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Thread: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

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    Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Hi Guys,
    I have been around for a couple of seasons here but every year I forget my pw/ID/email combination and have to start over . I am getting ready to open the pool on my own for the first time. I have a 29000 Gallon Salt Water Free Form pool. I have a general idea of what goes where and have your recommended test kit. What I am wondering is wheather I should start with adding salt or bringing down the PH before doing any other work? I know I had my water tested by a place last year at opening and their numbers were way off. I believe you guys mentioned its because my PH was way too high. Is this what I should take care of first before doing anything else? I guess adding salt would not hurt either?
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    You can check the pH and start it in the right direction, but chloriine is always going to be the first priority. Get it to shock level and hold it there, and you can work on salt and CYA while you are keeping the chlorine up. pH testing is not accurate when you are shocking.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Great Advice thanks ! nm figured out the frequency of shocking... I did find however on the forum that I should fix my PH before shocking, is this not correct? Also having a little trouble figuring out the shock level , the site shows shock for my pool at CYA 70 would be 28 but pool calculator shows 20, which would be more accurate ?
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    If your pH is high (7.8) before shocking, bring it down with MA and then start shocking.

    The pH reads high at 10ppm chlorine and up so you'll have to wait til the chlorine comes down before you can check it reliably.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Fill it and get it circulating for at least half an hour, then run a full set of tests. That way you'll be able to make up a shopping list. If the water is green, you'll want to do the shock process; that includes dragging out debris, vacuuming, setting pH and then running elevated chlorine levels until it passes the tests.

    After the pool is clear and balanced as a bleach pool, then add salt and raise CYA if needed. Check out the highlighted post here, if you have kids.
    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: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Thanks Richard, I do have a daughter but she is too young to be able to do this :P..... You are suggesting to dump the salt after the shocking process? I always dumped it as I was shocking, wouldnt it be much a bit easier to shock while the chlorinator is running making some chlorine or its not a good idea? When it comes to shopping list I think I pretty much purchased everything I could need :P I have a general idea from the previous years. Bought some Calcium, Stabilizer, Salt, Bleach, still need to get D.E. media which brings me to a question, I see D.E. media in many stores but they are all different brands, does it matter what I buy or any D.E. media should work? Believe it or not the media I had lasted for last 2 seasons and never purchased it before.
    Also, I noticed the Bleach now sold at wallmart is 121oz but more concentrated and shows being equat to 182oz which I still have some jugs left over from last year. Can I just assume it as a 182oz jug for pool purposes or will that need to be calculated differently?
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    You know Richard, every time I look at your picture I thing of my neighbour Brian you guys look like twin brothers :P
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Quote Originally Posted by RafaelSvr
    Thanks Richard, I do have a daughter but she is too young to be able to do this :P..... You are suggesting to dump the salt after the shocking process? I always dumped it as I was shocking, wouldnt it be much a bit easier to shock while the chlorinator is running making some chlorine or its not a good idea? When it comes to shopping list I think I pretty much purchased everything I could need :P I have a general idea from the previous years. Bought some Calcium, Stabilizer, Salt, Bleach, still need to get D.E. media which brings me to a question, I see D.E. media in many stores but they are all different brands, does it matter what I buy or any D.E. media should work? Believe it or not the media I had lasted for last 2 seasons and never purchased it before.
    Also, I noticed the Bleach now sold at wallmart is 121oz but more concentrated and shows being equat to 182oz which I still have some jugs left over from last year. Can I just assume it as a 182oz jug for pool purposes or will that need to be calculated differently?
    I don't think the brand makes any difference for DE. The reason we say add salt later is because during the cleanup, you'll be losing some water to backwashing, and your new salt with it. Also, running the pump 24/7 means the SWG will also be running 24/7, which is a good way to burn it out. However, some people do leave it on to help boost FC. It'd really your choice.

    Just change the concentration in the pool calculator for bleach calculations. There is no figure for the jug sizes on the 8.25% stuff, but the ounces work out. You'll just need to divide the ounces it asks for by 121 to get number of jugs.
    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: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    another good suggestion, so I should leave the chlorinator on 0 while I do the shocking (i dont think there is a way to shut if off from what i recall)? I am not sure what you mean with the bleach calculations but once I get to that point and use pool calculator it may make more sense
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    I had another questions regardint the heater, I never really use it but in the past I did notice when they closed the pool for me they took of cover to do something in there (maybe just look)? This will be the first time I open it alone from start to end (last year they opened the pool for me but i did all chemicals and shocking) and I am not sure what I should do with the heater. Is there anything they could have disconnected there or turned off? or will it be safe to assume i can just open up the lines and run with it?
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Quote Originally Posted by RafaelSvr
    I had another questions regardint the heater, I never really use it but in the past I did notice when they closed the pool for me they took of cover to do something in there (maybe just look)? This will be the first time I open it alone from start to end (last year they opened the pool for me but i did all chemicals and shocking) and I am not sure what I should do with the heater. Is there anything they could have disconnected there or turned off? or will it be safe to assume i can just open up the lines and run with it?
    They may have removed a drain plug to empty it so it didn't freeze and crack. Give it a look-see. If you start the pump and see water pouring out the heater, don't freak out - it will help you find the plug you missed.
    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: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Hey Guys,
    I am getting ready to open up the pool in a little while, was supposed to start yesterday but run into a few issues. The people who closed my pool didn't clean my filter so I had to disassemble it and wash it. When I did that I noticed that the o-ring gasket that goes on the pipe that delivers water into the sections was missing and someone used the plumbing sealer tape (the white tape we use on faucets and such) I spent all morning driving around and not a single pool place by me has orings for Jandy DE filters. So I had to re-use the white tape idea and applied a fresh layer for now (I figured it ran at least a couple of seasons this way so why not) I know u guys say shock first but the people at the pool place told me I should bring up stabilizer first so chlorine will hold....... is this true or should I leave that till after shocking? I am not even sure its low but with winter and draining the pool I imagine it has to be.
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Quote Originally Posted by RafaelSvr
    Hey Guys,
    I am getting ready to open up the pool in a little while, was supposed to start yesterday but run into a few issues. The people who closed my pool didn't clean my filter so I had to disassemble it and wash it. When I did that I noticed that the o-ring gasket that goes on the pipe that delivers water into the sections was missing and someone used the plumbing sealer tape (the white tape we use on faucets and such) I spent all morning driving around and not a single pool place by me has orings for Jandy DE filters. So I had to re-use the white tape idea and applied a fresh layer for now (I figured it ran at least a couple of seasons this way so why not) I know u guys say shock first but the people at the pool place told me I should bring up stabilizer first so chlorine will hold....... is this true or should I leave that till after shocking? I am not even sure its low but with winter and draining the pool I imagine it has to be.
    I haven't seen any test results yet. How do you know it needs stabilizer? What level were you going to target? What's the water look like?

    Adding stabilizer is part of the shock process. However, since it takes several days to dissolve, we encourage people to hang it in a sock in front of a return.

    But it's your choice. Follow the directions in pool school, or follow the pool store. But any questions regarding the pool store method need to be addressed to those experts. Because I have no experience with most of the chemicals they sell in big plastic buckets.
    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: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    I do not have anything from them either, only chemical I bought is stabilizer ( I don't think there is a substitute?) from Wallmart. I went there looking for the oring and they said to make sure u got stabilizer in there first. I did read the pool school but I have to say it gives great general rules but is not very specific on what goes first and so forth. I will do as you said with the stabilizer...... The water looks clear , just took off the cover, but got lots od dirt on the walls and bottom. we had much more bad weather and wind this year (storms). I run into another queuery, I replaced all the little screws and seals that were in the pump bucket but I am left with one little black crock screw thingy and can not figure out where it goes ;/. It is about 1/3 inch wide, I looked everywhere , now Im afraid to start anything.
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Quote Originally Posted by RafaelSvr
    I do not have anything from them either, only chemical I bought is stabilizer ( I don't think there is a substitute?) from Wallmart. I went there looking for the oring and they said to make sure u got stabilizer in there first. I did read the pool school but I have to say it gives great general rules but is not very specific on what goes first and so forth. I will do as you said with the stabilizer...... The water looks clear , just took off the cover, but got lots od dirt on the walls and bottom. we had much more bad weather and wind this year (storms). I run into another queuery, I replaced all the little screws and seals that were in the pump bucket but I am left with one little black crock screw thingy and can not figure out where it goes ;/. It is about 1/3 inch wide, I looked everywhere , now Im afraid to start anything.
    If you don't know where you are, how do you know which way to go to get where you want to be?

    No tester = constant struggles and almost certain failure.

    I have no idea what sort of pump you're working on. I can't help you there, either.
    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: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    I finally found it after searching on my knees and elbows. I am going to continue tomorrow morning so I will test then.
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Your first post mentions you have one of the test kits we recommend. If you will post a complete set of test results, we can tell you what needs to be addressed first. Do not add the conditioner or anything else until you have seen your test results.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    I will do that, however, I run into another problem the water in the hot tub is a bit dirty and stinky, and I can not see the bottom, not sure how I should go about opening the drain up so I can empty it and clean up. I do not have any pump to drain it..... do you guys think I should just dive for it ? :P or invest in some cheap pump?
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    If you have a Harbor Freight store in the area you can get submersible pumps very inexpensively. You can also siphon the water out with a garden hose. Put the hose in the water so that the hose is filled. Hold your hand over one end of the hose while it is under water, then lift that end out and over the side of the hot tub and remove your hand. The water should start to flow out of the hose.
    TFP Moderator
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Opening the Pool, what goes first?

    Did just that, only I connected the hose to faucet and run water to fill it, then just turned water off and disconnected the hose. I have been known to also use empty hoses and just suck until I pull the water out :P..... Will be testing water now....... I lost like 2 inches of water over night..... I am gonne have to put the solar cover on tonight or by weeks end my pool will be empty
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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