What to start stocking up on to open swamp pool next spring

dan0788

Member
Sep 9, 2021
18
NJ
I recently moved into a new house with an IG pool swamp that will be untouched for 4 years come spring time when we want to open. We didnt attempt to touch it this year but the few times I've pulled the cover back it just looks like black sludge. You cant even see the top of the first step and theres large plant-like algae growing all the way up to the surface.

I've read through a few of the other swap threads and I have quite the project ahead of me. The previous owner left little to nothing in terms of pool supplies so just assume im starting from scratch. The few threads I read the had gone through 40-60 gallons of bleach over a month long period. Some stores in my area still have limitations on bleach/cleaning products so I dont want to run into any shortage issues come go-time. Will buying and storing be an issue in how effective it will be?

Other than bleach - test kit, leaf rake, good pole, scrub brush, vacuum, leaf vacuum w/ bags. Anything else recommended?
 

Newdude

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TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,229
NY
Hey Dan !!! We can certainly help you fight. It’s just another day at the office for the TFP helping army. But consider the few methods of draining. There is something for everyone and just starting fresh would be huge. Pretty much no matter what you’ll need a submersible pump. Stalk them over the winter and find one on a good deal. 1/4 to 1/3 Hp will do the trick but of course even bigger is better.
 
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V___25

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May 30, 2020
237
Central PA
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I'll be interested to watch this transformation in the spring so make sure you take pictures along the way, k? But as Newdude said, TFP has cleared up the worst of the worst and the people here will help you too if you're willing to follow the process.

When you get a test kit, make sure you have a good supply of reagents - you may want to consider the TF-100 XL if it's available. Or at least by extra of the FAS-DPD reagents.
Also, when buying bleach if you can find it, you might get a stronger percentage if you buy liquid chlorine instead. WalMart Pool Essentials or HDX at Lowes/Home Depot is usually 10% and regular bleach is somewhere around 6%. Some people are lucky enough to get 12.5% but I haven't found that in good ol' PA :) I know Walmart has already started to pull their summer stock for holiday decorations so you may not even be able to find that right now.

As far as stocking up, chlorine and bleach will degrade over time, less if it's in a temperature controlled environment but if you start with 6% bleach in the fall, by spring odds are it won't be 6%. But if you start in early spring, the Walmart's and Home Depot's will usually start putting out pool stuff pretty early so you can probably get fresh stuff at that point.

Good luck and keep us updated on the progress
 

Katodude

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Aug 22, 2017
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Like @Newdude said, getting as much drained out as possible will be your best bet.

I would also consider buying your LC in bulk, like a 55 gallon drum. Start calling around this winter to see if you can find some places that sell it that way.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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TexEdmond

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Jun 16, 2021
519
Edmond, OK
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Anything else recommended?
All of the above. When you get your test kit, it's a good idea to know your fill water's chemistry, specifically alkalinity and calcium hardness. That will help you plan the other chems you'll need like muriatic acid for high TA and pH control. Calcium hardness isn't super critical in your situation with a vinyl liner (thanks for updating your signature!!!), but it's good to know for overall CSI calculations if you ever decide to upgrade to SWG.

Welcome to the club! We can't wait to see pics of your pool!
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
544
Chicago, IL
Great advice already so I'll just reiterate figuring out the condition of your equipment. Was it winterized properly? Is everything hooked up? (I always bring my pump in for the winter) Are gaskets brittle and in need of replacement? The system hasn't seen pressure in 4 years right?

You are smart to think about things now, last place you want to be is all ready to start clearing things in spring, you turn on the system and something is wrong w pump or there are little leaks that prevent you from moving water.

Partial drain could make sense, depends on water condition next spring.
 

dan0788

Member
Sep 9, 2021
18
NJ
Thanks for all of the feedback everyone! Lots to digest and learn

Great advice already so I'll just reiterate figuring out the condition of your equipment. Was it winterized properly? Is everything hooked up? (I always bring my pump in for the winter) Are gaskets brittle and in need of replacement? The system hasn't seen pressure in 4 years right?

You are smart to think about things now, last place you want to be is all ready to start clearing things in spring, you turn on the system and something is wrong w pump or there are little leaks that prevent you from moving water.

Partial drain could make sense, depends on water condition next spring.
According to the pool inspector everything looked to be in "serviceable" condition but he wasn't able to run anything because it was winterized. He said from what he saw everything was winterized properly but it has been sitting in that state for 3+ years by the time we re-open. How to I even go about disconnecting anything and testing it over the winter? And will that mess with the current winterization? I will take pictures of the equipment tomorrow. The house as a whole was filthy and neglected so im sure the filter is just as gross. Thats something we'll definitely want to clean.

Like @Newdude said, getting as much drained out as possible will be your best bet.

I would also consider buying your LC in bulk, like a 55 gallon drum. Start calling around this winter to see if you can find some places that sell it that way.
Unfortunately the pool is in pretty rough shape so I'm going to try to avoid lowering the water level as much as possible. The water replacement method should definitely help though. This is meant to be a season or two of "learning the land" before we eventually have to replace the pool.

Great idea on the 55g drum, that will certainly help with storage. I shouldn't have a problem going through that much in a season or two with the current swamp conditions right?

All of the above. When you get your test kit, it's a good idea to know your fill water's chemistry, specifically alkalinity and calcium hardness. That will help you plan the other chems you'll need like muriatic acid for high TA and pH control. Calcium hardness isn't super critical in your situation with a vinyl liner (thanks for updating your signature!!!), but it's good to know for overall CSI calculations if you ever decide to upgrade to SWG.

Welcome to the club! We can't wait to see pics of your pool!
Thanks for the tips! The water was tested when we inspected it and the Alkalinity was 0 and the CH was 250. Those readings will be a year old by the time we open if that makes any difference!

I'd open it early because it will take a long time to get it clear. Is your filter set up to vacuum to waste? How deep is the pool?
I plan to open it as early as I can bear the weather so its as close to ready once its swim weather. I'll have to check the filter and take more pictures tomorrow. 8' deep end depth.
 
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Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
1,717
West Palm Beach/Florida
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Great idea on the 55g drum, that will certainly help with storage. I shouldn't have a problem going through that much in a season or two with the current swamp conditions right?

Depending on how much water you exchange, you may end up using most of that just to clear the pool. Also I would not buy it early and store it as it degrades. Just research where to buy one and buy it just before you need to start using it.
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
544
Chicago, IL
How to I even go about disconnecting anything and testing it over the winter?
I just meant to build in extra time in the spring thaw to account for potential equipment needs and repairs, nothing you really want to, or can do in the winter. It's good that you had it inspected and they didn't see anything obviously wrong and it appears to have been winterized properly.
 

dan0788

Member
Sep 9, 2021
18
NJ
I just meant to build in extra time in the spring thaw to account for potential equipment needs and repairs, nothing you really want to, or can do in the winter. It's good that you had it inspected and they didn't see anything obviously wrong and it appears to have been winterized properly.
Ah okay that makes sense, thanks!

Here's the current condition of the equipment. Skimmers are plugged and I was told the plumbing is filled with antifreeze. Is there anything else I should be doing or inspecting before spring?
Anything else I will need on hand besides a test kit and FC? Worth having all replacement gaskets and new DE grids on hand?

I have an electrician friend doing some work at the house - is it worth having him upgrade the existing fuse box with a timer etc? Or since we're totally renovating the pool in a few years its better to wait incase we need something much different?
 

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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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I would have your electrician friend bring the pump electrical up to code for safety and replace the fuse box with a CB subpanel and a GFCI CB.

Have him check that the pump is bonded to the pool.
 
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dan0788

Member
Sep 9, 2021
18
NJ
I would have your electrician friend bring the pump electrical up to code for safety and replace the fuse box with a CB subpanel and a GFCI CB.

Have him check that the pump is bonded to the pool.
Thanks will do. I get sketched out just thinking of flipping that existing switch lol
Here's a mention of the pump bonding in the report. Would that potentially need to be bonded to the walls of the pool or just something else thats already bonded? I can already see the rabbit hole getting deeper and deeper.
 

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Mdragger88

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Jun 1, 2018
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Just a suggestion but it may be a good idea to have some flex pvc, fittings, unions, primer & glue on hand as that is meant to be glued not secured with hose clamps - it all looks pretty brittle & leaky . 😬
 

dan0788

Member
Sep 9, 2021
18
NJ
Just a suggestion but it may be a good idea to have some flex pvc, fittings, unions, primer & glue on hand as that is meant to be glued not secured with hose clamps - it all looks pretty brittle & leaky . 😬
So I decided to do some poking around today and this is what I dug up. Lots more fittings, hose clamps and silicone. The black pipe in the ground felt pretty brittle so fingers crossed it’s okay. They T off into two skimmers and two returns.

I’ll plan to replace everything that’s visible at a minimum. There’s another 4ft of grass between here and the decking. Should I dig that as well just to be safe?

Whats the best way to attach rigid pvc to the existing ground piping and do I need new fittings on the backwash valve?
 

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