Swimming Pool Frustration Overload!

by Wendy
(Apple Valley, California USA)

A year ago we had a whole new pump/filter system replaced. Our pool is 50,000 gallons surrounded by dirt. We live in the high desert region of Southern California.

The original owners thought it a good idea to plant pines and cedar bushes right next to the pool. The wind blows from the south for the most part which lifts the never-been-landscaped dirt covered 1/4 acre and sweeps it right into the pool. I won't even begin to tell you how many tears I've cried and words I've said when trying to keep this monster clean and swim-able.

So. only a few weeks after having the new equipment put in we noticed there wasn't enough suction to make the kreepy crawly do it's job. We called our pool guy (who'd installed the new equipment) and he has never returned our calls. This fellow has worked for us for several years so this seemed odd.

Finally we figured out he simply wasn't going to investigate or fix the problem. We closed and drained the pool early much to my families unliking. This year the paint from two years ago started lifting (same guy painted it) and again our calls were futile.

Eventually he sent over a "helper" who painted over the lifting paint and told us to never empty the pool as it would lift again. Well.. this year.. we still don't have a working pool so we filled it up in may and had someone come try to blow out any clogs.. there weren't any.. and those same 50,000 gallons of water went green.

We've since pumped out most of it to water our drought ridden trees, but there's still a half foot sitting at the bottom and we've noticed these large white grubby looking things swimming around. We have no idea what they are- I really need help. Can you please give me some advice? Very sincerely, Wendy

Thanks for the question Wendy. There are several things going on here so I'll address them as the question unfolded.

It's NEVER a good idea to plant trees, shrubs, hedges, flowering plants, or anything around a pool. They look nice but for practical purposes I will always advise against it, for obvious reasons. I hated the pools on my route that had trees and flowering plants.

If the Kreepy is in good working order then the lack of suction probably stems from a suction side issue. There are only two sides to the filter system, the suction and return side. The suction side is from the skimmer and bottom drain to the pump pot. The return side is from the plumbing on the pump pot back to the pool, and everything between including all the plumbing and the filter.

Loss of suction can be from a clogged skimmer, the pot lid not having a good seal which can be solved by installing a new o-ring, or a clog somewhere in the plumbing. Here's a good video I did on that:


I'll address the paint issue. Paint is only as good on the surface on which its prepped, period. You can have "alright" paint but with a good surface it will always outlast the best paint in the world with a poorly prepped surface. Think of it this way. A piece of tape covers the surface. Then you start piling up layer upon layer of tape right on top of the first layer. You can put 1000 pieces of tape on there but all of it will still lift because only one piece is on the surface.

Without knowing the prep work that was done it's difficult to know what he did or didn't do. Here are some links about blistering paint and poorly prepped surfaces:

Blistered Paint, Now What!?!?!?

Swimming Pool Paint

Bubbles/Blistering Paint

Is the pool full right now? If it is I'll need the chemical numbers - Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used. Clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs should be named as well.

Concerning the bugs, I simply have no idea. There are countless kinds of bugs and critters that can inhabit water. I'm in the process of clearing up a cloudy pool and there was a little frog swimming around. Bugs are really the least of your worries at the moment. They can easily be killed by shocking the pool and get caught in the filter and be backwashed out and/or simply scooped out with a leaf rake.

If you're filter and system are properly working and with the information I presently have, there shouldn't be any reason why you can't get the pool up and going within a few days.

Really the only time you need to do a partial drain and refill is when the stabilizer is too high, 80ppm and above. I've cleared up black/green pools with floating algae chunks the size of soda cushions and didn't drain the pool.

Check over the links and video above and get back to me with the readings.

I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Landscaping Ideas" category.

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Have a great Summer.


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