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Thread: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

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    First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Hi All! I am brand new to owning an AG Pool, and to this forum. We literally just pulled our pool out of the box last night (Coleman 16x48). We have the pump it came with....I believe it is a 1,000 gallon pump with cartridge filters. We also purchased a SWG today after reading up on it in this group. We have been filling it up since about midnight last night, and it is finally full! I have been so nervous and overwhelmed about this whole chemical maintenance thing that is involved with our pool! A Facebook group of mom's recommended this site to me and I have been trying to read up all day, but I am still stupidly in over my head LOL!

    Okay so, #1. Right now there is just plain tap water in our pool. I do not have a recommended test kit from this site yet, but will work on getting that ordered. So, we used HTH test strips from wall-mart. I did an initial read of our water and here are the results:
    TH- 400
    FC-0
    PH-7.8
    TA-120
    CA-30-50
    I also did the Salt Water Test and it test just under the #1 on the test strip.
    I am not sure where to go from here. I have 120 pounds of pool salt, a bag of CA, and a bag of pool shock that they gave me at the pool store today. I can go get liquid chlorine if needed though!

    #2. I am so lost on the pump and SWG! I feel like the instructions are useless and mostly just confuse me. I have no idea how or when to run my pump....does it need to run 24/7? I kind of read through some articles on here that say it depends on your FC testing, but initially to get this started, should my pump be running?

    #3. The SWG says to place the salt into the pool and allow the pump to run for 24 hours I believe before turning on the SWG....do I add the CA into the water with the salt? What about the pool shock or additional chlorine to start?

    #4. Sorry- last one! Can my kids play in the pool while all of the above ingredients are being mixed into the pool?

    So sorry for all the questions...I don't want to hire a pool guy because I know they are just going to put loads of chemicals in it, but I just feel really overwhelmed right now!!
    Coleman 16'x48" AGP, Pump is what came with the pool 1,000 gallon pump I believe with Cartridge, SWG Intex brand Krystal Clear
    First Year Pool Owners

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Take a deep breath ... it'll all work out. There are really helpful and informative people on here. I'm just the cheerleader right now encouraging you. I don't know anything about SWG but there will be someone to help you out.
    22,000 gal 16x34, IG, vinyl (7/14)
    DE Hayward Perflex extended cycle
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    hahaha! Okay, Thank You!
    Coleman 16'x48" AGP, Pump is what came with the pool 1,000 gallon pump I believe with Cartridge, SWG Intex brand Krystal Clear
    First Year Pool Owners

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Hello, and Welcome, I too am new around here. Jkpharm said it best. Relax, help is on the way. In the meantime, I'll try to assist. First things first, until you can get a good test kit ( I have the TF100) it will be hard to know exactly what to add and when, because test strips are not consistent and therefore unreliable. But lets go with we think is right. You should always have chlorine present in your pool to ward off algae or to fight what's already there. Since you could treat your pool as seasonal or permanent, I'll leave those for the real pros.

    You should add some as soon as you can. If you haven't added the salt yet, the salt test is not needed as tap water will not have salt. When you add it will take about 24 hrs to mix, so the SWG won't be ready to generate chlorine till then In the meantime you can add chlorine or shock you may have. The thing that we recommend is plain old bleach like clorox.

    If you know how to use the pool math calculator you can input your numbers and it will tell you how much to add. I would put at least a quart to start with to get some FC in there. I would think try to hit an FC of 6 would be good to start.

    And yes your kids can swim because it water like they bathe in anyway. You just need to get the chlorine in there to keep it clean.



    Sorry, I should have added wait at least 30 minutes after adding chemicals before swimming to let the pump mix everything together
    Last edited by lefty51; 06-13-2015 at 11:17 PM. Reason: update
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Thank you so much! After my initial start up, is there a good average number of hours per day to keep my pump running?

    Also, should I wait to add the CA until I get better test strips?


    Coleman 16'x48" AGP, Pump is what came with the pool 1,000 gallon pump I believe with Cartridge, SWG Intex brand Krystal Clear
    First Year Pool Owners

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    lefty51's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Liviesmommy View Post
    Thank you so much! After my initial start up, is there a good average number of hours per day to keep my pump running?

    Also, should I wait to add the CA until I get better test strips?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    good morning, I am not familiar with your setup, so hopefully someone with real knowledge will jump in.

    Yes I would wait before adding stabilizer. I have an SWG and the CYA for us should be in the 70-80 range. My mistake was trusting strips and I ended up replacing 40% of the water. In your case that might not be a lot, but the CYA is critical for proper chlorination, especially with SWG.

    As far as how long to run your pump that depends, they say it can run as little as 4 hrs a day. What your are looking for is does it keep chlorine levels up, does it keep the pool surface clean. you can adjust your SWG to make more or less chlorine.

    Since I have not an AGP for over 16 years, I hope someone with more knowledge with jump in here. In the meantime, I strongly urge you to read pool school, the ABC's of pool water chemistry. There are also a section on seasonal or year round pools. Check these out, they can answer far more questions than I can
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Use PoolMath to get your FC in 4-6 range.

    Add CYA to gt to 30.

    Adjust PH to mid 7 range with muriatic acid.

    Add salt to the level recommended for your SWG and don't run SWG for 24 hours---just the pump.

    USE your kids to stir it all up 30 minutes after any additions are made.

    WE'LL be your pool guys until you get comfy with it. Then you can hire yourself!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Thank You!


    Coleman 16'x48" AGP, Pump is what came with the pool 1,000 gallon pump I believe with Cartridge, SWG Intex brand Krystal Clear
    First Year Pool Owners

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    You have great advise so far. Just wanted to clarify about the bleach ..... you can use any liquid bleach (name brand or generic). They should all have the same active ingredient (Sodium Hypochlorite), although some may be 6%, 8.25% or 12%. SO when you use the Poolmath calculator to adjust your FC (Free Chlorine), make sure you enter the proper % of your bottle. Until your test kit arrives, you should be fine with adding about 1/2 - 1 gallon per day until your CYA raises to 30 as Woody suggested.

    Oh ... last thing ... there are no stupid questions in TFP, nor can you ask too many. Ask away! This place keeps me off of Facebook.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Thanks for coming to my rescue, Too
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Hi Liviesmommy, welcome! Here's an article about adjusting pump run time, usually 4 hours a day is enough. The first day or 2, it wouldnt hurt to run it longer to get the salt dissolved and chemicals distributed. If your chlorine generator only runs when your pump is on, that will be the determining factor, it needs to be on long enough to maintain your target chlorine level, without it dropping under. The most common problem people seem to have is that they dont realize chlorine needs to be added daily. The generator makes it easy.

    When you say CA, do you mean CYA? If so, new water has 0. It's only there if you added it. That's the problem with test strips: lack of accuracy. It looks like you thought it was 30-50, but it would have been zero. As others said above, the target is 70 CYA for a salt chlorine generator, but here they recommend to do it in stages to avoid overshooting. As above, get the CYA to 30 using poolmath and keep your chlorine at the target level based on your CYA at each stage, as per this chart (refer to the non-SWG section until your CYA is over 60 and you have the generator fully functioning)
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
    Filter: AstralPools ZX-310 SWCG: AstralPools VX7T
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    I was wondering about that! And yes, sorry, CYA .
    I posted in another thread, but I am trying to find out if my kids can be in the pool with the pump running. It says in the manual not to swim while it's running, but if I need to run the SWG for 6 hours a day (just throwing out a number), that seems silly. I was asked in my other post if it had a grounding lug on it (?). Hubby said no, but it has a GFCI (?)


    Coleman 16'x48" AGP, Pump is what came with the pool 1,000 gallon pump I believe with Cartridge, SWG Intex brand Krystal Clear
    First Year Pool Owners

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    i cant address the electrical issue, maybe its a shock hazard issue. as far as pump time, i think you could put the circuit on a timer to run when the kids wont be in. http://www.homedepot.com/b/Electrica...s/N-5yc1vZc334
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
    Filter: AstralPools ZX-310 SWCG: AstralPools VX7T
    Heater: Hayward H250FDN Test Kit: TF-100

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Concerning filter run time. As a Certified Pool Operator by the State of IL. we are required to follow these guidelines:

    The State of Illinois requires the following turnover rates:
    Type of Pool Turnover Rate Turnovers/Day

    Diving Pools 8 hours or less 3 or more

    Wading Pools, Wading Areas, 2 hours or less 12 or more
    Plunge Pools, Plunge Areas,and Lazy Rivers

    All Other Pools, 6 hours or less 4 or more

    I consider my Above Ground Pool at home to be " All Other" and shoot for 4 turnovers of the water per day.

    At 1000 GPH for your Coleman pump it will require a full 24 hours to turn your 6000 gallons over 4x.
    The pump has been sized to be the smallest (cheapest) to achieve this goal. Pool architects routinely size pump and filter combinations to achieve this 4x turnover rate for a 24 hour period. A typical indoor pool in a school setting needs to run continuously 24/7 to achieve this.

    You can upsize your pump and filter to decrease the time required to turn over the water 4 times in a 24 hour period.

    I can run mine 4 hours in the a.m and 4 hours in the evening to achieve this, but I specified the pump/filter combination when I bought it.

    Regardless, if you maintain your chemicals, you may be able to adjust your runtime based on bather load, junk getting in the pool, loss of FC to sun during the day, etc.

    Good luck and take your time, you will know if you need to run your filter longer as you get to know your pool.
    Mike F.

    15' Above Ground Sharkline Matrix, Vinyl, 6,000 gal. Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter. TFT 50 Test Kit. Install 7/2014
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    MJF54....... this is NOT a state run public pool. 4 turnovers of water per day is waaaaaay outside the norm for a residential pool.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Woodyp- what is typical for a residential pool?

    I was able to get one of your recommend test kits from a friend who is not putting up her pool this year, so I am getting ready to test where we are. I have only added salt and chlorine to the pool at this point. I didn't want to add the CYA until I got the test strips, so I noticed in the pool school documents that it says not to retest the cya for a week. Should I put in the recommended amount based on the pool calculated or should I start with less and work my way up? Also- we don't have a skimmer...is there another way I can add the cya properly?


    Coleman 16'x48" AGP, Pump is what came with the pool 1,000 gallon pump I believe with Cartridge, SWG Intex brand Krystal Clear
    First Year Pool Owners

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Actually-----we don't even HAVE a recommended turnover times per day. It is irrelevant. A pump run time of 4 to 6 hours daily is a good start ow whatever it takes to keep YOUR particular pool clean, and in your case, provide enough chlorine through the SWG.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Okay thank you! We will start with that!


    Coleman 16'x48" AGP, Pump is what came with the pool 1,000 gallon pump I believe with Cartridge, SWG Intex brand Krystal Clear
    First Year Pool Owners

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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Liviesmommy View Post
    Woodyp- what is typical for a residential pool?

    I was able to get one of your recommend test kits from a friend who is not putting up her pool this year, so I am getting ready to test where we are. I have only added salt and chlorine to the pool at this point. I didn't want to add the CYA until I got the test strips, so I noticed in the pool school documents that it says not to retest the cya for a week. Should I put in the recommended amount based on the pool calculated or should I start with less and work my way up? Also- we don't have a skimmer...is there another way I can add the cya properly?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Pour the CYA in some old nylon legs, tie the ends up and hang them from the ladder in front of a water return (a "Jet") is what I would do in that situation...

    If you just filled the pool up with water, you are pretty certain that your CYA is zero... So I would add a big chunk of what you need right away and then test and top it up the rest of the way. That way you make sure your in line with your calculations before maybe putting too much in.
    23K gallon, vinyl liner, 1hp pump, 300 lb sand filter, Fafco solar panels, jandy lite 2 heater, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owners...Lost Lost Lost!!

    Water turnover is not applicable for residential pools at all. I would run the pump 6 or 8 hours or so to start and see if the pool is clean and there is enough chlorine being generated.

    Add 70 ppm of CYA to a sock or two and hang it in front of the pool return. Leave the pump running until it dissolves. Give it a squeeze or three a few times per day to speed it up.

    They are being extra cautious recommending not swimming with the pump running you can run it at night on a timer if there isn't one built in.
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