14 years of pool stores and failure...

Numb

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2017
129
Phoenix, AZ
Long story short (ok, I just finished typing and re-reading, its not short at all), bought a house with a pool 14 years ago. For 14 years I've struggled with it. Always felt like the constant turnstyle of 'experts' at the pool store were blowing smoke...based on all the reading I've done here lately, that seems to be true.

Found this site and started reading everything I could, finally found something that makes sense to a logical mind.

Back in March I started fighting a pond. I got taken for around $500 over the course of a month for this and that random ridiculously expensive chemical. The color cleared up but man the water was cloudy and it just wouldn't give up. I mentioned things I had read like adding DE to my sand filter and they responded like I was insane. *sigh* Yet I kept handing them $$$. The fault is mine for not finding this place a decade ago.

At the same time I got an MX8 Elite. Haven't had any kind of cleaner other than a broom/vacuum/pole in the last 5 years after my G2 which never quite worked was junked. I deliberated extensively about a robot and had I found this place earlier I might have done it. Maybe down the road a bit, doesn't hurt to have both right? :)

The cloudiness never cleared, eventually it started to go green again at which point the cloudiness settled.

That being said, I ordered a K-2006 and some refills on the essentials for clearing this pool up (in retrospect I wish I had gone with the TF-100 but...now I know where to get my refills). I went and refilled on two crates of 12.5% HASA from the LPS in the interim. I used some strips I had just to get a rough baseline until my kit got here (lots of zeros in those results, including chlorine and CYA). The face of the 6 LPS's that I checked for a K-2006 in stock should have said it all...they thought I was nuts. "But....we can test your water. Not even the pool guys use those." Yeah, no thanks. I got this.

Ok, sorry enough story time. So CC, FC, and CYA were all zero. PH and TA looked ok. CH was showing high but meh, its Arizona water. Its high as soon as it leaves the pipe.

I added enough CYA (sock over skimmer with manual intervention to hasten the process) to get my level to around 30-40 based on pool math and assuming current level zero. Since then I've been doing as sufficient of a SLAM as I can using strips (in the trash tomorrow I promise!) until my kit gets here tomorrow so I can start seriously crunching the numbers. I've definitely seen progress. Once I vacuumed the green'ing clear'ish pool as expected it went full green and cloudy after stirring everything up. Its still about half cloudy but the color has lightened up a lot since I started on Sunday. Have been brushing and/or vacuuming daily. Still not clear, but its definitely getting there. I know I can't truly be SLAM'ing until I know my exact numbers but, I didn't see any value in letting this thing pond up on me during the five day wait.

The pool as a whole needs work, but its perfectly functional. It really needs a whole makeover, and maybe after I stop dumping so much $$$ in to chemicals I don't need, that can become a reality. Its been neglected over the years, and thats on me. Call it ignorance induced frustration. No more of that non-sense. I am a numbers guy, this suddenly just became much more intriguing.

I did replace the sand filter/sand and the backwash valve last summer. Pump was rebuilt about 5 years ago. No multi-port valve, nothing fancy. Its your average ordinary diving pool built in 1974 (and it looks the part).

I'm ridiculously eager for this test kit to show up tomorrow so I can start sharing numbers and getting this thing ready for the family to swim in this summer. My goal is simple, for the first time in 14 years, I'm going to keep this thing crystal clear and beautiful all summer. Just wanted to start a thread in preparation for posting numbers tomorrow. Glad I found all of you, I hope you can tolerate me!

Thank you to all of you for everything you have already taught me. This place is loaded with great information.
 

Analogbytes

Bronze Supporter
Dec 22, 2016
291
Arlington, Texas
Welcome to TFP! Definitely looks like you have done some reading and put 2 and 2 together. We look forward to seeing some numbers and helping you get that old pool looking brand new.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
Well, I am glad you found us too. Welcome aboard.

My favorite thing being part of this forum is seeing the light come on for people, and cases like yours are really what keep me coming back. I get truly disgusted reading how pool stores run people through the ringer, but then, just as elated reading about someone taking the reigns like you are. Keep doing what you are until the kit arrives, and we will be anxious to see the numbers when you post them up.

I'll be keeping an eye out for your post, and look forward to seeing your first (and last) slam on this pool!
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
If you get a chance, please post pics of your pool and progress. As your cleanup progresses, the pics will become very helpful.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
Welcome to TFP!

I can't wait to watch your pool go from swap to oasis, and to see your joy in using the pool. Like you I struggled with pool $tore potions then decided to educate myself. This site has been a priceless source of fact based info, and wonderful members who are truly in it to help others. I'm proud to be a part of it.

BTW- We LOVE pictures!

Nice to have you with us.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,412
Evans, Georgia
So after you get the test kit and get your pool in order.....will you still be "numb"?? LOL

Welcome to TFP. It is completely science based and the most frugal way to care for your pool. You are gonna be amazed when you see how clear and clean your water can be.

Yippee :flower:
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
Hello Numb and welcome to TFP. I have confidence you will find the success you've been missing. I've only had my pool for less than a month now. It is big and old and it's my first. I got my test kit the day we closed on the house and my water is sparkling everyday with balanced numbers...AND...it's so easy! Everyone I know shocks their pool every week and their pools smell awful. My water smells fresh as a daisy. Just waiting for the water to warm up enough to jump in now. I look forward to seeing your numbers and pics. I'm so glad I knew about TFP before I got the pool. I found it three years ago when we were thinking about building new. That didn't happen and we finally ended up finding the perfect house with an existing pool. You have entered the light at the end of the tunnel!

Enjoy!

Crystal
 

Numb

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2017
129
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone, much appreciated.

UPS is throwing a damper on my testing party today, just got notice that there has been a delay with the trailer my package was on, delivery date unknown at this point. Hopefully its just a one day delay.

I'll grab a pic once there is some sunlight on it. Just fair warning, its not the prettiest pool ever! It may hurt your eyes. I'm quite envious of all of your gorgeous pools. lol Plaster issues on the steps, deck needs resurfacing, whole dang thing needs a makeover. One thing at a time for now.

And I'll always be 'numb', of at least some variant. :cool: Its a long story.
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,495
Tucson, AZ
If it holds water, and that water is lovely and clear and sparkling, you can overlook blemishes - nobody cares if the plaster is pretty as long as they can use it to cool off on a hot day - and we're already getting hot days here in AZ!
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
I love a vintage pool! Bring it on. Once you get your water right you can start doing all kinds of things to make it the best it can be. I have all kinds of ideas to improve my old pool. It's fun! Post away and everyone will come up with all kinds of fun projects for you. Kimkats will love to help you spend your money on something besides pool store chemicals for a change!

Crystal
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
No worries man! That just means you have potential for a smashing remod at some point. I hear, some members like those as well or better than a new build. :lol:

If you get Kimkats involved, she will help you decide on lots of goodies, but most of all...LOTS of BLING!

You cant miss her....She always shows up with her :kim: to cheer people on.
 

Sfpat

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2016
116
tulsa
Something to consider. You might want to check your CYA number. I was surprised that it was zero after 14 years of "pool store". Typically that means lots of shock and pucks and CYA through the roof.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,507
Tallahassee, FL
I love a vintage pool! Bring it on. Once you get your water right you can start doing all kinds of things to make it the best it can be. I have all kinds of ideas to improve my old pool. It's fun! Post away and everyone will come up with all kinds of fun projects for you. Kimkats will love to help you spend your money on something besides pool store chemicals for a change!

Crystal
No worries man! That just means you have potential for a smashing remod at some point. I hear, some members like those as well or better than a new build. :lol:

If you get Kimkats involved, she will help you decide on lots of goodies, but most of all...LOTS of BLING!

You cant miss her....She always shows up with her :kim: to cheer people on.
You rang??????? Never fear! :kim: is here!!!!! :super:

You have so found the right place to care for your pool! We will get you all set up and it will be FUN!

Pool $tores ruined my last pool :( "Oh just take out an inch or so of water and add some new back in. That will take care of everything. Don't forget to add this and that." NOT! My numbers were so off my liner "rotted" out even with water in it! WHOOSH! Out is went almost taking me with it! I did not replace it until my hubby found TFP. I bought the test kit BEFORE I ordered the new pool :shock: LOL

I now LOVE my pool and am a MOD on a pool forum! Funny how things turn out!

Did you know you can buy a "baby" test kit at Wal-mart? The hth 6 way test kit. It has the CYA test in it. It does NOT have the upper level FC test though. It is up to you if you want to see if you can find it and find out your CYA level before your grown up test kit gets there.

I would LOVE to see a picture of your pool and area! We can come up with all kinds of way to fix it up! Taking a picture a day of the water looking down at the steps will really help you and us see it clear and give us a good time line.

:hug: we got ya!

Kim:kim:
 

Numb

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2017
129
Phoenix, AZ
So many responses, you guys are awesome. Also see the suddenly legendary :kim:has joined. Things are looking up!

So I'm waiting on an update from UPS on my test kit and when it will be delivered, but if it won't be tomorrow I may go grab that mini test kit just to at least baseline CYA. As far the question earlier about concerns it wasn't actually zero...I have those concerns too and I know there's a chance that the chlorine I've been dumping in it this week is all for naught. I'm prepared to eat that (well, not literally), I just didn't want it getting worse.

Its getting better on a day-to-day basis, its now definitely a shade of something not entirely green so thats an improvement. It looked so much worse a few days ago. I'm adding pics below, for whatever reason they look darker than it does in person but thats ok (probably due shadows from the cloudiness), I'd rather it looked worse than it is, than better than it is. Enough rambling, here's 2000 visual words:

IMG_3376_zpsqhjoi2yg.jpg

IMG_3378_zps7q0v2wwj.jpg
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
809
West Bloomfield, MI
That's the pool you were ashamed of? My only disappointment in your pics is that we can already see the bottom! Another way to kill some time while you await your kit is to do a search here on variable speed pumps. I waited 8 months to upgrade. I wish I had done it sooner.
 

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