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Thread: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

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    Question Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    Hello TFP!

    My wife and I bought a house recently, and are doing a big remodel before we move in. The house has a pool, and my goal is to keep the pool from turning into a swamp during the remodel.

    Before the construction started, we enjoyed many pool days, and I learned enough to keep the FC, pH, and TA right on target, which I did religiously, and the water stayed beautiful.

    Once construction started, the power was cut from the pool equipment. (The whole garage that housed the pool equipment is gone now, with the pool equipment just sitting there on a small patch of remaining concrete, with no power anywhere near it anymore.) So I added 3 lb of dichlor granules and the pool was covered with a giant plastic sheet. I've been adding 2 lb of dichlor every week or two to try to keep the FC level up, but it stays low at about 0.5ppm. I've probably added about 12lb dichlor total, over the past 2 months.

    Yesterday I removed the cover since I was worried it was making the pool too warm, and because I wanted to start running the pool robot since there's now power for the construction crew that I can tap into (although not for the main pool pump yet). There were tons of leaves at the bottom of the pool that had fallen past the cover at the very edge of the pool, and the pool is looking slightly cloudy and green. (I can still see the bottom just fine, but I don't like the green haze.) I scooped out most of the leaves (all I could get to), and ran the robot, which stopped running after just a few minutes when its filter bag was thoroughly sludged. I added 3 lb more dichlor. Today the pool still looks the same, and I was unfortunately unable to test the FC level.

    After reading lots on this site tonight, it sounds to me like I should test the CYA and FC, and possibly stop using dichlor if my CYA levels are high, and use bleach instead. Does this sound right? Any other suggestions?

    But taking a step back, since I don't plan to use the pool until the construction is done which will realistically be March 2015, how do you recommend I handle this? Should I just let it grow whatever it wants, and then deal with it in the spring? Should I jump on this now to avoid horrible problems like black algae? Should I focus on getting the main pump and filter back online?

    Bonus fact: right before closing up the pool for construction, 2 ducks spent a few nights at the pool and pooped in it multiple times.

    Thanks very much for your insights and help!
    Ben
    14,000 gallons IG plaster/pebble
    Hayward c5025 Cartridge filter with variable speed pump
    iRobot Verro 300 Pool Cleaning Robot
    ozone, low-chlorine from a feeder, and small amount of copper
    ~6 year old pool, but I'm a new owner.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    Your idea that the dichlor may be driving up the CYA is a good one. Plus, I would be afraid that the granules sitting on the bottom with no circulation to speed dissolving would stain/pit the bottom of the pool. Plus, without a way for the chlorine to mix it is just sitting in one spot.

    The key to your issues is circulation and chlorine. You need to get that pump running several hours a day to circulate the water and keep the chemical levels up.
    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

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    Without circulation, filtration and adequate chlorine, you will not be able to keep out algae for that long. I think you have two choices.

    1. Find a way to keep the above things in your pool.

    2. Let it go and start over. It'll be a big job but nothing that can't be done.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    I'd buy a test kit, dose an appropriate amount of chlorine based on your current CYA, cover the pool, and forget about it until you have a pump and filtration again. If it is green when you are ready down the road, you'll be able to clear it up then.
    10,000 gallon in ground diamond brite, Circupool si30+, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Flotec single speed pump

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    Re: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    Update: Interesting test results today:
    FC: 0 pH: 6.2 TA: 120 CYA: 0

    The 0 CYA after 7 years of dichlor makes me wonder if I'm seeing evidence of the elusive CYA->Ammonia bacteria. I guess I should grab an ammonia test kit!
    14,000 gallons IG plaster/pebble
    Hayward c5025 Cartridge filter with variable speed pump
    iRobot Verro 300 Pool Cleaning Robot
    ozone, low-chlorine from a feeder, and small amount of copper
    ~6 year old pool, but I'm a new owner.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    Was the water circulated before it was tested? Water that has not been circulated in a long time will not test correctly. Using granulated chlorine is not a good idea when the pump is not running. The granules will sink before they completely dissolve and can damage plaster over time. Stick with liquid chlorine, pour it around the perimeter of the pool and brush the sides and floor to mix it in.
    TFP Moderator
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    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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    Re: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    Maybe one of the more experienced members can verify this, but I recall reading that an opaque cover will keep algae at bay. Maybe something that is bigger then the pool and held down by water bags to keep the leaves out. Essentially winterize it like you are in the great white north except without lowering the water or plugging the lines.

    A cover would also reduce water loss due to evaporation.
    16' wide ~20,000gal IG vinyl lazy L shape pool circa 2002, 1hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward H250ED2 gas heater, Hayward eVac Pro robot, Stenner pump for chlorine, TF-100 test kit
    2008 Gulf Coast 864 LEi hot tub

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    Re: Upkeep while pool is closed during a house remodel

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I managed to get the pump and filter up and running. That plus a few gallons of bleach has the water nice and clear again. Although I think I need to clean the filter cartridges now, since the pump is pulling more watts than it did before it turned the murky water clear. Besides that, I think I'll just do minimal maintenance until it's time to open the pool back up again.
    14,000 gallons IG plaster/pebble
    Hayward c5025 Cartridge filter with variable speed pump
    iRobot Verro 300 Pool Cleaning Robot
    ozone, low-chlorine from a feeder, and small amount of copper
    ~6 year old pool, but I'm a new owner.

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