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Thread: opening questions

  1. Back To Top    #1

    opening questions

    Being a new pool owner, we had a local pool company both open and close our pool last year. I'm ready to try my hand at this but have some questions.

    1. We're going to be replacing the sand filter and adding a SWG this year. At first, thought it would be easier to do this before opening the pool, now not sure we can coordinate nor if it's a big deal to do before opening. It's my understanding that we will need to bring the water into a certain amount of balance before we fire up the SWG anyway - so wondered if we might as well go ahead and open and start bringing the water into balance and adding the salt and when it fits our schedule better, get the replacement filter and new SWG installed shortly after?

    2. The company that closed the pool used anti-freeze (it was either rv or pool antifreeze - which I understand to be the same) in the lines - I would assume I should pump this out and bypass the filter in doing so. We don't really have a good setup to drain anywhere other than our yard. I know that regular antifreeze is poisonous to dogs - and we've got two and the neighbors have a couple. What's the best way to deal with this? Is this type of antifreeze not as big a worry? I don't know if there was antifreeze in the lines when opened last year - so I didn't know enough to be worried about this.

    3. When the pool people opened the pool last year - first experience with a home pool for me - and I may be remembering incorrectly - but I sure don't remember them filling the sand filter with water before firing everything up. Am I confused about this? Did they fill it in a way that I wouldn't have noticed or realized (very possible given it was all greek to me at that point!)?

    4. Didn't realize it at the time, but after reading here I see that the pucks aren't the first choice for chlorinating a pool. The system on this pool has the auto-chlorinator that holds the pucks so that's what I did all last year. I'm sure I didn't do a perfect job on the water - but we did have pretty, clear water all year and no issues that I was aware of (that may be the key! I will be ordering a TF-100 kit for this year!) - but wasn't sure if I could use that system to help start the system up before we move to SWG. I'm still reading and understanding all the chemistry so that may become more obvious as I read more.

    Thanks for any help! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions...
    19x43 Inground Vinyl Pool, approx 22 years old, no main drain, 2 (lopsided!) skimmers, 2 returns.
    1 HP Pentair Superflow Pump
    27" Hayward Sand Filter
    AutoPilot SWCG
    Aquabot T-4 Cleaner

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: opening questions

    1) If you can do the replacement in one day it doesn't matter if you do it now or later. If it is going to take more than a day then it is best to do it before opening the pool.

    2) Normally you startup the first time in backwash mode to get what you can of the anti-freeze out of the system. But if it goes into the pool there isn't any problem.

    3) The pump fills up the filter once you have the pump on. You need to open the air vent on top of the filter and then close it when water starts to come out steadily. Actually the vent is often left open over the winter.

    4) Tablets work great for a while and then they start having problems when the CYA level gets too high. Start by measuring your CYA level, after the pool is open, and see where you are at. If CYA is low enough, you can keep using tablets for a while.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: opening questions

    Welcome to TFP

    The Tf100 is a great choice for testing. I'll let the pool opening pros give you advice here, but you can go the SWG at any time
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: opening questions

    Thanks Jason! I apparently just need to come follow you around for a bit - I think you've been able to answer all my questions so far! I really appreciate all the knowledge you guys are willing to share, it's made the whole pool thing much less daunting. And probably much less expensive! You wouldn't believe the number of questions I would have been posting if you didn't have so much information to be found here!

    Sometimes I find answers to questions I didn't even know I had yet...
    19x43 Inground Vinyl Pool, approx 22 years old, no main drain, 2 (lopsided!) skimmers, 2 returns.
    1 HP Pentair Superflow Pump
    27" Hayward Sand Filter
    AutoPilot SWCG
    Aquabot T-4 Cleaner

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: opening questions

    Thanks dman!

    I'm pretty excited to get up and running this year - knowing a little more and getting some things in better working order. Not to mention I'm itching for some water time!

    Another question - while we are replacing the filter and adding the SWG - we were discussing whether we should replace the pad all this stuff sits on. The pad it's all currently sitting on is going downhill - not sure if it sunk or if it just wasn't laid very well. I'd say the pad is probably 5-6 ft in length and I'd guess it is every bit of 3-4 inches lower at one end than the other. Just curious as to whether this is a problem. I'd say it would be if the plumbing were in a bind because of the difference - but since we'll be redoing all that anyway - wasn't sure if it was worth ripping out and replacing. Tearing out wouldn't actually be TOO bad - the pipes don't go through the pad (they come up out of the ground just outside the pad) - but it's just another expense and more time spent.

    Our skimmers are uneven also. Whoever built this must have had lopsided eyes... Either that or we're slowly sliding into a black hole...
    19x43 Inground Vinyl Pool, approx 22 years old, no main drain, 2 (lopsided!) skimmers, 2 returns.
    1 HP Pentair Superflow Pump
    27" Hayward Sand Filter
    AutoPilot SWCG
    Aquabot T-4 Cleaner

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
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    Re: opening questions

    Welcome to TFP!!

    I'm happy to hear you're getting answers to your questions (especially those you hadn't thought of )

    If you can, it's generally better to get the pad back to level. You're planning on replumbing a fair portion of the system, so you might be OK just doing that. I'd prefer the pad to be ~ level and fix whatever is causing it to have gone out of level (if you want to start a new post on that subject, we'll give you our best on 'How To' do it )

    Thanks for supporting the site -- it'll pay off in Spades
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: opening questions

    Could you lift up the existing pad, level underneath it, and put it back in?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8
    offgrid's Avatar
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    Re: opening questions

    Thanks Jason - You answered my antifreeze question. When I couldn't get the Pump to Prime at "Backwash" I switched to filter and then the pump started up and antifreeze went into the pool.
    20,000 gallon, Sand Filter, In-ground, vinyl, 1 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Natural Gas Heater, Aquarite Salt Chlorine Generator
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.MY-POOL.blogspot.com

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: opening questions

    There may have been a leak at one time that washed out some of the support for your pad. I would try and level it out. If it continues to sink it will put stress on the pipes and equipment where they connect and may eventually cause leaks.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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