Mother of all algae problems

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Colinod
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Mother of all algae problems

Postby Colinod » Tue 14 Aug, 2007 21:08

I have the mother of all algae problems, and debris problems too.

About 10 years ago, I guess my dad might have said something along the lines of "Screw it" when he realized he has overpaying for pool chemicals (It's a 35k gal pool with no sunshade at all.) When my nosy ass neighbors peeked at my pool, they got the city on us, and forced us to drain our pool. This caused it to rise about a 6 inches out of the ground, deforming the surrounding concrete decking. My dad refilled it, hoping to fix the prob, but the pool remained in its popped out state. It was great to swim in, and the pool had a beautiful green tinge for about 2 weeks before it clouded up and algae took over. He was afraid the maindrain piping was kaput, so he didn't bother to run the filtering then, and since. Now the pool rests in a pathetic stangnant state, with stray turtles and the occassional toad invasion during a heavy rain :cry:

It pains me to have a large pool and not being able to invite folks over to have some fun in the sun, so I decided to take a long look at it and I decided to poke around some forums. This was the most replied to forum I saw with a google search, so I picked this one here.

Being 16, I can't afford to have it inspected by anyone, so hopefully you guys can help me with my problem with the main drain piping, It probably is broken, but then again, maybe not. The filtration machinery is still okay, the pump motor and the return motor still works, but I'm not sure about the state of the impellers though, all I know is that they run. The sand filter... well I really don't know how to confirm if it works. The hose going to the pressure gauge is broken, and the filter itself is about 30 years old, so I might think about replacing it for safety reasons, with a cartridged filtration unit, or another sand unit.

I will pick up a job soon for proper funding though, hopefully I'll have enough for a SWG. though I've heard of the BBB system, I don't know how much I can potentially save with it though, since I'd have to buy a steady supply of bleach.

Ok, I don't really have the mother of all algae problems, it is bad though, but no out of the ordinary algae like purple or yellow, just regular green.

The debris problem? I have about 15 120 foot pine trees against my back yard fence, and until five months ago, some overgrown chinese tahloes with several limbs hanging over the pool for years.

With a new net and pole I scooped out the shallowest side, and I could scarce lift the net out, because with each scoop, I catch about 25 lbs worth of pine needles, chinese tahloe leaves and seed shells, dead algae, and other organic matter. With the water still pouring out, it's about 40, which bends the pole.

At the deep end, I dip the pool net in, and some soupy liquid is in the net, far too thick to escape out of the holes in the net, which I assume is dead algae, decomposed leaves and turtle and toad droppings. It smells awful and I can't help but think this is a toxic condition in the pool and it should be drained immediately, with my pathetically low rate but reliable 1/6 HP sump pump.

Does anybody know what the difference in my water bill would be if I used 35 thousand gallons to fill the pool?

Before I refill it, what should I use to degrease and sanitize the walls and floor? Anything extra to do while it's drained? I have access to a powerwasher if need be, and this is a plaster pool.

Pictures to come :?


Backglass
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Posts: 727
Joined: Tue 29 May, 2007 09:02

Re: Hello

Postby Backglass » Tue 14 Aug, 2007 21:22

Colinod wrote:I have the mother of all algae problems, and debris problems too.

About 10 years ago, I guess my dad might have said something along the lines of "Screw it" when he realized he has overpaying for pool chemicals (It's a 35k gal pool with no sunshade at all.) When my nosy ass neighbors peeked at my pool, they got the city on us, and forced us to drain our pool. This caused it to rise about a 6 inches out of the ground, deforming the surrounding concrete decking. My dad refilled it, hoping to fix the prob, but the pool remained in its popped out state. It was great to swim in, and the pool had a beautiful green tinge for about 2 weeks before it clouded up and algae took over. He was afraid the maindrain piping was kaput, so he didn't bother to run the filtering then, and since. Now the pool rests in a pathetic stangnant state, with stray turtles and the occassional toad invasion during a heavy rain :cry:

It pains me to have a large pool and not being able to invite folks over to have some fun in the sun, so I decided to take a long look at it and I decided to poke around some forums. This was the most replied to forum I saw with a google search, so I picked this one here.

Being 16, I can't afford to have it inspected by anyone, so hopefully you guys can help me with my problem with the main drain piping, It probably is broken, but then again, maybe not. The filtration machinery is still okay, the pump motor and the return motor still works, but I'm not sure about the state of the impellers though, all I know is that they run. The sand filter... well I really don't know how to confirm if it works. The hose going to the pressure gauge is broken, and the filter itself is about 30 years old, so I might think about replacing it for safety reasons, with a cartridged filtration unit, or another sand unit.

I will pick up a job soon for proper funding though, hopefully I'll have enough for a SWG. though I've heard of the BBB system, I don't know how much I can potentially save with it though, since I'd have to buy a steady supply of bleach.

Ok, I don't really have the mother of all algae problems, it is bad though, but no out of the ordinary algae like purple or yellow, just regular green.

The debris problem? I have about 15 120 foot pine trees against my back yard fence, and until five months ago, some overgrown chinese tahloes with several limbs hanging over the pool for years.

With a new net and pole I scooped out the shallowest side, and I could scarce lift the net out, because with each scoop, I catch about 25 lbs worth of pine needles, chinese tahloe leaves and seed shells, dead algae, and other organic matter. With the water still pouring out, it's about 40, which bends the pole.

At the deep end, I dip the pool net in, and some soupy liquid is in the net, far too thick to escape out of the holes in the net, which I assume is dead algae, decomposed leaves and turtle and toad droppings. It smells awful and I can't help but think this is a toxic condition in the pool and it should be drained immediately, with my pathetically low rate but reliable 1/6 HP sump pump.

Does anybody know what the difference in my water bill would be if I used 35 thousand gallons to fill the pool?

Before I refill it, what should I use to degrease and sanitize the walls and floor? Anything extra to do while it's drained? I have access to a powerwasher if need be, and this is a plaster pool.

Pictures to come :?


While I admire your resolve, it's going to take a lot of time & potentially money to get your pool functioning. You say there is water in it now. That would tend to make me think the main drain is holding water. You will definitely need a new filter and possibly a pump as well. You CAN live without a main drain (my pool doesn't have one) so you could eliminate it as a potential problem altogether and just seal it off.

A SWCG for a pool that size is going to be pricey ($1000+). You can buy several YEARS of liquid chlorine from Walmart with that kind of money.

Your biggest expense as a 16-year old is going to be the water (expect $250+), new filter and electricity to run the pump.

I agree though...a shame to have such a big pool just rotting away.
===============================
I'm no expert...just a long time pool owner. The real experts are at www . troublefreepool . com

Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.
Colinod
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Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 14 Aug, 2007 15:43

Postby Colinod » Tue 14 Aug, 2007 23:58

Thanks for the understandin, I'll start looking up the bleaching..hope fully it'll work.

I was thinking about sealing off the main drain, I dont know with what to seal it with, but I'll definately test the old filtration system tomorrow.

If that doesn't work, I'll think about going with a Advantage cartridge or sand unit, either of them are under 300, so it's a good deal compared to a hayward, I think. I only need this pool for about two years, until I move out, so I can deal with a lower life cheaper brand.

I was kinda thinking of some ghettoe rigged network of PVC pipes for draining, but I'm still in need of ideas for the return lines.

I heard on one website I could ask the fire department to use the fire hydrant to fill a pool, but if they say no, then I will get the parents to fill it. They don't really complain about water consumption, just hot water consumption :P

There is a three wire outlet right next to the pool, so I can get some juice from there. While we are on the subject, how would I go about fixing the pool light? I'm quite nervous at the thought of dealing with that kind of power near a body of water, so it's best if I knew while it was drained.

You say there is water in it now.

Yes, in all its putrid glory.

That would tend to make me think the main drain is holding water.


What do you mean by this?

Thanks in advance.

P.S Does anyone have a creative use for about 10 remaining pounds of granular Tri Chlor?

Should I dump it in to create a decent CYA base in the new water for when I go BBB? If not, what else will? I don't want to waste a bunch of bleach because of Free Cl UV losses..
Backglass
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Joined: Tue 29 May, 2007 09:02

Postby Backglass » Wed 15 Aug, 2007 08:36

Colinod wrote:I was thinking about sealing off the main drain, I dont know with what to seal it with, but I'll definitely test the old filtration system tomorrow.


If it pumps water, you are half way there.

Colinod wrote:If that doesn't work, I'll think about going with a Advantage cartridge or sand unit, either of them are under 300, so it's a good deal compared to a hayward, I think. I only need this pool for about two years, until I move out, so I can deal with a lower life cheaper brand.


Stick with sand. Very low maintenence and no replacement cartridges to buy.

Colinod wrote:I was kinda thinking of some ghettoe rigged network of PVC pipes for draining, but I'm still in need of ideas for the return lines.


Ya know..if you don't care what it looks like, you can just plumb PVC along the ground, add an elbow and pour it right back into the pool from the top. Definitely a redneck/ghetto plan, but what the heck...at least you could swim!

Colinod wrote:I heard on one website I could ask the fire department to use the fire hydrant to fill a pool, but if they say no, then I will get the parents to fill it. They don't really complain about water consumption, just hot water consumption :P


Yes, in some municipalities they will allow you to hook to a hydrant to fill, but they still charge you for the water...it's just faster.

Colinod wrote:There is a three wire outlet right next to the pool, so I can get some juice from there.


Since this pool is 30+ years old, PLEASE make sure this is a grounded, GFCI outlet.

Colinod wrote:While we are on the subject, how would I go about fixing the pool light? I'm quite nervous at the thought of dealing with that kind of power near a body of water, so it's best if I knew while it was drained.


Again, when dealing wioth pools and electricity, it's best left to the pro's. That being said, it is either a low voltage (12 volt) or standard 120v light. They are sealed obviously to keep out water, but with the pool empty you should be able to remove the housing and replace the bulb. Remember, it might not be the bulb at all, but the wiring/switch.

Colinod wrote:
That would tend to make me think the main drain is holding water.


What do you mean by this?


Well, if your main drain was cracked, the pool would be dry by now!

Colinod wrote:Should I dump it in to create a decent CYA base in the new water for when I go BBB? If not, what else will? I don't want to waste a bunch of bleach because of Free Cl UV losses..


No...you should just wait for now. You will need it to jump start the pool after you get it cleaned up and filled. You have bigger problems to deal with now!
===============================

I'm no expert...just a long time pool owner. The real experts are at www . troublefreepool . com



Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.
Colinod
Pool Newbie
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Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 14 Aug, 2007 15:43

Postby Colinod » Wed 15 Aug, 2007 12:41

i5(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/y164/colinod/DSCF5435(dot)jpg
Use the standard milk crate as a reference to how murky the pool is, you can't even see through three inches of water to the first step.

i5(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/y164/colinod/DSCF5434(dot)jpg
Very foamy..the sump pump is used to deliver water to the top of the slide to keep the water circulating.

i5(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/y164/colinod/DSCF5433(dot)jpg
Notice how much the pool has risen from the surrounding decking! I'll have a hard time believing the plumbing isn't broken, but I won't know until I find out.

i5(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/y164/colinod/DSCF5431(dot)jpg
The broken off pipe from the return pump is from where a broken heater was removed..

i5(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/y164/colinod/DSCF5429(dot)jpg
The electricity is still flowing, and the swtiches work.
Backglass
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Postby Backglass » Wed 15 Aug, 2007 13:41

WOW...that looks like it could be a great pool. It also doesnt look nearly as bad as I expected. My thoughts:
  • It's full! You don't need to buy water, you have a pool full! Water doesn't change into anything else...H2O is still H2O. You just need to get everything that is in the water OUT. The fact that the pool is completely FULL leads me to believe that the main drain is fine.
  • That is one ANCIENT pump & filter. I am stunned that the pump still works. If it were me, I would cut out the old chlorinator and toss it. You might get lucky...if the valve still works and the pump still pumps, you might get by with just changing out the sand!
Worst case you have to buy/find a new pump & filter and re-pipe the pad. I would start checking Craigs list for used gear. I don't know where you are, but I see people selling used pool pumps for $50 in my area all the time. Filters too.

Again, you aren't going for "Better Pools & Gardens" here, but just a place to swim with your friends. If you can get water circulating & filtering, I think you would be surprised how well it would clean up.

I just moved into a new (very old) house with pool this spring. The 25 year old cement pond hadn't been opened in several years, but it cleaned up nice. CLICK HERE . Note the same pretty green color as yours. :P
===============================

I'm no expert...just a long time pool owner. The real experts are at www . troublefreepool . com



Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.
Guest

Postby Guest » Wed 15 Aug, 2007 14:37

BG, I hope you are staying posted on this. I have a new labeled piccy of the plumbing

i5(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/y164/colinod/DSCF5431-1(dot)jpg

So I'm guessing you think number 1 is a chlorinator? well...I can throw that out, since i'll be BBB'ing

Is number two a waste line for backwashing?

Number 3 and 4 I know for sure are for the skimmers and maindrain, but I don't know which one is which.

Stupid question, but clockwise closes and counter opens?

For number 5 and 7, why didn't the pool builder make the chlorinator inline instead of branching the filter outlet? Seems stupid to me, but I could be wrong.

And if it aint too much trouble, I'd like to know how the valve labeled 6 works.

And man, your pool is way clearer than mine. Are you sure it is worth it to keep the water? How many months of scrubbing will it take? This pool's walls are caked! Did I mention the pool floor? Sorry for not having faith, but is it easier to get the bottom vacuumed for me, or should I be outside scooping and not posting now? The deep end of the pool has about 1-2 feet of soupy matter, sitting on top of the maindrain, mind you.
Colinod
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Posts: 8
Joined: Tue 14 Aug, 2007 15:43

Postby Colinod » Wed 15 Aug, 2007 14:44

Oops! didn't log in.

Anyway, I meant that your pool is way clearer than mine, before its current clean state.
Guest

Postby Guest » Wed 15 Aug, 2007 22:07

Colinod,
I just seen all those pics and BOY! You got your work cut out for ya!

Hopefully that set up of the pumps will get you on your way and I have to agree with BackGlass, the pool is full, treat the water. I know it looks horrid but it can be done!

All I gotta say is WoW! You got a lot on your plate with this and I hope you pull it off and provide pics as well.

So get out there and scrape the bottom and get that crap outta there! :shock: :lol: :wink:

Good Luck!
Guest

Postby Guest » Thu 16 Aug, 2007 00:22

Well, I got finished with my daily power hour of scooping the bottom, and I'd say about 70% of it is done at the portions that are not the diving section. I still occassionally get the errant broken toy pistol, BB riddled soda/beer can, softball, and one diecast school bus :lol:

Another thing, there is some brown red stuff, like denser than water matter that settles to the bottom and gets stirred to the surface every time i follow a path that nets me a lot of pine needles, seeds, etc.

For the deepside, I just want to throw my hands in the air and give up!

There is about 1,000 gallons of the aforementioned soupy matter, the kind that clogs the net mesh so it's really hard to lift out! I also need a clever way to dispose of this crap, whether I drain the pool or not.

PS the blue thing is a booster pump.

Actually my dad said the filter broke, so maybe it's a matter of replacing the filter, about 3 bills for a decent sized one, or I can get the current fixed.

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