I've got absolutely no clue where to start!

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
176
Arkansas
Hi! I found this place after seeing it highly suggested everywhere I've looked so I hope you guys can offer us some advice :)

My fiance and I just purchased our first home. It's just what we wanted and it also had a pool, which we weren't looking for but always wanted. But, we have NO clue about pools so we have some learning to do!
We've been here about 3 weeks now and we're thinking we're about ready to start work on it.

The house was built in '74 and looking back through satellite images the pool was added sometime in the early 90s. I'm really not sure about how big it is or anything just yet. The house was a foreclosure sale so, there wasn't much information available for me about the pool. I did learn from the neighbors that they had a weekly pool service, with the last service being in '16, so it wasn't neglected prior to that. I've got no clues as to when the liner, pump, filters etc were replaced last. If I really had to guess, I would guess '14, because we know the previous owner did some updates to the home around then. But that is 100% guess. Could be much older or newer.
IMG_0550.jpg
(we're keeping the cover on until we're ready to start because we have a curious dog)

The realtors had a cover made for the pool but they didn't get it on until after the leaves fell. So, when we peaked under there it is full of leaves, mud (and water), algea and it's dark, dark green.

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In addition, the liner is coming away in some areas. Is this something we can fix ourselves? Worth it to instead have a company do it? We're fine doing things ourselves.. and much prefer to! Any estimate on cost if we have to hire it out?
IMG_0360.jpg

As we haven't powered anything yet, I am not sure if the pump works or not. It looks to me like we'd probably have to replace it. Is this something we should do before we ever turn it on? Or can we see if it works without damaging anything?
IMG_0549.jpgIMG_0548.jpgIMG_0547.jpgIMG_0545.jpgIMG_0544.jpg

On that pump, it looks like a pipe is broken off or missing? Does anyone know what that is, or was, and if it's something I have to have?

I called the company that use to service the pool and they said without even looking it would be $600 to clean the pool of debris and treat the water. I figure that I'll spend that much on chemicals and equipment I need (not including filter/pump), and as we intend to maintain it ourselves we'll have to buy it anyways so why not just do it ourselves. But -- as I mentioned I've got no clue what I need to purchase (chemicals, poles, vacuums safe for liners, do I need floc, etc)

edit to add:
How do I go about finding how many gallons the pool is?
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: I can assure you, most of the things you mentioned can be done by the two of you. Perhaps the one thing that may be best left to an expert is the liner. But the plumbing/PVC, pump/motor replacement, and cleaning is certainly a DIY kind of thing. Stick close to us and we can help. Some things for you now:
- Order a TF-100 test kit (link below). Because you have a swamp on your hands, you'll need to perform a TFP SLAM to remove algae. So read that page well. Also get the speedstir if you can to help with reagent mixing.
- Update your signature with all of your info. See mine as an example.
- First order of business, besides getting the TF-100 on order, is getting the system operational and that water clear. Naturally the pump needs to work and you want no leaks. But we can help with that as you get ready.
- Sweep and scoop as much junk out of the water now. That's very important. Chlorine can only do so much.
- Read our ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, and read/save those Vital Links below in my signature. You'll use them.

Stay close and ask lots of questions. W'ell help.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
By the way, that sand filter looks like its seen its better days. The broken outlet pipe is your waste line. But again, I would consider shopping for a new sand filter along with a new pump just to get off on the right foot.

Check out our PoolMath tool page for a pool size calculator that may help.

There are numerous online resources to help with pool equipment shopping, but Inyopools helps a lot of TFP members and can guide you through a series of questions & answers to help replace some of your equipment.
 
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Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
53
Orlando
I’m thinking that before you spend too much money, time, and effort to clear up that water you might want to talk to someone about that liner. The pool will definitely need to be drained to replace the liner and may still need to be drained to repair it if it is repairable. I’m not sure there’s much of a point to spending money and time to clear up the water if you’re just going to drain it anyway.
 

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
176
Arkansas
Thanks for the replies so far everyone! Really appreciate it :)

Okay so I will get that test kit ordered.
Is this what is meant by a speedstir?
Amazon.com: NEW Taylor 9265 Magnetic Stirrer Speedstir Start-Up Pack w/ Stir Bar + Batteries: Home & Kitchen

Also, will I need a vacuum for this initial cleaning process? If so, are there any recommendations? There are just so many options and I see some aren't safe for a liner. Feeling overwhelmed just looking at those!
Also, what other equipment should I invest in? Will any ol pole/rake/nets works that I find on amazon? I likely want to buy two of each so I was eyeing the stuff in the $11-$15 range.
I see brushes talked about here - any recommendations?

Trying to get my shopping list together for this initial clean up.

Should I try the pump that is currently out there at all? Can I cause any damage if I turn it on and it doesn't work? I certainly will be replacing it, just wondering if I could use it for this swampy mess if it's still functioning. Not put our new pump through that torture !

And if so - at what point should I turn on the pump? After we've gotten everything out we can with nets and vacuums?
 
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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
799
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
If you get the TF-100 kit and the Speedstir from Tftestkits.com, you get free shipping (over $100). You'll pay a few dollars less this way than you would if you purchased the Speedstir from Amazon. The Speedstir is definitely worth the money.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,979
SE Kansas!
Thanks for the replies so far everyone! Really appreciate it :)
The forum will support everyone who wants to learn!

Yup :)

Also, will I need a vacuum for this initial cleaning process? If so, are there any recommendations? There are just so many options and I see some aren't safe for a liner. Feeling overwhelmed just looking at those!
Also, what other equipment should I invest in? Will any ol pole/rake/nets works that I find on amazon? I likely want to buy two of each so I was eyeing the stuff in the $11-$15 range.
I see brushes talked about here - any recommendations?
Trying to get my shopping list together for this initial clean up.
You want a heavy duty pole, with preferably great reviews, telescoping is better for storage purposes. The biggest thing you will want is a wide weighted vacuum head with either bristles or wheels, this is similar to ours: Robelle Weighted Vacuum Head with Side Brushes for Swimming Pools - Walmart.com
You are doing great!
Should I try the pump that is currently out there at all? Can I cause any damage if I turn it on and it doesn't work? I certainly will be replacing it, just wondering if I could use it for this swampy mess if it's still functioning. Not put our new pump through that torture !
And if so - at what point should I turn on the pump? After we've gotten everything out we can with nets and vacuums?
I don't think it would be safe, but I am not a pool equipment expert.
 
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Hootz

Bronze Supporter
Feb 5, 2018
63
Rogers, AR
Most manual vacuums for liners have bristles only, the wheeled models work well in a hard surface pool but may damage a liner. I highly recommend for a brush: the wall whale brush. When brushing the sides a lot of energy is spent holding the brush against the wall while pushing the brush towards the bottom. The foil on the wall whale holds the brush against the wall, it makes it much easier and is safe for liners. Get a quality pole, it will be used with all the other attachments and a poor quality pole makes all that work miserable. I would turn the suction valves to allow water to the pump, fill the pump strainer with water, put the cover back on and turn the breaker on for the pump and see what happens. If it doesn't work it will kick the breaker, leak, or make noise. That Hayward Super Pump is a work horse and can take a lot of abuse.
 

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
176
Arkansas
We took the plunge today and took the cover completely off anddddd...

It's not really as bad as I expected!
I was expecting the liner to be worse, but only a few small areas are coming out. The pump was seized up, but it started working, and the filter. The pipes are leaking to the filter. But everything functions, so it's all usable for this cleanup. I will be replacing the pump with a VS asap, and probably replace the filter, too.

IMG_0558.jpgIMG_0560.jpg

Pew though it started smelling awful when we started pulling the leaves out!!

My test kit has not arrived and I still need to measure the gallons.
How many gallons of bleach should I add just to stabilize from getting worse until then?
The bleach I have is 8.25% Great Value brand. As far as I can tell it has no additives and stuff.
The deep end is deep - my 18ft pole I purchased, about 2.5 ft remain sticking out after I submerge it down there.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
17,694
Laughlin, NV
I do not believe Walmart makes a 8.25% bleach anymore, all is 6%. Check the bottle.

You need an approximate gallons. Don't commiserate over it, just get a rough length - width measurement and a rough average depth. When you have done that, start adding 10 ppm FC worth of bleach each evening, pump running if possible, until you get your test kit. Try getting out as much of the solid organic material as possible.
 

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
176
Arkansas
A very rough measurements seems to give me 25,000 gallons (25,132.8)

About 32ft long.
About 17.5ft wide.
About 8.5 deepest.
About 3.5 shallowest.

You're right, when I when to get the actual bleach it was only 6%. The website showed 8.25, boo!

How do I determinate the 10 ppm?

Edit:
Have downloaded the pool app. Not sure I am looking at the right thing though. "effects of adding" section, it says 4 gallons to have FC raise of 9.8, is that what I'm looking at?
 
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duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,884
Sebring, Florida
This is a personal opinion.....I wouldn't be in a big rush to buy a VS pump. Everyone loves them and they do just fine but you might consider saving several hundreds of dollars and get a two speed.......it pays for itself rather quickly.

I would use the existing pump for now and get your pool cleaned up and repaired thus giving you more time to learn about pumps and make a careful selection.
 
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Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
53
Orlando
Honestly, if the original pump is working I’m not sure I’d be in much of a hurry to replace it at all. Either a pump moves water or it doesn’t. There’s nothing bad or detrimental that will happen to your pool by using an old pump that works.

It may not have much life left and it might die in two weeks, or it might keep going strong for another 10 years, but as long as it’s moving water you might just want to let it keep going and save a little money.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
17,694
Laughlin, NV
Have downloaded the pool app. Not sure I am looking at the right thing though. "effects of adding" section, it says 4 gallons to have FC raise of 9.8, is that what I'm looking at?
Yes. And I get 4 gallons of 6% too.

You should start looking for higher strength bleach. Most Walmarts have a liquid chlorine at 10% in their garden section.
 

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
176
Arkansas
I’ll check the ‘real’ walmart. I went to the one down the street since it was late and I just wanted to get some bleach in there, it’s just one of those small neighborhood markets 👍

For the VS pump. I was really wanting to do it for the energy savings cost. If what i’ve read about pool pumps is correct running this pump is really going to up my bill dramatically compared to if it were VS?
In additions my energy company offers a $300 rebate on VS pumps. They do also have a $150 rebate on 2-speed. If 2-speed is comparable in energy savings I can get behind that. Not going to pretend I know what I’m doing! 😂 I’m just pretty positive I want to dump the 1-speed!
I am waiting until we get the pool in condition either way. I’d rather put this old equipment through this then new stuff.
 

Strawberryshortcake

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2019
176
Arkansas
After much leaf pulling and 4 gallons of bleach. Let the pump run all night and backwashed a bit ago.

Also a sad surprise in my pump filter thingy. :( I knew there was stuff living in there!

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