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Thread: Filling Pool for the First Time

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    Ksnewman's Avatar
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    Filling Pool for the First Time

    I have read through Pool School and looked at several posts and still have a few questions regarding new pool.
    I understand using the Pool Calculator using my tests results but my questions are:

    Pentair said to wait 1 week to add salt to system. Do I need to use any bleach in the meantime? The fill water should be fairly cold but I don't have that temperature yet.

    I know I need to add CYA, but do I do this when I add the salt or go ahead when we fill the water. Same with Borates.

    The PH of the fill water is at least 8.2 so do I need to go ahead and get that in check or can I wait a week?

    Pentair manual recommends to Super Chlorinate on start up using outside source. What would be the best recommendation for doing this?

    So bottom line, do I need to wait the 1 week to get everything going or should I make some adjustments now? Also, is there a preference on the order in which things are added?


    Also, will be adding to signature, we do have a waterfall.

    We will be filling this weekend!
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Since they say to wait a week, follow their directions. Yes, use bleach in the meantime.

    Add CYA as soon as possible. I'd wait on borates until everything is stabilized and you know what your TA is. It's more difficult to lower TA if borates are present.

    Yes, you should lower the pH ASAP.

    The outside source is bleach. You could use dichlor AS LONG AS YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT WILL HAPPEN. Using dichlor will add CYA, which you need to add anyway. Just be sure you use poolcalculator.com to understand what each addition does.

    Make adjustments now, wait a week for the salt if you want. Then wait 24 hours after salt addition before you turn on the SWCG. It should be off until that time.
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Not to mention that dichlor also lowers the pH, so it will do all three things that are needed. Just make sure to keep track of how much you add, so you don't get too much CYA.
    John
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    Ksnewman's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    Since they say to wait a week, follow their directions. Yes, use bleach in the meantime.

    Add CYA as soon as possible. I'd wait on borates until everything is stabilized and you know what your TA is. It's more difficult to lower TA if borates are present.

    Yes, you should lower the pH ASAP.

    The outside source is bleach. You could use dichlor AS LONG AS YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT WILL HAPPEN. Using dichlor will add CYA, which you need to add anyway. Just be sure you use poolcalculator.com to understand what each addition does.

    Make adjustments now, wait a week for the salt if you want. Then wait 24 hours after salt addition before you turn on the SWCG. It should be off until that time.
    If I add dichlor based on the Pool Calculator, it also says to add muriatic acid and CYA. So if I understand correctly, start out with the dichlor then get another set of test results then add muriatic acid and CYA if needed? Sorry, if my questions are redundant but this is all so very new to me.
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    The recommendations in the poolcalculator only take into account the parameter in the same row.

    You are right though, if you add dichlor, that will affect the pH and the CYA, so you have to take that into account. And it would be good to test after to see what still needs adjusted. But, the CYA from the dichlor may not show up on the test right away. You can use the "Effects of ..." at the bottom of poolcalculator to see what the dichlor will do to your pool.

    It is much simpler to understand if you stick with chemicals that only change one parameter at a time until you have enough understanding of what is going on in the pool. Using dichlor is kind of like skipping Chem 101 and jumping into Chem 201.
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    I would suggest you skip the dichlor and adjust your parameters one at a time. Dichlor can be a bit hard to find and, because of it's multiple effects, is easy to make a blunder when you are starting out.

    Are you filling now? I'll assume so.

    1. Adjust your pH down to around 7.4 using muriatic acid and the poolcalculator. wait until your pool is full but do it then.

    2. Add enough granulated CYA to get to about 20-30ppm.....use the pool calculator for the dosage and assume that's how much you have in your pool even though it won't show up in the CYA test for a few days.

    3. Post a complete set of test results

    4. Start putting in one large jug of Clorox each evening until you get some feedback on your next steps.
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    The recommendations in the poolcalculator only take into account the parameter in the same row.

    You are right though, if you add dichlor, that will affect the pH and the CYA, so you have to take that into account. And it would be good to test after to see what still needs adjusted. But, the CYA from the dichlor may not show up on the test right away. You can use the "Effects of ..." at the bottom of poolcalculator to see what the dichlor will do to your pool.

    It is much simpler to understand if you stick with chemicals that only change one parameter at a time until you have enough understanding of what is going on in the pool. Using dichlor is kind of like skipping Chem 101 and jumping into Chem 201.
    Thanks. Since Chem 101 in college was not my best class , I will stick to the more simple approach and use bleach/CYA/muriatic acid. I do tend to lean on the conservative side of things. Like cooking - you can always add more but never have figured out out to take it out!
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    That's why I added my comments in all caps, if you don't FULLY understand the effects of a combination chemical, stick to the individual items. Sorry if I caused any confusion.
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Perfect! Thanks for all the help. Should be filling this weekend - weather permitting. Been waiting on this day for 6 months! Now we wait for warm weather. In TN, that's a hit or miss proposition. Hope to post some pics of a clear and sparkling pool thanks to this forum.
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time - first test results

    Per previous comments, I have CYA in sock in front of returns. Adding this a bit at a time. Have not tested as pool just completely filled and pump started yesterday. Water is 57 degrees so that may take awhile to dissolve. Have added bleach a couple of times

    Here are my first results (per Pool Calculator recommendations adding things)

    FC. 1
    CC 0
    TA 50
    pH. 7.0. Added muriatic acid per rec. and it went from 8.2 to 7.0. This was even after running waterfall for an hour or so. Not sure why the big drop.
    CH. 70

    So my question is this? Do I go ahead and use baking soda to raise TA and raise pH, retest and see if I need to raise pH a bit more?

    Or, add borax now?

    Waiting 1 week before getting swg going per mfg recs. I will add salt next weekend.

    Thanks for all the help. PB not much help on balancing water or the automation and only other resource is pool store. Didn't sleep much last night for fear I may have done something wrong on start up.
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Hard to really do anything wrong on start-up with a vinyl pool.

    What were the setting you used in the poolcalculator to get the amount of acid to add? Wondering if you had the pool size wrong or did not set the TA to 50 and left the default.

    If you raise the TA, I would not raise it much as you may find the low TA will help to balance the pH rise from the SWG and reach an equilibrium.

    Run the waterfall more and get the pH up some ... or you could add borax / soda ash.
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Hard to really do anything wrong on start-up with a vinyl pool.

    What were the setting you used in the poolcalculator to get the amount of acid to add? Wondering if you had the pool size wrong or did not set the TA to 50 and left the default.

    If you raise the TA, I would not raise it much as you may find the low TA will help to balance the pH rise from the SWG and reach an equilibrium.

    Run the waterfall more and get the pH up some ... or you could add borax / soda ash.
    I may have had the TA at 70 as I had only tested fill water previously and I am getting better at doing the tests, I hope. Everything else was correct.
    Unfortunately, actuator for the water fall valve was damaged somehow and Pentair is sending another. Not sure how to manually change that valve. So you would recommend adding the borax instead of baking soda right now?

    Thanks!
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    If you TA is closer to 70, then I would certainly not raise it more. Borax or soda ash will affect pH more than TA.

    I would just me more comfortable with a pH around 7.2 so that it is not too low.
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    If you TA is closer to 70, then I would certainly not raise it more. Borax or soda ash will affect pH more than TA.

    I would just me more comfortable with a pH around 7.2 so that it is not too low.

    I am sorry, I really didn't say that correctly. When I tested the water today, my actual TA was 50 so if I understand what you are saying, I really don't need to increase TA to 60 or 70? I was afraid 50 was too low per the Pool Calculator.

    Thanks again. This is all a very new experience for me and I do want to have a happy pool.
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filling Pool for the First Time

    OH, maybe I mis-understood your TA of 70, meaning that may have been what you put in the calculator to determine the amount of acid to add to lower the pH?

    50ppm is about the lowest I have seen recommended to try for TA ... and usually on that low for SWG users. Usually people seem to be fighting to get their TA low enough so that the pH does not rise quickly due to the SWG. You seem to have the TA on the low end and would hate for you to raise it, only to later be maybe trying to lower it once the SWG is running.

    That said, bumping it up to 60-70ppm may not be too high for you and it would be fairly easy to lower back down if needed.
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