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Thread: I'm Losing the Battle

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    I'm Losing the Battle

    I bought a house with a pool, and frankly, I am losing the battle.

    Berries from two trees are dropping in the water, and staining the pool. I saw some stains earlier, but could not figure out what they were. Today it was apparent. I tried rubbing trichlor tabs on the stains previously, and it did not touch them.

    The spa drains down, and is exposing the blue plaster. The plaster is turning white. The check valve must be bad. I also don't understand by the pump system doesn't automatically put some water in the spa when it runs.

    The CYA is over 250, and I can't SLAM the pool. Algae is growing on the bottom and sides.

    I have two leaks in the pump area, one at the heater and one at the inlet to the booster pump.

    The Polaris 280 wheel gears stripped, and it no longer runs.

    It's getting depressing, especially when I see stains that won't come out, and plaster bleaching out. I don't know what to do.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Hang in there Michael! TFP can help you! You have several chemical and mechanical issues to resolve. Just take them one at a time:
    - Do you have one of the TFP recommended test kits (i.e. TF-100 linked below)? You really must get one to be accurate on CYA and FC testing
    - Can you post pics of the leaking areas to help viewers see what you are talking about?
    - Others may have some tricks up their sleeves for removing stains, so hang in there!

    Lots more help to follow.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    I was once in your shoes also. Keep you head up and listen to these guys, they'll get you through this.
    38,500 gallon |In Ground | Chlorine | Vinyl Liner | Pentair Triton Sand Filter | 1.0hp Magnetek motor | 3/4hp Magnetek poster pump | TF-100XL Test Kit | North West, TN

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Well, you have to start address something ... just break things down and start chipping away at them

    How bad are the leaks at the pad? I have a few drips that I just ignore.
    The cleaner not working is pretty low priority
    The stains are just aesthetic, although sounds like an acid wash might be needed to remove them.
    The spa draining is not a huge deal (although would be good to fix) if we can figure out how to get it to refill while in pool mode (can you post pictures of the plumbing?)

    I think I would start by trying to get control of the CYA ... and that means replacing a lot of water. If you want to acid wash the pool, might could hire someone to drain and do that.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Here is my chemistry using the TF-100:

    FC 1 ppm
    CC .5 ppm
    CH 700
    TA 140
    CYA 160
    Ph 7.8

    I stupidly did not watch the Trichlor tabs in the dispenser often enough. One day it seemed they were like new and going down very slowly, and this went on for a couple weeks at least. Then all of sudden today they were gone. How much should I raise the chlorine level to? Slamming it given my CYA would require Cl of 63, or 16 jugs of 6% bleach according to the Pool Math Calculator.

    The leaks leave a trail of water, but it is not gushing out.

    I'll post a photo of the plumbing when it gets light out tomorrow.

    I really don't know what to do with this pool.

    A) SLAM before draining for CYA to try to get stains out first, then drain and refill for CYA
    B) drain and refill to get CYA down, then SLAM for stains
    C) drain and treat stains before refilling
    D) drain and acid wash (this one concerns me because the blue plaster color is already fading and uneven, and it is a 23 year old pool)?

    Regarding any draining, how am I going to keep the plaster wet?

    While the stains are only cosmetic, it makes me sick looking at what's happened to this pool.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    As I said in the previous post, you must reduce your CYA first. And your CYA is that high because of the trichlor tablets you are using. You have to stop using them.
    Pick B or D. Given the age of the plaster ... pick B ... unless you are ready for a re-plaster.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    "B" it is then.

    I'll rent a pump from Home Depot.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Before you start pumping.... you appear to be fairly close to the coast, which might suggest you have a high water table. Do you have a hydrostatic well? You don't want your pool to pop....

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by ewkearns View Post
    Before you start pumping.... you appear to be fairly close to the coast, which might suggest you have a high water table. Do you have a hydrostatic well? You don't want your pool to pop....
    I looked at this map, and there is one well not too far away at 32 feet. I'm up on the side of a hill, which should help, but I think I'll take your advice, and play it safe with 20% changes. I've already done enough damage.

    Groundwater Information Center
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    If you are going to drain a power wash and acid wash my be in the cards to get the stains off.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    I fought back today. I bought 8 121 oz jugs of 8.25% bleach, and put it in the pool which should bring the pool to SLAM condition of FC 55 with my CYA of 160. I'll check the numbers later after it mixes in. Some of the bleach I poured over some of the stains on the steps, and they either faded completely away, or were diminished a lot. It didn't do anything to the stains in the deeper water.

    This will buy me a few days until I can do drain and refills. I need to get back to work. I also bought gas for my chainsaw, to give these overhanging trees a haircut.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by wjr75 View Post
    If you are going to drain a power wash and acid wash my be in the cards to get the stains off.
    Maybe it's because I don't know what I am doing, but I am leery of doing this, because it's a 23 year old pool with plaster that has a blue finish which is already looking thin.

    It's a great idea, though, and I appreciate the input.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Day 2

    Bypass valve to spa started flowing after SLAMing pool. Don't know yet if it will keep water in spa, since I kept pump running all night

    Bought 2" backwash hose from Lowe's. Outlet of Pentair filter is 2.5" OD. I hope it will fit.

    Also bought 25 lbs. of DE for later backwash.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Day 3

    Still have older stains at deep end of pool.

    Filter pressure went from 16 to 21 psi.

    Sawed down branches overhanging pool, and dropping leaves and berries into pool staining it.

    Checked Chlorine with TF-100 test kit.

    38 ppm FC
    0 ppm CC

    Changed pump inlet valve from skimmer to drains, and spa emptied. I thought it would pull from both drains. Changed water outlet to spa only, and the spa still drained. I had to set back to skimmer.

    Still have lots of green/brown algae on walls of pool. Should this be vacuumed up, or swept with brush? I tried brushing it to drain at bottom of pool, but with spa draining out, I had to go back to skimmer.

    I don't know where to attach pool vacuum.

    Day 3 PM

    Tried to attach 2" backwash hose to filter. Fitting too large on filter to fit hose. I don't know how the previous owner backwashed. Now I have to get PVC fittings. Yes, this is a battle.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    6/14/15

    Disassembled the Pentair 2000 filter, and cleaned grids. It seemed like there was an excessive amount of DE at the bottom (level higher than bottom of grids, but I am new to pools, so perhaps this is normal.

    I attempted to drain some of the water using the pool pump while the grids were out using the backwash valve. I set the inlet valve to drain from the pool bottom, but it ended up just emptying the spa. I never seem to get water draining from the bottom of the pool. Perhaps it only ties in at the skimmer where the missing diverter valve is supposed to be?

    Got my 2" vinyl backwash hose to fit over 2.25" fitting by using a heat gun and pieces of wood to stretch it per Richard on this forum. Worked great! My 2" 50' vinyl backwash hose developed leaks at two other locations in a matter of minutes even though I laid the hose out carefully to eliminate kinks. I looked at the pressure gauge while in backwash mode with the grids out, and it was 8 psi. It doesn't seem like a vinyl hose would be able to handle that kind of pressure.

    Found weir and diverter missing from skimmer.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Cleaning out the DE filter like that yearly is a good idea to remove the build-up if you add too much after each backwash.

    Are you sure you set the suction valve to the pool only? Maybe it is backward from what you think.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    It may be that I just don't understand the valves yet. I was thinking the two settings were "skimmer" and "drains". What they really may be is "pool" and "spa", and that it doesn't pull from the pool drain, because the diverter valve in the skimmer is missing. Just a thought.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    That sounds likely.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    OH Michael you have had a hard battle for sure! HUGS! We will get your pool taken care of!

    Have you tried to put a puck on the stains in the deep end? I know your CYA is high and the pucks are what caused it but...they will hold the good stuff right on the stain.

    Good luck figuring out your pool. Was there a pool service at one time? Maybe you can pay them a small fee to come show you how the pool works?

    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: I'm Losing the Battle

    6/18/2015

    At the suggestion of someone here on another thread, they recommended I put a hose down the skimmer port, and see if junk comes out of the bottom drain. It did, so I believe that is the last pipe to figure out.

    Problem is my skimmer is missing the weir, and the diverter, so it never picks up water from the bottom. There are no markings on the skimmer or lid indicating the brand. I really need to order these parts.

    6/19/2015

    I plugged up the skimmer with paper so it would draw water from the bottom drain, since my diverter valve is missing. I used brush to move all the debris and algae to the bottom drain, where it was sucked in and sent to the filter. I also poured another gallon of bleach in.

    I would vacuum the pool, but the vacuum attachment has deteriorated seals, the hose has a hole in it, and there is no adapter for connecting the 1.5" hose to the larger skimmer port. More parts to identify and buy. What else is new?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    OH Michael you have had a hard battle for sure! HUGS! We will get your pool taken care of!

    Have you tried to put a puck on the stains in the deep end? I know your CYA is high and the pucks are what caused it but...they will hold the good stuff right on the stain.

    Good luck figuring out your pool. Was their a pool service at one time? Maybe you can pay them a small fee to come show you how the pool works?

    Kim
    I certainly could not have even gotten this far without all the support here.

    There was a pool service, but they neglected the pool in the first place, so I am reluctant to have anything to do with them. I think I have all the pipes figured out now.

    How long do I put the pucks on the stains?
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing the Battle

    Just a few minutes.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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