New house, pool sat for a year, looking for confirmation on how to proceed

May 15, 2017
20
Joliet, IL
#1
I purchased a home that was vacant all of last year so I am assuming the pool was not taken care of during that time. The water is green and you cannot see the bottom. It is an above grond 24' circle pool so most calculators put it at 13,500 gallons. It has a Voyager SwimPro 150 and a Nature 2 system. Yesterday I got the cover off the pool and hooked up the pump and filter without the nature 2 system. It has a couple of leaks from the drain plug and the top of the pump strainer assembly (I saw some air bubbles). I am going to get some replacement o-rings and o-ring lube today and retest it.

I took the water to a pool place and they tested it and gave me some instructions and I just want to know if I am on the right path. I don't have the sheet directly in front of me but he told me step 1) the alkalinity was low so I should add 25 pounds of Alkalinity up (baking soda?). What would be the best way to add this?

After that I need to get the PH in balance and there was 1 more thing, I think maybe hardness, that i had to add 30ish pounds of. I will update tonight when I get home and have the information in front of me. I got some test strips from the store but I have a TF-100 test kit on order and it should be here in a few days.

What I was going to do was add the Alkalinity up 6-7 pounds at a time pre-diluted in a bucket while the pump is running 24/7 until the levels are better on the test strips. How long should I wait in between adding the alkalinity up batches, if indeed that is the correct course to take?
 

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
#2
That sounds like a BioGuard test report given the order in which they want you to do things. I wouldn't bother with hardness or alkalinity at the moment. Until you get the algae out the other stuff doesn't matter at all, especially since you'll be wasting a lot of that "balanced" water with backflushes. Hardness doesn't matter at all with any kind of liner pool, and there's no point adjusting alkalinity until you see how your pH behaves in clean water with the proper amount of FC.

The first thing you're going to want to do is a SLAM. This will involve making sure your CYA is at a good minimum and keeping your Free Chlorine levels at a range that will kill off all the algae, while doing lots of brushing and vacuuming. You will need that TF-100 kit to do it right. Once the water is clear you can work on the other stuff as needed. Keep posting your test results here and everyone can walk you through it.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#3
I have a TF-100 test kit on order and it should be here in a few days
Music to our ears. :) Welcome to TFP! :wave: At this point, don't try to adjust anything chemically. Just wait on the kit. Some of the advice from the local pool store won't help at all, in-fact, some could hurt you, so it's best to wait. In the meantime, a couple things that will help:
1 - Please update your signature with all of your pool info; we'll use it later
2 - Read the SLAM link below in my sig
3 - A pool that sat that long will most certainly require: Muriatic acid (to lower ph), stabilizer (to adjust CYA), and LOTs of regular bleach (for free chlorine)
4 - In the meantime, you can continue to sweep/brush/rake any physical debris. Replacing those O-rings will help to resolve potential leaks.

Start there and keep us posted. We look forward to helping you.
 
May 15, 2017
20
Joliet, IL
#5
Ok so I get my test kit on Wednesday. Today I will get the o-rings and lube and get the pump working with not leaks.
I'm like 90% sure my CYA was 76 and my FC was .1. If I am reading the process, charts and calculator right I would need to add 783 oz of bleach to get it to 28 FC. Does that sound right? That's like 6+ bottles. Is this the best and most cost effective way to do this?

During the process I need to maintain the FC between 5 and 28 and my end target FC would be 8-10.

Also my PH was low, should I correct this before slaming it as the article mentioned?

Thanks for all the help and if I am misunderstanding something please let me know.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#6
Your TF-100 CYA test will drive everything. First you'll lower (or raise if needed) pH to about 7.2, then verify the CYA. If it is 70, then you would use bleach to increase and maintain an FC of 28 as noted on the chart. It needs to stay at 28 as much as possible until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria. Having sat for so long, I would be surprised if the CYA is that high, but your TF-100 will confirm. Whatever your CYA turns-out to be, simply use the corresponding FC SLAM/Shock level to perform the SLAM.
Proper lighting is critical for the CYA test, so you want to test for CYA outside on a bright sunny day. Taylor recommends standing outside with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading.
 

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
#7
As far as cost effectiveness of SLAM, consider that the alternative is to use probably $40-50 worth of pool store shock bags, which will probably still leave the water cloudy and raise CYA by another 10-20ppm. This will in turn require more chlorination as the season goes on.

You could also consider a partial drain/refill to decrease that CYA and make the SLAM a bit easier. But wait until the TF-100 arrives, because pool store CYA test is notoriously inaccurate.
 
May 15, 2017
20
Joliet, IL
#8
Ok thanks, I just wanted to make sure my calculations sounded like they were in the ball park. I'll wait for my kit to arrive on Wednesday and get some updated numbers. In the mean time I will fix the leaks and pick up 10+ bottles of bleach.

Thanks again
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
702
San Jose, CA
#9
While you're waiting for your TF-100 to arrive, use your leaf net with pole and try to get as much loose sludge and junk out of the pool as possible. Even if you're doing it blindly at the bottom of the pool. The less junk that's in the pool, the easier it is for the SLAM to do its job quicker.

Ideally for your SLAM, you want your pH around 7.2 and your CYA at 30, so you don't have to bring your shock level up so high. That CYA test with TF-100 will drive everything you do. If you're not sure of the results, you can pour the sample back and forth between the test tube and the squirter bottle several times to compare your results.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,327
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#10
I started reading and saw "Nature 2 system" and my first thought was drain it and start fresh. That's still my thought. Why spend a small fortune killing algae and fine-tuning the water only to have metal staining and green haired kids and somebody then telling you to drain it?

Nature2 uses metal ions. And those ions just build and build and build. You might already have a stained liner you can't see through the green, but you'll have a sporting chance of eliminating them after the algae is gone if you start with metal-free water.

Try Nature2 in the search box up the right corner. It's bad news.

And before I forget, Welcome! :wave: And congratulations on ordering the TF100.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#11
saw "Nature 2 system" and my first thought was drain it and start fresh.
That is a great point Richard brings-up and something to be cognizant about. When I read your #1 post, I focused on you stating you connected everything up "without" the Nature 2. I didn't even consider how much copper might already be in the water from the previous owners. Just be aware of that. Copper (any metal) is a royal pain in the backside, and the only way to eliminate or reduce metals are by exchanging water. When your TF-100 arrives, you may have to exchange water anyways. We'll see.
 
May 15, 2017
20
Joliet, IL
#12
Yeah, I read a little on the nature 2 and decided not to connect it. Here are the levels that The Great Escape gave me.
Free Chlorine 0.11
Total Chlorine 0.11
Combined Chlorine 0
Cyanuric Acid 76
pH 6.7
Hardness 44
Alkalinity 6
Adjusted Alkalinity 0
Copper 0
Iron 0.1
Phosphate 0

We did add some water after this test, about from the bottom of the skimmer to the middle. I will get another CYA reading when I get my kit.

Edited: Second thought I will wait for my kit before doing any treatment .
 

skimmerswimmer

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
251
Long Island, NY
#13
Assuming you have metals...if you have municipal water, I would just drain the pool, inspect everything, and start fresh. 13k gallons is like a half a day of filling with a garden hose and water is cheap. If I purchased a house with an abandoned pool, not knowing what is in it, draining/refilling would seem a prudent choice.
 

kcindc

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 2, 2011
1,282
Fairfax, VA
#14
Agree with the drain refill. On top of what was stated, above ground pool filters take forever to filter out a green swamp.
 
May 15, 2017
20
Joliet, IL
#15
I'd have to confirm but I think it would be about $150 to fill the pool with current water rates. I'll wait till I test tomorrow and see how out of wack it is.

Also, I heard there can be liner issues with a full drain of the pool. Is this a concern I should look into?
 
May 15, 2017
20
Joliet, IL
#17
Ok so I got my TF-100 and did the CYA and pH tests.

The CYA I did a couple of times and it does look likes its about 70. The pH seems like it is much higher than the pool store said it was. It was kinda magenta so I would think in between 7.8 and 8.2. The pool store said it was 6.7.


Do you guys still think I should drain 80% of the pool and refill? I did some calculations and with my water rates it looks like it should only be $90ish dollars to replace 80% of the water.

Just looking for some suggestions on what my next course of action should be.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,327
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#18
Just in case you've added any chlorine, be aware that FC above 10 will make the pH test read falsely high. I'd like to see all your test results before commenting. What shade of green is it? Ugly olive drab, or more of an emerald green?
 
May 15, 2017
20
Joliet, IL
#19
I have not added anything to the pool except some more water to fill it up from just below to skimmer to about halfway up the skimmer.

The FC test was just barley pink and 1 drop cleared it up the CC test was again 1 drop so I think that means .5 FC, .5 CC and 1 TC. The pool store said .11 FC and CC and 0 TC.

The Total Alkalinity test took 6 drops so 60. This again agrees with what the pool store said.

I'd say more olive drab the emerald.

Do you need any other tests?

IMG_20170517_181747.jpg
 
Last edited:

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,327
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#20
I'm still leaning towards a partial drain. The SLAM, and general maintenance afterwards, will be so much easier with lower CYA. The cost of half a pool's worth of water will almost be offset by the reduced bleach you'll need; figure half as much algae to kill.

If there's any crud on the bottom, you might even be able to set up a siphon vacuum and get rid of it early on. Less bleach needed, and less filter cleaning later on. Connect the vacuum and the hose to the pole and gently lower it in so you don't stir up the muck.Then slowly push the hose in keeping it vertical to purge any air out. After it's full, cap it with your hand and haul it out and over and get it below the water level ASAP. Instant siphon, with a big siphon hose. Weight the end with a brick or something so the hose doesn't get pulled back in and then slowly vacuum up the sludge. When you are half empty, you're done. Fill it up, turn on the pump, and let it mix for half an hour or so. Then retest and adjust pH, and hit it with bleach to correspond with your new CYA level.