I have been lurking for a couple of months now while getting ready for the installation of our new Leisure Fiberglass pool hopefully starting on August 12th. I have been reading through pool school extensively and "playing" with values in the pool calculator for some time. I received my TF-100 test kit XL version (extra CYA testing reagent and magnetic mixer also) last week and have tested a couple sources of possible make-up water so far. I also have some metal test strips coming this week for some water testing on my possible makeup water. And to finish it out I have also ordered some Aqua-7 test strips (I know, evil, lol) for when I am traveling and my wife decides to get a little lazy with daily water testing, at least I will get "some" results. Right now I am trying to figure out the best initial balance of the pool. I have a feeling that the PB will not be around long enough to really get the pool inline so I'd rather just take care of it myself, plus he owns a pool store so I am sure he would want me to buy a bunch of chemicals I probably do not need, as seen by him supplying an offline chlorinator with the pool, at least it will be there when we use a couple of pucks when we go out of town for a trip.
Okay onto the testing of my sources of water:
Leisure Recommended Range (Warranty) TFP Recommended Well Water* Softened Well Water* Fill Water test Report
CL 1-3 ppm 2-5 ppm (CYA=30) 0 ppm 0 ppm 0.87 ppm
PH 7.2 - 7.4 7.5 - 7.8 7.8 7.5 7.8
CH 150 - 200 220 - 300 75 ppm 0 ppm 19.2 ppm
TA 80 - 120 70 - 90+ 55 ppm 60 ppm 22.7 ppm
*= tested with TF-100
I assume all CYA levels to be at 0 ppm
The initial fill water will be town water supply from a couple of towns over. I have my wife obtaining a sample of it from a co-worker so I can confirm the test report and I will also test the water when it is in the pool before adding any chemicals.
In my well water I assume I have iron content due to the fact that we had brownish (orange) water that was noticeable in a large (bath tub) body of water before we installed a whole house filter and softener. When I change the mechanical filter (1 micron) on a yearly basis the filter is brown in color and when I take some of the dried brown dust it is magnetic. Apparently the mechanical filter and softener are taking care of the iron though because we do not have the issue inside anymore. That being said the outside spigots are piped in before the filtering, so that is one of my choices of make-up water. After I get my metal test strips I plan to test for metals in both sources. If it is eliminated inside then I am going to buy another filter housing and a 0.5 micron filter to go on a garden hose for my make up water. I am not sure if I can completely filter the iron out mechanically or if some of it will remain but with the test strips I can verify this one way or another. I would prefer to not use softened water for the make-up water if possible due to the demand on the water softener but I also do not want the iron in the pool.
Onto my initial balancing.
The PB is supplying 18 lbs. of TA increaser. This actually seems about right based on the TA result from the town water test report, to get me to 102.7 ppm of TA.
After the TA increaser I was going to add 1 gallon of instant conditioner (CYA) which should get me to a level of 23 ppm of CYA.
Next I was going to add 1 gallon of 8.25% bleach which should get me to about 6 ppm of FC
I think that should be okay for the first 12-24 hours.
The PB is also supplying 5lbs. of Trichlor (I know, again, evil), so to keep him happy the week or so he is going to be around and to raise my CYA to ~33 ppm I was going to use the Trichlor and offline chlorinator until 2.5 lbs of the pucks were used. I figure in I need about 2-3 ppm of FC daily then I should run this way for about one week. During this time I will also regulate the PH since the Trichlor will drop the PH.
The PB says that I should not try to calcium balance my pool at all because it is fiberglass, but from what I see the fill water will only have about 19.2 ppm of CH and for warranty purposes Leisure wants 150 - 200 ppm. I don't think I will mess with this too much the first week or two but after I stop using the Trichlor I probably will try to get this level up to the Leisure recommendation. What do you think?
Ultimately (a week or so in) I will be using liquid chlorine (bleach or other, still working on the best source) for my chlorination and these are the values I plan on trying to maintain:
CL = 3-4 ppm
PH = 7.4-7.5
TA = 90-110 ppm
CH = 175 ppm
CYA = 30 ppm (no more than 40)
I am trying to balance TFP recommendations with the recommendations in the Leisure warranty. I believe Leisure has some margin of error in their recommendations since every manufacturer does, probably 10 - 20 %.
What do you all think about my plan for balancing and the numbers I am shooting for? This is my first pool ever to maintain so I am learning. I have spent a lot of time reading and researching so I hope I am on the right track!
Thanks for all your future help! Hopefully I will be able to give back someday also when I have enough knowledge.