Taking over maintenance of pool

AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello, I am in the process of a divorce and I am taking over the maintenance of our 25,000 gallon inground pool.

Last summer my husband completely stopped caring for the pool and my son and I took over. I brought the test into our local Leslie's and was told the pool needed to be drained and I needed to do an acid wash as the CYA levels are too high (but it was too hot to drain at that point).

I purchased the trouble free pool kit and have accurate readings and would like recommendations on what I should do regarding, how much to drain. Also, there is a tiny amount of green algae growing on the walls which I assume is just due to the lack of chlorine.

free chlorine 0.12
Total 0.97
PH 7.8
Calcium hardness 789
CYA 161
Phosphates 24
Total dissolved solids 2000

Originally I thought I would post here and see what percentage was recommended to drain but because of the calcium hardness and total dissolved solids I’m wondering if I should not just drain the entire pool. from looking at other threads on this site, does does not seem like I should do any type of acid wash on the walls. The person at Leslie says that the CYA “sticks” to the walls and that’s why I need to acid wash it.

Thank you so much for your advice and assistance!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,027
Evans, Georgia
April, welcome to TroubleFreePools.com :snorkle:

I need more information on your pool, its finish, size, equipment in use and how you chlorinate?

Why did you list Pool Store test results instead of using your own test kit?? We need YOUR results because pool stores are often wrong. They like to "find problems" then sell you the "cure" which may or may not work. Or is a waste of money to worry about as its inconsequential, such as "Total Dissolved Solids"- Waste of time!

Maddie 🖖
 
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AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you. These are my test results I just put the total dissolved solids on as I had that from the end of last season‘s Leslie‘s report.
My pool is 25,000 gallons, plaster and my husband had been using tablets and powdered chlorine/shock but I am using liquid now. We have an old sand filter- Triton II
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Howdy April! Hang tight we can guide you through this mess. As Maddie said post your your results and we can tell you the best way to drain your water and get your chems back in line...Then we will start you on the path to managing the pool on your own..

Yes you probably have algae, and with a CYA level that high its supressing the effectiveness of the chlorine you have in there.. Which looks like not much
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,321
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
How did you do your CYA test? 161 is not a result you would get from the test kit.

Once we have those we can help with the likely water exchange and SLAM. And no, the CYA is in the water and not stuck to the sides of the pool... pool stores 🤪
 

AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Ok.... A little issue with asking my son to write the test results down. They’ve now been redone and here they are.

Chlorine (daily test) is is in the .5 - 1 range (bottom cell).

I did not do the chlorine drop test just because I am not really recording any chlorine. If you want me to do this one as well, let me know.

PH is 7.5

calcium hardness is 1625

total alkalinity is 240

CYA: not not able to get a very accurate result because it’s so high. The first time I did this as directed with the instructions in the test kit and it is almost halfway to the bottom line on the cylinder. The second time I did it I filled the CYA mixing bottle with half pool water and half tapwater before adding the CYA reagent. This result makes it to about 2/3 of the way to the bottom line. I have attached two pictures but it’s really hard to see because of the meniscus and taking pictures of water in a cylinder....
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,112
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Sorry but you need to replace the water in this pool.
Home Depot rentals has sump pumps. They usually supply hoses. Find out where can drain the water to. Every municipality has different requirements. Once drained, refill with fresh water. CYA does not stick to the walls.
 
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AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
That’s what I was thinking I had to do. I didn’t know if I should leave a certain percentage in so that I don’t have to add CYA but i’ve already got the price from Home Depot to rent the pump. I just want you experts here to confirm the drain!
 
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AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
There are a few— less than 6 inch diameter patches— of green algae on the wall. Should I scrub it off with bleach before draining the pool or is there something else I should do?
 

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BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
112
San Jose, CA
Posting just to add the why which I think is really important for you to understand so you know we're not also just blindly giving you instructions to follow. Part of the TFP mindset is understanding what your pool needs, when and WHY.

The two tests that are the most concerning, are your calcium (CH) levels which at 1625 are about 4 times where we'd like them to be, far harder than tap water and really creates a very high likelihood of scaling on your pool and equipment, and your CYA (cyanuric acid) which is needed to help the chlorine in your water not get immediately zapped by the sun, but which at too high levels means the amount of chlorine you need to maintain is higher and higher. Here you have a level that is so high that you'd actually need to do a triple-diluted (3:1) ratio test to get a result, but the point remains that above 100, which it is by maybe 2-3x, the majority of your water has to come out.

Given your tap water will likely have a fair amount of CH in it already, to bring your levels down to the recommended amount will indeed likely require draining and refilling of almost all the water in there. The good news is that if you get all your ducks in a row, this can be done over a weekend. As mknauss says, it's a sump pump to drain - you can rent or buy for little more than what you'd pay for the rental itself, and then a couple of garden hoses in the pool to refill. Others with better knowledge of the water table and weather will be able to help you plan when and how to do it (there is a potential risk of the pool bursting out of the ground if the water table is weird, and you don't want to do it while it's too hot if the pool is in sunlight).

We do not recommend acid washing blindly, and unless there is an actual reason to think you might need to do that, it could be worse for your pool than it helps. Either way - it's a professional job.

Also, let's take a moment to realize that the Leslie's test above is off by a factor of DOUBLE potentially both your CH and CYA. See now why we don't trust them? :)

Either way - keep posting, keep asking, we'll get your pool back on its feet in no time. Make sure your son follows along. It's kinda fun and very rewarding to see the water sparkle when it's all done!
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
CYA: not not able to get a very accurate result because it’s so high. T
you would need to do a diluted test to get a guestimate of that.

You may have to go 3 to 1 or 4 to 1.. and you increase the multiplier accordingly. But with each iteration it get less and less accurate. But do your best.
 
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BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
112
San Jose, CA
I'm curious- how much *does it cost* to rent from HD? I tell folks all the time they *can* but I've never done so myself.

Maddie ✌️
My local HD store charges:

$19 for 4 hours (not enough time)
$27 Per Day (will need several days unless you rent a big pump with all the right hoses to keep the flow rate high)
$108 Per Week

An equivalent pump costs about $100 to buy brand new.

My drain of 15,000 gallons (75% of 20,000 gallons) took a little over 48 hours to drain at a little over 6gpm. A faster pump would have done better perhaps but would have cost more to buy or rent. For that time period, I'd have spent $81 in rental fees.

Since the rain here is unpredictable and I know we have a CH accumulation issue, I'll likely need to do some amount of draining every year. So for me buying was the most economically sensible.
 

AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I'm curious- how much *does it cost* to rent from HD? I tell folks all the time they *can* but I've never done so myself.

Maddie ✌️
Hi Maddie- in AZ the cost to rent the submersible pump is $57.50 and includes tax. It pumps about 53 gallons/min and comes with 100ft of hose.
 
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BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
112
San Jose, CA
I didn’t know if I should leave a certain percentage in so that I don’t have to add CYA
If you test your fill (tap) water for CH then you can use the PoolMath app to calculate the correct amount of water to drain out of the pool. Given you're starting so high, it's going to be a lot. For example, even if your fill CH is only 100 (it may very well be higher), to hit a target of 350 CH once you're all finished would require you to drain 84% of the current water. The remaining 15% of water may indeed have a reasonable amount of CYA in it (would bring 300 down to 45) but tracking the exact quantities etc. involves knowing a very good guess as to your pool water volume, figuring out the timing pretty exactly for the drain etc., and since the WORST thing you would want is to not end up draining enough and going through it all to still have elevated levels in your water, I can understand why many would just recommend you get rid of the lot and start from a (known) fresh source.

You'll also be able to confirm the exact size of your pool by checking your water meter when you start the refill vs the end!
 
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AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hi Maddie- in AZ the cost to rent the submersible pump is $57.50 and includes tax. It pumps about 53 gallons/min and comes with 100ft of hose.
Also the rental is good for 24 hours. Should take about 8 hours...
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,027
Evans, Georgia
Yes, folks like @AprilSte will have to drain every 2nd or 3rd year based on test results if her CH raises as expected in her climate. The water is often hard to begin with, then evaporation compounds the problem as it removes water but leaves calcium and salt behind.

Keeping the pH on the lower end of normal and using PoolMath's CSI calculator will help avoid some problems.

Maddie ✌️
 
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AprilSte

Member
Feb 19, 2021
13
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you to everyone who helped! I just tested the calcium hardness of our tapwater and it is at 325! I’m going to rent the pump in the next few days and drain it. It’s suppossed to be cloudy here on Thursday. We are a little bit above 80° but The draining will take place once the sun is off the pool. If I start at 5 PM it should be done around 2AM ( if the pump I rent from Home Depot actually does pump 53 gallons a minute). I will set an alarm and start refilling it at that time!
There’s no issue with the water table where I am...

once I get it filled I will be back for your exceptional guidance on how to get it started! THANK YOU!
 

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