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Thread: How's my fill water?

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    How's my fill water?

    Next week I'm filling up my pool for the first time. My fill water is:

    pH 8.2
    ALK 40
    CH 30
    Copper ND
    Iron ND

    As of now, the plan is to follow the NPC start up procedure. So after fill, the ALK is increased to 80 and the pH adjusted to 7.2-7.6. On day 2, CH is adjusted to 150.

    Should I be concerned that the plaster will be exposed to such low calcium concentration for so many hours? I plan to discuss this with the plasterer, but I wanted to get some voices of experience to inform me on whether this is a significant concern or not. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    17,000 gallon IG tahoe blue plaster pool with spa (30' x 18' x 3.5'-6.5')
    Pentair 4 x 160 variable pump, Pentair 420 filter, Pentair Legend with pump pool cleaner
    Pentair 400,000 BTU heater
    Pentair Easytouch 4 pool/spa controller with SWG and 4 function handheld remote
    TF-100 test kit

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: How's my fill water?

    How did you get those test results? The alk being low and the ph being high would be somewhat unusual.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    The Sacramento area does have soft water like that, in fact, the pH may actually be higher than 8.2.
    Your concern about the low calcium level of the tap water is valid.

    Once your plaster pool is filled with that tap water, it is likely that the TA, CH, and pH will all be slightly higher than what the tap water readings are, and that there will plaster dust all over the pool. That is because the soft tap water will dissolve away some of the plaster surface.

    If the plasterer isn't aware of the Bicarb start-up (which I recommend), he probably won't want to try it. So you will have to see what you and plasterer can work out at this point. If you are having the pool plastered with color, that adds to the complication of pool start-ups.

    If you want to learn more about proper plastering practices, see this post: ten-guidelines-for-quality-pool-plaster-t42957.html

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    The water was tested using the TF-100, doing the pH a second time for my wife to check with her more "color aware" eyes.

    I brought a sample to Leslie's which tested it after it had been sitting for about 4 hours. They obtained the same results on ALK and CH, but their pH measurement was 7.8.
    17,000 gallon IG tahoe blue plaster pool with spa (30' x 18' x 3.5'-6.5')
    Pentair 4 x 160 variable pump, Pentair 420 filter, Pentair Legend with pump pool cleaner
    Pentair 400,000 BTU heater
    Pentair Easytouch 4 pool/spa controller with SWG and 4 function handheld remote
    TF-100 test kit

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: How's my fill water?

    I would test the TA and CH with your tf-100. Pool store results are very unreliable.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    I would test the TA and CH with your tf-100. Pool store results are very unreliable.
    I did those tests with the TF-100 as well (the results on those were the same as Leslie's). The only results which are exclusively from Leslie's were the metal ones, but the city water quality report also lists these as ND.
    17,000 gallon IG tahoe blue plaster pool with spa (30' x 18' x 3.5'-6.5')
    Pentair 4 x 160 variable pump, Pentair 420 filter, Pentair Legend with pump pool cleaner
    Pentair 400,000 BTU heater
    Pentair Easytouch 4 pool/spa controller with SWG and 4 function handheld remote
    TF-100 test kit

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: How's my fill water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shmello
    I did those tests with the TF-100 as well (the results on those were the same as Leslie's).
    That is unusual.

    Good, then make sure you follow the advice onbalance gives.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    Quote Originally Posted by onBalance
    If the plasterer isn't aware of the Bicarb start-up (which I recommend)...
    If I can't find a way to pre-treat the water, what do you think of the method of adjusting the TA to high levels after the pool is filled (which I think you have published as an alternative method)?
    17,000 gallon IG tahoe blue plaster pool with spa (30' x 18' x 3.5'-6.5')
    Pentair 4 x 160 variable pump, Pentair 420 filter, Pentair Legend with pump pool cleaner
    Pentair 400,000 BTU heater
    Pentair Easytouch 4 pool/spa controller with SWG and 4 function handheld remote
    TF-100 test kit

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    Pre-treating the tap water is always the best way. With that being said, yes of course, you can balance the water after the pool is filled. I think raising the alkalinity to 200 ppm and the calcium hardness to 200 ppm will be sufficient. You will need to add sodium bicarbonate to raise the TA, and at the same time, add acid to lower the pH to 7.4 to 7.8. Do not add calcium chloride (calcium hardness increaser) until the pH is below 7.8. That is important to make sure of that.

    With blue colored plaster jobs especially, the start-up is important, but not as important as the quality of the workmanship of plastering. It is very difficult to achieve a uniform color without streaking. So I hope you read the post listed before and try to work with your contractor.

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    I need to mention that with your soft tap water filling the new plaster pool, the pH of the water will rise to about 9.0 (from pH 8.2 tap water) by the time the pool is full of water. So that will require more acid doses to help lower the pH, and of course, the acid will also reduce the alkalinity at the same time. So account for that when adding sodium bicarbonate to raise the alkalinity.

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    Thanks for all the tips. I'm realizing that I'm going to have to keep a close watch on the pH.

    Is the reason to get the pH below 7.8 before adding the calcium chloride to avoid it precipitating out as calcium carbonate?
    17,000 gallon IG tahoe blue plaster pool with spa (30' x 18' x 3.5'-6.5')
    Pentair 4 x 160 variable pump, Pentair 420 filter, Pentair Legend with pump pool cleaner
    Pentair 400,000 BTU heater
    Pentair Easytouch 4 pool/spa controller with SWG and 4 function handheld remote
    TF-100 test kit

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: How's my fill water?

    Yes, you have that right. When the pH is above 8.4, the calcium will generally precipitate out as calcium carbonate.

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: How's my fill water?

    I am in Antelope, my recent tests show a

    pH 7.6
    TA 120
    CH 130

    at the time
    FC 4
    CC 0

    I have an AG pool so it is different. I have never adjusted my CH. My pH seems very steady and I only need adjust every month or so.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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