My wife and I purchased a home with a pool at the end of December. We are both complete noobs whenever it comes to pool ownership. We opened the pool last weekend with the help of some friends who are pool owners. The pool had a mesh cover and I wanted to open earlier rather than later to see what we were working with and to start before algae crept up. I have read pool school and the forum readme, but if I seem to not understand something or forget something then let me know.
The water was very clear and I can see the bottom but there is a decent amount of film on the floor. We have bought a Barracuda G3 and should be getting it today.
Without using a test kit (didn't have one at the time) I used the granular shock and filled up the chlorine feeder and set it to the highest setting and ran the pump the whole day for the first day. I bought a bottle of algaecide, but did not use it since there didn't appear to be any algae issues.
Now for the bad. We noticed that only one of our 3 jets are working. After turning valves every which way and after looking at it very closely and having a pool guy come out he confirmed that it appears that the other two lines are hooked together and where they would be brought into the system by the pump they are capped. He said that the likely reason for doing this is because there is a leak and instead of getting it fixed they capped it from flowing through the pump and likely put plugs on the jets to keep the water level from dropping. My wife and I are wondering how bad of an idea it would be to run the pool with just one jet for the rest of the year. There is a LOT of pressure coming out of that one jet. We are pointing it away from the skimmer, but it is also the closest one to the skimmer. We are planning on getting the pool fixed this fall but really wanted to start swimming right away when the water was warm enough instead of looking at an empty pool after a winter of looking at a cover.
Another problem that I noticed is that the main drain cover is missing. This isn't too big of a deal because I don't think it will be too hard to install a new cover with the pool full of water using either a snorkel or if it is really difficult we have some friends that are certified scuba divers. However, the main issue that I am worried about is why is the main drain cover missing and it appears that there are no holes in the main drain as in they are capped/plugged. The only reason I can think of why the main drain cover isn't on and the drain is capped/plugged is because there is a leak in the main drain. Here is another question. How important is it to have a working main drain? If our skimmer is working properly and we have a Barracuda pool cleaner shouldn't we be ok? The cover appears to need to be a 4 bolt pattern, but with the temp at 60F right now may be a while before I swim down and take a picture and/or some measurements.
I got the K-2006 test kit last night and the numbers are...
Temp - 60F
PH - 7.0
Chlorine - 22ppm (44 drops? to equalize @ 10ml) No combined chlorine?
75 - TA
CH - 300
CYA - Didn't feel like we needed to read it because of the super high chlorine level
So based on this my wife and I are going to increase the PH and not chlorinate until our chlorine level is normal. I guess I over-chlorinated the pool (oops) when we opened. I turned my chlorine feeder off since.
I have read that it the most optimum time to run the pump is during the day when the wind is the heaviest and the most debris gets blown into the pool. I have also read that the most optimum time to chlorinate is at night so that sunlight doesn't use up all the chlorine. So what should I do? Right now I am planning on running the pump from the time I get home 5:30 to the time I go to bed 9:30 and hoping to run the chlorine feeder at a level so that I only have to add a small amount of bleach.
The pump is turned on and off from the breaker box right by the pump. Is this the correct way to do this? Is there an easy way to put a timer system on the pump instead of manually doing it? I feel like I might get busy and forget about the pump and leave it either on or off for too long. I saw a pump for around $1000 that appeared to have a digital timer in it. Is it worth the investment in electricity saved for this pump? I have read that to run a pool pump costs around $250 a month in electricity.
For the pool handrail the back brackets in the concrete like so http://www.amazon.com/S-R-Smith-AS-100B ... MPQU4NDI30 has the bolt portion of it broken off. Does anyone know of an easy way to fix this or at least get by. The front bracket is fine and very tight and the hand rail doesn't move too much. Is the only fix to bust up the concrete and put a new bracket in and patch concrete?
We were told to backwash the pool once a week for about 30 seconds or if the pool level gets too high. After the backwash we were told to rinse for about 10 seconds. Do we need to backwash every week? There are other settings on the filter but I only use the "filter" setting. Should I use any others?
I will try to provide pictures later and fill in my signature with more information as I note it. We also made the seller include a pool warranty with the purchase of the home. Is anyone familiar on what they will and will not cover with the warranty? It appears that nothing broke in the time between selling of the home and now. It appears that the problems were "fixed" just not right. I have heard that it is illegal for a seller to not list known problems and it is grounds to sue. However, I have no desire to sue anyone and I have heard that they can just plead ignorance.
Sorry for all of the rambling and extra info. I just wanted to make sure I had enough information and include it in one post instead of people asking for more information.
So in short.
How bad is only one jet if the pool was designed for 3?
How bad is it to not have the main drain working?
Any tips on uncapping main drain and replacing drain cover?
What time during the day do you run the pump and for how long? I understand this question is relative.
Is adding a timer system or a pump with a timer a good investment or should I wait until my current pump craps out?
Does anyone know of any easy fixes for the handrail brackets?
How often do you backwash? Are you supposed to rinse afterwards? Any other settings you use other than filter?