Flock or Drain???

lilypad40

New member
Apr 30, 2008
4
Hi!

I'm a new pool owner and a new poster on this forum.

We live in Texas and recently bought a home with a pool. This isn't our first pool, we rented for about 18 months prior to buying and had a pool there. With pool service, so when we moved here we brought our pool service with us. And now we are really struggling with this pool.

Last Thursday we had torrential rains during the night. I woke to find our pool, which had been clear, brown and murky due to runoff from the yard. Six weeks ago we drained and power washed the pool at the recommendation of our pool service, which I was hesitant to do, the water looked fine. But he wanted to start with fresh water and remove any algae accumulations, change some valves, etc. So we did it. 20,000 gals. Now he wants to drain the pool again cause he can't see the bottom of the pool. I'm starting to think this is an easy fix for him, but expensive for us, and wasting so much water. I called the company that built the pool in 2001, they are very familiar with this pool. It was configured against their design recommendations and sits downhill of a large part of the yard. He said the previous owner struggled with the pool every Spring.

He said I don't have to drain the pool, but should Flock and Vac it. I've done a little bit of research online and that looks like it comes with it's own set of problems.

Any thoughts or advice???

Thanks!
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,601
SW Indiana
You should be able to clear it with just filtration and vacuuming or brushing. Run your filter 24/7 and brush or vacuum the pool daily and you should see it clearing pretty quickly. If you have a sand filter, it might not hurt to add a dose of clarifier to the pool after a couple of days of filtration. What kind of filter do you have?
 

sevver

Well-known member
Mar 27, 2007
477
Morris, IL
If there is a run off problem, maybe you will need to channel the water away from the pool somehow. If the yard pitches in to the pool, then some sort of ditch is a good idea. Even a low swail to direct the water away to some other area... If this is going to be a recurring problem it will be worth it I would imagine.
 

lilypad40

New member
Apr 30, 2008
4
It's a D.E. Filter.

The morning after the rain I turned the filter on to start clearing it up, the pool lady came out and turned everything off because pressure was at 40psi. And it's been off ever since while we decide what to do. I'm afraid that the longer we wait the more difficult it will be to rectify. I just want to run the filter!!
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,601
SW Indiana
lilypad40 said:
It's a D.E. Filter.

The morning after the rain I turned the filter on to start clearing it up, the pool lady came out and turned everything off because pressure was at 40psi. And it's been off ever since while we decide what to do. I'm afraid that the longer we wait the more difficult it will be to rectify. I just want to run the filter!!
The filter needs to be backwashed and then have new DE added. A pool service that can't handle that seems like a waste of money to me.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
Do not leave the pump off for very long. 24 hours might be alright but don't put it off much longer than that. Backwashing the filter isn't all that difficult and should be done very soon before algae gets going in the pool and things get much more challenging.
 

barco

Active member
Apr 29, 2008
26
Yeh, you got to fix the yard first, then worry about the pool. I live in Texas... I remember the rain last week and in 4 more days, it could rain worse. Hate to see you put all that effort into something and be right back where you are again in 4 days.

Ditch, retaining wall, french drain....lots of ways to fix whatever the drainage problem...but that is your real problem.

My pool is built up about 2 feet above grade. The deck slopes about 1/4 to 1/2 for every foot off the pool. The deck also slopes the same amount to the edges. Some would say its ugly....but I made sure it was done this way just for this problem. The gutter guy is coming here tommarrow to divert more of the roof water to both sides of the pool and away from the deck.
 

lilypad40

New member
Apr 30, 2008
4
I will take some photos and post.

The filter has been off for a week and now the pool is green. I researched flocking and that can wreck the water. So, tomorrow the pool will be drained and spraywashed again. In the meantime, we have cleaned and flushed the french drains, but it won't be enough. We're going to get another wall built on the upper slope, the yard has burms to direct the water away, but obviously it's not enough. Very discouraging and expensive. I guess until the wall is built, we'll sandbag and monitor the drains.

Off to take "before" photos...
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Hi lillypad40,

You have a very beautiful place.

The gurus will be back soon to help you with your dilemma.

Welcome to TFP and thanks for the pix :)
 

muss08

In The Industry
Mar 22, 2008
56
Maryland
Trust me, i've seen worse and have gotten the pool turned around. Chances are the majority of the silt has already settled and a thorough vacuum to waste will get most out. then, yes, run your filter 24 hrs. with constant pressure checks and backwashing. those grids are gonna get dirty fast. as soon as you can make out the main drain do another vacuum to waste. i am in the pool business and yes, the easiest solution for us is to drain and clean the pool. we make a good chunk of change from the d&c and we can be done with it and move on to the next pool. it's a pain getting a pool like that to turn around but trust me it can be done. yard has to be fixed or this is going to be a HUGE pain in the butt
 

snapped

Active member
Apr 20, 2008
27
Im wondering if most of your problem is coming from the planting areas inside your fence?

The outside part doesnt look that bad. I would recommend 18 inch berms about 2 feet on the other side of the fence, and drains inside those planting area's or completely remove the soil in the planting areas and replace with gravel/river rock and start container gardening.

You may also want to consider just raising the high of the existing wall with some sort of cap stone. It would mean removing the iron fence and re-installing but you may need a combination of all three to get teh results you want.

I wouldnt think it would be as expensive as a a complete drain and refill every year

The drainage channel that goes along your driveway( 3rd picture)should also be a bit wider and deeper, and lined with river rock .

It looks like a great pool area
 

saraiks

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2007
74
Fremont, CA
Don't give up without a fight.. a turnaround is possible without putting too much money into it. Here's what I suggest..

1. Use a leaf net to take out all the crud you can. Line the leaf net with some cheesecloth to take some more out.

2. Read the stickies and use the directions is Jasons writeup on cleaning up a green pool. http://www.troublefreepool.com/viewtopic.php?t=4147

3. For your runoff issue make a cheap barrier from acrylic sheets. Use .03 or 1/16 thick sheets cut to 4ft by 1 ft. These can be sunk about 4 inches into the ground and ties to your existing fence with cable ties. We used green sheets to redirect the runoff for a neighbours yard that backs up to a hill ! My local plastic sheeting shop has these for about $12 to 15 for a 4 X 2 ft with free cutting. Which will cover 8 ft if you cut it in half. If you want to go cheaper you can used foamed PVC sheets but those are harder to put in and not as strong.

4. Long term runoff solutions with gravel etc. will need to be implemented but at least yeou will be able to enjoy the pool this season..