Hey, everyone. I'm over here in Seattle working at a 104-unit apartment community. We have a seemingly clunky 20k gallon kidney-shaped plaster in-ground pool with a TR-140 sand filter, 2.2 HP motor, and a gas heater. The pool was left in horrible shape from the past maintenance. I started in mid-November and the pool was uncovered, not winterized, nothin... I had some envelopes of spare time here and there, but working here alone with all the turns and county inspection last winter had me tied up until May.
Thanks to the forums here, I went from knowing very little about pool chemistry last Friday to obtaining a tight grip on it by Saturday. I've also been struggling with a lot of the system issues this pool had, and most everything I needed to know was found here from the forums.
So, THANKS TO ALL THE MODERATORS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE AND KEEP IT ACCESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME!!!
I have made tremendous strides with a pool that began as green and murky. I knew enough before to vacuum and brush as much as possible to get the pool looking better, and in combination with what I learned here, the pool is almost ready to be open.
There was a Pentair Rainbow 320 chorinator installed in the system line RIGHT after the pump, so the multiport valve, filter, and heater have been exposed to chlorine for years now. Even better than that: the intake was the only thing hooked up! The outgoing hole in the top was plugged. The compression line was routed from PVC to PVC, BEFORE the chlorinator to RIGHT BEFORE the return. In line with that, they also routed 1-inch hose to the same place. That hose adaption point started leaking. What the heck were they thinking when this got put in? I TORE IT OUT AND REPLACED THE PVC--SO MUCH BETTER NOW!!!!
The CYA is 65 (I tested 50-70 depending on which source of light I used, pool store got 65). Because of this, I feel trichlor isn't needed since it has built-in conditioner that raises the CYA. I will try chlorinating with liquid chlorine/bleach, and the rest of the granulated I have (about 2 gallons of a 5 gallon drum left). I also have shock packets for when needed.
Now, the chemicals are good, I'm vacuumed up, and I am waiting for the water to de-cloud from all of the soda ash I added to get my PH from 7.2 to 7.6 (just threw it in Saturday, 54 hours later the 5-foot tile line is BARELY visible, bottom step at 3 feet deep wasn't visible this morning at 40 hours but now is--next time I'll go slowly).
The filtration sucks, though... The TR-140 sticker is punched for the year 2003--not sure if that is manufacturer date or install date, but I am guessing they're relatively close anyway. I am imagining the sand in this thing has not been changed at all during its lifespan. The top cap is dented around the hex shape from being opened with screwdriver/hammer method, and the pressure gauge sits at 8psi when the system is off (reads about 25 when running 30 after vacuuming thick layers of dust).
Not sure if it will help, but I got the owners of the community to get me 650 lbs of sand for this bad boy, and tomorrow I will be shop vacuuming that tank out, checking the laterals (PLEASE, SWIMMING POOL GODS, DON'T LET THE LATERALS BE BRITTLE OR BROKEN FROM ALL THAT EXTRA CHLORINE THESE THINGS HAD OVER THE YEARS!!!!), and adding the new sand.
I'm hoping we can have this pool open to the community this week. As time goes on, there are other things I really want to add:
The returns into the pool don't have jets or threads for jets--they are just PVC outlets set back about 1/2-1 inch into the plaster walls. Can I add jets to these without too much hassle??
I should have bought a T and a cap today and put it on the filter-to-heater line--I'd like to run it up 7-8 feet, 90 degree it parallel to the ground and out of a hole of the poolhouse under the roof fascia to squirt out into the pool for aeration (about 4 feet away). Decided not to because I am unsure if the pressure change is worth it (maybe unnoticeable if adapting it to 1 inch?). Aiming for a pH that doesn't drop and a little flair for the kids who come to the pool.
The pool deck and tiles need a lot of work. I know these issues are important to fix but I'll have pool closed Mondays to maintain it and do the best I can do for projects like this.
Well, thanks again and it is a pleasure to meet you all. Thanks for all the valuable advice!