Just Moved in to House with Pool and need to drain pool. HELP!

xoooelisaooox

New member
Apr 25, 2017
4
Tucson, AZ
Hi All,

I just moved into my first home with a pool in Tucson, AZ. I brought my pool water to get checked at a pool store at the following are my stats:

FAC = 8
TAC= 8
CH = 1000
CYA = 200
TA = 160
PH = 7.1
Base = 6
Copper and Iron = 0
Total Dissolved Solids = 4000
Phosphates = 3000

They recommend draining the pool since the CH is so high and most of the other tests came out high too.

I know it's not good to drain a pool in the heat; however I'm thinking of draining it Friday night and filling it Friday night into Saturday since Friday will only be a high of 86 and Saturday there's only going to be a high of 77. Do you think those are dangerously high temps to do the draining and refilling?

I have a 10,000 gallon pool made of plaster that is 20 years or younger (the house was built in 1997 so can't be older than that). Also, I have a solar heater. Not sure if it would help if I heated my pool using my solar heater before draining it or if it's better to turn the heater off a few days before for cooler water.

All advice is welcome.

Thanks :)
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,426
Tucson, AZ
Welcome to TFP, neighbor!

First, I recommend you order one of the recommended test kits. Pool store testing is notoriously bad and we do not trust it.

That CH and CYA are way too high, which is not uncommon in this area for people trusting a pool store, like the previous owners likely did.

I agree you should replace a lot of water, at least 75%. And that I would do like you are thinking, start draining in the late afternoon evening and then start refilling right away. I just did this a month ago.

You can rent a submersible pump from home depot (get it less than 4 hours before they close and you can keep it overnight for the 4 hour rate). Based on what I saw for my pool, it will take you about 5 hours to completely drain your pool. Then start filling with multiple hoses.

Again, step 1 is ordering a test kit and don't start trusting the pool store ;)

Oh, there is no reason to heat water you are just going to dump.
 

xoooelisaooox

New member
Apr 25, 2017
4
Tucson, AZ
Hi Jbizzle,

I will absolutely use a pool kit and this site going forward, thanks :)

I have a few more questions... Not sure if these should be on a separate forum.

1) What chemicals do you think I should buy upfront once my pool is refilled with fresh water? I'm thinking it might be better to by them for less online than at the pool store.

2) I was thinking of cleaning my pool while it's draining. Do you recommend a good product to clean the pool with while it's draining?

3) My pool vacuum doesn't seem to be moving around the pool all the time. Some days it does move and others it does not. It's also not doing a good job of picking up the debris since there's almost always nothing in my drain basket and I can always find dirt on the bottom of the pool, especially in the shallow end. I have a home warranty that covers pool equipment so I called them to come check it out. Do you think it's an issue with the vacuum or an issue with my filter? The vacuum is a knock off creepy crawlie made by Stanley and it's yellow and black. I'm pretty sure it's a very cheap model.

4) The brush to clean the pool manually broke when I was cleaning the walls of the pool. Is there a brush you recommend?

Thanks for your time and help. Makes me feel so much better that you think it's ok for me to drain my pool this weekend!





Thanks!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,426
Tucson, AZ
1. We recommend only buying what you know you need and not really stockpiling ;) How do you plan to chlorinate your pool? We know that you will need to add stabilizer (CYA), you can get 4 pound containers are Walmart. And we know you will need to add chlorine. If you are going to go liquid (which is recommended), then Ekonomy Pool has the best prices in bulk refillable containers. Beyond that, you will not know if you need anything until you test after the refill.

2. I just used my pressure washer on my pool surface while draining. With 20 year old plaster, though, you might need to be careful. There really is nothing that you should need to use to "clean" the pool. You could scrub with a mild bleach solution, but seems like a lot of work :D

3. Hard to say, could be a LOT of things ... dirty filter, clogged pump impeller, problem with the cleaner, valves in the wrong position, etc ... Add some details about your pool in your signature and add some pictures. Problem with home warranties is that you have to pay every time they come out and generally they do a very sub-par fix.

4. Wall whale ... hands down. Don't get the XL (too big). I think tftestkit.net sells them ... add it when you order your test kit ... hint hint hint. Also, while i am spending your money ;) get the SpeedStir ... and may as well add one of their nice glycerin filled pressure gauges while you are at it ... :mrgreen:

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Not to be too presumptuous, but if you think TFP is going to be able to help you save money, please become a supporter ... it is tax deductible and you also get a discount on the TF-100 test kit which you need ;)
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,495
Tucson, AZ
Since I'm in the same town and went through the same thing last year, I'll give you a quick welcome!

I'll also say, you should be ok draining/filling with our upcoming weekend weather pattern. Make sure, with our dry climate, you use a hose to spray the walls and keep them moist while draining/filling. Also, having a lawn sprinkler to set in the shallow end to keep the floor moist is a good idea as well.

I drained 100% last April during a similar weather "break" - use a submersible pump (you can rent one from a big box hardware store if you like) to get it drained fast, then as many hoses as you can run into the pool (I had one from the back spigot, one from the front spigot, and my autofill all running simultanously) to fill it up fast.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,426
Tucson, AZ
I too was running 3 hoses .... then I tried to take a shower on the far side of the house ... remember the Seinfeld low-flow shower head episode :shock: :mrgreen:

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We need to get JoyfulNoise to chime in too ... get all the locals responding :D
 

clambert1273

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2013
577
Cerritos, CA
Good luck!!! A test kit will be worth its weight in gold [emoji106][emoji106] I had my landlord fire the pool guy one month after I moved in.... pool is taken care of more now with me than it ever was with him :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
500
Phoenix
I'm no expert, but I just experienced what you're doing and did a drain of the pool I just inherited with my home last weekend. It was high in CyA and I wanted to start over fresh. I live in Phoenix, where it was mid 90s and I had same concerns about temps. What I did was start my pump at 4:30 pm on Friday and it was drained by 10:30pm that night. I borrowed the subpump I used, but it used a backwash hose instead of a garden hose so it did pump out water a lot faster.

I didn't waste time cleaning it or use a shop vac to get the few extra gallons of water that the subpump wouldn't get out. Instead I just hosed the sides down once it was low enough. I then immediately filled up overnight using my hose and the pools automatic pool float/filler. In morning around 5am it was almost half full. I asked neighbor to borrow his hoses and was able to put two more hoses in pool (one from front yard and one from laundry room. A total of 3 hoses plus my auto filler). The pool was full by noon the next day. It was 90s so I kept hosing down sides on Saturday morning to make sure it didn't get too hot. After testing ph and alk, (no need to test FC or CyA since they are zero from refill), I added my needed chemicals Saturday and Sunday (stabilizer, muriatic acid and chlorine). With it reaching nearly 100 on Sunday, I was swimming by Sunday afternoon.

My only issue in process was that I was dumb and kept the pool light on while draining since it was at night. Once water was below light level it started to pop and smoke. I turned it off immediately but it was too late and discovered it was blown out once filled.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,278
FL panhandle
:goodpost:

Yes, pool lights are definitely designed to be submerged when on for cooling purposes.
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
500
Phoenix
:goodpost:

Yes, pool lights are definitely designed to be submerged when on for cooling purposes.
yep, I learned the hard way. Now I have no light and need to figure out how to get it fixed. Probably use it as an opportunity to upgrade the light to an led that changes colors
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
500
Phoenix
Also, one more tip I just thought of. If you're not 100% sure the size of your pool, use it as an opportunity to get a better estimate at the size of your pool. One method is to first put your hoses in a 5 gallon bucket and determine how fast it takes to fill the bucket. You can then use that number to calculate how many gallons your pool is based upon how long it takes it to fill your pool.

Reversely, if you know for sure how many gallons your pool is then you can use the method to determine how long it will take you to fill pool.

For me, I learned my pool is about 3,000 less gallons than what I had estimated it was. It makes adding chemicals using the pool calculator a lot more accurate.
 

xoooelisaooox

New member
Apr 25, 2017
4
Tucson, AZ
Yikes . I'm sorry about your lights but you are right, now you can get some nicer ones :) The home warranty people sent the pool person out to check why my vacuum wasn't working properly and he found that my Vac Mate was broken and so it wasn't sucking the water as strong as it should be. I'm hoping that it will clear up the issue (fingers crossed) and that I don't need to buy a new vacuum. @spinPHD Where did you buy your stabilizer, muratic acid, and chlorine from? Did you buy the liquid chlorine? I'm sure there's another blog on here about how to start administering the chemicals in a newly filled pool. I should look through those soon so I'm ready for this weekend! Owning a pool is fun, lots to learn! Thanks for all the responses :)
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
500
Phoenix
I got my muriatic acid from Leslie Pools, because I found that is the one thing the pool store sells at competitive price. Around $11 for 2 gallons of 31%. I got my stabilizer from Ace Hardware for around $17. I think I saw it cheaper at Lowes, but got it at Ace out of convenience since the store is closer to my house. Bleach I got at Safeway and Target when I was doing my normal shopping. I got their generic house brands and both places had them for $2.99 a gallon for 8% bleach.