I have spent the last week or so just trying to digest as much of the great advice and information at TFP. We just put in an Intex Ultra Frame 16 x48 pool (5060 gal) this past week with a 2150 gph 14-inch Sand Filter and SWG Filter/Chlorination System. I added the Intex surface strainer that hooks over the pool wall.
We have well water. I put in about 750 to 1000 gals of well water during the pool set-up and then we had it filled the rest of the way by a pool water delivery company this past Monday. Monday night I added 125 lbs of NaCl (per guidance for about 3000 ppm salinity). I let the filter pump run about 24 hours to circulate and even out the salt. Per the system's manual for star-up, last night I set the chlorination system to boost (which for my system is 8 times the run time, which I set at 3 hours per the manual (it's in the low 80's right now in Rhode Island). We then covered the pool to keep bugs and debris out. I got home at 6:30 tonight (about 22 hours of chlorination run time), I go to check the FC, get ready to add the CYA, BUT I find that water appears to be a lovely tea color in the clear suction side hoses, and in the chlorinator housing. I take up the cover and the water clarity is decent (can see the bottom fine), but there is a lovely brownish "bath tub ring" around the pool and what appears to be a lot of brown participates in the water. I'm now sitting at my computer and can see the pool (about 85\ feet away). I can see the bottom and the faux-tile pattern from here, so it's not the brown soup some people have reported.
My first thought - after how my wife and kids, who have been patiently waiting for the pool, despite seeing water in it all this week were going to drown me in it - was that I screwed something up. I have a TF-100 test kit on order and in the mail to me, so all I have right now are the four-way test strips that came with the filter system. I did two checks and it seems like the TC is around 7 or a bit higher - can't really be accurate with those crappy sticks (I thought it would be a bit lower, even on BOOST). I just realized that it may be more than the 5 I guessed it would be around due to the fact that the run times I consulted factor in CYA-induced reduction in TC generation. PH is maybe 7 at best (I was going to get Pot Ash or Borax tonight along with muriatic acid, etc.). TA and CH are okay, at least by the test strips.
My first guess was iron, but how do I get rid of it? IS it most likely iron or? I don't know if the pool water delivered was iron-free or not, and I'm wondering if the 1000 gallons or so of our well water (the outdoor spigots are teed off of the main water supply line from the well prior to hitting our water softener for the rest of the household) was enough to do what I see. As a baseline, the water and pool were clean clear before I started chlorine production
Did I screw up by letting the pump/chlorinator run for 22 hours with a backwash and rinse? The pump pressure at initial start-up on Monday was 7 psi and is basically still right there tonight. I thought I'd be to moving on to balance the water per the SWG balance guidance all the way through borates over the next day or so. I did a backwash about an hour or go and the first slugs of water that came out (maybe 10 gallons?) was a dark tea-brown then ran to what looks to be pretty clear within another 20 or so.
I did a quick web search and it seems like some people have simply put a white towel in front of the return (filtered end) of the system to help catch the debris, but I'm at a loss and am feeling the pressure to green light the pool!
Thank you in advance for any guidance you might be able to provide,