We recently opened our pool and wouldn’t you know I’ve never owned or managed a pool before.
I paid a guy to show me how to get it going, but he flaked out (more on that at the end) so I’ve been learning how to do everything on my own. But I was hoping those of you who manage their own swimming pools can give me some tips and advice.
First things first: Pool is a roughly 16x40, rectangle with cut corners.
In Ground, vinyl liner.
Triton T60 sand filter
Hayward Super II Pump
***No one is swimming yet but we are nearly warm enough, so I am in-earnest getting the pool swim-ready…
I guess the TL;DR of my main questions would be:
How often do you shock? Is it an intuitive thing?
How long does the pump need to run, and at what times of day?
What’s this thing? Is it a set-up for a second skimmer (located near the shallow entry. The cover won’t come off).
How do you know if you need a booster pump? Does this only pertain to pressure side cleaners? Awful pool guy briefly mentioned it before going AWOL.
How do I decide on what crawler cleaner I need? I think a suction-side like the Hayward Navigator Pro or PoolVac XL.
How bothersome is this minor, slow leak? Am I correct in that the pipe is on the PRESSURE side of the fittings?
Finally, here is what my pool looks like after a week of violent severe weather, during which I had the pump off. Here is the current chemistry: Chlorine is “ok,” PH is “ok,” Acid and alkalinity are both a bit low, hardness is always dark purple. What can I do?
So, our “pool guy” opened the pool (cover off, ladder in, pump on, some chemicals, then left). I was on my own to learn what ‘backwashing’ is, how to do it, why, when, etc…
We do not have a crawler vac, but I am looking to get one.
The pool doesn’t have a flat bottom. Not only does it slope to the deep end, the deep end has sloped walls on the side. Most of the dirt stays on the flat bottom and in the grooves of the liner.
I haven’t been able to vacuum the pool all the way clean. I’ve gotten it pretty close, but vacuuming always loses suction halfway through and I have to stop to backwash.
I usually vacuum directly tube-into skimmer. I got a vacuum skimmer plate but I don’t get enough draw to suck the dirt, so I don’t really use the plate.
I haven’t vacuumed on "waste,"I usually just turn the pump valve to draw more suction then backwash as needed.
But the bottom is CONSTANTLY DIRTY.
We just had major rain (flooding) so I have shocked the water and gotten it back to clean looking. Chemistry isn’t too far off…
When I first started checking the water, the PH was super low. I got baking soda and added as directed to bring up.
We have exceptionally hard water. Not sure what to do about that.
I watched a lot of videos and people swear by using a few gallons of liquid chlorine for shock. It’s cheap, does all the things of algaecide, etc.
Backwashing: I just keep an eye on the gauge and backwash either when suction/re-circulation is low or when the gauge reads 10% or more above normal pressure.
Pool Guy Drama:
I was beholden to this…person…due to the fact the pool was winterized and couldn’t be opened for inspection. He signed an attestation that everything was in good working order, and was on the hook to open it up. The entire point was I told him I wanted to see how to fire things up and get it going, since it will be my job to maintain and run all this from here on.
He is beyond unprofessional, he doesn’t answer the phone like a normal person, he comes off as excruciatingly stupid, and casts off the strongest “this guy is useless” vibes because YES.
He no called/no showed the first appointment. We called him a few hours later and he said he’d come later that day. Didn’t.
We were prepared to go with ANYONE else but he said he’d come on a Thursday.
I specifically asked him to let me know if he wasn’t going to make it so I didn’t waste another day waiting around on him.
He no showed/never called.
Finally he swears he’ll be there noon on Sat. He did not show up. He did show up around 3pm at which point family was arriving for a birthday get-together. I told him under no circumstances was he to leave without going over things with me. “Yes sir that’s my job, show you how to operate things so I can hand it off to you to take over.”
He left quietly without telling anyone, then showed up later to turn something off and told my wife “he’d be back to talk about what we need to do next.” She asked to wait so he could speak with me, he said he’d get with me later.
He just F.O.'d from there, only texting me a week or so later to “backwash my system and to put 25 lbs shock and chlorine” but without any explanation to what, why, or how.
After researching and having to dig in, at that point I decided I was done with this bozo. I got with a few other companies and they assured me he had not completed the opening. They also ensured that unless I had some really specific problem, like high phosphates or something, that amount of chemical is not at all necessary.
After not hearing from the guy, he calls my wife and lies to her that I won’t answer my phone. He then leaves an invoice written out to “no one’s name that i know” in our mailbox after hours Friday night.
7 AM Monday he’s blowing me up, texting multiple times and calling me. So I told him I just needed to clarify some of the billing/charges. He billed for more hours than he quoted, but he also didn’t explain anything he did, and the biggest issue, was I hired him to “show me what’s involved” and he just left without ever talking to me. He tried to lie and say no one was home, and once I pinned him on his lies, he pivots to say if I want to know how to operate my own equipment, I have to pay for “pool school” for him to show me.
I argued his actions were reckless, telling me to backwash a pressurized system without any explaining how to–my multi-valve isn’t even marked–the face plate is off! If you don’t know where the backwash position is by heart, you could mess things up pretty easily.
Anyway I left it at writing him a check for the whole amount he invoiced minus $110 for the parts he never finished. He says he’s going to sue me. Upon some research, he’s been sued 13 times, at least once for BIG $$$ for ruining a whole pool. Wow.