Back on site after hiatus, now a tenant with an awful pool and mandatory pool guy

Sportsman

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2010
233
Central Valley, CA
#1
Background: I successfully managed a 7500 gallons above ground pool for 4 years in Central CA thanks to TFP. Used TFP from day one and never had to shock.

Several years without a pool and after last relocation was able to rent a home with a pool. I knew it would be bad but I had no idea how bad. Bought another test kit. CYA was half way between 100 and bottom of the tube. I just diluted 50/50 with tap water and still at 100. Yuck!

Pool guy: When I asked him about levels he said need to keep chlorine at 5 and he figured stabilizer was at 60. When I asked about the problems of stabilizer creep with pucks, he said "oh, they don't add enough to matter."

I would love to tell landlord that I've got the pool whether I get a break in the rent or not but that won't fly given their worries about me messing something up. I also know there are growing pains. It was a lot easier to start right than fix a pool.

I'm in AZ so I do need. A higher CYA than most areas. Pool is never winterized and I'm already using it for the season. I'm not wasting my chemical's testing FC at such high levels but it was around 30 when I last checked.

I know I need to drain 70% of water. Estimate 9,000 gallon pool. I also know I need to stop using pucks but I expect I'll need a gallon of chlorine per day. Guess I'll stick with pucks until I can drain. Pool guy is nice, just not knowledgable. I asked about using liquid chlorine and he went on about AZ summers and the volume of chlorine needed. Of course it wouldn't be near as much if CYA was right.

I'm not sure I have questions as much as ranting on a bad situation. So far pool is fine algae wise but if a breakout occurs I don't see how you would ever shock successfully at these levels. I asked him about issues and he said occassionally "yellow algae." Not sure what that meant.

I guess my questions are:

1. Any precautions on draining a plaster pool? Or is it concrete? How do I tell?

Even in dry AZ I need a plan for where to displace that much water.

2. Any one experienced with a pool in Southern AZ? I'm going to shoot for 60 CYA. Would start at 50 if starting from scratch. This will be imprecise with the drain and refill.

Good to be back on the message board. Hope I can get control of the situation and be regular again.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,764
Tallahassee, FL
#2
Welcome back to pool life! I bet you missed it! Let get you started on getting the water right!

Is it an inground pool? If so I bet it is plaster as that is the most common.

Draining the pool-where to put the water could be a problem. Check with your area and see if they allow draining to the road. If not see if you neighbors will allow you to drain to their grass or gardens if you let your FC dip low enough. Where does the rain water go when it rains? See if that could handle draining the pool. If nothing else you can drain a little at a time.

-Pool boy vs you-when he come take the pucks out after he leaves and put them back in just before he comes LOL You buy and use liquid chlorine as needed. You could always show him your test kit and how it works. Tell him about TFP. Maybe even show him it on your phone or laptop. See if he will "allow" you to care for the pool with his "supervision" ie he does nothing except show up, sees the pool, you show him your current test results and he says "all good" and goes on.

He gets paid to do nothing except show up. You get to maintain the pool like you KNOW it should be=win-win!

Kim:kim:
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,234
East Texas
#3
........(pssssssst.......you're gonna need to keep one good set of highly used up pucks if ya' go that route!) Landlord may disallow your pool privileges if you do and the pool guy rats you out.
 
OP
OP
S

Sportsman

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2010
233
Central Valley, CA
#4
We get about 6" of rain per year :shock: so there is no real drainage system. The yard is starting to suck up water but not that much. I had figured to do it a little at a time but when I diluted the water 50% to do the CYA test today I was shocked that it was still over 100.

I've broached the subject with pool guy on liquid chlorine and can again. I've never seen him do any test but I'm not here most of the time. since he said the chlorine was 5, I expect he's just going off dark yellow on a standard liquid cheap set where the scale is 1-5. I haven't decided on the route to show him a real test. People don't like you telling them that you know their job better than you.

If I can get CYA in order and go back to manual liquid chlorine, I'm more than happy to let him vacuum and brush the pool.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,764
Tallahassee, FL
#5
Yeah we have run into "the fc is 5 and fine" more than once on here. What that means is "5 is as high as my test goes so it is 5". It causes all kinds of problems as you well know.

"Hey look at this neat test I found. It can go over 5 and this is what it shows the FC is. Neat huh?" all innocent and such. You are just showing him a neat test with pretty colors.

LOL I like the idea of making sure to have "used up pucks" to pop back in the tube to be on the safe side.

Kim:kim:
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
#6
Sportsman - Is this pool for your exclusive use? I would recommend that you look closely at the lease. Mine says nothing about the upkeep of the pool. So I just informed them that I was going to maintain it and do any repairs as long as they provided the parts. It's not like they are going to complain about not having to spend money on the pool guy. :)
 
OP
OP
S

Sportsman

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2010
233
Central Valley, CA
#7
It is my exclusive use. Single family home with pool in back yard. Nervous landlord and I understand because she knows nothing about it. Ignorance leads to fear. Same guy also does the yard which I don't want to take over although I'm qualified to do so.

He said he didn't mind if I used liquid chlorine but I've got to figure out the pool drain. I may need to find a day I can be home when he comes and show him the test I found, most specifically the CYA. No wonder he's scared of algeae in the summer in AZ with the levels I and his other clients have in their pools.

I have thought about researching automatic chlorinators and pitching that as a win/win. he is right that I can't miss a day with our amount of daily sun exposure.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,146
Chandler AZ
#8
Check with your municipality about pool draining requirements. Some cities allow draining to the street, some allow it with a one time use cheap permit, others don't allow drainage of pools to the street at all. Where I live, the city actually allows drainage to the sanitary sewer (without a permit even).

If you know of any neighbors with pools, ask them where they drain. Don't forget, many cities make distinctions between backwashing and draining.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#9
Ask her if she would consider installing a SWG- Sell her on the 'set it & forget it' pitch, and that routine visits (& monthly bills) from a pool service would no longer be needed.

Win Win!
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,485
Tucson, AZ
#10
If you could please update your location under your avatar that would be awesome. :)

I have a similarly sized pool in Tucson, AZ. With CYA around 50 (I'll push it higher this summer), I only used about 3-ish gallons of 10% Cl from Home Depot per week last year. I don't think you'll need a gallon a day if your CYA is on track.
 

BigEinAZ

Well-known member
Jan 3, 2016
582
Mesa, Az
#11
There are a FEW services that will bring out a portable R/O plant and run it for three days or so right there in your back yard. Eliminates having to drain and fill. Last I looked it costs about as much as having water trucked in, so not cheap but not prohibitive either.