Another newb.

superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
67
Spring, TX
Recently bought a house with a pool, always wanted one just never quite worked out until now. It's about 8 or so years old and in reasonable shape for its age, but does need some maintenance. I've already learned a ton reading through the forum. Anyway intros are boring, back to reading ;)
 

superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
67
Spring, TX
Thanks for the welcome. I've read that more times than I can count, to the point I almost have it memorized! It was that article that gave me the confidence that I could definitely jump in right away maintaining the pool myself. Well that and my brother coming by to do an initial water test, and walk me through the whole process. We've been in the house a month and only used the pool twice so far, but there's still work to do. The water was relatively balanced other than CYA being really high (~130), so I'm about to drain off and refill to get that down. Previous owner admitted to the "keep the chlorine injector filled and just throw pucks in the floaters every once in a while" method of pool maintenance. He would take the floaters out when the water "felt like it had enough chlorine."

After that will be investigating the uniform brown stains on the walls, and the couple dark brown/black spots on the floor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mknauss

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,424
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome fellow Houstonian. There are many members from the Houston area so you can get lots of local help.
Definitely need to get the CYA down and do you plan to transition to Liquid Chlorine for sanitization process? If so, keep the pucks and floater so you can use when you go out of town and no one can assist with liquid chlorine.
Have you got your own test kit yet? Please add that to your signature line so we know how you are testing. Also, are you using the Pool Math app? You can switch on share your logs so the others can see your data when you have a question.
Post a picture of your pool and your equipment pad as well as it is easier to see how they have set you up.
One last point - did your seller buy a home warranty policy that also included the pool equipment? It is normally valid for 1 year and great if you have an immediate issue.
 

superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
67
Spring, TX
My brother immediately had me yank the floaters right off the bat, and I checked the chlorine injector (it was empty). Next day I went to HD and picked up liquid chlorine and brought the levels up a little bit (along with some muriatic acid). I found the previous owners stash of pool supplies, both the pucks and the powdered shock he was using was stabilized. Not sure why, but he also had a bag of pH up. The initial test my brother did showed the pH at 7.5, but when I tested about a week later pH was at 8.0 (along with FC 1, CC 0, TA 110, CH 190, and CYA still at 130). Brought pH back down, added more chlorine. The week after that, FC was almost zero, other #'s about the same except pH had crept up to 8 again (3-4 drops of acid demand). Again added chlorine (up to about 6, probably should go higher?) and acid to bring pH down to 7.4. Water has remained nice and clear, thankfully. Oh I also pulled and rinsed the cartridge filters, they were overdue. Pressure dropped from ~30psi to 17.

I took a look at Pool Math, probably transfer my notes and do the subscription. Looks like a pretty handy app.

I'm determined to resolve as many maintenance concerns with the pool before it warms back up in the spring. The scaling, stains, water balance, and touching up the grout are my biggest tasks. Fixing the heater display and getting it linked to the Jandy RS panel is another, and once I'm comfortable with all that I'll likely start linking it into the home automation and adding toys to make it easier to monitor and manage (adding stuff like a peristaltic sanitizer pump, ORP sensor, who knows).

Another curiosity, is I found the port in both of the skimmers that would normally either be capped or leading to the main drains filled with gravel. Not sure why someone did that, when it would seem a lot easier to just install a cap. I did verify the main drains and the skimmers are separately plumbed back to the pad, but unless I'm crazy the valve is installed wrong. In order to draw from the pool drain exclusively, I have to pull the handle slightly off to skip over the stops. Does that make sense? The intake valve is in the lower right of the photo, left goes to the spa drain, middle goes to the pool drains, and the right goes to the skimmers.
 

Attachments

  • pool.jpg
    pool.jpg
    622.4 KB · Views: 6
  • poolequip.jpg
    poolequip.jpg
    688.8 KB · Views: 6

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,424
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
With regard to the skimmer ports - most skimmers have 2 ports. One is main suction to the pump and the other can either be connected to main drain or be plumbed back below the skimmer into the pool. In the south that second port is usually blanked off and serves no value.
That automated valve on top of your suction lines controls suction flow between the spa and the pool. That should rotate when you switch from Pool Mode to Spa Mode. Similarly, the automated valve on your return lines should also rotate when switching between modes.
The manual valve between the main drain and the skimmer line is to proportion the suction from those 2 items. That valve should rotate between full open to full close for each line. If the pump is off (and locked out of service) you can pull the valve cap off to verify the pins are set up correctly or if broken. You can go to Jandy website to see videos of how they operate or even on youtube.
With LC you will need to test every couple of days (in cool weather) and everyday in the summer until you understand how your pool uses chlorine. The advantage of pucks is that you can fill the floater for a week or more and forget it however you already know the downside to that. Therefore adding LC is a routine you need to get into especially with CYA above 100.
Continue to monitor all of your test results and adjust accordingly per Recommended Levels
 

superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
67
Spring, TX
Yeah the non-suction skimmer ports are unused and filled with gravel. I dug about 6" worth out of one, and there's actually PVC attached, but where it goes? Who knows, that's a mystery for another time. I don't have ports on the pool wall below the skimmers, but I do have two main drains in the bottom of the pool which originally led me to believe they might be connected. But there's also the main lines coming back to the pad and plumbed into the intake valve. Some day I'll grab a plug and tap and air line into it or something, try to figure out if it goes anywhere.

The automated valves are used to switch between pool and spa, and operate as expected. The manual intake valve to balance the skimmers with the main drains, that's the one that to me looks to be plumbed incorrectly. If you look at a Jandy valve as a T, the middle port on an intake setup is generally going to connect to your pump inlet and the valve cover is going to prevent you from blocking that port. Makes sense, because you want to limit water from either source, but never limit the flow to the pump. In my case, that middle port points down, and from what I've gathered is connected to the skimmers, the right is the main drains in the pool floor. I've attached a lower angle view to make it more clear. I've verified that by loosening the handle and rotating it 180º from what is shown in the photo, blocking the middle port. Water stopped flowing into the skimmers, but the pump wasn't starved for water (as shown, spa drain was blocked by the automated valve). That would indicate main drains are plumbed in on the right side.

I'm admittedly not being too careful with the chlorine levels yet because I'm planning on draining soon to get the CYA level down. As long as there's "some" free chlorine in the water and it stays clear, I figure I'm good for a little bit while I figure all this out. Can't be much worse than how it's been maintained for the past 8 years of its existence, right? ;)
 

Attachments

  • poolequip2.jpg
    poolequip2.jpg
    698.4 KB · Views: 86
  • skimmergravel.jpg
    skimmergravel.jpg
    129.1 KB · Views: 6
Last edited: