opening pool after 3 yrs


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2010
Richmond, Virginia
I'm helping someone open their pool that hasn't been used for 3 years. It's 20k gallons, vinyl, sand filter. The water out of the returns is white, almost like it's air coming out but it isn't. When I was taking the tests, I noticed tiny dots throughout the sample that the test chemicals were clinging to. I'm thinking the pool has to be drained and maybe there are some other major issues. Readings:

pH - 3.8 (used a digital meter from work)
TA - probably 0
TH - 50
CYA - 50


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
There isn't any easy way to drain a vinyl liner pool without major risk to the liner, so you are better off treating the water rather than replacing it.

The first thing to do is to get the PH and TA up to reasonable levels. This can be done with either soda ash/washing soda/PH Up or with a combination of baking soda and borax. Then get everything solid, any leaves or other debris, that you possibly can out of the water, even if that means raking and vacuuming blind. You also need to make sure that the pump and filter are working correctly. Then you can start shocking.

The extended period of low PH will have shortened the life of the liner. Of course there is nothing you can do about that now.