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Thread: Greetings from King George Virginia

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    Greetings from King George Virginia


    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 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!

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chris McSpadden
    20K IG, Hayward Gold Star 1.5, Hayward 550 cartridge filter, BBB

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Greetings from King George Virginia

    Welcome to the forum. Great looking pool!!

    Your CH is high but not unmanageable. Test the CH of your fill water to see if refills are helping or hurting you.

    Keep your pH down in the lower 7"s and your TA around 100 or a bit less.....that will eliminate scaling conditions and you can get by fine with CH of 480 until you decide how to get it down easily.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Greetings from King George Virginia


    You're going to find you've already spent the majority of the money you'll spend this year on your pool. Once it's going and balanced, it's pretty easy to keep it that way.

    Did you spring for the speedstir? It makes a huge difference when doing the CH test. Long, thorough mixing is the key to that test. My CH results changed almost 200 when I started using the speedstir to run the test! If you haven't, order one when you order refills for the R-0870 & R-0871. I'm sure you're burning through those two at a good clip if you're in the shock process.
    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: Greetings from King George Virginia

    Thanks guys!

    I am on a well so I will test the CH of the well tomorrow.

    I will look into the speedstir, I am sure it will make things much easier.

    Hopefully just a couple of more weeks and then routine maintenance for the rest of the year.

    My family is really looking forward to enjoying the summer
    Chris McSpadden
    20K IG, Hayward Gold Star 1.5, Hayward 550 cartridge filter, BBB

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Re: Greetings from King George Virginia

    Welcome to TFP !

    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Re: Greetings from King George Virginia

    It has been two weeks now and things are going well. Thanks again to, although a little chilly at 68 degrees, we have already been enjoying the water.

    Thanks guys!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chris McSpadden
    20K IG, Hayward Gold Star 1.5, Hayward 550 cartridge filter, BBB

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