Draining and refilling... best way to clean before refill???

May 13, 2012
20
#1
I have a 12x3ft above ground pool. After being gone for a weekend and levels dropping, I have had nothing but problems with algae. Got rid of it I though, and it came back with a vengence. Decided to drain the whole thing and refill rather than buying expensive products I don't know how to use. How would you suggest I clean the pool (any special cleaner or mixture?) to make sure I get rid of ALL the algae so it doesn't come back? After cleaning, would you suggest I let it dry out for a certain amount of time before refilling to make sure everything is dead? I'm still new to this, so thanks for helping me!
 

linen

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Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
#2

techguy

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Jul 21, 2010
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Antelope, CA
#3
Re: Draining and refilling... best way to clean before refil

I would use bleach and water, along with a soft, nylon scrub brush. Wear clothing that you don't mind getting bleach on.

After you have cleaned it, and rinsed the best you can. I would remove the water/bleach/algae that you can get out easily (no need to get all of it out) and then fill it immediately. Liner's don't like being in the sun without water in them. I could stretch or dry and crack. Any left over bleach and algae will be so diluted, it should not be an issue.

After you get the pool filled, adjust your PH and go directly to shock levels using bleach or chlorine and get some CYA stabilizer started in a sock hanging in the return water stream.

While the pool is filling, study your Pool School and study for your OCLT test.

The shocking process will take care the junk in you pipes, clean the filter and pump as best as you can. If your pipes are flexible PVC ones, consider replacing them unless the old ones look in good shape and can be cleaned. They are pretty inexpensive.

.
 

techguy

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Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
#4
Re: Draining and refilling... best way to clean before refil

ohh yeah.. don't buy any expensive chemicals. You should mainly need the three B's (bleach, borax, and baking soda) as well as stabilizer/conditioner/CYA (same stuff, different names) and maybe a bottle of Muriatic Aci.

It's all in the pool school.

No algaecides needed, no bags of "shock", no white hockey pucks or chlorine sticks, no green-to-clean or phosphate removers. Mainly you will use bleach/chlorine and one or two others depending on your water.
 
May 13, 2012
20
#5
Re: Draining and refilling... best way to clean before refil

Thanks so much! I have tried the shocking process and it hasn't worked. I tried bleach, tried the shock packets. Tried everything short of emptying the pool and starting over (which is what I am doing now). Unfortunately, the cheap test I have does not tell you when shock level is reached, only when the appropriate levels are reached and slightly outside of that so I know when to add chemicals. I am assuming expensive tests give a wider range of results. With such a small pool and this being the first summer I am testing out the idea of having a pool, I don't yet want to invest in an expensive test. Perhaps that will come next year if I decide to keep the pool up. I will clean and refill. I was okay until I left for the weekend and my levels all dropped, so hopefully I can keep it all leveled out this time.
 

linen

TFP Expert
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Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
#6
Re: Draining and refilling... best way to clean before refil

jen088 said:
I have tried the shocking process and it hasn't worked.
The process always works if followed correctly. If you want, post your test numbers and we can help. With that said, draining and refilling can also work on a pool as small as yours, though you may still have to do the shocking process once filled.

jen088 said:
I don't yet want to invest in an expensive test.
At least buy the cheap HTH 6-way drop based test kit at walmart. IMO you are wasting a lot of time and water flying blind.
 

JohnT

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Apr 4, 2007
9,448
SW Indiana
#7
Re: Draining and refilling... best way to clean before refil

jen088 said:
Thanks so much! I have tried the shocking process and it hasn't worked. I tried bleach, tried the shock packets. Tried everything short of emptying the pool and starting over (which is what I am doing now). Unfortunately, the cheap test I have does not tell you when shock level is reached, only when the appropriate levels are reached and slightly outside of that so I know when to add chemicals. I am assuming expensive tests give a wider range of results. With such a small pool and this being the first summer I am testing out the idea of having a pool, I don't yet want to invest in an expensive test. Perhaps that will come next year if I decide to keep the pool up. I will clean and refill. I was okay until I left for the weekend and my levels all dropped, so hopefully I can keep it all leveled out this time.
I can just about guarantee no matter what you do to clean it, you'll get algae again. Small pools are actually harder to keep good chemistry than larger ones because you don't have strong water movement and filtration to recover from problems. A good test kit would do you more good than anything else you can do. With the kit, you could fairly easily clear the nastiest, blackest goo you can imagine. Without it, it's all just luck.
 

techguy

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Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
#8
Re: Draining and refilling... best way to clean before refil

I am going to put it this way...This year instead of going to the pool store and buying $100 worth of their recommended "products" or "kits", buy the TF-100 kits listed in the pool school and the go to Wal-Mart for everything else you need. Most of this stuff is in the grocery side of the store by the laundry soap. You can get enough bleach for your shock (I would start with four of the 186 oz Great Value bottles for $2.98 each), and borax (about $4 for the big box) and baking soda (by the cake mixes for those that don't know). All told, you will spend the same and with the BBB method, it will be clear and stay that way. I am going to guess this initial supply could even last you two weeks. After that, you pick up a bottle or two of bleach when you are the grocery store and you are likely good to go. I forgot, you will need some CYA, it is sold in the toys or garden section of Wal-Mart. My pool store sells the 1.75 pound container for less than $10. it is the only chemical I have bought from them this year.
 

iSmile

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2012
81
Indiana
#9
If you live in an area with hard water the only B you will likely need is the bleach. Can't see signatures on my phone.


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