I wish I would have discovered this site a few months ago, as I've learned a few good bits of info in the past 2 hours I've been looking at the message boards. I'll go through my whole story with my pool:
Bought this house at the end of this past August, which included a 24 foot above ground round pool. (I believe it's 5 ft. deep, but honestly I haven't measured that yet.) Pretty sure it's a vinyl liner. I had absolutely no knowledge of pool care and have been totally winging it, relying on help from some friends and friends of friends with pool (though I have found even my friends don't seem to know what they're doing ) Though it's June already, and I have yet to swim in this pool, so we're obviously not doing that well! Read on...
My pool is running with a Hayward Perflex DE Filter system (EC40C75 model). It has a Hayward Power-Flo Matrix pump. It has a Nature 2 A30 Sanitizer. And also a Hayward Automatic Chlorine Feeder.
Here's the story so far. In September when I finally moved in, I decided to finally start to try to tackle this pool thing. The previous owners had the pump just running continuously, so up until this point, I just left the thing on. I brought a friend of mine over to go through the basics with me. The friend doesn't have a DE filter, so wasn't too familiar with that. We shut off the pump at this point to try and do a "recharge" on the filter. When turning the pump back on, the pump wouldn't turn over. Great.
We have a pool store right down the street, so I asked them to come up and take a look. The tech took it apart. We did find a wish-bone shaped clamp that was partially broken holding the two halves of the pump together. Not sure if that had anything to do with any of the issues. Other than that, the tech said we'd probably need a new pump. Don't know why, but I was skeptical of needing a whole new pump, and moving into a new house, it just wasn't a priority for me at the moment. So at this point, I searched online and found the wishbone piece, and ordered one. And then since it was practically October anyway, I decided to just winterize it and worry about it and the extra cash I might need to spend next year. By this point, I had accumulated a good bit of algae in the pool as the pump wasn't running for a few weeks. I went out and picked up a basic winterizing kit from the local pool store (can't remember what all was in it, 3 or 4 different chemicals). Couldn't really follow the instructions to a tee as the pump wasn't working to send the chemicals through, so we spread them around the pool as much as we could with the manual pool skimmer. They did actually seem to help immediately with the algae (The water still looks fairly clear even right now). We threw the winter cover on, drained the water below the skimmer, brought all the equipment and hoses indoors for the winter and that was that until summer...
Summer's here and I've spent the past week or two preparing to open this thing. I went out to Walmart and purchased a bunch of chemicals a couple weeks ago (I still have the receipts and haven't opened any of these yet if anyone says they're garbage!). Here's what I got: Ph Plus, Non-Foaming Algecide, 3" Chlorinating Tablets, and a pack of Super Shock Treatment. All HTH brand.
At this point, I had another friend of a friend come over to try and give me some pointers. He basically told me the stuff I bought was garbage, and to just use the stuff at the Pool Store down the street. A little more expensive, but will do the job better. (Reading the forums here is making me think differently so not sure who to believe). He also noticed I had some cracks in my skimmer face plate and suggested buying a Aquashield skimmer face for the winter so we wouldn't have to drain the water. I actually just did this today and installed it.
Also today, I decided to take apart my DE filter to see how dirty it was inside. Not sure when or if the previous owners ever cleaned it, so I figured it might be a good idea. While doing this, I broke a hose clean off that's going to my Nature 2 Sanitizer. (My question with that is, do I even NEED a Sanitizer? Can I just bypass that all together to get this thing running? Was looking a cartridges for that thing online and they're not cheap.) Sprayed the filter out, and currently have the fingers soaking overnight in Pool Brite Filter cleaner, which I bought from the pool store today. This filter did look like it needed some desparate cleaning, so this was a good call I think. I also picked up a 10 lb bag of diatomite to refill the filter. I then have been refilling the pool with water tonight to get it back to the proper level.
I was planning on bringing some water down to the pool store to test, but after reading these forums tonight, I have just ordered a TF-100 Test kit, which should be arriving here by Monday.
Obviously, I guess my next step is I'm going to have to reattach my filter tomorrow after it's done soaking and hook it back up. I was then planning on re-checking my pump tomorrow now that I have the new wishbone piece installed to see if it works. If it doesn't, I guess I do have to make another purchase of a new pump tomorrow before I can do anything else? Unless someone knows any pump troubleshooting? Last year when we tried to run it, it just buzzed, motor didn't seem to be going.
After that, here's my next questions:
1. Do I even need the Nature 2 Sanitizer?
2. If my pump DOESN'T work tomorrow, is that a problem if I don't add the diatomite right away? I thought I read online somewhere that you need to add it within an hour of filling the filter with water. Not sure if I'll meet that deadline if I have to run out and get a new pump, and hook it up.
3. If the pump does work (or I get a new one), what should be my next set of steps after that?? Add the diatomite? Shock the pool? Alkilinity? Test the water? (can't do that until Monday when my test kit arrives unless I have the pool store test it) Chlorine tablets?
4. Should I use all the chemicals I've already bought, or purchase different?
I will also add that I have a deadline of having this pool swim-ready by July 4th as we're having a big party at the house that day. I work 50-60 hours a week, so my time's always limited as well, so can I do it? And do I have enough time to wait for my TF-100 kit to arrive?
And please, I don't know what half of these acronyms on here stand for, so please explain. I am a true beginner! A pre-emptive thank you for any and all help!