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Thread: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

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    Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    That's disappointing, just spent a half hour making a post. Poof gone! What's the point of the little yellow Auto-Saved thing that pops up? It saved my Title, that's all. Lovely.


    Anyway, long story short, and without as much detail in the writing, my levels are:

    pH 8.0 (or more, maxed out test)
    FC 2-3 (couldn't tell very well, colorblind)
    TA 260
    CH 800
    CYA 200

    Previous owners had same pool service for years, used pucks, didn't change water.

    How long do you think it took to get to these levels?

    Pool Math says to dump 80% of the water. Looks like time for a fresh start.

    I'll edit to add pics, that's what I was doing when it crashed my browser. This time I'm saving first!
    Edit, guess it saved the pics and the title, just not the body... weird.
    Oh, second pH test was after adding 8 drops during the Acid Demand test. Not really sure what that means.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Total noob that just inherited a 15,000 gallon in-ground pool (with spa (with no heater (previous owners removed it instead of replacing it))), built around 1985 or so in Scottsdale, AZ.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Well darn, Oilstain... sounds like you have a little clean up job on your hands. A lot of times Pool Service folks need to get in/get out fast to make money on the deal. They can visit more pools in a day rather than take the time to really fix problems.

    As to your FC test- can you see the difference between pink and clear water? Because your test sample will be pink after you add the powder. If you add more powder than necessary it should get a bit darker and perhaps that would make it easier for you to see when it turns clear. That is for the FC portion of the test.

    I don't recall how the K-2006 handles doing the CC portion of the test, sorry! Cant advise you on that as I have the TF-100 test.

    I can easily believe that you CH is that high, knowing that your AZ heat causes evaporation and you also have notoriously hard water. There are some tricks to deal with that but since your CYA is going to require some draining of water - that will help lower your CH too.

    How easy will it be to drain and do some refills?

    Yippee
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Welcome to TFP! Good to have you here You'll get great help here as you adopt TFPC, and yep, you're going to be draining. Thanks for doing the research, ordering a good test kit, and putting in a signature. Have you read up on what you need to think about regarding draining?

    In the meantime, I suspect you're adding chlorinating liquid or bleach regularly to stop it from getting any worse. I would take it up to 20 ppm FC if it was mine, until I could get the drain/refill done.

    You likely have more than 200 ppm CYA but it won't matter because it's a major drain/refill. No way to know how long it took CYA to get there but that doesn't matter either. Maybe a couple of seasons.

    Glad you found TFP In case you haven't found this thread, it was helpful to me when I started out: TFPC for Beginners
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Welcome to TFP.

    Yep - a significant drain is in your future but it will help with the elevated CH.

    Using the K2006 tables and the 8 drops for the acid demand test, your pH looks fairly elevated. Once you drain the pool you need to work on getting that pH down.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Quote Originally Posted by oilstain View Post
    That's disappointing, just spent a half hour making a post. Poof gone! What's the point of the little yellow Auto-Saved thing that pops up? It saved my Title, that's all. Lovely.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Sorry you had trouble with your post. The Auto Save recovery function should place a button in the lower left of the text box in the gray bar when you try to make a new post or start a new thread. You can test it out by just starting a post and closing your browser after the auto save indicator shows up once.
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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Thanks all for the replies! (JohnT, if it ever crashes like that again, I'll look for the button in the lower left)

    Yippee, I can see the difference between pink and clear, but does it really go clear or stay murky white? Maybe my level is a bit higher then, since it definitely wasn't clear-clear. (Then again with all the solids in this water, clear is a spectrum)

    I figured draining was as simple as run filter in backwash until 80 % of water is gone, fill with hose... Of course nothing is that simple, so if anyone could point me in the right direction on a couple good draining threads, I'd appreciate it. I read a whole ton of posts and noob tricks and techniques here in the last few weeks (while waiting for the house to close) and I don't recall many posts about the techniques of draining.

    I presume there are two ways to do it, all at once or incrementally. All at once, I empty nearly all the water, then fill back up again. Incrementally, I empty some water, refill, empty, refill ect. In that case I can either math out the dilution rates or just do a few cycles and test levels (non-math way). If I did do the incremental approach, I'd probably math it out as well as test.

    I have a main drain at the bottom of the pool, I just have to figure out how to run only that as the input to the pump. I guess I need to host the pics of my equipment, and post them up.

    Also, I have a big slide valve that seems to be stuck, or I don't know how to open it, or I'm afraid of breaking it and I'm not applying enough force.

    Thanks again, you guys rock!
    Total noob that just inherited a 15,000 gallon in-ground pool (with spa (with no heater (previous owners removed it instead of replacing it))), built around 1985 or so in Scottsdale, AZ.

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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    You don't have to backwash, if your multiport has the option you can put it on "Waste". If you can drain from the main floor drain, there is likely a valve to shut off skimmer(s). Lastly there is always the option of a submersible pump, usually available at your local Harbor Freight/ Northern Tools etc for not too much.

    Be careful not to drain too much if you aren't sure of your ground water level. If you aren't sure, leave a foot in the shallow end.
    32K gallon Plaster - CircuPool SJ-55 SWG - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL/K-1766
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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    The pad. Equipment overview:
    From left to right, there are three pumps. 1 is the skimmer, 2 is the spa jets, 3 is the pop-up system. Pump 1 was replaced not too long ago and is variable speed and programmable. I haven't read the manual on it yet, but it is a 2EZ from US Motors (1.5 hp, not sure which way it's rated). The other two are singe-speed 2.0 hp (also not sure which way they are rated).

    As you can see, I don't have a nice multi-port valve, but the goofy slidey one.



    Some specific shots:

    Return manifold:




    To pump (suction) manifold:



    Here is a side shot of the plumbing coming off the filter:
    It's hard to get a good shot of this because something is always in the way, but it seems like there is a two way Jandy that also has a bypass, so that if it was switched to block flow, the water would run around it and still go to the same exact spot. This makes no sense to me. Can anyone explain why in the world there would be two paths with one of them on a valve?


    From what I can tell with this set up, I can either run in filter mode or backwash mode, no bypass.


    For sake of draining, I feel like only the first pump is going to be of any use. The spa pump pretty much just blows bubbles, and from what I can tell, the pop-up system pulls its suction from the skimmer itself (there's two holes at the bottom of the skimmer, I believe one goes to the first pump, and the other one goes to the third - pop-up system). When I run the pop-ups only (pump 3, no other pumps) I see swirling and a little vortex in the skimmer.


    On the suction manifold of the first pump, there are three inbound pipes. They are labeled Skimmer Suction, Quik Skim, and Spa Suction. I've determined that the one labeled Quik Skim has absolutely nothing to do with the product called Quik Skim (which is a venturi effect skimmer, which I do not have) I do have what looks like a Paramount Debris Containment Canister (as far as internet searching can tell me) Pic below:



    From what I can tell, this pipe (labeled Quick Skim) is the only main drain line to the pump.

    Sliding valve seems stuck. I believe I need to first turn it counter clockwise, then it will raise or lower. I'm afraid to break it, but a medium force on it just starts bending the plastic slightly. How can I get this valve in a backwash position? Would there be less resistance if I drained the water level lower than the valve? The pad is ground level on an inground pool, so I can do that just by opening up the pump's filter basket (scared the drek out of me the first time since it looked to me like it was going to lose prime, but it starts right up and after blowing some air out the returns, it's happy)

    My plan to drain is to get the slide valve into backwash mode, close off skimmer suction, close off spa suction, and open Quick Skim. I think that will work?
    Can anyone give opinions on this set up? And any advice as to how to get the slide valve into backwash




    Edit: Done editing.
    Total noob that just inherited a 15,000 gallon in-ground pool (with spa (with no heater (previous owners removed it instead of replacing it))), built around 1985 or so in Scottsdale, AZ.

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    If you refill a pool in the wrong month, you can pay higher sewer charges all year as a result. Some utilities look at your winter water use, assume none of that is going on the garden, and therefore that's about how much volume you put down the sewer, and then set you sewer charge by that number. You're probably past that point now, but maybe it's worth knowing about.

    The full drain gets the job done with the least time and water purchase cost, but adds risk of the pool popping upwards due to underground hydrostatic pressure, if you happen to be in a low or wet area. Probably not an issue there in Scottsdale, but worth mentioning. Pool plaster doesn't like to be dry, so you want to refill right away. Some people mist the side of the pool that takes full sun, if that occurs. In extremely high risk situations like being near a waterway, there are other more complicated methods. Main thing is that draining a pool is an extreme thing, so it's good to consider all the possibilities for damage.

    That is a weird bypass alright. Just a guess, but maybe in the past it went to a heater and/or chlorinator which got chopped out and they reconnected with whatever fittings they had with them. At least that valve has a handle!

    If a Jandy valve seems stuck, loosen the thumbscrew on top before trying to turn it. The thumbscrew just holds the valve in position so no one messes with it.

    I'm no help on the push/pull valve. Here's a couple videos that might be helpful:
    Poolside Chat Episode 27: Push-Pull vs Multi-Port Valves - YouTube
    Pushpull backwash valves - YouTube

    I hope "Quick Skim" means "Main Drain" for your sake, but as already mentioned, a submersible pump is a good option if it doesn't work out.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Unless you live on top of a lake, you shouldn't have any concerns at all about the water table popping your pool there in Scottsdale. That's always a good consideration though!

    Your key points to remember here in AZ will be not doing it during a sewer metering month, not letting the plaster dry out, and not doing it when the temperature is much over 80.

    I drained fully last year in April when we got that quick two day "cold" snap - I sprayed the walls of the pool every 15 minutes to keep it damp, and had one of the hoses run a sprinkler head in the shallow end to keep the pool floor wet as well. My recommendation to avoid prolonging the process is to just rent a submersible pump from Home Depot or Lowes and drain that way. It will be extremely fast with that method.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Note that the correct terminology for the fasdpd is pink to colorless. Most people say clear, but colorless is a better description.

    It's not a good idea to drain a lot of water using backwash. It can clog the filter laterals.

    The unfiltered water goes inside the laterals during backwash. Any debris that gets through the pump basket will get inside the laterals.

    Backwashing is usually only a minute or so. Therefore, not a lot of debris can build up.

    If backwash is run for an extended period, excess debris can accumulate and clog the laterals, especially if pumping dirty water with algae, grass, sand and other fine debris.

    If the water is clean with no fine debris ( such as grass etc) it might be OK. However, I would avoid the risk.

    Those slide valves almost never work. They work on the day they're installed and that’s about it.

    Maybe consider replacing it with a multiport.

    Also, make sure that you don't have ground water before draining.
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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Okay, I wanted to follow up, the backwash idea didn't pan out - the Quik Skim has an inlet about a foot below the waterline. I'm guessing it's for safety, helping keep people from getting trapped on the main drain. While I probably could have plugged it, the flow out of the pump was pretty ridiculous and overwhelmed my non-draining landscape pretty quickly. The city of Scottsdale says not to empty into the street or gutters, so the other alternative was the sewer cleanout, but that is restricted to 2500 gph or something like that.

    After checking rental prices for a pump, I decided to buy a "rated 2000 gph" pump for a few bucks more than renting would cost. It uses a garden hose, so there's no way it's going to get over the threshold where it could overwhelm the sewage line. It took about 20 hours to empty to ankle deep, but it did the job.

    I then filled from a couple of hoses, which took another day or so, but now I have clean, healthy water!

    FC runs down to about 3.5 to 4 at the end of the day. CC stays nice and low 0-.2. I've kept the pH relatively low 7.2-7.4 as I'm reducing the TA. The TA is at 150, targeting 70 or so to add borates. CH is about 225, and this pool has plenty of calcium build up on the plaster, so if the water decides to steal some, I won't be upset, but my understanding is this level is fine. CYA is between 30 and 40 (at 30, I could barely make out the dot, well before 40 it was gone) I'm happy with these numbers!

    Next adventure is to decide to try to get the pop-ups working properly (one isn't popping at all, several don't rotate) or just go with a vacuum creepy (Amazon has one for $90 or so). I don't have the funds for a full-blown robot at the moment, and I'd rather save up for a SWCG first anyway. The trick would be to replumb the pop-up pump to just run the vac-bot and leave the skimmer alone. I'll start a new thread on this thought though.

    Just wanted everyone to know that you helped me get control of this pool! Now, I just need the water to warm up enough to be comfortable! No new pics right now, sorry!
    Total noob that just inherited a 15,000 gallon in-ground pool (with spa (with no heater (previous owners removed it instead of replacing it))), built around 1985 or so in Scottsdale, AZ.

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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    That's a pretty ridiculous policy.

    Glad you got it figured out though!!

    CH is fine at that level, just keep your pH between 7.2-8 (I'd leave it more towards 8), and you'll be at 400 by the start of next season if you're filling from the tap.

    I love my Kreepy and how hassle free it is.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Pool Guy, You're So Fired!

    Oilstain,

    You must have had the same pool guy as I did. Your numbers before the drain look eerily similar to mine before I let my pool guy go.
    Pool size: 20,000 Gallon Plaster Pool, Pump: Hayward Tristar VS SP3202VSP, Filter: Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320
    Polaris 280 Pressure side cleaner, Solar cover, Pentair Amerilite LED pool light, Taylor K-2006C test kit
    Location: San Jose, CA

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