I am a newbie, first time pool owner and this is my story.
We purchased an older home with an existing IG pool a few months ago. The pool was in a neglected, fair to poor (slightly cloudy) condition when we bought the house. Because I was pretty much clueless, and since there were (and still currently are) many other pressing renovation projects I was (& still am) working on, all I was mainly doing was keeping some pucks in the floater and strainer basket – this was the extent of my pool maintenance knowledge at the time - and as a result the pool deteriorated steadily and soon began to look like a green swamp. This part might be typical – So, seeing a pressing need to do something, and on the advice of a relative who is a long time pool owner, I paid a visit, actually several visits to the local pool store, bringing my water sample along for testing. Long story short, I bought and fed the pool a couple of hundred dollar worth of di-chlor shock, granular chlorine, algaecide, clarifier, and more tri-chlor pucks. Things started to clear up. About this time I also found and started to read and follow TFP, and I ordered a TF-100. The pool, in the meantime, did reach a point of pretty good clarity using the pool store’s prescription and I thought I was on the right track. That is, until I received the TF-100 test kit and did my first test.
Ph 7.4 (It actually was much lower but I raised it to this by dumping a bunch of soda ash into the pool – but now realize that this is probably not accurate as my FC is so high.)
Deducing that my first course of action is to get the CYA lower, I am in the midst of draining approximately ½ of my pool’s water. I probably got another 10 hours to go as I write this, siphoning it off through a garden hose at a rate of about 1.75 gal / minute. I did an initial and substantial amount of the drain by vacuuming to waste.
So, after I finish draining and refilling the pool with tap water, I am hoping to get some guidance on what I should do next. I was wondering if I should start by using some Calcium Hypo since my CH is lower than is recommended here.
Ultimately I think I will want to go with liquid bleach for sanitizing, but not wanting to have to add it daily, I am also seriously thinking about the Liquidator, or possibly some other DIY liquid chlorinator setup I read about here. A SWG is out of my budget right now.
Question about the Liquidator – what is the minimal amount of pump run time I can get by with while using the LQ? I am hoping that a three to four hour per day run time would do as electricity cost here in Hawaii is extremely high – the highest in the country at over $.50/kwh. Would the LQ be able to add enough chlorine within that amount of pump run time?
Our home and pool is at the 1,000 ft elevation on the west side of a mountain. The pool is in the shade of our 2 story house in the morning and largely shaded by tropical trees and a wood fence around the perimeter for much of the balance of the daylight hours. We also typically have a fair amount of afternoon cloud cover daily and periodic light rains. (Perfect climate for coffee growing – i.e. Kona Coffee). If I had to guess, I would say that the pool will probably get an average of 5 hours per day of full direct sunlight in the winter months and 7 hours max in the summer months. The pool, of course, will never be closed for the winter with daytime highs about 78-82 degrees all year round. The pool will typically only see light usage, with 2 teenagers in the household with only occasional get together and parties with friends and relatives…
Backtracking a bit. After the turning point in killing off the algae, when I could actually start to see the bottom of the pool again and see that is was covered with a layer to white/gray dead algae, in the process of vacuuming it up at that stage, much of it would blow right through the filter and spit out of the 3 return outlets as smoky white plumes. (This was before I learned about vacuuming to waste.) At the time, I told myself that this is a two steps forward, one step backwards process, and to keep pressing forward, as I was sure I was vacuuming more than was being spit back out. I was also backwashing after every vacuum session (again before learning that this wasn’t the best practice) and was encouraged by seeing the substantial amount of the ashy white water get flushed out each time. Anyway, would this be typical of a sand filter – for a large amount of crud to go through the sand and back out via the return? Eventually though, I got it to a point where even a heavy brushing would not raise any perceptible amount matter in the water and the pool was clear but not necessarily sparkling crystal clear.
I have also since learned about DE, and bought a bag of it from the pool store. I added it once just a couple of days before I determined that the drain was necessary so I cannot comment on its merit yet but feel/hope it will improve the filtering capability – again mainly based on what I have read here. Also, this past weekend, I washed out the sand filter with a hose with a straight brass nozzle which, while holding it in my hand I could blast my way down through the sand to the level of laterals and stir up almost all of the sand. Doing this, I flushed out a substantial amount of more milky gray/white crud water, and this was just after the backwash done immediately before ran clear. So I should be good for a year before I need to manually clean the sand again. (Gotta remember to line the threaded top of the tank with a towel next time, as I now have a slight case of fiberglass itch around my upper arm…)
One more thing, upon draining the pool, the significant amount of ugly white calcium(?) scaling on the tile & grout at the waterline became clearly obvious. I looked here and elsewhere for suggestion on the best way to clean it. I didn’t find it here or anywhere else for that matter, but what I used with pretty good success is… 180 grit drywall sanding screen. I used it before on some nasty toilet stains and found the it really didn’t scratch the porcelain, and likewise it didn’t scratch this tile either and I was able to remove much of the waterline scaling with less effort than other methods I tried.
Hope this rambling was not too boring or disjoined… And I hope to get some advice on the questions above. One last question – what are eyeballs?
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