New homeowner that came with a pool. Just getting started and need advice/direction

Hoss81

Member
Apr 6, 2021
10
Ohio
I had posted a question on Reddit and that sort of got me pointed in a starting direction, but that user suggested that I check out this place and provide some pictures to get advice from this forum.
So, without further adue:
Pool: 21x41 above ground 52" sides, roughly 4.5 ft deep, approximately 19,000 gallons
Pump: Hayward Power-Flo LX pump
SwimPro Sand Filter

Chemicals on hand:
HDX Chlorinating Liquid from Home Depot - 3 boxes of 3 gallons each / 9 gallons total
Poolife MPT Extra Chlorine Tablets (unopened)
Bioguard Silk Guard Complete Chlorinating sticks - 2 left
In The Swim Super Algaecide (unopened)

Here are the pictures of the pool and related stuff.

I picked up a Taylor K2006 testing kit and performed a few tests today.
Results:
CYA - 0 ppm
FAS-DPD - 0 ppm
PH - 8.0+ (see picture)
Alkalinity - 110 ppm

I live in rural Ohio so we have a well. From what I have gathered, filling a pool with well water is a bad move.
I think overall I have a general idea of what I need to do, but what I am very confused about is the order in which to do it.

From what I have researched (and keep in mind I'm a total newb)
1. Pump to Waste and vacuum up all the gross stuff on the bottom of the pool
2. Tank in water for whatever water I pump out during step #1
3. Get PH under control, target of 7.5
4. Once PH is under control, shock shock shock. I've heard various opinions on liquid vs granular? Any advice there
5. Run pump 24/7 and clean out filter/skimmer as necessary
6. Use brush to scrub discoloration off of walls/skimmer inlet/steps/etc.

Please let me know what you think?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome! :wave: You have a good idea above, but let me adjust a couple things:
1 - Since you will still have some iron-fill water in teh pool consider making a polyfill container to try and filter out the remaining iron. It should be easier during the SLAM Process.
2 - We use the SLAM Process to kill and remove algae. That page won't let you down. Don't forget to lower the pH to 7.2 before you increase the FC to SLAM level.
3 - Since you seem to have no CYA or FC, I would recommend the following:
-- Use our PoolMath APP to help you determine how much stabilizer is required to reach a CYA goal of 30.
-- After the pH is lowered to 7.2, increase the FC to 10 for now. Use liquid chlorine or regular bleach. Then test again in about 15 minutes. If it fell drastically below 5, bump it back up to 10 and keep doing that until you know it will stay between 5-10.
-- Once you know the FC is trying to hold, add the stabilizer (CYA) to the water via our sock-soaking method. If you don't know what that is, just ask. At that point, once the stabilizer is soaking, increase teh FC to 12 which will be your new SLAM FC level.

At that point, don't bother testing anything else but FC for teh next couple days and do your best to maintain an FC of 12. Backwash when teh filter pressure increases by 25%

On the SLAM page there are 3 passing criteria, save the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test for last. Let us know if you have more questions.
 
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Hoss81

Member
Apr 6, 2021
10
Ohio
Welcome! :wave: You have a good idea above, but let me adjust a couple things:
1 - Since you will still have some iron-fill water in teh pool consider making a polyfill container to try and filter out the remaining iron. It should be easier during the SLAM Process.
2 - We use the SLAM Process to kill and remove algae. That page won't let you down. Don't forget to lower the pH to 7.2 before you increase the FC to SLAM level.
3 - Since you seem to have no CYA or FC, I would recommend the following:
-- Use our PoolMath APP to help you determine how much stabilizer is required to reach a CYA goal of 30.
-- After the pH is lowered to 7.2, increase the FC to 10 for now. Use liquid chlorine or regular bleach. Then test again in about 15 minutes. If it fell drastically below 5, bump it back up to 10 and keep doing that until you know it will stay between 5-10.
-- Once you know the FC is trying to hold, add the stabilizer (CYA) to the water via our sock-soaking method. If you don't know what that is, just ask. At that point, once the stabilizer is soaking, increase teh FC to 12 which will be your new SLAM FC level.

At that point, don't bother testing anything else but FC for teh next couple days and do your best to maintain an FC of 12. Backwash when teh filter pressure increases by 25%

On the SLAM page there are 3 passing criteria, save the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test for last. Let us know if you have more questions.

Good Morning. I have some follow up questions.
1 - Iron-fill. WHat is that and how do you know I have it? Sorry for the dumb question.

I did a search on sock soaking method, and it looks like that is simple enough. According to the poolmath app, I need 4 lbs 12 oz of stabilizer to get my CYA level up to 30. That's a big sock.........
You also mentioned to backwash when filter pressure increases by 25%......how do I measure that? Is there a guage somewhere? I ask because I have not seen a pressure gauge anywhere.

Also, I think based on feeling the side of the pool walls that there is a good bit of scale buildup on the liner. How do I address that and at what point does that need done? Pre-SLAM? Post-SLAM?

Also, the pre-requsite for all of this is that the pump needs to be on and running, correct?
Right now the pump is off, I think I know what switch turns it on, but I haven't researched how the pump works or how I need to operate it. The pump and the switch are a good 30 ft apart from each other, so I'm assuming that's a 2 person job to turn it on and make sure it's working right?

Also, I am skimming the pool every day to where there is nothing on the surface, and then every morning more junk has come up from the bottom. Is this normal?


So new proposed plan:

From what I have researched (and keep in mind I'm a total newb)
1. Pump to Waste and vacuum up all the gross stuff on the bottom of the pool/skim the stuff on top
2. Tank in water for whatever water I pump out during step #1
3. Pump is now on and running 24/7 (Does pool need to be full for pump to run? Does it have to be skimmer level??)
4. Get PH under control, target of 7.2 (Dry Acid? Muriatic Acid?)
5. Once PH has reached 7.2 SLAM IT. (Using HDX Liquid Chlorinator) to 10 FC)
6. Add stabilizer to bring CYA up to 30ppm (Sock method, need 4 lbs 12 oz per PoolMath app)
7. Once CYA is up to 30ppm, increase FC to 12.
8. Use brush to scrub discoloration off of walls/skimmer inlet/steps/etc. during slam process. Vaccum, brush, backwash when needed
9. Continue to hold FC of 12 until meeting passing criteria from SLAM page.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
1 - Iron-fill. WHat is that and how do you know I have it? Sorry for the dumb question.
The term iron-fill is related to water being introduced to the pool that has iron in it; typically from a well. Very common.
You also mentioned to backwash when filter pressure increases by 25%......how do I measure that? Is there a guage somewhere? I ask because I have not seen a pressure gauge anywhere.
Most filters have a pressure gauge on them, but there are a few that do not. If yours is one that has no pressure gauge on the filter, you'll have to watch the return jet pressure going back to the pool. When you see return jet force slowing down, it's time to backwash.
Also, I think based on feeling the side of the pool walls that there is a good bit of scale buildup on the liner. How do I address that and at what point does that need done? Pre-SLAM? Post-SLAM?
That would better to address after the SLAM when all the algae is gone.
Also, the pre-requsite for all of this is that the pump needs to be on and running, correct?
Yes - continuous movement of water from pool through the filter. Doesn't need to be a high speed, but constant.
Right now the pump is off, I think I know what switch turns it on, but I haven't researched how the pump works or how I need to operate it. The pump and the switch are a good 30 ft apart from each other, so I'm assuming that's a 2 person job to turn it on and make sure it's working right?
Not a 2-person job normally. If you have a switch or breaker at a panel, turn it on and walk over to the pump to make sure the pump basket is full of water. If the water is not full under that clear lid, you may have to help it "prime". To do that, turn the pump OFF, then remove the clear lid and add water to the top. Replace the lid and turn the pump back ON. Them watch to ensure the water remains full under the lid while running.
Also, I am skimming the pool every day to where there is nothing on the surface, and then every morning more junk has come up from the bottom. Is this normal?
ha is possible if you are stirring-up junk from below. It's also possible that material is dropping into the water's surface since spring usually brings lots of pollen and junk. Just keep an eye on the skimmer and clean as necessary.

Your steps above are good. Be sure to confirm the pH of 7.2 before you increase the FC level then you should be good to go. Good luck!
 

Hoss81

Member
Apr 6, 2021
10
Ohio
Thanks so much for all the help.
I think I'm about ready to order/pickup some pool chemicals. I'm hoping to start on this thing over the weekend.
I'm not positive we are going to fill with our well water just yet. We may have it tanked in, it honestly depends on how much water I lose during the pump to waste vacuuming.

But, as for chemicals:
To reduce pH Sodium Bisulfate? Or Muriatic Acid? I like to use Amazon because we live out in BFE and if I have to make a trip to a brick and mortar store I will have to plan a few weeks out.
Are there any other on-line retailers that you can suggest for pool chemicals? Doheny?

1617816810368.png

And then for Chlorine Stabilizer?
1617817441005.png
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,257
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
To reduce pH Sodium Bisulfate? Or Muriatic Acid?
If you are going to have a SWCG, do not use sodium bisulfate. The sulfates will build up and destroy the metal in the SWCG.
 

Hoss81

Member
Apr 6, 2021
10
Ohio
Alright everyone. Thanks so much for the help. I successfully SLAM'd the pool and man, what a huge difference.
Of course, nothing can ever be easy so now I have developed a new issue.

The water is crystal clear, CYA is around 35-40, and FC is holding strong around 1.5 with 4- 3" tablets floating in 2 different tablet holders.
Here is my problem. New algae keeps coming back. Every morning after I vacuum I come back and there are little sections of algae growth.

As a reminder, the pool is a 21x41 above ground, assuming it's in the neighborhood of 4.5ft deep, but we haven't been in it yet so I'm not exactly sure.

I happened to run into the previous home owner and he gave me the guys' number who had maintained the pool for him all these years.
I made a trip to this guys store (he owns the local pool supply store) and had a nice conversation with him. Here is what he told me:

The previous owner didn't do anything to the pool, all he wanted to do was swim in it. He never winterized it, every spring he would call the local pool guy and he would bring his crew out and they would drain the pool entirely and scrub the liner down because all of the scale. He stated that the reason I'm getting algae growth is because all the scale. He said the algae is protected from the chlorine by the scale and the only way to get rid of it is to drain the pool and scrub every inch of the liner with some kind of acid. He said he has been doing this for the previous owner every spring for 17 yrs.

So, of course, I want to find a different method. If I have to drain the pool and have water tanked in to fill it, we may consider just ripping the pool out. That's way more $$ than we were planning on spending on this thing. We live in a very rural area and the closest place that I've found that will tank in water is about $500 per 6,000 gallons when you calculate mileage and tax. That's over $2k to fill up my pool!

So, any ideas? The sides of the pool feel like concrete, we haven't been inside it yet because the water is still like 60 degrees, but I have to assume the bottom of the pool feels the same.
Is there any easy method to getting rid of scale? Also, I am still uncertain what kind of scale it is? Is there anyway to find that out? Assuming it's Calcium??

Also, the reason water has to be tanked in is because our well doesn't have the capacity to pump 20k some odd gallons without drying up. So that's more great news.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,257
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
CYA is around 35-40, and FC is holding strong around 1.5 with 4- 3" tablets floating in 2 different tablet holders.
FC/CYA Chart
Your FC is far too low. You now need to follow the SLAM Process again.
Tablets are not sustainable and will not maintain your FC at the proper ratio with your CYA. You need to add liquid chlorine on a DAILY basis to maintain your FC in target range.

For the scale, manage your pH, TA, and CH such that our CSI is at or below -0.6. That should loosen the scale in a period of time and then you will be removing it via vacuuming, etc. CSI is a calculated item from PoolMath
 
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Hoss81

Member
Apr 6, 2021
10
Ohio
FC/CYA Chart
Your FC is far too low. You now need to follow the SLAM Process again.
Tablets are not sustainable and will not maintain your FC at the proper ratio with your CYA. You need to add liquid chlorine on a DAILY basis to maintain your FC in target range.

For the scale, manage your pH, TA, and CH such that our CSI is at or below -0.6. That should loosen the scale in a period of time and then you will be removing it via vacuuming, etc. CSI is a calculated item from PoolMath
Thanks for the reply.

I'll give that a shot I guess. At this point my wife is annoyed because she wants to swim in the pool. With the calcium I suspect the pool liner will eat up peoples feet, so I don't want to let anyone in until I get that issue sorted out.
Plus with the chlorine shortage I don't even know if I have enough to SLAM the pool agian.

I purchased like 4 20 gallon buckets of 3" pool tablets because I thought that was what I needed to maintain.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,257
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
According to the photos you originally posted you have a salt water generator. Sounds like your using chlorine pucks. You don’t want to use those as that will raise your CYA and you will need to run even higher chlorine to keep out the algae. The easiest thing for you to do is to use your salt water generator. Looks like according to your pictures, you have a T cell-9 if I’m seeing that correctly. That’s undersized for the pool, you want to go with one that rated double for that so you want a t-cell 15 which will last for years. You need to check your salt level and then just add what you need.


 

Hoss81

Member
Apr 6, 2021
10
Ohio
According to the photos you originally posted you have a salt water generator. Sounds like your using chlorine pucks. You don’t want to use those as that will raise your CYA and you will need to run even higher chlorine to keep out the algae. The easiest thing for you to do is to use your salt water generator. Looks like according to your pictures, you have a T cell-9 if I’m seeing that correctly. That’s undersized for the pool, you want to go with one that rated double for that so you want a t-cell 15 which will last for years. You need to check your salt level and then just add what you need.


As I have mentioned here somewhere, possibly on another post, the salt water generator does not work. The previous owner has not used it in 2 seasons because it needs a new control board.
I have not messed with it at all, it is not currently turned off and is broken.
 
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Hoss81

Member
Apr 6, 2021
10
Ohio
In a month or two you should be able to sell those on Craigslist or FB Marketplace for more than you paid for them.
Lol, no kidding. When I heard there was a chlorine shortage I ran to the pool store to buy these. I guess in hindsight I should've picked up more liquid as now I have a bunch of 3" tabs and very little liquid.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
As I have mentioned here somewhere, possibly on another post, the salt water generator does not work. The previous owner has not used it in 2 seasons because it needs a new control board.
I have not messed with it at all, it is not currently turned off and is broken.
Usually with those things the thermistor burns up. Really easy to replace this $5.00 part if you know how to use a soldering iron.