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Thread: Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

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    Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

    We are FINALLY making some progress on installing our first pool. It is a 16'x40' rectangular fiberglass inground. The builder ran into lots of problems: heavy rains, first delivered pool was cracked and had to be replaced, soil has been too wet to backfill the hole, etc., etc. It's been kind of a nightmare. On the plus side, though, the delays gave me time to start asking some questions, and that led me to this site. Maybe there's time for someone out there to help me avoid any more costly mistakes that a first-time pool purchaser can get sucked into.

    Let me start by saying that I have read everything in the Pool School (boy, have I learned a lot!) and I have ordered a TF-100 test kit. Until that gets here I only have a kit with two tubes and two little bottles of liquid. I fill the tubes with pool water, put red drops in one tube to test the PH and yellow drops in the other tube to test chlorine, and compare them with a color chart. So, I have no idea what the levels are.

    My questions started when the builder said he was going to put me on a maintenance plan that included using something called EZ Pool. I looked that up here and it looks like a bad idea since it's a chlorine-free system, so I'm going to go with testing and adjusting everything myself.

    Question 1: The pool was placed in the hole 12 days ago and filled up about a third of the way with water (straight from the garden hose - well water - no filtration or chemical treatment of any kind). The builder told us to get in any time we wanted and have fun, so we did. After a few days the water started to turn green. I asked him about that, and he said it was normal, caused by the iron in my water reacting to the chlorine (which I don't think he had even added at that point). He put a little round floater in the pool filled with slow-release chlorine tablets. The water stayed green, so on the 10th day he put in a portable filter pump and the next day he said he put in a small bag of shock (yes, I know from Pool School that shock is a verb, not a noun, but that's what he said). The water looks better now in the shallow end, but it's still murky and a little green in the deep end. I think it may be algae, but he says the water is safe.

    Question 2: The filtration system is supposed to get connected today (FINALLY!). There's a gizmo there (not hooked up yet) called "New Water model 400", and tablets to go with it. It seems to be a continuous-release chlorinator. Do I need this? The active ingredient in the tablets is "Trichloro-s-Triazinetrione." Will that be raising the water's CYA along with chlorinating it? Should I tell them not to install it?

    Question 3: We ordered a Polaris pool cleaner, but it's not installed yet. I don't know the kind or model number, but the booster pump that it comes with is model PB4-60, if that helps. Now someone has told me that these are not really necessary for a fiberglass pool and they don't climb vertical walls very well. He says I'll save a lot of money and do a better job with a long-handle brush, plus I won't have to deal with the aggravation of putting it in, taking it out, de-tangling hoses, etc. My builder said that most people just leave them connected and sitting on the bottom of the pool when not using them. Should I tell them not to install it and get my money back, or do people find them worthwhile for a fiberglass pool?

    I promise I'll post some test numbers when I get my kit and my water is being filtered. Until then, any help is appreciated!
    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

    you have good instincts. avoid the EZ Pool system.

    are you able to get rid of the inline chlorinator??? ask how much of an increase it would be to put in a saltwater chlorine generator instead. might not be much and would be a huge upgrade. no issues with CYA and no lugging bleach around.

    you are correct that the tablets will increase your CYA and after a season your CYA will be so high that you will be draining and refilling and fighting algae non-stop.

    no help on the cleaner, sorry. but I for the size of your pool I could see the need for it. you can definetly get by with manual vacuum and a brush but its gonna be more work.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

    DaninFLA,
    Thanks for the advice. None of the plumbing has been installed yet (should be put in today), so I'll tell them not to put in the inline trichlor system. I'm intrigued by the SWG idea, but not sure I'm ready to take the plunge yet. How hard is it to have one installed at a later date? Is it something I can do myself? If I don't have it out in today, what's the best way to add chlorine to the pool on the initial water fill? My TF-100 is on order but hasn't arrived yet, so I won't have any baseline measurements until it gets here.
    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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    Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

    Congrats on the new pool! Welcome to the forum! You made a super smart move coming here first!

    I'm surprised your builder had you swim before water was sanitized. Interesting.

    You can do three maintenance things before the test kit gets to you.

    1. Add cyanuric acid, or stabilizer, to your water (if you know for sure your builder hasn't). You can buy it at walmart. Use the pool math calculator to add 30ppm for the volume of your pool. It's easy to add. Put it in a sock and tie it off in front of a return jet. If you've been on the pucks for over a week, you might want to target 20ppm instead of 30.

    2. Your test tests for chlorine and ph it sounds like. Sounds like an OTO test. Can you tell what the ph level is using the color indicator?

    3. Add bleach daily to your pool. Regular old great value brand bleach from Walmart. There are other sources of different strengths, but walmart is a good place to start. How many gallons is your pool? Can you tell from the color generator on the test what the CL is in your pool?

    I love my cleaner and my SWG. I don't have a fiberglass pool so I don't want to speak to the necessity of the cleaner with your pool. If you have a busy lifestyle, I agree with Dan that you should compare costs. There is also a stenner pump that will put liquid chlorine in your pool.


    Lisa P.
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

    you can easily add a SWCG at a later date. the actual install is just cutting in cell and sensor into the PVC and mounting the controller. might need an electrictian to do the electrical part if you aren't comfortable but that would be pretty cheap. other than that, lugging in a LOT of salt.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

    You will either have to manually vacuum your pool or get an auto cleaner. I would suggest you get the auto-vac AND have a manual vac on standby.

    All the technology and money in auto-vacs is going into robots. They are slowly beginning to dominate the market. I think that would be a much better choice than a pressure side cleaner like the Polaris.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool installation almost done, lots of questions

    Thanks everyone for the excellent advice. We're in another construction delay now waiting on the electrician to hook up the pump and lights before the backfill can be finished and the pool can be completely filled. Very frustrating. I tested the water (as much as there is) with the OTO and Phenol Red drops and also with Aquacheck 7 test strips that I had on hand for my spa. Here's what I got:

    OTO drops: on a scale of very pale yellow to slightly less pale yellow, I get clear. I guess that means my chlorine is 0.
    Phenol Red drops: pretty purple. Looks like about 8.2 pH.

    Test strips:
    Total hardness:100
    TC: maybe .5
    FC: .5
    pH: about 8.4
    TA: about 80
    CYA: 30-50

    At this point I'm going to wait until the pool is filled (maybe another day or two) and give the pool guy a couple of days to balance the water (I've already paid for that in the contract) before I take over. Hoping that my TF-100 arrives by then so I'll know what I'm doing. I'm going to keep the Polaris cleaner, although I am going to ask about upgrading to a robot model. Maybe impractical now that they've plumbed for the side pressure style, but we'll see. the summer is going fast -- wish me luck!
    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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