Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

Nigel_Mulvey

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 27, 2014
17
Sydney, Australia
#1
I hope this is the right place to post this. I alluded to my problems in an introductory message but I though it would be better to start a thread here, forgive me if I'm on the wrong track.


My pool has been neglected for about a year and a half. I had started throwing money at my local pool shop once again before I discovered this group. I have learned a lot already (thank you for that) and I have decided to follow the practices outlined here. I have ordered a testing kit and expect it will be a week or so before it arrives here.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to ensure that what I have done to the pool thus far is not a waste of time (or too much money) and I've been trying to keep it in a state of shock until such time as the new kit arrives. The water is no longer dark green, it is still cloudy but it appears the algae has gone for the time being. There will be debris on the bottom, I have already removed lots of leaf waste and other stuff by scooping blindly but obviously because I can't see I'm not sure how much is left.

Over the holidays I have been arbitrarily adding bleach and running the filter 24/7, cleaning the cartridge as necessary.

I've just come back from the local store where I had a test done, the results are:

1.9 FC
6.9 CC (says Total Chlorine on the print out, I assume this is the same)
7.7 PH
130 TA
325 CH (says Total Hardness on the print out, I assume this is the same)
35 CYA

I am about to add some acid to drop the PH to 7.3 before adding some chlorine ( amounts obtained from PoolMath).

I would be grateful if anyone could confirm that this is a reasonable strategy to keep things under control until my testing kit arrives.

Many thanks in anticipation.
 

zethacat

LifeTime Supporter
#2
Welcome to TFP!

Sounds like you're a man with a plan!

CC is actually "Combined Chlorine". Think of it as chlorine that is busy killing stuff. FC is "Free Chlorine", or chlorine that is available to kill stuff. FC + CC = TC (Total Chlorine). If you're measuring your FC and CC individually, which would be the case with a drop test kit (e.g. TF100), then TC is of no consequence unless it is over 10ppm, in which case you may get a false high PH reading.

I'd be surprised if your CC was really 6.9. Don't trust the pool store test results.

And if you haven't given this a read, now would be a good time: http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/123-abc-of-pool-water-chemistry
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#3
TC = FC + CC, so your CC level is 5.0 according to the pool store. That is possible, but unlikely as zethacat suggests.

Total hardness (TH) and CH (calcium hardness) are not the same thing, though they are closely related. TH includes other kinds of hardness, typically 1/3 of TH is not calcium, though that varies.

The most valuable step to take before your test kit arrives is to get as many leaves as you possibly can out of the pool. As long as you continue to get leaves out of the pool, it is worth continuing to work on it even if you can't see what you are doing.

I don't normally recommend adding chlorine without a test kit, but it sounds like you have been making good progress that way, and it can't really hurt anything, so you might as well continue.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,844
Grand Rapids, MI
#4
Nigel, I know your pain as I recovered a foreclosure swamp a few years back ;) Ditto on the blind leaf removal...your progress will increase exponentially in direct proportion to leaf removal! I got 20 wheel barrels full outta mine. While in the process of leaf removal, you're also stirring up the silt, which sometimes makes its cloudier and harder to "see."

Like you, I had added chlorine/beach blind while awaiting a proper test kit. What I'd done was added roughly SLAM level amount of bleach plus 50% daily by using the pool calculator, then topping that up. You can tell if its working based on daily color change -- I'll try to link a picture I made showing the color change.

One thing I did that was a little contrary to the regular TFP method was at one point when I'd though I'd gotten most of the leaves and had a good dose of chlorine in there was used Floc and turned the pump off overnight to help everything settle to see the bottom. At the time I'd had only the pool vac, and the few prior attempts to vacuum blind clogged, so I'd stopped. I'd wanted to try to actually see what was on the bottom because it was anyone's guess what was down there. (In actual fact, it was likely the consistent chlorine that increased my visibility, but even though I abandoned a second floc, it's possible that my first one early on in the pics helped settle out from the brown color, which is why. Still mention it...those pics below are over a 12 day period in cold spring with virtually no cya, which in this case likely made the process speedier at lower shock value.)

(Ironically, one of the things I found was a full bottle of floc which was kinda hilarious ;) )

Equally funny in retrospect was the fact that after the floc, I could then see there was still a huge pile of leaves in one corner. (You can see the shadow in the pic)

Normally, we don't recommend floc, because adequate chlorine will do the trick, but with a lot of debris, a sand filter, and a need to see and make sure I wasn't dragging lawn chairs or metal toys across the vinyl every time I used the leaf net It made sense in my case.

I also used a leaf gulper (a garden hose attaches to create a bit of mild suction/vortex ... It gave my back a break) to get the last few barrels of leaves before vacuuming was safe.

Hope that helps you while awaiting your kit! I should mention that I've never had to SLAM since thanks to the terrific advice, info and good folks at TFP. My pool really is trouble free now, and so will yours be ;)

- - - Updated - - -

image.jpg
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,185
Longview, Texas
#6
Hi Nigel!
Welome to TFP and Happy New Year!

I echo what everyone else has already mentioned. Understanding your lack of a test kit for the time being, just keep on adding chlorine using pool math as a guide.
Its really important to get as much leaves and gunk out as you can, and keep your chlorine in there as best you can to keep the algae at bay.

You're definitely on the right track, and doing the right things!

Looking forward to see pics that nice sparkly pool of yours!
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,844
Grand Rapids, MI
#7
Actually, zetacat, WE as in TFP really transformed that pool ;) It's become a local legend among pool techs as it was known as the "poo pool project" and its miraculous recovery (had ammonia, reeked to high heaven when uncovered). We still use the original builders to close it each year and this year a new trainee tech told me this...one day I'll convert them ;)
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#8
Welcome Nigel!

Just here to say, it can be done. Easier and cheaper than you might imagine. We have a lot of proof if you look around. Hope you stay, learn, and enjoy the forum. :goodjob:
 

Nigel_Mulvey

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 27, 2014
17
Sydney, Australia
#9
Thanks for the tips and support. I'm still waiting for my testing kit so I'm still treading water so to speak. Thanks for sharing the photos Swampwoman, the top row looks very familiar. I think mine is currently closest to the top right picture. I'll keep hauling leaf waste and post again when the kit arrives.

Many thanks,
 

Smykowski

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#10
Good luck with whatever you decide to do. If you try to rescue it, we'll be here to help every step of the way.

Please take a picture now, and if you do rescue it, post lots of pictures of the progress. You will get a LOT of people that will follow along.
 

pwrstrk

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2012
4,758
Elverson Pa.
#12
Yep that looks to be good improvement from how you described it to be !
I haven't welcomed you aboard yet so welcome to TFP !!
You have gotten some good advice so all I want to add is keep up the good work. I hope you stay the course and get this cleaned up. You'll get lots of help and encouragement from the forum.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,558
Tallahassee, FL
#14
Take a picture at your step. Take your pictures at that same spot so we all can watch it clear with you!

You are on the way! Good job ordering the test kit!

Kim
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#15
Yes, I agree with others...that isn't so bad at all. As you know, it's most important to remove all debris possible. Doing so will improve your speed of progress tremendously, and really bog you down if you don't.

You're well on your way now, and I bet you'll be glad you decided to open it on up. Good job! :goodjob:
 

bdex

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2014
389
Peoria, IL
#16
Welcome to the forum. That is a beautiful shade of pale grey/light green. You are in good shape. Like many have said, get as many of the leaves off the bottom as you possibly can, brush the walls and keep hitting it with slam+ chlorine levels. And as mentioned pics at the ladder or stairs will help everyone see how fast it clears.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Nigel_Mulvey

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 27, 2014
17
Sydney, Australia
#19
I'm following the instructions in the 'Turn your green swamp ...' post and I've just tested for CYA and Ph with readings of <30 and 7.3 respectively. With the CYA test, the tube I'd full and I can still make out the black dot very faintly. According to Pool Math and assuming a CYA of around 25, I need to up the CYA by adding 175g of stabiliser. I should then calculate the appropriate shock level and add chlorine appropriately. Am I on the right track here?

I scooped more leaves out last night and each time I am finding much less waste down there.
 

pwrstrk

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2012
4,758
Elverson Pa.
#20
Don't take your CYA any higher than 30 for SLAMing. You'll use less bleach there. A CYA level of 20-30 is perfect for the SLAM process. Your PH of 7.3 is also in a good spot for SLAMing.