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:
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.