New House, New Pool, What kind of filter is this?

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
HI all,

Brand new to TFP, heard about it from the finance who found it on next-door. I'm our new pool service going forward. Mega nerd here, so jumped on the fact that I now had an excuse to order a water chemistry set (got a TF Pro in the mail). Hoping to get the hang of this and really incorporate it to get the best results out of our pool without dumping $150/month at a pool service. We're closing on a house in a couple days and just did the final walkthrough today. I took a couple pics of the equipment and plumbing while I was there today. Would someone help me with what kind of filter this is? Maybe sand? Didn't get a chance to open it and didn't want to take a chance in case it wasn't something I was expecting. Any help on operation, like what the black handle on top of the plumbing does would be helpful. I'm assuming something to do with the likely obvious waste line with the blue tube connected to it?

Apologies for the completely novice question, but we all gotta start from somewhere right?

Thanks for any help and looking forward to preaching the good TFP word with time!
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,350
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome to TFP. You will find lots of help on this forum for any question you may have as you get to understand your pool and pool equipment.
Post a picture of your pool as well as that will help.

You have 2 inlets to the suction side of your pump. Probably a skimmer and a main drain but a picture of your pool would be helpful.

From the pump it goes to a push-pull slide valve. That is the item in front of the filter. In current position, the flow goes into the sand filter, then back out to the pool through that single pipe which leads to 1 or more returns in your pool.

If you twist to unlock and push the handle down (or pull up- hard to tell from the picture) the flow will backwash through the filter and go to waste down the blue hose.

You do not appear to have a timer on your pump so you must manually switch it on and off to filter the water.

This should get you started and you can come back with more questions.
 

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for the quick reply, really appreciate it! I don't have a great pic of the pool itself, but will upload what I have below. I can take a much clearer pic on Wednesday. Note, the picture doesn't show it installed, but the pool does have one of those vacuum systems with the squid looking thing that runs along the bottom that hooks into the sidewall of the pool.

I certainly will be back with more questions! Let me know if the pool pic gets the gist across or if something more hi-res or specific is needed.
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,640
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
but the pool does have one of those vacuum systems with the squid looking thing that runs along the bottom that hooks into the sidewall of the pool.
That is likely a suction side cleaner. There are far more efficient cleaning systems that do not require the running of the pool pump and clean the pool far better.
 

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
That is likely a suction side cleaner. There are far more efficient cleaning systems that do not require the running of the pool pump and clean the pool far better.
Thanks, that's good news as I haven't been impressed by the suction cleaner! Do you have some cleaning system suggestions that you've found work well?
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,350
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for the quick reply, really appreciate it! I don't have a great pic of the pool itself, but will upload what I have below. I can take a much clearer pic on Wednesday. Note, the picture doesn't show it installed, but the pool does have one of those vacuum systems with the squid looking thing that runs along the bottom that hooks into the sidewall of the pool.

I certainly will be back with more questions! Let me know if the pool pic gets the gist across or if something more hi-res or specific is needed.
This is good. Nice design. Suggest you make a hand drawing of your pool and mark where returns are located , the skimmer and drain. Also the connection for the suction side cleaner. Good reference if you have additional questions.
 

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you both for the replies. We should have the keys tomorrow and I can start my pool ownership journey. Good tip on the schematic. I need to create something anyway in my attempt to calculate the volume of the pool for some pool math, will document where the peices/ports are while I'm at it.

P.S. that cleaner looks freaking sweet - I need one now! Thanks for the video. Need to convince the fiancé that we need it too LOL.
 

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Good news - I inspected the electrical on the pump and found a timer box on the far side of the house!! Set for 12a-6a daily. Is there a good way to tell the pump flow rate without measuring the output in the pipe?

I'm committed to getting the volume measurements figured out tomorrow after work so I can start working on the chemistry, will definitely hop in with how hot/muggy (for the desert) it's been this week!

I think I've talked the fiancé into getting the better cleaner after inspecting the one at the house today - the on there is pretty ripped up...will probably pick up an S200 from a shop on the way home from work tomorrow LOL! Got my TF-Pro kit in the mail today, secretly am a little excited about all of this.

To open the sand filter I'm assuming I need to crank on that top part of the filter with the black handles. Just giving it a little tug today, it is in there pretty good, I'm a little worried what I may find once I get it open if it's on there that tight, or is it under pressure even with the pump off and I need to bleed the system somehow before hand?
 

NowintersinAZ

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2020
177
Mesa, AZ
Pool Size
7560
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Welcome fellow valley of the sun resident. Congrats on the new home and pool.
 

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kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Few questions now that I've had some time to play with my new test kit. This is turning into a get me spooled up thread, so I appreciate all of the help so far. Just signed up for pool math premium to kick back to the TFP community/devs.

Question 1:
Pool services rock some HIGH chlorine levels apparently, who woulda thunk? Very much smells like chlorine, but at least I won't need to do anything with the FC levels for a little bit. As I was running some of the tests for the first time, I noticed the calcium test took a HUGE amount of drops to complete, that got me thinking....living in Phoenix with ridiculously hard water, is there even a point of monitoring the calcium levels since they will ALWAYS be high using city water?

Question 2:
Anyone know what this thing is in the wall of the pool near the steps? It really looks like a place to clip something.

Question 3:
Pool feels very hard, so I'm assuming it's plaster or some sort of concrete etc. I'm assuming it would be noticeable if it was a vinyl liner or fiberglass from reading the forums. Can someone tell from that pic of the thing in the wall?

Thanks!
 

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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,785
Spring Valley, NY
Few questions now that I've had some time to play with my new test kit. This is turning into a get me spooled up thread, so I appreciate all of the help so far. Just signed up for pool math premium to kick back to the TFP community/devs.

Question 1:
Pool services rock some HIGH chlorine levels apparently, who woulda thunk? Very much smells like chlorine, but at least I won't need to do anything with the FC levels for a little bit. As I was running some of the tests for the first time, I noticed the calcium test took a HUGE amount of drops to complete, that got me thinking....living in Phoenix with ridiculously hard water, is there even a point of monitoring the calcium levels since they will ALWAYS be high using city water?

Question 2:
Anyone know what this thing is in the wall of the pool near the steps? It really looks like a place to clip something.

Question 3:
Pool feels very hard, so I'm assuming it's plaster or some sort of concrete etc. I'm assuming it would be noticeable if it was a vinyl liner or fiberglass from reading the forums. Can someone tell from that pic of the thing in the wall?

Thanks!
Q#1
Pool services only come once a week cuz at that cost who wants them more. The chlorine smell is they load you up to last till the next visit but as you'll see it can't really work like that as for the ones that don't know better it is what it is.
Q#2
The wall thing I think is for tying a rope to separate shallow and the deep.
Q#3
It is a plaster pool.....

I'd leave the filter alone unless there's a good reason to go at it. Use your new kit and post all the levels including the CYA which may be off the charts.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
2,459
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
You need to test your CH - about once a month - as our hard water and high evaporation rate will cause CH to climb. Then you need to enter all your test results in PoolMath and track CSI. Keep CSI in the range of 0.0 to -0.3 to keep scaling to a minimum. As CH rises you will need to maintain a slightly lower pH to keep CSI in range.

Once the CH gets above 900 - 1000, you will need to drain your pool (late fall thru early spring) and refill. Our tap water CH runs around 225-275, depending on water source and time of year. Some of us use a water softener plumbed to our autofill to help keep CH in check.

Fill out your signature with your pool, pool equipment (including manufacturer and model numbers) and you test kit info. This will assist us in helping you without having to ask about your pool and equipment each time.
 

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
You need to test your CH - about once a month - as our hard water and high evaporation rate will cause CH to climb. Then you need to enter all your test results in PoolMath and track CSI. Keep CSI in the range of 0.0 to -0.3 to keep scaling to a minimum. As CH rises you will need to maintain a slightly lower pH to keep CSI in range.
Thanks for the tip - I'll keep that in mind.
Once the CH gets above 900 - 1000, you will need to drain your pool (late fall thru early spring) and refill. Our tap water CH runs around 225-275, depending on water source and time of year. Some of us use a water softener plumbed to our autofill to help keep CH in check.
Bummer - didn't know that was a yearly thing. How much are you draining? Just some to control CH during backwashes or a substantial amount?
Fill out your signature with your pool, pool equipment (including manufacturer and model numbers) and you test kit info. This will assist us in helping you without having to ask about your pool and equipment each time.
Signature coming up tomorrow, forgot to grab the paperwork for the pool when I left today. Current stats are 21000g IG plaster (rough estimate using online calculator for oblong pool, will check with chemistry soon), single speed 1 HP pump (model # will grab when its light), Triton II sand filter with a push/pull valve, dolphin S200 vac on the way will have early next week), liquid chlorine, TP Pro test kit.

LOVED that rainstorm today, after it was done grabbed the pool chemistry for fun. As @wireform predicted, the CYA is off the charts (see pic). Something tells me I should take the tricolor floater the pool guy left in there when we bought the house out and lock the gates so the can't come back in! Here's the current stats of the pool in the loving care of the pool company (previous owner used pool company regularly):
FC = 7
CC = 0
pH = 8.2
TA = 160
CH = 500
CYA = 115 (I'm just guessing - there isn't a line about 100)
Temp ~ 90 (according to the old yellow ducky floating in the top 6 inches of water)
CSI = 1.08....yeah, a little high lol.

Where do I even start fixing the chemical "mess" the pool guys left me? Also, heads up I'm out of town for a week starting next Friday, so if there's a long term strategy it will need to wait till I get back, but would like to get the pool chemistry right before the vacation if possible...

Thoughts?

Thanks as always.
 

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proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
2,459
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Given our forecast weather from now thru Monday morning, consider at least an 80% drain/refill starting Saturday morning. You can rent a sump pump from Home Depot. Or you can try the water exchange method - draining from the deep end and filling from the shallow end at the same time. The exchange method will take more time and water.

At your present CH of 500, you can get by for another year or so. But with your CYA well over 100, a large water replacement is in the very near future.

At present, your pH and TA are too high. This is causing the CSI to be out of range on the high side. First thing to do is determine if you are going to replace water now or wait for fall. If draining, start tomorrow morning. If waiting, add acid to lower pH to 7.2 (use PoolMath to determine amount of acid to add). The pH will rise pretty fast given a TA of 160. If you choose not to replace water, you will also need to do a diluted CYA test to determine a better CYA number and then dose FC accordingly (your FC shown is too low for a CYA over 100).
 

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Given our forecast weather from now thru Monday morning, consider at least an 80% drain/refill starting Saturday morning. You can rent a sump pump from Home Depot. Or you can try the water exchange method - draining from the deep end and filling from the shallow end at the same time. The exchange method will take more time and water.

At your present CH of 500, you can get by for another year or so. But with your CYA well over 100, a large water replacement is in the very near future.

At present, your pH and TA are too high. This is causing the CSI to be out of range on the high side. First thing to do is determine if you are going to replace water now or wait for fall. If draining, start tomorrow morning. If waiting, add acid to lower pH to 7.2 (use PoolMath to determine amount of acid to add). The pH will rise pretty fast given a TA of 160. If you choose not to replace water, you will also need to do a diluted CYA test to determine a better CYA number and then dose FC accordingly (your FC shown is too low for a CYA over 100).
Outside of the weather, what drives you to say wait until Fall vs wait a couple weeks when back from vacation, anything? or just trying to take advantage of the rain? trying to learn the judgement call points vicariously.

Given the fact that we aren't completely moved in yet to said "new house, new pool" and are leaving on Friday for a week, I'm thinking the waiting route is in order?
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
2,459
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Direct sunlight and high heat is not a good combination for a drain/refill as sun/heat can dry out your plaster. Temps should be. below 85 or so. It's supposed to be mostly overcast for the next two days according to the forecast.

If you can't get to it, you will have to wait for the next opportune weather time or wait until the temps cool consistently below 85 or so to empty/refill the pool. In that case, you will need to perform the diluted CYA test to get a more accurate CYA number and then keep FC in the proper target range for that CYA - which, given your CYA is well over 100, could be challenging.
 

kapblam

Member
Jul 17, 2021
15
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21900
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Direct sunlight and high heat is not a good combination for a drain/refill as sun/heat can dry out your plaster. Temps should be. below 85 or so. It's supposed to be mostly overcast for the next two days according to the forecast.

If you can't get to it, you will have to wait for the next opportune weather time or wait until the temps cool consistently below 85 or so to empty/refill the pool. In that case, you will need to perform the diluted CYA test to get a more accurate CYA number and then keep FC in the proper target range for that CYA - which, given your CYA is well over 100, could be challenging.
Ahhhh makes sense, now that I think about it I've recently seen one of the houses along a golf course I was playing at a month or so with an in process drain of the pool...what happened to their plaster looked awful and I'm sure it's not cheap to repair all of those cracks, but it was also 118...

Can a pool be partially drained/refilled that quickly, within a couple days? I REALLY don't want to damage the plaster, so am heavily leaning towards waiting it out given the current situation, and my very novice pool ownership status. I can only imagine the scolding from the fiancé if I hurt the plaster vs telling her the chlorine will be really high for a few months LOL.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
2,459
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Do a diluted CYA test today.

Add pool water to bottom of sticker.
Add tap water to top of sticker.
Shake.
Pour out half so mixture is to bottom of sticker.
Add reagent to top of sticker.
Shake.
Test outside with back to sun and tube at waist level.
Pour back and forth a few times to see if you get the same result.
Double the result.


Report that CYA number here.
Review the FC/CYA Chart . Minimum FC is 7.5% of CYA, target FC is about 11%-13% of CYA. As you can see, the FC/CYA Chart tops out at CYA 100. You would have to interpolate for temporary higher CYA readings. Also, your pH results are not accurate above FC 10.

Choice is yours whether to drain/refill (or water exchange method) or to wait for a while and manage your pool with the presently high CYA. in either case, find a source for liquid chlorine as continued use of 3" tabs is not sustainable. Continued use of tabs is what got the pool into this high CYA condition to begin with.

As for a robot - check with Margaret at Marina Pools & Spa in Lakewood, CO. Many hre have purchased robots thru them as they usually have the best prices if ordered over the phone and they offer free shipping. Pool cleaning robot stock is a bit limited right now (like many other goods). Marina Pools is usually pretty busy and it may take a few days to get back to you.

Marina Pool Spa & Patio​

7777 W. Jewell Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80232

Phone: 303-985-0077
[email protected]om
 

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