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Thread: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Okay, so we winterized our pool ourselves last year and I don't know what we messed up but when we opened it this spring, it looked horrible. I think the cover had a leak in it actually, and all of the leaves that decayed and made the water in the cover brown sank into the pool too. It was crystal clear and beautiful when we closed it and now it looks like tea and has some horrible staining where the water line was. Pictures below.

    image
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    I was googling like mad and under the impression that my best bet was to drain and acid wash, so it's draining now. But after reading here I'm starting to hope... do I have a chance of fixing this without draining and acid washing it?

    We drained it last summer to patch holes/cracks in the plaster. It is an in-ground gunite pool. We have a DE filter. This is our second summer in this house, the pool was built in the 90's I think. We have a chlorinator thing but I don't think it's working. We're planning to get a salt chlorine generator thing because our current chlorine generator is huge and ancient. We just added chlorine tablets to it last summer.

    We did shock it and blow out the lines when we winterized last fall. It was free of leaves/dirt and looked great.

    FC is 0
    residual chlorine is 0
    PH is 7.8

    I don't think my kit tests the other stuff. I'm going to have to take a sample into a pool store if you need that info. I'm more worried about the staining along the edge and whether that is something I can fix without acid washing or if I'm doomed. It's not coming off with simply brushing it vigorously.

    This is how it looked last summer after all of the work I did on it. It was so pretty! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...9&l=09b5da67db
    I seriously wanted to cry when I opened it a few days ago.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Welcome!

    Well, ordinarily I'd say we can help you clean it out, but maybe not in this case. The stains are probably organic from decaying leaves, and will fade in time with enough Free Chlorine in the pool. But that might not be until closing next fall. Second, if you were chlorinating with pucks, you'll most likely have astronomical CYA values which will involve a partial drain anyway.

    So a drain and wash are probably a good idea. If you never ever want to go through it again, wanta crystal clear sparkling pool all season, and a half hour opening next season, we can help. Do a little reeading in the forums, check out pool school. If you think you'd be willing to take control, get a proper test kit to deal with the fresh water when it gets refilled.
    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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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Hi, welcome to TFP! I want you to try a couple of things before committing to an acid wash. Get some vitamin C tablets and rub them on the stain. If the stain comes off you can do an ascorbic acid treatment. If that doesn't take the stain up try rubbing a chlorine tablet on the stain. If the chlorine lightens the stain you can use liquid chlorine to do the SLAM process . It may take some time but the stains would eventually go away.

    Do you use well water in your pool?
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Welcome to TFP!

    You can clean the pool up but you'll need a better test kit. You can check them out here Test Kit Comparison.

    You can also look at the SLAM process which will clear your pool... SLAMing Your Pool
    and Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis.

    You can find other helpful links here Pool School.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Okay, so I ended up trying chlorine on it while waiting for this to post. I bought 20 gallons of bleach and dumped some on the top step while it was draining. That took off the staining almost immediately! I cannot tell you how thrilled I was!

    It looked like this when I tried it:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...9&l=3183560e19

    I decided to drain it to just below the stain line and went around the pool a few times with chlorine and brushing in between each application (with water from the pool to rinse it a bit). After the second time around, it looked like this:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...9&l=d9fabe02ce

    So, after all of that, I now have it refilling so I can get the filter and Polaris robot running so I can get all that organic matter cleaned up. I am so, so relieved that I'm not going to have to acid wash it! I returned all of that stuff and bought some new lawn chairs instead! I am definitely going to keep reading here and educating myself. This forum is an invaluable resource! I'm so glad it is here and I have the collective wisdom of you all to draw upon. My husband had a pool growing up and he thought he knew what he was doing but I think we both have a lot to learn!

    Thank you all so much!

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Lets hope you won't forget to snag up the TF100 to make your pool testing reliable and easy!

    The pool cleared FAST in those pics!!!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    We did not fill it with well water. It was filled with city water here in Boise.

    I just ordered the K-2006 test kit. Thank you! Amazon had it for $50 and it should be here within a week.

    As for the chlorine tablets, we only used maybe 5 of them last summer. We didn't start using them until after I drained the pool at the end of July to patch the holes in the plaster of the floor (big circular chunks were missing and it was starting to separate further as a result) from the previous owners. There was a big circle on each side of the pool, right across from each other. I'm not sure how they managed that but it was pretty bad. Anyway, it wasn't until after we did the drain and refilled it that I realized our chlorinator wasn't working, so we bought some of the big discs as a temporary measure. :-/ Anyway, I will let you know what all of my levels are at after I get my kit next week.

    ETA: We were having trouble finding replacement cells for the chlorinator. I'll get pictures of it tomorrow. We had a pool guy out to look at it and he was amazed that they're still made because he hadn't seen one in 10-15 years. He went on and on about how old/dangerous they are. Turns out ours was bought in 2006 (found the receipt with all of the manuals the former owners left us) so it isn't that ancient, but I don't know that they really cleaned it all that well and it had far passed it's 5 year expected life span for the cells anyway. We want a salt water chlorine generator but I'm still trying to decide which one to get and we need to save for it, I think.

    Also, I should point out that I've only used 18 gallons of the bleach so far, and there are still leaves and such at the bottom to consume some of it so hopefully I'm not killing my pool with a chlorine overdose or anything.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Wonderful news!
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Newb, lots of questions, please help!

    Okay, so it's filled up and looking much, much better:


    Next problem: I just tried turning on the filter and the pump hums for a couple of seconds then turns off. I filled the basket and line with water to help it prime faster but the pump isn't making all the noise it normally does and isn't doing it's thing.





    There are pictures of our system. The pump booster (for the Polaris) is running when I switch it on. Just not the big, old, metal monstrosity.


    90's 16x36 inground gunite pool ~24K gal, Pentair Superflo 1 hp @230V, DE filter
    solar blanket, gas heater, city water
    Polaris pool robot
    SWG (not working)

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