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Thread: Pre-Pool opening question

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    Pre-Pool opening question

    Hi,

    I bought my first pool this past fall and it came with a house And/or I think I've got that backwards, but you know what I mean.
    And, I'm equally new to TFP as I am to pool ownership so thanks in advance for your assistance. I've spent the winter reading up on what I have to look forward to this spring, which leads me to my first of what will likely be many questions...

    But first, the little about my pool that I know. It is above ground, approximately 26 feet in diameter, and I'm guessing 4-5 feet deep which means 16,000-20,000 gallons according to the pool calculator, it has a Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter model TA40D, and a Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp pump. The previous owners already had the pool winterized when I took ownership of the house so I have not seen the water and don't exactly know how they left things. They put a tarp over the top of the pool and screwed it down to the wood deck that surrounds the pool. they left a leaf net and what I believe to be a pool vacuum. And, that's really what I know about the set-up I have.

    Anyway, onto my question, we've had some very warm days the past couple of weeks; 70's and 80's and with that the grass is turning green, trees are budding, and the tarp on top of the pool has collected a fair bit of water that is turning fun shades of green and to me it looks like mighty nice mosquito breeding ground. I've used the leaf net to remove leaves from the cover, but beyond that I'm not sure what I ought to be doing. It seems too early to actually open the pool given we could in theory still get some snow and frigid temps.

    Do I just pump the water off the cover at this point and keep removing leaves? Or is there a chemical I can add to the water that's on the cover to kill mosquito larva?
    If pumping is the best option, any suggestions on an affordable yet effective pump to get the job done?

    Thanks again, and feel free to weigh in on anything else you think would be good for a new, first time pool owner to know.
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Pre-Pool opening question

    Welcome to the club! I also bought a pool that came with a house last year. You will learn a lot on this site that will help you have a trouble free pool. My pool came with a cover pump, but it ended up getting broken. It was one of the cheap looking ones that has the foam filter on it. Looks just like a goldfish pond pump, but since it says pool on it it costs $80 instead of $15. Since I already had a 1/5hp utility pump, I just use it. It's a little inconvenient since I can't leave it on there all the time, but for the price it works. You can get them on Amazon for $30-40 usually depending on the size. You can also get actual fish pond pumps for $10 or less on eBay if you don't want to spend much on a pump. Have you looked at the water in the pool at all? Might be worth peeking through the skimmer to grab a sample to make sure what's in the pool doesn't look like what's on the cover. One thing you definitely need to do is order one of the recommended test kits. I ordered the tf-100 xl for under $100 shipped. I am the only person I know personally who didn't fight with a pool this year. Everyone else I know or heard a story about locally had a green or cloudy pool at some point. Mine was sparkly to the bitter end when I had to close it. I checked it a couple days ago because, like you, I wanted to open it. I still have ample chlorine, and the water isn't warm enough yet to worry about algae taking over. Follow the guidelines on this site, and you can't go wrong.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Welcome to the forum!

    A small sump pump would work to get most of the water off the cover. Keep doing what you are doing with getting the leaves and other trash off of it.

    What kind of test kit did the previous owners leave you?

    Have you looked into purchasing the TF-100 (best bang for your $$) or Taylor K-2006 test kit?

    If the previous owners used the "pool store method" of maintenance, chances are good that your water may need a bit of attention chemical wise. If you have one of the recommended test kits, see if you can get a sample of your water, and test it. Post the results here, and we can go from there.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    I agree that it's a little early to open given your location. I'd suggest you drain the water off the cover and then scoop or use a leaf blower to remove the leaves from it.

    While you're waiting a while to open you need to read up here (hopefully you're already doing that) and go ahead and get a good test kit.

    Once you've read some and have the test kit in hand it's time to start playing practicing with it. Get a sample of water from under the cover and run a full set of tests on it. Post the results back here and we'll be glad to help you get ready for what you're going to need to do to it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Welcome! You are SO on the right track for a fun pool experience! You found TFP! SWEET!

    Now tell me that you have ordered a GOOD test kit-pretty please???? If not look at my siggy below to find the link to compare them. The TF-100 is the best buy. You might want to get the XL due to unknown but can guess water condition.

    The test kit will save you SO much money, time, effort in the long run. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know the pool store will test your water for free but.............it is really free if they sell you stuff from their store??? If you use TFP you will only buy what you need that we KNOW will work. Most of the time it is bleach/chlorine!

    Now moving on to your questions.

    Here is something you can put in the water BUT I think you would be better off using a water pump or shop vac to remove the water. I do not know that I would want whatever is in these "dinks" to seep into my pool.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_92460-1643-M...3047384&rpp=32

    I have a shopping trip for you to do. Go to your local Walmart and price out their greater value bleach (plain-NO scents or splashless). Find out if there is a easy to get to pool store and if they sell chlorine (you might have to "rent" their yellow jugs).

    Walmart bleach=6%
    pool store might=11%

    Keep that in mind while you find YOUR best source for bleach/chlorine. I get 4 yellow jugs at a time. My pool is a 33' round and the 4 jugs last me around 2 weeks.

    I would go ahead and take the cover off but that is me and wanting to know what I had ahead of me in the great algae fight.

    Here is a link on how to open a pool. I do not know if your pool was closed like they say but .....

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ve-ground-pool

    Let us know what your next question is!

    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: Pre-Pool opening question

    I have an unrelated question. What is holding your cover on the pool? I can't really tell from the pic. I dont see any wire or string or sand/water bags. Just curious.
    24'x54" 15k AG round - Outback Genesis
    1 1/2hp Hayward Matrix 2 speed. Hayward 180T Sand Filter
    TF-100 Test Kit
    Pool School & TF-100
    How to SLAM

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Pre-Pool opening question

    Quote Originally Posted by kris77 View Post
    I have an unrelated question. What is holding your cover on the pool? I can't really tell from the pic. I dont see any wire or string or sand/water bags. Just curious.
    He said they screwed it down to the wood deck around the pool. If you look for it you can just make out the screws along the edge. I don't really understand why anyone would want to damage their deck instead of using water bags though. Not the way I would want to do it. If I was gonna mount it to the deck I would find some kind of in deck anchors or something.

    Edit: Maybe those are just the grommets I see in the picture. I guess they put screws through them.

    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Welcome to the forum Fredrick

    Please consider adding your pool info to your signature as outlined here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started
    '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
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Thanks for all of the responses, much appreciated. Regarding test kits, the previous owners didnt leave one. They used the pool store method. Ive been looking at my options and will likely pull the trigger on the TF-100 in the next couple of day. Any opinions if the magnetic stirrer is worth the additional cost?

    Kimkats, thanks for the links. While putting the dinks in the pool may not be the best option, it looks like a great product for my rain barrels. (Dont worry, I plan to use the rain water on yard, not to refill the pool )

    Kris77, the pool cover is screwed down into the deck. You can see a few screws in the front of the one picture. I cant explain why they opted to do it that way, but on the upside it has stayed in place without issue all winter.

    Kiss4afrog, updated my signature.

    Related to my questions, thanks for the pump suggestions and for confirming what I should be doing. We've had a rainy day today so the cover is now fuller than it was. Hopefully this weekend I can get the water off the top and Im anxious to unscrew a bit of the cover to see the water below.

    Next question, any opinions on something like the Floatron Solar Powered Natural Pool Cleaner or the Remington Solar chemical-free sun shock? I like the idea of less chemical intensive pool maintenance, but have no idea if either is a good option and am open to opinions. Though, Im now probably getting ahead of myself because I've got to get through opening before I worry about maintaining.
    AG, round 26ft diameter, 18000-ish gallons, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter model TA40D, Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp single speed pump

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Lots of folks on here have the speedstir and love it. I didn't get it. They are nice to have, but I didn't want another thing to have to carry out to the pool besides my test kit.

    Don't waste your time or money on either of the solar things. They both add copper to your water to act as an algaecide. That can cause more chemical intensive pool maintenance if the level of copper builds up too much because you'll have to use other chemicals to keep the copper from staining your pool. Plain ol' chlorine is all you need to keep your pool safe and clear.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    It is one more thing to carry and you might not need to be that accurate but it does make testing easier and more accurate. I bought one and if it broke, I'd get another.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_EJknrPjYE

    +1 with 240guy, just go bleach and you're golden. It's a proven method, keeps your pool not only clean but most importantly sanitary.
    You are not getting ahead of yourself as now is the best time to ask questions and figure out how you are going to get from "here" to "there".
    '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
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    As others have said just go with bleach.

    As for the SpeedStir, I don't ever recall anyone who's gotten one have any regrets about it. Personally it's well worth the money. I rearranged my TF-100 case and it fits right in it with the other stuff. No extra piece to carry to the pool. And on that note, I don't carry my kit to the pool, I get a sample and bring it to the kit.

    I use a garden hose to siphon the water off the winter cover. I don't have a pump.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Hi All,

    Thanks again for your time, and for sharing your experience. I got the water off the tarp this weekend through a one two combination. I used a shop vac to create the suction to start the siphon. Worked great. Took longer than one might have thought, but it go the job done. On the flip side, it's supposed to rain off and on for the next 24 hours, but at least I know the process works. We're also supposed to have a couple nights this week down around 30 degrees so I opted to keep the cover on for one more week, but I am anxious to see what lies below.

    Anyway, next question, as I'm prepping for opening day, any recommendation for brushes or other pool cleaning devices/tools. I have what I believe to be a leaf pool skimmer net, the flat kind and a pool vacuum, something along the lines of an Aqua EZ 11-in Swivel-Handle Pool Vacuum Head (at least based on my google search, that's what it looks like). Both have seen better days, but are likely functional.

    Anything else I should be buying?
    AG, round 26ft diameter, 18000-ish gallons, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter model TA40D, Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp single speed pump

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    How do the hoses look for the vacuum? They can/will get cracks in them and do not work.

    I have a "round" brush to help me brush where the wall meets the floor without worrying about rubbing the liner. I got mine a Home Depot. Here is a link to one that looks like it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Devil-B35...s=pool+brushes

    Have you found your best deal for chlorine yet? Where are you going to store it?

    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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Did you order your TF100?? I'm a little late to the party but I will vote FOR the SpeedStir and think you should add the Sample Sizer. These two items have made my testing quick and easy.
    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: Pre-Pool opening question

    Speed Stir well worth the cost with solid results of every test. Bama Rambler you use a garden hose to drain water. I use an Oklahoma Credit Card aka 5/8" Goodyear air hose dug out of the dumpster from work.
    24' Reprieve RD/AG/13K gal Vinyl TFP method
    Waterway Clearwater 175 sqft Cartridge
    Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP Pump 2-Speed
    TF-100 Test Kit SpeedStir Borate Insta Test
    Spreading TFP to All

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Quote Originally Posted by Stump View Post
    ... I use an Oklahoma Credit Card ...
    I've used one of those a time or two in my wilder years, but it wasn't draining pool water KWIM!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Kimkat, the hose looks weathered, but otherwise alright. It's what I used the siphon the water and I didn't note any issues in doing that so that's a plus. I still haven't it made it everywhere to check on chlorine. One upside to a big city is lots of options, but it them means taking the time to go check them all out. I plan to store the chlorine in my backyard smokehouse. It's a cold smokehouse so it only gets used in the winter. Though I had also considered just using a Rubbermaid tote and keeping it under the pool deck.

    Next question, though this has quite possible been posted elsewhere, so I'll take a link if someone knows right where it's at. Any opinions on solar heaters or solar rings? I also came across a youtube video that showed someone using a black garden hose and cycling water through it to help heat the pool. I'm not opposed to being crafting and putting something together if it's a tried and true method of helping get things warmer faster.

    Thanks again.
    AG, round 26ft diameter, 18000-ish gallons, Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter model TA40D, Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp single speed pump

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-Pool opening question

    Chlorine-Call around to the ones that you pass in your daily drive. You do not want it to be an extra trip except you will need to remember your jugs if you use them.

    Store it where it will be quick and easy for you to do your daily "feeding". I keep mine in a deck box right by the pool. I keep all of my pool stuff in there.

    I do not have any help of for the warming. I wish I did but my husband likes it cooler so.........LOL

    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: Pre-Pool opening question

    Siphoning trick to remove water from above ground pool cover:
    Zip tie garden hose to edge of top rail near down hill side of pool, leaving a few feet of hose to reach to the deepest portion of pool cover water.
    Submerge male end of hose using a landscape edger brick to weight hose down in deep area of pool cover water.
    The brick needs to only be heavy enough to create a 6 to 12 inch dip in the cover so water on cover will flow toward brick and siphoning hose.
    Temporarily hook female end of garden hose to a nearby faucet.
    Backfill siphon hose with faucet water to push air out of hose. A little water will be added to pool cover, but only long enough to get air bubbles out of the siphoning hose.
    Remove hose quickly from faucet, plug with finger as soon as you remove from faucet, move hose exit to preferred drainage location, lay hose on the ground, remove finger, and let it rip down hill.
    The water filled hose will automatically start siphoning action when you remove your finger without having to suck air through it.
    Siphoning action should continue naturally until a majority of water is drained from pool cover.
    Wind and sun will usually evaporate the small remaining amount of water from cover over a period of a couple of days.
    Doughboy Copper Canyon 24' x 52" Round Vinyl AGP; Pentair 1.5 HP Dynamo Single Speed / 19" Sand Dollar 150#; DIY PVC Return with on/off aerator fountain bar
    TF-100 XL, Speedstir (Excellent), Borates Test Strips; Sparkling clear using TFP method - 10% Liquid CL, Sunbelt 31.45% Muriatic Acid - Home Depot
    Installed new pool with new water July 2014 - St. Louis, MO

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