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Thread: Low Ball Bid on the House Worked - Now a New Pool Owner

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    Low Ball Bid on the House Worked - Now a New Pool Owner

    We have yet to close the deal, but I've already received the suggested test kit from tftestkits.net.

    Because I have absolutely no experience with pools (other than swimming in them and kiddie pools when the kids were young), I had the local pool company perform the inspection (22 August) when we had everyone else out. They reported the following:

    • Light needs replacement.
    • Sand filter pressure is too high at 35 psi.
    • Water level is too low.
    • No drain at the bottom.
    • Might have some mustard algae problems.


    I've gone over twice since then. Once to re-fill the pool and try out the new test kit. The other (today - 04 September) to backwash the sand filter in order to lower the pressure and try the test kit again. I wanted to double check my readings before posting here.

    Before I present my test results and thoughts, I wanted to note that the pressure reading was about 50 psi. After backwashing (which I had to cut short because the pump was starting to suck air because it only draws from the skimmers), the pressure dropped back to about 35 psi.

    I also found 5 evil white pucks (EWPs) in the skimmer basket which I left in place.

    So my readings are:

    • FC: 50 (yes, five zero)
    • pH: 6.8 (don't trust these values too much b/c of high FC)
    • TA: 70
    • CH: ??? (after 70 drops the solution was still clear. We have very hard water here)
    • CC: 0
    • CYA: Approx 150-200. (It was far below the 100 line and the test kit appears to have a log scale)


    First my thoughts:

    • Looks like I'll need an approximately 3/4 water change. 200 / 2 / 2 --> 50ish
    • The guy who is watching over the pool for the owner *loves* EWPs.
    • I'll need to purchase a sump pump for the water change given that I have only skimmer drains.
    • I'll probably need another backwash or deep clean to bring the pressure down.


    And now the questions:

    • Is it better to do the water change all at once or does that stress the pool too much? New plaster, but I see cracks and gaps that I'm saving for another post.
    • Is it normal to not have a bottom drain?
    • Given that I don't have a bottom drain, I think I'll need to purchase a pump for winterizing. Correct? Any suggestions for a pump?
    • My wife wonders if it will be safe to swim in the pool given the readings? We have a lot of dirt in the bottom that might well be algae.


    I still have my old house to prep and sell, so I can't devote a whole lot of time to the new house (and pool) yet.

    Thanks again for a wonderful community and a great site.
    24K IG plaster pool with Hayward S310S sand filter, 2 pumps, skimmers only

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: Low Ball Bid on the House Worked - Now a New Pool Owner

    Welcome to the forum

    Please add the pools info to your signature as outlined here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started

    That is an awful lot of chlorine even for the high CYA level. Until the CYA is reduced and you have a recommended level of chlorine in relation to the CYA I would recommend you not swim in it.

    Once you move in I'd take those tablets out of the skimmer as they can over time damage the skimmer and or the pipes from the excessive chlorine that builds up when the pump is off. They are also ADDING CYA as they dissolve so they are making you drain more and more water the longer they are in there.

    I use a submersible sump pump for mine and it should work for you. Something like: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Superior-...1250/204589831

    Since it's all new to you I'd start out with a "deep clean" of the sand filter. It very likely needs it and it's one thing you can then cross off the list of things to check to see why the pressure is so high.

    There are some different ways to drain and fill that would make replacing that much water safer for the pool. I wouldn't recommend actually draining it out and then refilling. Would be safer to drain some from the shallow end and fill into the deep end. The cooler temperature of the water coming from a hose will help keep it down in the deep end and you drain off warmer water from the shallow end.

    Depending on how much hose you have and the landscape/lot you might even be able to just get a siphon going with a garden hose and not need a pump.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
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    Re: Low Ball Bid on the House Worked - Now a New Pool Owner

    Hello OKAllen, and welcome to TFP,
    Congratulations on the new house and we hope your move is done with as little problems as possible.

    Seeing as how you already have a recommended test kit and have included all your info in your signature, we can get on to some general thoughts and hopefully answer your questions.

    At this point I'm not sure how reliable the test results are, because I'm getting the indication that the pump has not been run enough to mix due to low water level. So my recommendation is to fill with water first and get pump running.
    Doing a thorough backwash immediately to lower the pressure should also be done. For future reference, backwash should be done when operating pressure is 25% over clean pressure.
    After your pump has been circulating for half an hour to an hour, retest and repost your results if they are different.

    Yes, getting a sump pump to pump out water to lower CYA and for winterizing would be very helpful, or to speed up the process, you could rent a larger pump. If you bought a pump, another good use is in case your pool pump malfunctions at a later date, you can then use the sump pump to circulate the water to keep sanitizer mixed in.

    Is it better to do the water change all at once or does that stress the pool too much? New plaster, but I see cracks and gaps that I'm saving for another post.
    Is it normal to not have a bottom drain?
    Given that I don't have a bottom drain, I think I'll need to purchase a pump for winterizing. Correct? Any suggestions for a pump?
    My wife wonders if it will be safe to swim in the pool given the readings? We have a lot of dirt in the bottom that might well be algae.
    Large water changes should be done in stages, and using a sprinkler on hot sunny days will keep the plaster moist to keep from creating other problems.
    All of the pools that i have seen do have a bottom drain, but as i understand, there are a few members here that do not have one.
    It is safe to swim up to SLAM level as long as you can see the bottom of the pool. Reason being that if someone becomes helpless or incapacitated they can be seen from the surface for assistance. SLAM level can be found HERE.

    On last thing, take a look at Pool Math. Once you get to know how to use it, it will become your best friend.

    Again, congratulations and we look forward to hearing from you.
    Randy H.

    Intex 18' X 48"
    G.A.M.E. Sandpro 75 Sand Filter (Single Speed 3/4 HP, 75 lbs sand, 2650 GPH, 7-way valve)

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Low Ball Bid on the House Worked - Now a New Pool Owner

    How about a couple of pictures of the pool equipment, it may help some visualize what you are dealing with.

    In addition to kiss4afrog's great comments here are mine:

    If it is new plaster, is it a new pool or a refinish? You may want to check out the Start-up New Plaster page in Pool School

    Check for a closed valve to a return or some water feature. With my pool if I turn off the waterfall the pressure goes through the roof as the returns can't handle the volume of water being pumped from my single speed pump.

    I'd see if they will let you take the tabs out of the skimmer now. Talk to the neighbor and explain that the chlorine is already too high and needs to come down a little.

    With the FC so high they are effectively conducting a SLAM for you, so I'm guessing that the stuff on the bottom is dirt. Do you have a vacuum hose and accessories? Can you vacuum to waste?

    At this point in the year I'm not sure I would worry about most of it. Check the water temperature. If it's already dropping it may just be time to learn to winterize and close it down for the year. If it has a vented cover you should get lots of free water in rain/snow over the winter to bring that CYA down.
    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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    Re: Low Ball Bid on the House Worked - Now a New Pool Owner

    You may want to get a more accurate reading on CYA level by doing the test again with a diluted water sample -- add one part tap water (or distilled water) to one part pool water, run the test, and double your result. See also this thread, for a more official explanation:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...Kit-Directions

    If/when you replace water, an accurate CYA number will be helpful.

    The pH may well be VERY low (6.8 being the bottom of the color range on the typical test kit; moreover, high chlorine makes the pH test read falsely high). I don't know enough about plaster pools to know whether low pH in itself is bad for the pool or equipment -- maybe something for you to check into.

    I wouldn't swim in the water with that much FC and the unknown low pH (swimmers in our pool start complaining about stinging eyes if the pH goes below 7.3).

    edited to add:
    I'll certainly defer to experts here who know much more about plaster pools, but, especially since you mention new plaster, maybe it is important to consider whether your water -- with the levels you measured -- is bad for the pool itself. If you play with PoolMath:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html
    you'll see that your CSI number is probably quite low. Low pH makes it go further out of the proper range. What I don't know is whether it is important to address this with any urgency.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Low Ball Bid on the House Worked - Now a New Pool Owner

    Thanks for the responses. I have some pictures on my phone I'll post next time, but some quick notes. I'm in class and have to dash this off.

    • Pump is single speed not on a timer and is always running when I come over, so I think the pool is well mixed.
    • The plaster is far over a year old.
    • I will probably tell them I'll take over on the maintenance.
    24K IG plaster pool with Hayward S310S sand filter, 2 pumps, skimmers only

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