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Thread: New owner of old pool...help!

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    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
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    New owner of old pool...help!

    Hi Folks,

    Just bought a house and am a new pool owner. I have been trying to learn from reading various threads and the pool school on this website. So far this site has been very helpful. Below is my situation with various issues that I'd like help addressing. Sorry to be long winded, but I figure better to be thorough up front.

    Location: San Antonio, TX
    House built in 1975. The pool may very well be the same age as the house. The pool is a kidney shape, and is on the tax records as 476 sq. ft., and has a deep end with diving board. I'm guessing somewhere around 30k gallons. Is this close?

    There is 1 skimmer intake and a drain in the deep end which feeds into the skimmer. There are 2 returns, one in the shallow end, and one in the deep end.

    The pool appeared to be in decent shape, but now that I've researched and studied pool details, I've uncovered several issues:

    1.
    I had a leak that turned out to be a crack in the skimmer. This fix was to put pool putty along the crack. My concern here is if
    the skimmer is old/brittle and needs to be replaced eventually, are we are talking thousands of dollars? Any comments on this?

    2.
    Pool has been painted and is chipping. Any pointers on re-plastering the pool? I'm on a budget and would mainly just like
    to have a functioning pool; nothing fancy. Is it safe for us to swim in the pool since the paint is flaking off and possibly chalking? I have a 15 month old daughter that is my main concern here.

    3.
    Filter design:
    Pool has a Baker Hydropak Skimmer that has a 50sqFt cartridge filter below the skimmer basket. I'm guessing this is a very old and inadequate design. (http://www.poolzoom.com/baker-hydro-hyd ... parts.html)

    What kind of filter should I get? I'm guessing a 500 pound sand filter, maybe?

    My yard/environment is fairly dirty with a greenbelt directly behind my yard/pool with lots of oak trees. All this equates to dirt/leaves/pollen in pool. My water is clear, but not sparkling. I'm thinking this is due to maybe the pool paint chalking, dirt in water because of small filter, and possibly hard water/calcium dust. At night, when I turn on the light, the water has a bit of a milky hue to it. The water is clear enough to clearly see the drain in the deep end though. I think the leaves and pollen are done for the year. I was using a leaf rake daily to tackle the leaves and pollen blooms.

    I have a new Hayward 1HP super 2 pump that was just installed prior to me moving in. I run it about 6 hours a day. I also just bought a Polaris 9300 sport robotic cleaner. So far, it has done a decent job of picking up calcium scale flakes, a few paint chips, a few leaves, and dirt. The pool is definitely getting cleaner since I've been using the robot, but still not sparkling.

    4.
    Deep end has stains. Pool has lots of calcium scale (thinking stains are actually scale that has become brownish). Any way to fix this short of draining the pool and acid washing?

    5.
    I haven't done thorough water testing myself but did have the local pool store test the water when we first moved in. I had to add about 4 gallons of acid over the course of a week to get the ph adjusted. I've been using test strips to mainly just be sure the chlorine is staying above 0ppm. I'm using pucks in a floater and also adding some bleach as needed. My CYA is showing to be low on the test strips (0-30ppm) so I'm going to stick with the pucks until the CYA comes up a little then switch to just bleach. I'll be ordering the TF100 test kit to nail down my chemistry soon. I'm going to take another water sample in to be tested sometime this week and will post back the analysis.

    ----

    Ideally, if it safe to use the painted pool, I'm probably going to limp along through this summer by:
    -cleaning the small cartridge filter at least weekly, which I've already been doing.
    -keep the chlorine and other tests within a decent range, and run the Polaris robot on a regular basis.

    I think I have a few more weeks before we start swimming in the pool so I'm trying to get a game plan together now.

    Hopefully I can save up and re-plaster the pool, and put in a new filter after this summer. Then I can get serious about keeping the pool perfect. I'm just hesitant to spend a lot of time and money on the pool in it's current state so my main goal is to keep the water clean and safe to swim in. I'm not overly concerned with the appearance. I'm really looking forward to a new filter and re-plaster, then I can be my usual obsessive self and keep it perfect!

    Thanks for anyone's feedback and help; ya'll are great.
    18k(ish) gallon IG plaster/painted "Lazy L" shaped pool most likely built in 1975.
    30" 500lb Hayward sand filter.
    1hp Hayward super2 pump.
    Polaris 9300 Sport Robotic Cleaner.
    TF-100 test kit with speedstir.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Welcome to the forum. If your pool is 476 sq feet with an average depth of maybe 5 feet, that a bit less than 20k. Posting a pic (with some dimensions) is pretty helpful to get it closer.

    1. Replacing a skimmer imbedded in concrete can be quite pricey. If the pool putty is working just keep your fingers crossed.

    2. Chipping and peeling paint is pretty commonplace. Aside from cosmetics, there is no harm.

    3. A 500 sand filter may be a bit too big if your pool turns out to be 20k. How large is your pump?

    4. Calcium scale can be dealt with very slowly but if your goal is to replaster, I wouldn't spend much time with it.

    5. The absolute key to crystal clear water is accurate testing. Having a really good kit is essential to help you manage your pool water.

    I think your current plan is a good one while you sort things out.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Feb 2013
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    San Antonio, TX
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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Thanks for the quick response duraleigh!

    I think you are correct in that the pool is closer to 20k gallons. I took some measurements last night and here is a link to some pictures:
    https://plus.google.com/photos/10975...PGt-NnM2OmRrAE

    The pool is roughly 13' x 30', but as you can see in the pictures it's kidney shaped, so it's a bit wider in the middle. The shallowest end is 3.5', sloping to 4.5', and on down to the deep end which is about 8'.

    1. Fingers crossed on the pool putty!
    2. If I rub my hand on the wall, I'm definitely getting some white residue coming off. Could this be the cause of cloudy water?
    3. The pump is 1hp. Is there some other rating I need to look for?
    4. I'll just live with the calcium scale for this summer, I think.
    5. Hoping to take a water sample in this weekend and I'm ordering TF100 test kit this week.
    18k(ish) gallon IG plaster/painted "Lazy L" shaped pool most likely built in 1975.
    30" 500lb Hayward sand filter.
    1hp Hayward super2 pump.
    Polaris 9300 Sport Robotic Cleaner.
    TF-100 test kit with speedstir.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Dallas, TX
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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Cloudy (white/gray) water can be caused by calcium, or can be dead algae. Mine would cloud when TA and pH were off.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  5. Back To Top    #5
    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Nice looking backyard! I like the pool deck surface and coping, very classic. I especially like how the coping matches the house. Have you cleaned the deck with a pressure washer yet? How is it on the bare feet?

    I'd cut that one tree down nearest the pool, and next winter don't be afraid to perform Crepe Murder on those myrtles.... http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/arch ... crape.html
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
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  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Just a sidenote, but I *think* that shape of pool is called a "Lazy L" shape. You have a wonderful back yard there! Congrats!
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Thanks for the kind responses! Good to know on the "Lazy L" shape and I haven't done any pressure washing yet, but have it in the plans. The surface is bumpy but smooth, so it's not bad at all on the feet. Crepe murder...that was a nice read!

    So I have a question on adding a new filter into my system and I'll also need some guidance once I receive my TF-100 test kit that I ordered early this week.

    Should I create new threads for both of those specific topics or carry-on here?

    Thanks!
    18k(ish) gallon IG plaster/painted "Lazy L" shaped pool most likely built in 1975.
    30" 500lb Hayward sand filter.
    1hp Hayward super2 pump.
    Polaris 9300 Sport Robotic Cleaner.
    TF-100 test kit with speedstir.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Carry on in this thread. It helps when folks can see all the history of the pool problem all in one place.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    Thanks zea3.

    It looks like my test kit is scheduled to arrive tomorrow; I'll post water testing results once I get my kit and do all the tests. My first question is around adding a new filter into my system:

    Given my pool size, pump size, and reading this forum, I'm leaning towards going with a cartridge filter. Any recommendations on a proper size? I'm not partial to any brand but it looks like a Hayward SwimClear might be a good one. It actually has 4 cartridges instead of 1.

    Also, any tips on where to point the return lines for best circulation/filtering? I have them aimed at opposite corners of the pool right now. I seem to get decent skimming action, but I do notice a consistent line of dirt in the shallow end just off to the side of where the return points.

    Thanks!
    18k(ish) gallon IG plaster/painted "Lazy L" shaped pool most likely built in 1975.
    30" 500lb Hayward sand filter.
    1hp Hayward super2 pump.
    Polaris 9300 Sport Robotic Cleaner.
    TF-100 test kit with speedstir.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    13

    Re: New owner of old pool...help!

    I got my test kit yesterday and did my first round of testing last night. I'm currently using chlorine tabs in a floater and added a 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid last weekend because the pool store test said my ph was at 8.

    FC - 3
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.7
    TA - 130
    CH - 350
    CYA - <20

    As mentioned earlier, this is my first pool, so I'm learning here. I know my filter is too small for my pool and is an old design. I'm sure the pool wasn't maintained very well by the previous owner.

    My main issue is the water is a little cloudy and I have calcium scaling. If I rub my hand on the sides of the pool I get white residue on my hand and can see it clouding out into the water. Is this calcium or paint or both?

    I think part of the cloudiness may also be a result of poor filtration.

    Any comments on how to get the water sparkling are appreciated. I need some advise on choosing a new filter too.

    Thanks!
    18k(ish) gallon IG plaster/painted "Lazy L" shaped pool most likely built in 1975.
    30" 500lb Hayward sand filter.
    1hp Hayward super2 pump.
    Polaris 9300 Sport Robotic Cleaner.
    TF-100 test kit with speedstir.

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