Starting up pool after 2+ years dormant - Has anyone done this? Is it possible?

cheekynewb

Member
May 19, 2013
12
Houston, TX
I don't know if dormant is right word.. Lots has been happening in there.
Present status:
1) Got rid of the bullfrogs
2) Shocking it every now and then to keep mosquitoes from breeding and frogs from returning
3) Green water color and lots of silty muddy material. Smells awful when pulled out

Plan of action:
1) Net out as much silt and debris as possible. May try to hire a teenager for this part
2) Lots of brushing

Not sure where to proceed from there. I think the spa pump may need replacing, and will have to get the Phantom worked on.

I have been through quite a bit, which isn't important, but please try not to judge me for letting my beloved pool get this way. Just assume life circumstance made it necessary. Thanks :)
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
Sebring, Florida
Your mechanicals should be in working order first. Pump running, filter cleaned up, etc.

Step two you have already started, netting out ALL the solid debris.

Step three is a complete set of test results from your own good kit.....not pool store testing. (stay away from their advice as well)

Step 4 will be to clean the water up but it comes last.
 

EVChargeGuy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 16, 2014
340
Long Island, NY
Welcome to TFP

No Judging here as I did it after 8 years! i got all the equipment working but there was just too much silt on the bottom, so we drained the pool, scraped the stuff up, had it acid washed and then a fresh fill. we did this all within 24 hrs and we have no issue with the water table pushing out an empty pool
This our second year after the rebirth and have been following the TFP method since.
I'm sure some of the senior members will jump in with sound advice
 

cheekynewb

Member
May 19, 2013
12
Houston, TX
Wow, EV, that's amazing! I have personally seen a pool that popped up once and it's a terrifying thing. But it doesn't matter, I need to do this a little less expensively. I really do think draining and refilling would be the best thing.

So everyone thinks it's ok to just turn on the main pump? I mean just clean out the skimmer baskets and go for it? let me clarify - I don't understand what the drains on the bottom of the spa and pool do. I'm worried they will suck up debris that will either clog the pipes or even get stuck in the pump.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,529
Evans, Georgia
Have you worked to get out any solid debris to avoid blocking the skimmer, pump basket and main drain if nothing else? If you have a sump pump you could work with it to drain at least to help determine if the pool is free of debris as it lowers...then give the main drain a run to see how its working.
 

robertmee

Well-known member
Jun 26, 2015
368
Raleigh
The main drain should have a strainer over it to keep out large debris....and your pump should have a strainer basket to keep crud out of the pump. So at the very least inspect your pump basket as a hole in it can lead to broken impellers. If you can't visually see your drain cover you'll just have to chance it's in place. Get all the debris out with a leaf rake and give it a whirl.
 

cheekynewb

Member
May 19, 2013
12
Houston, TX
Thanks, that makes sense. I believe the drain covers in the pool are fine, but one has come off in the hot tub. I bought new ones, but I don't think I can just get in there and replace them with no visibility. I just turned on the main pump and nothing. Zilch. :( Not sure what that means - do I call the pool repair people to replace it? Or do I call an electrician?

Here's a pic I took this afternoon. It wouldn't be so awful except it's a pool, not a lake, haha DSCN7586.jpg

- - - Updated - - -

That seems so weird. The pump was working ok last time I turned it on.
 

cheekynewb

Member
May 19, 2013
12
Houston, TX
Thanks, Skippy! Timers looked fine from what I could tell. It's not the breakers since the water fall works fine, but I found this below. I stuck it back in for what it was worth.

DSCN7591.jpg
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,529
Evans, Georgia
Does it "hum" but not work ? Skippy says that would imply the motor seized up.
If it doesn't do anything check fuses, etc cause its not getting electricity.

If the conduit was pulled back as the pic shows, could the wiring inside have also been pulled loose?

Yippee :flower: (Skippy's other half)
 

robertmee

Well-known member
Jun 26, 2015
368
Raleigh
The picture you posted is where the flexible conduit has rotted and broke free of the conduit fitting. You can unscrew the fitting and pull the broken end out and cut it off with some snips. Then push the conduit back into the fitting and screw back together. Do it with power off.

That won't however fix the pump. If you are getting no hum then your power is off somewhere. Or the wire is broke somewhere to the pump.
 

cheekynewb

Member
May 19, 2013
12
Houston, TX
Ok, I feel dumb, that picture up there is the spa pump, lol. It hums and is blazing hot just from being turned on for a total of maybe 7 seconds. I assume that means it's burned out. I can't see any obvious other problems.

I was really hoping to get through this without hiring a professional. A few months ago I had a ceiling leak and the first guy that I called was going to charge me about $2800 to fix it. Said my plumbing was all messed up and needed rerouting. I got up in the attic myself and could see it was an a/c drain clog and got a plumber to unclog it for $300

The plumber only did plumbing, but the other guy did plumbing and construction, so he created a crazy big fake problem that was going to involve a lot of both. Should I get an electrician out here first, rather than someone who sells new pumps, does electrical work AND plumbing, lol? I guess I just need someone honest.
 

robertmee

Well-known member
Jun 26, 2015
368
Raleigh
If your spa pump is running hot it's running dry. Did you prime it before turning it on? A centrifugal pump requires a head of water to move water otherwise it'll just suck air. That'll overheat the pump.

There are alot of members on here in the Houston area. Hopefully one of them can help out locally or at least recommend someone.
 

Pool Amateur

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 19, 2015
633
Central, NJ
Did it about 6 weeks ago. One of the biggest things that helped was a large mouthed fishing net, with fairly large netting holes about 2" x 2". Rigged it on a pool rake pole. It would let the water and silt through but catch the leaves sticks and other things that were in the pool. The leaf rake was useless I ruined one. The silt would clog net of leaf rake holes and fill up with water and be very heavy pulling out of water did little to get the leaves that were mostly decomposed. After that I vacuumed the silt out through back wash but be careful to have the skimmer basket in the vacuum line as it collected a lot of left over leaves. Had to stop frequently to clean skimmer basket. Also when backwashing to waste I had another person watch the back wash water and when It would hit the heavy pockets of silt the water would turn black then as it would clear we would move on. Hope this helps and good luck.
For the pump did anyone check impeller to be sure a stick of stone did not get through and Jamming impeller. May be something easy to check.
 

cheekynewb

Member
May 19, 2013
12
Houston, TX
Thanks, Robert. I think someone left that pump on when the main pump wasn't running and burned it out. It wouldn't be the first time. But I just ran it for a very short moment and how it got that hot that fast is weird.

I just called a nearby pool service place and they are certain, without even looking at my pool, that it needs to be drained and acid washed. While I'm not against having that done, I'm trying to not spend anymore money than necessary.

These guys will charge $125 to replace the pump motor not including parts and they told me it would be pump murder to turn it on before they've come in, drained my pool and acid washed it. I can't tell whether I'm being given kind, helpful info or whether they are trying to scare me.

On a positive note, I watched a video on how to clean the filter grids. I think that's something I can do! I just hope they don't need replacing.

I really appreciate the responses ! Y'all are so helpful. Soon I will owe all of you cake!
 

cheekynewb

Member
May 19, 2013
12
Houston, TX
Did it about 6 weeks ago. One of the biggest things that helped was a large mouthed fishing net, with fairly large netting holes about 2" x 2". Rigged it on a pool rake pole. It would let the water and silt through but catch the leaves sticks and other things that were in the pool. The leaf rake was useless I ruined one. The silt would clog net of leaf rake holes and fill up with water and be very heavy pulling out of water did little to get the leaves that were mostly decomposed. After that I vacuumed the silt out through back wash but be careful to have the skimmer basket in the vacuum line as it collected a lot of left over leaves. Had to stop frequently to clean skimmer basket. Also when backwashing to waste I had another person watch the back wash water and when It would hit the heavy pockets of silt the water would turn black then as it would clear we would move on. Hope this helps and good luck.
For the pump did anyone check impeller to be sure a stick of stone did not get through and Jamming impeller. May be something easy to check.
What great idea! Thanks! I have a long hose pool cleaner thing, not sure how to use it

Update. it seems I have a long hose- the cleaning end seems to have had an accident. I can get another one of those, but any hints in the direction of where the other end goes would be much appreciated! :)
DSCN7595 - Copy.jpg
 

robertmee

Well-known member
Jun 26, 2015
368
Raleigh
The other end would go into your skimmer more than likely. If you pull out the skimmer basket you should see a hole that the hose fits into.
 

Pool Amateur

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 19, 2015
633
Central, NJ
If you can get the plate that goes over the skimmer basket, the hose attaches to that and the other end to the vacuum head. that way skimme basket stays in system and filters out the leaves.
 

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