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Thread: Where to start?

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    Where to start?

    This will be our second year with our pool (24x48 intex with 1hp pump & sand filter) & I am clueless when it comes to taking care of it. I did get by with it not getting completely yucky last year but it never was sparkling blue either. I am going to drain it next weekend, scrub it down and start from scratch. I guess my main question(s) are, to start it up what chemicals will I need on hand, how much of each & what about stabilizer? Also what goes in first, stabilizer or bleach?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    The first step is to get a top quality test kit. Only with reliable test results is it possible to reliably take care of the pool. Once you have test results, post them and we can give advice from there.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    Welcome Tracie!

    Not much I can add, but I can say hi, and welcome to TFP...
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    Re: Where to start?

    Top quality? I have a Taylor K-1004, will that work?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    The K-1004 is good enough to get started with, but it only measures some of the important numbers. I strongly recommend getting something better for long term use. The two kits we recommend are the TF100 from TFTestKits.net and the K-2006 from Taylor.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Where to start?

    I agree with JasonLion. Do yourself a favor and buy one of the kits recommended. It's a little bit out-of-pocket that will save you hundreds or even thousands later on. Everything starts with knowing your numbers.
    ---
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    Re: Where to start?

    I can do that, but can yall please tell me what I will need to get started and appr. amounts so I can have them on hand when my pool gets full & I post water results. I had rather have things I may not even need & more than I need because I really do not want to have to stop & run to town to get everything.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    This is a chicken and egg question. Can't recommend amounts without the test. If ph is high then you need something to lower it, if it is low you need something to raise it. Same with everything else so you will end up with twice as much stuff as you need and some that you will likely never need. My ph is high and I need to lower it regularly, if I bought something to raise ph it would just sit there forever because I have never needed to.

    But, you will need CYA/stabilizer and bleach to start. The rest can wait until you can test the water.

    Here is some good info on maintaining your water that will help you understand water chemistry, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    According to PoolMath your pool is 13,500 gallons. Based on the Recommended Levels you need to have a CYA level of 30-50, so with a target of 40 according to PoolMath you need to add 75oz of granular CYA/stabilizer. According to the Chlorine CYA Chart your FC target is 5, to go from 0ppm to 5ppm of FC you need to add 102oz of 8.25% bleach. From there you will need to add around 2-4ppm of bleach daily depending on sun, bather load, debris, etc.

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    p.s. to add CYA to your pool put it in a sock, tie it closed and put it in the skimmer or hang it over the side. Give it a squeeze regularly to help it dissolve faster. It will take a couple of days to dissolve and a week to fully register on the test.
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    Tracie, Go buy stabilizer/Conditioner in the pool aisle at Wal-Mart and buy 10 gallons of unscented bleach n keep it in a cool dark place. I keep mine in the basement. Sometimes you may need borax n baking soda but not all the time. So there are your ingredients. Now, we need you to buy the TF100 so we can find out how much of what you need.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    You know you'll need bleach. With a fresh fill, you won't need to SLAM, so a few gallons ought to keep you going for a week. You can calculate your pool volume and figure out how much CYA you'll need with poolmath. There will be no CYA in tap water. You have a vinyl pool so you won't need any Calcium Increaser, ever.

    Whether or not you'll need Baking Soda to raise TA depends on test results. Likewise whether you'll need acid or washing soda to adjust pH. There's no way for us to know or even guess. You might get an idea if you know you have hard water or not. Do you develop a lot of white crust on the showerhead and the coffeemaker? If so, you have hard water and a couple gallons of acid would be worth having on hand. It doesn't degrade like chlorine.

    If you have the test kit in hand, you can test the water coming out the hose when you start filling and make a chemical run while the pool is filling. It wouldn't be a bad idea to keep your eyes peeled while you're out and about to see which stores in your area stock acid, borax, baking soda, and washing soda. Then you'll know where to go while the pool is filling so you don't do a lot of frantic running around.

    Once the water is circulating with the pump, you check the actual pool pH and TA (TA is used to calculate the acid dose if pH is high.) The pH can change some while it's filling, so don't rely on the results you got from the tap. You know the FC will be low or nonexistent, you know the CYA will be zero, you don't care about CH, so you still don't bother with those tests.

    In general, you adjust pH first. While that addition is mixing, you fumble with the CYA granules and the sock. By the time you've got that suspended, the pH is stabilized and you add bleach to get to 3 or so, since you have no measurable CYA in the water yet. Give that half an hour or so to mix with the pump ruinning, and if you need to raise TA, that's when you do that. And since baking soda isn't rough on skin, if the water's warm enough, jump in.
    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.
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    Re: Where to start?

    Thanks everyone! I picked up some stabilizer over the weekend & will be getting the rest (bleach, borax, baking soda) one day this week. Wally World carries everything I need & if I do not need it for my pool I can always use it for household purposes... YAY!!!! I think my biggest problem is I never know how much of whatever it needs to add. My test tells me what it needs, just confused on how much. Last year the only thing I ever added was stabilizer & bleach and even though my water never got all that bad but it was not brag worthy!! I tried using the pool school calculator but I can not figure that thing out. Thanks again for the responses & making them easy to understand. I will be posting my water results as soon as I get some water to flowing. You guys as FANTASTIC!!!!!!

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    Re: Where to start?

    So I Have been playing around with the calculator and if I am doing it right it says I will need 60 boxes of Borax if I want a reading of 7.6 for my ph if I have a reading of 0. Oh MY LORD!!!! Do you normally have a reading of 0 on ph if filling up a pool with new water? That would be 60 boxes of Borax.... jeez!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    Never! Wait a second, how do you mean 0 pH.?

    Also, before you buy or add anything besides bleach or stabilizer you need to test your fill water.
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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    There's no way your PH is 0. How are you testing it? I think you're confusing FC (free chlorine).

    You really need to read up in pool school (see links in my signature).

    Also, you almost never need to drain and refill your pool unless you have sky high stabilizer levels (nothing brings down CYA except diluting it with more water).

    Fill in your signature line with your pool details too.
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
    Pool School + Test Kit + Pool Math = Trouble Free Pool

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    Re: Where to start?

    NOOOO, I was just playing around with the calculator...... just trying to figure it out and was just using 0 as a dummy number. I had rather drain & refill, it is faster to me. My pool right now looks like a Louisiana swamp. Also I have tried to figure out where to put in my info.
    24x52 Intex, 1hp pump & sand filter, taylor K-1004
    Downsville, LA

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    A pool fill will never be zero pH. Most fill water will be somewhere between 6.5-8.5 even those are broad ranges.

    Clarify where to put your info, you mean in pool math?
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  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Where to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    A pool fill will never be zero pH. Most fill water will be somewhere between 6.5-8.5 even those are broad ranges.

    Clarify where to put your info, you mean in pool math?

    no my signature line & pool details, but I figured it out.
    24x52 Intex, 1hp pump & sand filter, taylor K-1004
    Downsville, LA

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    Ok I was trying to figure out 0 pH and 60 boxes of borax. Scary stuff.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    Post #8 above has a link with details on updating sig and location.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Where to start?

    Don't be buying baking soda and borax unless you know you need them. I have never added either to my pool. Your pool may never need them, either, but there's no way to know without test results. As I posted above, you know you'll need bleach and you know you'll need CYA, and that's all you know for sure.
    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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