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Thread: Nightmare pool & starting over

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    Nightmare pool & starting over

    Hi All,

    I have been reading the forum for a while now! I apologize for the semi unorganized post, I just don't know where to begin!

    We purchased our home 2 years ago and it has a pool. I don't want to go into all of the failures we have had over the last 2 years but keeping the pool in check has been a struggle with so much bad advice from the pool store. We are looking for a fresh start for this season.

    1) Our pump recently (days before xmas) failed. I realize it was probably a poor choice to wait this long, but we just didnt have the extra funds for the pool pump after xmas and after a major sewer line repair in early Jan. (being able to flush my toilet and take a shower took precedence) Needless to say, the pool is a mess now after the awful winds we have had the last few days. Last week it was semi-ok (I kept it clear of debris).

    Back to the pump- it is a Hayward 0.5 HP Northstar single speed and we will be replacing it with either a Pentair Intelliflo VS or Superflo VS, I think the repair guy suggested a 1.5 HP. Would you recommend one over the other? We have no water features or spa.

    2) We will be draining the pool (salt level is too high & lack of maintenance since the pump failure) within the next week. Do I drain and replace he water before we install the new pump? or after?

    3) The SWG no longer works (salt cell is bad and the controller screen no longer works) and I think we are ready to abandon the whole salt system. System specs are Hayward H-40 Chlorine generator. Any pros or cons against this?

    4) I will be ordering the TF-100 Test Kit today so I can have it by the time we are up and running again.

    5) What else do I need to purchase for the new water? I've been trying to read through pool school.

    I attached pics in case it will help with any advice.

    Thank you, I'm so lost!

    IMG_0925.jpgIMG_0924.jpgIMG_0926.jpgIMG_0918.jpg[ATTACH=CONFIG]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ~14,000 IG gray plaster pool. DE filter. Pentair Intelliflow VS Model 11018. No spa.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Welcome,

    A two speed pump might be a good option. I love my Pentair VS, but they aren't cheap on a replaement job. They are nice however.

    You might make sure the grids and seals are ok or replaced if possible. Being that old, the filter may have issues. You've likely checked that out, just covering that base.

    Drain and replace afterward. No need to put clean water in and have it go green. If you are going to do this, order up a TF-100 kit to keep things nice and tight with the chemistry. I promise you, keeping the pool beautiful and safe will be easier than you ever imagined.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Thanks Brushpup.

    I'm willing to spend the $ on the pump that will give us 1) a lower utility bill. My bill this month was about $120 less than usual without our pool pump running! and 2) less frustration. Over the past year I have begun to almost hate our pool and all our issues.

    I think last time my hubby checked the filter, all was well. But we were advised by the service guy that it will likely need to be replaced soon as well. I do think one of the seals is leaking, but I don't even know what model this filter is. The info is unreadable or gone.

    I just ordered the TF-100 kit. The pool is already a bit green. The nasty water won't harm the new pump? We have never let it get this dirty. When drained do we need to scrub/bleach it before refilling? We have also battled green/yellow algae in the last year. We can just never get it under control.
    ~14,000 IG gray plaster pool. DE filter. Pentair Intelliflow VS Model 11018. No spa.

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Welcome to the forum. Take things one step at a time. How high is your salt level? You may not need to drain the entire pool.

    IG vinyl pools are virtually impossible to convert to plaster......why do you think it's converted?

    How about a pic of the pool.....right side up.....it's very hard to read when the pictures aren't oriented.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Hi duraleigh,


    I don't remember what the salt levels were, but it was definitely recommended to drain it. I know that's not super helpful. But I would rather start fresh. We have had the pool for almost 3 years now and have always struggled! I'm hoping to change that. I don't have enough time or energy to continue this war with my pool!

    Sorry about the pics. I'm not sure how they got all out of whack. They were all taken correctly. I think it happened during the upload.

    The last owner told us it was a vinyl pool and the liner tore (it was permitted as vinyl). I don't know exactly what he did but he claimed to have dug pools as a previous job, so it was a DIY job. A little scary based on the rest of his projects. It was re-done in the last 8-9 years. He didn't own the house very long and we have owned for almost 3 years now.

    Here is a pic from both ends of the pool... Its approx 16'x32-35'ish Nearly half of it is a shallow step with water depth about 18"-2'. The deep end is about 6.5' and the narrow channel next to the step is about 3.5'. I know its a little strange, but having sich a huge shallow step is amazing for my 2yr old!





    pool2.jpgpool.jpg
    ~14,000 IG gray plaster pool. DE filter. Pentair Intelliflow VS Model 11018. No spa.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Can't tell for sure, but it does look like plaster. Either way, I wouldn't drain that. If need be, you can dilute to bring the salt down. I want to second Dave above on relaxing and taking it slow. This one won't be hard to fix water wise. We will walk you through this and teach you how to keep this nice, and again I promise you it won't be hard like it was before.

    By the end of summer if not before, you will be amazed how easy this can be. Good deal on getting a kit, because it's impossible without it. We'll help you learn it too, and honestly, its pretty easy. When you can, start in reading pool school and begin with the ABCs'. Take more little bites at a time, and ask questions here when you need too. We all had to start somewhere, and many, many, others have turned around way worse than this one. They will weigh in here too, but yours really isn't that bad I promise.

    The water, now or during the cleanup will not harm your pump in any way, so no worries there. If you can swing it, a new filter might be a very good idea. We'll find out soon enough.

    Hang in there and let us know how things are going.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Its definitely plaster, it was just vinyl once upon a time.

    I definitely have the tendency to try to get everything done at once. I just need a "Plan" of what to do.
    Step 1 is pump and step 2 is draining it.
    Step 3 acid bath if needed? and refill
    Step 4 better water chemistry and easier maintenance!

    The salt level is at least 2x what it should be, so that's the reason for draining it. We are also not sure we will continue with a salt system, since that not even currently working. We're leaning towards converting it to chlorine.

    I also have some calcium deposits on my tile. I've read a little about an acid bath. Is that advisable? I really want to get it back to where it should be.

    I will start reading through the ABC's! My kit shipped today so I can give you water readings next week.

    Thank you, Thank you!
    ~14,000 IG gray plaster pool. DE filter. Pentair Intelliflow VS Model 11018. No spa.

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Hi jmp
    man that pool isn't so bad. You have came to the right place for help. They don't call us Trouble Free for nothing! You will be up and going in no time.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    I agree, that doesn't look bad at all.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Ok, in that size pool our method for chlorine will be easy. It won't take much bleach to keep it right. When are you getting the pump?

    If the calcium is on the waterline, that can prove hard to get rid of.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Quote Originally Posted by jmp828
    The salt level is at least 2x what it should be, so that's the reason for draining it. !
    Then you only need to drain half of it at the most.

    You will need borates, a good test kit, and there is no reason why you can't put chlorine in it now without the pump running and get the algae under control. I would stick with the salt system, they are great. These guys will get you sorted, as said, once you know what you are doing, pools are very easy!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus345 View Post
    Then you only need to drain half of it at the most.

    You will need borates, a good test kit, and there is no reason why you can't put chlorine in it now without the pump running and get the algae under control. I would stick with the salt system, they are great. These guys will get you sorted, as said, once you know what you are doing, pools are very easy!
    I'm sorry, but that isn't correct. She will not need borates as a given. That isn't what we suggest generically at all. It's a case by case basis and a personal choice. Lots of us here do not use them, and sometimes it isnt a good choice. Also, she said she may not go back for a salt pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    I don't see any reason to replace the filter. All new grid pack can be had for less than $100. Who cares how old the shell of the filter is if all the insides are new? You just need to know which size it is.

    Also if there is any chance that the control unit on the SWG is still operational, replacing the salt cell might be an option, but that would be after getting everything else in order.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Thanks for the responses everyone. We are hoping to have the tech come out and install the pump next week. Is the Intelliflo VS worth the extra $ over the superflo VS? The intelliflo VS is $275 more than the superflo VS. But each qualify for a $200 Edison power rebate that I can apply for once its installed. Will both pumps render our mechanical timer obsolete? What would you recommend for my system, or is there another option out there to consider?

    And brushpup, the calcium is on the waterline. bummer.

    I'm so excited to get everything back in check and working properly.
    ~14,000 IG gray plaster pool. DE filter. Pentair Intelliflow VS Model 11018. No spa.

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Lots of advise has been given here... Whichever way you decide to go on salt system, there are lots of people who can help you. It WILL be easy to get it perfect. Glad you found TFP!

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Yes, both pumps will replace your mechanical timers. The Int-Flo will likely be a lot more pump than you need, and the Superflo will likely do the job just fine. As for other options, yes. As I mentioned, a Two Speed pump would be a viable option. Talk with your Technician and see what he suggests. Ask about that again here if you like once you talk to him.

    The salt is a personal choice on what you want and what else you want to spend. I am not suggesting either way, but if it were me with that size pool, I wouldn't do it. Either way, there is no wrong choice here.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    I would suggest getting the Taylor Salt Test Kit (#1776, I believe?) before I declared the salt too high and you go draining water, possibly unnecessarily. Along with a TF-100 test kit, you'll be better armed to tackle that pool with the minimum of costs because you will know exactly where you stand and everyone here can guide you properly.

    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Welcome to the best pool site on the web!

    You have already done SO much right!

    Find TFP-done
    order GOOD test kit-done
    ask questions-done
    start reading-done

    I would like you to do a little "shopping" this weekend. Your goal is to find your best price for chlorine/bleach. For some it is Walmart, others it is the pool store (the ONLY thing you will ever have to buy from them now), others it is the local ACE Hardware (mine).

    No matter where you end up getting your bleach/chlorine from make sure it is "fresh" and check the % when you are finding the best price. Walmart is 8%, pool stores tend to = 11%. Lowes and such tend to have "old" chlorine and it does degrade with time and heat so........

    Good luck and keep asking questions.

    Your pool CAN be trouble free and MUCH cheaper than you have ever spent at the pool store!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Nightmare pool & starting over

    Great suggestion, Kim!

    I would also add to keep an eye on Menard's if you have one. They tend to buy things in a clump. Our Menard's sells 12.5% liquid chlorine (tests higher so it's fresh) for $2/gallon and it sells out pretty quick here. They only do it a couple of times a year, but it's sweet when they do. I buy one, take it home and test it, then go back and buy a bunch. Even if starts to degrade, (and mine has never degraded below 12), I am still ahead! $2 is great for 12.5+

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