My wife and I recently bought a new home. We thought we were buying a home with a pond, but we actually bought a home with a pool – a disgustingly dirty pool. The pool is an 18’ x 36’ oval, 3’ to 8’ deep with a vinyl liner; approximately 21k gallons. And it was filled with a thick green soup covered with a nice froth and sprinkled with freshly fallen leaves. Immediately upon taking possession of our new home, I covered the pool with the heavy canvas pool cover provided by the previous owner. We have six little ones 10 and under running around, so I wanted to take the water out of the safety equation. And this is how the pool remained for three months while we settled in.
About a month ago I contacted several local pool supply stores to inquire about cleaning and maintenance. While many of the employees were polite and helpful, the experience left me with serious concerns – mostly about my wallet. Additionally, I found that many of the people that I spoke with understood their products, but lacked an understanding of the chemistry involved. The line was, “Bring us a water sample and we will tell you what you need.” As an engineer, that doesn’t sit well with me. At my previous job I used to maintain a several electroplating baths (nickel, copper, and gold) – some fairly complicated chemistry at times. So, I figured that I should be able to manage the chemistry in a swimming pool. So I went online to search for information and that’s when I found Trouble Free Pool.
This forum has been a huge benefit. Three weeks ago I installed a new Katch-a-Kid net and began the cleaning process. The pool had been neglected and uncovered for more than a year; possibly more than two. It is located in the shadow of numerous large trees, so there was a nice thick layer of sediment decomposing at the bottom. We purchased a new pool net, extension poles, and a leaf vacuum, and got to work. The first thing that I did was pump out half of the water while scooping out leaves and debris. The many frogs who lived in the pond/pool were none too happy. Many of them died from shock – literally. Then we refilled the pool with fresh water and continued scrubbing. We also replaced the sand in our filter and rebuilt the Hayward valve. And over the past two weeks we have shocked, settled, and vacuumed the pool twice.
Last week I purchased a Taylor test kit and started working on the chemistry following the guidelines that I have found here on TFP. This morning’s results - FC = 4.4, CC = 0.4, pH = 7.0, TA = 140, CH = 30, and CYA = 40. And the water is crystal clear. I loosened the fitting on the pump inlet just enough so that it is sucking some air in order to aerate the pool a bit and bring up the pH. I know that’s not the best solution, but it’s what I had time for and hopefully we will be enjoying our new pool this evening.
We have never owned or maintained a pool before. And we went from a disgusting frog pond to a beautifully clear pool in just two weeks. And TFP was my only source of information. Thanks guys! Keep up the great work.