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Thread: Help - No idea where to start - *TEST RESULTS ADDED*

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    Help - No idea where to start - *TEST RESULTS ADDED*

    I have purchased a home with a pool that seems to be in pretty bad shape. I have never had the desire to have a pool and to be honest this one just happened to be at the house that I fell in love with. That being said I now have a pool that I want to get cleaned up and use.

    I only know a few things about the pool. I just started this and I'm wondering if it will be easier to have someone come and look at it. I'm hoping that I can save the money and get help here. Please give me a break.. I have NO Idea what I'm doing.

    I have used the pool calc and came to the conclusion that my pool is about 18,000 gallons. It is in ground. I believe it is plaster. I have not sure what type of equipment that I have, but I do have some brand names. Hayward Multi Valve, Magnetex Pump, and Clearflo Fliter. What I know is that there appears to be a leak with my pump. Also, my DE seems to be making a rattling noise.

    I haven't yet tested my water because this is just the beginning of my venture. I also wondering if I should get the leaks fixed and clean out what I can. I did get a net and cleared out the leafs and junk from the bottom. I cleaned out the skimmer basket, but I will have to do a better job of this because it appears that there is junk under the basket as well.

    I have a lot of sand on the bottom and I'm hoping that I can clean the equipment and then vacuum this out. I did add some bleach, but I know that I didn't add near enough. I figured that something is better than nothing...

    Please help... tell me were to start. Besides a test kit. I will be picking one up this weekend. I have pics but I'm not sure how to load them.

    Steph
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Welcome!

    Okay, pics....pics will help us determine "what" stuff you have...

    If you could, open a free "photobucket.com" account. Follow the instructions and upload your photos there. Then, copy the "IMG" code and paste it into your thread....the photos should appear.

    Next, order a TF 100 test kit. You can't make a better decision for your pool. One thing I learned the hardway is you can't "pick up" a good test kit over the weekend - no one sells them. If one were to carry a test kit it would be a pool store, and they don't WANT you to take control of your pool, they would rather sell you chemicals you don't need, so they don't sell good test kits. Go to the link for TF test kits on our home page and order the one and only. You won't regret it.

    Where are you located? If your plumbing lines froze that could explain the leaks. The pics will help us help you determine how to fix them.

    I'll be honest, it may be easier for you to hire someone to "fix" everything, but it may cost you ALOT of money to do so. We'll do our best to help you out.

    Now, OFF TO Pool School. Read it all, if you haven't done so, and then read it again. Around the third time, and once you start to implement the knowledge you will learn there, it will click and begin to make sense.

    So welcome, we're here to help!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    I only really have a few comments to add to what frustratedpoolmom already said.

    The first thing to do is get that leak fixed. We can probably talk you through it, or it might be simpler to get a professional to handle it. I suppose it depends on how much you enjoy working on plumbing vs how you feel about hiring someone to help.

    There isn't really any point in adding chlorine until your are really ready, plumbing working, lots of chlorine on hand, enough time available, test kit on site, etc. For background, read my article on cleaning up a green swamp.
    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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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    I think the pic actually looks worse than the pool


    Multi valve appears to be leaking at the nut bottom center of this pic


    I hope that this is just a small leak.. maybe just a gasket. Pump was on for about an hour and I think maybe a littl emore than a coffee cup was lost.






    Thanks for the tip on the kit. I was going to get that one, but didn't realize it was an order only deal.

    I thought about having someone fix it, but after finding this site it sure doesn't seem like it would be much work.

    I have done the pool school reading and will be reading a few more times. I am definatley getting more comfortable with the thought of having a pool.

    I know that I'm forgetting something.. I wanted to be sure to get the pics posted tonight because I can't do that at work...
    Thanks for the tip on posting the pics!

    Thanks for ALLL the help
    Steph
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Those leaks aren't too bad, IMHO I think you can work with this. I pictured much worse, if we can't help you figure it out, it shouldn't be that much $$. I had a similar leak at that plug by the multiport valve...there is a washer/gasket thingy on that plug and it could be gone...have you tried to tighten it?

    The leak by the pump...oooh that's a good one. We need the equipment guru's to weigh in for sure. It looks to me like you have a sand filter...time will tell.

    The dial on the wall, looks like a timer to me. The black marks look like burns, almost.

    I can't wait till Ted chimes in.

    That was VERY fast on the pics. Order that kit, you'll have it by like Thursday or Friday...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    We were all in the same boat as you are right now in one way or another.
    Do your reading, ask your questions and in time your pool will be crystal clear and you will asking yourself why was I so upset a month ago ..... this is easy.

    You have already made a major inprovement by ordering the TF100 test kit !

    As your pool clears take pics and post them, we love to see pics ....

    One other thing, if you have a leaf net it might be wise to start trying to get any debris out of the pool if you can. Some of the green problem might be cause by that ....



    Good Luck and Welcome !!
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
    Helpful Links:
    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Hi Steph, welcome to TFP!!

    The pool doesn't look too bad you can see the bottom and it's not just a mat of decaying leaves, etc.

    Let's talk leaks. Always have the pump off when doing any of this! (also make sure that the timer won't turn it back on when you're in the middle of the repairs!) The easier one is the plug on the multiport. All you need for this is a 9/16" wrench and a roll of teflon tape. Use ther wrench to unscrew the plug, remove the old teflon tape and put on new tape (Tim (Spishex) has a post here on using teflon) and screw the plug back in.

    The leak under the pump is a little more work, but easy enough! First get something under the housing (the front of the pump with the basket) so that it won't drop down when you pull off the back end (I think the pipes will hold it up, but let's not risk causing a new leak where the pipe threads into the multiport ). Undo the clamp that holds the 2 parts of the pump together (I think the bolt is 7/16", though it might be 1/2"). Slide the motor/ back of pump housing out of the front part and watch all the water empty from the pump . To access the seal assembly (the part that's probably shot) you need to unscrew the screws holding the diffuser (*tip - have an empty cup on hand to put any screws or nuts you pull off into so they don't get lost!*). Now you have access to the impeller . This thread has advice on locking the shaft to unscrew the impeller (the part numbers are for Hayward pumps, not your Sta-Rite, so don't worry about that - it's the stuff on locking the shaft that pertains to your pump). Speaking of part #s, Sta-Rite has a few different seal assemblies, so I can't give you the number for yours - however all you have to do is take the old one down to a pool store and have them give you the right one - I'd do this with the housing o-ring too. You can call ahead to make sure they stock Sta-Rite seals/ parts Make note of the orientation of the seal assembly when you remove it The new one has to go in correctly or it will fail quickly!

    You'll want some silicon or teflon lube for the o-ring when you put this beast back together.

    If you have any questions on the 'how to's' of doing this, simply ask and I'll clarify for you. Spishex will probably also pop in here, if he hasn't already beaten me to the submit button :P , he may be able to tell you the part #'s and have a couple other tips for you 8)

    I hope you get this all set so you can clear up the pool and get to swimming!


    [EDIT- I'm an IDIOT!! I just looked at the pics again and to lock your shaft, you don't need the linked advice - all you need is a large flat-head screwdriver - pop the round cap that's dead center on the back of the motor and use the screwdriver to keep the shaft from spinning when you remove the impeller and reinstall it. -- I'm just glad I caught this before the eagle eyed nay-bobs did Ha-Ha )
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Wow, Thanks everyone! I'm feeling really good about this now.

    My first question - What is the difference in the Lifetime Supporter when ordering the TF kit?

    Second Question - What kind of cleaning should I do to this equipment? I would like to clean all areas of the equipment when I am doing all of the repairing. I'm a stickler for understanding the way things work... so cleaning will help with that and being sure everything is done. I have seen some crazy stuff that needed repair in this house so I can only imagine how long it has been since the system was cleaned real good.

    I have "gone fishin" for junk once already. Caught a lot! Still some work to do there. I have a BUNCH of sand at the bottom... Actually I was thinking that the pool doubled as a beach at some point in its life. I assume that I will need to vacuum this out once equipment is up to par! ??

    Any other suggestions please throw my way!
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    TF Test Kits offers a discount to people who are lifetime supporters of this site. The test kit you get is identical.

    Pool equipment doesn't really need much cleaning. If there is obvious dirt then brush it off. There isn't any need to do much beyond that. The inside of the filter needs to get backwashed/cleaned, but that is an entirely different kind of thing.

    Do you know if that is a sand filter or not? The sand on the bottom of the pool might have come from the sand filter. Filter sand is extremely fine compared to playground sand. If one of the laterals inside the filter is cracked sand will get into the pool and the filter will no longer have enough sand in it.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    I don't know if it is a sand filter or not. Can I open it up and check it out?
    What/How should I go about that?

    Steph
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Yes, you can open up the filter. First, make sure the pump is off and won't come on. Then loosen the band around the middle of the filter and remove it. The top of the filter should then lift off, though it might take some gentle rocking to get it started.

    When putting the filter back together, you should lubricate the large rubber seal gasket with silicone (or teflon) lubricant. You probably shouldn't start till you have the lubricant on hand.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Great! I think I have a good starting point for repairing. Is there generally something in the pump or multivalve that needs to be cleaned as well?

    Steph
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    The pump strainer basket should be cleaned weekly and every year or every two years you should remove the strainer basket and make sure nothing has gotten into the area below there where the impeller is.

    The rotary multi-position valves are generally fine. Every once in a while the spider gasket will go, but you can tell if that is an issue because water will leak out to the waste pipe all the time, even when the valve is not in the waste position.
    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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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    That's a DE filter. (Easy way to tell - if the multiport handle points away from the filter tank when on 'Filter', it's DE, if it points towards the tank, it's sand 8) [the internals are 180* different on sand vs. DE filters - pause... while folks with sand and DE filters go out to the pad to check :P ])

    I don't know where the sand came from, but the vacuum and filter will get it.

    You're probably going to want to open the filter and properly clean it, but I'd wait until you've gotten the pool ~ clean. Hereis my Use and Care for DE Filters article - use the backwash function to get the pool cleared up (or the vacuum to waste option), then take the filter apart and hose off the grids and start fresh for the season. (With visible algae in the pool, I can't justify hosing off the grids before it's out of the picture, you'll be wanting to after the algae is gone anyway -- also, these filters can be a little tricky to reassemble so the less times you have to do it, the better ) BTW - I'm pretty sure that your filter takes 6 lbs DE when clean (so ~5 lbs after backwashing)

    Steph, I'm trying to make this as easy as possible for you at this point - once you get the pool usable and really start getting in to owning and enjoying it, we can talk about possibly making some equipment and plumbing changes (like maybe next season) - I think what you have will be fine for quite a while I am a little concerned about the clamps on the unions connecting the multi to the filter (the clamps usually signify that the unions are cracked or damaged - as long as it's not a problem right now, let them be and enjoy the pool) I infered from what you said that there is reason to doubt that the pool and equipment was properly taken care of, we'll help you keep what you've 'inherited' going and offer advice if you want or need to replace things

    I know you didn't want the pool to begin with, we're gonna try to change your attitude so that you'll wonder why you didn't have a pool sooner .
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Hey Steph,

    What have you got in the way of equipment? Did they leave you with a pole, brush, vacuum, etc?

    Looks like you're off to a good start. Congratulations on the new house!

    Tim

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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    I have a pole that works properly. HA!

    There was a broken net. (I have since bought one) There is a vacuum that goes on the end of the pole.. that is so beat up I think that is why it isn't picking up. There is a brush that seems to be okay. The hose is old and appears to have cracks on the opening.

    I spent Saturday trying to get some of the sand out of the bottom of the pool. That didn't go well. My skimmer doesn't have suction the whole time it is on. I seems to run for a while then stop sucking the water. I am wondering if it gets junk down in it and stops.

    I am thinking about having someone come out and inspect it..
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

  17. Back To Top    #17
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    If your vacuum hose cuffs are cracked, there's a good chance it's pulling air into the pump. Does the pump get air in it and lose prime when the skimmer loses suction? It might also be a filter issue. You can try vacuuming on waste, or even recirculate (anything you vacuum will just go right back into the pool) to rule that out.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    It seems that the Skimmer stops regardless of what function I'm using. The system will come on and the Skimmer is going good.. then at some point it just stops and the water is no longer sucked down throught the skimmer basket.
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    And this is without the vacuum attached? Do you notice any sucking sounds near the skimmer? Does the pump get louder or get air in it?

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Help - No idea where to start

    Yes, without the vacuum running. Nothing changes on the outside of the pool/skimmer. The only way I know whether it is truely skimming is by lifting off the lid.
    18k Gl, Plaster Pool, Magnetex Pump, Haryward MultiValve, Clear Flo DE Filter, 220 Volt 2 phase timer #T104P by Intermatic.

    Feeling better about my pool, thanks to TFP and the gang!

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