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Thread: Please help, struggling first timer here.

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    Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Hello Everyone,

    I am struggling this year with my first pool open. I bought the house at the end of the summer last year and wasn't home when they closed it down. I have been looking at a lot of posts over the past few days and I ordered my test kit should be here saturday.

    Stats:

    Southeast Michigan
    Salt Water Pool
    custom shaped pool (estimated 30,000 gallons) plus hot tub with waterfall
    TR-100C sand filter
    Problems: Don't know how to open the valves and start up equipment and lots of dirt & leaves in pool.

    So I tried looking on the forums but can't find anything similar to my plumbing. I have someone scheduled to open my pool next wednesday but I think my algae problem is just going to get a lot worst before then. The guy who opens my pool said mine was different and looked more "commercial" than residential. I just don't want to blow up my pumps or break anything. Can someone please help me figure which valves and what to do?

    I also have a ton of leaves & dirt in the pool from the pool cover falling in/slipping while taking it off.

    I ran a pool brush across the bottom to try to get the leaves in the shallow end. I bought a leaf bag vacuum that hooks up to the garden hose to try to get the leaves out but it kind of sucked. It is similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/Sucker-Leaf-S...af+sucker+pool

    I couldn't figure out how to post multiple images on ehre but here is an album of way too many photos but I wanted to be thorough....
    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet


    Thanks,

    Ryan
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Welcome!

    Lots of pictures in that album -- very nice first post. I'm still confused trying to figure it all out, though.

    I wouldn't worry about it getting worse without the pump going. It's already pretty bad.

    Do you own a leaf rake?


    That's what you should be using right now. There is an up and a down, believe it or not. One side has a bevel, so you can draw it across the bottom sort of like a dustpan and it catches the sludge. All that crud has to come out eventually, and the more you take out manually, the less the chlorine has to work on so it will clear faster. That much stuff will overwhelm a vacuum or cleaner and could clog plumbing.

    I'll study on your pictures some more and try to figure it out. I can already see you have a spa booster pump and a booster for a pressure-side cleaner and what looks like a saltwater chlorine generator. You might want to have a look at that square thing in the pipe that is inline with the filter label in the top picture. Hopefully its not some nonsense ozonator or UV thing.

    When your arms can;t take any more brushing and scooping, have a look at Recovering my old inspirational links Some of the older one have somehow lost their photos, but you'll see you're not the first to go through this. If they can do it, you can do it.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    There is nothing commercial about your setup. Fairly standard.

    The only problem I see with your plumbing is that the actuated valve next to the heater has the supply line (coming from the heater) closed. So there is no way for the water to get back to the pool.

    There should be a little toggle switch on the actuator (the black box sitting on the valve), flip it one direction and see if the valve turns. If so, then you should be able to fire up the pump. If the water is all being returned only to the spa (it is currently setup for suction from the pool), turn the pump off and flip that switch the other direction. Then fire the pump back up.

    I am a little worried in that the actuator really should not be allowed to put the valve in that position.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW, the 2 grey valves on the pipes coming out of the ground ... those are your suction lines from the pool. I am guessing 1 is for a skimmer and the other is for the floor drain. Currently the left one is closed and the right one is open. The other pipe coming out of the ground to the right (not the little one). Is the suction line from the spa. The actuated black valve has the spa suction line closed, so all flow if from the pool. The pump to the right must just be a pump for the spa jets.

    The other smaller pump with the small pipes is for a boosted pressure side cleaner in the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Hi Guys just an update. Says my attachment size is too large but here is a picture of the pool this morning: http://i.imgur.com/kiPRIkx.jpg

    Richard, I managed to find a pool rake in the "pool junk bin" from the old owners! This thing worked great thank you.

    Jblizzle - So what position should my valves be in when I turn on the pump? Should I open up the left one? The electric control valves worry me a bit. Currently there isn't power to anything so i'm a little scared to turn it on and have the pumps just start going. I also can't seem to find where one of the screw in caps with an o ring on it go to....I feel like I checked every inch of this thing! I do have two skimmers on this pool so maybe they both go to skimmers? i don't know.

    Thanks for the help guys!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    The plug sounds like it is a drain on one of the pumps I'm guessing. You need to supply power to the actuator in order to turn that one valve by the heater that's the only one that needs to be moved before you turn the pump on.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Man that's a mess, once you get the pump working, I would first push all those leaves to one area with your brush and then vacuum to waste. All that junk will bypass the filter and save you a little frustration. Just be quick about it because you will lower your water.
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Thanks guys it was a heater plug. I got the water circulating in the pool but it looks like my sand filter pressure gauge is stuck at zero?



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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Time to order a new gauge ... tftestkit.net has really nice ones for the cost of the junk you will find locally.

    Do you have a test kit? If not, I recommend the TF-100 with the XL option which you will need to clear your pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    I ordered the tf last night but probably won't be here until next week. Picking up a cheap test in the mean time for ph since pool store said it was 8



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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Give them a call and add a gauge, might still be able to get them together.

    Do it quick though as they will be shipping it today.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Hey guys so I got the Walmart 6 way test kit and compared it to the Leslie's test while I wait for my tf kit to come. My CYA showed up as zero in multiple tests?! My ph was 8.2 so I just added muriatic acid. Should I adjust cya before a slam? Salt is also about half of what it should be (1800 vs 3600)



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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmubronco View Post
    Hey guys so I got the Walmart 6 way test kit and compared it to the Leslie's test while I wait for my tf kit to come. My CYA showed up as zero in multiple tests?! My ph was 8.2 so I just added muriatic acid. Should I adjust cya before a slam? Salt is also about half of what it should be (1800 vs 3600)
    If that was the Walmart test strips, I'd wait until you get your TF-100. Both strips and pool stores can get CYA wrong. CYA is not consumed in your water like chlorine.....once it's there it stays there and don't want it to get too high or you'll be facing the need to drain. That is why I'd definitely wait on your test kit before adding CYA.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Ok I didn't even get a shipping tracking number for the tf test and I ordered it last night....it makes sense because I had issues with chlorine last year I think I'm going to add half then slam.



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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    It was the 6 way both Walmart test not strips



  15. Back To Top    #15
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    That would reliably say that your CYA is likely low. For the SLAM usually you want the CYA to be at least 30ppm.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    More updates. From when I started, when I woke up yesterday, when I woke up today, this afternoon.

    I have added a lot of bleach, some stabilizer (cya was 0), 400 pounds of salt, dichlor, and lots of brushing and leaf raking. I also tried to do an acid soak on the intellichlor and replaced my broken pressure gauge on the sand filter.

    I also found out that the old owners never replaced or cleaned the sand filter or the intellichlor in 10 years!

    Waiting on my tf100 kit to come next week (never got any tracking info and no returned call Friday so no idea if it even shipped?)

    I am waiting on the wrench to take off the sand filter from Amazon that should come Monday and I'm going to try to deep clean that but if it doesn't work well I'll be replacing the sand.









  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    That looks like some fantastic Improvement!
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    So update for today:

    I got my TF100 test kit

    Here are my numbers:

    FC 5.0
    CC 0
    PH 7.2
    TA 110
    CH 260
    CYA 40
    Salt 3900
    Bor 0
    CSI -0.63

    Hardness seems really low and alkalinity a little high. It gave a warning that it might cause issues for my pool because of the CSI? Is this safe to swim in?

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmubronco View Post
    So update for today:

    I got my TF100 test kit

    Here are my numbers:

    FC 5.0
    CC 0
    PH 7.2
    TA 110
    CH 260
    CYA 40
    Salt 3900
    Bor 0
    CSI -0.63

    Hardness seems really low and alkalinity a little high. It gave a warning that it might cause issues for my pool because of the CSI? Is this safe to swim in?
    You're all right. A couple kids splashing around will aerate enough to raise the pH a little, and that will fix the CSI.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    klynch494's Avatar
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    Re: Please help, struggling first timer here.

    Your pool is going to look amazing by the time that you're done with it...just sayin'

    Keep up the good work!


    Kevin, TFP Believer & Supporter
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