Howdy, nice forum you have here. Already learning.
I'm sure I'm not the first, but I'm here because my pool needs serious help and I need to try to do the work myself, and I don't know enough. It's daunting enough that I've even considered just filling it with dirt. But, it looks like I'll find what I need here, so I've signed up as a supporter. Lot cheaper than paying somebody to do it! Hopefully I can give enough info here to give you an idea how under-informed I am.
The pool was already here when we bought the house in 2000, and in good shape then. I'm pretty sure it had been painted. According to county records it was built in 1989. I was told it's Gunite, so we use the dosing for plaster. We had never had a pool before, didn't know anything about them, and didn't get any instructions or manuals or anything. There was a cover and some equipment in the shed, including a Kreepy Krauly.
First few years we read what we could find and asked at Leslie's and muddled through with test strips and Trichlor tabs, mostly able to keep it clean and clear and pretty, and used it some, up to perhaps 2008. Covered it first couple years, then threw the cover away because it had holes in it. Just scooped it out in the spring after that.
Haven't kept up with it lately though.
For three years or so now, we didn't get it clean enough to open, so it just keeps getting worse. Every few months I've thrown a bunch of powdered shock in to kill tadpoles and mosquitoes. Seems to have done that.
There's rotting leaves etc. in the bottom, I'm scooping that out a little at a time and waiting for the weather to cool off before I get serious. The water is opaque green.
I'm thinking I'd rather go ahead and get it clean this fall, run it until we start freezing, then try to keep it scooped out over the winter. Or should I wait? I'm too old, fat and lazy to be out working in the heat much, I prefer cool weather for working outside.
Been using a figure of 25,000 combined capacity and it seemed to be pretty close to that back when I was still trying to keep the chemicals up. Only ever used test strips before, but I do have the good test kit coming in the mail now.
I'll be doing a lot of reading before I'm ready to start asking detailed questions. Right now I'm mostly hoping to get the order of things worked out.
One thing I am still searching for is a forum about plumbing. I've done a little before but I had to 'guess' how to do things, and I'm not sure I guessed right. A lot of the plumbing needs to be replaced but I don't want to pay somebody to do it.
I have already been reading. TF-100 kit on the way, so no results to report yet. Surely everything is zero. Also got the stirrer and XL kit. What I've bought so far in preparation is one jug of conditioner and 10 of bleach, shopping around to see where the better deal is. Figured I'd certainly use that much at least. Jug sizes have changed in this economy, so the Pool Calculator doesn't come out exactly any more. Also I have some stuff left from an opening kit we bought in spring, I understand now not to buy those but I already have them if they're good for anything. Got a gorilla pole and a couple big leaf baskets, a hose powered leaf gulper, couple brushes, vacuum head and hose, hand skimmers.
Starting clean pressure was 10 or 15 back when it ran good. Now, backwashing, then running on filter, the pressure goes to around 30psi, within a few minutes even without DE, high enough to allow water to bypass to waste. If I forget and leave it like this in the evening, then the water gets low enough to suck air through the skimmer within a few hours.
I'll be removing and disassembling the filter elements and thoroughly hosing off, and probably doing an acid bath in a plastic rain barrel. How do you dispose of the acid? Hopefully this will let me run it long enough to put DE in it, so I can get started cleaning the water.
The multiport valve is damaged. The 'walls' that the spider valve sits in have broken, allowing leaks. I'm sure it's from running the pump with the filter very clogged. It may be because I put a more powerful motor on the pump. I'm not sure if there's a real bypass in the filter assembly, but it seems like this damage does allow water out the waste when running in filter. I have a new multiport valve to install, looking for education on plumbing. I'd also like to bypass the heater. I guess it would be nice if the bypass were removable with QD unions? I replaced the multiport before, but I don't think I knew enough to do it right.
Here's a more in-depth description than my sig, for anybody who cares.
It's a Gunite in-ground pool and separate spa, with a pipe between them. One main drain in the pool, two in the spa (only one valve though), the only skimmer is in the pool. We've just always used a hand skimmer net for the spa, not sure if there's a better way. Got a vacuum inlet in the side of the pool. Each of these has it's own Jandy valve on the pipe going to the pump inlet. I think they're too low to the ground though, and I'd like to replace them. The return line splits to the pool and spa with a single Jandy in the Y. Blower for the spa. Three return eyes in the pool, five in the spa. One light in each.
Big old stainless American Products Titan DE filter; Pacfab Challenger pump was originally an up-rated 1-1/2hp, I put a 2hp motor in when it went out; Ruud gas heater hasn't worked in years; spa blower replaced a few years ago. Have been through several off-line chlorine feeders.
We already replaced all the filter elements once before, and now I have a whole new element assembly with manifolds still in the box. I don't think there's much damage if any to the existing elements, but there's a crack in the top manifold. For the time being I plan to leave the new one in the box until I feel the old one is a goner.
It does get cold enough here to freeze over. I tried using a Gizzmo early on, but the bottom of the skimmer looks like the original outlet centered in the bottom was blocked off, and a second one put in too close to the edge for the Gizzmo. We just haven't done anything about the ice the last few years other than to drain below the skimmer and try to keep some half-filled milk jugs floating. I don't see any damage.
The pretty blue plaster when we moved in seems to be brushing away slowly to reveal a white surface underneath, and there are a few patches that the smooth surface has come off revealing what I'd call concrete underneath. This is not most of the surface, just a few square yards.
There's tile at the waterline, and only one piece has come off, we still have it. the rim is stone, and spiders have made homes in the cracks between stones.
The whole sits in a huge pebbled patio.
I'll try to get a picture or two in here.
Some older pics I found on the computer