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Thread: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

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    Miragehailstorm's Avatar
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    Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    We bought this home at the end of the summer and to late in the season to actually open this (cess)pool. We did pull the cover off and tried to dredge some of the mess of leaves and who knows what else out of it but the smell and the cold weather did us in quickly. We decided to replace the cover and make the attempt in the spring. Well the thaw has come and it's time to break out gas masks and try to tackle this thing but we really need some advice. I don't have any test results or even a kit just yet. We've got leaf rakes and working on getting the leaves out of the water on top of the cover. Once that's relatively clear should we just let the water from the top go into the pool? It's probably cleaner then what's underneath. We have no idea if pump, filter or anything else is in tact. Where do we start? Lots of info on green pools but not much on when the pool is black from an unknown time period of neglect. Dredge pool before opening the pipes and trying the filter and pump? From what I read there isn't much point in dumping chems into the water when it's so full of biological debris and no circulation. Any advice would be appreciated! The estimated size of the pool is 45k gallons based on some calculators online. It's a vaguely kidney bean shaped pool with an at least 10-12 foot deep end. Sorry for vague info. Atm it's the best I've got. Thanks in advance!
    ~45k gal, plaster, 1.5 hp hayward pump, Hayward sand filter (500lbs of sand size)

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Welcome to the forum.

    For now the most important thing is clearing of debris. Not much point in testing and dosing until this is done. As long as the cover water is clear of junk, it likely won't matter adding it to the black pool water. Are you sure it's 10-12 deep? If so, it's a bit deeper than usual. If it were me I would get out everything possible before turning on the equipment.
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Personally my order of operations should be:
    1. Order the recommended test kit (TF-100)
    2. Get some pictures of the pool and equipment up here so we can help
    3. Dredge and get as much out as possible - I doubt dumping the stuff off the top is going to make any difference.
    4. Research your local water table - are you going to have floating issues if you choose to drain and fill? (are there lakes, rivers, ponds at your elevation nearby? are all bodies of water down hill from you?)
    5. Research cost of water locally - cheaper to buy bleach or buy water? Can you have water trucked in?
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
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    Miragehailstorm's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    filter and pump
    . Pool is still covered. Will get some pix once cover is off but figure this might give some size perspective. It's about 26 feet long at its longest spot.
    We are figuring the deep end judging by the 16 foot pole being 3/4 under water at deepest part.
    Tap water here is very expensive due to the sewage half of the bill being almost 3 times the cost of the actual water. Someone told me some water companies will wave sewage fee if they know what's going on so we will be looking into that and how much local companies might charge to truck in water. A coworker paid 1k for half the size pool fill which doesn't sound very cost effective. I will research the water table here. Any particular place I can look for information on it?
    ~45k gal, plaster, 1.5 hp hayward pump, Hayward sand filter (500lbs of sand size)

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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    My preferred method to see if there is a potential risk is to use google maps. Search for your location then type terrain in the search, this will bring up a topo view. Take a look at your locaiton and height relative to the nearest bodies of water. if you have a couple of topolines below you there shouldn't be an issue. You can also look at FEMA flood maps. If there is anyone with a well in the area you could ask them how deep they had to go to get water ... 10 feet is a bad answer for you, 50 feet is an awesome answer.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    I also bought a foreclosure with a pool and intially looked into draining and refilling it. The good news for me was that my water company will remove the sewage charges if I call them a head of time and tell them that I am filling up my pool. For example I can tell them that I will be filling up the pool starting Saturday morning through Monday evening and they will read the meter before and after and remove and sewage fees. However not every place does this but I would recommend calling your water company and finding out. I did this last year and the total cost was $120 for 25k gallons.

    I have also heard of fire departments willing to fill up the pool for a donation or something along those lines, however my fire department said no as it was a liability but it may be worth calling, at the very least you now have the number for your fire department.

    Unless you are able to determine your water table draining your pool is not a good option but you still have a couple of options available. The first is to treat the water using the methods described on this site, however that also depends on your current CH and CYA readings once you get them.

    The other option is to replace the water in stages. If you want to go this route you will still need to determine how much water you can drain and replace at one time. I would recommend getting a post digger and dig down as far as you can. Let the hole site overnight and check it to see if it fills with any water. If not you can safely drain your pool down to that level (4 or 5 feet most likely), I also used this method last year.

    Do you need any help figuring out your equipment?
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Call your local agricultural extension service - they are paid to know this sort of thing. They can point you to the right source, or a local ag college will have the data. Also, a full service librarian may have a source for the data.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona View Post
    Call your local agricultural extension service - they are paid to know this sort of thing. They can point you to the right source, or a local ag college will have the data. Also, a full service librarian may have a source for the data.
    Great idea!

    I learn something new every day.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Miragehailstorm's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Thanks so much for all the info! At the moment I haven't poked at the equipment to much. We did realize a plug was missing off the filter and got a replacement. Nothing on the pump is obviously broken and the pipes look in good shape. Not weathered looking at all. Somewhere on these labels it says self priming which I think means I don't need to fill anything with water first? Just power up and wait?
    We know where the skimmer is but not sure where any output jets are or what to do with those and no clue if there is any kind of drain in the bottom of the pool that we will need to do anything with.



    As for the water table I can't make heads or tails of the topo map on google it's just very flat around here. No large lakes (other then the Great Lakes anyway...) that are close to us. Closest lake was a nankin lake. Elevation was at 689 and our neighborhood came up at 650. To me that puts us 50 feet below that lake. So no help really. I'll have to get the post digger and give that an attempt to at least get an idea. Not sure if any agriculture services out here but I'll look into that too!

    Will def be calling water company to find out if they waive sewage fee. That would make price approx 300$ Instead of 1100 for the whole kit and kaboodle. Even if we can't drain it does need to have another foot or two of water put back in once it's better cleaned.

    I really appreciate all the info and suggestions!
    ~45k gal, plaster, 1.5 hp hayward pump, Hayward sand filter (500lbs of sand size)

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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    The first thing i would figure out is if it would be cheaper to drain and refill it, or fix the water chemistry. I usually use a combination of Shock (73%), Liquid Chlorine 4-6 gallons depending on water, and YellowTrine (i have a weak spot for that stuff). When i show up to a pool that has mosquito's laying eggs in it, the first thing i do is check skimmers then clean the filter. You have a 1 1/2 hp pump and a sand filter so i would probably start by filling it to the proper water level and back washing the filter. That is of course after you rake as much off the bottom as you can. Doesn't have to be perfect but you don't want cloudy blue water and the bottom of you pool black. I would need more information before you move forward with anything though.

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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    I have a swamp too. I am building a new patio around it and just took off the cover to reveal my pool that looks like a giant pool of black coffee.

    I will post pictures soon
    1971 Gunite 31x16 IG Kidney shape pool approx 18000 Gallons
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Just want to add that I started using the methods on this website last year (after a fresh drain and refill) and this is the first year that I have opened my pool to clear water. It still had leaves, worms, and thin layer of dirt on the bottom but the water was still clear. If you follow the instructions and advice on this site you will most likely have a lot less to worry about next spring.

    The feeling of having control over your pool is a great one and a big thank you to everyone on this site.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wares Pool Service View Post
    ...I usually use a combination of Shock (73%), Liquid Chlorine 4-6 gallons depending on water, and YellowTrine (i have a weak spot for that stuff)...
    We never recommend anything like this!!! Without good test results you may make things worse than they are now. You have gotten good advice except for this. The first thing to do is clear the debris and get a good test kit. Once you do that test all the equipment to make sure it operates and then post the test results and we can help you get the water clear.

    Depending on what the CYA and/or CH levels are will determine whether we recommend draining or not. Pretty much everything else can be fixed without draining. Given the water cost of $300 you're probably better off trying to fix it if draining is not needed.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    +1 on Bama's comments. Clear the organics and get a good test kit. After that we can help you with the SLAM process, learning the chemistry and any resolution of any mechanical issues.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    so your saying the filter shouldn't be backwashed, the bottom shouldn't be raked, and the skimmers shouldn't be empty?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    Sorry I should have partially quoted you instead of a whole quote. It's the randomly dumping chems in that we'd never suggest. The rest of it is good advice.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!

    OP, I'm buying a foreclosure property with a pool as well. Some of my equipment looks similar to yours. I'm assuming yours isn't a HUD foreclosure as the cover is different. Good luck!

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    Miragehailstorm's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started on a neglected pool on a foreclosed property and need help!



    Couple pictures now that it's uncovered. We have our work cut out for us. Pulled pound after pound of gunk out of the bottom. The little kid in me insists it be called 'pool diarrhea'. It's mostly just a slimy mush but just thick enough for the nets to pick it up. Finally located the water jets. Seems to be 4 of them. 3 have plugs. Unfortunately one is open so that may be a bad sign.
    @ssmartt - It was a Fannie May foreclosure btw.
    ~45k gal, plaster, 1.5 hp hayward pump, Hayward sand filter (500lbs of sand size)

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