New pool owner with tonnes of questions!

Hi new friends!

My fiance and I bought a house and moved in right at the end of September 2020 with a pool fully closed, in Northern Ontario, Canada, and no idea what to do! I've read and watched a lot, especially in the past couple days in anticipation for opening. Probably all of the relevant articles in pool school and some random posts from others regarding their own problems and how they fixed it. Everyone here seems very friendly and eager to offer (great) advice. I'm an analytical chemist so I have grasped the chemical side of the equation (which is a big part), but without getting my hands on it, there is still some apprehension. I've definitely been swayed to the liquid chlorine vs pucks, which is where all my initial research was dedicated too.

Because everything is all closed up, I'm not 100% sure on exact information but I can say what I know. It's a 15x24 ft oval pool, unsure of water depth but typical heights (as per google) would be around 9k gallons. The pump is a 1hp Hayward Power-Flo Matrix, Hayward Sand Master High Rate Sand Filter (1706T), and a Raypak gas heater (106).

Question time!
  1. I have no idea what is waiting for me under that cover. From status of the water to what goes where and what plugs I need to take out and how to hook things up to the right places. Should I get a pool company to open for me and learn from them (I shudder to think of what they are going to try and sell me.) While I think I'm good on how to deal with the chemical side (hopefully), I won't know the technical aspects of the pool.

  2. On a similar note, opening kits. I know the consensus here is a no. But is a preventative algaecide on opening worth it? What about the “non-chlorine oxidizer”
  1. I know my water is hard because of the scale that builds everywhere, even on my countertops around my faucets. Is it worth it to get a filter for the hose when adding water into the pool? If so, what should I be looking for? I can test my tap water to get a CH value, is there a max CH that should be in the water where you shouldn't add it to the pool?

  2. Typical daily timeline for testing, adding chemicals, entering pool, running pump? Is this reasonable? Before swimming: test and add chlorine if req’d (run pump), enter pool at least 30 min later, test at end off day and add chlorine. If pool wasn’t used that day: test water in the evening, add daily dose of chlorine based on levels.

  3. Without knowing test results, I’m aware the answer to this question will be a shot in the dark but I’m hoping for an answer that will be an approximation at least. Will the refill of the pool on opening have diluted the CYA and CH levels to workable values? (*I also have no idea how much water is in the pool under the cover right now, but it’s definitely still frozen)

  4. I have read that an acidic filter cleaner for sand filters may be required for pools with a high CH. Considering the previous di/trichlor use as well as likely high CH in city water, how will I know if I need to use this product? I plan to deep clean it with the hose.

  5. How often do you add CYA? I know… test. But with backwashing, rain, and pool refills I’m just curious of how much I should buy/expect to buy over the summer. A local pool shop has a 1.75 kg bucket for $27 (CAD) but an online store has a 7kg bucket for $50 (obvi better deal but will it go bad?). Is it overkill/ underkill?

  6. I understand that CC is removed by direct sunlight. Is there a certain amount of time that is recommended that a solar cover should be removed per day or week? Say if we don’t use the pool for a week and it’s been covered the whole time, but LC is still added, will the CC have raised a significant amount?

  7. When it’s raining for multiple days straight, what is the recommended course of action? I’ve read conflicting things. Should I still test every day and add LC? Because I live in a mining & smelting town (yay for employment, nay for the acidic rain and snow), I’m almost positive it will have a detrimental effect on my pool chemistry... should I let this water fill into my pool on opening and just increase the pH/TA from there?
Thanks in advance!!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,030
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
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Chlorine
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Welcome to TFP.

We have answers for you. Just take things step by step.

I have no idea what is waiting for me under that cover. From status of the water to what goes where and what plugs I need to take out and how to hook things up to the right places. Should I get a pool company to open for me and learn from them (I shudder to think of what they are going to try and sell me.) While I think I'm good on how to deal with the chemical side (hopefully), I won't know the technical aspects of the pool.

Open up the cover and post pics of the pool and your equipment and let's see what you have.

On a similar note, opening kits. I know the consensus here is a no. But is a preventative algaecide on opening worth it? What about the “non-chlorine oxidizer”

No opening kit is required. Just basic pool chemicals of liquid chlorine, muriatic acid, stabilizer, maybe a few other things.

You don't need algaecide or oxidizers.



I know my water is hard because of the scale that builds everywhere, even on my countertops around my faucets. Is it worth it to get a filter for the hose when adding water into the pool? If so, what should I be looking for? I can test my tap water to get a CH value, is there a max CH that should be in the water where you shouldn't add it to the pool?

If you have a water softener then using softened water for your fill water can keep your CH from rising.

See Recommended Levels

Typical daily timeline for testing, adding chemicals, entering pool, running pump? Is this reasonable? Before swimming: test and add chlorine if req’d (run pump), enter pool at least 30 min later, test at end off day and add chlorine. If pool wasn’t used that day: test water in the evening, add daily dose of chlorine based on levels.



Without knowing test results, I’m aware the answer to this question will be a shot in the dark but I’m hoping for an answer that will be an approximation at least. Will the refill of the pool on opening have diluted the CYA and CH levels to workable values? (*I also have no idea how much water is in the pool under the cover right now, but it’s definitely still frozen)

You have to get the pool open and circulate the water for 24 hours then get the water chemistry to know.

I have read that an acidic filter cleaner for sand filters may be required for pools with a high CH. Considering the previous di/trichlor use as well as likely high CH in city water, how will I know if I need to use this product? I plan to deep clean it with the hose.

Let's deal with that once you get the pool open and we know the chemistry.


How often do you add CYA? I know… test. But with backwashing, rain, and pool refills I’m just curious of how much I should buy/expect to buy over the summer. A local pool shop has a 1.75 kg bucket for $27 (CAD) but an online store has a 7kg bucket for $50 (obvi better deal but will it go bad?). Is it overkill/ underkill?

Two or three times a season.

CYA degradation depends on your pool environment.


Stabilizer is stable and will last a few years in storage.

I understand that CC is removed by direct sunlight. Is there a certain amount of time that is recommended that a solar cover should be removed per day or week? Say if we don’t use the pool for a week and it’s been covered the whole time, but LC is still added, will the CC have raised a significant amount?

Yes, you need to let your pool water breath for a few hours every few days.


When it’s raining for multiple days straight, what is the recommended course of action? I’ve read conflicting things. Should I still test every day and add LC? Because I live in a mining & smelting town (yay for employment, nay for the acidic rain and snow), I’m almost positive it will have a detrimental effect on my pool chemistry... should I let this water fill into my pool on opening and just increase the pH/TA from there?

Test the pH, TA, CH of your fill water and let's discuss.

When it is raining just follow your normal pool care schedule if you c n. You will not lose much FC on cloudy days. You will learn the care cycle for your pool after a few weeks of testing.
 
Thank you for the quick reply Allen! I have purchased the K2006C kit and plan on testing my tap water for CH, and I will be doing the pH and TA at work (once it rains). I definitely do not have a water softener in my house.

As for the answer to my first question... I'm not sure if it's really safe to do that yet? While this spring has certainly been different (the snow is gone where it normally last through to the end of April), we often get some snow in May. Would the sun degrade any potential FC left over leading to algae growth by the time I can actually start my pump up and get chemicals in there?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,030
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Would the sun degrade any potential FC left over leading to algae growth by the time I can actually start my pump up and get chemicals in there?

The key is water temperature. Algae is dormant below about 60 degrees. Cover on or off doe not make a difference. As long as you get your pump running before the water temperature gets above 50F and chlorine into the pool you will not get an algae bloom. You can pull off the pool cover now and see what you have with your low water temp.
 
After a couple days of rain, we were able to remove the remainder of water from the cover to reveal some sparkling water with only a little bit of ice left in it! I've attached some pictures of my set up (minus the pump, which was in the shed.) When I examined the pump I had the unfortunate surprise of seeing water in the basket area and the little plug on the front was not removed (I watched a bunch of videos on closing and opening) so that is worrisome. I hope nothing is cracked in there :/

The picture with things laid out, shows a few things I'm not sure of. The blue hose I assume is a backwash, a light assembly that plugs into the return (?), the watch glass for the filter, a basket for potentially the skimmer (?), the timer for the pump, and the pressure gauge. I'm not sure what the other two black plug looking things are. The large one I assume might be the piece that goes on the bottom of the filter. Also is it normal for the pressure gauge to have a reading when it's disassembled?? Or does it have to be replaced?

I've tried looking for videos on how to take off the top of the pump to perform the deep cleaning where you prod the sand with a hose but have come up empty. I know the screws on the top are only to access the spider gasket. Am I right in thinking you have to remove that black harness looking piece below the "important" sticker?

Also, final question, how bad is the bowing of the top of the pool? It looks like that in only two of the supports (the one in the picture and the one directly behind it that you can partially see.)

Thank you!!!!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,030
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If the pressure gauge does not read 0 when disconnected or the pump is off then it needs to be replaced.


Do you see a model number on the filter? You should be able to find the manual for it.

This may not be exactly the right manual but it should give you an idea how it comes apart...



@Casey @zea3 what do you think about the supports?
 
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Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,884
SW PA
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
I have NO IDEA what is going on with this pool but it's not right and that pool wall is bending outward for some reason creating a horrible gap between the side post. I enlarged the pic to get a better look and you can plainly see that there is a huge issue going on. The wall should be completely straight. With the cuff sitting on top of the stabilizer bar and then the post sitting flush against the wall.
 

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I have NO IDEA what is going on with this pool but it's not right and that pool wall is bending outward for some reason creating a horrible gap between the side post. I enlarged the pic to get a better look and you can plainly see that there is a huge issue going on. The wall should be completely straight. With the cuff sitting on top of the stabilizer bar and then the post sitting flush against the wall.
Yeah, and it looks like they tried to duck tape it *face palm

What can I do to fix this? I'm assuming the worst case scenario if I left it is a breakdown of that wall. I have a feeling it has been caused by either the freeze during the winter and/or the constant blasting and tremors caused from a nearby mine.
If the pressure gauge does not read 0 when disconnected or the pump is off then it needs to be replaced.
Thank you!! I had a feeling. As I'm in Canada I can't order from the site you linked but I did use that information to find one on amazon.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,910
Houston, Texas
It also looks like the bottom of the wall may be out of the track in the problem area.
 
It also looks like the bottom of the wall may be out of the track in the problem area.
I also took a pic of the full side. It looks like it's actually okay at the bottom? The wall is of course pushed away from the support, but it does look like its only pushed out because of the bowing at the top. Any chance you have an idea of what could be done to fix it?
 

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zea3

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2009
12,910
Houston, Texas
Your best bet to fix it is to remove the upright and use a mallet and wood block to straighten the wall. You might have to take the whole pool down to make repairs. Any bent or broken pieces need to be replaced.

My guess as to what happened is that you may have surface water that drains to that side of the yard in heavy rains. If water saturated soil freezes you can have frost heave pushing up from the ground on that section of the pool, paired with a cover full of ice and snow pressing down on the top of the wall, causing the wall to bend.

Next heavy rain check the yard and see if water pools in the area where the pool was damaged. If it does you will need to address the drainage problem to divert surface water away from the pool to prevent this from happening again.
 
Your best bet to fix it is to remove the upright and use a mallet and wood block to straighten the wall. You might have to take the whole pool down to make repairs. Any bent or broken pieces need to be replaced.

My guess as to what happened is that you may have surface water that drains to that side of the yard in heavy rains. If water saturated soil freezes you can have frost heave pushing up from the ground on that section of the pool, paired with a cover full of ice and snow pressing down on the top of the wall, causing the wall to bend.

Next heavy rain check the yard and see if water pools in the area where the pool was damaged. If it does you will need to address the drainage problem to divert surface water away from the pool to prevent this from happening again.
Thank you!
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,884
SW PA
Pool Size
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Chlorine
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SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Your pool was is stressed. It starts to bend here (arrow on top left). Can you see it crease?

Also... the 2 arrows pointing down towards the grass. I'd pull all that grass away from the pool wall to see what the track looks like and if the wall is even in the track. Its definitely lifted.

If you want to fix this, you could do it but it would require you to take down the pool and hammer the dent out of the wall with a 2x4 laid across the unrolled wall. You cant do it unless you take the pool down.
 

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