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Thread: New liner - new fill - where to start?

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    New liner - new fill - where to start?

    Well, at the tail end of last summer and early fall we started losing water from our in ground, vinyl pool. The pool was constructed in 2003 and still had the original liner and it was starting to show serious cracks, some small tears, and general degradation. From what I've read - 10 years was a pretty good run.

    So last week we had a new liner installed, and a new sand filter as well. A new variable speed pump was installed late last year to save on energy costs. I'm a little lost on how to get my pool water where I need to now that we've had the pool totally filled with new water (city water). This new liner was an investment, so I'd like to be careful with my pool chemistry to prolong its life.

    The basics:

    20,000 gallon 18 x 36' in ground pool with brand new Vinyl Works liner (it looks so beautiful..lol..)
    Since we moved in 4 years ago (and prior to us moving in) the pool used a Carefree Clearwater pool ionizer. I feel it has worked exceptionally well, so I'm thinking I'll continue to use it. It has a brand new anode and I understand the target for the Ion Level is .2 to .3 PPM (right now it is obviously zero).

    I just ran a test of the water:

    pH - 7.2
    TA - 30 PPM
    Hardness - 40
    Ion - 0
    CL - 0

    So how do I get this thing up and running? I'm worried if I drastically alter one thing right off the bat I'll be doing the wrong thing with the other. According to the ionizer instructions, they say TA should never exceed 95 whereas 120-150 would be normal for chlorinated pools. For the past four years I've maintained that .2 to .3 PPM ion level and just used household bleach to maintain CL and that formula seemed to work just fine. The liner installer recommended that since I have an ionizer I never let pH, alk, or calcium to get too high or we could get staining.

    So any ideas on where I go first with this new pool water? Start the ionizer and simultaneously add CL ya think? Water clarity is exceptional right now with the new water..lol..now I'll mess it all up..

    Last question - over the previous decade the side of the pool that received the most direct sunlight (the south facing side of the liner) showed the obvious signs of UV damage moreso than the other side. Is there any product out there that can be applied to the liner above the water line to slow that UV breakdown process? I'm just wondering if there is a 303 protectant type coating I could occasionally rub on there..but is there anything pool safe like that?

    Very grateful for any guidance...





    BeachAV8R

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New liner - new fill - where to start?

    You do want to raise the TA level at least a little, I would recommend bringing TA to 70 or 80. Having TA at 120 to 150 is only normal if you are using trichlor tablets. For bleach/liquid chlorine we recommend TA around 70-90.

    We do not recommend the use of an ionizer. Stains, should they happen, are unsightly and very difficult to remove.

    You will certainly want to add some CYA, we recommend 30-50 ppm.

    And obviously some chlorine. For the first few days that can be 1-2 ppm each evening after sunset. Once there is some CYA in the water you will want to maintain a level based on your CYA level.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New liner - new fill - where to start?

    What test kit are you using? It does not appear to be one of the Recommended Test Kits.

    We also do not recommend the use of ionizers, so you will not likely get much feedback from people with that experience. There is just no advantage and potentiall huge disadvantages like green hair and staining your new liner (which you admittedly want to protect).

    At a minimum you need to get the CYA into the recommended levels and then be maintaining adequate FC as seen here:FC/CYA Chart

    How much of Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
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    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
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    Re: New liner - new fill - where to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    We also do not recommend the use of ionizers, so you will not likely get much feedback from people with that experience. There is just no advantage and potentiall huge disadvantages like green hair and staining your new liner (which you admittedly want to protect).
    OK - you got me reconsidering that then. We have seen the green hair and the metal coming out on the steps in previous years - so that may well be something I reconsider. I'll be reading up on the links you provided. The test kit I'm using right now is the Carefree Clearwater one that tests Ion Level, pH, ALK, and Hardness..supplemented with a standard chlorine/pH kit. I'll do some poking around with the on sight calculator and see what it spits out.

    Thanks for the links..

    BeachAV8R

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    Re: New liner - new fill - where to start?

    Update on this..

    I purchased the TF-100 kit (nicely packaged and great instructions BTW).. Since this was a new fill I already knew that CYA and CL would both be zero (and they are). I added 25 pounds of Calcium Increaser and 5 lbs. of Alk increaser about a week ago. (We will NOT be using the ionizer this year - no green hair this season..)

    So the trend is:

    4-12 - pH 7.4 TA 30ppm Hardness 40 CL 0 CYA 0
    4-21 - pH 7.2 TA 40ppm Hardness not tested CL 0 CYA 28

    I added the CYA via several socks hung in the skimmer basket and that technique worked well - you definitely see an uptick in pressure in the sand filter, but it has since dropped back down. I understand I can't backwash for 24 hours after adding it. So the reading today of CYA 28 - it is my understanding that that might continue to climb for about a week after adding it - is that correct?

    And to this point I haven't added any CL yet (planning on using household bleach), but now that the CYA is in there, I think I should do it now (?). The site pool calculator suggests that to go from FC 0 to FC 4 for a 22,000 g. pool I should add about 182 oz of 6% bleach. Also, to raise my pH and TA the calculator is suggesting 248 oz baking soda.

    So does that plan sound reasonable thus far?

    Thanks for the suggestion on the TF-100 kit..it does appear more thorough and professional than my other kits..

    BeachAV8R

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    Re: New liner - new fill - where to start?

    Definitely get some chlorine in there. It is much easier to keep the water clear than it is to get it clear after it turns into a swamp. My understanding is that the CYA can rise for a while after adding it. I think you are good for now. Test again in a week and make adjustments as needed.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New liner - new fill - where to start?

    Once all the CYA is dissolved it should show up on the test. How many ounces/pounds of CYA did you add? If you added enough CYA to reach 30 and your test shows 28 it is ok to backwash if needed. Depending on how much water you use to backwash, you may need to add a little more CYA.
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    Re: New liner - new fill - where to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbradwell View Post
    Definitely get some chlorine in there. It is much easier to keep the water clear than it is to get it clear after it turns into a swamp. My understanding is that the CYA can rise for a while after adding it. I think you are good for now. Test again in a week and make adjustments as needed.
    Sounds good - will add the recommended CL and baking soda and retest in a week... Definitely want to stay ahead of this rather than play catch up..!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Once all the CYA is dissolved it should show up on the test. How many ounces/pounds of CYA did you add? If you added enough CYA to reach 30 and your test shows 28 it is ok to backwash if needed. Depending on how much water you use to backwash, you may need to add a little more CYA.
    I put 6.5 lbs. of 100% CYA purchased at Walmart. The container says "Saltwater Stabilizer"..but the active ingredient is 100% CYA, so it was more economical than the other CYA they sold. The calculator recommended 88 ounces to go from 0 to 40 so that 6.5 lbs. is something like 94 ounces. Hope I'm in the ball park. I'll report back.. Thanks for all the helpful assistance..!

    BeachAV8R

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