my pool is a disgrace

pandabear5236

New member
Jun 15, 2014
3
Lewistown, PA
We put this pool in 25 years ago. Not this passed winter but the winter before, we didn't cover it. Stupid, I know. Last summer, I never got it clear enough to see what was on the bottom of the deep end. I mean, I know that all the neighborhood leaves were in there. I took water samples to 3 different pool stores several times. I kept feeling like if I could have an extra pump or filter circulating I could make more progress. I put in well over $400 in chemicals. I used zappit 73 chlorine. I used chlorine and shock from 2 other pool stores too. I used algecide. We were not home on the weekends, so I felt that what progress I made I lost. I got the shallow end clear enough to see the bottom. Finally, after Labor Day, I closed it, with a ton of chlorine because the filter broke. Now I opened it a week ago. The cover had fallen in near the walk in steps. I had a million tadpoles and quite a few frogs in my swamp water. I had a guy come in that has a small pool/spa business. He and I and another guy spent hours using a leaf net/rakes to scoop green, slimey leaves off the bottom. Because of so much rain, we dropped the water level to just barely going in the skimmer. He took my pump to fix. $125 and then found a shaft or something for another $45. He said my fingers and everything else looks great. He brought down a pump and put in 2 bottles of algecide that were 30 or 40 bucks each. We used the pump to just circulate water for the last 48 hours. Now, instead of deep green, it is a medium green with a bunch of foamy **** floating on it around corners (dead algae?). He came yesterday and hooked up a filter to his pump. He said it got totally clogged in 5 minutes. He also stuck a hose or something down in the deep end and sucked sludge out, putting it in the back yard (this is fine with me, we live in the country.). We added more water. He wants me to put as much water in it as I can. I have a great well and we've had a ton of rain. He us coming tomorrow, hooking up a vac and vacuuming the deep end and blowing that right into the back yard. Again, okay. We will add more water. At some point, he wants to add some expensive flock stuff to make the particules go to bottom and then vacuum them, except at this point, we can't see to vacuum. I had thought originally of all in one day, draining pool down to only water in deep end, using the net to clean that all out, having firetruck tankers bring me water and fill it back up. Not now. I realize liner can shrink, but was going to do it in one day. Last time I filled it with the tankers, it took 5 loads and cost me $500. That was about 12 years ago when we got a new liner. Maybe longer.

So, any ideas, help? I've been researching for a while now. He admits its the worse one he has seen. I need to get this fixed up as cheaply as I can. To be truthful, my pool has been a luxury I can barely afford. I do love it though. The pool guy has tossed a couple of jugs of bleach in, but he said not to chlorinate until we get it clear enough to see bottom, would just be throwing my money away. That being said, will it get clear without chlorine or bleach? Again, open to suggestions here. Thank you so much.
Brenda
 

Task

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 18, 2013
238
West Grove, PA
Brenda, one of the pros will be alone soon I'm sure to give you better direction, but you should save yourself the money (in the long run) and take control of your pool yourself. Invest in one of the recommended test kits (preferably the TF-100) and read up on water chemistry in Pool School. You are going to need to SLAM your pool no doubt, but without knowing your CYA level (from a reliable test kit, not the pool store) along with some current test results, nobody will be able to help you further. Everyone on this site uses the TFPC method of maitaining a pool. It is probably the healthiest and most cost effective way to maintain your pool, but it will require a bit of work and regular maintenance on your part. If you search this site, you will find more then enough "Green to Clean" pool scenarios and success stories from people in the same situation you are currently in. Good Luck!!
 

poobears

Well-known member
May 30, 2014
58
SW, MO
Having them clear the pool of gunk was money well spent because you'd have to do that anyways. But the chemicals you paid for would have run your pool a long time the TFP way. A pool done this way is not expensive, a pool run the pool store way is a money pit (I've been there too). You need to get a kit like mentioned and you need to finish cleaning out all the crud you can. Then slam it until you pass the 3 tests. This method can turn swamp water to a sparkly pool, no reason to drain at this point. After checking levels you may need to drain some if you are too high on something but for now save the money on a drain, especially since it risks ruining your liner. A liner can shift as soon as the water weight is off so refilling it the same day doesn't mean you won't ruin it.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,740
Hudson, WI
No it won't get clearer without adding some form of chlorine. I used flocking this year but it isn't something you start out with. It's something you use when you can see it's cloudy (but clean) and you need to shut down the pump for 24 hours to let it settle. If you can't see the bottom you won't be able to see the flocking to vac it out either.

It will take a lot of chlorine to clear up your pool but liquid chlorine is likely the cheapest way to do it and it's the recommended way on this forum. You need to use a leaf rake to get everything you can out. Over and over until you don't get anything in it, day after day. Same with sweeping the bottom and sides once you start to SLAM your pool.

This is what we are talking about and this is what will work for you but it's not going to be a one, two or three day process if it's as bad as you describe. It will however be cheaper doing it this way than dumping in a huge amount of pool store chemicals day after day and the pool store way won't be any faster.
Please read this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/125-slam-shock-level-and-maintain-shockingl

This is a before and after of mine. Mine was a bit nastier than usual because I didn't keep it clean at the end of season. Weather got really cold and pool company didn't come out to winterize it until really late.
It also took me a bit longer than it should as I didn't stay on top of keeping the chlorine level at the recommended SLAM (shock) level. I kept bringing it up there but I'd let it drop. Trick is to keep it up there as best you can and you get the fastest results.
 

pandabear5236

New member
Jun 15, 2014
3
Lewistown, PA
Wow, I appreciate the advice I am getting so far. I am going to see if I can post a pic of mine. I know that last year the pool companies did not take me serious about how bad it is. I am going to keep reading on here. I was not good at science/chemistry though I did well in school. Just not good at science. Not sure if I can figure all this out.
after algecide.jpg
 

Attachments

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
11,042
East Texas
NO MORE algaecide. NO MORE flock at this point. Get all the sludge out you possible can then follow SLAM procedure in pool school. Bleach is your friend.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,740
Hudson, WI
Bleach is your friend and so are we !!!! Algaecide does not kill algae. Yup, it doesn't kill what you have in there already. It's not going to do anything in your pool the way it is. It's a preventative and you need to kill it all and then use it. BUT ... if you keep the FC level where you should once it's clean you don't need it at all.
You really shouldn't need to use flock either. I did only because I was just so impatient to be able to see bottom but I was blue and could make out the bottom it just wasn't clear.
If you toss in flock now I'm guessing you'd be better off just giving the money to someone, anyone rather than buying flock for what good it might do for you.

All you really need to be able to do is count drops if you get a decent testing kit. You don't really need to know the chemistry but it's nice and you will learn the chemistry over time. All you need to do is be able to test where you are and plug the numbers into the calculator ---> http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html and add what and how much it tells you. You can replace a lot of the expensive pool store chemicals with basic baking soda to raise TA cheaper getting big bag at Walmart, washing soda for pH up also Walmart, Muriatic acid for pH down from Menards, home depot, hardware store and bleach from wherever it's cheapest in your area. You need to pay attention to the percentage of actual bleach in the container, size of the container and that it's just regular bleach or "liquid pool shock (bleach) and nothing fancy. Fancy may have scents or additives that can cause problems, film and or foam.

These are just source suggestions. Shopping for price is always a good thing. Remember if Walmart has a good price but doesn't have the product on the shelf you can usually order and get it same or next say. Cheap enough I always just keep a bag and box on hand.

12lb bag of baking soda http://www.walmart.com/ip/Arm-Hammer-Baking-Soda-192-oz/17043412
washing soda http://www.walmart.com/ip/19407690?...72253150&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=40015657990&veh=sem
Muriatic acid http://www.menards.com/main/paint/c.../sunnyside-muriatic-acid/p-1479906-c-5651.htm
Pool shock (bleach) http://www.menards.com/main/p-2272458-c-10137.htm This is Menards but I get a 4 gallon case at Fleet farm for 9.99

This is how you can tell what you are paying for chlorine as the percent and size container will vary. You need to punch in the info to get the cost per oz !!! Don't forget regular Clorox if there is a sale on it. Just check the cost per oz to see if it's a "BUY" ;);)
http://poncatechsquad.com/Dan/Chlorine/

Do you presently have a testing kit ??
 

joegus

Well-known member
May 20, 2014
94
Lewisberry, PA
Brenda, That is some swamp you have there! LOL Relax. If you follow the advice and the methods on here, your pool will be a success story. A few things to remember:

1. Buy a good test kit and forget what the pool store is telling you. (Once you know how to test your own water you don't need them)
2. Read Pool School on this site and take in as much as you can. (It will all make sense as you go along)
3. In case your not sure..... Bleach IS Chlorine and Stabilizer is CYA. (These can be confusing at first) They are separate things. The "chlorine" you buy in the pool stores (Dichlor, Trichlor, Shock) all have CYA added in them. This is not good. You want your CYA and chlorine to be separate from each other. This is why you will buy just bleach. It is chlorine without CYA.
4. In case you haven't figured it out yet, (just kidding) This system is based on the relationship of the chlorine and CYA in your water. That's why a reliable test is imperative. Test stripes and pool stores are NOT reliable. Post your test results every time you post. (It really helps!)
5. If you are not sure,seek advice. The Moderators and Senior members on this site are a great resource for information.

Welcome to TFP. Once you get going and confident I know you won't regret finding us! Good luck!
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,694
Houston, Texas
Hi, welcome to TFP! Algaecide will not kill a major algae bloom. It is a mild preventative to stop algae growth in a pool with low chlorine and may be adding things to your pool you don't want, such as copper. Your pool person is wrong! You need lots of chlorine to clear your pool! The best thing to kill algae is liquid chlorine, also known as bleach. You need to invest in a high quality test kit such as a Taylor k2006 or the TF100 . This will allow you to test FC up to very high levels, up to 50ppm+ which is what you need to complete the SLAM process. Please post a complete set of current test results and we can help you get started.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
You are getting a lot of good advice so far, but we really need to hear back from you to get some direction.

A few key points, you never want to drain a vinyl liner pool to where there is less than about a foot of water in the shallow end otherwise the liner can lift and wrinkle.

You do want to get all the solid debris out of the pool before starting the SLAM procedure, and you really must have one of our suggested kits to successfully follow the SLAM process, without one it is like trying to drive across town blindfolded, you might get there, but there are likely to be a number of bumps along the way.
 

sefrlw

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2008
130
Wake Forest, NC
Brenda. Read read read and listen listen listen listwn to what they are telling you. Minus the leaves and sludge. My pool looks just like this every spring. 1 week from that to crystal clear. Make sure the bottom is clear of as much debris as possible and filter bottom drain only for a bit. Clear bottom and repeat.
 

pandabear5236

New member
Jun 15, 2014
3
Lewistown, PA
I am sorry that this is my first chance to get back. I worked really long hours and went away for the weekend. I have almost all the leaves and sludge off the bottom of the pool. I can see the drain in the bottom of the shallow end and can see the dark spots of the few leaves left in the deep end. Right now, I am running 2 pumps and 2 filters. I have been using clorox in the pool, but have not got a test kit yet. Hoping to do that this weekend. I know my total alkalinity is low. I believe that by tomorrow evening, the water will be clear in the deep end. Running 2 pumps and filters has made all the difference in the world. I am off work Friday and am going to go through here and take notes. Print out some things. It is my intention to use the system recomended here very directly. Thanks so much.