Pool in limbo-new liner, water delivered, then....nothing

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
Hi! Brand new member, and new to pool ownership. In fact...the pool isn’t even finished yet. We bought an “as is” property in July that came with a derelict pool, if you want to call it that. Here is what it looked like in July:
View attachment 165370

By September, we finally got the pool repaired, and the liner installed. Here's what it looked like after 2 water trucks and 4-5 hours of filling from our well:IMG_1349.jpg


It looked like a pool finally! Our PB finished his install (cut holes for the returns and skimmers, installed some lights in 2 of our "polaris ports" (as he called them), and told me to call him when we finished filling it to get a lesson on operating the system and adding chemicals. Within a week, we had gotten 2 more trucks of water (4 total), and called PB back to let him know I was ready for the lesson. It took a few calls, but I finally spoke to him. He said he still had the "transformer" for our lights, so he'd be over in a day or two. He never showed.

Fast forward to this weekend, when I had finally crawled out from under the crushing weight of distance learning (x3), working full time, and a few weeks of illness (not Covid, just kids passing regular ol germs around.) I see now that we are on our own with the pool. Eesh. I have no idea what I’m doing! I have been poking around here for a bit, but I am a hands on learner. Visual at least. I need to see something work to understand it. I'm a little hesitant to turn on equipment I know nothing about-I'd not know if it was making a strange sound, etc...

Problem is...I don’t think our pump actually works at all. I will post pictures of all the equipment separately. The PB tested the lines for leaks with a hose and some apparatus he took off his truck. There is no power to the pool...we have a problem with our sub panel and I CANNOT get a frickin electrician to my house if my life depended on it. Really. I’ve been ghosted 3x, and most guys just don’t call me back. So, my pool is starting to look a little...green:
IMG_1911.JPG


I scooped leaves out of it today, and a few times over the past few weeks. My husband removes frogs regularly from the skimmers. There is a lot of sand in the pool from the work we’ve had done on the patio (which is still not poured, since the electrician didn’t show to run UG for new lights, so I had to do it myself.) Also some rocks from my 4 yo tossing them in every time my mom zones out and isn’t watching her closely.
We don’t have a vacuum yet. We don’t have baskets in our skimmers. We don’t have those eyeball things in the returns (we do have some silky white mold in them tho...) I don't even know if all of the returns are actually returns, since some of them look different and are a different size. I went to Walmart on Saturday in a panic and got some bleach (they have a limit so I got 7) and some chlorine pucks, plus a bag of stabilizer. It was all I could find, in the clearance aisle, that wasn’t on the list of things this site says shouldn’t be in the pool. They had a shock product but I couldn’t figure out what was in it, nor am I sure I need it.

AFTER ALL THIS...finally, my question. What do I do to treat the water without a pump or filter (no power, not sure the stuff works?) Can I just pour the bleach in? I think I should not put the pucks in on their own-I should dissolve them in a bucket of water first? Can I use the pucks and bleach together? How the h do I know how much to add? I don’t even know how many gallons of water I have. I don’t have a test kit yet-I have asked my husband to order the skimmer baskets, eyeballs, a vacuum, a test kit...basically all the pool stuff we need (except the cover-that’ll be a separate post.) I did find a bunch of test strips that were left here (bottle says they expire in January). I know I need a proper test kit, but I figure something is better than nothing. Results from strip: FC 0, TC 0 (obviously!), Alkalinity ~40, pH 6.8 ish (it was between the color for 6.8 and 7.2), TH 100, CYA "OK" range (40-100 on bottle).

Its raining today, but I'm prepared to go out and do as much as I can to prevent this situation from getting worse.

I'll post another thread to get help identifying all the components, unless folks think I should keep it here...

I also need advice on what to do about a cover. I don't have one. PB was supposed to order one for us, but, I have NO idea if he did or not. I haven't heard from him. Separate thread? I have already read some posts about "to cover" or not to cover, but I don't feel like I'm experienced enough (or have enough time) to take that on.

Its my first post here...I hope I followed the rules and used proper format...please forgive if my inexperience is blatantly obvious.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,291
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
Keep your issues with this pool here. That way everyone can see the context on what you are dealing with.
How many gallons is the pool (I know you IDK -- but we need an approximation - My first guess is 20000 gallons)? Plan to add liquid chlorine (plain bleach) and use a brush or broom or something to mix it in. Do NOT use trichlor tablets.
You do need a proper test kit. I suggest the TF100. A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols. Order that now.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
Thanks for the quick reply!

Gallons in pool...I looked up the water company and they say their tankers hold 8,000 gallons. We got 4 full trucks' worth, plus we ran the hose for several hours. So, the trucks delivered 32K, and our well puts out 6 GPM. I estimate 34K gallons. I forgot to mention that our deep end is 8' deep, and the deep end is the larger portion of our odd shaped pool. Here's an aerial view for reference:
pool birds eye view.jpg
(You can really see what a mess we had to deal with...except this photo was taken in the winter, sans the jungle we encountered in July.)

I clicked on the link and will order the test. I have read the ABC's but, without the test and any practical application, its not quite sinking in yet. I'll get there. I do get the concepts, now its just a matter of putting it into practice.

Bummer about the tabs...not sure wth I'm gonna do with that big bucket of tabs, but, at least I didn't dump them in the pool. That's a problem for another day.

Regarding the equipment mystery...I should post pics of our system and the very helpful folks here will help me identify what is what? (I mean, I know what the filter is vs the pump, but beyond that...not so much.) Can someone here also help me figure out what I need to get to complete the returns? I know they are missing pieces.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,291
Laughlin, NV
Great on the volume. So 1 gallon of 10% liquid chlorine will add 3 ppm FC to your pool water. So if you can find some 10% liquid chlorine (Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, Pool Stores, Ocean State Job Lots, etc) add one gallon per day until you can get the pump running.

The tablets can be used later. You can use them to manage your CYA level, when you go on vacation, etc. You will need a floating dispenser for them if a tablet chlorinator was not installed.

Please update your signature with your estimated volume.

Post all your questions. We have many members and experts that will assist. Pictures really help.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
If I happen to have 6% household bleach (I think its 6...my husband just took off with the vehicle the bleach is in so I can't check) then I have to add...2 gallons? No one is swimming in it, so, it can't hurt right?

My skimmers look like this:

skimmer1.JPG
Should I use a shop vac to clean them out? Or should I mix it all up and then use my net to grab all that junk? I have a friend who I sent a pic of my pool to and she says I'm really lucky it isn't more gross/green than it is. I'd like to keep it that way...

Also, here are my returns. I hope these pictures are ok. Four of them have threads all the way out to the edge-in the photos below, they are the ones with 4 screws around the outside. Two (located on each side of stairs,) only have threads recessed inside, probably about an inch-1.5", these are shown below with 2 screws on the outside.
stair return.JPGreturn1.JPG
I took measurements of the openings to attempt to find the "eyeball" that goes in each one, but, I have a feeling that will be not info info to narrow it down. If I have Hayward everything else, should I assume these are Hayward too? Are the two openings near the stairs returns or are they something else maybe?

I do know what kind of skimmers I have. The model # is luckily still discernable on the inside of the covers. They are Hayward model 1085. The only thing I don't know for sure is if its equipped (or supposed to be equipped) with an equalizer valve, float valve, both, neither, or a suction outlet valve. I think there's something in there, but, there's so much debris, its hard to tell. You know, and, I have no idea what I'm looking at. :unsure:

Next up is the pics of the poor pump, lost in the weedy jungle.

Thanks!! ~J
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,291
Laughlin, NV
If I happen to have 6% household bleach (I think its 6...my husband just took off with the vehicle the bleach is in so I can't check) then I have to add...2 gallons? No one is swimming in it, so, it can't hurt right?
Correct, with 6% add 2 gallons. That will be just more than 3 ppm FC in the pool water. Be aware that most household bleach has additives. You want plain bleach. No Fabric Protection, scent, splash less, Cloromax, etc.
Add that every day until you get your test kit and pump running. Brush it in really well.

Keep adding the pictures. The skimmer needs to be cleaned out. The returns may be able to have eyeballs but that is the least of your issues right now.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
198
NY
Show us pictures of you equipment and sub panel. You should have an auxiliary outlet. Are you getting power to it? Is any of you equipment getting power?
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
TFP community, let me introduce...the pump & filter
2E68C1F7-BFF6-49C6-8720-7517F8AD76B8.jpegE46C5334-B202-4D14-BD87-282319A62CF6.jpeg
Here’s the whole system:
64A3691E-4A72-42B2-87C1-25C4AE254267.jpeg
66913ABB-6026-46DE-B959-A15C723DC2C9.jpeg
59005154-577C-47C4-AF48-1B9934E1D163.jpegIn the last picture, to the left of everything else is the “Polaris system” the PB said was broken. We intend to use its power supply for our new LED lights.
We also have two mysterious pipes that emerge from the ground:

13411BA1-72A2-40EA-A51E-A00AA316CFD2.jpeg
17F1726B-DCEE-4988-A0F0-914BA3E7B988.jpeg
in these pics, the yellow lines show where we dug The trench for the electric supply for lights that were retrofitted into the “old Polaris ports.” No plumbing was revealed except right up next to the pool, obviously. Not even the PB is quite sure what they are for, but he did say they are water supplies. Maybe for a slide? But why 2 of them? Especially the first one, which is behind the old diving board (we removed it for insurance reasons) seems oddly placed. Any ideas?
There is a slide here btw-we found an old AquaSlide N Dive (Queen I believe) behind the barn, in the woods, along with the railing for the steps and the deep end ladder. It’s the slide that led me to this site in fact. I was trying to figure out if it is garbage (I had a 30 yard dumpster I could’ve put it in at the time) or can be restored. Based on what I’ve read on TFP, we decided to keep it and will restore it maybe next season. We just need hand rails. We have the ladder.:)

I have no idea if we are getting power out there. I suppose I’d need a multimeter to find out? I will post pics of the sub panel if I can’t get help from my friend’s husband. He’s an electrician, but he’s in California. He is trying to help me troubleshoot it from afar, via text and phone. It just takes a while. The time difference doesn’t help.
Also, I found another pump in the main barn’s lean to shed. I hate going in there bc I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I do (rats or squirrels are living in there bc it was unused for so long.) I suspect it’s broken, because there’s a visible crack where the basket is (the part you open and have to fill with water) but I’ll take a picture and let you all weigh in.

I ordered the TF-100 today. My 8 year old cant hardly wait for it to arrive. He’s gonna be my pool guy, I just know it. He dug one of the trenches almost by himself, and I’ve had to threaten to never tuck him in ever again (harsh I know) if I catch him fiddling with the filter/pump/lights/valves without our permission, direction, and supervision. I see him out there frequently...circling like a shark. It’ll be like Christmas Day when we finally fire that whole thing up. We watched a video on how to deep clean the filter and he was in tears when I told him we can’t do it till we have power so we can rinse and backwash and stuff.

~J
 

Bigpaws

Active member
Mar 29, 2020
43
Wilkes-Barre Pa
I am sorry to hear your problem.

It is a nice pool.

There are forms in the original post. Is that also to be completed by the PB?

A voltmeter would be nice. They do make a tester that you can just plug into a
receptacle. That would at least let you know if there is power. If there is power to
the receptacle then you could guess that you may have power to the pump.
The photos are lacking as far seeing details. Like the power panels and the pump
and its housing.

-Bigpaws
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,570
Spring Valley, NY
Jax
If I may interject here. Your location will be getting cold and below freezing temperatures before you know it. It may be a good idea to just winterize now and have it all safe before the cold gets here and just get a good early start next season. It's not like you can even still swim by the the time you figure it all out. Just my 2 cents.
 
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EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
Jax
If I may interject here. Your location will be getting cold and below freezing temperatures before you know it. It may be a good idea to just winterize now and have it all safe before the cold gets here and just get a good early start next season. It's not like you can even still swim by the the time you figure it all out. Just my 2 cents.
That’s why I’m here...yes I need to figure out if my pump etc work, and what parts I need, etc, but also I have to do something soon about the pool to get it ready for winter.
The PB had originally said he’d come back, get it “open” even if just for a few weeks (few being literally 2) and then he said to cover it for a month, to keep the leaves out etc, but keep the pump running and adding chemicals until the water temps reached just under 60, or, the weather turned cold enough to risk a freeze, and then he’d “close it.” But, I haven’t heard from him, it never got opened, and I don’t have the safety mesh cover we wanted.

BTW- I do not mean to give the impression I have any beef with my PB. He has some serious health issues, so these times where he’s off the grid...I’ve come to understand it’s by necessity. Now that we’re in the “off season” here in NE I am leaving him be. I don’t see any reason to keep hounding him if he’s ill or otherwise indisposed. I don’t want to burn the bridge with him in case we need any more work done.

Now, since my last post, my boys found what appears to be a cover (what condition it’s in or if it even fits is unknown) in our field, amongst the shoulder high weeds/brush and some other debris. If it’s not damaged, I suppose I can use it this year. It’ll be better than nothing. Any hints/tips on how to clean it? I’m just itchin to buy a nice gas powered power washer, for a bunch of reasons...Cmon guys, give me one more! Lol.

In the meantime, I am trying to keep the water from getting really gross. I know that the cleaner it is when we close, the less trouble we’ll have in the spring.

Is it possible to “close” the pool w/out the pump to circulate the chemicals? From what I understand the rest of closing involves lowering the water level, which I can do by siphoning if I have to, blowing out the lines, and then I think I have to add antifreeze (not automotive!) to them yes? If my pump and filter weren’t used/don’t work then I don’t have to do anything there. If they do happen to work (if I can get power out there) should I do anything to prevent further deterioration from lack of use?

I kinda wanted to know if my pump and filter work so I can plan for the spring. If they are busted, we have several cold months to research and order a replacement. Covid makes EVERYTHING move slower, hence the predicament I’m in now where I’m trying to finish a pool when everyone else is closing theirs.

I have to admit, this pool has been a huge huge source of stress. I’ll be really really happy when all it requires is cleaning and maintenance. Getting it this far has been nightmarish, but I feel like we’re in the home stretch now, if we can just get it winterized. I’m not looking for sympathy or anything, just venting. I don’t mean to sound whiny. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone here for everything I’ve learned so far, both in this thread and also elsewhere on this site.

It’s freezing cold and raining today...but, I’m going out to add bleach. It’s all I’ve got (it’s plain, unscented, unfancy reg ol’ bleach) until I can get to Lowe’s or somewhere that might have liquid chlorine at this time of year. I just keep telling myself how nice the pool will be next year when it’s finished.:cool::paddle:
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
I am sorry to hear your problem.

It is a nice pool.

There are forms in the original post. Is that also to be completed by the PB?

A voltmeter would be nice. They do make a tester that you can just plug into a
receptacle. That would at least let you know if there is power. If there is power to
the receptacle then you could guess that you may have power to the pump.
The photos are lacking as far seeing details. Like the power panels and the pump
and its housing.

-Bigpaws
@Bigpaws I will get better photos of the pump. Both the installed and the extra one I found in the main barn.

I’ll also take photos of the power outside and the panel.

I’m supposed to hear from my California electrician, but I’ve been doing some research and I think I might be able to get my sub panel back online. My mom is also a retired engineer (worked at the electric utility co for 34 years) and can at least make sure I dont get electrocuted. I just need a few minutes when no one needs the internet so I can cut the power.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
Better (I hope) pictures of the pump:
ED93349F-5B6F-4874-86DF-D06CA80EA23C.jpeg
6C351968-682D-4481-B316-E9CDB0D975EA.jpeg
5314020E-CE0A-4106-8F58-581C7D4E4DB8.jpegHere’s the some other photos of the system from different angles. I’m not sure exactly what you all need to see. I’d love some feedback so I can make your lives easier!
D7896EA2-CFCA-44D0-BAA4-791B12A964FD.jpeg24B66516-FF36-4FDF-80EC-8FB277C7D26E.jpegEBDE8358-9AAA-4C51-847E-C7B1F7F4B0B4.jpegD579ACA2-3E55-422B-9A90-9D0E87D64DBF.jpeg
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
198
NY
Your two mysterious pipes are too hard to make out in the picture but it’s possible they are for a deck box to feed a light.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
I disappeared for a bit, but I’m back.

I’ve been adding bleach, which is all gone now so later today I will be on the hunt for liquid chlorine. Pool is not greener, but not cleaner either. I suppose with no filter, holding steady is all I can hope for. The water is clear at least, so I have just green, not full on swamp!

I have power at the pool! The GFCI was tripped. Duh. I just needed to press it REALLY hard. Here’s a pic of the panel anyway, since I’ve been asked. Also a pic of the timer.
1C7943D3-19C1-4C49-9E68-86337495F134.jpeg
1BF6DA75-279E-45DD-8851-1D8A4F190CF5.jpeg
I’m not sure how to use that timer. I mean, I know how to operate it, I just dont know how to apply that knowledge to a pool. We used to have one for our outdoor lights at our previous home. That’s a problem for next season!

Our PB got in touch with us and is supposed to come this week. I really hope he does. I’m also hoping he comes thru with the safety cover we wanted. I’ve been looking around online and due to the size and shape of our pool, I’ll have to special order it. I wouldn’t even know where to begin measuring for that.

One final bit: Our concrete contractor was here, who is a family friend and has put in a few pools (doesn’t do it anymore), turned the pump on. For just a second. It DID turn on, but, he said it didn’t sound right. It also has no water in it, so I’m hoping that’s all it is. I’ll find out I guess when the PB gets here.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
Your two mysterious pipes are too hard to make out in the picture but it’s possible they are for a deck box to feed a light.
Here are better pictures. In the others I was trying to show how they are kind of in the middle of nowhere on the “patio” (a giant dirt patch for now).
CADD57FF-3C82-4369-8E86-E42230C1D027.jpeg
07AC5C0A-15E9-40A9-8FD5-C8C2D5017ACE.jpeg
In the top photo, the two smaller pipes have metal caps. I unscrewed them and there is just an empty pipe, as far as I can tell.
E9032A75-65E6-4928-916F-E9F71FF87BF2.jpeg

Even the PB didn’t know what these are/were for, but guessed that since we have a slide (although, it is much older than our pool) at least one of the sets of pipes is for that.

Maybe I’ll never know. My cement contractor is going to end up going around them just in case.
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
1,676
Fresno, CA
In the bottom of your timer box are the start and stop pins that attach to the yellow wheel. The instructions are on the inside lid there. Don't install them, you can manually operate the switch when the time comes.
Looks like you are missing the clear lid on the pump basket housing. Also it looks like a liquid sealant was used on the pump/motor connection.
 

Jason.H.

Member
Aug 19, 2020
6
North Carolina
The square box with the basket in it that goes to the pump needs to be filled with water and the lid and gasket installed to close the system and hopefully the pump will prime and start moving water.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
Looks like you are missing the clear lid on the pump basket housing. Also it looks like a liquid sealant was used on the pump/motor connection.
I took the lid off to clean out what looked like a nest in that basket. I still have it. The lid I mean. The “nest” could’ve just been debris. I didn’t really examine it, lol. I don’t recall a gasket...perhaps it’s stuck on the lid or the housing? I’ll check tomorrow when it’s light out.

Liquid sealant = pump has been repaired correct? Is this a bad thing?

Did I mention I have another pump in my barn? It probably doesn’t work, because just about everything left for us here is/was broken, defective, incomplete, poisonous, expired, moldy, rotten, useless, recalled, or stolen (I’m looking at YOU milk crates!) but I will get a picture of it tomorrow. I know enough about motors and pumps and mechanical things to know you can’t tell a lot by looking at something but there is a visible crack in the basket housing. Maybe it’s superficial. I dunno.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
36
Northern RI
I was not able to locate liquid chlorine yesterday, despite running around to three different places that all claimed they had it. 😒
I did find a brush that fits the extension pole I have, and a vacuum that doesn’t require the pump. It hooks up to a garden hose. I have no idea if it’s gonna “suck” but it HAS to help. A little. It was $20 so, if it’s awful, I don’t care too much. I can always use it on our frog pond if we ever have the need.
So I brushed all the sand that’s in there from the patio being under construction to one side, closer to the house so the hose will reach, and that’s when I noticed this:
5430B0E1-7FA9-4BF7-AE17-53C1B9C11973.jpeg

The hose has been in the water for weeks. I haven’t added any water since we filled it (seeing as we’ll be draining it soon to close it, I’ve been letting it evaporate). This hose is relatively new, maybe two years old, and it didn’t look like this before. What are those crystals on the threads? They are kind of stuck on. I’d have to use a wire brush to clean that up so I can connect anything to it.

My test kit is supposed to get delivered today. I’m excited and nervous. Chemistry was never my subject (I NEVER figured out what the heck “mole” was-my teacher gave me a courtesy C mainly for effort bc I failed my tests with authority, lol). Our aquarium was more like an execution chamber for fish. 😬

Without test results, does anyone want to speculate what’s up with that reaction between the hose and the water? That’s some serious corrosion.