Pool newby lost in the mechanical jungle


New member
Apr 16, 2008
Richmond, VA

Hi, everyone! I'm a complete pool newby having just bought a house with a pool. The sellers didn't leave me any information except that it uses sand as a filter, it's vinyl-lined, it's 13,000 gallons, it's rectangular in size - 14x28, it automatically dispenses the sanitizer, & it uses Baquacil as a sanitizer (a friend of mine who's a TFP member told me what questions to ask & how to find this site :-D ). They left me the pool chemicals & equipment, but I don't know much about what I've got or how to use it. After looking at the chemicals, I discovered that they are chlorine based & not Baquacil (a very good thing!), so I tested the water today (we closed on the house this past Thursday & moved in yesterday) with the following results:
FC - 1ppm
CC - 0.5
TC - 1.5
pH - 7.4
T/A - 100
CH - 90
CYA - <20

I've read some of the stickies & they've helped with understanding water chemistry, but I don't know where to find the filter, how to backwash it, or any of the mechanics of the pump system. :shock: I think they left me a pool vacuum, but I have no idea of how to use it. It also used trichlor (Silk Tabs), but I don't know where I'm supposed to add these, or if I should just ignore the chemicals they left me & go with BBB. But I have to waste the stuff they left. Help please!!!


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 15, 2007
Eastern Pennsylvania
Welcome to TFP!!!!

I have some questions and requests for you:

1. How does your water look right now? Clear and sparkling? Green? Cloudy? Crud on the bottom? Can you see the bottom?

2. Who is the mfg of your filter? There'll be a tag somewhere on it.

3. What brand pump? 1-speed or 2-speed? Ditto re the tag on it.

Could you post some photos of the plumbing? We can very likely help you with the backwash and various other filter settings as well as the tab dispenser, though we'll probably gently steer you away from the tabs and toward bleach.

You have a vacuum if you have
* a vacuum hose (one end swivels)
* a skimmer basket lid with an elbow joint poking up
* a triangular or rectangular thingie with little brushes and a tube sticking up (to connect the swivel end of the hose to). Also attached is a thing with tabs to connect the pole to.

Oh yeah, I know, these technical terms are awesome :)

Glad to see you here!



TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
If you post some pictures of your equipment we can probably figure things out and make suggestions. Model numbers are better since then you can find the manuals online, but failing that we can probably get it from photos.