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Thread: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

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    Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Hello all, I've been reading quite a bit on this site and really appreciate all the information. My father recently bought a bank owned home with an in-ground plaster pool and I've been given the task of cleaning it up.

    This pool is completely disgusting. It had been sitting around for quite some time with no attention whatsoever. Visibility is less than a few inches and there is a layer of leaves and other organic material at the bottom that seems a couple inches deep throughout.

    I found most of the information I needed in the sticky and the Pool School section. But had a couple more questions.

    1. I understand that I need to run the pump continuously during the cleaning process, however I am hesitant to start up the pump due to the condition of the water at this point. Should I go ahead and start it up or wait until I am able to at least get more of the solid organic material out of the water? Should I use a skimmer sock during this phase?

    2. I have no idea what kind of algae is lurking in there since it is all just a sea of dark green. On the charts and calculator there is a standard shock level and a different shock level for mustard algae. Should I push the FC level to the Mustard algae level or stay at the regular shock level?

    3. What is the best economical way of getting rid of solid organic material? I have a skimmer net but wouldn't mind using something a little more effective.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    You want to scoop out as much solid stuff as you can before you begin filtering. A "Leaf Rake" is a good tool for that, otherwise filling it up so the pump works and then vacuming to waste, bypassing the filter - but that wastes alot of water....

    You want the water circulating for a few hours before you take your first tests.

    You do not want to shock the pool without a way to circulate the water. Regular shock level, maintained by hourly-if-necessary bleach additions is all you need.

    Have you read this article:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/turni...sis-t4147.html

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum. Let us know if you have any other questions.
    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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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    You want to scoop out as much solid stuff as you can before you begin filtering. A "Leaf Rake" is a good tool for that, otherwise filling it up so the pump works and then vacuming to waste, bypassing the filter - but that wastes alot of water....

    You want the water circulating for a few hours before you take your first tests.

    You do not want to shock the pool without a way to circulate the water. Regular shock level, maintained by hourly-if-necessary bleach additions is all you need.

    Have you read this article:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/turni...sis-t4147.html

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum. Let us know if you have any other questions.
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I will do my best to shovel out as much solid material as possible before I turn on the pump. Is the "Leaf Eater" any good or should I stick to a leaf rake?
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    I've never had to use either, but based on the pics I would think it would do the trick.
    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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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    I have found the Leaf Eater to be very cumbersome and it rarely gets used. Unfortunately, I do not like the leaf rake either as it becomes too heavy when you scoop lots of leaves and is difficult to maneuver to get the leaves out unless you have a helper. Since I tend to my pool alone most of the time, I use the regular skimmer net to 'scoop' the leaves off the bottom and then tip it to discard the leaves. This process is taking a long time, but it is much more manageable for me.

    Good luck!
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Thanks for the advice, I'll stick to using nets for now.

    I had one more question regarding preparation for shocking.

    Should I check and adjust the TA or CH prior to beginning the shocking process or should I adjust only the CYA and pH before adding in the bleach?

    Thanks again for the great information.
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Should I check and adjust the TA or CH prior to beginning the shocking process or should I adjust only the CYA and pH before adding in the bleach?
    What are your current test results?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by hotarri
    Thanks for the advice, I'll stick to using nets for now.

    I had one more question regarding preparation for shocking.

    Should I check and adjust the TA or CH prior to beginning the shocking process or should I adjust only the CYA and pH before adding in the bleach?

    Thanks again for the great information.
    Yes, Dave is right if you post your test results we can advise you better. Typically you would focus on the PH and CYA before you add chlorine and before you worry about TA and CH.
    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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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Great idea, thanks for the help. I'll do the tests this weekend and post up the results. Will need to grab a good test kit. I think I'll kill two birds with one stone and get my dad an FAS-DPD test kit for Father's day.

    I'll also try to get some pictures of the pool and plumbing so you guys can see the mess and possibly notice something that I would miss with my lack of experience.
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Okay, keep in mind that the kits you want are rarely found sold in stores - the TF100 is only sold online and usually the pool stores don't sell the Taylor K-2006, just a poor substitute. You may find it easier to just order it online.
    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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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    If you order the test kit now, and spend the next day or two scooping leaves, I'll bet the test kit would be there by the time you were really ready to start adding chemicals. That pool has been sitting so long -- what is another 2 or 3 days?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Is the TF100 significantly better than Leslie's branded K2006? I was planning on calling around to see if I could find one locally. I would order the TF100 online if it is the better test kit because we're in no rush, will obviously be grabbing the TF100 online if none of the local Leslie's carry the K2006.
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    The TF100 and the Taylor K-2006 are very similar in many ways. The main difference is that the TF100 includes larger quantities of several of the reagents, so it will last you longer before you need to replace anything. There is a detailed comparison in Pool School.
    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: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    I'm finally getting around to working on the swamp, my parents decided to do a good bit of remodeling and landscaping on the new house and we decided not to get the pool going until all the construction was done. Over the past couple weeks we've been shoveling as much sludge out of the pool as possible, at this point the leaf rake comes out more or less empty when we drag it across the bottom.

    We filled up the pool on Thursday and tried starting up the pump on Friday. We found a leak out of the slide valve along with a crack in the valve cap. We wound up buying a new slide valve and installing it yesterday, we left it overnight to cure.

    Today we are going to try running the pump again, if all goes well we'll also start shocking today.

    We bought a TF-100 test kit so I'll get the CYA, FC and pH numbers once the pump has been running for a little.

    I wanted to check a couple of things before we started.

    1. I picked up some skimmer socks to use while the pump is running to catch as much larger debris as possible before reaching the DE filter. Should I go ahead and use these or is it best to let the filter work on its own?

    2. There was a water slide installed by the prior owners, while remodeling my parents had the workers get rid of the water slide. They really didn't know what they were doing and wound up cutting the copper pipe that that fed it water near the level of the concrete ground and hit it with a hammer to crush it just under ground to avoid tripping on it. Obviously when we turned on the pump water starting squirting out of this hole in the ground. I melted some solder and poured it into the hole yesterday in an attempt to terminate it, will see if it works today. Does anyone have any other ideas on how to fix this? I don't see any valves going to it, it seems like it is connected underground to the return line. I'm hoping that we don't have to tear out concrete to fix this.

    Thanks again for the all the help.
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    One more question I forgot to bring up, the pool came with a Polaris 180 cleaner and booster pump. Should I run the pump and cleaner while the main pump and filter are running or should I wait till the pool clears up more before using the automated cleaner?
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    I started shocking this morning.

    The solder did the trick on the broken pipe.

    We decided not to use the skimmer socks for the time being.

    When we started the booster pump for the automatic cleaner we noticed that the planter next to the pool became flooded. It turns out that the landscaper broke the hose from the booster pump. We wound up cutting and terminating it, so it suffices to say that we aren't using the automated cleaner.

    The pool is a cloudy blue now and only losing about 3ppm of FC every hour.

    The numbers are:

    TA 90
    CYA 30
    FC 13
    pH 7.5

    There's water in the filter pressure gauge so I'm not sure it is super accurate. The filter started at around 8psi now we're up to about 13psi. Will backwash in a little.
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Sounds like you have had some problems but have them under control

    I would use the skimmer socks, but keep an eye on them and clean them as needed.
    They can be rinsed out easily and put right back on. I do it all the time.

    Your numbers look pretty good, too. Did you test for CC & CH?
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Thanks, we definitely got off to a shaky start, but going pretty smoothly at this point. Actually pretty shocking how quickly the water changed color once we added the chlorine.

    I'll put a skimmer sock in tomorrow.

    I didn't think to get the CH numbers at this point, I didn't measure the CC either since I thought it would just be absurdly high because of all the algae. I'll include those two tests tomorrow and post the results.

    We also got the hose from the booster pump fixed so the Polaris is roving around, it seemed to pick up some stuff and we'll take all the help we can get. I does seem to get caught up on corners pretty frequently though.

    I got some pictures this morning right after the first chlorine application.
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    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

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    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Water is still cloudy, but improving slightly. The pump managed to turn itself off overnight last night, I had it manually set to "on" and wasn't aware that it would turn itself off based on the timer regardless of the manual setting. I got it straightened out and I'm hoping that it keeps going strong until tomorrow morning.

    CH was 160, so not too bad. I went ahead and added 10 lbs of calcium chloride. I was afraid of adding any more since I can't see the bottom yet and I don't want the powder sitting around. I scrubbed blindly as much as possible.

    CC varied between .5-1.5 ppm throughout the day.

    pH 7.2

    FC 15 losing about 0.5ppm per hour during the day

    CYA 20 I think all the water I'm dumping during the frequent backwashing (twice daily) is lowering the level, I added a half gallon of instant stabilizer tonight.

    I didn't measure TA today.

    I'm hopeful that I'll see the bottom of the shallow end tomorrow.
    20,000 Gallon IG Plaster Pool
    36 sq ft DE Filter
    Polaris 180 cleaner

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Newbie trying to clean up a swamp and have some questions.

    Try to test and keep your FC up as often as possible. With that green swamp, the chlorine is going to be used really quickly!

    Your backyard will look great once your get the pool clear! nice landscaping on the back side!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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