In-Ground Pool has been covered for two years

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CynthiaS
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
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Joined: Sun 17 Feb, 2008 17:50

In-Ground Pool has been covered for two years

Postby CynthiaS » Sun 17 Feb, 2008 18:03

Hi, boy am I glad I found you folks. I have recently acquired a home with an in ground pool that has been covered with an extremely heavy rubber safety cover for at least two years. The cover's end points are spring loaded into ground bolts. The pool is still full so there sure aren't any leaks at this time, it is very tightly covered, has seen two northern winters and summers, but the water in it is pretty gross as you can imagine. The thing is, I am not really interested in opening this pool or using it, so I would like it to remain covered for now. I know this is probably all very sacriligious to you, but the truth is, I am not a water person and cannot even swim.

My question is, what chemicals should I put into this pool this spring to ensure that the water in it does not become some kind of health hazard? Is there anything else I should do to keep it safe? I know I shouldn't drain it, due to potential collapse, so I really need to know if there is something I should do with the water. I had a pool person tell me he has opened pools that have been covered for many more years and that the pool is safe. But I am thinking how can that be so with that water standing in there like that. As you can tell I am completely pool ignorant and would REALLY appreciate your advice.

Thanks so much.


Eric
Pool Enthusiast
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Posts: 18
Joined: Fri 01 Jun, 2007 10:28
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Eric » Mon 18 Feb, 2008 13:51

My opinion is that you need to take a step back and come up with an overall strategy.

First, if you look over the posts on this forum and over at TroubleFreePool (dot) com, you will quickly see that maintaining a pool in a safe condition, even if you never go in it, is a significant commitment of time and money. Getting a pool that's been closed for two years working and safe will require a minimum investment of around 50 hours and several hundred dollars for chemicals and a test kit. If you hire someone to do the work, and/or there are problems with the pool equipment, it could be thousands of dollars. You will then need to spend time and money each week keeping up the pool.

So, you really need to ask yourself if you are willing to make this investment in time and money for something you have no interest in using. If not, I would get quotes for filling in the pool. It will be more expensive now, but will save time and money in the long run and, more importantly, remove a potential hazard. How would you feel if a neighbor's child fell in the pool and drowned?

I suspect others on this forum will strongly disagree with me. However, I was in your situation a year ago, and this is what I would recommend.
CynS

Postby CynS » Mon 18 Feb, 2008 17:40

Hi and thank you for your response.

I may decide to sell this home and would prefer if another buyer had the opportunity to keep this large in ground pool. That's why I would prefer to know which chemicals I can use to keep it properly treated while covered. I am not concerned about a neighbor's child falling into it. It has a safety cover that is bolted to the concreate and can only be opened using a special tool The area is also fenced in with a six foot fence, and the property is a fair distance from the closest neighbors. So what I am REALLY concerned about is what chemicals I should use to keep the water from being a danger so that I might treat the pool myself while it remains covered.
Eric
Pool Enthusiast
Pool Enthusiast
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri 01 Jun, 2007 10:28
Location: Philadelphia

Postby Eric » Tue 19 Feb, 2008 09:16

I understand what you're asking and wish there was a way to do what you want. Unfortunately, there isn't. Keeping a pool safe and sanitary cannot be done by just adding chemicals. If you don't actively maintain the pool, it will turn into a swamp not matter what chemicals are in it. It has been said that 80% of civilization is maintenance. This is doubly true for a pool.

If you want to proceed, here's what I suggest. It's impossible to keep a pool sanitary without filtration and circulation. You need to ensure the filter and pump are working correctly. If the pool chemistry has not been maintained for two years, there is a chance the plaster surface of the pool has been damaged and the filter and pump may not work. You should have someone inspect the pool and equipment to see what is working and what needs replacing. If you were going to use the pool, I would recommend that it be drained, acid washed, and refilled before doing anything else. As you have no plans to actually swim in the pool, you can probably skip this.

Then you need to use a test kit to measure the water characteristics. If you post the test numbers, someone will be able to tell you what you need to do to bring the water chemistry in line. This will most likely be a several week process involving adding various chemicals up to several times a day and testing the water twice a day.

Once the water chemistry is set, you will need to test once or twice a week and adjust as necessary. Sanitizer will need to added daily -- there are several ways of doing this. The filter will need to be run for 2-8 hours a day and will need to be cleaned every few weeks. Keeping the pool covered will help keep leaves out.

There are stickies on this forum and over at TroubleFreePool (dot) com which go into great detail and would be an excellent place to start.
muss08
Swimming Pool Superstar
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Posts: 332
Joined: Fri 07 Mar, 2008 20:56
Location: Maryland

Postby muss08 » Fri 07 Mar, 2008 21:48

I would say you're fine. If all the equipment works- great. If not, oh well. If you live in the north i would guess your pool season is from late May-late August/early September. When the water begins to warm shock your pool with granular chlorine. Do this once a month. This will ensure mosquito larvae wont survive. Buy two "chlorine floaters" with three chloline
"pucks" in each and add to the pool. Replace chlorine as needed in these floaters. Before it freezes drain the water 18 inches below the tile level.
muss08
Swimming Pool Superstar
Swimming Pool Superstar
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri 07 Mar, 2008 20:56
Location: Maryland

Postby muss08 » Fri 07 Mar, 2008 22:15

Sorry laptop's battery died.

Anyways, you do need to buy some sort of test kit. For this application I would use test strips. They are much easier to use. Make sure it tests for at least chlorine and pH. If the pH drops too low the water will start to eat at the plaster. Make sure it stays above 7.0. Regardless of staining the pool will mostly likely need an acid washing when either you or a new homeowner will use it. I urge you to enjoy your pool if at all possible. They are alot of fun.

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