Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Another Pool Newbie

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Guest

    Another Pool Newbie

    I'm another of the "just bought a house with a pool; have never had a pool before" crowd. I've read through the pool school links (and probably need to read it again after letting it stew a bit) and several threads, and have found exactly what I was hoping I would: that pools are just like aquariums in that the average user is sold a suite of overpriced chemicals that simply aren't necessary. That being said, I do have some (hopefully) quick questions that I haven't yet found answers for.

    I'm between Houston and Galveston, so no freeze issues and limited access to liquid chlorine. I calculate the pool to be right around 20k gallons, I have a DE4820 filter, a 1.5HP 18A pump, and a Kreepy Krauly (which was immediately dubbed "Mr. Slurpy"). I don't have a test kit yet; for right now all I have to go with is a fresh bottle of strips. pH, TA, and CYA are all near the top of the test range, and I think Leslie's said the CH was around 330 (no test for this). I have a couple of week-old pucks in the pool, and I've just been starting to test daily and add bleach to keep FC at 3-5.
    [attachment=2:30gxh4ig]IMG_0221.JPG[/attachment:30gxh4ig]
    I know I need to get rid of my CYA, and I want to do a sizable water change, but I don't know how to open the main drain! There's an octagon in my skimmer that, from what I'm reading, must be the plug to the main drain, but I can't turn it by hand. I have learned through experience that one does not take a wrench to a piece of plastic without someone telling you that it will, indeed, unscrew, and which way it's threaded. So is this it, or is there a valve somewhere I need to find?
    [attachment=1:30gxh4ig]IMG_0219s.jpg[/attachment:30gxh4ig]
    Speaking of valves--when I put my 6-way into the waste position, I get two pinhole sprays of water out the side opposite the sight glass. Is there an effective way to patch this? My first thought is to dab some E-6000 on it, but I don't know what might be a better fit. Either way, I'm assuming this means the valve is on its last legs and needs to be replaced soon. If I have to start cutting stuff out, is there anything obvious I should be changing?
    [attachment=0:30gxh4ig]IMG_0107s.jpg[/attachment:30gxh4ig]
    Finally (for now), I'm seeing a ton of mentions of opening/closing a pool, and I really don't know how that applies to this area. I bought the house at the end of November, and spent the entire winter raking and pulling oak leaf clogs out of Slurpy. Then I spent the early spring scooping out pine pollen thingys. Late spring has been the oak pollen. It's been unseasonably cool down here (not complaining!) so we've barely gotten to use the pool, and I'm really wondering if all this mess is worth it--so if there's a way to avoid all that work this winter (not to mention the expense of running the pump), then I want to look into it. Is there a good post about closing in a southern climate?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Denton, TX
    Posts
    5,061

    Re: Another Pool Newbie

    Welcome to TFP!

    Mr. Slurpy . That's funny. Ok, you need a test kit that works so get you a TF-100 from tftestkits.net. That's your best bet. It's the only way that you will learn what is going on in your water.

    You will drain your pool through the main drain by isolating it as your suction source and sending it to "waste", a setting on your valve.

    Once things start leaking, they usually need replacing if the leaking area is a valve or PVC pipe. Using a product to seal the holes may work for a few days but this is water under pressure. Therefore, a solid repair is usually the best route to go. Fortunately, with pool valves and stuff, as long as you know some basics about working w PVC, replacement isn't too tough for the average DIYer.

    In your neck of the woods, most people don't close their pools. Winterizing isn't typically an issue since it just doesn't freeze that often or get that cold. Even in the DFW area where I am at, I just leave the pool open in the winter. The freeze guard on the pump kicks on once the temp hits 34 in order to keep the pipes from bursting. I'll check the pool chemicals about every 3 weeks or so. I try to keep a minimal amount of chlorine in there during the cold months.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Guest

    Re: Another Pool Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    You will drain your pool through the main drain by isolating it as your suction source...
    That's the part I don't know how to do. I can't find a valve anywhere that opens the main drain (though during the search I found a fill valve for the pool, so no more garden hose...), so it has to be that thing in the skimmer. Is there a particular tool that matches that, or just be gentle with a pair of channel-locks? I assume it's just a plug--do I then just use a piece of hose to jumper the drain to the skimmer line?
    In your neck of the woods, most people don't close their pools....I try to keep a minimal amount of chlorine in there during the cold months.
    When we took over the house, the old strips the previous owner had left kept reading that the FC was very high, so we didn't touch the chemicals for months. It wasn't until just after a heavy, early spring rain that washed enough pollen into the pool to tinge the water yellow that I saw it change--straight to 0. I started dumping cal-hypo in to try to fix it (that's what goes in those little floater things, right? ), and couldn't get the chlorine to stay above 0. That's when I bought some tabs and started looking for info online. So now I've just gotta get this water level dropped so I can get my levels back in line and save the rest of the tabs for vacations and the cal-hypo for tweaking CH.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,084

    Re: Another Pool Newbie

    Most of us here find the test strips so unreliable we almost never take the results seriously. I wouldn't drain anything until I had test results from a good drops based kit....either the Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100.

    I can't see your pump very well in the pic ....is there only one intake line into the pump?? Do you know if the main drain is working? The plug in the bottom of the skimmer implies that is not where the main drain comes in or that it has been intentionally taken out of the system, (not that uncommon)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Guest

    Re: Another Pool Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I wouldn't drain anything until I had test results from a good drops based kit...
    Unfortunately, those kits are pricey and my monthly pool budget just isn't that large. This month is gone from bleach and DE, and it sounds like next month may be a new 6-way valve, but hopefully I can swing it soon. I see why y'all recommend the kits you do, and I don't want to waste money on the cheap kits, so for now, I work with what I have.

    All I currently know is that the CYA is consistently high on the strip ~150+, and the previous owner floated tabs to keep the chlorine "high". The TA and pH are also high, and adding acid didn't seem to have any effect, which also seems to support changing out some water.
    ....is there only one intake line into the pump?? Do you know if the main drain is working? The plug in the bottom of the skimmer implies that is not where the main drain comes in or that it has been intentionally taken out of the system, (not that uncommon)
    There is only one supply line, into the front of the pump. I do not think the main drain is open at all; I've never seen leaves or debris move toward it, and Slurpy doesn't even slow down passing over it.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,084

    Re: Another Pool Newbie

    Many in the South don't ever close....simply maintaining the pool just as if in the summer but with far less chlorine consumption. The leaves and debris are a fact of life. I try to do it often enough that I never have a huge mess but life and happy hour both get in my way from time to time

    You will almost surely develop some algae blooms this summer with your CYA being so high. You are adding to that problem using pucks.

    Draining and refilling some of your pool would be a good idea. Since the main was shut off, (I would be inclined to leave it shut off) you will have to siphon or get a submersible pump.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •