Problem after problem after problem.... but a light at the end of the tunnel.

jesser

Gold Supporter
May 2, 2021
93
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
As I'm sure some of you have experienced before, it can be really overwhelming to buy a house with a pool that you know absolutely nothing about, having never owned a pool before being completely ignorant of that fact that it actually requires effort and knowledge to maintain, and quickly realizing, over time the first few months that there are just countless and never-ending problems with the pool. Problems such as...

The 375k BTU Jandy Hi-E2 heater right away failed (likely due to previous owner not living there much for 1.5 years despite keeping the pool open -- so pool chemicals were horribly mismanaged (or perhaps, not at all) for a long long time, proven by pics/videos I've seen during the time when shared from previous owner).

Iron in water (from the two auto-fills) was staining all the rocks/boulders and the pool coping (over the disappearing edge) a horrible ugly red. Iron content from my well is -extremely- high unfortuantely. Had to properly address that (which was not cheap), along with some magic acid washing to clean off the red stains everywhere.

4 of 5 pool lights were not working. Had to replace all of them (with LED lighting this time), one of which, immediately stopped working 1 day after it was replaced, and had to replace it again.

One of the two Jandy SWGs (PLC 1400) failed. Had to replace.

The housing on the main filter cracked/busted and was leaking water everywhere. Had to replace with a new Jandy DE Filter (Dev-60) filter.

Cracks in mortar over the disappearing-edge was causing massive water leaks resulting in 3,500-4,500 gallons of water loss PER day (tracking this down was extremely difficult) which, due to the way the pit's overflow drains work and the patio's underground plumbing works (appx 300' of PVC piping), was flooding the next door neighbors yard and turning his front year into a complete swamp.

Pool equipment pad area had so many broken things (over half the shutoff valves were broken, the pressure gauge was broken, lots of various o-ring/seal leaks on the 7 different pumps, etc.)

An unused plastic hose in the pool equipment pad (from previous equipment that hasn't been in place since the SWGs were installed 8+ years ago) had its "cap" popped off, resulting in losing around 2,500 gallons per day. (This right after the pool was filled with 6 tanker trucks btw)

Constantly dealing with a barrage of debris in the pool because it's surrounded by forest-like pine trees over 70' tall and other trees.

An 8-port Caretaker in-floor head system with 38 heads and 7 zones that had a bad main-motherboard causing it to fail.

Even after replacing the motherboard in the Caretaker in-floor head system, finding more problems with the individual head units and not having the CORRECT heads in the CORRECT locations in the pool (different heads for different flows depending on location) likely because previous pool company likely didn't document/mark which heads went where during closing/opening.

Previous owner's improper pool closing methods (or the pool company he was using at the time) resulted in a busted pipe that now forces the built Jandy Leaf-be-Gone unit and associated piping to be permanently closed off due to busted underground pipes (from freezing).

Fiber lighting in the grotto which supposedly worked (according to previous owner) but have never been able to get it working from day 1, despite spending considerable time trying to make it work and troubleshooting. -sigh-

Finding that a corroded gas line used for the in-pool firepit was the reason the firepit didn't work and gas was also leaking out!

Calcium staining all over the grotto walls which looked horrible that needed to be acid washed and cleaned.

An intermittently working iAquaLink control that initially made accessing the pool's pumps and water features, heating, etc. a 50/50 chance of success at -best-.

Lack of any documentation on the pool, or design/build specs, or as-builts, invoice of maintenance histories, and a previous owner that hadn't lived there regularly for almost 1.5 years and seemingly let most of everything go to heck during that time (or the pool maintenance company he was using) even though he kept the pool up/full during that time, etc.

Dealing with the complexity of having absolutely NO knowledge of pools, its' equipment, the plumbing (ugh!) or any understanding of chemicals, to having to suddenly learn about a free form pool of 32,000+ gallons, a disappering edge, upper pit and lower pit, 7 Jandy pumps, 2 waterfalls, beach jets, a waterslide, 3 skimmers, 4 returns, 2 SWGs, a 8-port in-floor head system with 38 heads, and feeling completely BEYOND overwhelmed constantly and nervous, and even scared if the pool was even recoverable with all its problems since buying the house.

but...then.

Having an honest pool maintenance guy that has earned my trust and is willing to help teach me about the equipment, and is even open to learning about the things I'm teaching him that I've learned on my own, and spending countless hours reading up on TFP (with amazing people on here!) and learning SO MUCH about all the things I didn't know anything about previously, and getting the Pool Math app, and a TF-PRO kit, and this new knowledge I have about how pools operate mechanically, chemically, etc. which has allowed me to fix 90% of the problems with the pool so far, and I feel like I'm -finally- rounding the corner to a "Trouble Free Pool"... *huge sigh of relief*

Regards,
J
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,667
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
That sounds like quite a pool complex you inherited. 6 pumps and 2 SWGs sounds like a bit of over design for a 32,000 gallon pool. When reading your saga I figured the pool had to be 50,000+ gallons.

Show us pics of your pool and equipment when you get a chance. We enjoy pool porn.
 
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LoneWolfArcher

Bronze Supporter
May 29, 2019
535
Michigan
Wow! You've been through the ringer already!! Well, done on sticking with it through all of that. Unfortunately, age does play a factor in all of these things. I have a lot of friends that are anti-pool ownership due to the upkeep and maintenance involved. And certainly certain types of pools require periodic drain and refinishing or liner changes, etc. And as with anything in life, the more "features" you have (heaters, gas firepits, etc) the more there is to go wrong.

Glad you found TFP and hopefully the knowledge you are gaining helps you in the future.

On the pad equipment, I would suggest trying to "shade" the equipment pad. My pad was like yours, we bought the house in 2018 and inherited a pad that was in direct sunlight for the entire day! (Luckily I have no tree within 75 yards of the pool.), and the UV over time wreaked havoc on it. I had broken valve handles, and deteriorated flex PVC. As you have found out water leaks, and air leaks too, are no fun! I finally bit the bullet this year and redid the plumbing on my pad. Luckily I have some experience working with PVC, but it is easy to learn.

Your pool sounds amazing though, with rocks and a grotto, and a disappearing edge! If you are comfortable doing it I would love to see pics of it. Sounds like the pools you see on TV where they build amazing, resort style pools for people.
 

jesser

Gold Supporter
May 2, 2021
93
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
That sounds like quite a pool complex you inherited. 6 pumps and 2 SWGs sounds like a bit of over design for a 32,000 gallon pool. When reading your saga I figured the pool had to be 50,000+ gallons.

Show us pics of your pool and equipment when you get a chance. We enjoy pool porn.

I learned that the reason they now have 2 SWGs was because the previous owner *thought* that 1 wasn't enough, but as it turned it, it's just that the previous pool company that was doing the maintenance just wasn't putting salt in the pool... so a 2nd SWG was added for the wrong reason to fix a problem that wasn't really a problem. But for now, both SWGs are running (at reduced percentages). I may eventually pull one of the SWGs and go with a single unit since one should handle the 32,000+ gallons properly but, I'm continuing to use both, for now, until I wrap up all the other "issues" with the pool and have things fully stabilized. Trying not to inject too many changes into the environment at once. Will try to get some pics sooner or later of the equipment --- also working on cleaning up that area back there and making it look nicer. (one more task to do!)

PS -- as of last night, also a Gold Supporter of TFP now!
 
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duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
350
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Welcome to the site. Anything you need to know can be found here. Post up some pics of the pool and pump pad when you have time.
 

jesser

Gold Supporter
May 2, 2021
93
Illinois
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Just a small update. Things keep getting better and better with the pool. I was finally able to determine one more source of water leaking from my pool and that's from the 4 water basins used to store water right before the 2 big waterfalls. Filling the 4 water basins takes about 1600 gallons or so (appx 400 gallons each). In less than 36 hours after filling those basins, I lose between 50-80% of the water in those basins due to cracks in the mortar and plastic. I'm getting that fixed soon.

Water is clear and as blue as it can get with my aging gray plaster.

Also, I finally have a real handle on the chemicals and I can do TF-PRO tests sooo much faster than when I first started. No more having to read instructions 4-5x per test to make sure I'm doing it right lol.

Today's numbers:
FC:10.5
pH 7.8
TA 80
CH 250 (added 10lb of calcium chloride -after- the measurement today to bring CH up a bit)
CYA 60
CSI .001
Salt 3000ppm

I also determined my (well) auto-fill water is at:
pH 7.7
TA 400
CH 150

Knowing that information now will help me understand what might happen to my water as fill water is added...

My well has a .56 ppm for iron (just tested yesteday via reagents), but I'm at 0.00ppm iron after the water goes through my massive iron-filters in the basement. So no more iron stains on my boulders/disappearing edge and coping, etc.

Also, since bringing down my TA from around 240 or so to 80, my pH doesn't go up nearly as high or as quickly and it's been easier to manage.
 
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