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Thread: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

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    scriptorum's Avatar
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    Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    We bought a home in Mt. Pleasant, SC with a pool -- our first pool. We closed on the house a month ago, but we're not moving in for another four weeks. When we visited the house after the close, the pool was green but not cloudy. I went looking for a Pool Maintenance for Dummies book or something to get started, and after some googling wound up being referred to the Pool School here. I couldn't identify any of the equipment, so on a second visit two weeks ago I took photos of everything. The pool at that time had become murky. Wary of running the pump unattended, and not being read up on the SLAM process yet, I raked the surface, cleaned out the pump and skimmer baskets, and ejected this amphibian interloper:



    I noted the filter was set to FILTER operation and the pump was set off by the breakers. I also took photos of the chemicals the previous owners left behind. The presence of algaecide and chlorinating granules suggests they were not TFPers. I looked up what all of these do, and some of the containers look like they've been there for a while. I suspect some of these should just go straight into the garbage:





    We'll be visiting again in one week, and we'll be there for 3 days. My main question is, should I bother tending to the pool on this visit? I'm a little less skiddish about running the pump while we are away, but it seems likely that the SLAM won't complete by the time we leave, and I'll just have to start over three weeks later when we move in. Should I leave off the pump and SWG, brush the pool the best I can, and ignore the swamp problem until we actually move in and can tend it for a longer stretch? I purchased a Taylor test kit so I'll do some readings this trip. There is an SWG, so I figure if the CYA is low, I can save a little money and use up the chlorinating granules in the shed.

    Thanks for any feedback you can give. I have some other questions about the where to place the backwash hose, and how to identify the material the pool is made of (I think it's plaster), but I'll save those for later! Really pleased with TFP, it's been an incredible learning resource. I've just pledged for a supporter badge.
    15K gal IG plaster pool Hayward Pro-Series Sand Filter S244T Hayward SuperPump 1HP Age: Old but "recently renovated" Mineral Springs MS10 SWCG (AquaRite ancestor) Taylor K-2006 Test kit + 1766 Salt Test Leaf eater My green to clean story: Proud owner of a glorious swamp! (LOTS of photos)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Welcome!

    I'd say you're off to a better start than the previous owners. Those pictures tell a story....pool-stored.

    You're probably correct in not starting the SLAM. Any chlorine you add will kill the algae back some, but it will have returned in three weeks' time so the bleach was used for nothing.

    I look forward to you photo essay showing green-to-clean.
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Welcome to the forum and hello from South Carolina

    I agree with Richard that you probably will be better off just waiting until you can devote some time to the SLAM process.

    I purchased a Taylor test kit so I'll do some readings this trip.
    Which kit did you get?

    You are way ahead of the normal newbie, so concentrate on the move and don't worry about the pool. We'll help you get fast control of that little piece of paradise

    Remember, we love pics!!
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Welcome and congrats, I would use your next visit to confirm the equipment is operational. Run the pump, possibly clean the filter (I assume cartridge filter since one of the chemicals was a filter cleaner, but double check that), look for plumbing leaks, make sure the pressure gauge on the filter works, etc.

    Ike

    I see now you say it is a sand filter, in which case don't worry about that part yet
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Welcome!

    Put me in the "wait to SLAM" camp as well. If you have time and want to get involved in the pool, work on the equipment. That way if there are any issues, you have plenty of time to get them fixed before you tackle the algae.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Dittos to what the others said about waiting to SLAM. During your upcoming 3-day visit, you could remove any large debris that may be in the pool. Also, you may want to begin stocking up on bleach/liquid chlorine since you will need a lot of it. When you first begin SLAMming, don't be surprised if most or all of the chlorine you added to get to SLAM level is depleted within the first hour or two. Therefore, you will need a good amount of bleach inventory on-hand.
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    You may want to search out somewhere that sells five gallon containers of 12% bleach... The local pool store may have it. When you are adding a lot of bleach, it's a lot easier with higher concentration bleach.

    Edit: By the way, don't call it bleach when talking to the pool store people. Make sure you call it "liquid chlorine."
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Thanks for the advice, everyone!

    I'll withhold slamming until after we move in, less than a month from now. I'll check out all the equipment, now that I have a better idea of what they do, and try to clean out organics from the pool. Tough to do because it's so murky. From the charts it seems like although I eventually want a target CYA of 70, I'd be better off getting it below 50 to save on bleach. So my thinking is if the CYA level is high maybe I'll do some major vacuuming to WASTE and then add some new water, lowering CYA and clearing out some of the hidden crud on the pool bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Which kit did you get?
    The Taylor K-2006. I also got the 1766 salt test to verify that the aging Mineral Springs unit is measuring salt ppm correctly. I'm concerned about running out of CYA reagent, the CYA tests seems to eat through it. I would have gotten the TFT kit, but I love my Amazon prime ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Those pictures tell a story....pool-stored.
    I think I was pre-disposed to be suspicious of pool-store advice before even reaching this site. We had a pool inspection done during due-dilligence. I understood that the former owners had a Polaris cleaner but it needed some repair. The pool store included a quote to "fix" the polaris:



    At the time I didn't know what exactly a Polaris is or how it works. When I looked it up I realized not only is this a complete replacement and not a repair, it's also charging about $600 more for materials than internet pricing. Holy price gouge, Batman!

    The pressure gauge replacement may be legit. When I observed it a few weeks ago there seemed to be water behind the face.
    15K gal IG plaster pool Hayward Pro-Series Sand Filter S244T Hayward SuperPump 1HP Age: Old but "recently renovated" Mineral Springs MS10 SWCG (AquaRite ancestor) Taylor K-2006 Test kit + 1766 Salt Test Leaf eater My green to clean story: Proud owner of a glorious swamp! (LOTS of photos)

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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    I went through THREE pressure gauges before finding a good quality one (make sure to get liquid filled). Since you are an Amazon Prime guy, this will be right up your alley. You can get one of these in almost any form factor. If you need helping picking the right one, take a picture of the current gauge and we'll help you out. Make sure to use the product filters to get to the right one, e.g. first select one that is liquid filled. I'm to the the whole pool thing, but my experience has been to buy a good quality gauge or you'll be replacing the junk one every year.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009Z1PXW0/ref=biss_dp_sa1
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    We're visiting our new house this weekend, three weeks before we actually move in. Here's the pool. The steps are currently an algae farm. The plumbing is all behind a fence which is curiously too narrow to enter without taking a deep breath, and forget about getting in there without scraping a belt buckle if I just ate a sandwich...





    I didn't want to stick my arm in that water, so I tied a water bottle to the skimmer pole and filled it that way. My test results weren't totally shocking, notably the CYA given the state of the pool and the previous owners love of dry chlorine, but I was a bit surprised by the pH and TA - is that normal for a neglected pool? It has been raining a lot. FC:0, pH:~8.4, TA:130, CYA:~110, CH:270, Salt:2600. I didn't strain the water before doing the CYA test, so I wonder if it's testing high - but I have to say the water I collected was pretty clear.



    I turned on the pump and had moderate success running it. It was having trouble self-priming, so I added bucket of water to the pump chamber. This helped, but there still seemed to be a lot of air in that chamber. I saw a video where a guy was trying to clear a line clog by messing with the main/skimmer valve. I don't know if I have a main drain - I can't see to the bottom - but I went looking for a valve and found this Jandy here. The lines are unlabeled. I experimented with both, eventually getting the skimmer running, but since it didn't operate consistently and the skimmer draw was never strong, I have low confidence in which line is which or how the valve works.




    I collected a bunch of gunk in the skimmer, so I cleaned out the baskets and tried my first backwash. The backwash hose is not very long. The only area I can get the hose to saturated very quickly. (The photo doesn't show the puddles very well, sorry.) This concerns me because my CYA at 110 means I'm going to have to drain a good deal of water -- a third of the pool -- to get to 70 or 80. I'd really like to hear some stories about drainage. If I dump 5k gallons of water on the lawn I can't imagine it won't seep onto my neighbor's yard. The area is coastal, and very flat.



    When I first got the skimmer to run, the return (I think it's the return) was generating quite a lot of bubbles. The jet was somewhat wheezing, not a constant stream like I'd expect. Messing with that main/skimmer valve some more I found I was creating a lot of pressure in the pump, because twice it spit at me. Maybe I need to tighten the pump cover better? Or I didn't backwash long enough? (Possible.)




    I can't say what the pressure level was, because the pressure gauge is toast. It contains water and reads at 60 with the pump off, even higher with it on. I'm interested in purchasing a quality gauge to replace it. Will something like this work, or is the +/- 1% accuracy thing overkill? What kind of tape do I need to purchase when installing this gauge?




    I've noticed the ladder of this pool is disconcertingly rusty, which surprises me. I'd think everything should be made of waterproof materials. Although I intended to try it, I did not manage to vacuum to waste. I found an old pool hose and a very worn vacuum head in the shed, but I can't see to the bottom of the skimmer. Is that how it's traditionally hooked up? This pool used to have a Polaris, all that is left is a the Polaris netting and a supposedly-broken booster pump that is disconnected from the plumbing but still hooked into the breaker box (and it makes noise like it's running when you flip it). Oh and also, maybe I need a new skimmer basket.





    Still figuring this all out. I'll begin recovery of the pool in about three weeks when I move in. Lots to do!
    15K gal IG plaster pool Hayward Pro-Series Sand Filter S244T Hayward SuperPump 1HP Age: Old but "recently renovated" Mineral Springs MS10 SWCG (AquaRite ancestor) Taylor K-2006 Test kit + 1766 Salt Test Leaf eater My green to clean story: Proud owner of a glorious swamp! (LOTS of photos)

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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    A few random points,

    First on the pressure gauge you linked to, there are MUCH CHEAPER options that will work. I have had good luck getting good quality filled pressure gauges similar to this off ebay for $5-$15. And dave at TF-Testkits sells one for about $11, which while probably not as good as the Wikia brand gauge, is more than good enough.

    Second, As soon as you get things settled and have the critical pool stuff repaired and under control, I would suggest replacing that SuperPump (or at least the motor) with a 2 speed unit, it will likely pay for itself in electrical savings within a year.

    Also do you have an overview shot of the equipment, the close ups are good, but seeing all of it helps.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    It looks like it's going to be a pretty pool when you get it cleared up!

    I don't have a lot of experience as far as all that equipment is concerned, but for backwash hoses, they are available in different lengths and I don't know if it's "proper" but I had a cheap 50' hose from lowes but it was ending in the middle of my side yard and flooding the area (mostly the neighbor's part, luckily I don't think they ever realized I was causing that. lol)

    Anyway, I looked into getting a longer hose but being the cheapskate that I am, I didn't want to spend $40 on a 100' from the pool store.

    I bought a second cheap one ($15) from lowes and found a coupler type thing in the plumbing section and I used that with a couple hose clamps and extended the hose i already had. It's now long enough that it goes almost to the curb and it's in a much better area to drain away.

    I'm not sure on the strength of my connection/coupling. For my pump setup it is fine but for a stronger pump maybe this is a no-no. Someone with more experience than me will probably know that though!
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Also do you have an overview shot of the equipment, the close ups are good, but seeing all of it helps.
    Here are some wider shots of the pool plumbing. I can't get a really good shot thanks to this bizarre fence with the eye-of-the-needle doorway.





    The (booster) pump on the platform is hooked into the breaker through the grey tubing, but disconnected from the plumbing system. I found the the schematics for the VariFlow valve, so I understand which lines are waste, return (salt cell) and pump. But coming into the pump is that Jandy valve with two lines - can I presume this means I have a main drain and this valve selects the percentage pulled from it and the skimmer? The right angle line goes into the Jandy valve in the port marked "inlet." The other port is not labeled. Which is the skimmer line?

    There's a fourth line coming out that is stubbed off. I gather that's the disused Polaris vac line and used to connect to the booster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    First on the pressure gauge you linked to, there are MUCH CHEAPER options that will work. I have had good luck getting good quality filled pressure gauges similar to this off ebay for $5-$15. And dave at TF-Testkits sells one for about $11, which while probably not as good as the Wikia brand gauge, is more than good enough.
    To be honest, Delirium330 and several older TFP threads have scared me into thinking I should buy a sturdier pressure gauge or risk replacing the gauge every season or worse. The gauge I linked to is probably 3x the price of a comparable model that has only 2.5% accuracy, e.g. this one. I was just wondering if that level of accuracy is necessary.

    While I'm on pressure, do I need to do anything to reduce pressure in the system before replacing the pressure gauge? Loosening the pump basket cover seems to do that, but I wonder if I'm just asking for a plate to the face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    As soon as you get things settled and have the critical pool stuff repaired and under control, I would suggest replacing that SuperPump (or at least the motor) with a 2 speed unit, it will likely pay for itself in electrical savings within a year.
    This pump is aged and probably will present us with an "opportunity" to upgrade to a two-speed well before we're ready.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beens View Post
    I don't have a lot of experience as far as all that equipment is concerned, but for backwash hoses, they are available in different lengths and I don't know if it's "proper" but I had a cheap 50' hose from lowes but it was ending in the middle of my side yard and flooding the area (mostly the neighbor's part, luckily I don't think they ever realized I was causing that. lol)
    That's completely my concern. My neighbor has a much nicer and better landscaped yard than mine, flooding his yard and driveway with 5k gallons of scummy pool water is a great way to introduce myself, I'm sure. I've got a 1HP pump on it, but it didn't seem to be flowing out so strong to blow a coupler, so I may mimic your backhose extension approach and dump the water into different parts of the yard.
    15K gal IG plaster pool Hayward Pro-Series Sand Filter S244T Hayward SuperPump 1HP Age: Old but "recently renovated" Mineral Springs MS10 SWCG (AquaRite ancestor) Taylor K-2006 Test kit + 1766 Salt Test Leaf eater My green to clean story: Proud owner of a glorious swamp! (LOTS of photos)

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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    On backwash hoses, you can buy old 1.5 inch fire hoses off ebay for $25+ in 50-100 ft lengths, these are often out of service date hoses that spent their whole lives in emergency cabinets and were never used. These hoses are MUCH more sturdy than the cheap blue plastic hoses, and don't tend to cost that much more.
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    This is going to be a fun one to watch due to buying a test kit BEFORE having to told to! SWEET!

    Go ahead and shop around for you best price for chlorine now. That way you will be ready to buy when you can think about lifting something other than a box LOL.

    Good luck and keep the pictures and posts coming!
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    On backwash hoses, you can buy old 1.5 inch fire hoses off ebay for $25+ in 50-100 ft lengths, these are often out of service date hoses that spent their whole lives in emergency cabinets and were never used. These hoses are MUCH more sturdy than the cheap blue plastic hoses, and don't tend to cost that much more.

    Ooh, I love this idea! Something good from ebay always sounds good to me!


    And btw, I think that fence around the pump really is weird too! Were the people living there before you very skinny? lol
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    What Isaac said about the backwash hose. I initially bought a inexpensive blue vinyl one and it lasted about 2 weeks before it split open down the side. I now have a eBay 40 dollar firehose and it should last for many many years. Money very well spent.
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    A couple of things for clarification, on pressure gauges, I was not suggesting getting one of the cheaply made ones, but often over priced "pool" gauges, but a quality built gauge, just one that might not be the gold standard Wikia, or if so bought as a surplus item on ebay, etc. The low cost gauge that Dave sells at TF Testkits should not be thought of in the same light as the "cheap" pool gauges that need frequent replacement. Absolute accuracy is not that important, but good precision helps, meaning you should not really care if you are at 17 or 19 psi, but should care a bit about a 2 psi rise.

    Ike

    p.s. on the fence, I suspect that big Air conditioner? unit was not there when the fence was built, but probably a smaller one like the one next to it was in that place.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Beens View Post
    I think that fence around the pump really is weird too! Were the people living there before you very skinny? lol
    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    on the fence, I suspect that big Air conditioner? unit was not there when the fence was built, but probably a smaller one like the one next to it was in that place.
    I have to assume Isaac is right, but that suggests the pool is much older than I expected -- because that's not a young AC unit in there. It also implies the AC mechanic who installed the unit was the skinny one.

    Also, great idea on the firehose!

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Go ahead and shop around for you best price for chlorine now. That way you will be ready to buy when you can think about lifting something other than a box LOL.
    I checked out and was subsequently disappointed by the selection at the local Lowes and Home Depots. Bleach options were weak. Neither had much useful in the pool supplies section, dry acid, lots of stabilized chlorine, no liquid chlorine anywhere. I'm kind of surprised that there are no stores that tailor to BBB pool maintenance.

    I've located Walmarts, Targets, two "Dollar" stores, and two different pool stores -- I'll be hitting those up in my supply hunt when I return to Mt Pleasant. We're heading to Atlanta tomorrow to finish up work and pack boxes. Less than three weeks until the move! Thanks for the comments, everyone.
    15K gal IG plaster pool Hayward Pro-Series Sand Filter S244T Hayward SuperPump 1HP Age: Old but "recently renovated" Mineral Springs MS10 SWCG (AquaRite ancestor) Taylor K-2006 Test kit + 1766 Salt Test Leaf eater My green to clean story: Proud owner of a glorious swamp! (LOTS of photos)

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    Re: Proud owner of a glorious swamp!

    I've been reading up on draining the pool, and I have to say this is making me little nervous. This is my first pool. I don't know if this pool has a hydrostatic valve, and I can't see to the bottom. I don't know what the water table is for my area or how to interpret that reading to know I'm safe from the shell of the pool floating up. The arcgis water table data seems to max out at 175cm which doesn't make sense to me. I'm fairly certain that I can't drain to the sewer clean out without permission from the water authority, and I may not have a clean out anyway because the original portion of the house was built in the 60s. The pool is on a half acre property five minutes from the coast, so I wonder if I can contain the drainage to the front or back yards and how long it will take to drain 5K gallons with a 1HP pump and the filter set to waste. Further, I keep reading about recommendations to rent a sump pump for draining: is that preferable to using the pool pump? I would appreciate some advice, or possible soothing, dulcet assurances from those in the know.
    15K gal IG plaster pool Hayward Pro-Series Sand Filter S244T Hayward SuperPump 1HP Age: Old but "recently renovated" Mineral Springs MS10 SWCG (AquaRite ancestor) Taylor K-2006 Test kit + 1766 Salt Test Leaf eater My green to clean story: Proud owner of a glorious swamp! (LOTS of photos)

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