OK, now I own a pool!

JeffKTB

Member
May 16, 2019
7
South Carolina
Greetings from sunny South Carolina! New member and first time post. Please indulge me while I provide some background and pool history. My wife and I recently fled the bitter cold of Pittsburgh, PA and settled into the Lake Murray area. We found and fell in love with the home we purchased and became the proud owners of an in-ground 18 x 36 cement pool. Not sure of the exact age of the pool. The home was built in 1997, and the pool was added sometime after that. Old real estate listing pics suggest it was here in 2007. When we first viewed the house, the pool was still covered and not looking pretty either on top of the cover or below it. Lots of leaves and pollen and water on top of the cover. Murky water below it. We requested that the pool be opened and prepared for an inspection as part of our due diligence before the purchase. When we met with the pool guy who had done the "inspection", the water was blue but very cloudy. So cloudy that there was no chance to see the sides or bottom of the pool. The overall report was good. There are some issues with a couple of the inlet valves to the pump being stuck open (need replaced), and a non-functioning chlorinator, but no major needed repairs. The pump was replaced June or July of 2018. The pool has two skimmers, one in the deep end, one in the shallow end. The one in the shallow end isn't drawing at all. There are 5 returns, and they all are functioning.
So after the inspections were all completed, and while we waited for the close on the house, we are not sure what, if anything was done to the pool. The house was vacant, so my guess is probably nothing. After the close and we took over the keys, the pool was surprisingly still pretty blue, but still cloudy. That began to change when the pump suddenly quit working, and the water started to green up. We had arranged for the pool company that had opened the pool to send a rep to provide a little "pool school" instruction, and while he was here determined that the timer for the pump had gone bad. Replaced the timer and pump was back in business.
Here are the test results he provided:
pH - 8.0
Chlorine - 0
Total Alkalinity - 50
Calcium Hardness - 140
Cyanuric Acid - 0
He suggested adding 8-10 lbs of baking soda to raise the alkalinity, keep using the chlorine pucks, and shock the pool every 1-2 weeks. And vacuum to waste! He was legitimately very sincere, as are the young couple who own the business. I'm sure I will use their services when I decide to repipe the filter/pump area and replace the old valves and remove the chlorinator. I decided to add ~6.5# of baking soda, a jug of CYA purchased at Walmart, and several bags of Shock! over the course of several days. Keep in mind that this was all before I discovered TFP quite by accident searching the web for how to get rid of green pool water. I have already learned so much by simply reading the posts and the responses from the experts, and I look forward to a continuing education.
From my reading, I knew I needed a good testing kit, so I ordered the Taylor 2006C on Amazon. It was going to take about a week to get here, so in the meantime, armed with some new TFP knowledge, I continued to brush the pool down, vacuum to waste, backflush the filter when needed, and add a gallon of bleach nightly, and I'll sheepishly admit, a couple of bags of Shock!. Hey, I was getting desperate, and my wife was growing ever more impatient to swim in her new pool! Which led me to inform her about having POP! :0 Apparently, I had inadvertently been conducting an accidental form of SLAM while waiting on my testing kit.
The water slowly began to turn from green to blue, and less cloudy. Over the last several days we have seen a noticeable improvement in the clarity. Yesterday we actually saw the sun rippling on the bottom of the pool! And...the test kit arrived two days early!
This morning I am happy to report that the water is pretty clear, even in the deep end, where I can see several leaves and long pine needles on the bottom. I conducted my first tests with the new kit. Here is what I see:
FC - 10.5
CC - 0
pH - 7.4
Total Alk - 70
Calcium Hardness - 140
CYA - 30 ? I question 30 since I filled the tube to the top with the sample, and was barely able to make out the black dot.

So now I guess I'm looking for some advice as to what to do next. Pool Math is indicating to add ~33# of calcium chloride to raise the CH level to 270. What about the chlorine? Should I raise the level to SLAM level or perform an overnight loss test first?

Also, how do you add photos to posts? I have before and after pics in Google Photos that I can't seem to get attached.

Thanks in advance for all your help. You have provided much useful information already via your Pool School articles.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,182
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
Great start! Luckily the pool store did not have you really mess things up with potions.
You should raise your CH to at least 250 ppm. You need calcium chloride for that. Pool stores probably sell it but also check Amazon for prices.
Should the CYA amount you added get you to 30 ppm CYA? Use PoolMath to figure that out.
I would stay at 12 ppm FC for your SLAM. When the water is crystal clear, then do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test.

To post a photo, use the Insert Image (looks like a mountain range) icon in the reply box. For more storage, Become a TFP Supporter!

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

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
10,874
Evans, Georgia
Welcome to TFP! We're almost neighbors, and I love Lake Murray!

Your CH is a bit low so you could also use some Calcium containing Shock if you choose. Just use the PoolMath app (either on your phone as an app or the classic web version found at the bottom of this page) to determine the effects of adding x amount of this product. You should get to know PoolMath as its the tool (along with the test kit) we depend on most here at TFP!

Maddie :flower:
 

JeffKTB

Member
May 16, 2019
7
South Carolina
IMG952019051695195028.jpgIMG_20190520_104425.jpg
Okay, figured out adding pics on my phone. A side question regarding the waterfall wall. Note the dark staining above the water slots. I'm really tempted to power wash the stone, but fear what will happen to the pool. Any thoughts?
 

JeffKTB

Member
May 16, 2019
7
South Carolina
Thanks, Pat! Didn't think about bleach first to presumably kill any nasties. I may be able to get away with hosing the wall down if not pressure washing. My main concern is not going backwards with water quality since it was such a task getting to where it is now.