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Thread: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

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    New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    I bought a house in November. This house has a small in-ground pool that looked very nice when we looked at the house. As my location is in northern Indiana and November may as well be winter, I had the previous owner close the pool. It appears this consisted of him draining the water about halfway and putting a large tarp over it.

    It was 32 earlier today but I'm hoping in the upcoming weeks the temperature increases such that I can use the pool. However, I have never owned a house, let alone a house with a pool. I have a bunch of chemicals in the garage and some equipment that I think I know what it does, so I'm pretty sure I have everything I need.

    But my biggest question mark is about draining and refilling the pool. There is some disgusting-looking water sitting on top of the tarp. I have a pump permanently installed next to the house. There is (what I thought was) an intake hose in the garage, plastic. There is a flimsy blue (presumably) outlet hose coiled up next to the pump. But there are also a number of pipes going underground from the pump in the direction of the pool.

    I need help figuring out how to get the water clean. Do I need to buy a special pump just to get the water off of the top of the tarp? I have a sand filter, but how do I check it and how do I change the sand?

    I'm OK using chemicals at least at first, since I have a ton of them in the garage. Boxes full, actually. I don't know what any of them actually do, but I may as well use them.

    Can I then just fill it with a garden hose?

    Here are some pictures:

    The pool (with nasty water on top):


    The pump (still under a tarp):


    Another picture showing the hoses going underground


    I think the water comes out here, but where do I put it?


    I have this in my garage and I think it's related.


    Once I uncover everything I'll post more pictures. It might stop raining this weekend and if it does I'll do just that.

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    I don't know what any of them actually do, but I may as well use them.
    Yikes!! Don't do that. Never put anything in your pool when you have no idea what the outcome will be.

    Can you see the pool water under the tarp? If so, is it really gunky or reasonably clean? If it's reasonable, you probably would do well to get a separate pump to remove that water from the top of the tarp.

    That thin blue hose is a backwash hose and DOES NOT put water back into the pool.
    Dave S.
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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Welcome to TFP! You will find a lot of help and instruction here.

    First things first, everyone will tell you to spend some time reading up in pool school, linked at the top right of every page, to become familiar with equipment and techniques.

    To address your nasty water on the tarp, check to see if you have something like this laying around - pool cover pump: http://www.poolsupplyunlimited.com/D...FZBxOgodhHAA0w (I have no experience with this vendor, just the first picture I found) Whatever you do, dont let that water get into the pool.

    You will want to get a pool leaf rake like you see in the list of equipment http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...pool-equipment to remove the debris from the tarp while you are draining it.

    That white coiled hose is a vacuum hose which tells me you probably also have a vac head and a telescoping pole somewhere. The previous owner may have put all the various small pieces that are removed at closing in a box in the garage, do some investigating. You are looking for plastic plugs and pieces that make up the return jets etc.

    That blue flimsy hose is a drain hose, used when you back wash the filter or drain the literal pool.

    The picture of the hoses going under ground clearly shows that you have a valve to mix/direct intake from your skimmer (pipe marked with an S) and what is most likely a floor drain. The pipes behind those are the return lines sending water back to the pool. Looks like you also have a booster pump of some sort.

    I would strongly suggest you research each of the chemicals in your garage and gain a full understanding of what they will and wont do to your pool before you begin using them. You have them, but they didn't cost you anything either, yet...... Post up pictures and details from the labels, we'll give you info on what they are and whether they are recommended.

    Please read up on the pool testing kits here and order one ASAP. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison That will be one of your best investments and get you on the right track to a beautiful pool.

    Feel free to come back with questions at any time.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by jtaves85mcss View Post
    Welcome to TFP! You will find a lot of help and instruction here.

    First things first, everyone will tell you to spend some time reading up in pool school, linked at the top right of every page, to become familiar with equipment and techniques.

    To address your nasty water on the tarp, check to see if you have something like this laying around - pool cover pump: http://www.poolsupplyunlimited.com/D...FZBxOgodhHAA0w (I have no experience with this vendor, just the first picture I found) Whatever you do, dont let that water get into the pool.

    You will want to get a pool leaf rake like you see in the list of equipment http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...pool-equipment to remove the debris from the tarp while you are draining it.

    That white coiled hose is a vacuum hose which tells me you probably also have a vac head and a telescoping pole somewhere. The previous owner may have put all the various small pieces that are removed at closing in a box in the garage, do some investigating. You are looking for plastic plugs and pieces that make up the return jets etc.

    That blue flimsy hose is a drain hose, used when you back wash the filter or drain the literal pool.

    The picture of the hoses going under ground clearly shows that you have a valve to mix/direct intake from your skimmer (pipe marked with an S) and what is most likely a floor drain. The pipes behind those are the return lines sending water back to the pool. Looks like you also have a booster pump of some sort.

    I would strongly suggest you research each of the chemicals in your garage and gain a full understanding of what they will and wont do to your pool before you begin using them. You have them, but they didn't cost you anything either, yet...... Post up pictures and details from the labels, we'll give you info on what they are and whether they are recommended.

    Please read up on the pool testing kits here and order one ASAP. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison That will be one of your best investments and get you on the right track to a beautiful pool.

    Feel free to come back with questions at any time.
    Thanks for the help so far. I didn't mean to imply that I was going to just throw all my chemicals in the pool and see what happened. I'll figure out what I need and post what I have when I get them out.

    I'll look around for that small pump. I haven't seen anything like it, but that doesn't mean I don't have one.

    I think I do have a van head / telescoping pole. I didn't know the hose went to that. What is that for?

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    The hose would connect to the skimmer so the pump can draw suction and vacuum the bottom of the pool into the filter system or to waste.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by shivan000 View Post

    I think I do have a van head / telescoping pole. I didn't know the hose went to that. What is that for?
    This would be for regular maintenance when the pool is open. Just like vacuuming in the house! (ok not exactly lol) Pics up debris that has fallen to the floor of the pool and sends it through your filter (or sometimes straight out of the pool bypassing the filter but that's only if there is a big cleanup to be done and hopefully you won't have to worry about that option!)

    Welcome to the forum!
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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Welcome!

    You've certainly got a project ahead of you. I doubt you'll have it all sparkling clean before Memorial Day, but you can have it pristine and have the care and feeding mastered before Fourth of July. Send out invitations now for the big party now, so you'll have some incentive to get moving.

    First things first: get that cover off. Is that an optical illusion, or does the yard slope away from the pool? If you don't have a small sump pump to do it easily, and can't borrow one from a neighbor, can you siphon some off?

    Then drop the garden hose in and start filling. There will be at least one opening in the wall of the pool. That's the skimmer. The water should be about halfway up it. While it's filling, take a look inside the pool. Are there all kinds of leaves and branches in there? Can you even see through it? Look for a leaf rake in the stuff they left behind while it's filling. In fact, dig around and compare what you see with the Encyclopedia, so you know what you have.

    Oops! Forgot the REAL first step. Get a proper test kit coming. You can read the article in Pool School, or just skip it and order this with the XL option. You'll really like a speedstir, too. Nobody who has one regrets spending the money on it. I make no money off this, it's what I use.

    Back to where we were. The pool is uncovered and filled. There may be plugs in the plumbing openings in the pool that you'll need to remove. There may also be loose plugs in the pump, heater, and filter from winterizing. Untwist that cover on the pump and look inside the basket for them. You may need a mallet or something to get that cover loose.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Alright. What I've done so far: Purchased a small pool cover pump for $50. 500 gal/hr capacity, though it seems to be going very slowly.



    I also pulled the tarp off of the pump so I could see what exactly I have:





    I have a mechanical timer in the basement attached to the 220V pump.

    I talked with a pool guy, and it sounds like once I get the bad water and the tarp out of the pool, I shock it every 12 hrs to kill the algae, and I do this until the water is a milky white. Then I put some other chemical in there that will cause the dead algae to coagulate into balls, which I can then retrieve. Does this sound about right?

    How do I check the sand on that sand filter? The guy showed me how on a model with side ports, but mine has top ports and I'm not sure how to do it.

    Here is what the pool looked like in the fall:

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    I see some progress!

    You'll have lots of fun figuring out where all those drain plugs go! Don't ask me for help - my pool gets maintained year-round.

    You shouldn't need to check the sand. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If all they did was drain the water out at the end of the season, it should be fine. The stuff was millions of years old when they bagged it up.

    You'll need to decide right now if you'll follow our methods, which is to say, test yourself and add only what the pool needs from the cheapest, most convenient source -OR- blindly dump in a bunch of stuff based on the say-so of someone who hasn't tested the water. What's your CYA level? What's he going to use to "shock" every twelve hours? If it's dichlor or trichlor, they both add more CYA to the water. Do you need it? What is the Calcium Hardness level? The other "shock" powder adds Calcium. Do you need that or not? And what exactly is this other chemical that causes things to ball up? What will it do inside your sand filter?

    If you're willing to do a little reading to understand what's going on and invest in a proper test kit and put in a little time doing your own testing and treatment, we can help. If you try to mix and match what we preach versus the pool store methods, you'll end up unhappy and frustrated and confused.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    I'll test it once I get the cover off. I'd like to go cheap, but I also have boxes of chemicals in the garage I can use for free. So that's also cheap.

    What's this forums recommended method of getting rid of algae and other green things?


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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by shivan000 View Post
    I'll test it once I get the cover off. I'd like to go cheap, but I also have boxes of chemicals in the garage I can use for free. So that's also cheap.

    What's this forums recommended method of getting rid of algae and other green things?

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk
    We call it a SLAM. It's a prolonged but controlled high chlorine level, as opposed to a one-time liner-bleaching megadose of chlorine commonly referred to as "shocking the pool" that usually only slows the algae down without killing it all.

    Here's some good reading: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...parkling-Oasis
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Ah hah, that is good reading, but it's also very confusing. I'm sure I'll need some help when I get to that point.


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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Help!

    I got most of the leaves out, and the pool is filled. The water is still swampy but I'm trying to turn the filter on to fix some of that.

    I have the pump running, but the pressure gauge on the sand filter isn't moving. Water is flowing through the pump though, I can see it.

    Water is coming out of my two jets. However, there is no activity at the skimmer so I can't tell where it's coming from. I've had the ball valve set to both positions and neither one makes water get sucked in through the skimmer.

    I have the pump running right now. I rinsed and backflushed in when I started.

    Thoughts?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Did you remember to remove the winterizing plug from the skimmer?

    Try tapping on the gauge with your fingertip. If it's broken, you're working blind. New gauges are cheap and not much harder than changing a light bulb.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    LIke Richard said, check the pipe on bottom of skimmer to see if its plugged. If it not plugged...

    How high up the skimmer is the water level. If its fairly high up, it might be hard to see water moving in there.
    Also is there a trap door just inside the front of the skimmer?

    The water from the returns HAS to be coming from either the main drain, or skimmer or both. Has to.

    do you have a ping pong ball? Drop it in front of the skimmer and see if it gets sucked in. If you dont have a ping pong ball, a leaf will work
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Haha I didn't realize there was a plug in the skimmer. It's sucking more.

    Pressure gauge still doesn't work though. Guess I know what I'll be buying tomorrow.


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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by shivan000 View Post

    I think I do have a van head / telescoping pole. I didn't know the hose went to that. What is that for?
    Make sure you check out the pictures of equipment in the Pool School section. It will help you identify what you have, what things are called, and what they're for. Also I found it helpful to check out lots of videos on YouTube on how to vacuum the pool (that long vac hose you have). Not all videos will apply to your own pool type and equipment so you have to be aware of that and take it into consideration.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: New house with pool, complete noob. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by shivan000 View Post
    Help!

    I got most of the leaves out, and the pool is filled. The water is still swampy but I'm trying to turn the filter on to fix some of that.

    I have the pump running, but the pressure gauge on the sand filter isn't moving. Water is flowing through the pump though, I can see it.

    Water is coming out of my two jets. However, there is no activity at the skimmer so I can't tell where it's coming from. I've had the ball valve set to both positions and neither one makes water get sucked in through the skimmer.

    I have the pump running right now. I rinsed and backflushed in when I started.

    Thoughts?
    Now that you have the skimmer working - do you have a good test kit ( most of us here use the tf100). Don't trust the pool store to sell you a good one, they almost never carry a drop based kit and usually don't know what it is. You can see my signature, Richards or just about anyone else for the link to get the to 100. ( go XL with the speed stir!).

    Once you have the kit post up your results and we will guide you through the slam process. Hopefully we can make use of the chemistry you have on hand to some degree. Do plan on buying a fair amount of bleach from Walmart or where ever you can find it cheapest ( watch the concentration, 8.25 and 6 are the most common, either will work just account for the percentage when figuring the cheapest one).

    Chris
    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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