New Owner; Swamp and Circulation Questions

Mojo21

Member
May 29, 2013
9
MD
Hello all,

Purchased a home with a swamp. I have begun the slow process of transformation. Entire pool had/has several inches of leaves and debris on the bottom. Return lines are not even visible it is so dark brown/green. According to neighbors pool was up and running last summer but was left uncovered into fall when the house was put up. I have scooped as much junk out as I can. Leaf rake is finally coming back empty or close. Unfortunately I cannot see what I am doing so who knows if I have missed certain spots.

Anyway, original CYA test showed <20 but likely > 0. I approximated 10 and added CYA to the pool. The next day after hanging my socks, I noticed all of the chemical was accumulating at the top of the pool and sitting at the shallow half. This being my first pool, I had no idea what my circulation system should look like visually. Pump is older but running and sand filter reads between 10-15psi. The skimmer lines are what have me questioning suction. They just dont seem to be taking in much water but I have no real experience to gauge how they should be working. I catch the skimmer baskets floating sometimes. I have diligently been cleaning the skimmer baskets and pump strainer. I reversed the flow in the skimmer lines using a toweled hose as well as drain king. I got some small debris to come out but nothing significant to make me think lines were blocked. I could be paranoid about the circulation system but my gut tells me it is weak. Could my pump be running but slowly dying does it have to be a blockage I cannot dislodge? The backwash seems to have sufficient pressure but what do i know. There is a smallish leak in the vertical pvc from pump to filter I plan on fixing (that couldnt be reducing pressure much could it?)

After about a week, the CYA has finally mostly dissolved from the surface. I tested at ~40 with some really old reagent but will do a new test soon with my new kit. I am close to a full battery of tests and shocking but want my circulation fears put to rest. This first post had to be long! Any insight would be appreciated.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
The best test of circulation is feeling the strength of the return jets, if you can find them. They should be strong, and if so your skimmers are fine. Some skimmers are quite slow moving, especially if there is a main drain that is also supplying water to the pump.

Another thing to check is the filter. If you haven't already backwashed or cleaned the filter you should do so now. Once clean, note the "clean" filter pressure so you know when to backwash/clean it next time.

I would go ahead and start shocking, as it doesn't take all that much circulation to keep the water well mixed.
 

Mojo21

Member
May 29, 2013
9
MD
Thanks for the response Jason. I have backwashed several times out of my own paranoia. I will try and gauge the strength of the return jets. They are about shoulder deep near each of my two skimmer boxes. If they dont feel particularly strong, will I be able to isolate pump vs skimmer line issue?

Interesting side story - Since adding CYA and getting my marshmallow topping on my pool, I fished 3 fresh (I think) birds out in 4 days. ! in each skimmer box and on floater in the shallow end. Either they like cya or thought the surface was solid.

I agree it is time to shock so I can actually start to see what is going on in there. I have no clue if I even have a main drain!
 

Mojo21

Member
May 29, 2013
9
MD
UPDATE -> I have begun the shock process but seem to be running into a problem. I cannot get any FC to register. This morning I began by dumping 4-5 gallons of 8.5% into the pool. 45 min later I registered one drop on the FC test before the pink water turned clear. Since then I have dumped close to 20 gallons in. Could organics be eating the chlorine that fast? Visually, the pool is improving. I measured my CYA to be sure and it is still ~35 maybe 40. What am I missing here?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,932
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Mojo21 said:
UPDATE -> I have begun the shock process but seem to be running into a problem. I cannot get any FC to register. This morning I began by dumping 4-5 gallons of 8.5% into the pool. 45 min later I registered one drop on the FC test before the pink water turned clear. Since then I have dumped close to 20 gallons in. Could organics be eating the chlorine that fast? Visually, the pool is improving. I measured my CYA to be sure and it is still ~35 maybe 40. What am I missing here?
[center:15ozcd79][attachment=0:15ozcd79]morebleach.jpg[/attachment:15ozcd79][/center:15ozcd79]

You're missing nothing. You raised FC to 16 and it's working. If the pool is a green mess, it will have a voracious appetite at the beginning, but should slow down some each time you add more. Any crud in the bottom should get scooped out manually, it speeds the processs and reduces the chlorine consumption. You have a big pool. Check this victory picture:
[center:15ozcd79]
[/center:15ozcd79]
 

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Mojo21

Member
May 29, 2013
9
MD
Holy moly you werent kidding. 40+ gallons of bleach and 30 hours later and I finally have leaked into shock zone ~12 FC. My first > 1 FC test! Me thinks when you have organics / a swamp, the pool calculator goes out the window for bleach shocking. Voracious is an understatement. When it finally clears, I hope I don't find a body in there.....