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Thread: Startind a Brand New Salt Water Pool

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    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Forked River, NJ
    Posts
    4

    Question Startind a Brand New Salt Water Pool

    Hello everyone,

    I have owned an above ground chlorine pool for 19 years and have some experience with chemically balancing the pool. In the past few years I have learned much from this website.

    Recently my old pool collapsed from old age (it was 27) and I decided to replace it with a salt water pool. My current configuration is listed in my signature. I searched this site extensively for information on starting a brand new salt water pool. I found bits and pieces and put them all together to try to figure it out. My plan is as follows:

    While circulating water:

    1) Add stabilizer (just under 10 lbs. for my pool)
    2) Adjust alkalinity as required
    3) Adjust pH as required.
    4) Add salt directly into pool and wait 24 hrs.
    5) Start SWG



    I finished filling the pool late yesterday afternoon with water from my well. The water temperature was UP to 67 by last night. Recent daytime temperatures in NJ have been in the 80's.

    1) I started by turning on the pump but leaving the SWG off, just to get the circulation going. I then added 5 lbs. of stabilizer. My information says I will need almost 10 lbs., but I didn't want to add it all at once. My intention was to wait about 4 hours and check my CYA level. After 4 hours the stabilizer had settled to the bottom of the pool, with little if any of it dissolving. Brushing with a soft bristle broom did not help. I am guessing this is largely because of the cold water temperature and I am hoping today's sunshine will do the job. What should I do?

    2) I checked the initial pH and the color in the tester was a pale amber color, obviously off the bottom of the scale. This I expected.

    3) When I checked the alkalinity and with my old pool I would put 2 drops of R-0007 and 5 drops of R-0008 into 25 ml of water and it would turn green. Then I would put the R-0009 in a drop at a time, mixing between each drop and count the number of drops until the color turns from green to red. Well (no pun), in this new water, after putting in the 2 drops of R-0007 and the 5 drops of R-0008 and the water immediately turned red! What does this mean? Is my alkalinity exceedingly high? Or low? I don't know.

    4) Well I am going through these trials and tribulations, I am worried that it is taking too long and my water will turn green. After I get the chemicals right I have to wait 24 hrs. for the salt to dissolve. That will be a long time without chlorine. Should I put a few chlorine tabs in now, to hold me over until I can start the SWG?

    5) Am I missing something here?

    I finished filling and started the pump at 4 PM yesterday, so it has been about 22 hrs. I am now at work and will be home at 4PM so I can see how it fared today. Any help/ideas/suggestions would be much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Lyle
    Saltwater LX above ground round with 25 mil vinyl liner
    24' D x 54" H = 13,500 gallons @ 48" deep (2016)
    Purchased from Swimming Pools Supplies | The Pool Factory
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, Model S210T (2012)
    Hayward Power-Flo Pump, P/N O-187872-21, 1 HP, 60 GPM (2011)

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hillsborough, NC
    Posts
    515

    Re: Startind a Brand New Salt Water Pool

    I can't help with the TA testing and the water turning red immediately, other than to suggest diluting the water sample and trying again. However if you are filling this pool from a well, then diluting it with tap water won't make a difference. Did you repeat the test with the same results?

    1. salt doesn't take 24 hrs to dissolve. At most it takes a few hours. Brushing it around helps.
    2. so long as the pump is running you can't go wrong with adding chlorine. I'd use bleach, and not the tablets ( assuming they are trichlor) since they will add CYA to your pool, and you are trying to adjust the CYA right now. I started my salt pool 10 days ago. I started up the pump and added enough bleach to shock until I got the SWG running the next day.
    3. CYA can take up to a week to dissolve. It should be added via a sock in the skimmer and/or pouring it into the skimmer with the pump running - it will get caught by the filter and dissolve there. Now that it's been poured into the pool, keep brushing it to break it up.
    27' Round Might Sun AG Pool 18000 Gallon Intex Krystal Clear SWG Hayward Pump/Filter on a Timer

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Forked River, NJ
    Posts
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    Re: Startind a Brand New Salt Water Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by crokett View Post
    I can't help with the TA testing and the water turning red immediately, other than to suggest diluting the water sample and trying again. However if you are filling this pool from a well, then diluting it with tap water won't make a difference. Did you repeat the test with the same results?
    Yes, I did repeat the test. I actually used a different test kit and got the same instant red water. I have both a well and city water. In the house is city water and outside of the house is well water. Since I am not using tap water in the pool, if I diluted the well water with it, it would render any test invalid.

    1. salt doesn't take 24 hrs to dissolve. At most it takes a few hours. Brushing it around helps.
    Thanks. That's good to know.

    2. so long as the pump is running you can't go wrong with adding chlorine. I'd use bleach, and not the tablets ( assuming they are trichlor) since they will add CYA to your pool, and you are trying to adjust the CYA right now. I started my salt pool 10 days ago. I started up the pump and added enough bleach to shock until I got the SWG running the next day.
    Sounds like a good way to go. I added a half gallon of bleach. That was all I had but I can add more tomorrow- I'm thinking about another half gallon.

    3. CYA can take up to a week to dissolve. It should be added via a sock in the skimmer and/or pouring it into the skimmer with the pump running - it will get caught by the filter and dissolve there. Now that it's been poured into the pool, keep brushing it to break it up.
    When I got home from work it had dissolved... thank goodness. The water temperature is up to 71. I guess I need to be a bit more patient. I tested the water for CYA and came up with about 35-40 after adding the first 5 lbs. I added 4 more pounds and will check again tomorrow. I expect it to be near my goal of 70.

    Thanks for the response!
    Saltwater LX above ground round with 25 mil vinyl liner
    24' D x 54" H = 13,500 gallons @ 48" deep (2016)
    Purchased from Swimming Pools Supplies | The Pool Factory
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, Model S210T (2012)
    Hayward Power-Flo Pump, P/N O-187872-21, 1 HP, 60 GPM (2011)

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
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    128

    Re: Startind a Brand New Salt Water Pool

    I think the TA test immediately turning red would mean extremely LOW alkalinity. This would jibe with your extremely low PH. I would get something in there right away to raise your PH and alkalinity (probably borax).
    50,000 gallon plaster in-ground salt pool with two 60 sq ft DE filters, two Intellichlor IC60 SWGs, two Intelliflo VS pumps, two Whisperflo pumps, two Pentair 400K BTU NG heaters, PCC2000 in-floor cleaning system...two everything.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Startind a Brand New Salt Water Pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    Salt does dissolve in a few hours but takes 24-48 hours to fully mix and make the SWG happy.

    Here is how we recommend adding CYA and other chems, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    It is important to maintain PH between 7.2 and 7.8 at all times.

    It is important to maintain FC above minimum for your CYA at all times, FC/CYA Chart, to keep the pool sanitary and safe to swim in.
    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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    Aug 2013
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    Forked River, NJ
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    Re: Startind a Brand New Salt Water Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    Salt does dissolve in a few hours but takes 24-48 hours to fully mix and make the SWG happy.

    Here is how we recommend adding CYA and other chems, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    It is important to maintain PH between 7.2 and 7.8 at all times.

    It is important to maintain FC above minimum for your CYA at all times, FC/CYA Chart, to keep the pool sanitary and safe to swim in.
    Thanks for the welcome but actually I've been around here for a few years taking in all the great information, not posting until recently.

    Thanks for the info too. The pool is doing much better now, though it's not quite there. I have to add just a bit more stabilizer to bring my CYA up (its at 50 now), but since I added borax and a large amount of baking soda today, I will wait until morning. I will test again when I get home from work tomorrow afternoon and if all is well I will put the salt in.
    Saltwater LX above ground round with 25 mil vinyl liner
    24' D x 54" H = 13,500 gallons @ 48" deep (2016)
    Purchased from Swimming Pools Supplies | The Pool Factory
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, Model S210T (2012)
    Hayward Power-Flo Pump, P/N O-187872-21, 1 HP, 60 GPM (2011)

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