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Thread: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

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    Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Hello everyone! I am so glad I found this site, because unlike the professionals I have called, you all seem to actually care about pools!

    We just bought a house with an inground, vinyl lined pool. Approx 20x40 (need to unpack a measuring tape) and we aren't sure how deep the deep end goes. It was estate sale, and the children of the previous owners think it hasn't been opened in 3 years. It had a cover on it, and it now appears to mostly silt in it...we pulled as many leaves out as we could. Oh, and bullfrog tadpoles. 100s of them, I'd guess about a week from growing legs.

    We have been going over the info on troublefreepool.com and have been trying to educate ourselves on pool care. We just aren't sure where to start (I found a thread where the owner was in a similar situation, but didn't think I should high-jack that conversation since we are a few weeks behind them). I have ordered a test kit and it should be here today.

    Here are as many stats as I can think of :The water is dark green/black. Pictures below of pool and sand filter. Filter hums nicely when I turned it on for a sec. Pool is holding water. TF-100 test kit is on the way.

    Question: Where to start? Box on filter says to not start filter until that box is full of water. Stupid question...but do I just open the box and put a hose in it? If these questions have already been answered, please point me in the right direction.

    Oh...about the "professionals"...i was told in this town that there aren't any good pool people. I thought no...surely someone would fill that niche. But it seems everywhere I go, I have to BEG them for my business. I'm not used to that, usually people want my business. So, with guidance from you guys, we want to figure out this ourselves.

    THANKS in advance for any replies.photo 3.jpgphoto 2.jpgphoto 1.jpgphoto 4.jpg
    Inground, vinyl pool.Hayward Sand filter. 24,200 gallons.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Welcome to TFP!

    There are two parallel tasks to start with. First is to get all of the debris out that you can possible get out. This will take time, but being as through as possible is essential. Second is to get the equipment running. That starts by making sure the water level is about half way up the skimmer, opening up the pump strainer basket, filling it with water, close it up again, turn on the power and see what happens. If the pump fails to prime (start moving water) or there is water spraying out somewhere turn it off again. If it seems to be working, give it ten of fifteen minutes to be sure it stays running and there aren't any leaks and turn it off again.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Welcome!

    We love pictures. You're off to a fine start here.

    Since the kit is on its way, wait for it. Spend your time dredging whatever you can out of the bottom with a leaf rake.


    Measure the pool carefully - you'll have to know the volume in order to calculate the doses of whatever chemicals the pool needs. Comparison shop when you're out and about and see who has the best prices on bleach, who stocks acid, who has borax. Don't buy anything except maybe bleach if there's a killer sale on. See Recommended Pool Chemicals.

    The water needs to be halfway up the skimmer opening before you start the pump. Once its filled and the pump is running and you see water circulating, let it mix for half an hour and run a full battery of tests. Check out Extended Test Kit Directions in case any of your readings seem way out of whack, especially CYA.

    Armed with facts, then you'll be able to plan your attack. If a partial drain is called for, you'll want to do that first, before you add drop one of expensive pool chemicals that you'd only be pumping out. Your filter has a waste setting, so you're good there. You can connect a vacuum and vacuum any fine debris off the bottom and right out the waste pipe.

    But that's getting ahead. Volume calculation, water level, pump, test results. Post back and you'll get plenty of advice. Some of the replies might even agree with each other!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    WOW...thanks for the fast replies. We have been pulling out as many leaves as possible with the leaf rake, but it mostly just stirs up silt. LOTS of it.

    We have a vacuum, but weren't sure if we should try to use it yet, or if chemistry needs to be started first. Or do we need to do anything to the filter, since it hasn't been running in a few years?

    Going to find the tape measure so we can at least get an accurate length and width. Hopefully TFT kit will arrive today and I will post results. THANKS!
    Inground, vinyl pool.Hayward Sand filter. 24,200 gallons.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Nice first post. That is a nice spring project!

    You can definitely maintain your own pool easily with TFPC methods.

    After you scoop all the stuff out and get it up and running start reading these links from Pool School.

    What is Trouble Free Pool Care?
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    Recommended Levels
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Pool Calculator Instructions

    and to turn your pool sparkly
    SLAMing Your Pool
    Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis
    Defeating Algae
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    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Lots and lots and lots (did I mention LOTS?) of raking is your first order of business. Get all that you can that will stick in a net. Blindly raking the whole bottom in a grid pattern to try to get it all is a great start. Plus your arms will be totally ripped after a few days!

    Then if you're equipment is working get it circulating and you can try manually vacuuming the bottom. When doing this, set your multiport valve on the filter to WASTE. No sense sucking all that garbage on the bottom into your filter. Note: Never change the position of the multiport valve while the pump is running. Always turn pump off first, change position, back on. This will suck debris such as the sand/silt you're talking about and also LOTS of water so be prepared for lot of water to come out of the backwash hose at your filter. The backwash pipe is the one on right side of the overhead multiport picture you posted. Looks to be hard plumbed then goes along the ground somewhere... make sure it's OK wherever that pipe terminates for water to be gushing out.

    The biggest challenge you have is getting to know your equipment while also tackling a big green monster. Post lots of questions, even ones you think might be silly. There really are no dumb questions, especially here on TFP. Also post lots of pictures. We like shiny pictures. Especially of big green monsters transformed into sparkling beauties.

    Welcome to TFP!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Ooohhhh another one! I subscribed to this one before I even got through your first post!

    Welcome to TFP! We've got your back.

    Bleach. You're gonna need a lot of it.

    Looking forward to seeing your first test results.

    You are definitely on the right track and starting off on the right foot.

    So here's my cheerleading...

    It can be done! You can do it! We'll help!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Subscribed! Can't wait to see what this looks like in a month or so.
    11K gal IG screened-in plaster pool w/ spa
    pentair 150 cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump,
    Aquarite AQR15 SWG, AquaCal Heatwave Heat Pump, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Test kit didn't arrive today, so did some more scooping and got the pump primed, thanks to the directions i found elsewhere on this site. Also...in the pic...those aren't leaves. Bullfrog tadpoles, about 3-4 inches long. Was hoping they would have legs by now and just jump out...photo[1].jpg
    Inground, vinyl pool.Hayward Sand filter. 24,200 gallons.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Can you scoop them out and sell them to a bait dealer or pet shop? Might pay for your bleach costs that are upcoming!

    I'd look into local deals on either 8.25% household bleach or 10-12.5% "pool shock" named bleach. Wal-Mart is the usual suspect for household 8.25% as it cheap has high turnover (which means fresh, full concentrated). Pool stores as well as some big box hardware stores have the 10-12.5% stuff. You're going to need quite a bit so find the most reasonable source nearby and start with at least 10 gallons of the stuff. Ignore the weird looks you get at the checkout counter...
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Welcome to the forum.

    Scoop and Bleach. Your two best friends.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    steveg_nh's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    This will be a good one to watch. You'll get it back and it will be crystal clear, and for a fraction of what you would spend at the pool store. People can't believe me when I tell them how LITTLE I spend on maintaining my pool thanks to what I've learned on this site.
    24'x40' 25k gal Imperial Mountain Pond IGP, full 28 mil VynAll Ocean Breakers liner. All Hayward system: 140k BTU HeatPro heat pump, 3/4HP single speed TriStar 2" Pump, DE6020 filter, AquaPlus Automation/Salt Chlorination, remote controls, ColorLogic 4.0 lighting. Polaris 280 w/PB4-60 BP. TF100 & K1766 test kits. Rinox Palazzo pavers and Spherik coping. Pool installed 9/2013, project completed 6/16/14.

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Wow! We have frogs and toads, but no tadpoles! They are not coming back looking for a home anymore. I'm on day 8 and have used 48 gallons of bleach so far, to give you and idea. I am still scooping and bleaching, although the scooping is way easier now than in the beginning. I have pictures in my thread:http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...g-SLAM-4-18-15!

    It's a lot of work, but once things get rolling, it's a nice reward to see the changes. Can't wait to take a dip! I'm glad I started early since it's still on the chilly side in MD, so I am not battling the sun and heat too much.
    I recommend the Speed Stir, you can order it from where you get the good test kit recommended by the board. It mixes the test for you as you add what is needed. It's nice with having to test so much. I also got the XL option so I had extra for FC testing during the SLAM process.
    Rooting for ya!!
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    MickeyB23...I read your 5-6 pages of posts...that's why I started this one! I didn't want to hijack yours, even though we seem to be in the same situation (you're a few weeks ahead) and that gives me such hope!! Good for you and thanks for the encouragement!
    Inground, vinyl pool.Hayward Sand filter. 24,200 gallons.

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulligan View Post
    MickeyB23...I read your 5-6 pages of posts...that's why I started this one! I didn't want to hijack yours, even though we seem to be in the same situation (you're a few weeks ahead) and that gives me such hope!! Good for you and thanks for the encouragement!
    I thought you may have meant me. . Thank you!
    The more often you can test and add in the beginning the better. With the DE filter I had to backwash a lot. It's slowing down now, but I'm still testing, backwashing, scrubbing/scooping and adding bleach throughout the day. Scooping out the junk is hard work! Get a massage as a reward when you're done! I looked at it as a learning experience. Clean up a pool like that and you'll know a lot more by the end.
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Definitely got a good project there, if you have a BJ's wholesale club nearby, sometimes you get lucky and they sell "Austin's Pool Tech Liquid Shock" which is really 12.5% Bleach 4 gallons in a case. $14 for the case, it's as good a price as I've been able to find. Can't wait to see the progress.
    25.5K gal vinyl IGP 3.5' - 8' depth. 1.5HP single speed A.O. Smith C48L2N134B1 motor on a Hayward SP2610X15 Pump. 40 ft2 D.E. Filter Hayward model EC75A. Hayward Chlorinator model CL200. single skimmer, 2 Returns. TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir.

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    TF-100 kit just arrived! And, so did the rain. So will spend the rest of today reading up on how to do the tests and will start again tomorrow.

    Yesterday, just spent more time scooping. Decided to dump a couple of gallons of bleach in the pool to see what happens...within an hour we have about 200 HUGE dead bullfrogs on the surface. Ewww...we had tried scooping them out before but the slippery little suckers kept getting out of the skimmer. Will post test results tomorrow...supposed to have 4 or 5 rain-free days so hoping to get a lot of work done!
    Inground, vinyl pool.Hayward Sand filter. 24,200 gallons.

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    OMG That's disgusting! But of course....something inside me is calling for PICTURES!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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    Re: Just bought house with pool---probably hasn't been opened in 3 years...

    Yeah...it grossed me out too. We had the filter running and within an hour the entire skimmer basket was FULL. I pulled it out and dumped it before I could grab my phone. The dogs were watching and the last time I flicked just one bullfrog out they ate it. If there are any left in the skimmer today I will post just for Beens!
    Inground, vinyl pool.Hayward Sand filter. 24,200 gallons.

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