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Thread: purchased house with fiberglass pool

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    purchased house with fiberglass pool

    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?

    TIA!
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Welcome toTFP.

    A lot of pools only have one return jet so running it with one is fine.

    The port is in the side of some main drains so unless you are sure it's plugged, it may not be. However running without a main drain isn't a real problem either. A lot of pools don't even have main drains and a lot of newer pools are bing built without them.

    You really need to get a good CYA reading. I'd go ahead and do that now. You don't know that you've overchlorinated the pool until you know what the CYA level is.

    The best time to run the pump is whenever you want to. It really doesn't matter whether it's day or night.

    You may want to rethink that chlorine feeder thing. Your CYA is probably high and the feeder will just be adding more. Switch to bleach now and save yourself some headaches if it isn't already too late.

    My pool pump costa me about $30 a month so the $250 number you got may be right or it may be way off. There are things you can do to minimize the amount of run time and help the costs. Adding a timer is usually a good idea. It keeps you from having to manually start and stop the pump and allows you to run it outside times you are there.

    You only need to backwash the filter when the pressure gets about 25% higher than the clean filter pressure. I go almost the whole season without backwashing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Welcome ,

    Bama's steering you right. On the backwash, you do need to rinse after backwashing. Also turn off the pump when changing valve positions. I'd definitely add a timer, working on adding one to my setup right now. What size/shape of pool? You might consider adding your pool info to your signature line from the user control panel, it'll make it easier for us to help you.
    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: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Thanks so much for the help!

    I didn't know about the main drain port possibly being on the side, I guess I will have to wait until it warms up and the chlorine levels don't melt me and check it out. I am glad that it is not an issue and can be capped if there is a leak.

    I wanted to get the CYA reading but my wife argued with me and told me it wasn't necessary. I told her I wanted to know because I just wanted to know and to practice doing the test. She said it was a waste of time and test material since our chlorine level was so high. Both of us are learning as we go.

    What is the purpose of running the pump? Are you supposed to do it to recirculate the water no matter what, or is it only to clean the water of debris? Like, if your pool is sparkly clean all the levels are good and looks good and no-one is using it do you need to run the pump at all? Or are you supposed to recirculate water for 2 hours a day no matter what? Is the $30 a month based off of running 24/7 or 3 hours a day?

    Yes, I have already rethunk the chlorine feeder. I have it set to off right now and I have reduced running the pump to about 4 hours in case it is still getting in there. I had it set to max setting (5) and running the pump for 10 hours a day right after we opened. Do I need to pull the tabs from the feeder, or should the switch being in the off setting be good enough?

    Yes, I was instructed about turning off the pump when the filter is being switched by our friends who helped us open.

    I thought I did add my pool info to my signature (20,000G IG Fiberglass...). Is it not showing up? It is showing up on my side. I'll add more information when I look at everything I have.

    So the only questions that I still have are...
    Any tips on uncapping main drain and replacing drain cover? I know I will need a VGB cover. I assume that all of them for purchase will be compliant.
    What time during the day do you run the pump and for how long and how much does it cost? I understand this question is relative.
    Does anyone know of any easy fixes for the handrail brackets?
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    I wanted to get the CYA reading but my wife argued with me and told me it wasn't necessary. I told her I wanted to know because I just wanted to know and to practice doing the test. She said it was a waste of time and test material since our chlorine level was so high. Both of us are learning as we go.
    Get your wife back in Pool School (in the upper right corner....read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry") It is a VERY important test and dictates the correct level of Chlorine for your pool.

    I think you/she has it confused with the pH test which is invalid above 10ppm FC. The CYA test is unaffected by chlorine and is a VERY important part of your pool water management.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    If the main drain is capped at the pad then it's probably capped in the pool too. I wouldn't worry about it till the water warms up enough to investigate more.

    the purpose of running the pump is to circulate the water to keep it well mixed and to keep the surface clean. Surface cleaning takes the most time in most pools so if you run the pump enough to keep the pool clean it's usually enough to keep it circulated.

    I run my pump about 8 hours a day. I have an electronic timer so it's ran in (4) 2 hour sessions. I'm probably going to trim that back this year to 6 hours.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Your sig is showing now, it may posted while I was reading/replying.

    With the CYA test mix one batch, and pour it back and forth between the mixing container and reading tube. This lets you repeat the test, save chemicals and get a second opinion. Then you don't have to test it again until you've done something that will significantly change the reading, such as replacing lots of water or using lots of Tri-chlor.

    For running the pump it's generally recommended to start with one turn of the water per day, and adjust up or down from there. It doesn't all have to be at one time, it can be broken up into multiple times. The reason for running it is to thoroughly mix the chemicals into the water, and filter out contaminants. The skimmer gets the surface stuff before it sinks, which is why some run multiple times a day. Your Barracuda should get the stuff that makes it to the bottom and it'll make sure you don't have any dead zones in circulation with the reduced number of returns and possibly capped main drain.

    Pumps. There are three main types, single speed, dual speed, and variable speed. Single speed is just that on or off, if matched to the filter and both matched to the pool size they do a good job, usually cheapest up front cost but most expensive to operate. Dual speed, usually the best value and minimum requirement in some places. A little more costly up front but much more efficient to operate in low speed mode. Variable speed, much more costly up front but most efficient. Usually not necessary or cost effective unless cost of electricity is high (10+ cents per kilowatt). There are many reason you might want to get a particular pump but those are the basics.

    Looks like Bama posted while I was typing
    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: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Thanks for all of your help. Everything that you guys are providing is definitely reducing my stress related to this pool and it isn't seeming as bad as I had originally thought. I want pool ownership to be easy enough and fun. I hope to spend more time enjoying it and using it than I do maintaining it. I am excited!

    Thanks for the information for the CYA. I will try to do that tonight.

    Right now it looks like I will be doing most of the pool maintenance as my wife already has a lot to take care of and gets grossed out with dead toads/bugs/worms which we have seen our share of. I still want her to be familiar with it though.

    I will try to post more information on the pump and from that I should be able to find how long it takes for one turnover. I am pretty sure it is just a single speed pump as from all I can see it is either on or off and I flip a breaker switch at the outdoor breaker panel to turn it on or off. With only one jet and the skimmer (again I don't know if the main drain is working yet) I am afraid I will get dead spots. It is nice to know that the barracuda will help in that. Hopefully we will be using it enough to break up those dead spots if it works like that

    I also am pretty sure that I have a sand filter as we have a half bag of sand that came with the house and it looks much like a sand filter shown in the equipment images. I'll update my sig as I find out exact model numbers.
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Updated signature.

    I will have to see what contols what with the valve. In two positions the skimmer was bringing in water and in one of the positions water was not flowing through the pump. This position was with the handle straight in line with the "U" loop. Also in that attached is a picture of the one line capped off.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Anybody know of any easy way of fixing this?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    That 3-way valve should control between the skimmer and main drain.

    Looks like the capped pipe might have been a return and they had to bypass it at some point. Or it could have been something else. really hard to tell.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    You could uncap the line and blow air through it to see where it goes- possibly another return or water feature?
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Quote Originally Posted by 4knights
    You could uncap the line and blow air through it to see where it goes- possibly another return or water feature?
    That's a good idea. I hadn't thought of that.
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    The Jandy 3 way valve that I have has the skimmer pulling in water in two of the positions, but in the third position water does not flow. It appears that this valve does not have an "off" it just switches from either skimmer, skimmer/ main drain, and main drain. Does this sound right? So this would lead me to believe that the main drain is capped right now.
    http://www.poolandspastuff.com/Manuals/ ... 3Way15.htm


    So I redid the test last night.
    Temp - 60F
    FC - 15.5
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.3
    TA - 75
    CH - 440
    CYA - Higher than 100 (water was cloudy and wasn't able to see the black dot after only about 2 cm of CYA mix from test, if I recall correctly it was another 2 or 3 cm until 100)


    So it looks like I need to drain the pool and then add water to get the CYA and CH under control. Is the rain that we are expecting not going to replace water fast enough by the time we are hoping to start swimming (mid May)?

    The backyard has a pretty steep slope that I should be able to siphon water from the pool with a garden hose because it appears that I can not use the main drain to pump water. What is the correct procedure for draining a pool? I have read that you don't really want it to get empty because the walls can cave in. Should I drain to half full and then replace water? Or should I drain to 3/4 full?
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Which two positions allow the skimmer to work?
    The position it is in the picture should be both skimmer and main drain.
    With the handle one way (90º from where it is there) should be the main drain and the other way the skimmer.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    With it facing the center pipe like in the picture, the skimmer works. With it facing down, the skimmer works. With it facing up, water doesn't flow.
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    That sounds like your main drain is plugged. You may want to try and run water backward through it and see if it's just plugged with debris and will unplug.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Any recommendations on how much I should drain the pool?
    20,000G IG Fiberglass Bean shape, Rainbow 320 Chlorine Feeder w/ trichlor pucks, Barracuda G3
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter, A.O. Smith Centurion Switchless Motor

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    You at leaast need to drain 50% of it to begin with. I'd leave about a foot of water in the shallow end and refill it from there.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: purchased house with fiberglass pool

    Start with 50% and then retest your CYA.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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