New to pools, pool guy seems to have done nothing for us

DoubleEcho

Bronze Supporter
May 22, 2019
94
Pennsylvania
EDIT 6/5/19 - Please view the first few pages as a lesson in what NOT to do. Results did not start happening until I started going this right. Pool stores will give you lackluster advice and chemicals that won't get you anywhere. Also make sure your filters actually WORK!



I recently bought a house with an in ground pool. My girlfriend decided she wanted to pay to have a pool guy come out since neither of us knew anything about the pool, equipment or how to open it. This pool has not been opened in at least 2-3 years I'd estimate, the former owner was an old lady and her husband died a few months before she put the house up for sale last October and we bought it in March. It had a tarp on it and while the tarp was secured there was a bunch of leaves in it. It has since grown a Crud load of algae and I leaf raked as much as I could without being able to see more than 6 inches through the water. The pool is inground with a Hayward EC65A DE filter.

Pool guy comes out and we had been filling the pool as it was just below the skimmer when it was last closed, since we're on well water we'd fill it about 2 hours a night to get it halfway up the skimmer. The pool guy came out early and dumped some chlorine in the pool and algaecide and said he'd come back out once the water level was halfway up the skimmer. During this time I learned more from Google and doing my own tinkering than this guy could teach me, even though she paid him $200 for this service. I learned how to take apart and clean the DE filter, how/when to bump it, how to add DE, how to clean the pump, I brushed the sides of the pool to loosen up the algae etc.

Once we got the water level up he came out again and added 4 gallons of Shock and told us to run the pump 24/7 and do the DE cleaning when the pressure got up, and that in 3-4 days the water should be clear. As of yesterday it was still green and I've been bumping and flushing the DE filter. I decided to do water test strips and found that my FC is almost nonexistent, PH is down, alkalinity is down and CYA is nonexistent. Today from talking to people I've found out that this guy did it all backwards, he should have tested the water first and then added what was needed especially since the pool hasn't been used for a couple years at least.

So now I'm frustrated and I have no idea where to start. This is probably a 18,000 gallon pool, pump and filter are in good shape still. And my water is mega green

102567
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
18,345
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
You will need to follow the SLAM Process process. Read the article. To do that, you need a proper test kit. We suggest the TF100 - Test Kits Compared.
While you wait for your test kit, I suggest you continue to remove as much of the solids as you can. With a DE filter, you may be better off putting the multiport valve on Recirculate until you can perform the SLAM properly. Also add 5 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine each evening with the pump running.

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 

DoubleEcho

Bronze Supporter
May 22, 2019
94
Pennsylvania
Thank you! Do you recommend I keep running the pump to keep the water moving or just at night after I add the chlorine?

I don't know that I have a recirculate option, I only have the one valve going to waste and the one going to the top to go back out to the jets. I can vacuum, it'll just be a guessing game since I can't see what I'm trying to pick up :)
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
4,976
Central MD
Get the TF-100 XL with Speedstir. The XL is needed because your pool is green. It has more the reagents you will use a lot of. The Speedstir makes testing so much easier and consistent.

Please also complete your signature with all of your pools vitals. See Marty's or mine for examples. These are both crucial to us helping you. Which we really want to do! :)
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I don't know that I have a recirculate option, I only have the one valve going to waste and the one going to the top to go back out to the jets.
Sounds like you have the plunger valve set-up huh (below)? In that case, you may be forced to run the pump when you are available to monitor rising filter pressure frequently until things stabilize. It will require a bit of babysitting. Welcome to the forum! :wave:

 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
21,907
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Order a test kit first. I second the TF100 with XL option.

Every day add a gallon of bleach. Will it improve things? No, but it should keep them from getting worse.
Brush brush brush. There's no point running the filter 24/7 yet. You can't be there to bump it all the time. But do run it a few hours a day after you've added bleach to get it mixed.

Once you have some reliable (your own) test results, then we can get things moving full speed.

When you buy bleach, buy plenty of DE, because you will be using a lot of it. The downside of how well DE filters is how fast DE loads up and needs backwashing. Also beer and Motrin. You'll be going through plenty of that before this pool is clear!

PS: If the pool "pro" only got your for $200 before you wised up, you did real good! You got off cheap!
 
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DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
334
Columbus, Ohio
A Haywood EC65 has a bump handle on top. Mine does not have a recirculate option either. So you are going to be running through some DE along the way. Order the test kit. Add .3 to .5 gallons of pool shock/bleach every day until your test kit arrives. Run the filter as much as you can and bump when the pressure goes up more than 25% from the typical level. Once you get the test kit everyone here can help.

Don't add any other chemicals other than the bleach. You want to add 5ppm per day. That is difficult if not impossible to measure without a good test kit. Assuming your estimate of 18,000 gallons is correct one half gallon of 12.5% shock will get you close. A gallon might better but it's probably better to be lower than too high until you have a test kit. It sounds like your pool is very close to mine in terms of size and equipment.
 
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DoubleEcho

Bronze Supporter
May 22, 2019
94
Pennsylvania
EDIT 6/5/19 - This was a dumb idea of mine. Don't worry about what your coworker, manager or brother in law says. DO NOT GO TO THE POOL STORE, JUST ORDER THE KIT.

Morning everyone! I talked with a co-worker and I was given a good tip, I'm taking my water to a pool place in town during lunch and I'm having it tested. I'll ask to get a printout or reading of the levels so I can post them here. They'll also tell me exactly what I need.

I'll get the test kit at some point but from what I've seen it's $70-100 - right now if I can get it read for free anytime I'll do that. Once it's stabilized and clear I can invest in that kit.

The water seems to be less green this morning, not bright but a pale green. Last night before I went to bed I bumped the filter, added liquid chlorine and let the pump run. This morning the pressure went up to almost 30 so I had to bump it and backwash again. Seems like I'm going to have to do this every few hours. When I took the water sample in a bottle from the deep end of the pool (as far as my arm could go down then turned the bottle up) it smelled like chlorine too instead of swamp water
:p:poop:

Starting Friday until Monday I'll have a lot more time to baby this DE filter and I'm buying more powder today too, so I'm hoping to have things clear up by next week if all goes well. I'll post an update once I get this water test done!
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
18,345
Laughlin, NV
Not much value is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional” would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. In most cases, the testing is inaccurate and non-repeatable. Plus, the results of their "testing" is used to convince you that you need to buy things.

TFP bases the pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100 test kit. The other test kit that can provide the tests needed is the Taylor K2006C. Be aware of the C - it is a size. The small K2006 has too few reagents for next year’s normal use.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
334
Columbus, Ohio
Buy the kit. Your free testing is worth just what you paid for it. I've had the same pool for 20 years now. The first 14 with the pool store, the last 6 doing it myself. In the first year doing it myself I saved more money in not buying stuff I didn't need than I paid for the kit. Some years were good, some bad with the pool store. Since I started doing it myself I've always had a clear pool.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
365
Marrietta Ga
Let them test your water BUT tell them you already have what they recommend at the house. Some pool stores are decent but most are there to sell you stuff you probably don't need.
Least you can get a rough idea
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
596
Southeast Michigan
The $100.00 test kit will save you $$$ of dollars in the long run. Maybe even pay for itself after your first pool store visit on the stuff you don't buy. :geek:
Most of us here have been "pool stored", wasted a lot of money before finding TFP and how their method really works. Not like the pool store's method which eventually caused more problems than solutions. :deal:

Have we convinced you yet on your need to get the good test kit instead of the unreliable "free" - with strings attached - water test? :wave:
 
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Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
21,907
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Morning everyone! I talked with a co-worker and I was given a good tip, I'm taking my water to a pool place in town during lunch and I'm having it tested. I'll ask to get a printout or reading of the levels so I can post them here. They'll also tell me exactly what I need.
Considering that a SLAM requires testing and dosing every couple hours, I suspect that pool place is going to get tired of seeing you. Well, maybe not... you'll be good for a lot of sales as you get more and more desperate to clear your green pond.

And I'm signing out of this thread. The pool store can advise you now.
 
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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
800
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Morning everyone! I talked with a co-worker and I was given a good tip, I'm taking my water to a pool place in town during lunch and I'm having it tested. I'll ask to get a printout or reading of the levels so I can post them here. They'll also tell me exactly what I need.
Follow TFP advice! Soon, your friend will be coming to you for advice. The $100 investment in the kit will save you hundreds more. As @mariane mentioned, most of us end up here after riding on the pool store roller coaster.

Best of luck!
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
365
Marrietta Ga
I am not saying dont buy a test kit just saying do that while waiting on your test kit. Being a holiday weekend might not get the kit till late next week. Least you will have a rough Idea on PH and TA and chlorine
 

DoubleEcho

Bronze Supporter
May 22, 2019
94
Pennsylvania
I appreciate the advice on the test - I'm not saying I won't buy it, but I'm getting the water tested for free to see what my levels are first. The test looks complicated to me and I'm certainly not a chemist! Once I get the levels I'll post them here
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
334
Columbus, Ohio
Your pool, your money. You don't have to be a chemist to do the test. Reading pool school and all that is really intimidating at first. It was for me. However, the test is really very easy to do.
 

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