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Thread: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

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    New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    My wife and I bought a new house this past September that has a pool. We bought the house through foreclosure and the pool has not been opened for at least the past 2 years. No one in my family has ever had a pool, so my knowledge is next to nothing. The pool is inground, 20'x40', approximately 30,000 gallons, and is vinyl (I think?). The pool is treated via a cartridge filter and has 5 return jets positioned around the pool.

    We hired a pool company to come and open the pool this past weekend. They dumped a whole bunch of chemicals into the pool and charged me a bunch of money. After 48 hours, I took a water sample to the local pool store and had the water tested. They analyzed the water and sold me $300 worth of chemicals. I've dumped most of the chemicals they gave me into the pool. I will give them credit in that the pool went from a solid green to a hazy green, and the shallow end of the pool you can almost see the bottom. I stumbled upon this website this morning, and now feel a little foolish. I feel like I've wasted a bunch of money trying to get my pool clear when all I really needed to do was get a test kit, and bleach the #%& out of the water. I have ordered the TF-100 test kit which should get here by the weekend. After I test the water, I will post the results and get started on treatment.

    My question is what should I do while I wait the test kit. When they opened the pool, they dumped 10 lbs of shock. After I got the chemicals from the pool store, I dumped an additional 13 lbs of shock and also added an algeacide, PH reducer, and some other chemicals. I have 15 lbs of BioGuard smart shock left over. What should I do while I wait for the test kit? Another question I have is about "backwashing" the filter. What actually does this entail? I've cleaned my cartridge filter 3 times so far, and I can bypass the filter and discharge water straight to the ground. Is this backwashing?

    Below are pictures of my pool in its current condition.






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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Backwashing is done to Sand and DE filters - not Cartridge. Can you post a pic of your equipment pad? Sounds like you have a waste valve so you can vacuum to waste, that would be helpful for clearing the mess.

    Don't add anymore of the "smart" shock - it's Dichlor and could possible complicate your situation down the road. Can you go back to the pool store - have them test - but resolve not to follow their advice or buy anything? Maybe with their results - even though probably not accurate - we can have a starting point with which to help you. The other option is to purchase an HTH 6-way drop based test kit from Walmart - about $20 and test yourself.

    The folks who opened it... did they scoop anything out from the bottom? Have you brushed the pool? I would start there and see if anything green comes floating up.

    Welcome to TFP!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Welcome!

    We can walk you through this. Your pool is way better looking than some we've had. I'm assuming you're frustrated and in a hurry? Good, then I'll cut right to the key to it all: accurate test results. You can waste time studyinmg the comparisons in Pool School, or just jump over to http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html and order up a TF100. You'll need the XL option since you're starting with a mess, and if you buy the speedstir, you won't regret it. It's not mandatory, though.

    Next, since you can't even get a rough estimate of test results as mom recommended tonight, how about some inspirational reading?

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...glorious-swamp
    !
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...28-TFP-Success
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ool-is-winning
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ark-Green-Pool
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...st-give-up-Can
    First Time Shocking with Bleach
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    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.
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    They got you covered. If you can return the chemicals for a refund, do that. If not, chlorine pucks and powders will keep forever if you keep them dry. You can use them in the future for vacations, or if the chemistry calls for their use.

    Follow Richards links, and spend lots of time in pool school. Doing anything now without results is a waste of time and money. Given the state of the pool now, a few more days of neglect won't change anything. Learn as much as you can while waiting for the kit, and you'll hit the ground running with your first test results.
    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
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Thank you for the responses. I will post a picture of my pump and filter system tonight. The one thing I haven't seen addressed on this site is regional differences. Is there anything I should be watching out for as I'm in the Northeast? Is the presence and growth of algae reduced due to the cold winters? I can't wait to see a sparkling clear pool!

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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by joem32543 View Post
    Thank you for the responses. I will post a picture of my pump and filter system tonight. The one thing I haven't seen addressed on this site is regional differences. Is there anything I should be watching out for as I'm in the Northeast? Is the presence and growth of algae reduced due to the cold winters? I can't wait to see a sparkling clear pool!
    Algae won't grow much below 60 degrees so in the fall you want to keep the pool open until the temp drops below that.

    You found the right place ..... I (and many others here) started right where you are with no knowledge at all. In the few years that i have been here my water has been great and i have managed to diagnose and repair a kinked flexible hose below my skimmer and a floating liner. On top of that i now understand pool water chemistry!
    21,000 gallon inground
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    I would start netting out the debris from the bottom of the pool.
    210k gallon pool, IG Plaster, (2) marathon 7.5 hp motors, (6) Triton sand filters, Test Kit Guardex 4-in-1 Plus DPD & Taylor K-2006, Baby pool 6in deep round with stand alone sand filter.

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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by bbenjamin View Post
    I would start netting out the debris from the bottom of the pool.
    I second this. Even scooping out blind will work. With a pool that dark I doubt the pool guys spent the time. The water will use more chlorine and take longer to clear with solids on the bottom. Waiting until the water is clear enough to SEE the bottom just prolongs the process.
    TF-100 Test Kit, 28,000 gallon IG , 3M quartz plaster '09, 48 sq ft DE filter, Heat Siphon SX5HP heat pump '09, Polaris 360 '10, Protect-A-Child safety fence

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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    What best to use for scooping leaves out from the bottom? I have a leaf skimmer. Do I need a leaf rake?

    I have brushed the pool multiple times and have used the leaf skimmer to pick up as much as I can from the surface.

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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Leaf rake sounds like a must-have to me. Might be possible to brush 'em up and catch 'em in the leaf skimmer but that seems like a lot of work.

    We really need goats with SCUBA gear to walk around the bottom of the pool and eat the leaves. Somebody get to work on that, OK ?
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Welcome to TFP joem. Sorry you got pool stored but you're here now and it can't happen as long as your educate yourself and use your reliable test kit. You are in control now.

    As others have suggested and given you links, read them. It will help you so much in understanding how and why pools act the way they do when they have chlorine and when they don't. It all comes down to chlorinating and you can do that with regular unscented bleach. Pool School is where it's at.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    A leaf rake definitely works better than a regular skimmer! It took me a long time to get one. I used to just dig around with the regular flat skimmer. Don't know why I never thought to just buy the leaf rake! I am so glad I did. I just have one that I got from lowes. Not particularly heavy duty. My pool isn't very big or deep.

    I even use it for skimming now when the tree starts dropping a lot of garbage on the top. The fact that the net is deep instead of flat makes a huge difference!

    I *love* it!

    This is the one I have. http://www.lowes.com/pd_102911-1003-...mer&facetInfo=

    It's a cheapy though and I know there are more heavy duty ones available. I think people with deeper/bigger pools sometimes have problems with the cheap ones since you have more water to lift through? I'm just extra careful. lol
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    I picked up a leaf rake and 15 bottles of 8.25% bleach last night. It looks like my test kit won't get here until the beginning of next week. I plan to scoop out all the **** on the bottom tonight. Can I start adding 1 bottle of bleach a day just to maintain the status quo? Is that a waste of time? Based on the pool store results (unreliable, I know!), prior to dumping 15 pounds of "smart" shock, the CC was 1.8 and the FC was 0. This was after dumping in 10 lbs of smart shock 48-hrs prior.

    I have now stopped all treatment except for keeping the pump/filter on 24/7 and scooping out anything floating on the surface with a skimmer.

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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    A bottle of bleach each day would likely help a bit. If it was my pool, I would do that, adding it each evening unitl you can post good results.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    So you mentioned adding at least 25 pounds of "smart shock" which is dichlor. That has added 50ppm of stabilizer (CYA) to your pool which is the upper limit of the recommended range. If you did not start at zero, then you CYA may now be too high and require replacing water to get it lowered back to a workable range. So often we see pool store advice result in making the problem worse like this.

    Please stick to bleach from here forward and lets hope that your CYA is not too high when your kit comes in.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Until we know for sure what your CYA level truly is...I'd not recommend blindly adding bleach because if your CYA comes in too high, the only way to lower that is by draining/replacing some water...and if that is the path you need to take, you've just wasted $$ and bleach needlessly.

    I'd recommend not adding anything to the pool until we have accurate test results. Just run your pump, brush, brush, brush and scoop away debris right now.
    24' Round Above Ground - 13,500 gal, Cartridge Filter, Installed on 5-7-14, First Time Pool Owner! TFP True Believer!

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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    I've spent all weekend cleaning the pool and removing all the leaves and stuff on the bottom. The pool is looking more clear, but I still can't see the bottom in the deep end. The Test Kit is being delivered tomorrow!

    One question I do have is regarding my pool size. The pool guy that came to open my pool said it was probably ~35,000 gallons. I think that is much bigger than it is.

    The pool is 18' wide x 37' long, is 3' deep in the shallow end, and 7.5' deep in the deep end. Just taking those measurements, I get about ~26,000 gallons. Now, the deep end has sloped sides. How should I factor the side slopes? Should I just call it 25,000 gallons?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Not uncommon for people to estimate high on the pool volume. I would try 25k and see how your chemical additions go. If you are consistently over or under shooting your targets, then adjust the volume.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    Ok, I got the TF-100 in the mail and I have the results:

    FC: 1.5
    CC: 5.5
    TC: 7.0
    CH: The water turned purple, not red... I stopped after adding 7 drops of R-0012.
    TA: 160
    CYA: 0

    Everything was pretty intuitive, but the CYA test did not make sense. I did it 3 times to make sure. I could still barely make out the dot when the view tube was full. As I stated earlier, a 10 lb of "shock" was added to the pool by the pool company. I added a 5 lb of "Super Shock" and 8 lbs of BioGuard Smart Shock. At a minimum, shouldn't my CYA be like ~25?

    Just to reiterate the test, i filled the mixing bottle up to the label with pool water, filled to the top of the label with R-0013, mixed together and let sit for 30-60 seconds. Mixed it again, and then poured the mixture into the CYA view tube. Did I do anything wrong? One issue I had is with the mixing bottle. Am I supposed to be able to pour the mixture out of the top? After I took the red cap off, I couldn't squeeze anything out so I unscrewed the cap and poured it that way.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner With ZERO Pool Knowledge

    You have to cut the tip off

    Well, the high CC and 0 CYA are 2 things that point to ammonia in the water. Still surprised with all the powder added your CYA is still low ... might have active bacteria.

    Search the forum and you will find a lot of threads this spring with ammonia. Solution is a LOT of bleach. Target 10ppm of FC and test again in 30 minutes, repeat until the CC go away and the FC starts to hold. Then add 20-30ppm CYA and continue the SLAM Process.

    - - - Updated - - -

    What was the pH? Make sure that is in the lower 7s before starting.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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