New homeowners with a black swamp of a pool

SNTolland

New member
Jun 9, 2019
2
Massachusetts
Let me start by saying sometimes I can type too much/go into too much detail, let me know if I'm including too much info! - I'll try to bold any important parts.

Anyway, we just bought a house over the winter with an above ground round pool, I believe 20', ~10,000-15,000 gallons. We know absolutely nothing about pools. Long story short, we tried to open the pool/take the cover off and noticed a huge slice down the center of the cover. We had no idea when or how it happened and how long it's been like that.

We had no choice but to just pull the whole cover off and see whats below. Unfortunately it was a black swamp. If looking at the side edge, you can see maybe an inch below the surface. There's not much debris floating on the surface as we've tried to clean that out, but there's all kinds of gunk below if we use the leaf rake. I'm not sure if it is safe for the pool liner to scrape the leaf rake along the bottom or not, so we've been hesitant, especially since we can't see anything either.

We took a water sample to the local pool store. They assembled a pile of algae killer stuff, some bags of alkaline stuff, big bag of calcium, two pouches of shock, and some stabilizer. They gave us some instructions on what order etc to use the chemicals in, but that was about it. I asked about adding chlorine/bleach, they said the shock would take care of that.

We pulled out the filter stuff, watched some videos and tried to set it up. It's a Hayward Perflex DE, I think, not sure what the name is really. Filter is then hooked to prevail purifier and then to the pool return jet. After a while of trial and error, it seemed to be running ok. We did have some water spraying out of the top cover of the prevail purifier, so we had to stick a bucket there to catch some of it. Not sure if it just needs a new o-ring/better seal? All the covers to the purifier and pump were almost sealed shut from previous owners, we had to take a hammer to them and about 40 minutes or banging to loosen them up.

So while running, the PSI was at 10. We did add 4 DE scoops as well through the skimmer. After a little while, we added the algae killer, alkaline bags and half the bag of calcium. We'll have to do the other half of calcium tomorrow, and after a few hours, add the shock and then I believe the stabilizer. This is all instructed by the pool place. We did notice that after about an hour of running, the filter/pump seem to die down and idle a bit, still flowing a little but not fully working. The PSI is up to 20 then. We shut filter off, empty out skimmer bucket if needed, bump the filter 6 times, and then turn it back on and after 5 min or so, it seems to work again, PSI down to about 12 then. We have to repeat this about every hour.

So, I'm not sure if what we're doing is right, if we should be doing something else, something more, something less. I have a million more questions too, but perhaps this is a start. Maybe we need to just drain the whole thing and start over? Not sure...

Couple side questions:
After turning the filter off, we tried taking the clear cover off the pump and were blown away by water. I realized with the filter off, there has to be a place for the water to go still, but how exactly do we do that then? Do we have to seal off the intake at the skimmer? Unhook the hose that goes to the pump, then open it? Or are we just not supposed to open that at all?

We also see a ton of super super small white/clear wiggly worm things, about the size of an eye lash just wiggling around in water. What are these and how do we get rid of them, will they filter out or die from chemicals? I tried to look them up but only found something on pinworms/threadworms which infect human intestines, maybe those are them?
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,493
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
The cornerstone of TFPC is pool owner testing with a proper test kit. And using basic chemicals available in grocery stores and or big box stores. You got pool stored with a bunch of stuff that was mostly not needed and potentially created other problems. Hopefully you kept the packaging or know what each one of the items were so we can decipher them, if necessary.
Decide by reading the following links if you are interested in TFPC or will stick with the pool store. You cannot mix them.
As you have an above ground pool, your pump and filter are below the level of water in your pool. There should be a valve on the suction side between the pool and pump and another valve on the return side between the filter and pool. If not, you will aways have issues cleaning the pump basket or filter.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,926
Tallahassee, FL
Purrfect post! It had all of the details we need to help you with your pool!

Let start off with this............that free water test was not so free what it? Like Marty said we all have our own test kits for this very reason.

I am going to share a link with you to show what we use in our pools. It can be bought at Target, Walmart, Lowes, etc! How neat is that??? Recommended Pool Chemicals - Trouble Free Pool please note you don't need all of it at this time. In fact you may not need most of it. The only two I have are chlorine and muriatic acid.

So lets get to helping you get this pool clear:

-I don't know your water cost up there but I would REALLY think about draining and refilling your pool. One big worry is one you stated........worry about what is sitting on the bottom. What caused that tear in the cover? I worry about it being a branch or such that could tear your liner.
-While you are draining the pool think about hard plumbing the pipes to and from the pool. Make sure to install valves under the return and skimmer to avoid the water shooting out as you found. Also use unions on either side of the equipment so you can work on or replace anything that needs it.
-o-ring lube-you need some of this. I am hoping that will help where you have leading like in the picture. You might have to go to a pool store for this.

See if you can return any of the stuff you have not used yet. If they ask why just tell them you ended up not needing all of it and drop it at that.

We can get your pool up and running with your help! Getting a good test kit is your first step. Look in my siggy below for the link to the TF-100 as that is the one I think is the best bang for the buck!

Kim:kim:
 

SNTolland

New member
Jun 9, 2019
2
Massachusetts
Thanks so much for the replies. I will look into the test kit. Is it best to wait till we get the kit before we can start adding stuff? Unfortunately we've already added most of the chemicals the pool place instructed, before we found this community... so unfortunately even if I am "interested in TFPC" - our situation will be a little mixed for now.

We do have some O-ring lube which we used for the leaking, but it's still spraying water. Perhaps we just need a new o-ring, we'll have to look into it more.

I really don't want to have to drain the pool, but the unknowns of whats below are a concern. Is it possible the chlorine etc will clear the water up a little to be able to see whats at the bottom before we go that route? Also, if there was a tear in the liner, would we not have water leaking?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,493
Laughlin, NV
Do order a proper test kit today.
You most likely need a new oring. Get that repaired soon as it is hampering your pump operations.
With solid debris in the pool the chlorine will not clear the pool. The chlorine will be trying to oxidize the debris. So you need to leaf rake or whatever to remove it.
If there was a tear in your pool liner you would have water leaking out.

When possible, please add a signature with your pool details.