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Thread: New owner of another neglected pool!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    New owner of another neglected pool!

    Hello, first post here at TFP!

    My wife and I bought our first house and it came with an above ground pool in the backyard. Neighbors said it wasn't opened the summer before we moved in.

    After taking some measurements I would venture to guess that the pool is between 10,000 - 15,000 gallons. (Maybe around 13,000) (I'll measure again!) (Curved ends)
    Hayward Pump, Hayward sand filter (I just replaced all of the sand with new sand from the pool store and re-piped with 1.5" PVC)
    In-line chlorinator coming from the pump into the pool.
    One skimmer, one jet.
    Chlorine = 3" Jumbo Tabs from L*****'s Pool (Trichloro-s-Triazinerione)
    Shock Type = Chlor-Brite from L*****'s Pool (Sodium Dichloro-s-Triazinerione Dihydrate)

    Soooo I opened the pool and it was a SWAMP (Black water) complete with a ton of frogs that I'm sure our neighbors were fond of (noisy buggers). I scooped leaves for weeks with no end in sight and got the pump running. L******'s Pool told me I needed Green out and a few packets of shock. I used those, water changed to a green, not black. That's where I stayed...
    I took them two different water samples and got two completely different results. The first time I bought lots of chemicals, the next time I was told I needed more chemicals to counter act the ones I had put in! So I did a little research and found that I needed my own test kit! One visit I was told my TA was 500ppm to add acid, next visit I was told that must've been a typo "They probably meant to put 50ppm", and that I needed soda ash... That was it for me!

    I bought a K-2006 FAS-DPD test kit. All I tested at first was my Ph and my TA. (Looked to be the most important)
    My TA was way low so I want to buy some baking soda hoping this would help the PH too... I put too much baking soda and now my TA is kinda high. (I read this is better than too low) (The water is starting to clear up!) (I pointed my jet up into the air to make bubbles and aerate the water because I read that helps bring down TA)

    So I finally did a full test and my head is spinning!

    I need some help from the experts! What is the first thing to fix? How do I fix it? What chemicals will impact the other values? Etc. Etc. Etc. (I was ready to tear it down the other day!)

    FC: 22ppm (high, low, good, bad?)
    TC: ?
    CC: Unclear on the test procedure, do you use the water from the FC test or new water? FC test water stayed clear, new water didn't turn pink, turned yellow.
    PH: 7.2 - 7.4 (Surprised!)
    TA: 44ml test took 30 drops (300ppm?). Went to blue then goldish color. Re-did test with 10ml, took 8 drops, so 200ppm?
    CH: Red for hardness, 160ppm
    CYA: Black dot disappeared at the letters "CYA" on the test. So, 100+ ppm ?

    So that's about where I'm at...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated guys! Thank you!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    BH (Saratoga Area), NY

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    I'm a newbie myself but since I had pump filter issues since the time I opened the pool and before switching to a sand filter my pool was very swamp like. I spent all the time I had with the leaf rake and vacuum. Then I had to switch pumps anyways so I drained my water about two feet below the return line which I think helped a lot when it came time to SLAM. (and oh yeah, I'll throw out the first "you need to SLAM").
    Upstate, NY, Direct Sunlight, Above Ground (18'x 33' x 4'), Oval 15700 gallons, Vinyl; Hayward S180T sand filter; 1 HP motor; TF-100

  3. Back To Top    #3
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    mrcarcrazy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Odessa, TX

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    Step one: IMO, dilute the pool water for the CYA test (before adding reagent) 50/50 with tap water. Then retest. whatever result you get...double it that's apporox your CYA level. I hope it's not 100 again.
    replace enough water to get this down to a reasonable number (per pool math

    Once CYA is 30-50, Look up your SLAM level based on your CYA.( Test your FC, and pH. Make sure pH is within range. Don't worry about the TA, CH for now.

    Buy lots of bleach. (12-15gals to start. DO NOT ADD ALL THIS AT ONCE....add it as needed to maintain your SLAM/Shock level.)

    SLAM per the instructions in "pool school" ( Once you pass the 3 criteria you're done. Now you can let the FC fall back down to the recommended range. and then test all levels...

    regarding the CC test: you use the same water as the FC test. Right now I wouldn't even bother testing CC given you have a swamp, you know there's CC.

    oh, and if you haven't found it yet. Read everything in "Pool School" 2-3x, or as many times as it takes for you to feel moderately comfortable in your comprehension. Then read it once more. You can beat the green monster, it will be easier if you avoid the advice of pool store employees. . Many here have been where you are, and you can beat it!
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

  4. Back To Top    #4
    zimm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Northern Virginia

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    Well I'll jump in here. The first problem is your CYA is off the charts from using those jumbo tabs (that contain CYA!). CYA doesn't just go away, you have to drain water off and replace. So if the pool is as bad as it sounds, why not drain it, clean and scrub it, and refill. Then you can save a few hundred dollars in the bleach it'll take to fix that mess. Read up on CYA in pool school.

    Start here:

    Read up on recommended levels and pool chemistry. 22 is high, but about right for a SLAM. But if you look at the chlorine/CYA chart, 100 CYA=39ppm chlorine to shock. You're probably over 100, which means you have so much stabalizer, that the chlorine can't do it's job. In the end you need some CYA, enough to keep the sun from burning off the chlorine, like 20-30- but you have to get that level down before the SLAM process with eat up all the algae you have.
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
    Pool School + Test Kit + Pool Math = Trouble Free Pool

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Lewisberry, PA

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    Good advice so far. If indeed you are doing the CYA test accurately, it is showing way too high! Take the time to learn how to do the test properly. It is not difficult just tricky at first. The only way to lower your CYA is to drain the pool. If you are going to drain water, I would recommend you pump to waste and vacuum as much "gunk" out of the pool as possible. Brush and drain as much as you can. You will need to be careful not to drain your pool too low. Above ground pools are designed so that the walls resist water pressure from the inside out. Draining too low and you could collapse the pool or your liner could shift. As you are refilling and cleaning, read through all the threads in Pool School.
    Your goals for now should be:
    1.Get your CYA level somewhere between 30-50 (drain and refill)
    2.Adjust your PH to proper level
    3.SLAM pool until all conditions are satisfied to stop. (read pool school)
    Good luck and welcome to TFPC!
    Please make an attempt to learn the method, read through Pool School and understand pool chemistry, any member will be glad to help you out. It's very frustrating when someone wants to go into this blind. We'll be glad to help out!
    16,000 gallon Oval Vinyl Liner Pool (new liner 2014)
    Custom built in 1999 to be half in-ground and half out (sloped yard) vermiculite bottom, laser sighted to Florida Room and Deck
    Purex Triton Model cc100 Cartridge Filter, 100 gpm flow rate, Penfair 1HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Columbia, SC

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    First thing, stay calm

    All of this is going to seem overwhelming. Take it one step at a time and you will reach your goal.

    Next, stop adding shock. You have a swamp and until you get your numbers and start your SLAM you are just wasting money putting it in the pool. Aslo, order additional reagents for your K-2006 to conduct the FC test, you are going to need a lot.

    The next issue to address as has been pointed out is the CYA. 100 is the limit of the CYA test, so you have to do a diluted test. While the full instructions are in the Pool School, here is the short version. Mix 50% pool water with 50% tap water. Use this mixed sample as your test water. If still at a 100 you will need to dilute more. Here is a great chart by JamesW to explain dilution rates and what you multiply the results by to get an approximation of your CYA level.

    Pool water......Tap or distilled water.........Multiply result by


    You will then need to do a water exchange to get your CYA down to a reasonable level. What is reasonable? Well Pool School teaches you that.

    By the time you get the CYA in line the FC should be down below 10. You can't test pH above 10 and pH is your next step. Check and adjust the PH to between 7.2 and 7.5. The PH test isn't reliable during SLAMing so make sure to take care of this before you start your SLAM.

    Check to see if stores in your area sell chlorinating liquid (also called liquid shock). Pool stores and some big box stores sell it. If the price is reasonable (as compared to bleach) you want to consider using it as it has a higher concentration of chlorine.

    If you have all of this you are now armed to SLAM your pool. Guessing at numbers or trying to take shortcuts is jut going to muddy the waters

    Did you get a theme in my answer? Pool School. We want YOU to understand what you are doing and why. It's easy to follow directions but you should have the poer of knowledge. the knowledge to care for your pool.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Chapin, SC

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    When I did my first cya test I never did see the dot. I wasted about 21ml of reagent by the time I finally found my cya to be 350. My suggestion is for you to start at 3 or maybe 4 to 1 diluted sample as Tim shows in his table above. That should help you to avoid using too much of your r-0013. If the black dot totally disappears above the 90 line you should be able to get a decent estimate of what your cya is.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    Thank you to everyone who replied and sorry for the massive first post!

    I will be reading Pool School this evening!

    I'll start with a diluted CYA test first and go from there!

    I'll reply when updates are available.
    Approx 13,000gal Outdoor, Above Ground, Vinyl. Hayward Power Flo LX and Hayward Sand Filter.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    TrevNJPool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    Why not go the easy route? Drain it, clean it then refill it? I've read so many swamp pool posts here that if I was in the same position as you I would start over. You can probably save weeks/month and lots of dollars if you just drain and clean. 13,000gal would take maybe a day to 2 to fill.
    If your worried about it caving in, put a couple braces in. If you dont want to drain it all the way, drain 3/4 of it and clean it then. Im new here so I may be way off base but it seems right to me.
    40x18 Lazy L Rectangle
    29500gal IG w/ vinyl liner
    HAYWARD S244T 300lb sand filter
    Hayward Super Pump 1 1/2hp

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    Good luck and get ready to exercise some patience! My pool was really dark green / black when I started and by following the guides and advice here my pool is now clear and balanced! (It did take 3.5 weeks though)

    My setup is the same as yours and approximately the same size.. Just to give you an approx time frame... But each pool is different.... And the more time you can spend I your pool during the early stages of SLAM the better!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    16x24 AGP~11,500 Gal--- Vinyl Lining --- 3/4HP Hayward Pump --- Hayward EC40 DE Filter

  11. Back To Top    #11
    wjr75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Re: New owner of another neglected pool!

    I would drain and clean and refill. Leave a foot in the shallow end when draining. Half the summer is almost over and you will be swimming in a few days. just my .02
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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