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flowerchick 10-24-2011 09:15 AM

Pool Cleanup Job -- What to Do?
 
I've recently moved into a home that needs work and I'm taking on some projects of my own and hiring people to help me with some of the work. Some of the workers are day laborers, some are skilled technicians, and others are handymen or men with specialized services, etc.

I'm a mature single woman who can typically find out much informatin for herself so I thought I would join the site here to get some good solid advice on several projects I'm considering but also to get practical and helpful advice so I don't get taken advantage of during this economy.

One of the projects that needs my immediate attention is my pool. Already my pool man abandoned me since I was not onsite to oversee his work and with that the pool turned green and now I have a pool I had to let go for about five months, which is now full of algae. Welcome to Swampland USA West...

I'm not sure exactly what needs to be done to clean up this mess but it's dark green now. It's an inground cement pool, 20' x 30' pool about 9' deep and is about 50 years old. I've got a guy coming to drain the pool and clean and he's already talking "acid" wash...

Any suggestions? What can I expect and how much should I be expected to pay for services, etc?

Thanks!

FlowerChick

CoconutPete 10-24-2011 09:40 AM

Have you ever seen it empty? Has it ever been usable while you have lived there? Do you really really want to keep the pool?

danpik 10-24-2011 10:59 AM

Pools are not as hard as some people make them out to be.
You only need a couple of basic things for a pool to work properly. First is filtration. Probably one of the more important ones too. A properly functioning filter will keep the water clean. It needs regular maintenance and that will vary depending on the type of filter you have. Sand, diotomatious earth or cartridge are the 3 basic types. Sand and DE filters can and should be back washed at least every 3 days. More if the swimmer load is heavy.

Next you need sanitiser. Chlorine is the most popular. (in my area anyway) Proper chlorine levels keep the water safe to swim in ans keep the alge under control. There are other chemical sanitisers such as bromine and products such as baquacil

You should have a way to test the water quality of your pool. Titration kits are one way of doing this. It is simply adding certain amounts of a test agent to a measured vial of water and checking color. There are also test strips available that do this.

first thing I would do in you situation is make sure the filter is running properly. The owners manual should explain everything you need to know about running and cleaning it. After that I would make sure the chlorine level is up. sinse you have a green pool I would suggest shocking it. This is simply, in the case of chlorine, adding large amounts at one time. You need to know which sanitiser is in your pool before you do this as they each have their own methods of shocking.

Water quality is measured in PH and total alkalinity. If the total alkalinity gets out of wack it can cause alge blooms. This happens especialy if the total alkalinity gets too low. A good indication of theis is a wildly fluctuating PH reading. (one day up at normal levels and the nexd day way out of range. Another indication is if you find your PH is low and you add PH+ and it does not affect the PH reading.

For all of this water quality testing and to get it right, take a sample of the pool water to a local pool store and have them test it for you. Most offer this as a free service and can advise you what you need to add to clear up a pool. Afgain it is not as hard as it seems and the more you work with it the easier it is to understand what is going on with it.

As a little encouragement... This past summer we had a bad heat wave in our area and it screwed with a lot of pools around here. a neighbor of mine, divorced, had the same problem you are faced with. not knowing anything about how to run the pool properly, was at her wits end trying to get it cleared up for her daughters graduation party. When she mentioned to me what problems she was having I told her I would come over to look and see what I could do. Long story short, changed the filter cartridge, tested the water and found the total alkalinity to be too low and no chlorine in the water. Added chlorine(shocked) added sodium bicarbonate to raise the TA level (nice thing about this is it does not mess with the PH very much) PH was good at this point, came back the next day, cleaned the fiter and vacummed the bottom. On the folowing morning, the water was cristal clear and everything was in the normal range. I started this on Thursday afternoon and the water was good to go for the party on Saturday afternoon. By the way, this was a 28,000 gal in ground

DCU222 10-24-2011 11:09 AM

Pool Info.
 
Flowerchick:

Hi...I am new to the forum and your post is the first one I read--I do not know how old your post is, but I figured I'd reply anyway.

I used to work for a pool company a while back-cleaning and maintenance...from what I remember and from what I read...you do need to have it emptied and acid washed in oreder to remove the algae. After that-inspected for any cracks, etc....then refilled and "shocked" with different chemicals (usually liquid chlorine). Pool companies usually return after about a week to add other other stuff in order to make the water ph balanced, like soda ash or bicarbonate.
You'll of course need a filter system if you do not have one already-pump, sand filter, etc.

Most companies offer weekly services for cleaning as well as opening/closing the pool.

hope this info. helps a bit if you have not already figured it all out.



Quote:

Originally Posted by flowerchick (Post 755464)
I've recently moved into a home that needs work and I'm taking on some projects of my own and hiring people to help me with some of the work. Some of the workers are day laborers, some are skilled technicians, and others are handymen or men with specialized services, etc.

I'm a mature single woman who can typically find out much informatin for herself so I thought I would join the site here to get some good solid advice on several projects I'm considering but also to get practical and helpful advice so I don't get taken advantage of during this economy.

One of the projects that needs my immediate attention is my pool. Already my pool man abandoned me since I was not onsite to oversee his work and with that the pool turned green and now I have a pool I had to let go for about five months, which is now full of algae. Welcome to Swampland USA West...

I'm not sure exactly what needs to be done to clean up this mess but it's dark green now. It's an inground cement pool, 20' x 30' pool about 9' deep and is about 50 years old. I've got a guy coming to drain the pool and clean and he's already talking "acid" wash...

Any suggestions? What can I expect and how much should I be expected to pay for services, etc?

Thanks!

FlowerChick


gregzoll 10-24-2011 11:12 AM

There is plenty of info at http://www.troublefreepool.com/index.html

flowerchick 10-24-2011 12:51 PM

The pool is is very good condition considering its age. My father always maintaiend it well for a Southern Califronia.

I should have prefaced my original post to include that my not so kind pool man who was supposedly taking care of it abandoned his job in my absence when construction work began in the back yard. Apparently the pool became a little dirty and well, I suspect he didn't want the job because he might have to do some work....

I was an absent owner and inherited the home and he kept sending me the bills for pool care and I showed up one day to find a pool that was left unattended for several weeks given algae in the pool... after he told me he had made a minor repair to the pump for which he charged me, but apparently he did not, so then we parted ways and I've had to let the pool care lapse knowing that I was planning on substantial backyard work which was only going to muddy up the backyard even more, etc. The only thing is that my backyard job and crew took a month long job and turned it into over five months! It's amazing how workmen are able to string out and delay jobs in this economy.

So the pool IS in good condition, no cracks, the old system ought to be replaced, that I know, the filters ARE working, I simply need to know what a pool guy who is going to come on site is going to suggest for me to do to get the pool cleaned and back to a sparkling pool... what can I reasonably expect him to suggest? I know I probably need a new system, my original pool guy starting trying to sell me a new pool system the first week I met him.

Thanks guys!

flowerchick

flowerchick 10-24-2011 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoconutPete (Post 755479)
Have you ever seen it empty? Has it ever been usable while you have lived there? Do you really really want to keep the pool?

Yes, see my reply below.
Pool IS in good working order. It's a lovely large pool, makes this home very special. From what I gather and what I know it's not going to take much to get this pool back in order. It was beautiful about 5 months ago until my pool guy abandoned me without any notice for at least a few weeks, and then had the nerve to continue to charge me for a repair and send me bills for service beyond... I was an absent homeowner so I had him locked him out of the gate, and then he shows up to do his weekly service a few weeks later... Unbelievable but true.

flowerchick 10-24-2011 11:02 PM

I met with a pool guy tonight who shall clean the pool with chlorine (no acid or pressure wash just yet is needed) and it seems that all we may need to do is buy a buy a pump at some point, but that is still questionable. Now that I know this I'm sure I can probably order a new pump on eBay when needed but now I need to know what kind to buy.

I've learned I've got about 45,000 gallon pool. For years I've heard the song and dance of needed pool repairs from overzealous pool guys just itching to sell me something I suspected I really never needed... Now it's time to get smart about these things and find out what's really going on and become empowered.

I absolutely love these forums because information is knowledge and that's so powerful, especially in this economy when times are tough and we really need cash for important things like groceries, health care, housing.

Thanks for all your excellent information and advice.

Best wishes,

FlowerChick

Jim F 10-24-2011 11:07 PM

It really just sounds like it needs to be shocked, or superclorinated as whe do here in the frigid Northeast to open a pool for the summer.


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