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Thread: Bought house with a badly maintained lap pool

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    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Arlington VA
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    Bought house with a badly maintained lap pool

    Just bought a house that came with a 10 x 40 lap pool. Never had a pool before so all this is new to me. After getting the local pool maintenance company to come out and replace PVC pipe and valves that cracked during last winter freezes and getting charged $300 for 2 valves and a few pieces of PVC and getting a quote to open, maintain and close the pool in the thousands of $$$, it seemed time to see how much of this I could do myself.

    After pulling off the plastic tarps, a couple of bubble covers all held down by water bags and cleaning and drying all the cover stuff, it was apparent this pool needed help. The water was a deep green, the cement apron around the pool was black, and the retaining wall around 3 sides of the pools was covered with moss and dirt. The previous owner had a bag of "shock treatment" so I threw that in the pool and went and bought a test kit. Initial and follow on readings are below.

    Found this web site and started the BBB approach. In a day or so the water cleared enough to see lots of sand on the bottom of the pool where the water entered from a jet nozzle on one end and a waterfall feature on the other end. Figured the sand filter laterals were shot, so ordered new ones and plan to put those in this weekend.

    Noticed the pump cover looked all gunked up with grease so removed it and found a seal that didn't fit wedged between the cover and base. Ordered a now one from Amazon, cleaned up the cover, greased the square 0-ring and installed that. Turned the pump on and it seems to circulate water fine.

    Power washed all the areas around the pool to get rid of the dirt and grime and whatever was growing in the muck.

    Started adding jugs of chlorine purchased from the grocery store.

    Apr 22: FC .05, TC .07, pH 6.8, TA 33, CH 84 CA 16
    Apr 25: FC low, TC .01, pH 7.2, TA 58, CH 92 CA 13
    Apr 26: FC .30, TC .68, pH 7.5, TA 57, CH 80 CA 17
    Apr 27: FC .48, TC 1.93, pH 7.8, TA 73, CH 85 CA 15

    Will hopefully repair the Hayward S220T sand filter this weekend. I'll wash the sand using a hose to clean the sand after opening the top of the filter. Remove the sand, replace the laterals, replace sand and add more.

    Will then vacuum to waste all the junk on the bottom of the pool, then start filtering the water.

    Questions: Am I on the right track? (I've been reading a lot on this site, but all this is new and I may be missing something basic that I should be doing). Any suggestions, encouragement, pointers are deeply appreciated.
    Does anyone know the depth of space above the sand so that I know how much sand to add?

    I have a box of borax and 10 1lb boxes of baking soda. Not sure when to add those into the mix.
    13,000 gal lap pool in ground, vinyl, Hayward sand filter and pump.
    Built around 2011, became the owner in April 2015.
    LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit
    Taylor K-2006 and K-1106 test kits

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,495

    Re: Bought house with a badly maintained lap pool

    Quote Originally Posted by pderby View Post
    Just bought a house that came with a 10 x 40 lap pool. Never had a pool before so all this is new to me. After getting the local pool maintenance company to come out and replace PVC pipe and valves that cracked during last winter freezes and getting charged $300 for 2 valves and a few pieces of PVC and getting a quote to open, maintain and close the pool in the thousands of $$$, it seemed time to see how much of this I could do myself.

    After pulling off the plastic tarps, a couple of bubble covers all held down by water bags and cleaning and drying all the cover stuff, it was apparent this pool needed help. The water was a deep green, the cement apron around the pool was black, and the retaining wall around 3 sides of the pools was covered with moss and dirt. The previous owner had a bag of "shock treatment" so I threw that in the pool and went and bought a test kit. Initial and follow on readings are below.

    Found this web site and started the BBB approach. In a day or so the water cleared enough to see lots of sand on the bottom of the pool where the water entered from a jet nozzle on one end and a waterfall feature on the other end. Figured the sand filter laterals were shot, so ordered new ones and plan to put those in this weekend.

    Noticed the pump cover looked all gunked up with grease so removed it and found a seal that didn't fit wedged between the cover and base. Ordered a now one from Amazon, cleaned up the cover, greased the square 0-ring and installed that. Turned the pump on and it seems to circulate water fine.

    Power washed all the areas around the pool to get rid of the dirt and grime and whatever was growing in the muck.

    Started adding jugs of chlorine purchased from the grocery store.

    Apr 22: FC .05, TC .07, pH 6.8, TA 33, CH 84 CA 16
    Apr 25: FC low, TC .01, pH 7.2, TA 58, CH 92 CA 13
    Apr 26: FC .30, TC .68, pH 7.5, TA 57, CH 80 CA 17
    Apr 27: FC .48, TC 1.93, pH 7.8, TA 73, CH 85 CA 15

    Will hopefully repair the Hayward S220T sand filter this weekend. I'll wash the sand using a hose to clean the sand after opening the top of the filter. Remove the sand, replace the laterals, replace sand and add more.

    Will then vacuum to waste all the junk on the bottom of the pool, then start filtering the water.

    Questions: Am I on the right track? (I've been reading a lot on this site, but all this is new and I may be missing something basic that I should be doing). Any suggestions, encouragement, pointers are deeply appreciated.
    Does anyone know the depth of space above the sand so that I know how much sand to add?

    I have a box of borax and 10 1lb boxes of baking soda. Not sure when to add those into the mix.
    Welcome to TFP. To be honest, we have stopped using the BB name mainly because folks like yourself "stock up" on items they may never need, It looks like you may use a little baking soda, but that borax probably won't get used.

    While you need the sand filter, it is really not what is going to clean up your green pool, chlorine will. All filters are a little different, so check the instructions that come with the filter to verify how much sand you will need. Lowe's & Home Depot both sell pool sand, so don't get ripped off. Your plan to vacuum as much out of the pool is a good one because the more organics you can get out the better.

    You should read the directions on SLAMing your pool in the How To section of Pool School as you need to follow that procedure completely to the end.

    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    And the water is clear.
    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.

    You should probably get a little background before you SLAM, so how much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    You bought the Color Q which gets mixed results here, most probably because of sensors getting out of calibration so you still may want to pick up one of the recommended test kits. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. All the kits on the list contain that test while very few other kits do. The kits sold at the pool store generally won't won't cut it, but be careful pool store employees are known to say “it's the same thing”. Generally it's not!
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Bought house with a badly maintained lap pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    You should raise CYA a little bit. The recommended CYA level is from 30 to 50. Since CYA tends to drift down slowly over the course of the season you normally raise it to roughly 50 to start the season, so it will still be above 30 at the end of the season.

    You don't appear to be using nearly enough chlorine. FC should never be allowed to go below 1, when CYA is at 15(ish). Depending on how the water looks you may need to SLAM the pool.
    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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