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Thread: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

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    Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    I live in the country - miles from the local pool store...
    I purchased the 5,145 gallon above ground Coleman pool (16' x 48") online with a Salt Water Pump.
    It arrives next week and I want to go to the store & purchase all the necessary start up chemicals needed, so when the pool arrives & I set it up, I will have all the chemicals on hand needed to get this party started!

    The pool aisle at Walmart overwhelmed me so much, I almost had foregone the pool all together - but it's HOT in Texas and I reconsidered, today!

    I've been perusing this site the last couple of days, signed up today & still can't seem to find an easy list of WHAT'S REALLY NEEDED AT START UP (maybe b/c it's not that simple?!?!?)

    What ALL do I really need to buy, to start?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Hello and welcome! I hear you! HOT! Well, based on your location, we'll try to make this as easy as possible, but you'll still need to do some work:
    - At Wal-Mart, get HTH "Stabilizer". One 4-lb container is about $16. You should also get some Pool Essentials 10% Pool Chlorine or their regular Great Value 8.25% bleach. Get yourself about 5-6 jugs for now.
    - While in that pool section, grab a cheap $6 HTH test kit (drop testing) - no strips. It's only for FC and pH right now.
    - Once you fill-up the pool, add enough "stabilizer" via the sock method to increase your CYA to about 40 for now. You may go to 50 later, but let's start with 40 to be safe.
    - On day #1, add only enough bleach to increase FC to about 3 ppm (use the Poolmath calculator). After the CYA is dissolved, keep your FC at the 4-6 mark and NEVER let FC go below 3.
    - pH should be in the id 7s.

    While that's happening ... order the proper test kit (TF-100) - link below. That's extremely important for your swim season. Once you get that kit, post a full set of test results and we'll help you from there. Stick to the vital links you see below in my signature and you'll do fine. Let us know if you have any more questions. Welcome!

    To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
    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 Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Thank you so much! I'll get [that] far and be in touch! P.S. I'm about 2.5 hrs north of San Antonio - I appreciate the Texas recommendations.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Anytime.
    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 Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    I see that the info in my 'signature' didn't populate, it was too long, I've since fixed it - does any of the info I put in there make a difference in your answer? For instance, I'll be filling the pool with well water, hard well water. And if I got the salt water pump, how much salt should I purchase?
    Pool: Above Ground Coleman 16' x 48" (5,145 gallons) Reinforced PVC and triple-layer polyester side walls. Filter: Intex 3000 gph sand filter. Pump: Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System 15,000 Gallon. TKTestKit100.

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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    It does, thank you. Of course you'll need pool salt, about 130 lbs according to the Poolmath calculator to get you to a level of around 3000. You'll want your CYA increased to at least "70", so that's about 3 lbs (48 ounces) of stabilizer. As soon as the water is in there, let the salt start dissolving. Until the SWG is operating properly, use the regular bleach to augment the SWG to ensure your FC never drops below 3. You can also refer to the TFP Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs page for more info.

    Just for giggles .... you might want to take a sample of your well water (before adding to pool) to the pool store. Just ask them to test it then leave. It would be nice to know if they show any metals (iron) in the water. If they do, or if it's brown when you pump it out, you'll want to do all the pre-filtering you can before hitting it with chlorine. But we'll see. Just a thought.
    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 Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    I have the pool filled w/ water. The well water was clear (not brown). I put 120 pounds (3 x 40lbs. bags) into the pool & swished around to dissolve it all.
    I turned on the filter pump, but NOT the SWG, yet... I read directions, somewhere, that I'm suppose to wait 24 hours after the filter pump has been running to start the SWG. True?!?!?
    For giggles, I tested everything:
    With the intex strips that came with the salt water 'deal', the COPPER Test Strips reads: 0.5
    The Intex test strip that came with the salt water 'deal', reads Free Cholrine: 0 (very low)
    The Intex test strip reads pH: 7.8
    The Intex test strip reads Total Alkalinity: 180

    Then, I used the cheapy hth 3-way test kit to obtain the following:
    Cl Br: .5 / 1 (it was CLEAR)
    pH: 7.8/8 (it's VERY red)

    Here's my long winded question (prior to heading over to the pool calculator, which I intend to do...

    In the messages above, you suggested I put in 3lbs of stabilizer, I couldn't find anything at Wal*mart that said, "Stabilizer," it all said, "SHOCK TREATMENT," so I purchased the $22 package that said "7-in-1" and had 6x 1lb packages...

    The back of the package says that 1 pound is for a pool up to 13,000 gallons and I only have a 5,100 gallon pool - so how much "Stabilizer/7-in-1" should I put to get my pool started? The 3 you told me initially?

    Thanks in advance! Also, do I dare put 6 bottles of bleach in at the same time that I put that Stabilizer/7-in-1 Shock Treatment... or do I wait to do them at different times & which one should I do first?
    Pool: Above Ground Coleman 16' x 48" (5,145 gallons) Reinforced PVC and triple-layer polyester side walls. Filter: Intex 3000 gph sand filter. Pump: Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System 15,000 Gallon. TKTestKit100.

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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Definitely do not add all that bleach. You only want to increase FC to about 3 ppm for day 1. In your 5,145 gallon pool, that's only about 2-2.5 cups right now. I'm not too thrilled about that 7-1 product. Leaves too many possibilities. I would return that if it were me (sorry) and look at Home Depot or Lowe's in their pool section for stabilizer/condition. While you are there, you can get some muriatic acid to lower the pH to about 7.5 or so. You can add stabilizer at any time via the sock method. The 2 cups of bleach as well and let it mix. Wait about 30 minutes after adding bleach to add the muriatic acid - slowly and let it mix well. I never trust test strips, but I am concerned about that copper reading. So after you add bleach, watch your liner for any possible changes/staining. Never let you FC drop below 2 right now.
    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 Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    What does CYA stand for? <eeek> I keep seeing that & can't find a list of the acronyms...
    And I see I missed typing the word SALT, I added 120 lbs of SALT.

    I will NOT add all that bleach. LOL Glad, I didn't... and asked first! I appreciate your help!
    I opened the darn 7-in-1, so I guess, I'll just save it to the side for a 'rainy' day... if I ever need to shock it, right?!?!?

    I'll head to Home Depot for real STABILIZER.
    And I have the thorough text kit on order. I know you initially said not to buy the test strips - I just 'played' around with them, since they came in the SWG package - which reminds me - what's the G in the SWG stand for - it's a Salt Water Pump, but SWG keeps being used???
    Pool: Above Ground Coleman 16' x 48" (5,145 gallons) Reinforced PVC and triple-layer polyester side walls. Filter: Intex 3000 gph sand filter. Pump: Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System 15,000 Gallon. TKTestKit100.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    CYA - Cyanuric Acid (aka stabilizer/condition). Yeah, just save the shock for a separate day when you're completely out of bleach, but make sure you have one of the recommended test kits so you know your good levels before adding it.

    SWG - Salt Water ..... "Generator". Salt Water Generator.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As time goes on and you use the Poolmath calculator more, just practice it to get your eyes used to the different rows. For the FC row, make sure to manually update that field that says "WEIGHT". That's where you enter 8.25%, or 10% .. whatever kind of bleach you are using. I'm always getting HEB's "Bravo", so it's always 8.25% for me. And of course make sure the number of gallons for your pool is correct at the top.
    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 Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    I have the TF-100 Test kit sitting in my shopping cart awaiting my PURCHASE click, but I'm wondering if I should buy the SALT TEST STRIPS?
    Or the $25 Taylor K1766 Salt Test?
    Pool: Above Ground Coleman 16' x 48" (5,145 gallons) Reinforced PVC and triple-layer polyester side walls. Filter: Intex 3000 gph sand filter. Pump: Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System 15,000 Gallon. TKTestKit100.

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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Sorry I missed your post last night. For those products to be on TFTestKit site, they will both work. I'm sure you can't go wrong with either one.
    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 Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    If you have Amazon prime you can buy stabilizer, cya, and calcium at very competitive prices. For me it is the least expensive option. Muratic acid, full strength is cheapest at Lowes and bleach from Walmart. TFTestkits.net has the best prices for testing supplies. Get the speedstir while your there. The shipping charges are a better deal with a big order. If you buy a membership, which really is a donation, you get a discount in the store.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Ok, so I have the TFTestKit on order.
    In the meantime, I'm having a hard time using the Pool Math Calculator, b/c I don't know what all the Abbreviations/acronyms are... it'd be helpful if the full word/name was in the text box for those of us new to all those new terms/names.

    Over the last few days, I have added 2 1/2 cups of bleach, a bottle (gallon) of stabilizer, 7-in-1 shock (1 lb), 1 1/4 cup of Dry Acid. My SWG has run for 3 hours (4pm-7pm) the last three days.
    Today, I test my Cl/Br and it's 5/10 (respectively) and the pH is 8.2+ (BRIGHT RED). These additions have been over a number of days & AT LEAST 4 hours in between any one of the chemical additions.

    HELP! THANK YOU in advance!
    Pool: Above Ground Coleman 16' x 48" (5,145 gallons) Reinforced PVC and triple-layer polyester side walls. Filter: Intex 3000 gph sand filter. Pump: Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System 15,000 Gallon. TKTestKit100.

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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Here you go. This should help. You will get used to the abbreviations in no time:
    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Work on adding MA to get your pH down.

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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    I finally received my test kit & have the following results:
    TC = 2
    Cl/Br = 1-2
    pH = 8.2+
    TA = 440
    Calcium = 250 ppm
    Salt (test strips from TKTestKit Additional) 5.7 or between 2660 & 2870
    CYA = 50

    Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 2.45.15 PM copy.jpg
    I know my pH is HIGH and I apparently have a super high TA, also... but what do I do to fix it?!?!? Add Total Alkalinity product?!?!? Add more bleach?!?!?

    Thanks in advance!
    Pool: Above Ground Coleman 16' x 48" (5,145 gallons) Reinforced PVC and triple-layer polyester side walls. Filter: Intex 3000 gph sand filter. Pump: Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System 15,000 Gallon. TKTestKit100.

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    Re: Pool Newbie | What to buy at the store on the first day?

    Go to the "suggested goal levels in the bottom yellow section and put in your pool info. Choose troublefreepool in the first drop down box, then SWG, then vinyl.

    Bring your FC to 4 with bleach and your pH to 7.6. Wait a half hour between MA and chlorine. Then see where you are. Your pH may be much higher than 8.2.

    Leave the TA alone for now.

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