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Thread: Yet another new pool owner... Uh, oh - no suction??!

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    Yet another new pool owner... Uh, oh - no suction??!

    Gee, I don't even know where to start. We are closing in 2 weeks on a house with a pool. I've been here (and other places) studying, studying, studying. My TF Test Kit came today...whoo hoo. However, everything has been theoretical so far, which is a very hard way to learn.

    So, I come here today, pictures in hand (what limited supply I have at this point), hoping to get at least a bit of a headstart when it comes to understanding how all this information applies to my pool. (That sounds so funny...."my" pool!)

    What we know about this pool:

    Original to the house, we think, so 1972. It is an in-ground liner pool, but the walls seem to be concrete blocks???? Maintenance has been poor, and it shows. The liner was reportedly replaced 3-4 years ago (but the septic had also been pumped 3 years ago...in 2003!!!! Hmmm.....)

    Currently, there is weekly maintenance by someone who comes to test and throw chemicals in. Apparently, while on the market, the pool went green. Hence, pool service, which has cleared up the water, but I'm very concerned about the "Sun" brand chlorinator, and the ginormous bucket of pucks left behind.

    My deficiencies:

    1) Understanding the white "coping" on the edge of the pool, and how the liner attaches. I've read about bead liners, j-hooks, overlap until I'm blue in the face, but I still don't understand how they work with an in-ground pool with that big white facing on top. It appears to be screwed on. What would I find underneath it? Any one have any pictures?

    2) Understanding the differences in vacuuming a vinyl pool as opposed to a gunite/shotcrete pool. Pool School has examples of "vinyl vacuums", but what about those vacuums is different?

    3) Funds and time! We are not moving into this house until next spring, as it needs a fair amout of work, and it is farther from our kids' current school. My goal is to continue as is, while hopefully weaning off the pucks before closing. I'm very concerned about the state of the equipment and sorting out what needs to be replaced first, and with what. My ultimate goal is a SWG, but that is at least a season or two down the road.



    So, my plan is to post small groups of pics (once I figure out how!), so I can get some help identifying what we have and start applying some of my Pool School knowledge. I can't tell you how badly I want to sneak out there tonight and test some water! TFP is making me into a hooligan!

    Thanks for all the info so far, and I look forward to finally having something to do with it!

    Amy
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Welcome Amy and good luck, hope all goes well.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Hi, Amy,

    Welcome to the forum!

    AS you know by now, lots of great people here to help you get the pool in tip-top shape.

    If you are not moving in 'til next Spring, who will maintain the pool between now and then?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Hi Amy,

    Good work on doing all your homework and buying a great test kit!

    You are way ahead of the game

    Welcome to the forum
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Wow, you guys are fast!

    I'll be doing most of the maintenance, because we will be out there alot! Much work to do...pulling out shrubs, prep for termite treatment, painting, seeding over the replaced septic , getting up enough nerve to tackle the scary showers and so forth.

    I'll be keeping the pool company for now, while I try to switch to BBB. We only have about 4-6 weeks of swimming here in Missouri, I'm thinking, and the kids would be sorely disappointed if Mom messed up the pool and they couldn't swim, so it's a bit of insurance. I also plan to grab what info and history I can from the company. I don't know if I'll use them for closing or not...depends on how I feel about them after meeting them, and how confident I feel in myself.

    I've read and bookmarked a few threads about combining pucks and BBB for vacation time. Given the fact that there is that darn bucket of pucks and a Sun puck chlorinator, I'm going to play Scarlet and "think about it (the CYA) tomorrow", while trying to start BBB today.
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Quote Originally Posted by amylucintfp
    I'm going to play Scarlet and "think about it (the CYA) tomorrow", while trying to start BBB today.
    I may be completely misinterpreting this statement, but the two go hand in hand. the problem is the cya is probably too high already, and the chlorine that the pucks will release won't be anywhere near enough to follow the chlorine/cya chart which is the absolute backbone of bbb imo. I'm sure the pool service is using some type of algaecide, so you're gonna have to deal later with whatever they are adding. hopefully it's not metals. I'll be interested to see your first set of test results with this pool. good luck!
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    You're absolutely right. The Scarlet comment was really about tackling bringing down the CYA. Right now, the pool looks good, and my short-term goal is to survive, and then use the off-season to work more actively on switching completely to BBB.

    So, now for the pool itself. Has anyone seen construction like this? The big white covers seem to be held on with screws in the corners. I've been studying all of waste's posts about liners, and I **think** I'm armed well enough to tackle the gapping liner (the lowered water level, hot water, special hand-position tricks!).

    The liner doesn't seem to fit in the corners....I assume it's supposed to fit completely in the receiver around the corners.



    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    Quote Originally Posted by amylucintfp
    I'm going to play Scarlet and "think about it (the CYA) tomorrow", while trying to start BBB today.
    I may be completely misinterpreting this statement, but the two go hand in hand. the problem is the cya is probably too high already, and the chlorine that the pucks will release won't be anywhere near enough to follow the chlorine/cya chart which is the absolute backbone of bbb imo. I'm sure the pool service is using some type of algaecide, so you're gonna have to deal later with whatever they are adding. hopefully it's not metals. I'll be interested to see your first set of test results with this pool. good luck!
    Given the situation, pucks plus weekly polyquat 60 seems like a reasonable tactic for the rest of this season, then looking ahead to water replacement next spring to bring the CYA back down. Sounds like there's enough else that needs doing right now.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Hi Amy Welcome to TFP!!

    I would judge from the pics (thanks for the pics! ) that the liner is ~ 8 years old. You should still be able to get the liner back in the track with some hot water to 'soften' it up

    Ann (frustratedpoolmom) asked me to look at this thread... so I did :P Thank you for the mention of my post Also, you are doing GREAT!! here, you got the best test kit, became a supporter, set up a sig and seem ready to do what it takes to 'take control' of your inherited pool As a new member, YOU ROCK!

    If the liner tucks give you any trouble, let me know and I'll walk you through how to get it back in.

    I really like the 'cut of your jib'! - You've read, researched, gotten the good test kit and WANT to know what's going on with your pool and are prepared to do what it takes to get the pool to a 'trouble free' state


    Please feel free to call upon me any time, if you need some help with your pool!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    You guys are the greatest! I have pool friends! (When I told my husband that the pool needs to be tested everyday, he looked at me like I was from Mars!.....sigh....)

    Paul, thanks for the tip and the support. I've read briefly about the poly, so I'll have to go do some more reading about that.

    Waste, thanks for the kind words. I've been amazed where I've found you! Seems everytime I research, there you are!

    It doesn't surprise me that the liner is that old, although I was hoping to be able to continue to pretend I had some more years before replacement. The reported "3-4 years ago" for liner replacement turns into just about the same timeline as the "3-4 years ago" septic pumping...back in 2003!

    (Someday, for folks who are dieting and would like to skip a meal, I'll post pictures of the showers!!!! . With sufficient warning, of course!)

    So, now a real question. Is that liner supposed to fit into the corners? If so, are there any more corner tips that I will need?

    And, can anybody provide references (or warnings) for maintenance/supplies in or near Kansas City?
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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    Bob_Funk's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Quote Originally Posted by amylucintfp
    I'll be keeping the pool company for now, while I try to switch to BBB. We only have about 4-6 weeks of swimming here in Missouri.
    I am no weather expert for Missouri, but I live in Seattle, weather off the Pacific ocean & our swim season is longer than 6 weeks.

    I would think you have at least 13-14 weeks.

    Bob
    I consider myself very lucky I found this site before the pool store found me-pool owner since Nov 2008- Stunningly clear 17,000 gal fiberglass pool, thanks to this site, installed in 1982-24" 3.1sq. ft sta-rite sand filter, 1 hp - 2 speed wisperflo pump-WFDS-4

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    I'm back. We closed yesterday, so I finally had access to the pool.

    As I suspected, the owners stopped paying the pool service last week. I contacted the company and asked them to continue for now, and arranged for a hands-on equipment demo. The service had only been in use for 4 weeks, so no history there.

    Oh, and the pool is NOT 14x30, as listed. It's 18x36! I need to change my signature.

    We've had massive amounts of rain, upwards of 5" in the past week, with more to come. Average temps are now mid-high 70s, with overnight lows in the 60s. Yesterday, the pool was WAY full. Worked out well, I think, as the pool guy said the brown stuff all over the bottom was dead algea, and that he'd have to vacuum to waste to get rid of it, wasting some of our water. So, they did that today. (I was worried it was sand, but from the discussion in the other sand filter thread, the kids said they couldn't feel the brown stuff...it wasn't gritty.)

    So, numbers now. I apologize for the incorrect labels...I started typing, and realized I hadn't grabbed an example of what a list should look like, and I didn't know how to relate the test names to the list names.

    Monday
    The red/yellow test block:
    Chlorine 2
    Ph 7.5

    FC 3
    CC .5
    Ch 230
    TA 80
    CYA <20 !!!!!!!!


    Tuesday, following vacuuming to waste:
    red/yellow test block:
    chlorine 3
    ph 7.5
    FC - forgot to do!!!!!!
    CC - see above!!!!!!
    CH 160
    TA 110 (these differing results may be operator error)
    CYA < 20


    Given the use of trichlor tabs in an inline chlorinate, I'm surprised at the CYA. I searched and searched the forum for info about weirdly low CYA results, having a vague memory of threads about too much of something not registering at all in the tests and having to use the dilution method. Search wasn't happy with phrases like CYA too low, low CYA levels, etc., as the words were too short. I think I'm on info overload right now, cuz I've been reading these forums from the beginning, and it's all runnning together in my mind.

    So, if your CYA is too high, will it register as too low on the test? Tonight, I tried diluting with distilled water, and got on even lower reading, so I think all I did was waste my reagent.


    Interestingly, the pool plumbing has developed massive leaks in the past 2 weeks, to the point of spraying and dripping everywhere. We will have to do something asap! According to Pentair, the filter is from 1994, but I don't know the average age of a filter.

    So, is there an average length of service of:
    filter
    pump
    gas heater
    motor

    Bob_Funk....that is the approximate time-frame we have left in the swim season, not the whole season.

    I'll post pics of the equipment as soon as I can.
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Interestingly, the pool plumbing has developed massive leaks in the past 2 weeks, to the point of spraying and dripping everywhere.
    Having to add fresh water to the pool to compensate for leaks is a common source of low CYA.

    A test error won't account for it. It sounds like you need CYA. The rest of your test results look pretty good. Once you get your water visibly cleared (do you still have junk on the bottom?), you should be in pretty good shape
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    How long the equipment lasts really is impacted by how the chemistry was maintained, it's kinda hard to say.

    Your CYA is low - since you don't know the history it's possible they started with a fresh fill this season-they may have been having problems and decided to drain and start over.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Quote Originally Posted by amylucintfp
    And, can anybody provide references (or warnings) for maintenance/supplies in or near Kansas City?
    Well there is Price Chopper, Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam's club for Bleach, Baking Soda and Borax. I get my Bleach at Costco 3/182oz Bottles for $8.15.

    There is a Leslie's off I-70 and Noland by the Price Chopper Combo. There is the Water Hole on 40 right past the Blue Ridge Mall heading East. There are also a lot of mom and pop places around for equipment.
    24'x4' AGP Round
    S166T Hayward Sand Filter
    S48K2A2 Hayward Pump

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Thanks for all the responses!

    One thing we discovered is that there appears to be no vacuum hose around, and we don't remember ever seeing any. There are vacuum heads, but no poles, I believe. Is vacuum hose standard, so I can just get any? Or is it specific to particular heads?



    Duraleigh:

    The water is pretty clear; there was brown "stuff" on the bottom. After talking with the pool guy, I'm guessing it's the dead algae from several weeks ago.

    I'm still amazed at the CYA. That was my biggest fear, that I'd have to drain and refill. Now I have to regroup and rethink and research!


    So, too high CYA does not result in the test showing no or little CYA, correct?

    In terms of testing, do I need to wipe the tips of the bottles between every drop for every test, or just the test (can't remember which one right now) that specifically says to wipe?


    FrustratedPoolMom:

    Given everything else, I think I'll have to figure all the equipment is at the end of its lifetime, although I believe the pump may be newer, as the owner made a very brief reference to the pump going out during a casual conversation.


    sgtdvldog:

    Thanks for the info. Are there any places you recommend going to or staying away from?
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    I am new owner as well and haven't had much experience (new house end of May), so I can't really recommend one over the other. That may change next year, in the spring I'll be replacing my AGP liner because it has holes.

    When I started it was all confusing and as I'm sure you noticed, this site makes it easier. I've been using bleach about a month or so and it's so much easier. I have still have some Leslie's shock and pucks, but they are for rare occasions. The shock will keep longer than bleach for emergencies.
    24'x4' AGP Round
    S166T Hayward Sand Filter
    S48K2A2 Hayward Pump

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Quote Originally Posted by amylucintfp
    So, too high CYA does not result in the test showing no or little CYA, correct?
    No, it will show really high, like 100+. You could then dilute it to get a more reasonable reading.

    If your FC is very high, various tests are affected in different ways. The FAS-DPD might need a little extra powder to turn pink; FC much above 10 makes the pH test unreliable; and the exact colors of the TA test might be different. But nothing else in the TF100 needs dilution.

    Quote Originally Posted by amylucintfp
    In terms of testing, do I need to wipe the tips of the bottles between every drop for every test, or just the test (can't remember which one right now) that specifically says to wipe?
    There's only one where we've heard about that problem, which is the R-0009 (third bottle) in the TA test. When you do that test, watch the drops forming on the tip; if they look normal size, no worries. If they look small or are inconsistent, then you'd want to wipe the tip.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    24'x4' AGP Round
    S166T Hayward Sand Filter
    S48K2A2 Hayward Pump

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Yet another new pool owner...

    Too funny! No, mine's already built....just a mess!

    Four questions today:

    1) I found a Feherguard solar cover reel in some shrubs. Looks to be in fairly good condition, other than dirty. How do I attach the solar cover itself? The reel has straps, but they seem to be buckles. Do you normally poke holes in the blanket to attach the straps for most reels?

    2) Since my CYA is still low (need more reagent soon!), I'm going to continue to use the Sun chlorinator for now. But I don't know how to use it! Do you turn off the pump first? I assume you do. Do they normally open at the top? I'll try to post pics as soon as I can. Do I put in just one tab?

    3) In regards to DE, is there a special DE for pools, or is it the same as gardening DE?

    4) Our pool is apparently a hopper-less, sloped pool, going from 3' to 8' over 36' length. When it's time to replace the line, is it possible to change the base to have a hopper? It's difficult for the kids to play since they're always standing on an angle.

    Thanks again for all your help! (I need to stop now, because I started with 2 questions!)
    18x36 26.6k IG vinyl liner over concrete or concrete blocks - liner is slipped-out in spots, but not moving; constant slope from 3.5' to 8'; 1 shallow skimmer/2 deep-end eyeball returns; Pentair multi-port valve; 2010 Triton Sand filter TR60 (replaced identical 1994 model); Sta-Rite Dura-Glas Up-rated P2RA5E-124L 5" pump w/ AO Smith Centurian B848 switchless motor 1hp; (removed-TeledyneLaars LaarsLite heater); (removed-Sun Auto. Pool Chlorinator); (replaced-Hayward Vari-flo valve SP0710x-40)

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