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Thread: New Pool - Where do I start?

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    New Pool - Where do I start?

    So after a weekend of leveling the ground a day of filling I have erected an Intex metal frame pool.

    Now what?

    The pool was filled with municipal water so chlorine measured zero and pH measured 7.4.

    I'm guessing I should start with a shock of Cl? Then what? What supplies should I pick up and what do I need to do so the family can enjoy it this weekend?

    Thank, in advance for any help. I'd like to think I'm a pretty smart guy but everything I come across always seems to be talking about adjusting levels or fixing a disaster pool. What do I do with an otherwise pretty clean looking body of water to keep it that way?

    FYI - 48" x 15' Intex Ultraframe pool, est 4,400 gallons. I tested chlorine and pH (as mentioned above) and bought jars of 1" Cl tabs, pH up, and pH down, but am now thinking I don't have any way to use the tabs so maybe I should go with liquid chlorine.

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Start right here:

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - Recommended Levels
    Pool School - What is TFPC?

    Ignore borates, calcium, salt, and phosphates. We generally recommend chlorinating with bleach instead of tabs, since tablets add either calcium or, more often, cyanuric acid (stabilizer). Too much CyA results in you having to maintain a very high free chlorine level to avoid algae.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    Start right here:

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - Recommended Levels
    Pool School - What is TFPC?

    Ignore borates, calcium, salt, and phosphates. We generally recommend chlorinating with bleach instead of tabs, since tablets add either calcium or, more often, cyanuric acid (stabilizer). Too much CyA results in you having to maintain a very high free chlorine level to avoid algae.


    Thanks, I have actually read those, and other pages. I understand the concepts of the different levels and what to add to do what but (unless I missed it) how do I calculate how much bleach to add to get my FC to between 3 and 7 ppm? And then I adjust the pH to between 7.5 and 7.8 with borax but how much do I use? I'm assuming there's a formula out there? And baking soda to get the alkalinity between 50 and 90, but how do I calculate how much?

    And is that the order to do it? Bleach -> Borax -> Baking Soda? How long between the additions?

    Thanks again,
    Nick

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Ahh! You need PoolMath (it's a link at the top of this page).

    Scroll to the bottom of PoolMath and enter your pool's shape, depth, and size, and you'll get the approximate volume of the pool. Plug that in to the top left of PoolMath, then scroll to the bottom and set your pool type, chlorination method, and choose TroubleFreePool for the numbers to use. Then enter your current numbers in the left column, and the numbers you want in the right column, and Pool Math will tell you how much to add.

    If you want us to double check your numbers, we'll be happy to. Go ahead and give it a try, let us know (by updating your signature) what your pool type, gallons, etc. is, and then tell us your current/target numbers and someone will respond to double check.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Hoh-kay. I plugged in my 4400 gallon vinyl pool and used the Trouble Free Pool goal levels.
    *FC is currently 0 (potable municipal water) so if I add 27 oz of 8% bleach that should bring me to 4.
    *pH (at least on Monday) was 7.4 so if I add 0.9 fl oz of Borax that should bump it up to 7.5
    *My TA (I assume?) is zero so I need to add 83 fl oz of baking soda to bring that up to 100. Per the Pool Math article, baking soda comes in 4lb/70oz boxes so maybe I'll start with that and reassess.
    *CH I don't have to adjust since I have a vinyl pool, right?

    So, questions:
    1) Do those numbers look reasonable? Am I using Pool Math right?
    2) Can I add these all tonight one at a time and retest after a few hours or do I need to only add one at a time and give it time to mix?

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Chlorine - city fill water usually has a little bit, usually .5 - 1 FC. But it will be burned off by this evening.
    Ph at 7.4 is fine. No need to adjust - it will rise on it's own when people start swimming and splashing. Monitor it and only adjust if it starts getting above 7.8 or drops below 7.2.
    It's very unlikely that TA is 0. How are you measuring TA?
    CH you can leave alone, that's correct.

    So for now, I believe you're using Pool Math correctly. Tonight, just add the Chlorine. Meanwhile, if this is a new fill, we need to get some CYA (stabilizer) into the pool. Let's target 30ppm for now, so you'll need around 18oz of stabilizer (you can get this at WalMart - sometimes it's called conditioner).

    Do you have an approved test kit?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    Chlorine - city fill water usually has a little bit, usually .5 - 1 FC. But it will be burned off by this evening.
    Ph at 7.4 is fine. No need to adjust - it will rise on it's own when people start swimming and splashing. Monitor it and only adjust if it starts getting above 7.8 or drops below 7.2.
    It's very unlikely that TA is 0. How are you measuring TA?
    CH you can leave alone, that's correct.

    So for now, I believe you're using Pool Math correctly. Tonight, just add the Chlorine. Meanwhile, if this is a new fill, we need to get some CYA (stabilizer) into the pool. Let's target 30ppm for now, so you'll need around 18oz of stabilizer (you can get this at WalMart - sometimes it's called conditioner).

    Do you have an approved test kit?
    I didn't measure TA- assumed it was zero. I will track down stabilizer. I have a test kit from Home Depot but am open to suggestions.

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    If you could let us know the model of test kit you have, we can make suggestions to ensure you have all of the tests you need.

    Fill water will have a TA reading - my tap water results in a 140 TA in my pool when freshly filled. Go ahead and test tonight and we'll see where you are.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    If you could let us know the model of test kit you have, we can make suggestions to ensure you have all of the tests you need.

    Fill water will have a TA reading - my tap water results in a 140 TA in my pool when freshly filled. Go ahead and test tonight and we'll see where you are.
    This is the test kit:
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/5-Way-Poo...2364/203796265

    Tests for chlorine, bromine, pH, acid demand and total alkalinity

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Alright. In addition to that kit, you might consider a FAS/DPD test (this test very accurately measures free chlorine and combined chlorine up to 50ppm, and a CYA test.

    You can get them here:
    TFTestkits.net
    TFTestkits.net

    Unless
    , you're going to treat the pool as a "use it until it gets a little funky then drain it, scrub it out, and start over with a fresh fill". If that's the case, you may be able to operate with your current kit under the temporary/seasonal pool guidelines here:
    Pool School - Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools Just be aware you'll be draining, scrubbing and refilling from time to time.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    Alright. In addition to that kit, you might consider a FAS/DPD test (this test very accurately measures free chlorine and combined chlorine up to 50ppm, and a CYA test.

    You can get them here:
    TFTestkits.net
    TFTestkits.net

    Unless
    , you're going to treat the pool as a "use it until it gets a little funky then drain it, scrub it out, and start over with a fresh fill". If that's the case, you may be able to operate with your current kit under the temporary/seasonal pool guidelines here:
    Pool School - Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools Just be aware you'll be draining, scrubbing and refilling from time to time.

    I'd prefer not to be draining/scrubbing/refilling from time to time. I already need to drain it at the end of the season- once is enough!

    Wal-Mart had a kit to measure CYA but was out of both Borax and Stabilizer, so I'll have to look around more tomorrow. Retested with this kit and still no detected free chlorine; pH has dropped to 7.2 since Monday, and I do have about 150 in TA. Adding some liquid chlorine now and will retest in the AM.

    Add Borax tomorrow to adjust pH and then stabilizer? (Is there a preferred order to adjust these things?)

    Thanks again for all your help!

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    Re: New Pool - Where do I start?

    First priority every day is to make sure that chlorine is above minimum for your CYA, FC/CYA Chart. If it is below minimum the pool is not sanitary and is not safe to swim in.

    Second priority is to keep PH between 7.2 and 7.8 at all times.

    CYA will take a day or two to dissolve in the sock depending on how much you squeeze it.

    More here on adding CYA and other chems to your pool, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    New Pool - Where do I start?

    Try Home Depot or lowes for the stabilizer/conditioner. If not there, a pool store. A 4lb container is normally around $16 - not sure about the cost at a pool store.


    Free form 17X30. 14,500 Gal. Pentair sand filter and 1.5 hp pump. Aqua-Rite SWCG. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir

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