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Thread: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

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    Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    Hi All. I'm thrilled to find your forum. I am in need of some good advice. I just had my old pool remodeled. The details are in my signature. The new Pebble Tec was acid washed yesterday morning, and it has been filling up since then. The level is just above the shiny new LED light. I estimate that it holds somewhere between 15,000 and 18,000 gallons. I have been using a pool service for my weekly chemistry check for about the last 2 years. I did it myself for the 18 years before that, but I never could quite get it right and felt like I was spending a ton of $ on pool chemicals at Leslie's, so I finally hired them just to do the chemistry. But a man comes about once a week, does a quick check, drops a couple of 3" tabs in the basket, and is gone. It literally takes him less than 120 seconds. I don't have a lot of confidence in them to do more than that, although I will say that the water has stayed nice and clear for the past 2 years that they have been doing the work. I clean the pool with an AquaBot Turbo (my fourth robot) whenever the dirt/dust accumulates a bit on the bottom. That works very well. My old pool did not have a main drain, and the skimmer was one that I put together myself and fed over the top of the deck, as did the one return. Pool Remodel Resized 0002.jpgPool Remodel Resized 0024.jpgPool Remodel Resized 0040.jpgPool Remodel Resized 0080.jpgPool Remodel Resized 0115.jpgMy pool builder has not been very informative about what to do when the pool fills up, except to say that I better get some chemicals in it pronto. I have received different information from several sources, including the web. So, I took a jar of my clean tap water (from the pool) to Leslie's for a test. The results are 0 for everything except Calcium Hardness - 50, Total Alkalinity - 70, pH - 8.0, and Acid Demand - 4. Leslie's instructions are as follows: 1) broadcast 6 lbs 5 oz of Alkalinity Up, then wait 4 hours and retest; 2) add 4 lbs 14 oz of Leslie's Conditioner, let it circulate for 72 hours, then retest. The pool builder left me with 14 bags of salt. I understand that I should not add the salt for at least 30 days. The man who installed my equipment said that I might even get away with not adding any salt at all until next Spring at this point. So, I am fairly confused, and would love to find a comprehensive opinion on what to do with my nice clean tap water when it hits midline on the skimmer hole in a little while. Thanks for any advice you might have. I'll do a better job of attaching photos next time. I'll also attach one of the finished pool.
    Newly remodeled 15x30' pool; 3' wide cabo shelf all across the shallow end; 2x4' bench in the deep end; 6 1/2' - 4' deep off the cabo; 4 returns; auto fill; pebble tec; Pentair Intellichlor IC40, Clean&Clear+ filter, Intelliflo var spd pump/motor, Easy Touch 4.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    First things first. You need a reliable home test kit to properly monitor your pool water chemistry if you're going to follow TFP methods. See the test kit comparison here: Pool School - Test Kits Compared Short answer is that the TF-100 has all the tests you need with appropriate amounts of reagents that will last you for a while. You can get it at tftestkits.net. A second best but very capable kit is the Taylor K-2006. Home testing is the only way to follow TFP methods. You also cannot mix pool store advice or testing with the advice given here. It will only lead to confusion.

    Your first steps can vary based on your builder's requirements to maintain the warranty on your new plaster surface. There are several methods to starting up new plaster which are detailed here: Pool School - Start-up New Plaster The most important thing is to follow your builder's advice IF you are required to start up the pool in a certain way to maintain the warranty. If there are no requirements, check that guide. A traditional start up or the bicarbonate start up are the most recommended here.

    There are many articles in Pool School that will get you on your way but it's most important to start with ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and move on from there.

    Welcome to TFP!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    I would clarify with the builder that he is going to carry you though the curing process up to and including a complete, in spec chemical balance for normal usage.

    The maintenance is fairly easy, get one of the Taylor test kits as recommended.

    When he's ready to "hand you the keys" keep in touch on the board and you'll have a perfect pool in no time at all. Plus winter is coming. I live in Antelope, and when the pool is cold I shut off my SWG and use liquid bleach, and adjust the PH as necessary. I test once a week or so.

    You won't have much more to do until start up other than cleaning out the skimmer, prefilter, and washing the main filter, but with a new pool I'd keep on top of TA and PH since it is still curing to some degree, and of course chlorine to prevent algae.

    At start up, follow the many guides on this site. And you'll have a perfect pool in no time.
    SWG: CircuPool (May 2014) SI30+Plus; 3000ppm seems ideal;
    My Ideal Specs:
    FC 5; PH 7.4-7.6; TA 90; CH 350; CYA 75; = SI ~ 0.19
    14,000 gal, in ground, plaster, Cartridge filter, Borates
    TAYLOR K - 2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    Welcome to TFP!

    Nice project! Most important is to keep chlorine in the pool and manage PH between 7.2 and 7.8.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    Welcome to TFP! I think you fill find just what you are looking for here in terms of simple owner-user care guidance to keep your water clean and clean. Great info above, and you can also refer to the vital links you see in everyone's signatures, they will serve you well. Maybe just a couple things to watch for and ask your contractor as your water fills:
    NOTE: Your contractor guidance is #1 until they say you are free to maintain on your own to not void any warranty, but keep an eye/ear out for the following or ask these questions:
    - How much/what type of stabilizer (CYA) are you putting in right away?
    - What type of sanitizer are you putting in at first to maintain an adequate FC level to avoid algae?
    - To keep the pH from going over 7.8, do I test and add acid on my own?

    As Joel mentioned above, your TF-100 will be the best thing you can do for your pool. Make sure to ask for the speed stir! I would be curious to know what your CH is from your testing as it's typically quite high in the west/southwest. Spend some time getting familiar with the Poolmath calculator . This tool will be most important to you next to your TF-100.

    Do a little reading, watch the water level rise, and have a great weekend.
    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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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    Welcome to TFP!

    Here are some resources to give you an overview of managing your pool using our methods:
    1. ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    2. Chlorine CYA Chart
    3. Recommended Pool Chemicals
    4. Recommended Levels
    5. Pool Math
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    I can't tell from the photos, but do you have the new dual drain designed to prevent someone getting stuck to the drain from suction?
    SWG: CircuPool (May 2014) SI30+Plus; 3000ppm seems ideal;
    My Ideal Specs:
    FC 5; PH 7.4-7.6; TA 90; CH 350; CYA 75; = SI ~ 0.19
    14,000 gal, in ground, plaster, Cartridge filter, Borates
    TAYLOR K - 2006

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckiechan View Post
    I can't tell from the photos, but do you have the new dual drain designed to prevent someone getting stuck to the drain from suction?
    I know it's a highly publicized issue that in my opinion, has been blown out of proportion. Some cities/localities require it for commercial pools as well as residential pools. It's not always required for residential pools, sometimes only with new construction. I have a 3 way valve on my single main drain which allows me to have the suction there barely at a trickle. I'm all for safety, but requiring a home owner to spend thousands of dollars to retrofit a main drain is too much as far as I'm concerned. The easy and cheap solution in this case would have been to simply fill the main drain with concrete during the renovation if it is a local code requirement. A main drain is certainly not essential and many new pools are constructed without them, even though they really come in handy for pools that are winterized in freezing winter climates.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Greetings from Carmichael, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    I know it's a highly publicized issue that in my opinion, has been blown out of proportion. Some cities/localities require it for commercial pools as well as residential pools. It's not always required for residential pools, sometimes only with new construction. I have a 3 way valve on my single main drain which allows me to have the suction there barely at a trickle. I'm all for safety, but requiring a home owner to spend thousands of dollars to retrofit a main drain is too much as far as I'm concerned. The easy and cheap solution in this case would have been to simply fill the main drain with concrete during the renovation if it is a local code requirement. A main drain is certainly not essential and many new pools are constructed without them, even though they really come in handy for pools that are winterized in freezing winter climates.
    I agree with you in general, but note that in this case, uinless the pictures are deceiving me, this was a complete rebuild of the pool from the ground up, with new plumbing including the main drain. So it would (and should) have to comply with the latest codes. I don't know what those are (my pool is from the 1950s), and I'm sure the builder complied whatever it is. I'd love to see more pictures of the new pool too!

    And to OP, Welcome from down the street in Arden Arcade!
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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