Hello guys / gals of TFP. I'm a novice pool owner going thru my first spring opening. I'm not sure if the steps I have taken are wrong or right and accept criticism fairly openly when I have no idea about the subject (I'm open for learning so punch away) I will give you my stats of what I know (and supply you with anything I can find out not known) so far then dive into my problem.
Here's what I know :
Above ground 24' diameter pool 52" High
25 ga. unibead viynl liner I purchased last summer
Sandfilter with 1 year old sand
Okay so last year I get this pool from my aunt as she divorced and had just bought it new 2 months previous, "if you want the pool, come and take it down and you can have it free of charge"....well I done this and then came home and mid summer last year I installed the pool. Last year was a snap once I got the pool installed. Simply put, took off a few days from work. gathered some friends and it was up in a few days. Of course then I filled it with water, went and bought all the needed chemicals, balanced the water (using the test strips I've gained knowledge of that everyone on here hates, haha) and the pool was wonderful all year. Now then, come early fall I had to leave town for a bit and didn't get the pool closed up as soon as I would have liked (I'm in Kentucky btw). When I returned it was time for my wife and I to have our first baby so I was very overwhelmed with many other things with the pool being basically the last thing on my mind. I purchased a closing chemical set online (probably a cheaper one than I should have I admit, it was like $30) and pulled the cover over only to find that it had a few holes in it where my cousin had ripped it delivering it. Anyhoot, wife was about to have a baby, throw it on, good enough for now, deal with it next spring......well next spring is here......YUCK! What a monster I created. (Learned that one the hard way)
Now then, that being said.....you experienced owners can just picture what I uncovered. Nasty, slimy, stinky algae and green water. Maple leaf helicopters, pine needles, leaves, frogs....you name it, it was probably in there. I mean like 3" clarity greenish-blackish water. So first I pull off the cover and use the skimmer net to gather anything I can while turning the sand pump on and letting it run (after I hooked it back up from storage). I fought that for a day or two just getting out what I could and continuing pumping until the water seemed at least a tolerable blackish green. I then went to Menards and bought a pool rake and wall brush. I've went over the bottom of the pool once (of course I can't see it) and removed and removed and removed raked bags of leaves and god knows what else until I was barely getting anything anymore with the rake. I then scrubbed the walls (once over so far) and added chemicals on 5/16 of this month. First I added shock (Clorox Pool Shock X-tra Blue, then again as double treatment - 4 bottles total the first day 1 bottle treats 10k gallons). I went out to the next morning (pump running all night once I got all the algae out that would clog it) and tested the water with a strip and the FC was lower than needed to shock so I added a 5th and 6th bottle of shock. Clean, pump and rake out constantly each day what i can while testing with strips over and over (I know I know). Go to Menards and buy 2 gallons of liquid shock and add one then the other a few days later and keep pumping. Almost a light green now instead of black. My pump has never stopped running btw. I've back washed it everyday and sometimes more than once a day. I tested the Ph and for the first time it was reading slightly low so I added 6lbs of Arm & Hammer which seemed to get it back near where it needs to be. I figured since it got me from black to dark green I once again went and bought some more Clorox Ultra Blue shock and added another 4 bottles over a few days which got me to a pretty teal light blue cloudy water (not what I need I know but better than black, I think at least . That brings me up to now, 11 days later I have a what I would call cloudy blue pool. The green is gone, the water looks quite clean actually but I've still yet to see the bottom of it. I do noticed water logged leaves every now and then floating and almost clear (I assume where the shock has took hold). I have small square tiles on my liner and at glance on the side walls I seem to be seeing a little more and more liner each day but the past few days have seemed to start leveling out. If I use the cheap strips to test, all of my chemicals are in range (best I can tell) with the chlorine of course being thru the roof because I've kept it elevated. I'm thinking I should be able to see the bottom by now maybe? I also realize from reading that it takes sand pumps longer to filter so I'm not sure of to how long to wait.
Now then, now ya know a bit about my situation...what do you think guys? I know first off from what I've gathered searching this morning is that I need to buy a Taylor testing kit I suppose? I hate to spend $70 on that thing but I guess if that's what I need then it is what it is. I don't mind ordering the kit but is there anything else I can do while waiting on the kit to arrive? All I have at the moment are the Accucheck test trips. I guess my strips truly do suck after all. haha. I suppose they are fine if your water is clear from a fresh start but getting black water clean...not so much. So okay guys, that's my story. Rip me up and tell me how stupid I am for doing what I've done and point me in the right direction please? Also lets say there are a bunch of debris on the bottom of the pool (being as I can't see the bottom). Should I try to get down in the pool and use the leaf rake to get that out of there first or try vacuuming with a close eye to make sure nothing gets clogged? At this point I'm not sure if it's fairly clean or if it's completely covered on the bottom. I guess my question needs to be, would a debris filled bottom keep you from having clear enough water to see thru to the bottom or should I at some point be able to see the bottom just letting my sand filter run? Any help or advice would be appreciated guys. Until then I'll just read some posts and find out any answers I can gathering info with the search tool.
Thanks a million! Looking forward to being an active member if I can get this mess straightened out soon. Help me make my wife happy, then I'm happy.....she and I are much happier with her bikini on