Follow this newbie starting the pool for the first time.

ctnewowner

Member
Jul 11, 2022
9
Orange, CT
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello fellow members,

I just bought a house with a huge pool, about 36K ig vinyl pool. I thought hiring a contractor from local pool store will take care of everything but I guess it's not that simple.

A week ago, I had the guys from the local pool store "open up" the pool for $320. I wasn't home at the moment but my wife said they poured a big bag of shock, ran the pump then left without further instructions.

The pump was left on for two days. As you can see from the photos, there are still leaves and a bunch of algae inside. Also, the flow to the skimmer doesn't seem strong enough. When I called to inquire, they said they do not clean or vacuum but only remove the cover and run the pumps. I was told to find someone to clean and maintain the pool. o_O


20220708_185813.jpg


That's when I started some research and found this forum. I evaluated all the systems in the pool house. There are 3 pipes going to the Hayward pump, two skimmers and one main drain. Pentair FNS PLUS 48 DE filter with separation tank. Raypak water heater.
20220708_185910.jpg


Here's what I've done so far. 1. ordered TF-100 test kit and Dolphin Nautilius robot. 2. Collected leaves from the surface and clean the skimmer and pump filter.

Today, I also noticed the gauge on the DE filter was at 0. I figured the filter might be clogged and attempted to follow the cleaning procedure in this forum. As soon as I released the air relief valve, water started to overflow from the pump cover so I closed the valve. Is that how you relieve the pressure? Is the procedure different for a system with the separation tank?

Meanwhile, what else should I be doing until the test kit comes?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,261
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Welcome to TFP! :wave: So you learned your first lesson with fly-by-night pool techs and services. :brickwall: Ordering the TF-100 was a fantastic move. Until the kit arrives, don't try to do too much. I would recommend:
1. Your DE filter will clog-up fast. The pressure gauge may be broken so don't rely on it just yet. If you can't open the filter for cleaning, place it on recirculate to at least allow water to flow through easily. Just for now.
2. Add one gallon of liquid chlorine each day. It's only to help keep things from getting worse.
3. Do not add anything else until you run your own full set of test results.
4. Update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info. See mine as an example.
5. Read the SLAM Process page. You're gong to use it to kill. & remove algae.
6. Read and bookmark our Pool Care Basics page. It has just about everything you need under one roof.
7. You can sweep & brush to your heart's content. The more the better.

Once you get the kit, we'll be watching for those test results. That's when progress will begin.
 
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ctnewowner

Member
Jul 11, 2022
9
Orange, CT
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you very much!
Do I leave the pump on 24/7 for now with daily chlorine?
I also tried to update my signature but it give me the following error message: "Your content can not be submitted. This is likely because your content is spam-like or contains inappropriate elements. Please change your content or try again later. If you still have problems, please contact an administrator."
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
50,836
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
No need to run the pump 24/7 at this time.
Post your signature information here. I can add it to your profile.
 

ctnewowner

Member
Jul 11, 2022
9
Orange, CT
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Ok, I've managed to clean the filters. The test kit also came. Virtually zero FC. CYA - I could see the black dot until it was filled all the way up.
Can I start with the SLAM process or raise the CYA first?
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,261
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Can I start with the SLAM process or raise the CYA first?
1. Be sure the pH is at about 7.2
2. Use a sock to add stabilizer for a CYA target of 30.'
3. Use liquid chlorine to increase and maintain the FC to 12. Do your best to keep it there through the entire SLAM Process.

Good luck!
 
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ctnewowner

Member
Jul 11, 2022
9
Orange, CT
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
20220715_110645.jpg
Here's an update:

CYA 40.
FC - maintaining at 12 with liquid chlorine.
The only problem is the water gets cloudier with the robot vacuum working constantly. It fills up very quickly with leaves and dirt and I don't know how much is left underneath.
Should I just stop vacuuming, wait for everything to settle, and re-assess the floor situation? What if there is just too much debris sitting? Should I hire a professional just to vacuum the mess with heavy duty equipments?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
50,836
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Maintain FC of 16 ppm. That is SLAM level for 40ppm CYA.

Do whatever you can to remove solid debris from the pool. Pool rake or robot, whichever is more efficient.
 

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ctnewowner

Member
Jul 11, 2022
9
Orange, CT
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Update: Not much has changed although I've been maintaining FC at 16 and running the pump 24/7. I've been running the robot and manual vacuum so there is definitely less debris in the bottom. Water is still cloudy and you can see the dirt accumulating on top of the stairs. I've tried backwashing it again and recharging DE but my wife is starting to doubt this process ;). She watched some Youtube videos and wants to try using a product like Revive to clear the water so we can vacuum this more efficiently. Any suggestions?20220720_183440.jpg
 

Tcadwall0

Gold Supporter
May 19, 2021
202
Charlotte, NC
Pool Size
12900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Please do not follow the urge to watch random miracle youtube videos. This forum will guide you better than anything out there for the best results, and fastest results. Welcome to the group. I personally have not had to perform a SLAM yet, and don't expect to ever have to, since I follow the maintenance principles here closely. But who knows - I could have an equipment failure that puts me there at some point.

In any case, be patient. Are you brushing regularly? Also - how often are you checking FC and adding chlorine? From what I have read here, the more often you can, the better.

*edit - the last picture looks MUCH better than the previous one. Clearer and dead algae on the steps.
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
2,385
Edmond OK
Pool Size
27500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
3~4 times a day during weekends. Otherwise twice a day.
How low has it been dropping before you add more, especially on the days you're only testing twice? Every time the FC drops below SLAM level, it extends the length of the SLAM. Keeping FC at SLAM level as often as possible is key to making the SLAM work.
 
Last edited:

ghall6292

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2018
265
North Central PA
Pool Size
13500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
You've gotten great advice from everyone so far, (except maybe your wife.) LOL. Super job on grabbing that test kit right off the bat! You are about to find that the great folks on this site have got your back now, whether you want them to or not! Every time you post you will get a nearly instant response to your request for info (hardly ever just one!) The TFP-er's will start getting in line to assist.

These guys have got you and your wife on the path to a truly trouble-free-pool. It's a process and will not happen overnight. Additionally, although you may need to purchase a few things to get your situation corrected, rest assured that not one single person on this site is interested in, nor ever has been, in making a profit from your misery.

As previously advised, stay away from random YouTube videos and especially pool stores. Instead, go with the science. Everything that you need can be obtained from a big-box store, a supermarket, a hardware store, or Amazon. If you feel the tug of the pool store, just drive by and wave, like we do!

Oh, and welcome to TFP!

Good luck and keep us informed on your pool's transformation as well as your TFP experience.
 

ctnewowner

Member
Jul 11, 2022
9
Orange, CT
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
CYA is at 30 now after a few vacuums to waste. Is there any harm in over-chlorinating the pool? During weekdays, I put extra liquid chlorine in the morning since I can't be checking it frequently.
I installed the new gauge today so I'll be closely watching how quickly it builds up.
On top of the robot vacuum, I also bought this handheld vacuum and this is what I get out of 5 min blind sweep.

20220721_192346.jpg20220721_192312.jpg
 

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