Can ya help a newbie out? Reno project, Neon Green Pool, etc

DesertSloth

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
107
Phoenix, AZ
#1
Hey guys! New to this forum- looking forward to learning/contributing a TON!

We're buying a home in a few weeks. This will be the 1st pool I've owned. Once we got the home under contract, the seller turned his back on it- including the pool (hence, the neon green swamp in the pictures!) I know he's supposed to maintain it- but- that's an entirely different nightmare for a later time. :) He kept it as a rental for a few years prior- so I doubt the maintenance was ever good. My buddy pulled open the leaf basket filter thing- the last one right before the pump- and it was PACKED with debris. He said that was really bad. The pool vacuum/jandy thing doesn't have a leaf bottle in the hose, either. Just FYI...

Here's the deal- I'd like to update this pool's equipment and try to do most the work myself. I'm pretty handy and feel confident I can do it. I'd REALLY like to get the system automated (yes, I'm a tech geek) so I can control it off my phone. I'd like to order all parts online (seems cheaper that way?), and have them ready so I can get to work once we close on the house. The kiddos want to go swimming asap!

Our Home Inspector called out a pool inspector, and he gave me a $1,000 laundry list of items that needs to be repaired. Mostly a lot of o-rings, some venturi somethings, GFCI that's not triggering so not sure if pool light is working, and pool vacuum doesn't move (the waterfall works, but has minor leaks down the back of it).

My problem, I REALLY only know the basics of the equipment- hoping you guys can see the pics and know what I'm working with here...

Here's my thoughts:
- Drain the swamp (haha!) - maybe just rent a pump from Big Box Store instead of running it through backwash/my equipment? Although, if I'm replacing the pump/filter anyways, maybe it doesn't matter?
- Acid Wash the pool once drained - I REALLY don't trust the previous owner, who knows what he's put into this pool, don't want my kids swimming in it- would rather have fresh, clean system from the getgo.
- Update new equipment & system, including:
- fix GFCI/Pool Light (obviously go with multi-color LED)
- change to variable speed pump
- add a salt cell/system
- new valves/replace o-rings as needed
- keep sand filter but fully replace the sand (or, should I nix this filter all together and go with something newer/better?)
- Add automation controls

I've been looking at Pentair's equipment, it seems pretty good/reputable. I like their automation controls as well. Ideally, I'd like to keep all equipment the same brand.

I'm hoping you guys can give me some direction on where to start, what exactly the equipment I need, and the best place to buy it for the best price/warranty? I know this is an expensive project, so I'd like to save as much as possible...

I sincerely appreciate any/all input!

Thank you!

-----SORRY! The forum won't let me attach more than the 2 pics! I got the invoice in the links below -------------


http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/azspecter/Pool/IMG_2496.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/azspecter/Pool/IMG_2499.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/azspecter/Pool/IMG_2500.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/azspecter/Pool/IMG_2498.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/azspecter/Pool/imageedit_1_8655772376.jpg
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,690
Tallahassee, FL
#2
WHAT FUN!!! We will love helping you. First things first. Use photo bucket or such (the IMG code) to get your pics to show up OR become a supporting member (see blue oval that the top of the page). You will get discount on the test kit you will be buying (will talk about that in a few), a discount to Swimming Pool Supplies - Pool Parts - INYOPools.com where you will be able to buy anything you need for the pool to repair or replace as needed AND it helps us keep the lights here at TFP!

The FIRST thing you need to buy is a test kit. You REALLY need the TF-100 XL for that pretty green you have going on there! Look in my siggy below to find where to buy it. Anything else will not have enough tests in it to help you out. Even IF you drain you will still need a good test kit to keep the water safe for your kids.

Here is some *light* reading while we wait to see the rest of the pics in your post and you have the test kit on the way:

Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

I will check back in on ya in a bit! :hug:

Kim:kim:
 
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DesertSloth

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
107
Phoenix, AZ
#3
The links from Photobucket are what I tried- I used their HTML Share links- still doesn't work no matter what I do. Not sure why- it's just HTML <img> code? Weird...

I'll check out the test kit. If I'm fully draining the pool, I probably won't need it until I get the new water/system up and running.

I'd love for someone to take a look at the invoice (last image link in 1st post), and see what they think? Also- do they offer package deals if I'm replacing nearly everything at the same time?

Thanks!
 

SuzfromTexas

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 7, 2015
3,349
Houston, Texas
#4
When the IMG code on photo bucket wouldn't work, I switched browsers. I usually use either chrome or Explorer. I think Explorer was the one that worked and not Chrome - can't remember for sure. For me, that was the solution.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,690
Tallahassee, FL
#6
Okay so lets go item by item:

-cleaner not moving-My guess is the pool is so dirty and the filter is not up to par so.........the cleaner will not run right. For right now lets just hope it will work when you get everything else going.

-filter-you can do a deep clean of the sand: Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter You might even need to take the sand out using a shop vac to REALLY clean it good. (I have not idea of how deep your pockets are so am suggesting cleaning instead of replacing)

-pump-a VS will save you money in the short run with savings on your power bill.

-SWG-it will make life easier but you can always just use chlorine on a daily bases. With either one you will need a good test kit to help keep the water balanced.

Drain pool?-you can BUT we do not suggest it. There is always a chance of the pool popping due to water table depth. I will leave that one up to you.

-I see on the pool invoice they talk about the main drain NOT being a anti-vortex one. With you having kids this one really worries me. PLEASE call Swimming Pool Supplies - Pool Parts - INYOPools.com and ask them what you can buy to make that part safe. We do NOT want to take a chance of entrapment!

-o-rings and such-again inyopool will be your go to. They are awesome at figuring out puzzles like this. You CAN do the work if you have the correct parts.

-leaking waterfall-that one may require a "pro" to fix--I will let you work on that one as you can see what it is doing and when.

Are you allowed to do any work before closing?

Kim:kim:
 
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DesertSloth

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
107
Phoenix, AZ
#7
I think it'd be a good idea to flat out replace the sand completely. Should I add DE to it?

The pool WAS sparkling clean a few weeks ago- but clearly he hasn't been maintaining it. I hear the vacuum is now MOVING, but the water is soo dirty I can't tell if it's actually doing anything...

I definitely want to go with a VS pump- any recommendations as to which one?

What does it mean - pool popping? Never heard of that before. I know, here in AZ, the sun/heat is getting to where I don't want to leave it empty for too long or it can cause damage. I was hoping to do this all quickly, once I know the plan of attack.

I'll definitely get the anti-vortex drains going- probably much easier to replace once it's empty.

Definitely can't do any work before closing... :(

Any suggestions on automation systems, or brands- and what specifically I need?

Thanks!
 

callahan3

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2016
99
boiling springs, SC
#8
Just my 2 cents but i would not worry with a VS pump "not knowing your power cost" it would take YEARS to get your money back out of it. 2 speed is the way to go and a timer. If it was clean a few weeks ago then I would not drain just test then SLAM. The automation is cool at first but I don't think its worth it but if u want it go get. name brands I've had is Hayward, Jandy and just got my new 2 speed Pentair pump today so don't know the workings of it yet. The sand just clean it good and you can add a cup of DE to it to get it good and clean but you will need to add it after a couple back washes. Good luck
 
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DesertSloth

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
107
Phoenix, AZ
#9
INTERESTING... everything I've read, and everyone I talk to all says that the VS pump is DEFINITELY worth the money, and should be the first thing I should do. Any more insights as to why you think that?

I want to drain it bc I honestly don't know if it's EVER been drained (years and years without it possibly) and I don't like the idea of all the chemicals in there with my kids. Dunno- maybe I'm just being overly cautious- but- if I'm switching to Salt system anyways- wouldn't it make sense to start with totally clean/fresh water with no chemicals?

You don't think an acid wash is a good idea?

Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,690
Tallahassee, FL
#10
Pool popping is when the water table is high and pushes the pool up and out after the water is removed :shock: We have no idea of your water table so do not know if it will be an issue with your pool. Just to be on the safe side TFP says do not drain your pool. That way no one can come back and say "But TFP said to drain it!"

Acid wash-that is up to you. Just know that it takes a little (tiny bit??) of the plaster off. That is how it works. It might be worth it as it should remove any build up caused by the former owner.

VS pump-I can't find it now but one of our experts did the math on how fast it paid for it's self. In a high cost power area it was quite fast. I do not know which one you should get. I will let you do some searching over at the pump part of TFP. Use the search box at the top of this page. I am still learning about pumps and do not want to steer you wrong.

Adding DE is for after you put the sand in and learn your system. It is to "polish" of the water. If you drain your pool you will not need to add any as your water will be brand new and sparkles already. I would hold off on it for right now.

:hug: your kids are lucky you care so much. Do what makes YOU feel good about the pool and keeping your kids safe!

Kim:kim:
 

callahan3

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2016
99
boiling springs, SC
#11
https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/115550-Is-the-VS-Pump-worth-the-cost
https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/17635-Is-it-worth-switching-out-my-single-speed-pump-for-variable
https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/107596-is-a-variable-speed-worth-it

Just a quick search on TFP found some good reading on the VS pump. i still say if the price of power is low then its a no. LOL
Sand filter i would keep just clean the sand. Valves I would keep unless they leak. Pump I would do 2 speed with timer. Acid wash Can be good but I've also heard horror stories :stirpot::stirpot:.
Must have on the LED color changing light if you swim at night they are to cool.:punkrock:
I would add a salt cell for sure I love mine!!! I got a nature soft system from Jandy but others are great to.
As always Post pics as you get started We love to see progression. Good Luck
 
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DesertSloth

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
107
Phoenix, AZ
#13
Sorry, house closing is in progress. I would LOVE some insights as to which equipment I need to upgrade to tho! I DID do the energy calculations, and a VS pump will pay for itself within 2yrs, according to my utility rates and size of pool, etc.

Anyone recommend a VS Pump, SWG, and should I convert/replace my filter to DE?

I've been researching/watching videos- a lot of the maintenance stuff seems pretty easy for me to do myself. Just curious on the equipment & automation systems out there now...

Thank you!
 

callahan3

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2016
99
boiling springs, SC
#14
Since you want to do automation then either one of the 3 big's will be good i would recommend that maybe going to a local pool store or 2 and see what brand they sell and see what place give you a better vibe cause warranty and help/replacement will be good to have. Me I like Pentair but Hayward and Jandy are awesome to.

I would not convert to DE yes it does trap to a lower micron than a sand but its alot more maintenance and money. If you have a robot you will do just as good if not better you can also add a cup or 2 of DE to your sand filter to help out if you want but I could never tell a difference.

Good luck and Hope I helped in some way and not just pull you around.
 
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DesertSloth

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
107
Phoenix, AZ
#15
Yes, really leaning to Pentair too. That's good advice- thanks for chiming in- I appreciate it!

- - - Updated - - -

BTW- I was thinking of buying all my supplies online. I assume I can get them cheaper than any local pool supply store. Paying them to do the pump/equipment install is worth it for the warranty? Do Pentair products have issues/shortened lifespan to where the extended warranty is definitely needed?

Thanks again!
 

Mr. D

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2016
39
Huntsville AL
#16
Lot of good advise being thrown your way, my .02 is don't replace anything and repair/service what you have and get the pool online.

There is nothing really wrong with the equipment you have and turning the green monster into a clear pool is the easy part. I think you be surprised at how easy of a fix this pool is, and BTW nice pool.

- - - Updated - - -

Also all you Phoenix, AZ type out there I'm really digging that "no grass" thing you people have going on. I would love to be able to mow and water rocks. HA
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
410
south east Arizona
#17
Get the pool cleaned up and running then start replacing equipment. Learn how to take care of your water before tweaking the system with expensive toys. You may decide you don't need stuff, or you may decide you want even fancier stuff. Learn to walk before doing gymnastics. Get the test kit and see what is in the water, if the previous folks used tabs and/or powdered shock, you may indeed need to drain some of it. Get the test kit, learn to use it. Start the pool and fix the important, functional things, but learn how to take care of the water first. That is the most important long term thing you can do for yourself, your kids, and the pool.
 

callahan3

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2016
99
boiling springs, SC
#18
I buy all my stuff online and take the chance and yes as far as i know the warranty is shorter when you buy online and install your self but as long as you do it right you'll be OK. Its just nice to have equipment that matches local store's for WHAT JUST happened my party is in 1 hr type thing lol.
 
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DesertSloth

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2017
107
Phoenix, AZ
#19
UPDATE-
We closed escrow, the seller cleaned the pool so it's clear. He may have drained it, but I'm not sure. It's been clear, and kids been swimming in it already. I noticed the other day it's not nearly as clear, so I bought a cheapo chem test. The CL was 0, and PH 8+. He had a gallon jug of chlorine/shock. According to the directions on that, I needed 2-3 gallons of that stuff to get it to the correct level of CL. I dumped the 1 gallon in.

Today, the CL is 1ppm, and PH is slightly down to 8.

I DID buy some tablets, but, now I've been reading I see liquid is the best way to go.

I'm going to order the FAS-DPD test kit today...

What can I do to get those levels under control? I see bleach is a way to get CL, but not sure how much I need to put in? Will bleach help get the PH down too?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,690
Tallahassee, FL
#20