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Thread: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

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    Question Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Pool was set-up and mx last year using the includeded pump with cartridge filter and BBB, at end of season I simply drained to level of lowest hose and left valves open to prevent cracking during freeze. I just got around to looking at it this week (It's May, I know) and it was almost black and really smelly. I drained as much as possible, and probably have around 50gal of disgusting stuff left. With my spouse deployed, I can't physically disassemble the pool to completely empty the remaining sludge and scrub the liner. From what I have read, my best option is to just refill it and take a week or two to clean it up. I bought a new filter (info below) that should be sufficient for the job, but am unsure of which order of events is least costly and time consuming, while being most effective. I have read everything I could find here about opening a green pool, starting use of SWG, and have a decent understanding of chemistry in general. I will list the tasks I think need to be completed below, in the order I thought I should do them. Please let me know which steps I am leaving out, which steps are not needed, and which items need to be reordered and why.

    I have at least ten lbs of dichlor, a few lbs of CYA, tons of baking soda and borax, and a bottle of algaecide lying around. I'd like to use that stuff up when it might be useful at any point in the process. I also have 100 lbs of filter sand and 120 lbs of salt for setting up the SWG. This will be my first time using a sand filter, my first SWG, so other than scanning through the set-up instructions, I have no idea how it works. I also just realized that the test it that was supposed to be in the box with the new system are missing. This leaves me with one bottle of 6 way test strips, a solution kit to test pH and cl, and a wide-range pH test kit. Do I need to head to the city tonight to buy anything else before I start (re)filling the pool tonight or tomorrow? Thanks in advance for any assistance!


    The Plan :

    Fill pool (contains 50ish gal of nasty right now)

    Set-up and attach new Sand filter/SWG

    Add liquid bleach to shock level using pool calculator, start and continuously run pump, backwashing (to waste and replacing water and bleach) every few hours or as needed, until water looks more "dirty pool water" than "swamp"

    Vacuum to waste whatever may be settled in the bottom and replace water

    Adjust alkalinity (baking soda to buffer pH still applies with a SWG, right?), then pH, then return cl- to shock level using dichlor (Have 10+ lbs of it laying around),

    Run filter to let things settle (how long?) Should I also add salt and run SWG on Boost here?

    This is where I get completely lost and have no idea about what to do.

    When do I add stabilizer? I know it should be after I get rid of the initial sludge, but does it need a week to dissolve before I start using the SWG? I can't remember how much CYA each pound of dichlor added last year, but I assume I will need to add additional amount since 99% of the volume will be new water.

    I figured I would run a day or two with just bleach to kill the cooties and get rid of most of the gunk. It seems pointless to add any other chemicals when I will just be backwashing constantly and wasting/replacing water.

    I feel like I am forgetting steps and/or not doing things is the most efficient order.

    I have never been concerned with copper levels. Is copper level something I need to be concerned with in these first few days while I am trying to get it cleaned up?

    Additional info: Pool is in direct sunlight from dawn until an hour before dusk when it gets partial shade from a tree. Temps are expected to stay between 70-90f for the next week, with a 30% chance of brief rain tomorrow afternoon. I have a new solar blanket on hand, I figured I can start using it once I get this all done.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Do you have any handyman type friends or neighbors that can loan you a wet-n-dry shop vacuum for a couple hours? That would get rid of the sludge in the bottom and save you days and days of work and lots of bleach.

    You should relax a little. Clean out what you can with a shop vacuum or a leaf rake, fill the pool up. Get the pump running, note the clean pressure, and filter for an hour. Test the water and post results. Someone will be along to guide you if pH or TA need adjusting. Once that's set, add the bleach and fumble around with the CYA. You might be able to use up some dichlor IF the pH and TA are high enough to absorb the acidity. That's why you should post test results.
    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: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    I'm not sure if this matters but thought I'd share just in case...
    I know I need to spend the first few hours of the proecss brushing everything and adding chlorine every 30-60 minutes. I did brush and wash most of the pool as surfaces became exposed during draining it yesterday. The only time I am able to do that is starting around 2130,
    a.k.a. the time the kids are usually off to dreamland. I figure I can have it fill all day tomorrow. By time I can start in the evening, the waterline will be at least above the in and outflow hoses allowing me to start running the pump so I can add chlorine. I just realized I do need to go buy whatever is used to test salt level, and likely more salt as well, before whatever point the salt needs to come into play.

    I was just thinking about the CYA thing and wondering if I should start adding it after the first few hours so that it can start the long process of dissolving. I don't want to add it too soon and need to use a lot more chlorine, but I also don't want to start adding it too late and end up needing to buy that much more chlorine to get me through the time it takes to work.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Thanks for responding! I don't have access to a shop-vac. I was planning to climb in there with a broom, a bucket and a boatload of patience once I get my kids to bed tonight. There are things swimming and crawling around in there so I'm a little creeped out, but know it will be worth it.
    You're definitely correct about needing to chill out. lol I think I am just really nervous about dealing with all new equipment for the first time while trying to tackle Nessie's loch. When I had time to do this sort of thing by trial and error, I was never worried about the details this way. I think I am also afraid of somehow breaking the new pump since I am not familiar with it.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.manchester View Post
    I'm not sure if this matters but thought I'd share just in case...
    I know I need to spend the first few hours of the proecss brushing everything and adding chlorine every 30-60 minutes. I did brush and wash most of the pool as surfaces became exposed during draining it yesterday. The only time I am able to do that is starting around 2130,
    a.k.a. the time the kids are usually off to dreamland. I figure I can have it fill all day tomorrow. By time I can start in the evening, the waterline will be at least above the in and outflow hoses allowing me to start running the pump so I can add chlorine. I just realized I do need to go buy whatever is used to test salt level, and likely more salt as well, before whatever point the salt needs to come into play.

    I was just thinking about the CYA thing and wondering if I should start adding it after the first few hours so that it can start the long process of dissolving. I don't want to add it too soon and need to use a lot more chlorine, but I also don't want to start adding it too late and end up needing to buy that much more chlorine to get me through the time it takes to work.
    That's why you test the water. If you happen to have high pH and high TA, you can use that leftover dischlor instead of bleach for the first few doses and raise CYA almost instantly. But it depends on test results. Dichlor is very acidic.

    Again, if you can borrow a shop vac and remove the sludge, even if it delays the fillup a day, it will still save time overall.

    The salt comes after the pool is clear and balanced using bleach. You might be backwashing a lot and end up pumping your brand new salt out on the lawn, wasting money. When the pool is swimmable, you dump the bags of salt in and tell the kids to go play with it. They can scoop it up and scatter it and swim through the crystals or whatever.
    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: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    For the cost of the bleach to clean that muck up if you can't borrow I'd suggest buying one. It will likely be a wash with what it would take in bleach to kill what's in that sludge as a cheap harbor freight shop vac would cost plus you have the vac for around the house and the pool for the years to come. That or take a couple buckets in there, a broom and a dust pan and bail it out. You will be much better off getting that stuff out and starting with as clean a pool as you can.
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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    I just hopped on to order a test kit and thought it might be a good idea to get your opinion. I am not a fan of test strips, but I do have an unopened bottle of 6-way strips, new bottles of reagent for OTO, and a buffet of pH testing material. Can I get by using what I have on-hand until my T-100 arrives, or would you guys recommend I order a Taylor kit through AmazonPrime to get me through the next week? Also, should I order a salt test kit, or do you think can I trust the SWG?
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by a.manchester View Post
    I was just hopped on to order a kit and thought it might be a god idea to get your opinion. I am not a fan of test strips, but I do have an unopened bottle of 6-way strips, new bottles of reagent for OTO, and a buffet of pH testing material. Can I get by using what I have on-hand until my T-100 arrives, or would you guys recommend I order a Taylor kit through AmazonPrime to get me through the next week? Also, should I order a salt test kit, or do you think can I trust the SWG?
    TF test kits is in NC. You'll probably have it in a day or two without having to pay overnight rates! The stuff you have will be good enough to get started. The kit will be there before things get critical, I'll bet.

    I have no opinion on salt test strips, since I don't use a SWG.
    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: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Great! For the first time in my seven years living here, it's a big bonus.

    I just finished mucking out the sludge. I have the stomach of steel earned through being a nurse, and deal with my 14 month old's diaper changes every day, and it was still a real fight to keep my dinner down. Definitely a learning experience that will have me out there raking and skimming to get that pump running the moment it thaws every year from here on out. I think I will hit the liner with a 1:5 bleach solution and brush again before I start filling it in the morning. Any final words of wisdom before I get the party started? Thanks again for your sharing your expertise and advice. I have already stopped most of the freaking out. Knowing you guys are here to help makes me a lot less worried about thing going disastrously.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Is there a special trick to uploading pics? I tried from my computer, using the little "insert image" button, but it repeatedly prompted a message that said "upload of file failed."
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amy.M View Post
    Is there a special trick to uploading pics? I tried from my computer, using the little "insert image" button, but it repeatedly prompted a message that said "upload of file failed."
    I've found it to be fussy about sizes.

    Here's the alternative http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...oto-s-Tutorial
    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: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    If you have a smart phone and take pictures with it, you can install the Tapatalk app and access this forum through it. It makes sharing smart phone photos pretty easy. Options!

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    This is where I was last night before I climbed in with my bucket, cup and broom. At this point I had drained it, brushed and sprayed the walls and added water a few times to get the water level high enough to reach the (ridiculously placed) drain plug. I had watered down and drained enough times that it was finally green instead of black.



    Here is where I am now.


    I scooped out as much of the yucky stuff as I could, then repeatedly sprayed down the liner with a bleach solution and brushed rinse, repeat...making sure to get in the seams well. When I was leaving last, I sprayed down all interior surfaces one last time with the bleach solution just for good de-cootie-fying measure.

    Am I okay to start filling?

    It's funny how giddy I feel seeing that clean liner. Even more so since I expected to have to spend the next week using the pump and chemicals to clean up green chunky water.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Fill 'er up!

    If you pause at a few inches and put the kids in, they can work out any wrinkles by pushing. I know I've read it and seen pictures recently. Hopefully someone who knows what that depth is will chime in and tell us.

    PS: Here's one.. Post 13

    PPS The other scroll down a bit in post 1
    Last edited by Richard320; 05-30-2014 at 09:53 PM. Reason: PS
    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: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Here goes nothing...just turned on the hose.

    I'll test the water tomorrow as soon as it's full. Our water is very soft, with pH around 6, with nothing practically nothing in it as far as minerals and metals go. I made sure I am starting with the cleanest parts possible, but I am still assuming I would behoove me to be prepared to deal with algae right off the bat. In which order do you suggest I add chemicals? I have been reading pool school and forums a lot today, but didn't see and clear answer on this. I think last year I started with bleach, immediately followed by baking soda, then added borax a day or two later. I honestly can't even remember when I added any CYA. The pool was a mess before the week was out. I was in and out of the hospital and on some pretty potent meds at the time so it's all rather fuzzy. Years of having tropical fish proved it's a bit tough to steady pH, and our chlorine content straight out the tap is lower than what's legally required. Which should be my priority tomorrow?
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Post a full set of water test results and we can tell you what needs adjusting and in what order.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    This stuff was a disaster.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Why was it a disaster?
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    Finally got the Quikrete mess cleaned up and filter running a little over an hour ago. My T-100 also arrived this morning.
    Current number are Cl-0, CH-50, TA-40 and the pH I am unsure of. I have done over 20 pH tests, using five different tests, from a few different samples. The Taylor reagent in the T-100 keeps giving a result of 7.8. Two of the other tests were strips (medical grade) and two using liquid reagents. The results form them were all 7.0 or 7.2, with each test being consistent with its result. I have never had a reading anywhere near as high as the Taylor reagent is giving when using on untreated water. Ideas?

    Note: I would trust the reagent from the T-100 more than what other kits I have on hand. They were purchased from a big box store, so I think it's possible that they weren't always stored in the best conditions during shipping and display. It's the dependency with the medical strips that has me stumped. I have tested them against lab equipment; they were dead-on accurate.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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    Re: Please help! Open a swamp, how & when to use new sand/SWG combo and chemicals?

    It was way too fine. When I noticed that it didn't have a # on the bag, I asked the guy at home depot if they had any other options for filter sand and he said no. He assured me that this was the #20 silica sand I needed. It was even finer than the quikrete playbox sand I have used. This is my first contact with a sand filter so I ignored my gut and loaded up the filter with it anyway. Luckily, I powered up the pump for the first time backwash, so it didn't go into the pool. Within 10 seconds of turning on the pump there was a 30lb mound of sand on the ground. I had to drive to the nearest open pool store (an hour away) in a mad rush to get there before closing. Luckily I beat the clock and was able to buy #20 filter sand. Had to take apart, empty and clean the whole filter, but to seems to be working great now.
    5K gal, 16'X4' Intex Ultra AG, Intex 3in1 - 55 lb Sand Filter, SWG, 1600 GPH (Model-CS15110), T-100
    Central NC. Military family.

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