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Thread: pool opener newbee

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    pool opener newbee

    It's almost time! In Louisville, KY, the temps are going to be consistently over 70F and it's time to open this baby.

    If you read my other post, you'll remember I'm the guy with the un-level fiberglass pool (installed in May 2015), and my pool man has been working on the pool (on and off) mostly off, all winter. So, I went the winter with NO cover. Last week, I had a little green algae outbreak. It wasn't bad at all, just a little green algae on the pool walls that brushes right off easily.

    Since this is my first time opening my own pool, I wanted to run down my parameters with you guys and gals to make sure I'm doing it correctly. I read the "pool opening" sticky and as usual, I'm following the "troublefreepool" method for my saltwater pool.

    So here is what I did:

    1. I put the filter back together, and put the drain plugs in the pumps, and heater.

    2. I turned on the pump and opened the drain, to pump as much of the return line antifreeze out of the pool, as possible.

    3. I ran the filter and brushed any algae off the sides. The filter cartridges clogged up so quickly! So I kept taking the cartridges out, power washing them, and putting them back in again (about every 4-6 hours). I also put a "sock" in the skimmer basket in effort to catch as much there as possible. But the bottom drains had no socks on them.

    4. After a few rounds of this, I started looking at my water tests and here's what I did. And I did all these things slowly, over a 3 day period.

    A. The salinity was about 2700, so I added salt to get the salinity up to 3200
    B. The CH was around 190, so added a little hardener to get the CH up to 250
    C. The PH was high around 8.3, probably the algae? So I added about 1/2 gal of muratic acid to get it down to about 7.5
    D. The alkalinity was still around 60. I added just a bit of baking soda to get it up to 70.
    E. The CYA was around 50, so I added whatever stabilizer I had left and got it up to about 60. I will buy more and bump it up a tad more if you think I should.
    F. The Chlorine was zero. I added one bag (1 lb) of "Power powder plus" from leslies. I told the guy at the store I wanted to bump it up to 24 (as suggested on this web site). He said 1lb would do it. But the FC is only about 12-13. Should I buy more?
    G. I put my sw chlorine generator in "boost" mode for the last 48 hours.
    H. My borates were around 30-40, so I added one box of Mule team borax, to get it up to 40ish. (hard to tell with these borate test strips)

    5. Now, my water is ALMOST clear. The pool looks great! Pictures below.

    Is there anything I'm missing? I have a NEW set of cartridge filters but I don't want to use them until the pool is perfectly clear. Then I'll bust out the new ones and throw away the old.

    Thanks gang!

    PoolOpen.jpg

    CartrigeFilter.jpg
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: pool opener newbee

    You need to SLAM the pool. Check out the link in my signature. DO NOT use powdered chlorine to bring the FC up to shock level during a SLAM. Regular, unscented bleach from a big box/grocery store or liquid chlorine (bleach) from the pool store. All forms of powdered chlorine add something you don't want in your pool.

    That "Power powder plus" is calcium hypochlorite. In your case where your CH is marginally low, it's not so bad to use this product as it will raise your FC and your CH. But... fiberglass pools don't really need CH to be balanced or at a minimum level so there's no reason to raise your CH intentionally.

    Don't use any shock that has dichlor in it either. That will raise your CYA level very quickly.

    Stick to liquid chlorine/bleach. It's cheaper and doesn't add anything else to your pool but hypochlorite (and a very small amount of salt). The only problem with bleach is the containers you have to recycle!

    Your opening procedure looks good so far!
    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: pool opener newbee

    Joel said the first thing I was going to .... SLAM. We can't let our nice, slick, FB shells fool us. That's exactly what I did when I first got my pool. Brushed (very easily) only to always have the filter full of green. You need to SLAM with regular (generic bleach). The only green you should see in your water is a green bikini. As for the CH, don't get wrapped around increasing it. I can tell you from my own (ignorant) personal experience when first opening that I allowed it to increase, but also allowed pH to remain a little too high as well. What was my reward? .... scale. Scale which I have been diligently working to remove VERY slowly over time via TFP methods.

    So don't let the clear water fool you right now, especially while the water is still chilly. SLAM now like Joel stated to ensure there is no living algae in there for your swimming season. You should do well and have a farily quick SLAM if you stick to the SLAM page. Good luck!
    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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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Thanks guys, I had a feeling that powder was a mistake. I'm glad I only added the one small bag.

    So, in summary, the only thing I need to do is buy bleach and increase the FC to 24, correct?
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pool opener newbee

    I would test the pH one more time. Ideal for SLAM is 7.2-7.5. Then absolutely ... go for it. Maintain that FC until you pass all 3 criteria. Have a nice day.
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Quote Originally Posted by guytimes View Post
    Thanks guys, I had a feeling that powder was a mistake. I'm glad I only added the one small bag.

    So, in summary, the only thing I need to do is buy bleach and increase the FC to 24, correct?
    AND you need to maintain that 24 ppm FC until you pass the 3 SLAM criteria. The SLAM procedure is a process, designed to eliminate algae not a one time pool treatment. Be sure to read through the whole procedure for a SLAM.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: pool opener newbee

    You do good work! Nice job.
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    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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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Following your advice, I edged down the PH a bit more, and added 4 jugs of bleach. I'm right at 26 now. The pool math calculator was pretty dang close.

    I didn't realize the FC needed to be up that high to KILL everything. But it makes sense. All my other parameters are in check. So I'll follow the SLAM testing procedures for the next few days. Also realized I need to turn off the sw chlorine generator.

    Thanks to you guys and troublefreepool.com, I have saved a lot of time, headache, and money. Thanks everyone.
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Make sure the next post you make to this thread is of your crystal clear water. Most of us need pictures because we don't read so good.
    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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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Good idea! Here is a picture of the water right now. I'll post another picture in a few days.

    I hope all of you are having the same good luck I am, with opening your pools.

    BeforeSlam.jpg
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Looks pretty good, so likely will be a brief SLAM. After you complete the procedure, you'll know for sure that you have an algae-free pool and it'll be even clearer!
    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: pool opener newbee

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    But... fiberglass pools don't really need CH to be balanced or at a minimum level so there's no reason to raise your CH intentionally.

    He has a heater.....he does need a CH balance.

    Also from ABCs of pool chemistry:

    "Calcium helps fiberglass pools resist staining and cobalt spotting."


    All the heater mfg's I've seen require a minimum of 215 ppm to keep the warranty for the heat exchanger valid.

    Guytimes, check the manual that came with your heater and see what level of CH they require to keep your warranty intact.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: pool opener newbee

    I dodged the heater bullet scenario since I don't have one. But you're right borjis, the ABC's do mention that. However even though not specifically mentioned there, I believe it was in reference to this rationale (from a previous post):
    Our recommended level is 220-320 ppm CH. See: Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals. My understanding is the claim that "it protects the gelcoat" on gelcoats with calcium carbonate filler. If you know your gel coat does not have that filler, then you should be able to ignore low CH.
    I have seen that discussion kicked around several times. Still, something to be aware of and certainly verify in the owners manual or with the manufacture.
    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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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    He has a heater.....he does need a CH balance.

    Also from ABCs of pool chemistry:

    "Calcium helps fiberglass pools resist staining and cobalt spotting."


    All the heater mfg's I've seen require a minimum of 215 ppm to keep the warranty for the heat exchanger valid.

    Guytimes, check the manual that came with your heater and see what level of CH they require to keep your warranty intact.
    Here ya go! Notice how high it says to run the alkalinity... 120+!

    raypak.jpg
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Don't listen to that part! LOL! I agree with keeping CH around 250. Pool looks good!
    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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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Wait! I just had an "ah ha" moment.

    Yesterday, I said:

    The Chlorine was zero. I added one bag (1 lb) of "Power powder plus" from leslies. I told the guy at the store I wanted to bump it up to 24 (as suggested on this web site). He said 1lb would do it. But the FC is only about 12-13. Should I buy more?

    When I said, "the FC is only about 12-13". That was probably because I waited 24 hours before I tested it. I actually added that on Tuesday. Woops. I'm sure it was much higher than that, but with the sun and the "working" of the chlorine, it dropped. Lesson learned!

    Doesn't matter. I popped it back up to 25 yesterday. By night time, it was around 15. This morning. About 13.5. My CC is between .5 and 1. Woo hoo! Almost there! The water is SO clear this morning and the cartridge filters are still flowing great, so I know they are pulling less and less out of the water.

    Pictures soon.
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: pool opener newbee

    That's great. Now just maintain it and don't let up. Sometimes this is the most difficult part - that last bit of waiting.
    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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    Re: pool opener newbee

    I'm not far away from you Guytimes! I also opened yesterday with really good luck for the second year in a row. This season will be my third with the TFP method. My water has never looked better with a whole lot less work!
    SCon36

    24,000 Gallon IG vinyl pool (16x36x8) with Hayward S200 sand filter and Hayward pump and heat pump. Built August 2011. I use a Taylor K-2005 test kit with a K-1515 add on.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIgL...0MyAw&index=29

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: pool opener newbee

    TFP Moderator
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    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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    Re: pool opener newbee

    Thanks Scon and all.

    The pool was crystal clear by Sunday, the 17th. Here are a couple pics. The pool started out green and within 6 days of the TFP method, the water was crystal clear and the SLAM process was complete.

    PoolTile1.jpg

    And first swim was yesterday by Leo and Winnie! April 19th! I ran the heater for a few hours and got the temp up to about 80.

    PoolWinnie.jpg
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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