I purchased a new home in December last year and one of the big selling points was the in ground pool. I have never owned a pool and knew nothing of what all was involved so naturally I was nervous about maintenance and hidden costs. The previous owner had used a local pool service and I was provided their contact details and so to start my education I made an appointment with this company to open my pool one week ago. They told me they would gladly take care of the pool for $100.00 a week and I would not have to worry about a thing. I opted to simply open the pool and upon their departure the air clapped behind me as I made a bee line to the computer praying a better answer awaited me on the internet. It did! "Trouble Free Pool"
A little history regarding the pool: It was built in 2006, in ground concrete, "Amoeba" shaped 38' long and varying from 20' to 14' in width and from 3.5' to 5.5' in depth. The home was a foreclosure and this pool sat covered and unattended since the fall of 2011. When we removed the cover, needless to say, we found the water a wonderful slimy green and far to many dead critters. The pool pump is a Hayward Gold Star two speed with a Hayward 6060 Booster pump. It has a Hayward Chlorine Feeder inline and used a four cartridge Hayward 550 filter. It was built by New Haven Pools and uses an Aqua Logic Smart Controller.
The pool company did what pool companies do. They treated and power washed the cover, adjusted the hardware and started the pump. The water was murky and the bottom was covered with debris. As soon as the pump started and they started to vacuum and things started moving around you could not see the bottom anywhere. They added two bottles of algaecide and one bottle of shock. Told me to bring a water sample into their store the next day for analysis and then they were ready to leave promptly 1 and 1/2 hours on the dot. I was able to persuade them to open the filter and show me how remove/clean the cartridges as well as get them to label the plumbing with a Sharpie so I would know which valve should be aligned which way and for what. It was at this point that they showed me the broken basket in the pump, no basket in the skimmer and we found the broken pressure gauge on the filter. I was told that pools normally run between 20 and 25 psi and I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning until it got up to 35 and I would be able to hear the difference. I asked them to show me how to clean a cartridge so I would better understand and I didn't want to damage anything. There were no bands on the cartridges and they were caked with what appeared to be calcium. Cleaning them left piles of white sandy material all over the place and a good quantity would not come out without hand rubbing each pleat.
Prior to the opening, a colleague at work told me to go to http://www.tftestkits.net and get the TF-100 kit. He said it was absolutely essential for the maintenance of a pool. The opening was on Monday and my test kit arrived on Tuesday so rather than take a sample to the store I decided to use the kit. After only 24 hours there was zero FC in the water and although the water had turned from dull green to bright green it was actually looking worse.
I did the math quickly enough, $600.00 opening cost + worse looking pool 48 hours later = find a better solution! Thank you for your web site!!!
I have replaced the cartridges, the pressure gauge, the baskets, cleaned out the filter housing, conditioned the O ring, cleaned out the main pump housing and began manually skimming the water and bottom everyday. I started the pool on a healthy regiment of liquid bleach to shock it and things are much much better. It has been four days and although the water is not crystal clear we can now see the steps and debris on the bottom. The filter is humming along nicely at 8 PSI and I will clean it weekly until the water is crystal clear. I have ordered a Polaris 280 for bottom cleaning and I think in a week or so we should be looking good.
Today's numbers are as follows:
PH = 7.5
FC = 9
CC = .5
TC = 9.5
CYA = < 20
TA = 100
CH = 480
I have a couple of issues about which I would like your advice. I wasn't going to add stabilizer until I was done shocking and conducted a good over night FC test, hopefully tonight or tomorrow night. However, my real concern is the CH being so high, according to the numbers I would need to replace 38% of my pool water to get this down to 300 or so. Is this high of a CH a definite problem and should I proceed with the water replacement prior to any other adjustments?
Sorry for the long introduction and again thank you for all of the good information!!!
A little daily maintenance and we are really going to enjoy the pool this summer!