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Thread: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

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    How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    I have an Intex 16 x 4 ft. It holds 4400gal. The chems are good but at some point I screwed something up. It's really cloudy and it seems like undissolved stuff. It will settle a little but cannot see to the bottom of pool. I vacuumed and white water was coming out. It didn't help much. I've done clarifier and shock before I vacuumed and that didn't help much either. I am replacing the filter every other day as it gets that white substance all over it.

    Today I got the sink n sweep then I see "pour it in the skimmer". It doesn't have a skimmer... this is my last resort next to draining and starting over. Please tell me there is hope without draining the pool. I would love to get into it again.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Welcome to the forum. If it was my pool, I would return the sink n sweep and drain the pool and restart.

    The cost of new water is probably a LOT less than what you have already spent.

    If you decide to do that, you really should get a small test kit to test for chlorine and pH and you should use it everyday....every day. Your chemistry was NOT "good" or your pool wouldn't have become cloudy.

    Maintaining a pool your size can be exceedingly easy IF you are diligent. Simply put a quart of Clorox in your pool each evening and then check chlorine and pH each morning, then go swimming.

    Buying stuff from the pool store and hoping it will help is not only expensive but frequently useless.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Thanks for the reply. I am going to drain it. What is the first thing I should I do when the water is in?

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Start putting in the clorox each day. The sun will eat it up daily (that's why you have to be diligent but that quart of Clorox will probably cost you less than 50 cents (I think) and keep your pool crystal clear (if you keep the dirt out) and sanitary.

    Read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. Stay focused on pH and the purpose of chlorine (Clorox) it should be all you need.

    If things get completely out of hand somehow, you can, once again drain and refill for probably less than $15.00
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Thanks again. Sorry for being a pain but I just want to clarify. Just focus on chlorine and pH. I don't need to worry about alk or hardness or anything else? This is my first time doing this and it's confusing to me.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    You do not need to worry about alk or hardness. Just pH and chlorine. Can you specify the style intex you have and how you arrived at saying it holds 4400 gallons. If it is a frame style pool, it likely holds more water (if 16 feet diameter and filled with 3.5 feet of water, it would be 5300 gallons). If it is an easy set style (inflatable ring) it may be the 4400 you cited since it is tapered at the top.

    Secondly, I would guess keeping your pool the way duraleigh suggested is going to give you a great summer of pool use. If you want insurance against needing to drain mid-season (which to many users is no big deal at all an to others is a giant downer) or if this pool experience is intended to prep you for a permanent frame pool you would not drain and store seasonally, post back and we can walk you through a slightly more expensive option than just using the bleach and getting the pH/chlorine testing kit. Your up-front costs would be a more expensive test kit (roughly $60 I think - that might last two seasons) and some CYA (guessing $20ish to last two season). You'd add the CYA powder once and you'd still test pH and chlorine daily and likely add chlorox bleach daily.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    it's called ultra frame. The paper work says it's 4400 gal. Somebody else questioned the volume. Paper work is known to be wrong of course. I am not planning on a permanent pool. I would like the easiest way to keep this thing useable for the summer. And it's looong summer in FL.

    I like your set up. Right now we have leveled with sand and a couple tarps. When I take it down I was going to cement the area but didn't really know how to get around it being so hard.

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    crek31 makes an excellent post. It is the size of your pool that minimizes the attention it needs. Not because your water or chemistry is any different, it's because you can drain and refill a smaller pool without much expense.

    If you make a mistake, it will almost always be that you neglected the daily chlorine dose or that you neglect cleaning and vacuuming the pool. Even then, drain and refill for probably $15.00
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Katgirl: If the budget allows, I'd suggest the following:

    1. Order a Test Kit from TFTest Kits (link from duraleigh's signature). Order one that has FAS-DPD and CYA testing abilities. If you don't already have a little kit that tests pH, get that in whatever test kit you choose from TFTest Kits. On a daily basis, you want to be able to test Free Chlorine (FC), Combined Chlorine (CC), and pH. Every 4 to 6 weeks you might want to test CYA if you have a lot of rowdies splashing out a lot of water making you top off with fresh water, or if you get a lot of rain.
    2. When you re-fill (I'm assuming city water not well or pond or lake), add 3 cups of regular chlorox bleach (you want original, unscented - and not easy-pour as that is thicker and has some additive). Assuming 5300 gallons (filing pool to 6" from top), that will raise your FC from 0 to 3.
    3. Go to Walmart or Ace Hardware or local place with a pool aisle and buy one jar of Cyanuric Acid. It is also called stabilizer and it will be a powder. If you are somewhere with HTH products, it will have a purple lid (but other chems by them look identical, so be sure it is stabilizer). Think of this CYA as sunscreen for your bleach - the chlorine that cleanses your pool is eaten by organics (algae, leaves, etc) and by sunlight. The CYA protects it from sun a little, so your chlorine will last longer with CYA than without CYA. In Florida, you'll definitely want CYA (although if it is completely not do-able financially, duraleigh is correct you can do it without CYA - you just have less wiggle room for poor timing on adding more chlorine). Put 21 oz by weight or 22 oz by volume of this powder in a cotton sock and tie the top of the sock. Hang it (I use dental floss) from the rail so the sock is in the water near the return jet. After it has saturated, squeeze it periodically such that the powder dissolves into the pool. Once that is done, you can assume the CYA is being put to use in your water even thought it won't show up on a CYA test for a week or so. Once you have dissolved the CYA, you will have a CYA of about 30. This means you need to keep your FC level at no less than 2 ppm AT ALL TIMES, and you should target an FC of 4 ppm so that by the end of a sunny day of swimming the level has not eroded to below 2.
    4. You can play with the timing that works for your schedule, but a good plan is to test the FC, CC and pH each evening and add bleach to reach your target FC (in your case 4 ppm). If needed, add whatever you need to bring pH into line - post if you have a pH reading outside the range of 7.2 to 7.8. Keep the pump going after adding bleach for about an hour.
    5. It is important to read Pool School, especially the parts duraleigh pointed out. Also, get to know the pool calculator you can link to through Pool School, and the FC/CYA chart.
    6. Post back with questions. There is a lot of info to learn but if we can focus on the parts important to your type and use of pool, we can help you more quickly -- especially if you do your homework and read and re-read Pool School. A lot of what seems confusing the first time through starts to sink in by the second or third reading. And, once you start testing with a proper test kit, it really starts to fall in to place and you can focus on the info important to your situation and not get bogged down in the details not pertinent to your type of pool (alk, for example).

    As for my set up, I could not be happier with our decision to pave a large chunk of our yard. The kids (7 year old twins) ride on it all nine months the pool is down - scooters, EZ-Rollers (best toy ever for flat area), play basketball, do sidewalk chalk, etc. Then we put the pool up and is quick and clean to put it up and we are on our way to a fun summer of swimming.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    I use test strips that have stabilizer. If cya is stabilizer can't that be used to test it? And the bleach... all I find is concentrated. Is that OK?

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Look at the ingredients and see what percentage it lists. I think concentrated is probably 8.25 percent, which is fine. Again, you want regular or original, not easy-pour.

    If you are going to add CYA to your pool I believe you should buy a test kit that tests CYA, pH, FC, and CC. If you want to do the pool without CYA, follow duraleigh's suggestion of getting a cheaper, less precise test kit like you can get at Walmart. It will test Total Chlorine (I think) (and if I'm right on what the OTO test shows, you won't know FC versus CC, just their total). Again, you CAN do a pool the way duraleigh says and not get bogged down in adding or testing CYA or investing in a better test kit.

    Test strips frequently yield inaccurate results, and relying on inaccurate results will frequently result in a green or unsanitized pool. If draining and re-filling is not a bad option for you (and I'm not trying to suggest it should be a bad option - everyone's situation if different) then just do duraleigh's method. If you want to make the upfront financial investment in CYA and a great test kit, go way I outlined. Both ways apply the same chemistry principals and are not really different, it is just that for a seasonal Intex some people are happy to do a "watered down" version of BBB rather than going all-in and fully knowing precise test result from which to base chemical additions. I want to be sure you know duraleigh and I are not giving you dramatically different options - chlorine is used to clean the water under either scenario. The "just add bleach" way is more risky in terms of you might increase the odds of going green - no big deal if a drain/re-fill is not a problem. The "add CYA and be able to test CYA, FC, and CC" way is a bit more expensive but if applied by daily testing and proper chemical additions, will likely make the risk of going green less. EITHER WAY IS FINE - pick which one fits your situation and stick with it.

    Not to confuse things, but you could also consider buying the Intex Salt Water Generator (SWG), which basically creates chlorine by converting salt (which you will add to your pool at the beginning of the season). A properly used SWG will alleviate most manual additions of Chlorox, but you will still need to test daily (or so) to be sure your chlorine level is appropriate. If you are interested in this option, post your equipment and someone can let you know if the pump you already have would work with the SWG or if you would want to get a new Intex pump along with the SWG.

    In short, there are many ways to introduce chlorine to a pool and many options for testing in preparation of adding chemicals to keep your water properly balanced. Each person has their own priorities and that will drive which option is best for you. Rarely (never?) would test strips be the best route, however.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Thank you so much for all your help and patients. Both of you guys. It's helped me to understand some of this a little more.

    At this point I have to go with the just add chlorine method. The amount of money this project has cost me so far is ridiculous. And this project (when for a couple days the pool was OK) was supposed to help me retain my sanity... ie: someplace to relax. Lol.

    My challenge now is to get all the cloudy stuff out. The pool is drained except for the water that is below the drain and I have been stirring it up and vacuuming to get rid of what I can. I was using a shop vac with a modified hose to make it longer and it seems to have quit working. The vacuum itself quit. Lol. If you have any thoughts on how to get all the residue out I'm all ears. It's like undissolved chem. It sits on the bottom and I have to brush to stir it up, vacuum, empty vacuum.... rinse and repeat. There has to be something easier or more productive. Mama wants her pool....

    And again, thank you thank you thank you for your very kind help.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    You may want to look into getting a pool vacuum such as the aquabroom. They do not rely on a pump and are designed to clean small pools and spas.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Thank you. That's a groovy thing...

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Once you have it up an running again, you can also rubberband a cotton sock or knee-high nylon on the inside of the pool covering the return to act as a second filter. That sometimes catches stuff that is so small it get through the Intex paper filter.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    OK. I'm going to add the stabilizer. Does it matter what goes in first? The bleach or stabilizer

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    They won't react so there is no rule on adding one and then waiting a certain amount of time to add the other. That is not true of all chemicals, so good to have asked. Add the bleach to get it in as soon as possible. Then measure out the stabilizer (look inside the cap - if you got HTH brand it has a 9 oz line to help you measure). Not sure what you want to add for your gallons. Check your water depth and plug it into the pool calculator for your 16 foot diameter round, straight sided pool and if it were me, I'd trust that number. If you are comfortable with the 5300 gallons number, add 22 ounces of powdered stabilizer to a cotton sock and hang it in front of the return inside the pool. That will raise your CYA from 0 to 30, which I'd say is the minimum you'd want in Florida. Massage it after the powder has become well-saturated (a couple hours probably). Once all of that powder has been dissolved into the pool, you can assume it is working. Adjust your target FC accordingly. Which means if you targeted 30 CYA, you never want your FC to drop below 2 and can make daily additions targeting 4 so that as it dissipates throughout a swim day it will gradually drop from 4 to 2 and you can add more before going below 2. You can target slightly higher without problems, but you never want to breach the minimum of 2. For 5300 gallons, you would add 2 cups of 8.25% bleach to raise FC 2 ppm.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    If you have not found it yet, visit Pool School and click on the Chlorine/CYA chart. That is what I referenced when I told you your minimum and target FC values based on a CYA of 30. If it were me, I'd err by moving up one FC as my minimum since you are starting with fresh water and have only the standard Intex filter. Clearing an algae bloom with that type of filter will be extremely difficult - so the real way to ensure a green-free pool all season is to prevent the algae in the first place. Add CYA to 30 as set out above. For me, I'd add bleach to stay not less than 3 FC and target at least 5. It is safe to swim in water that has an FC of up to 10, assuming CYA of 30, so inching up a little is not a problem and is what I did for the seasons I only had the paper Intex filters. I am not suggesting you shoot for 10 - just saying that targeting 5 instead of 4 is not a health risk.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    Pool is ready bleach in and stabilizer is doing its thing. Would you recommend an algaecide?

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: How do I use sink n sweep without skimmer?

    No. We just about never recommend an algaecide. If you properly dose your pool for your CYA, you should not need an algaecide. Even if you get signs of algae (slimy feel to liner; green tinge along water line; green water) you would simply use the Shock PROCESS described in Pool School. I have never used, bought, or even seen an algaecide and I'm on season 5. I started with clean city water, followed the advice here, read here so I understood the CYA/FC relationship, and I've had smooth sailing every day. Only things I've added to my pool are: powdered stabilizer to get to CYA 30 at the start of each season; bleach daily to get to target or 1 above FC for my CYA; muriatic acid when my pH gets to 7.8.

    What have you decided to use as a test kit? Post back and we can help you learn your daily routine so algaecide never crosses your mind again NOTE, on the rare occasions when algaecide is appropriately used, you need to find a kind with NO copper.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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