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Restarting a neglected pool, 18' above ground

Restarting a neglected pool, 18' above ground


Old 05-11-07, 03:45 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Restarting a neglected pool, 18' above ground

I bought a house last and it came with an 18' above ground pool. The previous owners apparently let it go, it was not covered all winter and may not have been covered or serviced for a long time. The water is very dark and there is a mat of leaves at the bottom of the pool. The liner, as far as I can see has no defects and it holds water up to the skimmer. The pump and filter, a Hayward EC40 DE filter, ran fine for a few hours when I hooked it up. I haven't overhauled the filter yet, I understand that it needs to be cleaned and soaked in acid.

As far as the pool, what is the best course of action in this case, should I:
1. Scoop out the leaves and treat the water as it stands?

2. Should I drain the pool, clean out the dead leaves and start again with fresh water?

3. Are there any other options I should consider to get this pool running again?

Thanks in advance

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Old 05-12-07, 03:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Just dredged a wheelbarrow full of leaves off the bottom of the pool, I think I got most of it.

The water pH is under 6.8 and the alkalinity is below 10ppm. I think this is probably from the decaying leaves, I know from my fish tank that this can soften and acidify the water.

I'm ready to try setting up the pump and try filtering the water. I'm off to the store tonight to price out the alkalinity increase and pH Up. I'm sure I'll need a truckload of chlorine to get this thing under control.

Does any one think I should still drain and refill the pool instead? The tap water is about 70ppm alkalinity and 8.4pH, it would certainly take a lot less chemicals to get it right.
Old 05-13-07, 12:28 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Posts: 29
follow up again

Just a follow up on my saga in case anyone else ends up in the same situation. I haven't found any good information on re-habing a neglected pool on the net, so hopefully my experience can help someone.

I attempted to get the pool running today. I fired up the pump and filter, added DE and ran for a couple hours. The pressure gauge on the filter is dead, it always reads zero psi, I guess I will need a new one. However, the flow slowed down to a trickle after the couple hours so I bumped the filter and restarted. This started increasing in frequency until I couldn't run the pump for more than 30 minutes until the flow nearly came to a stop.

Figuring the DE was nearing the end of its useful life, I bumped one more time and hooked up the skimmer vac to suck some more sludge off the pool floor. Ugh, that did not go well, the skimmer basket was full after a few passes. The filter flow nearly stopped and brown water started comming out of the return. Keep in mind I cannot see the bottom of the pool.

I disassembled the DE filter and found just unimaginable amounts of brown sludge in the filter chamber.

Suffice to say, I have called it quits for the day and I will be calling the town water department to find out if I can fill the pool off the tap, and how much the cost of the water is. If it is okay, and the cost is reasonable I will probably be draining, cleaning, and re-filling the pool.
Old 06-04-07, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 236
You'll need to get all the gunk you can off the bottom before running DE filter, or vac to WASTE. Then it won't clog up the filter. Have you added any chlorine? You can pour bleach right into it, as that will kill all the small junk suspended in the water. Then you'll eventually be able to see the bottom better for using the net and removing leaves, etc. Once it's somewhat clean, then use the filter to clean water. You don't need calcium in an ag pool, only for gunite as this keeps calcium from being sucked out of the curing concrete. Be alot easier vaccuming to waste, then adding fresh water.
Old 06-04-07, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
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This depends on the rate you pay for water, and if you pay water + sewer, AND if you are currently in your 'sewer averaging' period.

If you don't pay for sewer, aren't in an averaging period and your water bill is usually low, then just draining it and refilling it with tap water will ALWAYS be cheaper than buying the chemicals it would take to make what you have now even equal to tap water.

I pay less than $20 a month, and that's even on heavy usage months (> 8000 gallons).

One caveat with pools, you MUST refill the pool as soon after draining as possible. On a lined pooled, the liner will start the shrink as soon as it no longer has water to keep it's shape, on others (ie ingrounds), it's possible that the pool itself will 'pop' out of the ground if the water table is very high.

Use the waste gate on the pump to pump the water out until there is say, about a foot left. Use a leaf scoop to get as much solid material out as you can. Start refilling, then use the waste gate again to suck the rest out. Once the bottom is clean, you can let it finish filling up.

Cost, again depending on your area, could be less than $5 in water, or several hundred in chemicals.. You pick.

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