Bought a home- they drained the pool- what now?

JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
With the leaves already off the trees there's not much else falling from the sky. Get a good quality pool rake and get the water/pool as clean as possible. You'll have to clean up around the complete pool area as the video clearly shows lots of foliage on the ground. That'll make it into the pool and become a nuisance. Will let the professionals chime in with the pump and filter setup. Go get yourself liquid chlorine and get some into the water asap for starters.
Got it! Clean the yard, get a pool rake and some liquid chlorine. Thanks!!
 

JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
Hey Jess,

I'm just over in Columbia! Here's my $.02. I just completed my 3rd season as a pool owner. I allowed my maintenance company to make many mistakes before finding this forum and breaking up with them. The Trouble Free Pool method works. It's also the cheapest I've tried. It's made my pool VERY predictable and simple to manage. A basic requirement is the right test kit so get one of the two kits folks here recommend. Most importantly don't listen to the pool store or rely on their test results. You won't need any of the chems in the picture. I couldn't tell if you had a salt water cell. If not, avoid using the chlorine pucks. With our SC UV, the CYA from pucks will build up in your water and you'll have drain at least once a year to get of it.

We don't get enough cold duration or extreme here to worry about freezing. If this is your primary residence, just keep the pool open all year. I've learned that it is much easier and cheaper than dealing with a close/open/green monster procedure. You only have to run your pump enough to circulate a little in winter and I only have to add chlorine once a week. Chems and maintenance (other than leaves) are very minimal. On those occasions it drops below freezing, I just run the pump on low overnight. If it's really cold for several days like last winter, I cover with furniture blanket.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for the input!
I’m not sure if I have a salt water cell either haha. I’ll have to check!
 

JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
Looks like you don't have a salt system. You'll see them referred to as swg (salt water generator). After you get your pool cleaned up you just follow TFP recommendations and you'll never need to carry liquid chlorine jugs around again plus your pool almost takes care of itself while you're away. Ask Santa for one. You'll love it and if there's a Mrs Blake she'll love it too. Makes your pool like a spa (or at least that's what my wife says).

Chris
Thank you I will look into that!!
 

JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
Get the solid stuff up and out. Go looking in your area for liquid chlorine. Some pool stores sell it if you put a deposit down on the jugs. Most of the time it is 11% strong. If your don't have a convent one close to you then Home Depot has their HDX (think that is the brand name) chlorine that is 10% BUT make sure it is kept out of the sun AND check the date code. You do not want any that is older than 3 months. Get as much as you can load in your car without any chance of it tipping over.

I am going to share a set of links I put together for new pool owners. I think they will be very helpful for you:

Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
Trouble Free Pool
Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

I forget if you have a good test kit or not yet. If you do not you need to get one on order asap as that is the number one thing that will help you care for your pool. Look in my siggy below for the one I think is the best bang for the buck. I would get the XL one as it is going to take some frequent testing to get that water cleared up.

Kim:kim:
Thanks for the info on the chlorine! Also I will got to each link. Thanks for taking the time to give me those!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,678
Northern NJ
Now I will upload more pictures of pool and pipe orientation. Let me know what I can show better.
All the pipes and equipment is under the deck. It wouldn’t let me upload videos
You have a bunch of pipes and it is not clear where they run from and to and what exactly they are for. Below I have labeled the pics with some guesses as to how things work. You need to trace every pipe and figure out where they go.

Pipes A, B and C are suction lines pulling water from your skimmer and main drain. They are combined into a manifold and feed water into the pool pump.

The ball valve on A is closed, the ball valve handle on B is broken and we don't know it's setting, and the ball valve on C is open. It is not surprising that the handle is broken as ball valves stick. When you replace the ball valves you should replace them with diverter valves.

Pipe D looks like it is a suction line from your spa and feeds water into the other pump that I am assuming is a spa pump for the jets.

Based on that I am assuming E, F and G are return lines to the pool and spa. But they are hidden behind the pipes and pumps and I can;t see exactly where they go.

There is a crossover pipe from B to D with an open ball valve. That is probably to allow the spa to also draw water from the pool, maybe to run the spa spillover.

Once we get to pics of the pool pump, filter and spa pump I can't see where pipes run back there. I labeled stuff with questions. You need to figure out what runs to where.

There should be a valve on the top of the filter where a few pipes go into. You need to see what that valve is set to.

Trace the pipes and post pics of what you find and let's discuss how your plumbing works.

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JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
Clean the debris out of the pool the best you can and then fill the pool and spa with water at least up to the returns. That gets the pool safe from popping out fo the ground.

Do you intend to get the pump running and water circulating now or leave that until the spring? If you get things running now you need to be concerned with freeze protection with cold spells.

Your pics don't give an overall picture of the water flow. You have two pumps and I can't tell what each does. You need to make sure your valves are properly positioned and open before you turn on the pump. We can help you if we see enough pics to understand your pool plumbing and water flow. Good luck figuring it out.

Do you have a pool water test kit? I suggest you read...

ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry


I posted a video of the setup. Not sure if it’s good enough. I am going to your links now and have ordered the test kit. Thank you!
 

JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
You have a bunch of pipes and it is not clear where they run from and to and what exactly they are for. Below I have labeled the pics with some guesses as to how things work. You need to trace every pipe and figure out where they go.

Pipes A, B and C are suction lines pulling water from your skimmer and main drain. They are combined into a manifold and feed water into the pool pump.

The ball valve on A is closed, the ball valve handle on B is broken and we don't know it's setting, and the ball valve on C is open. It is not surprising that the handle is broken as ball valves stick. When you replace the ball valves you should replace them with diverter valves.

Pipe D looks like it is a suction line from your spa and feeds water into the other pump that I am assuming is a spa pump for the jets.

Based on that I am assuming E, F and G are return lines to the pool and spa. But they are hidden behind the pipes and pumps and I can;t see exactly where they go.

There is a crossover pipe from B to D with an open ball valve. That is probably to allow the spa to also draw water from the pool, maybe to run the spa spillover.

Once we get to pics of the pool pump, filter and spa pump I can't see where pipes run back there. I labeled stuff with questions. You need to figure out what runs to where.

There should be a valve on the top of the filter where a few pipes go into. You need to see what that valve is set to.

Trace the pipes and post pics of what you find and let's discuss how your plumbing works.

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Oh wow. Thank you for taking the time to do all that. I really appreciate it. (I work the next 2 days, but I will see what I can find out and also dedicate my Wednesday to this for sure) I will do my best to be thorough and get back ASAP.
 

JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
Welcome to TFP.

From your subject line I thought ALL water was drained from your pool by the prior owner. But from the pics it looks like there is water in the pool and they lowered the water level. They may have closed and winterized the pool. If so the pool can sit this way until you are ready to open it in the spring.

Post pics of the equipment pad. And open a skimmer and see if the skimmer has a plug in it.
I believe the only place I see a plug is in the spa. It is red and shown in the YouTube video posted.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,570
Evans, Georgia
I'm guess that the "yellow pipe" marked "to where??" is your backwash to the street possible? Although the pipe does look a bit narrow for that... Just my guess. Can you see where it exits from under the deck?

Thankfully you filled that pool up in time before ALL THE RAIN we got!! Holy cow.... roads closed due to flooding, rain rain rain! I'm sure it helped fill your pool, huh?

Maddie :flower:
 

Chuckiechan

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2014
471
Roseville, CA
If it were me, I’d clean out the weeds and detritus and get your ph and stabilizer* in spec, clean your filter, then over chlorinate the pool. Keep an eye on the pressure and clean the filters as needed.
I see no upside to letting it go “fallow”.
*In neglected pools in homes for sale, people (RE Agents) often rely on shock as a temporary fix. You may possibly have over the top stabilizer (aka - CYA)numbers, rendering your chlorine useless, so you have to flush to dilute it - don’t drain it for fear of it “Floating out” without expert advice. So get that CYA (Stabilizer) checked first at a pool supply if you can’t do it yourself.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,678
Northern NJ
If it were me, I’d clean out the weeds and detritus and get your ph and stabilizer* in spec, clean your filter, then over chlorinate the pool. Keep an eye on the pressure and clean the filters as needed.
I see no upside to letting it go “fallow”.
*In neglected pools in homes for sale, people (RE Agents) often rely on shock as a temporary fix. You may possibly have over the top stabilizer (aka - CYA)numbers, rendering your chlorine useless, so you have to flush to dilute it - don’t drain it for fear of it “Floating out” without expert advice. So get that CYA (Stabilizer) checked first at a pool supply if you can’t do it yourself.
@JessBlake has some investigating to do before they can try turning on the pumps and getting water circulating.

Only liquid chlorine should be added to the water until the pumps are running and water is flowing.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,323
OV, CA
...And today the water in the spa has gone down. Previously it was filled to the spill over point into the pool.
It looks like it just dropped to the level of the rest of the pool... its a hydraulic thing ;)

I was looking at the plumbing.. is that a temp probe or a flow switch? This layout is going to be a fun one to figure out.
 
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JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
Here are the three videos. Total watch time around 3 minutes.
I work again today but I plan to label those pipes with paint or sharpie to make it easier to understand.

Not sure about temp probe or flow switch. I will look at that tomorrow. There is a time dial thing in a little breaker box. Prob unrelated haha.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,678
Northern NJ
The videos are very helpful and need more study.

There is a multi-purpose valve (MPV) on the top of the sand filter. That valve is in a terrible place under the deck to read all thw writing ont he top of the valve and what the handle setting is. But we need you to get a pic of the top of the valve so we can see what the model number is and where the handle is. The valve has a few ports with pipes coming out. One pipe is the water intot he filter. Another pipe is the filtered water return to the pool. A third pipe is the backwash line that dumps dirty water out when you backwash the filter. You need to trace each of the pipes from the valve to where they go.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,305
Pacific NW
Has anyone mentioned the two rubber couplers fastened to the pvc pipe with hose clamps?

You should remove those and replace with proper rated hard pvc coupler pipe, cemented together.
It's probably fine at the moment, but imo that's a possible future point of failure. I only mention it
because my first house with a pool had two of those as well and both pool inspection companies
advised replacing with proper pvc couplers.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,323
OV, CA
Can you stick your camera/phone above the sand filter and take a pic of the top of the valve? there is writing on multi-valve that will indicate what the positions are for. That will be a nightmare to service the way its stuck under the deck.

Also check the end of the "yellow" line marked "to where" . and see if the end caps are just stuck on without glue. At first I thought that line might be a backflush line and the fittings are stuck on so nothing crawls into the pipe when its not in use. But after seeing that its connected to the outflow of the spa pump I wonder if its a stub for something else.
 

JessBlake

Active member
Dec 14, 2019
33
Myrtle beach South Carolina
Has anyone mentioned the two rubber couplers fastened to the pvc pipe with hose clamps?

You should remove those and replace with proper rated hard pvc coupler pipe, cemented together.
It's probably fine at the moment, but imo that's a possible future point of failure. I only mention it
because my first house with a pool had two of those as well and both pool inspection companies
advised replacing with proper pvc couplers.
It hasn’t been pointed out yet but I agree it should prob be changed.