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Thread: First opening - Help with order of steps

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Philadelphia, PA

    First opening - Help with order of steps

    New pool owner here after having bought a house with a 30,000 gallon kidney shaped gunite pool. I've spent about 2 hours trying to find different pool opening guides and decided I would just post to see if I can get an answer as I find too many different idea of too many different setups.

    Plumbing: two skimmers, one main drain in deep end, one vac port, with multiport
    Equipment: single stage pool pump, vac pump, polaris 280 (i think) vac, sta-rite DE filter, pentair 300 chlorinator

    I just took the cover off tonight. I had it professionally winterized and had winterizing algaecide thrown in along with "Pool Magic Fall & Phosfree" and a "Stain & Scale" solution. Water is mostly clear but cloudy, as I would expect. The plaster has a brown tint to it, mainly in the shallow end, but I think it's dirt more than I think it's algae. I don't see anything that clearly looks like algae.

    My water level was about an inch above the skimmer line (and skimmers full) so I decided to try and get the water flowing again for now. I had already lubed up my multi-port o-rings and replaced some other misc plumbing with the chlorinator. I set the multi-port to recirculate and got the water flowing. Some funky smells from the water, that's for sure. So here are my questions...

    #1) When do I put my DE in the filter and start running the water through it? There is a decent amount of debris in the pool so I am tempted to run it on WASTE for a bit to just flush it out.
    --Assuming I DO run it on WASTE, should I run the VAC too? Or do I run it in recirculate with the VAC and let the VAC suck stuff up?
    --OR, do I put in my DE and just starting running the VAC and filter together now? If I do that, will it run through the DE fairly quickly?

    #2) When adding the DE, should I close off one skimmer line, is there a good guide for how to take the pressure reading and how to charge it properly?

    #3) Initial observation of my skimmer lines during the first circulation showed one of them pulling much more water than the other. Not sure if this is normal or not as I haven't had enough experience with this pool yet. If I closed off the one that was pulling more than the other then the other one started pulling just as hard. Remove the plug and we are back to the first pulling more. Should I be concerned about this right now or could this be a side-effect of the water level not being quite high enough yet?

    #4) Most articles talk about balancing the water before shocking the pool. However, the order of the levels to tackle is mixed. Some say alkalinity -> pH -> calcium and then others I've seen say alkalinity -> calcium -> pH. And some say to shock the pool first.

    #5) Shocking the pool -- should I do this before #5? How do I know how much to put in and how long should I circulate the water before doing anything after shocking it?

    #6) My chlorinator -- is there a guide to what setting I should set the dial to for a 30,000 gallon pool?

    thanks much in advance
    Last edited by syntax53; 05-21-2016 at 09:36 AM. Reason: added signature

  2. Back To Top    #2

    TFP Guide

    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Fletcher, OK

    Re: First opening - Help with order of steps

    I do not have a DE filter so not much help there but I can help with what you should be doing and starting you off on the right foot do some reading in pool school and check out the links in my sig below, speaking of signature, we need you to fill yours out so we know what you have, it makes it much easier.. Trouble Free Pool

    Get a great test kit, you need this to know what your water needs, without this you're flying blind..

    1. to get debris off the bottom vac to waste.

    2. I think this will help

    3. normal, you may have a jandy valve that can be adjusted

    4. get your PH to 7.2 and start SLAM, on your trip to walmart stop by lowes and get 20% baume muriatic acid,, it's in the outdoor section next to the pool supplies

    5. we do a SLAM, shocking is a pool store thing to keep you coming back to buy more chemicals, to know exactly what to do use poolmath above

    6. use only for vacation you need regular bleach/liquid chlorine from walmart, until you get your test kit put 1 gallon of bleach in your pool a day, this will keep it from getting any worse and may help a little bit..

    I hope this helps
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: First opening - Help with order of steps

    Good morning. In regards to your questions above:
    1 - Never run the filter without the grids. But in the beginning, running straight to waste if fine, but still make sure you have scooped-out most of the bulk junk from the pool. Remember it still goes to the pump strainer basket and pump, so watch that area closely.
    2 - Normally you will have a seasonal baseline psi so you know where your gauge normally sits. This helps to confirm how much DE to add when recharging. But if the filter has not been cleaned or inspected in a while, you may want to do that first to ensure the grids are okay with no holes or tears.
    3 - That's not uncommon. They are probably plumbed together on one line. If you have a saucer-shaped diverted in one skimmer, adjusting it is about all you can do.
    4 - There is no confusing here. Algae means to "SLAM". The instructions on that page are clear, but basically you will adjust pH to 7.2 first, validate CYA level, then increase FC to kill the algae. The other levels can be adjusted later.
    5 - Same as #4 above.
    6 - Empty it. It's never a good idea to rely on tablets/pucks for daily chlorination as it adds way too much CYA to the water. Please review the TFP Pool School pages (link below) for more info. Use regular liquid bleach for your daily chlorination requirements.

    Let us know if you have any other questions.
    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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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Philadelphia, PA

    Re: First opening - Help with order of steps

    Thanks for the replies. I was prepping in the weeks to come so I already have my test kit, and unfortunately already bought pool shock and chlorine tablets from costco. I also already completely re-habbed the chrlorinater (new valves, lines, weepers into the pipes, cap, and o-ring) so I plan to use that as well for now . I also already bought 4 10-gallon pails of: alkalinity up, calcium up, and pH up and down. All powder form.

    This is what I bought from costco : Clorox Pool and Spa Shock Plus, 12-Pack -

    ... so your saying I shouldn't use that? Reading the SLAM instructions says to use liquid bleach. How much liquid bleach would I need? And is my powder form of pH up and down ok? Cowboy recomended I get muriatic acid (liquid it appears) which appears to be a pH down, what if I need pH up? Use the powder I have?

    edit: Also I'm fonfused about this whole CYA / FC chart. Can someone help explain that? Is stabilizer something additional I need to buy? The SLAM instructions say to test CYA, what if I have none? I don't get it

  5. Back To Top    #5

    TFP Guide
    PAGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Central PA

    Re: First opening - Help with order of steps

    If you are using pucks, you likelY have CYA ( stabilizer) in your pool already. There is a test for it, the one with the tube with the black dot, IF you have the proper, recommended kit. (k2006 or the TF100.)
    Once you find out what your CYA is, you use this by putting in your current test values and your target values, from the CYA/FC chart. Be sure to use the correct pool volume and the correct % of chlorine/bleach you are using.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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