Please help. Haven't opened pool in 3 1/2 years. Never had a pool! Severe help needed

Swampwoman

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Apr 27, 2012
3,835
Grand Rapids, MI
So the pressure has improved to 15 now, which suggests its working itself out. Many folk's clean pressure is in that range. You can certainly finish the slam with that filtration level.

I won't tell you not to tinker if you want to tinker, but I'm a fan of the adage "first do no harm" ;)

What is the update on the slam? For right now, I believe that's the focus. The slam will also lighten the organic stain areas together with sunlight. In a perfect world, I'd like to see you finish the slam completely before you fool with the pipes or try to vac again. That would also give you time to pick up the vac basket I linked you to in order to prevent any further clogging.

Next time you pst a pic, show the whole pool so we can compare day to day.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
Swamper is making sense. Once you have clear water, you have time to get things fixed.

Also, this does not look too bad even if you had to replace the valve.

However, I would not try to dissemble this valve unless there was another union off to the right, off frame. Given you have not worked with PVC before, probably get some on who has, if it comes to that.

Id suggest you try the snake, or shop vac options first, once you get crystal clear water.
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
618
Central, NJ
Flimflam22,
I like what Swampwoman says, I have followed a lot of her posts the past 2 years, one of the most knowledgeable people on this site in my opinion, especially in the area of cleaning up swamps.
I especially like the Idea of seeing if you can find who built the pool and have them come out and go over plumbing, hardware and how it works, maybe even get a schematic from them. If you can not find the original builder, perhaps get someone from an independent pool store, to come educate you although you may be past that.

PVC is not hard to learn but you should learn, before doing and even glue a few joints that you will throw away so you get the hang of it. Then there are some other issues I will bring up if ever you are going to do it, again I do not think it is too difficult, but I would also use the scope on both ends to see how far you can go and what you can see. I would also use drain King on both ends of skimmer as well as shop vac, sucking while you are using drain king from opposite end and blowing without, maybe even turning vale of skimmer off and on again like you did. When possible keep the drain line closed when working on skimmer line. But never at the risk of running pump dry. Also, when I played baseball we had a little tool to dig dirt out of receptacle the base post would go into. Something like that taped on the end of the pole to get the rocks out of tray at the bottom drain may help.

PS, if ever my suggestions contradict her advice, follow her advice, then you can ask why. She really knows what she is doing.
 

Flimflam22

Well-known member
May 17, 2017
125
New york
Definitely appreciate all the posts. I do believe it was the water hammering so I was wrong about that. Swamp I kind of let the slam go bc I thought I was losing all chemicals and such as I was doing vacuuming but I've gotten back to business with slam, and focusing on brushing and netting as many pieces of bricks as I can. I bought that camera it was very hard to use inside the pipes so couldn't tell much. Pressure is back up to where I want it to be so put chemicals back in after having a 0 fc reading. Did not get a chance to do Cya or ch reading (wife threw her back out couldn't do much today). I will get more readings and pictures tomorrow but will definitely focus on the slam and not let it go again. The water has gotten cloudy again consistently dont know if that's from the lack of chlorine or me constantly brushing.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,835
Grand Rapids, MI
The cloudiness may in part be your brushing but is also quite likely algae's nascent bloom from letting slam level drop. So for the next few days focus entirely on maintaining the SLAM Process level, and then we'll deal with the set up and stains.

You do need filtration to complete a slam, but as I know from my own swamp recovery, you only need chlorine to sanitize the water and even with debris you can get to a place where its easy to maintain the FC at slam level and then work on finishing issues like a slow vac to waste.
 

Flimflam22

Well-known member
May 17, 2017
125
New york
Ok well slam is back on. Fc is at 9 added more bleach. Ch is 175. Cya 0. Added all chemicals needed. Should I be doing ph test as well? Also new problem (why wouldn't there be) there's a small puddle forming on top of the brick near one of the returns so I already know there's a leak in the pipe somewhere over there so I already know how this vacation will be spent now so I guess wish me luck with that.
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
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Central, NJ
do not think CYA can =0, You added enough CYA to bring to 30 didm't you? all would not go out unless you emptied your entire pool and refilled. So something is missing.
 

Flimflam22

Well-known member
May 17, 2017
125
New york
I can check again but when I did it, I could still see the black dot in the cylinder unless I did something wrong.

also started digging up bricks and trying to find pipe and I seem to have run across 3 rubber pipes that lead near the jet. Does that sound right? I was expecting pvc
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
618
Central, NJ
When you say "rubber" is it black hard plastic or more like the black pipe coming out of ground behind the tee for the pump, or more like the Fernco connector you have coming out of your pump to connect the 2 PVC pipes.. I would expect white PVC all the way to the return. However, It could be to the water feature of the pressure side port.

- - - Updated - - -

I believe you checked for ammonium and did not have any, correct? How much CYA did you put in? Did you fill all the way to the top and dot still very clear?
 

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Flimflam22

Well-known member
May 17, 2017
125
New york


- - - Updated - - -

Pool amateur you were exactly correct and definitely saved me a of time and figuring out. So I contained it and turned the r feature off so pumps going leak stopped and everything is great again ( besides the massive hole and leak I gotta fix). I had put in I believe 62 oz of stabilizer last time and I could still see that dot. I removed aND replaced a lot of water but still shold have gotten some kind of reading. Unless it took too long to get into pool it took a few days and all didn't even go out
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
618
Central, NJ
Great that you found out what was the problem, doesn't appear to be a big problem to fix, the hole and getting bricks back and even should be biggest pain. Did I mention before aeration, which is what the water feature does brings down TA, just a little thing to remember for later on when controlling TA.

When did you put CYA in (too lazy to go back and look)? If I remember correctly you did use sock method in front of return. When you just did the test today or yesterday did you fill to top of tube, and could you still see dot clearly, or was it partly cloudy but still could see it.

To be sure I understand, When you have your max pump pressure, what are your valve settings?

- - - Updated - - -

any news on that 3rd return, How close to the 3rd return is this, would a pipe going to that 3rd return go right by. I am thinking if all 3 of those lines go to the water fountain feature just at different spots, or if that top line was larger diameter than the other 2 and if that diameter would be the same as the one coming out of ground behind Tee to pump.
 

Flimflam22

Well-known member
May 17, 2017
125
New york
The cya was put in at minimum a week ago. No the 3rd return is on the opposite side of the pool by the skimmer. The cya was cloudy but def could still see that dot. What do you mean valve settings? I have skimmer and main drain line open if that's what you mean.
 

Pool Amateur

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Jun 19, 2015
618
Central, NJ
At least we know you have some CYA, if it has been at least a week ago it should be dissolved and reading on test. However you have had a circulation problem and it may not be all dissolved. The other variable is your volume is just an estimate, and since it is irregular shape the estimate could be significantly wrong. The other is you have vacuumed to waste. I am thinking I would add another 20 oz. but will take a week to register so we will not know until a week later. I would wait for Swampwoman's recommendation on this one.

Yes The valves I was speaking about were the bottom drain and skimmer feeds to pump. I think Swampwoman's idea to get SLAM done, then start attacking the clog makes a lot of sense, once the organics in the pool are killed, you do not go backward real fast if you have to do some maintenance. So I am trying to really understand what is happening as some things do not make sense ( read, what I think may be wrong may not be wrong or bad communication).
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
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Apr 27, 2012
3,835
Grand Rapids, MI
Just to confirm, you did the ammonia test previously and your chlorine held, correct?

In that case, try adding about a third of what you did last time, give it a day, and see if you get a read. Assume 30 for your slam level, meaning never go below 12.

In normal pool conditions, cya will normally turn up on a test faster than a week. We did some testing on this last year.

Notwithstanding stains, how's the water looking? Can you post a progress pic soon? Be vigilant in the slam so we can move on to the next part as soon as possible ;) Swimming time is at hand!
 

Flimflam22

Well-known member
May 17, 2017
125
New york
I added the cya about 2 days ago. How long should I wait to test it? Pressure is holding and water is clearing up. Fc seems to also not be dropping too much either. When do you think I should attempt vacuum again? I got most of solids out
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
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Apr 27, 2012
3,835
Grand Rapids, MI
I would go ahead and test it today.
The clearing suggests the filter is adequate.

While we want to keep it that way and avoid clogging, I realize at some point you need to vac again ;)

Did you happen to pick up one of those filter canisters for your vac to stop big chunks from getting into the pipe system?

Since keeping up the filtering is critical to the slam, I guess in your shoes id consider the small investment worthwhile ;)
 

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