I can’t afford my pool..or can I?

Yinn

Member
Apr 12, 2019
21
New Jersey
Get a pool they said. It’d be fun they said. What they didn’t say is that it’s expensive!! At $600-$900 to open a pool, and the same amount to close it; I lasted about one full season and I’m done. There’s a better way to do this right? So far this forum has convinced me I can do it myself.

What I’ve done/corrected so far:
1) I used cheap test strips last year. But I just ordered a LaMotte 7022 (on sale and cheaper than 2006c and TF100)

2) Sold my Polaris pressure side cleaner, and bought a Pentair 920 (S200 twin) as my Polaris wasn’t picking up what I was told was sand, which is normal from my filter. (I add DE though, do I still have sand?!) But as long as I brush the sand, and keep my Polaris running and pool circulating the sand shouldn’t be a problem. Except, my pool doesn’t have a booster pump. So to keep the Polaris running, I had to turn down or off several pressure returns, which also reduced my solar heating and circulation.

3) My sand forms a cloud when brushed. It also mostly forms on the shallow end by the steps and ledges - farthest away from the filter. This “sand” I fear may not be sand after all. I purchased approximately 6 gallons of bleach in preparation for a SLAM. (Also downloaded poolmath)

I also have an assortment of granules, tablets, algaecide, baking soda, and dry acid from last year. I read the blogs on opening and SLAM; but I’m still a little nervous about damaging something so wanted to do a sanity check.

Opening the pool:
1) Clear my mesh cover of debris. Unhook, fold, dry, and store.
2) Fill the pool to mid skimmer
3) Put skimmers back into place, remove plugs covering suction port in the skimmer.
4) Heres what I’m not clear on. What do i need to reconnect, and what other plugs should i check for? It’s an inground, I’m in a frost area, but it doesn’t look like anything else is disconnected or plugged up. Where should I look just in case I’m oblivious?
5) Do I just turn it on regardless of what it looks like? Will it damage the equipment? Or should I be trying to clear it up before it turns on.

Thank you in advance for helping me save some money and sanity!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
If you can cancel the order of the Lamotte test kit, do it. Order a TF-100. It is the best value for the residential pool owner. The Lamotte will work, but be aware that some of the tests may need refills sooner than the TF100.
What you call sand is most likely dead algae. A pressure side cleaner will not work well without a booster pump. For optimal cleaning, you should consider a robot.

When you get your TF100, run a full suite of tests and post them up.

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 
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cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,377
Hays, Kansas
It happens to everyone, it's a run around. Stick with us and your pool will be around $5 a week or even less.

Your opening thoughts look good, just take your time, post pictures of what you don't understand
 

Yinn

Member
Apr 12, 2019
21
New Jersey
Welcome to the forum!
If you can cancel the order of the Lamotte test kit, do it. Order a TF-100. It is the best value for the residential pool owner. The Lamotte will work, but be aware that some of the tests may need refills sooner than the TF100.
What you call sand is most likely dead algae. A pressure side cleaner will not work well without a booster pump. For optimal cleaning, you should consider a robot.

When you get your TF100, run a full suite of tests and post them up.

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
Unfortunately it’s too late to cancel the order. I was looking at the TF100, but based on the comparison chart it looked like the LaMotte 7200 was only missing the OTO and had more testing, in pH, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness. And since it was $15 cheaper shipped to me, I figured I’d pick up OTO separately.

I also agree, without the booster pump the pressure cleaner just isn’t helpful. I look forward to trying out the 920 robot, especially with the ultra fine filter. Should capture a lot more.
 

aussieta

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
welcome to TFP
i think we all went through being poolstored where you came out $100s of dollars poorer and the pool never sparkled
you will know the TFP sparkle in a few months, it is like a diamond, compared to what you thought a clean pool looked like
i had my pool resurfaced recently, so a complete drain and refill
cost me around $300 to rebalance after fill using TFP methods
with a swg it costs me under $100 per year in chemicals
 
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borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,004
Pacific NW
4) Heres what I’m not clear on. What do i need to reconnect, and what other plugs should i check for? It’s an inground, I’m in a frost area, but it doesn’t look like anything else is disconnected or plugged up. Where should I look just in case I’m oblivious?
Do you have a heater? put the drain plug(s) back in, if so.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,339
Morris Cnty NJ
Check inside the skimmer for plugs and remove them and anything like a skimmer genie or pool noodle in there. Remove all the plugs from returns inside the pool. Check your valves at pool pad to be sure they are open if your not sure post a pic we will tell you what's open or closed. Then prime pump and run it. If a plug is missing you will shoot water somewhere and know a plug is missing in a few seconds. Getting pool clear is easy but I fear your chemicals are way off because the cya is prob sky high if pool guy was using pucks. Your test results will tell us
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
175
Houston, TX
If the pump was drained due for the winter, or a rebuild, you will need to put a little bit of water in it thru the basket so it can self prime. At least that’s how it is on my whisperflo.
 

Yinn

Member
Apr 12, 2019
21
New Jersey
What location are you in? Helps us understand your local conditions, etc.
I’m in NJ

Check inside the skimmer for plugs and remove them and anything like a skimmer genie or pool noodle in there. Remove all the plugs from returns inside the pool. Check your valves at pool pad to be sure they are open if your not sure post a pic we will tell you what's open or closed. Then prime pump and run it. If a plug is missing you will shoot water somewhere and know a plug is missing in a few seconds. Getting pool clear is easy but I fear your chemicals are way off because the cya is prob sky high if pool guy was using pucks. Your test results will tell us
I think I got everything, but I did mess up already. On one of the returns, the plug got sucked into the pipe. I would’ve thought it should’ve been big enough to prevent that...guess not.

Two big ones, and an antifreeze bottle from the skimmer. Green one is from the pressure cleaner outlet. And I couldn’t get the eyeballs back in.

97267

I also found 3 plugs, and one screw inside my pump basket.

763B6310-D016-48DA-B595-0EB824E39A2A.jpeg

I think I found the right places for them.
29B49E51-3D03-4883-A95E-1547DE8254FE.jpeg
63D12BA0-7C34-4BCE-80B3-030D7F6DF28D.jpeg
629F9D36-7704-4FDB-BD14-1427B6EAAF6B.jpeg

As well as tightened the drain on my Filter when I saw it spewing out.

59CFBB62-C791-45F4-B069-C74DB3CB986F.jpeg

I have my valves set like this right now.

AD727EAC-2379-4E69-AAAE-69FC39B38B00.jpeg

No chemicals have gone in yet, but boy does the pool smell nasty. Smells like a sewage pit. All sparkly and inviting...

2972F48B-45E8-4038-8963-3EE52409A5BD.jpeg

The test kit arrives Monday so I’ll have to wait until then. It’s just circulating for now.
 

aussieta

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
did you get the sucked in plug out
add one gallon of bleach per day until your kit arrives
and start vacuuming to get the silt out
and give it a brush
i buy a test kit every 2 years, i know should be every year, but i am a cheap skate, what can i say
that is the most expensive part of running a pool, electricity excluded
i think your pool will be sparkling in no time. that looks like an easy startup
also use the extended test procedure when you can as your test kit will last longer
Extended Test Kit Directions Archives - Trouble Free Pool
 

Yinn

Member
Apr 12, 2019
21
New Jersey
did you get the sucked in plug out
add one gallon of bleach per day until your kit arrives
and start vacuuming to get the silt out
and give it a brush
i buy a test kit every 2 years, i know should be every year, but i am a cheap skate, what can i say
that is the most expensive part of running a pool, electricity excluded
i think your pool will be sparkling in no time. that looks like an easy startup
also use the extended test procedure when you can as your test kit will last longer
Extended Test Kit Directions Archives - Trouble Free Pool
I didn’t get the plug out..I no longer can see or feel it. Not sure what to do there.

I grabbed my old test strips, but know they’re not accurate but they give a general idea.

FC=0
PH=8
TA=80
Hardness=200
CYA=150

@jimmythegreek was right. CYA is sky high. We have rain all this week, so I’ll see if that brings the CYA down. I’ll start dumping bleach in now.

I have in my garage, Algaecide. Should I use that at all?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,339
Morris Cnty NJ
The valve in left where it says solar re circulation looks like is closing off all your returns. I cant tell by the pics you posted cause I cant see the equipment nut I would spin that handle 180 degrees so the off points toward solar pipe. Give me some pics of equipment and put your equipment setup in your signature.
Where in NJ are you?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,505
Northern NJ
A little bit of rain is not going to bring CYA 150 down. You need to get your CYA down to 30-40. That means an 80% drain of your pool, or a water exchange which @mknauss can explain how to do. Be careful with a drain as a high water table can pop a pool shell out.

You can't do a SLAM Process and clean up water with CYA that high. No point in dumping chemicals into water you are going to be draining. Your first task is to do the water exchange or drain. That will get you much cleaner water to start with.

What is the situation with your house water? You on a well or municipal water?

How many gallons in your pool? Having details of your pool in your signature will help us help you through this.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
First, wait until you get your test kit. I do not recommend doing anything off test strip data.

Do develop a plan on doing a water exchange.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
You can exchange some water without draining.

If you place a low volume sub pump in the deep end and pull water from there while adding water in the shallow end (through a skimmer or into a bucket on a step so you lessen the water disturbance) you can do a fairly efficient exchange. That is assuming the water you are filling with is the same temperature or warmer than your pool water. If your fill water is much cooler than your pool water, then switch it. Add the water to the deep end (hose on bottom) and pull water from the top step.

The location of the pump and fill hose may change if you have salt water, high calcium, etc.
In my pool, with saltwater and high calcium when I drain, I put the pump in the deep end and hose in shallow end. The water in the pool weighs more per unit volume than the fill water from the hose.

Be sure to balance the water out and water in so the pool level stays the same. Also be sure your pool pump is disabled during this process. Once started do not stop until you have exchanged the amount of water you wish.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,339
Morris Cnty NJ
Agree. Wait for a proper test kit. You may have to dump a ton of that water. It will be for the better trust me you will save big money on chemicals if you start right and it's easy to do too
 
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