear that water enough so that you don't have to vacuum blind in a few days.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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