Bought a pool that came with a house, now what?

DerekP

Member
Jun 18, 2019
15
Fletcher, NC
As the title suggests we moved states to the western mountains of NC and bought a pool that came with a smallish house.

Pool - inground L shaped vinyl 36,000 gallon, 2 skimmer baskets, a third skimmer converted to a vacuum line and a main in the deep end (diving board), Pentair Intelliflo 3 HP variable pump, 2" lines on the main and skimmer (but the skimmers have 1.5" return pipes in the bottom) so I assume 1.5" and a 1.5" vacuum return with a 32" sand filter. All lines have valves so I can control flow. I run skimmers and main open with vac closed unless I use it. The pool is inhabited by two teens (boy and girl), a Dad (me) and a collegiate D1 swimmer Mom plus as many friends that we meet that accept pool invites...

I have the previous owner's HTH 6 way test kit. It's like $20 or less. He definitely did things on the cheap. Should I continue to use to or get a TF-100 kit?

I have a pool company around the corner and they open and close for $200/open or close. I think I'm good with that cost given the labor and size of the cover. Thoughts?

Two main questions I have at present. I've been reading a lot and discovering there's a lot to maintaining a pool and a lot I don't know.

How long and what RPMs to program my pump?
I do not have flowmeter and really do not know my total dynamic head for gallons per minute calcs. I only know RPMs and max flow rates of a 2" line (Main) and a 1.5" line (skimmers) which gets me to about 110-115 GPM. I've read a 32" sand filter has a max GPM of 110. So if my max GPM is 110 and I have 36,000 gals I should get one turn in 5.45 hours running max flow. What is max for my set up, 3,000 RPMs - more, less? Is the RPM and GPM relationship linear, if I ran the pump at 1500 RPMs would it take twice as long to turn the pool? Any suggestions? I reprogrammed to:
7-9am - 2500 RPM
9am - 4pm 1500 RPM
4-6pm 2500 RPM.

I used to bring samples to pool store last year (we closed on the house last August) and he said I had way too much Chlorine. They could read up to 10 ppm (I think was 10 ppm, but 10 is the number at any rate). I have an inline canister chlorine holder that I feed 3 oz pucks. The previous owner added 4-5 every Thursday and Sunday! The pool store convinced me to turn down the dial and add less chlorine to bring it down to a target of 3. I got algae within the week. I had to shock etc... We struggled and struggled and by adding more chlorine and higher flow rate got it back to good then closed it mid Oct. This year I'm running 2 pucks of 3 oz chlorine in the canister and the dial for delivery rate is 1/2 open. No algae. We've been away and not using the pool heavily and I may not add any more chlorine this Sunday. Under heavy usage the 2 pucks are nearly gone, little usage I see 4 pucks in various deteriorative states. According to my tests I have about 10 ppm chlorine, maybe more as the visual indicator tops out at 10. I checked my cyanuric acid last night and it's approx 75-80. TFP says 40 is the target. The only way to lower is pump out and add water back. So, that's not an option for me. The TFP calculator says target 6-11 chlorine with a CYA of 75-80. Am I OK running a 8-10 on chlorine with a CYA of 75ish?

By the way, we drain the pool 1/2 way in the fall and when we open the pool is full from rain/snow over winter.

Thanks in advance,
Derek
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
378
Michigan
Get a real testkit. I have the 6 way kit. I got it specifically to test CYA while awaiting my real test kit. The 6 way only does OTO chlorine tests, which means you don't know if it is FC or CC. So that alone shows you that you need a real test kit to test chlorine the FAS-DPD way.

Also, what are using to chlorinate? I hope you say bleach (liquid chlorine).

Opening a pool is not hard. I would take the money you are going to spend on that, get yourself a good test kit, then go buy a couple of cases of liquid chlorine.

Forget the pool store. They are a racket that just wants to sell stuff.

Take a couple of hours and read Pool School. Pool School - Trouble Free Pool

You'll be more knowledgeable than most pool store employees when you are done!
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
378
Michigan
P.S. When I opened my pool memorial day weekend, I ran my pump 24/7 for three weeks. I now run it 6-7 hours a day. Many here will tell you that you don't even need to run it that long (depending on HP of pump).
 

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,444
Greenville, SC
Hey neighbor! Welcome to TFP.

Do yourself a favor and get the TF-100xl. They ship from NC so you should get it fairly quickly. You are going to want to go to that big Wal-Mart you've got and get some 10% chlorinating liquid from the pool section. Check the date codes. 19XXX where the last 3 are how many days into the year it was bottled. Right now I'd look for 120 or higher.

If you really can't drain that is going to be tough. Too bad we missed the recent rains to get an easier drop in CYA (mine fell ~20!). Those pucks need to come out immediately and you're going to need to stay on top of it, testing and adding liquid chlorine every day at least through July.

You pay me $100 and I'll come take that cover off by myself and run through the tests with you!
 

DerekP

Member
Jun 18, 2019
15
Fletcher, NC
Thanks for the immediate input. I just ordered a TF-100xl test kit.

I've got about 50 lbs of solid chlorine pucks. I had no idea they contributed to CYA through tri and dichlor compounds. Just read a fact sheet about that. Also, I just "discovered" CYA and it's importance to pool chemistry yesterday thanks to the pool math app asking for CYA as an input.

Well - when that test kit comes I can measure the FC and CC... I'll read up on additions and perhaps just use the pucks when heading out of town for vacation?

I can drain, but I didn't want to run the water hose for hours on end to refill. The rains we just had added about 3" of new water. That probably did dilute the CYA some. I can get around 1/2-3/4" evaporation in a hot sunny day and will run the water hose when the water level is getting near the bottom of the skimmer intakes.

I can see why I got algae last fall listening to the pool guy trying to target 3 FC using 3 oz chlorine pucks that I bought from him by the way. My CYA was probably pretty high when I bought the pool in August and I never did anything except use chlorine pucks because no one ever suggested any different technique. I simply thought it was the way to go...
 

Berger82

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2018
83
Richmond, TX
I've got about 50 lbs of solid chlorine pucks.
Save the pucks for when youre out of time for a prolonged period or on vacation. Knowing your CYA beforehand, you can calculate exactly how much CYA X number of pucks will add to your water. If you are already 60+ PPM, Id be real careful on how much you add, if any. I keep a 10 lb bucket of pucks on hand and only use them when on vacation and gone for 1-2 weeks. Other than that, its a gallon of Great Value brand bleach from WalMart everyday.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,200
Milwaukee, WI
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Typical recommendation is to add 5ppm of chlorine to pool daily until your test comes in, but only if you're currently having trouble. Otherwise wait for the test before you do anything to be sure you're not acting on false info.
 

DerekP

Member
Jun 18, 2019
15
Fletcher, NC
Too bad we missed the recent rains to get an easier drop in CYA (mine fell ~20!). Those pucks need to come out immediately and you're going to need to stay on top of it, testing and adding liquid chlorine every day at least through July.

Mr Bruce - appreciate the offer and reply. I may take you up on that.

For your CYA - did you drain a few inches out of the pool in advance of the rain?
 

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,444
Greenville, SC
I almost never drain water from the pool, in fact I think it's been twice ever. We just had so much rain recently in the last big rain event (7 inches!) I had enough water replaced that I lost equal amounts salt, CH and CYA.

If you are trying to replace water (I think you should) then before every rain event I would at least drop it a little bit so it refills with free clean water. You could even get fancy with a rain spout and some panty hose (as a strainer) and harvest roof water.
 
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