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Thread: First Pool - First Post

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    First Pool - First Post

    Purchased a house this year with a swimming pool that was 3/4 of the way full of rain water and algae. We originally put our offer in when I could have cleaned the pool out with just a shop-vac. But it was bank-owned and took forever to close.

    Anyways, After we got moved in and got past the rainy season, it was time to take care of the pool. Emptying it was a little bit of an exercise in trial and error. Rented a trash pump and it was too powerful for my storm drain. Exchanged it for a submersible sump pump and it was still too strong. We ended up draining it out to the street, justifying it in my head that there were no chemicals and so it was okay. Then there was the pressure washing and filling it with a garden hose.

    I had a pool inspector come and check things out when we were making an offer, but it was empty then and there wasn't much he could tell us except that the electrical worked and that the pump(s) should be fine. The previous owners had an extra pump in line for a solar heating system on the roof, but the inspector said it was probably overkill. For whatever reason, probably because the house got a new roof, the solar panels were removed and the pump and most of the pvc piping is still in place (cut and sealed in some places).

    It took me a while to get the main pump and filter working. There was a lot of trial and error there too. Turned out that since the extra pump is missing a cover, we were not getting a proper seal ("duh"). And so after fashioning a makeshift temporary cover, I finally got the sucker turning water over.

    It has been a week since it was fully filled. I have only had the pump and filter going for 24 hours. I bought some chemicals, but have only added a chlorine puck that has been floating in there since yesterday. I have read in some places that one needs to be careful about adding a bunch of chemicals all at once.

    Here are my current readings:
    Total Hardness (TH): 0
    Free Chlorine (FC)/Bromine: 0/0
    Ph: 6.8
    Total Alkalinity (TA): 40
    Cyanuric Acid (CYA): 15

    These have been the same readings all three times I have tested it so far. Once before turning the pump on, once after running the pump and filter for an hour or so, and once after having the chlorine puck in the pool for a day.

    The one thing I have not added is bleach, which is something I should add quickly as I understand. I am going to the store to buy that now. I am thinking that a little more than a gallon should do it. Maybe 1.5 gallons. I am really not sure in what order I should add my Ph Plus, Alkalinity Plus, and Stabilizer and Conditioner. I'm planning on either waiting until later tonight (a few hours after I add the bleach) or until tomorrow night before I add the rest of the stuff. But I think maybe it will depends on what my readings are after the bleach.

    Any tips would be welcome.
    ~25k Gal., In-Ground, Plaster, Hayward Max Flo Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    **New Pool Owner**
    Drained it, cleaned it, and filled it up. Now what?

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    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: First Pool - First Post

    Welcome, Berto!

    Looks like I'll give you almost the same answer I gave here: new-to-pools-new-pool-new-test-kit-t61445.html
    2) Add Baking soda to get TA to about 50 or 60. will help you calculate how much you need. Brush it around to help it dissolve.
    3) Add Borax or Soda ash to raise pH to about 7.4. They will also boost TA, which is why I aimed low on step 2.
    4) Fill a sock with the necessary amount of CYA to reach your target and tie it off and suspend it in front of a return. Aim low, you can always add more later. Try 35 or so as a goal. While you're messing around with that, 2 & 3 are mixing.
    5) After the pH and TA have had half an hour or so to mix, add bleach. I'm thinking more like 2 gallons of 8.25%. And you'll be needing more tomorrow and the day after that, and so on. Until you learn your pool's appetite, make sure you have plenty on hand.
    6)You might want to recheck that hardness reading. It's pretty hard to believe it's zero. But with a plaster pool, you need to have some.

    Anyway, all this stuff is in category.php?c=getting_started You'll save everyone - including yourself - a whole lot of typing if you study that material. There's more on the second page of it, too. It should answer most of your questions before you even think to ask them.

    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: First Pool - First Post

    Thanks for the info. I do really appreciate it. I stumbled across this forum when I was trying to find more info about acid washing (something my wife thought necessary at the time). There was a thread where the guy just pressure washed and it turned out great. I have kind of been lurking for info ever since and I'm really glad I signed up.

    I have been looking around the Pool School and I'm really trying to get up to speed. As well laid out as the information is, it is still quite daunting (as the other post said as well). The one thing I am really trying to wrap my head around is how it seems like the products sold for pools at stores like Wal-Mart to make my life is easier is not the products I should be using. I'll try and keep reading up, but it's probably going to be a little more trial and error for me.

    I added 1.5 gallons of bleach already. Not sure of the percentage as I type this. I got burgers on the grill right now. But I'm going to check my levels later with the test strips I bought the other day (don't judge me).
    ~25k Gal., In-Ground, Plaster, Hayward Max Flo Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    **New Pool Owner**
    Drained it, cleaned it, and filled it up. Now what?

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: First Pool - First Post

    After adding the 1.5 gallons of bleach, my FC/Bromine reading went up to 5/10. I feel like this may be a little high.

    Full results:
    Total Hardness (TH): 0
    Free Chlorine (FC)/Bromine: 5/10
    Ph: 6.8
    Total Alkalinity (TA): 40
    Cyanuric Acid (CYA): 15
    *I am using the cheap strips from Wal-Mart, so I could possibly be reading the TH wrong.

    I read up a bit more and went ahead and added some of the chemicals that I had previously purchased from Wal-Mart (I didn't know that there were cheaper alternatives to some of this stuff ). But after juggling information from Richard320, two different pages in the Pool School and the directions on the products I had on hand, this is what I ended up adding.

    - 5 lbs. of Sodium Bicarbonate
    - 2.5 pounds of Sodium Carbonate
    - 4 pounds of Cyanuric Acid (in a sock, in the skimmer)

    I'm gonna let the pump and filter run all night (I think this is recommended) and measure everything again in the morning and when I get home from work. I really hate leaving the equipment on and running for this long, especially while I'm at work.
    ~25k Gal., In-Ground, Plaster, Hayward Max Flo Pump and Hayward Sand Filter
    **New Pool Owner**
    Drained it, cleaned it, and filled it up. Now what?

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: First Pool - First Post

    The strips you are testing with have no validity at all. Your best bet to manage your pool succesfully is to obtain a good drops based kit like the K-2006 or TF-100

    I would say that the chances of your TH being zero are well, about zero.

    My bet is you probably have zero CYA as well

    What we teach on the forum is pool water management through very accurate testing and understanding what to do about the results. Using test strips or pool store testing just doesn't work well.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    TFP Guide

    AimeeH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Columbia SC

    Re: First Pool - First Post

    You really need to get a good test kit. Like so many here I also recommend the TF-100. It may seem like an expense up front but you will be glad you did it as step one in maintaining your own pool. This is my second season opening and with SWG my total expense this year is <$100. That includes the cost of my test kit refill. I think I've spent about $38 on salt and about $10 on borax (have MA and CYA on hand from last season). That's it. I have friends that wouldn't think of shelling out $$ for a test kit but shell out $$$$$$ to the pool store after the "free" testing.

    You won't regret it if you want to be in charge of your pool.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.

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