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Thread: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

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    Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Hello all. I have been reading on this site for 2 weeks or so, and am so overwhelmed with all this, so please bare with me

    Bought a 15 by 48 intex pool. Right now its still in the box in my living room but will be sit up tomorrow. From what I have read here I think I will go will the bbb method, I have read and read and even took notes, but im still confused.

    When the pool gets set up and filled tomorrow what needs to be added or done first to the water? We will be using city water. I know I need to go by a few gallons of liquid bleach, and baking soda, and borax to have on hand, but what is the first few steps that need to be done after filling?

    We are going to walmart to buy a test kit and I know its not the greatest test but we will invest in the better kit eventually. We are worried about not being able to keep the water regular and safe and have already spent a lot of money (on a budget). Do I need to buy shock or what other stuff to I need to have "on hand" for this adventure?

    When we bought the pool we didn't even think about what was needed to be done to the water. I put the info I have right now in my signature like everyone says. I will be able to see more about the pump when we open the box tomorrow.

    Not sure if it makes a difference or not, but only two adults will ever be in this pool but we have no clue as to where to start or what to have on hand or what to add once the pool is filled. Thank you for any and all help.
    Jamey
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Are you planning on adding CYA (stabilizer) by itself, or using dichlor to start with until your CYA is in range?

    Really the MOST important thing to do once you have water in your pool is get some chlorine in there and maintain a good FC level (which will depend on your CYA level). That will primarily be what keeps your water "safe" and clean.
    Summer Escapes 15'x42" AGP, Intex 14" sand filter, Intex SWG

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Hi, welcome to TFP! You can stock up on bleach but you may not need the baking soda or borax. When you have a test kit test the water you will be using to fill the pool. That will tell you what the pH, TA, and CH (calcium) are likely to be and if they will need to be adjusted. You will need to add enough CYA to reach 30ppm. Put the CYA in a sock, tie it off and hang it near the return flow. Give the sock a few good squeezes several times a day until it is dissolved. You may want to pick up a couple of spare filter cartridges to have on hand. You can clean them a few times each but they do wear out.

    You can use the Pool calculator to determine how much of each chemical you need to add to balance the pool water.
    TFP Moderator
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    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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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    I was in the same boat as you this time last year, but once you get your pool set up, test the water, and read this site over and over--you'll be comfortable with it all in no time. I have never done anything but BBB and my pool has always been crystal clear from day one. It really is easy and you'll be swimming by Sunday!!

    Best wishes,
    Marcy
    24foot AGP
    13, 500 gallons
    Hayward sand filter/2 speed with timer
    and yes I'm testing with a Taylor!

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Have you planned a level spot for the pool? It's the first, most critical step in building a pool... even an Intex pool.

    You should read up on Pool School and all the links contained in Pool School as it will guide you through the summer.

    AND... AND... AND... You should really invest in a good test kit like the TF-100. No other test kit compares. It takes the guess work out of any other kit on the market in my opinion. Truly worth every penny!

    Welcome to TFP.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    clambert1273's Avatar
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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    I have the 14'x48 (smidge smaller than yours) and like you I had no clue last year. Between storms and frustration it sat all year as a swamp and literally sank on one side (enough that I lost the end caps).

    I found this site this year and decided to try and clean it up and do right. I am imploring you.. Do it right or you will regret it.

    I hate myself for how bad it got but have enough determination to fix my mistake. Pick your spot you want it. I studied my sun path for an entire day here and decided. I spent a day trimming tree limbs up to 20ft and then began on the ground.

    It has taken about a week to redig, and level out - mostly because of weather and time. If the weather holds up then I will get it back standing this weekend but have a lot of cleaning to do

    Take your time and really work the ground to perfection. It will be worth it...

    I bought the 2650 sand filter because the filter that came with mine was horrid and I burned through 3 of them last summer. In addition, the stores were always out of that cartridge and well I like easy

    You can see my "journey" in my sig post lots of pics so they can help!


    Christina
    ~14,000gal 14x30 IG vinyl, Hayward DE4820 filter (everything else is too old to read lol), TF100 Test Kit, TFPC method
    POOL SCHOOL, ABC'S of WATER CHEMISTRY, POOL MATH, SUPPORT TFP!!, TEST KIT!

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Thank you all. First what exactly am I looking for to use for a stabilizer?? lol I have no clue what all the chemicals they are, and I am trying to keep everything straight

    And thank you Marcy I am so worried I am going to be able to keep everything straight and what needs to be done so its sure to be an adventure

    Can I test regular tap water out of the sink right now to see what levels will more than likely be at for tomorrow once the pool is full?? For right now we bought the 6 way drop test kit from walmart because we aren't sure if we will be able to keep the water right. So if the few "good" months go well with the water this year (we live in Indiana and winter is snowy and cold) we will invest in a better pump, and kit and everything else. We just want to make sure we will be able to maintain it first lol but im sure with the help of you amazing pool people im hoping things will go well.

    And yes, thank goodness the ground is level and we bought a all purpose tarp and some sheets of some sort of padding that goes on houses to put under it. I read online its good to use to put under it.

    I have read "pool school" and am getting ready to go re read and re read and read old threads as well. We have no clue what we need on hand besides a test kit and chlorine but other then that, we have no clue. We went ahead and bought 10 pounds of baking soda, and 8 pounds 20 mule borax and 4 gallons of 10 percent chlorinator hth, and 4 extra pool filters. I have read on here that shock with calcium isn't good to use, so I didn't buy any shock tonight, am I going to need that?? And if so, where is the best place beside a place like walmart? We have no clue what to use for a stabilizer any suggestions?? And will we need to buy stuff for algicide or anything other then we have already got?? I so very much appreciate all your advice and suggestions. This is a great site for people like me that have no clue and from the threads I have read over the past couple weeks everyone seems so nice and helpful
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Stabilizer is often labeled as stabilizer in the pool section of most stores... sometimes it's also called stabilizer conditioner I believe. It is actually cyanuric acid (which we abbreviate as cya)...I always check for the active/main ingredients to be sure I'm getting what I want. It is sold most often in powder form, which we recommend you put into an old sock and tie in front of the return to let it dissolve. To find out the amount you need, use the pool calculator. You will want your final level to be 30-50 if you are using bleach as your sanitizer. The powder form takes about a week to show up on tests.

    You can test your tap water if that is the same water you will be using for fill to give you an idea of your starting point.

    You shouldn't need algaecides. So long as you maintain good cya and chlorine levels, algae cannot exist.
    You shouldn't need shock... it's just dry bleach with additives, at a higher price. Leave it at the store!

    Stock up on some regular bleach... none of the fancy stuff. You will need it when you fill and to maintain your pool.

    A good test kit is essential. I know it's another expense, but I didn't buy one right away and when I did get mine I couldn't believe I waited. So much more comfort in knowing the results are more accurate and I didn't have to depend on the pools cya test... which is often found to be inaccurate.

    Let us know how you do... Would love to see some pics when you get it up and sparkling
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    okay great. I will go out and look at stabilizer.. is there anything I need to watch out for that is added to the stabilizer?? I have learned by reading here about no calcium in shock, and watch for copper added in other stuff. Or is a stabilizer basically good no matter what it is?? I am trying to find a couple stores around my area beside walmart that carries pool stuff because ive read on some of the hth stuff you have to be careful about adding. Plus I went out last night and bought a 6 way test kit from walmart. I know its not the greatest, but for a month, or two it will have to work and if this adventure goes well I will order that as well as getting a better pump before next year. I wish I would have paid more attention in chemistry class 20 years ago. lol My doctor said it would be a good idea to get a pool because im disabled and said it will be good on my back and legs and when we ordered it I didn't even think about taking care of water. GEESH lol My boyfriend kepts telling me I don't need to be so worried about tests and chemicals and im making a big deal outa nothing ( hes more a mechanic guy himself) so I am on my own with this with the help of all you good folks here. I am still trying to figure out how to use this drop test and I am going to go to you tube and see if anyone has any videos using it, as I am the type to need to "see" it done no matter how much I read and re read it. I thank all of you for your help and comments. I will also add some pictures once we get it up and going. He is in the process now of opening the box and setting it up....happy thoughts.....
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Also, since I got the liquid chlorine to use am I going to need a floatie thing and buy some tablets to put in it, or does that depend on the test levels?? Once I figure out this test kit soon, I am going to test the water we will be filling it up with and see what readings I get from that. Also can I do the cya test today from the tap water, or is that something that comes later after actual water in the pool is tested?? Sorry to ask stupid questions. I hope at some point soon I will be comfortable enough to be sure what im doing. Im sure most of you could do this in your sleep and THANK YOU again many times over. You are so nice here. Once I get the pool up and running I will donate to this site, as I don't know where I would be without it and I appreciate you all taking the time to help me, and help me by even other threads and comments I have read through here. Its an eye opener for sure
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Sorry to bug everyone again. We had to stop pool set up because of rain. grrrr But we did test the water that we will be using out of the hose to fill it up and this is the readings we have : the red ph tested a light color in the 6.8 range, the chlorine yellow tested a very light 5.1, the alkalinity took 28 drops to change the water colors and from what I read you take the 28 and times it by 10 which is 280 and the hardness test was a bit odd because it said to add 5 drops of hardness indicator and then swirl and the sample should turn red, but when I added the 5 drops it didn't turn red, but a purple color, but I still did what it said and added drops and counting them until the water turns from red to blue. It took 44 drops to turn blue and it said to take the number of drops and times it by 10 as well which would be 440 for hardness. Going on those results, when the pool gets filled what should I add?? Since it is raining we are making a trip out to rural king to look for a stabilizer not sure what we find there, but if nothing we will go check out Lowes
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    can someone please explain how to use the pool calculator? I am just not getting it. I see the part where it says goal levels and I went by the goals I found in pool school fc- 4 to 6 acidity/alkalinity 7.5 to 7.8 ta 60 to 120 ch 220 to 350 but where do I put the numbers in that are my results from testing the water?? I feel like a moron because ive been playing with it for over an hour now and cant figure out what im doing
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Hiya, Jameya,
    If you look at the pool calculator, you will see at the bottom in yellow, you get to choose Suggested Goal Levels. Choose Trouble Free Pool.com, Primary Source of Chlorine: Bleach, and Pool Surface (yours is Vinyl, right?).

    Just above it, you see Suggested FC (free chlorine) Levels. That's the ratio of your chlorine solution compared to the water, and you will notice it suggests 3ppm to 7ppm (parts per million). That's your minimum everyday maintenance ratio (and down near 3 is often not enough to prevent an algae bloom if something goes wrong or the weather changes radically). You'll also notice that Shock Level is listed at 15, and that's pretty much the minimum, too.

    Side Note: As it says, safe FC levels are based on the amount of stabilizer/conditioner/CYA in your pool, so your numbers may come out different in the calculator.

    Now scroll up to the top. At the top left, Size: gallons. How many in your pool? (Now it's just water, not rocket fuel, so you can be very close, but need not be correct to the gallon!)

    Above the gallons, you'll see NOW and TARGET. Target numbers in the right column will be automatically filled in with the numbers from the Goals you selected (TroubleFreePool.com) earlier, at the bottom.

    Now all YOU have to do is type in your test results in the NOW column on the left side.
    At the top, press CALCULATE.

    The Calculator, now knowing your gallons and your test results, will tell you how much of each chemical you need to add, or wash away, to balance your pool for perfect crystal clear clean water!

    There's so much to learn, but you will, pretty quickly, by doing. And there's always someone here to assist.

    You're on your way!!
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    alan,
    Thank you!! Im so worried its going to turn into a big swamp that I wont be able to deal with lol. we have it up and halfway filled now. We were out until 4am ish finishing it up. We went out to Rural King and bought a 4 pound thing of aquamate stabilizer. ok, once filled I do more testing to check levels in the actual pool and then put them into the pool calculator and hope for the best?? im not joking when I say we have no clue what we are doing lol I don't know why I didn't factor in taking care of water when I bought this and it turned out to be a LOT bigger out of the box then what I thought it was going to be. So from what I understand after I test, I am going to need a sock to put the stabilizer in by a return and then add chlorine?? I don't have any shock as I didn't think I would need it. Also on the pool calculator it goes by the 6 percent bleach, I bought the hth kind that is 10 percent (4 gallons) will that make much of a difference to go ahead and use that and then when its gone go out and get the regular bleach that is 6 percent?? Thank you for the advice and help I am sooo stressing out over this water because I so don't want a swamp in my back yard. Im totally critter friendly but maybe not the swamp kind of critters lol
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    You won't have any stabilizer in your fill water, so just add what you'll need for the volume of your pool.

    The pool calculator can adjust for different concentrations of bleach, just select the one you have and it will tell you how much to use. Shock is just chlorine, you don't need shock, just have a decent supply of chlorine (bleach) on hand at all times and you should be fine.

    Taking care of the water in your pool on a daily basis is really not that hard - it takes less than 5 minutes of your time. Learning how to care for your pool is the hard part (and really the key is knowing what your FC should be, and how much bleach to add daily to keep it at that level), but you're already well on your way, and you will be very thankful you started right rather than cleaning up a mess mid-season as most intex pool owners do (I did it last summer, but had no problems after that and have had no trouble this year either).
    Summer Escapes 15'x42" AGP, Intex 14" sand filter, Intex SWG

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Is bromine and borate the same thing?? and since I will be adding the stabilizer in a sock by the suggested by the bottle, I don't need to check cya until a week from now. Am I correct?? And im not understanding FREE chlorine and the TOTAL chlorine. On my 6 way walmart kit ( I will invest in the better one for next year if I can keep the pool going for the 2 months left of this season) but its yellow and says total chlorine/ bromine test, but when I am looking to put in levels I got on the pool calculator I am not seeing a FREE chlorine reading to add to the caculator

    Thanks sarah everyone here has been so helpful and since I am lost and overwhelmed im wanting to do it right instead of creating a major issue once I get going. Thank you all again for bearing with me and my panicking lol I don't even want to think what I would do if I walked out and seen a swamp with as panicked as I was lol. I have done the test now 2 times and I am starting to get the hang of that and what needs done that way. Now I am hoping once I do the chemicals a few times it will become second nature
    15 ft x 48 in metal frame intex pool. 4,440. not sure yet about pump. its same that came with it will get more info soon

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    FC+CC=TC

    This is why the TF-100 was suggested to you.

    With the better test kit you will be able to differentiate from FC & CC. You can't do that with Wally World's kit.

    With the better test kit, you will be able to record up to 50ppm of FC. You can only go to 5ppm with Wally's kit.

    If your pool turns green because you forgot about it you will be golden with the TF-100 and you'll struggle with the kit from Wally World to get it back. Certain'y you don't have algae yet but if you do, you'll need to perform the OCLT and you need a reliable test kit.

    I'm just saying... it's your choice.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Quote Originally Posted by jameya
    Is bromine and borate the same thing?? and since I will be adding the stabilizer in a sock by the suggested by the bottle, I don't need to check cya until a week from now. Am I correct?? And im not understanding FREE chlorine and the TOTAL chlorine. On my 6 way walmart kit ( I will invest in the better one for next year if I can keep the pool going for the 2 months left of this season) but its yellow and says total chlorine/ bromine test, but when I am looking to put in levels I got on the pool calculator I am not seeing a FREE chlorine reading to add to the caculator
    Bromine and borate are different as described in the Pool School article Definitions and Abbreviations.

    You are right that you don't need to check your CYA for a week. The HTH 6-Way Test Kit from Walmart uses an OTO chlorine/bromine test so for chlorine it only tests Total Chlorine so does not distinguish between Free Chlorine and Combined Chlorine. For now, just use the Total Chlorine number you read on the HTH test kit as your Free Chlorine number you put into The Pool Calculator.

    Casey, the yellow test means it's OTO and is not limited to 5 or 10 ppm -- it will reliably detect the presence of virtually any amount of chlorine without bleaching out. It will turn orange, red, or even very dark red/black at very high chlorine levels.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Casey, the yellow test means it's OTO and is not limited to 5 or 10 ppm -- it will reliably detect the presence of virtually any amount of chlorine without bleaching out. It will turn orange, red, or even very dark red/black at very high chlorine levels.

    Well, who's up for a guessing game on what colors mean how many PPM when you can use the FAS DPD and count rather than play with a color wheel. I understand what you're saying chem geek. The TF-100 is just easier even though it's a bang up front.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Have No Clue What We Are Doing....

    Jameya,
    We can tell that you are already learning simply by the questions you are asking.

    So, just keep breathing, ask the questions. It's an uphill learning curve, but very soon you'll be coasting down the other side, wind blowing in your hair, and a smile on your face!

    Read Pool School again and again. The info gradually sinks in, and as you put it into practice with your own pool, it begins to make a lot of sense. For instance, you will soon learn how many ounces of chlorine/bleach your pool requires daily to keep it sanitary and sparkling. And you will understand exactly why that many ounces, and also why it might change from time to time. Really, you will. You'll be in charge.

    BTW, all the folks here are serious when they urge you to order one of the excellent test kits. Trying to maintain a pool without a reliable test kit is like trying to parallel park a 40-foot-semi with your eyes closed.

    Well, for most of us, anyway.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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