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Thread: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

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    New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Hi,

    My husband and I live in Michigan and purchased a house last fall that has an in ground gunite pool. It was covered with a loop loc cover and the pump was running when we purchased the home, but when we looked in the water it was black and there the walls are black too. We had the pool company in town come and close it up for us, so we could watch them and do it ourselves next fall.

    Now it is spring, and a nice warm spring for Michigan too! What we need to know is what do we do with the pool now? The pool company said that they could salvage the water and clean it up within a couple of weeks. So, when do we start? Should we take the water into them to have it analyzed and buy chemicals from them? Or is there a better and cheaper way to do things?

    ANY input would be very helpful because though my husband and I are excited about having a pool, we're quite worried about cleaning it up and the maintenance. Neither of us has any experience with pools, other than swimming in them

    Thanks in advance,
    Trisha
    IG Concrete Pool 25,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo High Rate Sand Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Welcome to TFP!

    This is something you should be able to do yourself, for much less than the pool company would charge. It will be a little work every day for a week or two, but it shouldn't be too bad.

    The first step is to get the pool opened and the equipment running. Then clean up any debris that got into the pool. There shouldn't be very much because of the cover, but often a few leaves will get under the cover or find their way in some how. Depending on how opaque the water is, you will probably need to try scooping things out with a leaf net even though you can't see what you are doing.

    While that is happening, order a top quality test kit, I recommend the TF100 from TFTestKits.Net. The Taylor K-2006 is also good. You also need to stock up on 6% bleach, and read Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis.

    We will be happy to walk you through the entire process.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Welcome Trisha, you've come to the right place!
    Congrats on your new pool...
    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: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    My pool was not black but it was green. This website helped walk me through every step and now my pool is crystal clear. This website is great and there are very smart people on here. Good luck and post some pics so we can see what you are working with. I found it fun to track my progress from beginning to end when I was getting my ready to go.
    13,000 Plaster IG Pool approx
    Hayward C5030 Cart Filter
    Emerson 1081 EB653 1.0 HP 1.40 S.F. 3450 RPM
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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, you can do this yourself and experience the satisfaction of doing so by following the recommendations here on TFP. Have fun and keep us updated.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Is right now the best time to get started with this? Or should we wait longer before we get started on getting it cleaned up? Thank you for all of the welcomes and suggestions. I'll be sure I read the article referenced sometime later today
    IG Concrete Pool 25,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo High Rate Sand Filter

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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion

    While that is happening, order a top quality test kit, I recommend the TF100 from TFTestKits.Net. The Taylor K-2006 is also good. You also need to stock up on 6% bleach, and read Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparking Oasis.
    I went ahead and ordered the TF100 test kit.
    Is the 6% bleach just regular household bleach? Don't I need something specifically for pools?
    IG Concrete Pool 25,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo High Rate Sand Filter

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    If it's fully thawed then this is the time to get started. The longer you wait, the warmer the water will get, the more algae will grow, the more work you'll have to do.

    Jason gave you excellent advice. Buy a good test kit, it will be the best investment you can make in your pool. Learn how to use the Pool Calculator, your new friend

    Oh! Just saw your post. You'll love the TF100. The instructions are very easy to follow and the results are accurate.

    Yes, the 6% bleach refers to Clorox Ultra unscented. You'll need a bunch of it. If you have access to a Sam's Club/BJ's/Costco you should get their 3-jug packs, several of them. You can also check with your pool store whether they sell chlorinating liquid in 5 gallon carboys. That's approximately 10% strength. The Pool Calculator lets you tell it what sort of bleach you use and adjusts the amounts accordingly.

    Regular household bleach is really all you need for starters. Clorox regular is 5.25%. The off-brand bleach products are not always reliable with regard to concentration so we do recommend Clorox. In a little while we'll help you with using baking soda or 20 Mule Team Borax, with stabilizer (CYA or cyanuric acid), with muriatic acid, but for now, just bleach.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Sorry, another dorky question. I called our local pool place and they sell liquid chlorine @ 12% in 4 gallon jugs for $12.00. Is this a better deal than purchasing clorox since clorox is just 5.25%?
    IG Concrete Pool 25,000 gallons
    Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo High Rate Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Around here Wally World sells 6% for 2.54 for 182oz making it ~1.4 cents per oz. The 12% you quoted is ~2.3 cents per oz but it's twice as strong so you use half as much which makes it 1.15 cents equivalent, so it's slightly a better buy. If 6% bleach is higher in your area then it gets better. However, 12% loses strength faster than 6% so if it's been sitting in the store for a while it might be a worse buy because by the time you use it, it may be only 10%.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    Quote Originally Posted by trishalinn
    Sorry, another dorky question. I called our local pool place and they sell liquid chlorine @ 12% in 4 gallon jugs for $12.00. Is this a better deal than purchasing clorox since clorox is just 5.25%?
    Yes, its a better buy, plus less jugs to haul around - assuming this is a fresh batch and not stock left over from last year. So verify from them if it's fresh stock and if so I'd go with that.

    I either buy the Wal-mart 6% generic, when I'm out grocery shopping; or I get a case for the price you quoted from the local pool store. I was just in and they had none, so I'm hoping that means whatever they get in shortly will be fresh. I figured anything old they'd have it on display already.
    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: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!

    A quick tip - find out when your pool store gets new carboys, and buy those within a few days if you plan to use the chlorine right away. Four gallons for $12 is a good price compared to what they charge in my area.
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New house with an old dirty pool... what do we do?!



    You've got the test kit ordered. Good.

    Now go open a photo-uploading-website account somewhere. Flickr, webshots, photobucket, whatever. We want to see the gory details! Start taking pictures now.

    Before I forget - welcome!
    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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