Old pool/new owner

JimboRollins

Member
Apr 11, 2016
23
Awendaw, SC
Hello helpful people.
My family and I moved this winter and there is an above ground pool on the property. I have no prior experience with pools but have kept aquariums for many years, so hopefully I won't be a total bonehead on water chemistry.
The pool was not used at all last year while the house was on the market, but was covered with a tarp. It rotted. Everything is green.
0411161902.jpg
I've uncovered it and am going to get a net to start scooping leaves.
There is a 1 1/2 hp Optiflow pump and a Sparco sand filter.

Where do I go from here? Do I get a test kit and try to clean up the water that is in the pool? Do I drain it and start over? I have well and city water available.
Thanks.
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
JR, welcome to TFP! :wave: Yes - the "right" test kit is everything. Please see the TF-100 link below in my sig. You can order the TF-100 (XL option) or Taylor K-2006C. I would suggest the TF-100 XL because you will be using a lot of reagents. Also consider the "speed stir".

You will need to SLAM your pool - link also below. Read that page and know it before your test kit arrives. Also see Pool Schools ABCs to get refreshed.

In the meantime, I would certainly continue to scoop-out the junk and move the water around a bit. Test the pump's movement of water ahead of time and set filter to recirculate for now to not clog-up the filter. No need to run it a lot. Once your test kit arrives, that's when we get serious and know exactly how much bleach to use. No pool store gimmicks or chemicals - just regular bleach. Start shopping around in your area for good prices on regular bleach. You're gong to need quite a bit over the course of a week or two. :)

Great to have you with us.
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,576
East Texas
Completely draining an above ground pool is never a good idea. Scooping is exactly where you start with that while waiting on a GOOD test kit. Enjoy yourself some Pool school while waiting for it to arrive. Welcome to the forum!
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Welcome! :wave:

I concur. Scoop leaves and run on recirculate until you get some test results.

If you have a huge buildup of CH or CYA, a partial drain is in your future. The big question there is: do you have somewhere to send all that water? If the yard slopes the wrong way or you might flood your neighbors or you're on a septic tank, getting rid of that much water could be a problem.

There's also the possibility that all your CYA broke down into Ammonia during the year of neglect. If that happened, it would be cheaper to drain than to chemically eliminate it with bleach. Since you've been into aquariums, you might even have an Ammonia test kit. If not, once you have a proper pool test kit, we can help you determine that as well.

All of this points out that without accurate data and all the facts, nobody can really say what the best plan of action for you will be.
 

JimboRollins

Member
Apr 11, 2016
23
Awendaw, SC
I found a container of unexpired test strips in the shed.
FC=0
Alk=40
pH=7.2
CyA=0

I know these test strips aren't the most accurate method and will be getting the TF100 on the way this week. Is this enough info to buy bleach and start SLAMing or do I wait for a better test kit?
Also in the shed are a number of chemicals for adjusting pH, Alk, etc. Also a bucket of powder that is 99% cyanuric acid. And some liquid copper algaecide.
Thanks for the help.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
JR, about the only thing you might be able to get close to on the strips "might" be pH, but again that's always a stretch. I would certainly never trust if for CYA or FC which are you two most important ones right now. No problem though. It has been green for a while, a couple more days won't be a deal breaker. Continue with the suggestions above, and make sure to read the SLAM page a couple times to have that understood. In the meantime, also start shopping around for bleach (regular) as that will be the prime ingredient to perform the SLAM. Once your kit arrives, it's full steam ahead. We'll be waiting. :)

Oh, you may use some of the stuff in the shed, but not yet. Keep the algaecide farthest away for now as many of them contain metals (i.e. copper) which will only cause more problems later.
 

JimboRollins

Member
Apr 11, 2016
23
Awendaw, SC
Yup. Its almost all copper.
Picked up a dozen gallons of 10% bleach at Wally World while getting the leaf net.
Been studying and playing with the calculator to try and figure out how it all relates.
 

JimboRollins

Member
Apr 11, 2016
23
Awendaw, SC
Test results!
I got the TF100XL today and ran through the tests.

pH 8.0
Total chlorine 0

Both of those from the little blue box tests.

Chlorine drop test 0
CH 225
TA 70
CYA 0

So, if I have the math right, my adjustments are:
Add 22 oz of 31.45% muriatic acid to adjust the pH to 7.5
Add 450 oz of 10% bleach to bring chlorine to shock level.
Add 304 oz of liquid stabilizer to bring CYA to 40.

Should I worry about CH at this point?

If I understand correctly, I want to adjust the pH and CYA and test again before shocking with the bleach. Gotta run to the store for some stabilizer.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Test results!
I got the TF100XL today and ran through the tests.

pH 8.0
Total chlorine 0

Both of those from the little blue box tests.

Chlorine drop test 0
CH 225
TA 70
CYA 0

So, if I have the math right, my adjustments are:
Add 22 oz of 31.45% muriatic acid to adjust the pH to 7.5
Add 450 oz of 10% bleach to bring chlorine to shock level.
Add 304 oz of liquid stabilizer to bring CYA to 40.

Should I worry about CH at this point?

If I understand correctly, I want to adjust the pH and CYA and test again before shocking with the bleach. Gotta run to the store for some stabilizer.
Yes, you should check the CH. If you need to drain off any water because of high CH, it's better to do it before treating it.

Because the pool is green and you also show no CYA, I worry that you may have Ammonia. So... Add a gallon of bleach to the pool. That should put you up to about 4.5 FC. Brush it around a little with the pump running and then draw a sample and retest it after ten minutes. If the CC outnumbers the FC by a large factor (Something like 1 FC 3 CC) you've got ammonia and you'll want to tell us before you dump any more chemicals in. If it turns out that after ten minutes you have 3 FC and .5 CC left, you're good to go. You adjust the pH and while that's mixing, add enough CYA to get to 30 via the sock method, and then it's jugs away!

 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Generally we're only concerned about draining to lower CYA or CH, none of which are a problem for you. Your FC/CC ration was close. So just to be safe (before adding any stabilizer), please perform the following:

1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level (FC of 10). If your CYA test is showing as zero (perhaps already converted to ammonia), use a SLAM/Shock FC of 10. Do not add additional CYA at this point.
2. Retest FC at 10-minute intervals.
a. If FC loss is greater than 50% after 10 minutes, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level and continue retesting FC @ 10-minute intervals.
b. IF FC loss is 50% or less, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level. Go to Step 3.
3. If CYA is below 30 ppm, add enough CYA to bring level up to 30 ppm. Use the "sock soaking method" for granular stabilizer.
4. Continue SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the SLAM Criteria of Done are met. Test as directed in the SLAM article - no longer need to test FC at 10 minute increments at this point.

That should get you rolling. Any questions?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Just so you understand, Pat/Texas Splash is having you zap any possible Ammonia-causing microbes with unbuffered bleach. The reason is, if you do have that in your pool, feeding it more CYA will just make it worse. It takes something like 10X as much ppm bleach to neutralize Ammonia, so you don't want to be creating any more. So you kill it first, then start dealing with the Ammonia (if any is left) and the algae.

Personally, if I lost half the bleach in ten minutes and the CC went up even higher, I'd break out the sump pump and/or siphon hoses and start draining.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,347
Tallahassee, FL
You are heading in the correct direction! Good job! Please share a pic of your pool so we can watch it clear!

When you have a moment please put your test kit in your siggy so everyone will know you have one of the good ones!

Kim