*Dear Forum: Please jump down to my "Conclusions" post and skip the boo-hoo back-story in this first post. Long story short: I'm converting from baqua, I'm temporarily out of funds for 'extras' like all the pool supplies required, most of my equipment is broken and/or inadequate, and I'm trying to figure my next best move out of this green pea soup mess I'm in!! *
I have so many pool issues going on I don't know where to begin. I've learned just enough so far on this forum to realize I'm totally lost. Because I don't have unlimited money and time this year, and with the season slipping away, plus everything being broken or not working properly ... I really need help sorting it out.
I had a trouble-free baquacil pool since 2004 (maybe I was happy because I was ignorant). My motor was likely oversized, 2.0 or 2.5 hp with a sand filter. I hated cleaning out the sand because everything was hard to remove and access.
How I opened in previous years was this: Simply run the turbo turtle for a few hours to get the winter junk out of the bottom, then put in about 2 baqua shock gallons and algicide and algistat, then things were pretty much good to go. Occasional strip readings (i know, they're garbage - but I didn't know that then) - and a monthly pool store reading kept the water blue and the good times rolling.
This year everything, and I do mean everything, has hit the fan. My motor died late last season, so I decided to switch to a cartridge filter and smaller motor (1.0 hp) on advice of the store. I can't run it for more than a few minutes because it clogs with algae. No gate valves came on this motor - or even an on/off switch - so water control is a problem for taking out the filter and washing it constantly. I have the gate valves on backorder and managed to rig annoying and time-consuming temp plugs, but the algae is so heavy, the filter won't run for more than 15 minutes. I hadn't vac'd in 3 or 4 years because the polaris did all that for me! This year the polaris is not working and the replaced new parts aren't working. Plus the pool vac hose is now cracked over time so I can't vac. I just bought a used vac hose at a yard sale that needs new cuffs, which I will buy this upcoming week. The online company I bought the motor from has said they will replace the motor with a bigger one - or even another sand one - depending. (In the meantime, I had geven away and threw away my old pool motor and sand filter parts - so there is no recovery.) *What filter do I need??*
Here are all the conflicting messages which have me stuck at zero:
1) The cartridge filter will get immediately clogged with algae, but without running the motor and filter, you can't clean out the algae. Huh?!??
2) Baquacil will ruin the cart filter, I find out now. (I used 2 shocks a month ago; those are the only baqua products I've used. Is my filter ruined just that fast? Since, I've put about 10 gals of bleach which weren't enough so probably were a waste.) Nothing on the pool supply company's website warned me for THAT, until I got here, which was after I had used the shock.
3) 1.0 hp might be enough power, but the cart filter is probably too small. So it won't run well enough to power the pool cleaner or have enough water flow. At $45 a pop on those cartridges, I didn't expect to need more than one a season, but now I'm not so sure. And I don't know if I've killed mine with those 2 gals of baqua shock or not. Removing the cart filter as an experiment, there is plenty of pressure *with no filter*.
4) I don't know now if I made a mistake with a cart filter or not - I was wanting something simpler than cleaning out the sand and all those tentacles inside the filter that have to be put back 'just so'.
5) I'm confused about the warnings not to mix baqua with chlorine shock which can explode, so after putting in the baqua shock a month ago, is it safe to do a chlorine shock to kill the algae, then vac it out after it has sunk to the bottom?
6) The useless polaris 65/turbo turtle doesn't work with the new parts (Wolfmarsh has tried to help with that on another post) - so this year I can't rely on help from that score. I haven't had enough time to study up on pool cleaners on this forum yet, but I know the polaris has had 'constant' problems from the beginning, so buying another new one would be a mistake. I now would just be happy to get my money back for the bad parts, but that's in question.
7) When I get new cuffs for my vac hose, I saw a video on ehow reminding me how to vac the pool. But first - KEY: How do I kill the algae first so it will sink - what is cheapest and safe or are those 2 baqua shocks long gone, so not to worry. Plus: Running the motor is useless. *SO: without a sand filter 'waste' setting to use, how do I vac and not run the junk back into the pool? I can't quite conceptualize which hose(s) to block off or undo?*
8) I know I must buy the test kit for around $75, but right now I don't have it to spend, as I'm self employed and the economy is just too tight now for my clients, hence for me as well. The nearest pool store is over 40 miles away, and after reading this forum, I'm completely wary of trusting any pool store readings or managers or employees any more, so that option is now cut off. So now what in the meantime?
9) Everybody here seems to agree that baquacil is garbage and overpriced, and I am willing to learn how to do chlorine, but from what I've read it sounds extremely complicated with so many readings to have to understand - it sounds so complicated, it's overwhelming.
SO - Here I sit with a new motor I can't use which may be undersized, a cart filter that may be ruined, a vac hose that's broken, a pool cleaner with new parts that still won't run, a pitifully low budget, and a GREEN pool. It's usually too chilly here after early September for me to enjoy the water, so I'm running out of time. Like I said, everything was golden up to this year, perhaps because I was blissfully ignorant - but at least I was swimming.
Is my path out of this mess easier than it feels right now?
Thank you from Catherine.