New Owner, Old VERY Neglected Pool

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
10,877
Evans, Georgia
So any and all chlorine you're putting in there is being quickly gathered up as "sun tax" and gone! You need to get some CYA in there...30ppm.
100 ounces of granular CYA should do the trick.

Once the pool is clean and clear, and you're letting the SWG take over again, you can raise the CYA higher as necessary.

Maddie :flower:
 

TurbineTester

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2019
56
Warner Robins, GA
I'd worry about the sand filter later. Yes, you may have to open it up but it's not your first priority based on what you know right now. You need to test the water and get a handle on your CYA level. You have two issues that I would address right off the bat. Without CYA the sunlight will burn out your FC quickly. You need some CYA to buffer things so the bleach has time to work.

The second problem is you stated the FC goes down very quickly. You had a lot of organics in the water for some time. There is a bacteria that converts CYA to ammonia. The ammonia kills the bleach as fast as you pour it in. If you have ammonia you have to deal with that before you do anything. There are two ways to determine this. Buy a cheap aquarium or similar test kit that checks for ammonia. The other way is to test for FC to get a baseline. Add enough bleach to raise your FC at least 5 PPM. Give it a couple of minutes to mix and test again. Wait 30 minutes or so and test again. If you have ammonia your FC will be gone that quickly. The only way to neutralize the ammonia is to keep adding bleach until your FC holds. After that you can add CYA and get on with the show.

You changed water so if you had ammonia and/or a high CYA as was suggested earlier it all helped. The good news is ammonia is not all that common and relatively easy to fix. Having a good test kit and a plan will move you right along. I only brought it up because it seems a lot of shock and bleach when into the pool for limited results.

We harp a lot about test kits but you really can't make a plan without knowing what you have and how the pool is reacting to what you add.
So now that I know I basically have no CYA, what would be the harm in using BOTH liquid chlorine and trichlor pucks? If the danger of the trichlor is raising CYA, isn't that exactly what I want to do so that any chlorine I add didn't just get destroyed by the sunlight each day, and rather goes into clearing the water? If it makes any difference I found a completely new unopened 25lb bucket of trichlor pucks. Is there a maximum # I can add to the skimmer basket or a floating dispenser to make sure the chlorine can stay up long enough through the day to keep levels high enough?
 

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Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,004
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Tabs are slow release CYA, you need CYA fast so your FC wont be lost to the UV gods. If you want to use up all your tabs you can drop them in together inside a bucket in the pool. The cya they offer would be a slow rise after the 30ppm. Just count how many tabs and calculate using poolmath so you know what to expect. Not on the skimmer nor the floor.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
444
Columbus, Ohio
You can use liquid chlorine and tabs if you want as long as you understand the results you will get. As far as CYA goes you need to add some ASAP. The tabs won't get you there fast enough. You are losing your FC to the sun before it has a chance to do its work. While you wait to add the CYA you can add the LC at night. That way you will get some benefit from it. It's a lot of work and a lot of LC for limited results.

Put a couple of tabs in a floater if you want. That will help keep your FC up while you are away from the pool. Keep track of how many you are using so you know the effect on your CYA. I have two in a floater right now. My pool is covered a lot and I'm having trouble maintaining the CYA level. We have a month or so of swimming season left so I just calculated the weeks left in the season and the amount of CYA increase I was willing to live with. Worked out to two tabs a week for me.

Don't put the tabs in the skimmer basket. Don't let them touch the liner. I bought an AquaAce Floating Pool Dispenser a couple of weeks ago. It works fine so far.
 

TurbineTester

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2019
56
Warner Robins, GA
I added 2.5g LC last night around 10pm aiming for it to be working overnight when the sun wasn't robbing it from my water. I asked my LPG, who is super kind and just wanting to help, if he would sell me a 20lb box of CYA and he strongly suggested not adding any CYA yet as it would be a waste "since I'll be backwashing so much". I'm going to stick with what you guys say and buy 16lbs of CYA today and add 6.25 lbs of it right away to get the pool up to 30 ppm with the plan on adding the rest of it over time to get it up to the TFP SWG Target of 70-80ppm. I'll get the CYA in a sock in the skimmer in about an hour. How long will it take to dissolve 6.25 lbs? I'll plan on adding 2-2.5G of the LC again tonight so it does it best work overnight.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
444
Columbus, Ohio
It might take a couple of days to fully dissolve. You can always squeeze the sock while you are there to speed it along. A sock in the skimmer gets a lot of flow so it may go quicker. You have the right idea but I'm going to recap. Get your CYA to 30 and hold there until you get the water clear. After the water is balanced you can raise CYA to suit for your SWG. Cleaning up high CYA water is a pain so don't jump the gun.

Your LPG has the right idea since you are backwashing a lot but you still need the CYA. Since you are backwashing and adding new water you will need to check your CYA level periodically.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
444
Columbus, Ohio
Also, I assume your SWG is off. You don't need it running while you are Slamming the pool. It's really designed to maintain FC levels not for rapid increases in FC. Use LC to raise and maintain high levels until the water is clear. Over taxing the SWG just shortens its life span.
 

TurbineTester

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2019
56
Warner Robins, GA
I prefer in front of a return and not the skimmer.
That seemed like a good idea to me so I put ~6 lbs of Clorox pool stabilizer in 4 socks and suspended them over the two returns I have. I also added 3 trichlor pucks to the skimmer.
 

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TurbineTester

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2019
56
Warner Robins, GA
Also, I assume your SWG is off. You don't need it running while you are Slamming the pool. It's really designed to maintain FC levels not for rapid increases in FC. Use LC to raise and maintain high levels until the water is clear. Over taxing the SWG just shortens its life span.
I have also been assuming that so when I went at lunch I kind of fiddled through the menus looking for a way to turn off the SWG but I didn't see anything. Should I just unplug it or is there a menu setting on the pool pilot to turn it off?

Also attached is the picture of my CYA test after about an hour of suspended stabilizer socks and pucks in the skimmer. It's still significantly below 30ppm. I also put 5-6 pucks in a floating Doo dad I got in the mail today. When I go back I'll remove the pucks from the skimmer basket to lessen the wear on the equipment.
 

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jtpipkin

Bronze Supporter
Oct 2, 2016
149
albany, ga
just let it keep dissolving - when i first started I saw some pretty wild fluctuations in my results over a week. With the back washing you'll be doing, you'll probably be adding and checking for several weeks. If I were you, I'd fit all the pucks you could into the floating dispenser and just use them up for chlorine and cya
 

TurbineTester

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2019
56
Warner Robins, GA
Here are the test results from last night at 7:06 pm:
FC:7.5
pH:7.3-7.4
CYA: Too low to read but it was a little more cloudy so I estimated ~20
Attached is a photo of the CYA test.
Seeing as it was still pretty low I went to each of the four socks filled with CYA and squeezed and assisted then until they were nearly empty. I didn't text CYA again last night but elected to wait until the next morning. I followed pool math and added about 1.5g of bleach to raise the chlorine but did not test after the addition.
 

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DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
444
Columbus, Ohio
Looking good. Now you are down to POP (pool owner patience). The amount of time it takes for your water to clear as you maintain the FC and wonder why it's taking so long.
 

TurbineTester

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2019
56
Warner Robins, GA
Looking good. Now you are down to POP (pool owner patience). The amount of time it takes for your water to clear as you maintain the FC and wonder why it's taking so long.
Any idea what I should be expecting? Is this going to be like 2-4 days, 1-2 weeks or a month or more of daily monitoring and chlorine additions?

My LPG said that I also had a lot of phosphates in the water, if that makes a difference? High phophates is confirmed by Pool Store test with a reading of over 3500ppb. Which, by the way is higher than the highest number I've ever seen mentioned in a brief search of previous posts on this forum.

Also, should I still be at 24/7 runtime on my main pump?
 
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mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
443
OV, CA
I'm not a SWG guy but your idea of unplugging it seems sound. You could get the model number and/or take a picture and post in the SWG forum.
Yeah just unplug it.. All SWG controllers have a on off switch and a knob to control the output. You can shut it off from there as well. ALSO this made me realize that since you have flushing a lot of stuff through the system it might be worth it to do a quick inspection of the SWG cell to make sure there is no debris stuck in it. I don't recall reading what kind it was, but most are connected inline with a few unions.. just pop it off and inspect it and rinse it off. It might be worth it to acid wash it if you see scale deposits before you put it back in service.

Any idea what I should be expecting? Is this going to be like 2-4 days, 1-2 weeks or a month or more of daily monitoring and chlorine additions?

My LPG said that I also had a lot of phosphates in the water, if that makes a difference? High phophates is confirmed by Pool Store test with a reading of over 3500ppb. Which, by the way is higher than the highest number I've ever seen mentioned in a brief search of previous posts on this forum.

Also, should I still be at 24/7 runtime on my main pump?
The rule of thumb here is that phosphates don't matter if you keep your FC controlled. And that is normally true, But in my experience if you are rehabbing a pool that has had lots of organics in it you will be fighting a lot existing biology from the artificial biome that developed in the pool. I'll spare us all the limnology discussion. So treating with a phosphate remover will make it easier to get things under control. SeaKlear makes a commercial grade phosphate remover that I have had the best luck with. To quote another member.. it takes another factor out of the loop.

I've been monitoring this thread.. it's fun to see old pools come back to life.
 
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TurbineTester

Well-known member
Aug 4, 2019
56
Warner Robins, GA
This morning Test results:
CYA:50ish
FC:15

Since the CYA had risen I decided to do a vaccuum to waste and then replace some water before adding bleach to get to the FC level required for SLAM at 50 CYA. So for about 30-40 mins I vacuumed from the bottom (which a still obscured in murkey green/brown depths) to waste. I vacuumed through the skimmer basket and got about 5 baskets full of leaves and small sticks. I then added 1.5g chlorine and turned the hose back on to refill.
 

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