we have a mid-70's in-ground clipped corner Grecian with a vinyl liner (had a new liner installed last year), 1HP Pump (possibly original), and a newly purchased Hayward C900 Cartridge Filter.
we estimate that our pool is 32,000-36,000 gallons.
we had a Heldor / Baquacil pool when i was little and it was my job to keep it maintained, so my pool knowledge is 25 years out of date which means i'm basically starting from zero knowledge here, and we're trying to use the BBB method as much as possible... and even though i've been reading Pool School and many other posts/threads in this forum for the last few months, i frequently get completely overwhelmed and utterly lost. but i'm trying!
we bought this house as a foreclosure a couple of years ago, and the pool had been drained/ruined while the house sat empty. we had a new liner installed last year and we THOUGHT the people we hired to do that were also testing the integrity of the plumbing/etc but they didn't except to say "yep, pump works"
the pool has one main drain (is that what it is called? looks like a white frisbee?) in the bottom of the deep end (our pool when i was little, even though bigger than this one and installed around the same time, didn't have one), and one in-wall skimmer.
there are three eyeball type returns, one at the built-in steps and one on either side of the deep end.
the in-wall skimmer has two holes in the bottom, that you see when you lift the skimmer basket, and there's a Thingie(tm) that can be slid to cover one or the other, or be left in the middle to leave them both open, which is where it is now.
i do not know what they go to!
last year, after we had the new liner installed, and got the pool filled... once the water level got over the returns, it wouldn't get any higher and never got high enough to reach the skimmer. a couple of the PVC pipes coming up out of the ground by the old DE filter had valves, so we tried switching them to the other direction, but still the water level wouldn't get above the returns - AND the ground between the pool and the platform the filter/pump are on had become thoroughly soggy (not muddy, just damp. and it hadn't rained.).
at that point we figured there was a break in the plumbing somewhere, probably beneath the concrete sidewalk around the pool and we had spent pretty much all the money we had to spend on this project (and then some) so we just gave up and let it sit until about a month ago.
i'm pretty sure the DE filter that was attached to the pool was original (Hayward Perflex EC65) and too small for the size of the pool to begin with. the only markings i've found on the pump is a sticker with the specs and the name A.O. Smith, Model C48K2N143C1C.
now, going by the basis of SOME is better than NONE... my husband disconnected and capped off the pvc pipes from the existing plumbing, used expanding wingnut type plugs to seal the returns and ran new above ground piping from the pool to the DE filter. and we opened up the filter and cleaned it, as per the instructions in the manual (found online).... then connected it all together and tried that for about two weeks.
along with LOTS of bleach, a dozen packages of 73% Calcium Hypochlorite shock. and two quarts of Rx Clear 60% Poly Algaecide. because we had a swamp from the pool sitting uncovered for a year.
that gave some improvement, but the water returning to the pool from the filter was just as green/cloudy as the water in the pool - if not moreso.
there's more, but to make the story as short as possible, i'll just skip to the punchline: my husband decided we needed a new filter.
enter the Hayward C900 Cartridge Filter.
still connected to the pool with above ground pipes (one in, one out).
and lots more bleach.
as of this afternoon, the water is murky/cloudy but not green. a little gray-ish at certain angles, but i can see the bottom of the shallow end!
and there's lots of sediment that, when vacuumed out, looks exactly like the used DE that was in the old filter. so i'm thinking that's what it actually is, which would explain why it is so hard to get out.
i have a 4-way test kit, and some 5-way test strips. i would love to get one of the good test kits but i simply CANNOT AFFORD IT. i'm not working, and my husband is self-employed and things are going so slowly that we don't have much money to throw at the pool right now. we can afford the bleach, and that's about it. and even that's just barely. so why am i bothering to try to make the pool usable? because we have already spent SO MUCH MONEY on it. i'm trying to make my husband not regret moving here any more than he already does.
about a week ago, i made some money on ebay and we went to the nearest pool store and had them test the water, and bought a jug of stabilizer. according to their Pinpoint Computerized Analysis, our CYA was 9 so i got their 4lb jug of Poolife Stabilizer & Conditioner - which is 2lbs less than what their calculations said we needed (but was all i could afford, after buying lots of bleach). again, a little low is better than none, right?
poured it in a sock, hung it in the water and it is mostly all dissolved now.
i've been sweeping the pool surfaces at least once a day, which stirs up everything sitting on the bottom (what i think is old DE) and i think some of it gets removed by the filter, but the rest just settles back. i've vaccumed (to waste) some of it out, too.
i've gotten nearly all, if not all, of the leaves/etc out of the deep end, but since i can't see, i'm not certain.
now, the most recent test results, using both a strip and the test kit:
the colour gauge on the test kit showed our pH as being around 7.2, and the strip said 8
test kit doesn't register as high as our chlorine was, the test strip read TC 3ppm and FC 3ppm
the test strip shows our TA is probably over 240
and the test strip shows our Total hardness as being about 200
so. now you know what i know. any assistance y'all can offer will be greatly appreciated.
i know i need to get the pH & TA down, so i'm scrounging to see if i can come up with the money to get some muriatic acid tomorrow, even if i have to pay in change.
but aside from that, i'm still lost.
oh! and i'll put info about our pool in my sig, if someone would kindly help me figure out what i should say.