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Thread: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

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    Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    We just installed a fiberglass pool on 8/25/15. It was filled with three truck loads of purified water that day and 4 40 lb bags of salt were added. The pool equipment was hooked up on 8/28 and the pool installer came to to start the system. He checked the salt level and added 4 more bags of salt because it was low. He set the SWG to 80% and told us to check the salt levels again in 2-3 days. I checked the pool chemistry using the Accucheck 7 test strips they provided (I will order the test strips recommended on this site for future use.) Everything was low except chlorine. I tested again later and there was no chlorine. I called installer and he said to wait a week from the day the equipment was installed to test chemicals because the water would balance on its own to some extent. I told him that the SWG instructions said to super chlorinate before starting SWG and he said I could do that. So I turned off SWG and added 2 gallons of liquid chlorine. This morning, total chlorine was about 2 ppm so I turned the SWG back on at 100%. I immediately checked salt level and it was only 1.2. Should I add more salt? What about other chemicals and in what order? Everything is still low. See results below. Thanks for any assistance you could provide to this newbie as my head is spinning right now.

    Total Hardness: 100
    Total Chlorine: 2 ( seems to have dropped a few hours later)
    Free Chlorine: .5
    Ph: 6.8
    Total Alkalinity: between 0 and 40
    CYA: 0
    20K gal, IG fiberglass installed 8/25/15, Pentair Intelliflo 3 HP variable speed pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48sf DE filter, Pentair Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Aqua Comfort ACT-1250 Heat Pump, 3 S.R. Smith Pal Treo Lights with WPC1, S.R. Smith Turbo Twister Slide, S.R. Smith Swim N' Dunk Salt Friendly Challenge Basketball Game, Aquabot Millenium XE robotic cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit and K-1766 Salt Water Test

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    We do not recommend the use of test strips.

    160 pounds of salt is no where near enough to get the salt level up to where the SWG needs it. You can use PoolMath to calculate how much.

    You certainly need to get the CYA level up too or the SWG will never be able to keep up due to the losses to the sun.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Water Balance for SWGs
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    You added 160 pounds, the pool guy added 160 pounds previously- I would toss the salt test strips out and get the Taylor's K-1766 salt test kit (not very costly) and use it. I found it to be far more reliable and accurate giving me repeatable test results whereas when I tried the strips (at the same time, same sample) they said I have half the amount of salt. You'll use this kit repeatedly during the year, so its important that you get good numbers. You don't want to overdose the salt because too much is as much a problem as too little.

    Whenever you are unsure of how the SWG is performing, go ahead and cover yourself by supplementing with liquid chlorine (aka household bleach) so you don't develop an algae problem before you figure out what's going on. I also use bleach to bump up my FC any time I want *instant* response in my FC. SWGs are meant to work like a tortoise...slow and steady, but algae reproduce like bunnies if you don't prevent it.

    Since SWGs only have a lifespan of x amount of hours/cell use I don't want to use it up prematurely by running it at 100% unnecessarily. I consider the SWG my background FC. I've never once had algae so this works for me.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    Thanks for the the feedback. My husband corrected me saying they put in 10 forty pound bags five days ago (not 4 as I mentioned earlier) in addition to the 4 forty pound bags they put in 2 days ago. So that is 560 pounds of salt in the last 5 days. Should I just put CYA and liquid chlorine and wait a few days to retest with the better kit? Also, is there an order and period of time to wait between chemicals? I saw the calculator but didn't see anything about how long to wait and what order to put them in. Thanks again.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    Definitely use the calculator to determine how much CYA to add shooting for an initial target of 70 for you SWG system. Use the sock method for granular stabilizer. Until your SWG can sustain the required FC level for your pool, yes you can use regular bleach. Non-scented, just regular plain stuff - generic is fine. You can start the stabilizer in a sock right away without waiting. All other chemical additions are done with the pump running, about 30 minutes apart from each other. Always be careful not to add bleach and acid at the same time.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    According to the Pool Math calculator, I need to add 187 oz of stabilizer to raise CYA to 70 from 0. However, I don't yet have precise tests, so I'm not certain of my starting point (I just ordered the TF-100 Test Kit and Taylor K-1766 Salt Test today.) I put 4 pounds of stabilizer in a sock in my skimmer basket this evening because that is all I had on hand and started running the pump at low speed. Should I add the remaining stabilizer tomorrow once I pick it up from the store or should I add it gradually to be sure I need it? If it takes a week to dissolve/register on a test, should I wait a week to retest and add more? My concern is that if the CYA level is too low, it seems likely I'll be adding 2 gallons of bleach daily to keep the pool sanitized before the SWG will kick in. Also, Texas Splash said not to add bleach at the same time as acid but if the acid can take up to a week to dissolve, does that mean I need to wait until it is dissolved to add chlorine? Should I consider using dichlor since both my chlorine and CYA levels are low? Finally, should I wait to add chemicals to balance Ph, hardness and alkalinity, etc. until after the CYA and chlorine levels are in line? Thanks again for your patience with all my questions.
    20K gal, IG fiberglass installed 8/25/15, Pentair Intelliflo 3 HP variable speed pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48sf DE filter, Pentair Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Aqua Comfort ACT-1250 Heat Pump, 3 S.R. Smith Pal Treo Lights with WPC1, S.R. Smith Turbo Twister Slide, S.R. Smith Swim N' Dunk Salt Friendly Challenge Basketball Game, Aquabot Millenium XE robotic cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit and K-1766 Salt Water Test

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    You do not typically want to make huge chemical changes. Might want to add enough CYA to target 50ppm and verify the level after a week.

    You can add bleach without issue. He meant do not mix bleach and muriatic acid directly together. Once in the water it is safe.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    In addition to what Jason mentioned, always feel free to review our Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals page which outlines some basic notes and techniques for each chemical. While the page mentions placing stabilizer in a sock then in the skimmer, another very common technique is to simply hang that sock in front of a return jet and squeeze occasionally to help dissipate. Although CYA does take about a week to increase on a test after it is dissolved, you don't have to wait to add other chemicals while the sock is soaking. As for the adding the other chemicals, they can be can be added about 30 minutes apart from each other as long as the pump is running to help mix everything. Hope that helps. Ask all the questions you need to.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    How about some pics/info of that pool? Based on your signature I feel like you owe us a "build" thread .

    Have no fear about your chemicals. If you do your required homework and read, as long as you follow the advice of the masters on this board you will be the happiest pool owner!

    ac

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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    IMG_6541.jpgIMG_6535.jpg

    Thanks again to everyone for your help. At avc8130, it's not much to look at in the day yet. Just had the concrete poured on Tuesday which will be a base for pool coping and pavers which will extend to patio areas. As such, slide and basketball net are not installed yet. Looks pretty nice at night with the lights in the pool and retaining wall and because you can't see the mess.
    20K gal, IG fiberglass installed 8/25/15, Pentair Intelliflo 3 HP variable speed pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48sf DE filter, Pentair Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Aqua Comfort ACT-1250 Heat Pump, 3 S.R. Smith Pal Treo Lights with WPC1, S.R. Smith Turbo Twister Slide, S.R. Smith Swim N' Dunk Salt Friendly Challenge Basketball Game, Aquabot Millenium XE robotic cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit and K-1766 Salt Water Test

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    Looking good indeed.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    poolnoob.ca's Avatar
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    using the "effects of adding chemicals" section of poolmath, the 560lb of salt will give you a reading of 3346. check the manuf. suggested levels and see if that is in range.

    As for CYA it starts at zero with new water, so whatever you add, will be what your level is.
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
    Filter: AstralPools ZX-310 SWCG: AstralPools VX7T
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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by lcd98 View Post

    Thanks again to everyone for your help. At avc8130, it's not much to look at in the day yet. Just had the concrete poured on Tuesday which will be a base for pool coping and pavers which will extend to patio areas. As such, slide and basketball net are not installed yet. Looks pretty nice at night with the lights in the pool and retaining wall and because you can't see the mess.
    Nothing to be ashamed of there! It looks great. I can picture the finished product and it's going to be gorgeous! Make sure you post completed pics!

    ac

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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    Thanks. Turns out I am good on salt, if not a bit high at 4000 ppm. With respect to CYA, I just added more last night, for a total of 12 pounds over the course of about a week. Before I added the last 4 pounds, my reading was about 28 using the TF-100 test kit for the first time. My chlorine has been high in spite of a low CYA (see numbers below). I imagine it is due in part to my running the pump (and the SWG) continuously for a couple of days to warm the water and also keep the pool clean due to construction around the pool. When I realized this yesterday, I turned off the SWG. I wonder if the fact that my pool is almost completely in the shade has something to do with high chlorine levels in spite of low CYA as well. Should I target a lower number than 70 given this fact?

    CYA: 28
    Ph: 7.6
    CH:25
    TA: 70
    FC: 11.5
    CC: .5
    TC: 12

    Also, my CH is very low at 75 so I plan on buying a bag of calcium chloride to raise it. Pool Math said I need about 27 pounds. I believe I am supposed to broadcast it in the deep end. Do I have to worry about it ruining the fiberglass finish? Thanks for any words of wisdom.
    20K gal, IG fiberglass installed 8/25/15, Pentair Intelliflo 3 HP variable speed pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48sf DE filter, Pentair Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Aqua Comfort ACT-1250 Heat Pump, 3 S.R. Smith Pal Treo Lights with WPC1, S.R. Smith Turbo Twister Slide, S.R. Smith Swim N' Dunk Salt Friendly Challenge Basketball Game, Aquabot Millenium XE robotic cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit and K-1766 Salt Water Test

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    Re: Startup Chemicals for new Fiberglass Pool with SWG

    I think you can keep it a bit lower than 70 for now. After you get all set up and running, you will see where the "happy place" seems to be for all of your chemicals. My pool behaves very well at 55 - 60 CYA and 6.0 to 8.0 FC. Yours may be different. CH doesn't have any meaning with a fiberglass pool, I think. I know it doesn't mean anything for a vinyl pool.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
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