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Thread: Bought a house with a pool, need some help, Pics!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Bought a house with a pool, need some help, Pics!

    I just recently (well, in the fall) bought and moved in to my first house, which happens to have an inground pool. I have never owned a pool before, and up until a week ago knew close to nothing about them. Since then I have been reading non stop, and I think I have the basics all figured out. What I need to know is exactly what I should do from here on out chemical wise. First the story:

    I uncovered the pool on Tuesday, and was greeted by a nice swamp. I think the previous owners let the chlorine drop before covering and closing, and probably had an algae bloom started. The walls were completely covered in green algae, and the surface had a nice green slick on top, as you can see in the picture. It was not a pretty sight, as a friend of mine is so clearly demonstrating.




    As I did not yet have a test kit (already ordered based on suggestions here) I took the water to the local pool store. The results on their test showed the following:


    FC: 0
    CC: .1
    Alkalinity: 96
    PH: 7.7
    Hardness: 116
    CYA: 23


    The guy at the store suggested that these numbers weren't bad enough to worry to much about, and for the moment to just worry about shocking the algae. He suggested 6 1 pound bags of Bioguard Burn Out Extreme, which the package lists as 47% calcium hypochlorite, and 53% clarifier/scale inhibitor. I bought a case of 12, as well as some 3in trichlor pucks for my feeder, and some 4 in 1 test strips to hold me over until I got a real test kit.


    I got the pump up and running after cleaning and soaking my cartridges, and everything ran smoothly. I predissolved and dumped in the 6 bags of burnout, and the test showed over 10ppm FC. 15 minutes later it showed 0 again.

    By the next day things were looking much better, but because the FC was 0 I dumped in the other 6 bags. Again, it shot up, then back to 0.

    Now it is thursday, and I need to know where to go from here. Here are some pics from today.






    Currently the test strip shows a PH of about 7.5, Alk at 100, CYA at near 0, and FC at 0. I don't know the CC level, but I can smell chlorine so I imagine there is a good amount. I know these aren't entirely accurate, and I am planning to get it tested at the store again tonight. Good signs are I see a lot of brown residue collecting on the floor (dead algae I am assuming) and the filter pressure has risen 8psi meaning it is catching stuff. I will disassemble and clean it tonight, and vacuum again.

    The question is what is the best thing to do from here on? Should I worry about bringing my alk up, PH down, and CYA up, or should I just concentrate on the chlorine for now? I have a chlorine feeder full of triclor pucks going full blast, but it obviously isn't enough to get FC past 0 yet. Should I get some bleach and just shock the **** out of it until it holds, and then worry about the other levels?

    Some extra basic info i may have missed:

    About 25,000 gallon inground vinyl pool, 4 cartridge filter, still pretty cold (around 55 degrees)

    One other question, I have read with a vinyl pool a low hardness level is perfectly fine, but fiberglass pools want some. My pool is vinyl, but has fiberglass steps and a mini 2 seat spa, which you can see in the pictures, so I am assuming I should worry about getting my calcium up right?




    Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it. Can't wait to get it cleaned up and fire up the heater!
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  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    You have to maintain your chlorine level. The green will consume it quickly, and if you let it go back to zero, you've lost all of your progress. Read Jason's article on cleaning up a green pool

    One thing to note: Chlorine doesn't last all winter so it's normal to be at 0ppm on opening.
    TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Looks like a beautiful area you're in... What part of the country? Like John said, you really need to maintain your chlorine level. Ph of 7.5 is fine but you could drop it a little bit if you wanted to make the chlorine a little more effective. In my not-so-expert opinion, adding CYA right now isn't a very good idea. CYA takes up to a week to fully dissolve and if you're cleaning out your filter numerous times you're just going to loose whatever CYA you add since it normally collects in the filter while it's dissolving.

    Keep adding chlorine, once a day isn't enough. Ideally you'd check it and bring it back up every hour while you're in this initial stage, but that's often difficult. At the very least, try to do it several times a day. I'm not sure what the bags of shock cost you, but plain 'ol clorox bleach will work just fine too.

    Good Luck and keep the pictures coming!
    My Pool:
    12K gal IG gunite with 7' raised spa, gunite waterfall, PebbleTec Caribbean Blue finish, solar heating & in-floor cleaning system

    Equipment: Sta-Rite 300' Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC20 SWCG, Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater, Intelliflow 4x160 main pump & Sta-Rite 3/4 hp waterfall pump, EasyTouch controlls w/ wireless controller, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    From the final pictures, it looks like you are almost there. You probably don't need to do the entire algae fighting sequence from the start because the algae is either already dead or close to dead. I would try adding 2 gallons of 6% bleach, or 2 lbs of Burn Out Extreme, each evening to start with.

    Your PH is fine. Alk is fine. Leave them alone for now.

    You need to get some CYA in the water. Right now you will lose all of your chlorine to sunlight each day. Aim for a CYA level of 30 to 50, but raise it in several steps. It is much harder to lower CYA than it is to raise it, so you don't want to overshoot. 4 lbs of stabilizer/conditioner/cyanuric acid is probably a good place to start.

    Once the CYA is in the water you need to start testing your chlorine level and adding enough chlorine each evening to bring FC up to perhaps 5.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  5. Back To Top    #5
    I am in Rochester NY, which for those who are not familiar is a medium size (1mil people) city about 6 hours NW of NYC, up on Lake Ontario between Buffalo and Syracuse.





    Alright, I will leave the PH and Alk alone for now, and worry about CYA and Chlorine.

    What do you think would be most cost effective? Should I:

    a) go buy granular chlorine that has CYA in it,

    b) stick with the Cal-Hypo + clarifier shock and get some CYA by itself

    c) Get some bleach and some separate CYA?


    Or should I just stick with bleach or cal hypo for now and let the trichlor pucks in my feeder slowly work the CYA up?



    The Trichlor pucks I am using have CYA in them, but they obviously dissolve quite slowly, even with the feeder turned up to full.

    Also, should I worry about adding calcium due to the fiberglass steps and spa seats in my otherwise vinyl pool?

    Finally, the cloudiness of the water, is that caused by the Algae that is still alive? Should I get some clarifier liquid, or will it clear up on its own once the chlorine level is consistant?


    Thanks again guys
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  6. Back To Top    #6

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    I would go with the bleach and separate CYA. That way you don't have to deal with the other additives such as the calcium.

    The water will clear up once the algae is dead. Clarifier is another product that is not needed in this instance. Just make sure you continue to brush, vacuum and clean your filters.

    You will know for certain that the algae is dead when your CL levels do not drop overnight and your CC's are less than 0.5. You will also see white powdery stuff at the bottom of the pool. That is the dead algae. Vacuuming it up regularly will help the water clear faster.
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
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  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    It can take the pump up to a week to clear the water up completely once the algae is dead. Usually when the algae dies it turns from green to milky, which is what I think happened for you. The milky color is the dead algae in the water, which the pump will filter out eventually.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Update:

    Unfortunately my pool store closed early (who closes at 5:30 anymore, geez) so I was not able to get my water tested again.

    I stopped by wal-mart and got myself a cart full of bleach, boy did that get some looks. Brought them home and dumped in the recommended amount to get my pool up to 13 FC which was about 4 and a half gallons. While I was at Wal-Mart I picked up a crappy test kit to hold me over till I get the real one.

    Before adding the Bleach my Numbers were roughly:

    PH: 7.1 (getting lowered by the triclor pucks I imagine)
    TC: 0 (no surprise there)
    Alk: 95
    CYA: <30>10 and much to my surprise, it seems to have held as of 3-4 hours later. I will test again in the morning and see if it stays up, but I think thats a good sign. The PH seems to be sitting at about 7.5 again now, probably lowered by the bleach right?


    The water is still very cloudy. When I first started the pump Tuesday after opening, cleaning and degreasing the filters, it was at 10 PSI, but had risen 5 over the last 2 days and another 5 today after vacuuming. I noticed VERY dirty water coming out of the return jets as I vacuumed. I think there must be a ton of silt/dead algae on the bottom of the deep end where I cannot see it. I opened up the filter and cleaned off the carts with a hose, but after reassembly the pressure was still at 15 psi. I vacuumed a bit more, and it again shot up another 5 to 20. I will disassemble it again tomorrow after work and hose them off again.


    My questions are, does all this sound normal? Am I doing the right things so far? My plan tomorrow is to test in the morning and afternoon and evening, adding bleach anytime the FC drops. I also plan to pick up some stabilizer and dump that in. Then in the evening, I will take apart the filter again, hose it off, and vacuum some more. Is this right? The dirty water spewing out of the returns while I vacuumed had me a bit nervous, is that typical? Any other suggestions for me?


    Thanks again!
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  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    It sounds like you are doing everything right.

    Dirty water from the returns when vacuuming might mean a torn filter that needs to be replaced or perhaps the filter cartridge is simply not seated in the filter properly. The next time you clean it look carefully to see if you can spot any torn spots.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  10. Back To Top    #10
    Is it possible that the filter has some sort of bypass when the pressure gets high? I know there is an emergency pressure release valve, I am not talking about that. I noticed however that there is a pipe coming up the middle of the filter in between the 4 cartridges that has a screen on the top. What is the purpose of this? It almost seems like its a way for the water to bypass the filter media and go through that pipe and out instead. Is this a way for water to still get through even when the filters are clogged? I don't know, just speculating. I know the filters are catching stuff, because my pressure goes up and the cartridges were filthy.

    I have a Pentair Clean and Clear Plus.
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  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    A large pipe or a small pipe? If it is a small pipe, it allows any air that might be stuck in the filter to be drawn out of the filter during normal operation, without requiring manual venting of the filter. If it is a large pipe then it is part of the system for feeding pool water into the filter.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  12. Back To Top    #12
    Small pipe. Your right, its an air bleed thing, at least thats what the exploded view drawing of the filter says it is. I did notice some debris (little pieces of leaves and whatnot) stuck on the screen, which means water must be flowing through there? Is that normal?

    Found this image of my filter:

    http://www.poolcenter.com/parts_filters ... arPLUS.htm


    Either way the filter is catching junk and the dirt only seems to flow through after it is already pretty heavily clogged.
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  13. Back To Top    #13
    ivyleager's Avatar
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    Welcome, and congrats on the new pool. Enjoy it this summer!

    How are you adding the bleach? Are you adding directly to the skimmer, or around the pool into the water? My concern is that you have a inline feeder full of pucks. If I'm not mistaken, adding bleach thru the skimmer and pucks in the feeder are a no-no! Just wondering. Hopefully some of the mods can weigh in on this.

    Again, welcome.

    CaryB
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    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
    Old school: PoolSolutions test kit

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Long term trichlor tablets can raise the CYA level way too high and cause problems. But right now the CYA level is on the low side so the trichlor tablets are helping to raise the CYA level. There isn't a problem right now, but it does need to be monitored and you can't keep using the tablets indefinitely.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  15. Back To Top    #15
    Yeah, I do not plan to use them indefinitely. I may eventually replace the in line puck feeder with a liquidator, but at the moment my CYA is so low that the pucks are helping me. I will stop using them as soon as the level is on the low side of good.

    I add the bleach in front of a return jet, and then vacuum to make sure its distributed.


    Still wondering about the dirty water coming from the return jets when I vacuum though. Could it be pollen? We have a ton of it around here, thick enough to be visible on the ground, are pollen particles too small to get caught in the filter? If so how can I clean it up?
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  16. Back To Top    #16
    ivyleager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thothtp
    Yeah, I do not plan to use them indefinitely. I may eventually replace the in line puck feeder with a liquidator, but at the moment my CYA is so low that the pucks are helping me. I will stop using them as soon as the level is on the low side of good.

    I add the bleach in front of a return jet, and then vacuum to make sure its distributed.


    Still wondering about the dirty water coming from the return jets when I vacuum though. Could it be pollen? We have a ton of it around here, thick enough to be visible on the ground, are pollen particles too small to get caught in the filter? If so how can I clean it up?
    Yes, pollen was a problem several weeks ago here in Carolina. URG! The only way I've found to combat it is prior to vacuuming, by putting a nylon stocking over the skimmer basket. That will catch more crud than you ever thought you had in your pool. Also, you could try vacuuming to waste. I do this only when I turn my return jets to direct flow to one spot....deep end pocket. I end up with a pile of debris, I vacuum this to waste first thing. Then switch over to regular vacuuming for the rest of the pool. Drought conditions here negate vacuuming the whole pool to waste.

    Hope this helps.
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
    Old school: PoolSolutions test kit

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