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Thread: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

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    Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    The pool is filling! We are slowly filling it - started Friday night and it is just over half full now ... I think I need to add some soda ash but have questions ...

    Do I add it directly to the water? How long does it take to dissolve? and when is it safe to get into the pool after it is added?

    My results are
    Chlorine - 4
    CC .5
    PH 6.8
    CYA 25
    TA 130

    Also - the chlorine level has been holding steady

    The pool calculator tells me that I need to add 42 oz of Soda ash - so 5.25 cups?

    Once the pool is filled I will need to add more - but my question is - is TA something that needs to be adjusted when not adding water? Do I need to stock up on soda ash? Does soda ash go bad? (I am not sure how old the soda ash is that I have)

    BTW - when filling the pool the hose is above the waterline to provide aeration.
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    As it says in pool-school/recommended_pool_chemicals
    Raising PH

    PH can be raised in three ways: borax, soda ash, and aeration. Borax is usually the best choice. Borax raises the PH and also raises the TA level just a little. If your TA level is low soda ash will raise both the PH and TA levels. If your TA level is high, aeration is best as it will not raise the TA level at all. However, aeration is rather slow compared to the other two.

    Borax is available as 20 Mule Team® Borax Natural Laundry Booster. It is sold in the laundry detergent section of most larger grocery stores and some big box stores. Borax is best added by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return.

    Soda ash is available as ARM & HAMMER® Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster. Do not confuse this with ARM & HAMMER® laundry detergent! It is sold in the laundry detergent section of most larger grocery stores and some big box stores. It is also sold by pool stores under various names, including PH Increaser, PH Up, Balance Pak 200, etc. Soda ash is best added by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return.

    Aeration can be provided by a SWG, spa jets, waterfall, fountain, return pointed up so it breaks the surface, air compressor, kids splashing, rain, etc. It can take some time for aeration to raise the PH. The higher your TA level, the faster aeration will work.
    I would go easier on the dose, just in case the pool isn't as big as you think it is, so you don't end up overshooting and pushing pH too high.

    You can get in within half an hour of adding chemicals. I suspect the water will be too chilly that soon after filling, but maybe you're tougher than me.
    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: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    The bucket that I have just says "soda ash" on it ... I got it from the previous owners of the pool, who says they practiced the BBB method ... but considering the array of bottles/buckets/and packages that I have it makes me wonder =)

    The Pool School article indicates that adding it will raise both the PH and the TA though ... and it seems like my TA is slightly high.

    I think I'm just nervous about messing up my water LOL!

    It looks great though!
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    oh - and the water temp is about 80 ... so not too cold =)
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    You don't need soda ash. With a TA of 130 I'd use Borax if anything.

    Also, unless you've added something with CYA in it, your CYA for fill water is zero.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    Oh I forgot. You can swim 30 minutes after adding chems.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    Ok - I think I am just going to pitch all of this stuff that I got from the previous owners - I am feeling pretty confident in all of the stuff I have finally learned in the pool school ... I am pretty sure I have read it 8 times - it is different when you are just reading it and when you are using the test kit and then having to make adjustments!

    I added half the stabilizer that I needed for the full pool - I'll add the other half once the pool is closer to full. So - I think the CYA test is actually pretty spot on.

    Otherwise the only thing I have added is some bleach. I will pick up some Borax today!
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    You're absolutely right about it being a whole different ballgame once you get the kit and start using it vs. just reading about what to do.

    I would only raise the pH to about 7.2. Given your TA it's probably going to rise on it's own a bit.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    and getting rid of all of this junk will make some room for pool toys!

    I'll retest the PH again this afternoon - it has been shifting between 7.2 and 6.8 - before I add the borax.

    My husband walls all impressed yesterday when we were at the pool store getting a gasket - he was asking me if we needed all these expensive chemicals and I said - no honey, I've got what we need - just bleach =)
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Haley's Avatar
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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    Ahahaa!!! "...just bleach."
    Intex 15'x48" AG metal frame pool (4,440 gal), Krystal Clear (1600) 14" sand filter, Taylor K2006 test kit, Intex Deluxe Maintenance Kit/vacuum (love it!), Intex Deluxe Skimmer, BBB.

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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    Kids are in the measly 25 inches - got the hose I needed for the skimmer ... I've lost 1 chlorine in the sunshine today - and adding 4 more inches of water - TA is at 120 and ph 7.2 - This is so wonderful!!

    Just waiting to get the water up so I can get this pump and filter running!
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    So I think I've got chlorine, CC, and CYA about perfect! The PH is going between 7.0 and 7.2 at this point and TA between 120 and 130- that is during adding water and kids splashing, but no filter running yet since the water isn't quite high enough yet. So I am not adding anything until the filter is running so I can see what things will look like at that point.

    The good news is that the last 3 CC tests have been 0!

    This just seems to have been too easy almost ... I haven't even used a whole bottle of bleach yet!
    SwimNPlay AG 15x33 oval 48" high 12k gallons - Used pool set up July 2013
    Hayward sand filter, Sta-Rite 3/4 HP pump
    Kleen Machine Robot, TF-100 test kit
    Central NC

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Getting first pool set up for the first time!

    Quote Originally Posted by AprilNC
    This just seems to have been too easy almost ... I haven't even used a whole bottle of bleach yet!
    It is pretty easy. The key is that you're testing accurately and regularly and treating the pool with only what it needs.
    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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