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Thread: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

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    LatinMass's Avatar
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    1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Being CLUELESS about how to care for a pool, I was delighted to find this site! I have been reading Pool School and various topics on the site over several days... I am a little intimidated with how difficult it will be to keep the pool water balanced, but I'm sure it will get easier as we gain experience.
    The pool is still being installed, but the kids are already wondering WHEN they can swim?!
    We hope the pool will be ready to fill either this weekend or next week which gives me time to order the test kit!!! (Any idea how long the shipping takes?)
    The pool came with a cartridge filter and pump but we also have a pump and sand filter that a friend of ours gave us from his ag pool when he moved. I think these are better than what came with our pool but I'll have to check and do a little more research on that.
    While my husband will enjoy swimming in the pool, he works long days so I have a feeling that most of the maintenance will be left to me. I want to purchase a SWG as I've heard/read that they are less "work" and that the salt is cheaper than all the chemicals. I've been looking at the Aquatrol but I'm not sure if I'd need the RJ or the HP model. (any links to discounted prices would be great!) My husband would install the SWG. Although, I also really like the BBB method - I LOVE to save $$$! But like I said above, I'm a little intimidated by the "science" of it all! Maybe with the help of this site and the pool calculator, I could pull it off.

    So here are my basic questions (so far):
    After filling the pool from our well, do I just start running the SWG or do I need to shock it first?
    Or do I test the water to see what it needs before starting the SWG?

    I know ultimately I need to test the water to know exactly what it will need and that it may take time to get the water perfectly balanced... I guess I need a basic start-up guide! What I want to know is: what do I need to do to the water to get the kids swimming right away?! I don't want to end up spending days or weeks getting the water balanced before letting them swim!

    Thanks in advance!
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Quote Originally Posted by LatinMass
    Or do I test the water to see what it needs before starting the SWG?
    Bingo!

    Welcome to TFP! You are beginning to understand the basics of pool care, and it WILL get easier as you practice. BBB is really best defined as knowing what your pool needs, when it needs it! We tend to focus on the specific products, but you can surely use a SWG and still follow the BBB method!

    If you ordered the TF100, shipping is VERY fast!

    Water from the tap is clean and chlorinated. I assume that is what you will use to fill your pool, since you did not mention a different source.

    Personally, I would add a little bleach to 3ppm, (now is the time to familiarize yourself with Jason's calculator) let the kiddos swim, and then in the evening begin to balance your water. As long as the additions mix in well for 30 minutes or so, there is no reason they cannot swim daily as you get your water whipped into shape!

    Others will be along to assist you further!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Welcome to TFP!

    Good job on getting a good test kit. I'm assuming that you are going for the TF-100 kit? If so, Dave has fairly quick shipping on his kits. Takes a handful of days really.

    So, you are considering the SWG but you haven't gotten it yet? In any event, you are going to need to add chlorine to the pool once it's filled. An SWG will produce chlorine, but typically not fast enough to fully chlorinate a newly filled pool very efficiently. Better to go ahead and add bleach in the beginning until the SWG gets up to speed. You will also need to add stabilizer (CYA) to keep the chlorine in the pool when the sun comes out.

    If you are filling with well water, it might be a good idea to have a sample of your water checked for metals. You may need a sequestrant to prevent metal stains and problems. A pool store can do this for you.

    Be sure to read and re-read Pool School. As far as the SWG being less work, there is truth to that I suppose. But with an SWG, strict attention to water balance is essential to protect the life of your SWG cell.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    welcome to TFP...a cheaper alternative for a swg is the intex Krystalclear SWG...I have been using mine for a month now...no bleach additions all you need is some salt in your water. The intex is certainly not a swg with bells and whistles, but it gets the job done at a cost of about $175. I run mine on a 24ft round about 2-3hrs per day and has no problem maintaining my FC...you'll also want to balance your water per the SWG recommendations in pool school if you choose the swg route.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Hi and welcome.

    You shouldn't have to shock - but you can't use the SWG right away either.

    The kids can still swim once the pool is filled, if you add one-half of a small jug of clorox or store brand bleach. While the pump is running, pour it very slowly into the return flow and let it circulate for about 30 min. Is this a portable type pool, like an Intex? The kind you take down at the end of the season? (If it is, make sure the pump is unplugged while folk are swimming as a safety measure.)

    By the end of the day the sun will have consumed all of your chlorine, so you'll need to add another 1/2 jug after dark. Chlorine is constantly being consumed so it must be replenished to prevent algae and other nasties....

    The water might be cold but if they want in, go for it!

    Post the test results for PH/TA here and we'll help you get straight. If you have your test kit now, you can test the tap water before the pool is filled, that will give you an idea of items for your shopping list, like possibly the other B's if your PH and TA levels are not at the recommended level.

    You don't need to test for CYA at first because your tap water won't have any. You'll need to buy it, it typically comes in 3-4 lb containers for around $15 (look for "Stabilizer" and "Cyanuric Acid - xxx %" on the label - you want at least 90% strength). You will need about 2 lbs. Once you get CYA in your pool, it will protect the chlorine from sunlight destruction and the amount of bleach you need to add daily will be drastically reduced.

    You'll get your Recommended Levels from the article in Pool School. You can treat the pool using the BBB method (which is really easy) until you decide to go SWG- at which point you would add the salt, and increase the CYA level - see Water Balance for SWGs.

    Hope this helps.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    LatinMass's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    THANK YOU for all the posts - you guys are quick!
    I am ordering the test kit here in the next few minutes and was wondering if I need to order some salt strips as well???

    To answer some of your questions...
    I will test some of our tap water (which is well water) once I get the kit, which I am ordering this morning (TF-100). That way I will be sure to have everything I will need on hand. Of course, I will post the results here and wait for input from you all!

    It's not an intex pool, but not a permanant either. It is a metal frame pool with "Super Touchâ„¢ 3-ply laminated sidewalls" sold at Sam's Club. 18' X 48" We chose this one over spending thousands on a permanant above ground pool.

    I have not bought the SWG yet... I'll look into the intex Krystalclear as a cheaper alternative to the Aquatrol.

    I'll pick up the CYA at WalMart. I am waaaaay out in the woods and the closest pool store is at least an hour away, maybe more. Not sure if they even test water (one poster mentioned testing for metals in our well water). If this REALLY needs to be done BEFORE deciding to fill with well water, I can have my husband take some water with him when he goes to work and find a place to have it tested. What exactly are we looking for?

    Another question...
    I read on this site that you may need to shock your pool after a pool party... we will regularly have 9 or 10 people swimming in our pool (my husband and I and our 8 kids)... would this be considered a "pool party" size group??? Should I check the balance of the water more often? Should I make it a rule to have everyone shower/hose off before entering the pool - would this help?

    Thanks, again!
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    See my responses in bold.

    Quote Originally Posted by LatinMass
    THANK YOU for all the posts - you guys are quick!
    I am ordering the test kit here in the next few minutes and was wondering if I need to order some salt strips as well???
    Yes, this is a good idea.

    To answer some of your questions...
    I will test some of our tap water (which is well water) once I get the kit, which I am ordering this morning (TF-100). That way I will be sure to have everything I will need on hand. Of course, I will post the results here and wait for input from you all!
    We only need to see PH and TA for now.

    It's not an intex pool, but not a permanant either. It is a metal frame pool with "Super Touchâ„¢ 3-ply laminated sidewalls" sold at Sam's Club. 18' X 48" We chose this one over spending thousands on a permanant above ground pool.
    Same idea, no electricity while swimming!

    I have not bought the SWG yet... I'll look into the intex Krystalclear as a cheaper alternative to the Aquatrol.

    I'll pick up the CYA at WalMart. I am waaaaay out in the woods and the closest pool store is at least an hour away, maybe more. Not sure if they even test water (one poster mentioned testing for metals in our well water). If this REALLY needs to be done BEFORE deciding to fill with well water, I can have my husband take some water with him when he goes to work and find a place to have it tested. What exactly are we looking for?
    It's not required, but well water tends to have metals, perhaps a high iron content. You might want to add a metal sequesterant to prevent staining.

    Another question...
    I read on this site that you may need to shock your pool after a pool party...
    Only if the FC drops too low or there is an "accident" by non-potty trained individuals.

    we will regularly have 9 or 10 people swimming in our pool (my husband and I and our 8 kids)... would this be considered a "pool party" size group???
    Just run your FC slightly higher, like 1-2 ppm than the CYA chart indicates - until you "get to know" your pool and it's particular chlorine demand. You want the FC to remain above the min level for your CYA. So you'll have to figure thru trial and error what your best FC level/swg run time is for YOUR pool... every pool is unique in that respect.

    Should I check the balance of the water more often?
    Always good while getting to know your pool. Mainly FC and PH checks daily, while you are learning the routine.

    Should I make it a rule to have everyone shower/hose off before entering the pool - would this help?
    Showering first does help, but it's not always practical.

    In general, those little SWG's produce a lot of chlorine on small pools like yours. You may find you only need to run the SWG a few hours a day to amp up production. You'll get to know the demand, habits of your pool, it shouldn't take long.


    Thanks, again!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    LatinMass's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Does baking soda loose it's "potency" over time like bleach? I have a 12 lb bag but I didn't get it recently (a few years ago!). I used to add it to the wash when washing my cloth diapers (don't use them anymore). Could I still use this when the time comes, if necessary, or should I purchase FRESH stuff?! I also used to use borax when washing my cloth diapers but used that up for other stuff so I'll get some more to have on hand.
    Thanks!
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    I think I heard somewhere if you add a little vinegar to a small amount in a cup, it will fizz up if it's still good.

    Don't go shopping for supplies till you test your Tap. Your water could be too high in PH and TA and then you won't need baking soda OR borax.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    OK, I mentioned that I had a sand filter and pump given to us by a friend from their ag (permanant) when they moved. They were in good working order when given to us. I am wondering if they would be better than what came with our pool and if we can use them with our pool, and with a SWG. Our pool is an 18' X 48" metal frame, soft-sided 6,423 gal. I posted pics of the pump and filter below (if I did it correctly and you can actually SEE the pics!):









    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    If the pump and filter are in good working order, you may just want to change out the sand, but I feel that would be your best option
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Yeah, definitely ditch the pump and filter that come with the pool. They will be woefully undersized. I would use the pump and sand filter. The pump looks to be 3/4 HP, which is a good size for that size pool. It won't hog unnecessary amounts of electricity.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    LatinMass's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    FedEx just delivered my TF100 test kit! That WAS fast - maybe because it was only coming from NC to VA. Off to test my water.....
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    FedEx just delivered my TF100 test kit! That WAS fast
    The Elves are burnin' it up!!! Cha-ching!


    (My apologies.... that's kind of an inside joke that will mean nothing to those of you that have just joined this year. I will explain more some day but i have to write that post about 45 minutes into happy hour and I'm on call today )
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    hey, welcome to tfp... i wonder if we are neighbors? I'm in hampton roads area...
    proseries Metal frame, 26 x 52 -purchased, installing soon

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    LatinMass's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    OK, here are my results...
    pH is 7.5 (that's good!)
    TA is 160 (that's HIGH)

    From what I've read in pool school, the high TA could cause calcium buildup and other problems. I also read that when using a SWG the TA should be 60-80. I do plan on using a SWG so..... I guess I'll be attempting to drop the TA! Right? Once we get the pool set up and filled, that is. LOL

    BUT, on a positive note, the pH is good. I know that changes regularly, but at least we're starting out in the normal range with this one!

    I am SO new to all of this... PLEASE give me your thoughts, insight, comments, experience, etc!!!
    Thanks in advance!
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Quote Originally Posted by LatinMass
    OK, here are my results...
    pH is 7.5 (that's good!)
    TA is 160 (that's HIGH)

    From what I've read in pool school, the high TA could cause calcium buildup and other problems. I also read that when using a SWG the TA should be 60-80. I do plan on using a SWG so..... I guess I'll be attempting to drop the TA! Right? Once we get the pool set up and filled, that is. LOL

    BUT, on a positive note, the pH is good. I know that changes regularly, but at least we're starting out in the normal range with this one!

    I am SO new to all of this... PLEASE give me your thoughts, insight, comments, experience, etc!!!
    Thanks in advance!
    High TA causes the PH to drift up. High PH can cause calcium scaling.

    Once you get the pool filled and the other numbers are balanced, chlorine is holding, etc., all you need to do is monitor PH. Everytime you see the PH drift up to 7.8 or higher, simply lower it back down to 7.2 with dry acid/PH Down or Muratic Acid. The acid additions will lower the TA slowly, a little at a time and eventually it will drop into range. The Lowering TA article in Pool School tells you how to speed up the process, tis all.

    At least you know you won't need the Baking Soda or Borax.

    Pick up either Muratic Acid or Dry Acid/PH Down.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    LatinMass's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Thanks! You have been SO helpful!
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19
    LatinMass's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Does anyone know what the flow rate would be on the 3/4 hp pump pictured above? I cannot find it anywhere on the sticker. I want to get a swg that "requires a filter pump with a flow rate between 500- 4,000 Gallons per hour".
    Thanks!
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

  20. Back To Top    #20
    LatinMass's Avatar
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    Re: 1st time pool owner with 18' ag

    Another question...+
    I wanted to get a solar cover for my pool and in searching I found something called a "solar pill".
    Anyone have any experience/input on this? See ad below:

    SOLARPILL

    LIQUID SOLAR COVER

    LIQUID SOLAR BLANKET

    No more taking your solar cover on and off.

    NO MORE HASSLE!!!!!!

    Prevents Pool Water Evaporation and HEAT LOSS with an Invisible Layer of Non-Toxic, Biodegradable Film.
    Works like a conventional solar blanket, but without the hassle.
    EASY to USE.....Drop in the pool's skimmer.
    Patented Time-Release Delivery System for complete coverage.
    This product will not be affected by automatic pool cleaners.
    Works on all swimming pools....above ground and in ground.
    SOLARPILL can be used with all types of sanitizers, and is safe for all pool surfaces, and will not affect pool chemistry.
    SOLARPILL is saltwater compatible.
    The majority of daily heat loss is due to evaporation. SOLARPILL minimizes heat loss by forming an ultra-thin, invisible barrier on the surface of the water to reduce evaporation. Its patented delivery system gradually releases the formula into the filtration system to allow for optimum coverage.
    COVERAGE:
    One PILL treats a 12,000 gallon pool for up to one month or a 6,000 gallon pool for up to two months.
    Alyssa, 2nd year pool owner and mom to 8 lil' swimmers!
    18' X 48" Intex metal frame ag 6,423 gal (set up on concrete patio)
    3/4 hp Magnetek pump and 100# Hayward Pro sand filter
    Running an Intex Krystal Clear Deluxe SWG and using BBB.
    TF-100 Test Kit

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