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Thread: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

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    Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    Hi all!

    I’ve read the TFP pool school many times and have found it very informative, thank you for providing that! ����

    It’s in my signature as well, I have a 19,000 gallon IG pebble pool and spa that was just built Feb 1, 2018. Unfortunately, my builder abandoned partway through our build and I had to manage the rest of construction to get it done, and now I’m stuck with figuring out start up.
    How much acid should I expect to add to a new 19,000 gallon pool? How often are you supposed to add MA? At first, I’ve been testing every day, now every other day to check values and then adding whatever is needed.
    My question is will it be an ongoing task to add MA every few days to maintain the pH? Will that eventually stay in range and by when should that happen? It’s been a month since I started up the chemicals with bleach, CYA and MA.
    I’ve got the following for readings:
    pH:7.5
    FCl: 2-4ppm
    CH: 210
    CYA: 35
    My next question is when is it ok to start swimming in the pool??? Is there a check list of what the pool readings should be before it’s ok to open the pool for swimming. I’m in Houston, TX.
    Thank you for any help and guidance you can provide ����.
    19,000 gallon free-form, IG gunite mini-pebble pool and spa; cartridge filter; Hayward 400F DN, SP 3202VSP, C 7030; brand new pool 2/1/2018, Houston, TX; using Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD tests.

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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    I know little about starting up a plaster pool so I would recommend you read this article if you haven't already. Pool School - Start-up New Plaster

    Typically the start up process is 30 days then you are free to go swimming. The pool is safe to swim when the pH is in the 7's, there is enough chlorine based on your CYA and you can see the bottom of the pool.
    20'x48' 40,000 gal. Vinyl, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Sta-Rite PLM300 System 2 Cartridge Filter, and a Pentair Mastertemp 250 heater all controlled by Pentair Easy Touch with Screen Logic. Dolphin Premier pool attendant.
    I've got iron stained well water. TF-100 and Speed Stir, Lamotte 3017-G for Borates

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    Lis,

    Welcome to TFP... a great place to find the answers to all your new pool questions...

    AftonJeeper has you covered, but I would add... When the water temperature does not freeze parts of your body off...

    Most people like their pool water in the low 80's.. Not sure about your water temp, but mine is in the middle 50's and for me, way too cold for swimming.

    Not sure how you are chlorinating your pool, but your FC is on the low side... with a CYA of 40 (35 rounded up to 40) your very absolute minimum FC level should be 3 and you should try and keep it at 5 or slightly higher. This is not much of an issue when the water is cold, but as it warms up it will be.. Once you let algae start to grow it is much harder to clean up.

    Adding MA in a new pool is pretty normal... The newness often takes several months to wear off.. pH is influenced by how you chlorinate and your Total Alkalinity (TA) level. I see that you did not list your TA above... It is important to know when having pH issues.

    How are you currently testing your water??

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    I’ve been testing the water with Leslie’s basic pool care DPD and bringing the sample water in to the store to get it tested.
    The TA is 120.
    Is there a better alternative???
    My pool water temp says it’s 71F, but since we’re Canadian, that might be ok.
    19,000 gallon free-form, IG gunite mini-pebble pool and spa; cartridge filter; Hayward 400F DN, SP 3202VSP, C 7030; brand new pool 2/1/2018, Houston, TX; using Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD tests.

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    jeffchap's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    We advocate testing your own water as opposed to pool store testing, as it is notoriously unreliable. But I understand it can be expensive to obtain a proper test kit in Canada.

    MA is the preferred method of lowering your pH, as the solid forms of pH Down contain minerals that you don't want in your pool. Just pour it slowly in front of a return, and I suggest wearing eye protection and rubber gloves, as it is nasty stuff. You also want to avoid breathing the fumes, so stay upwind as much as possible.

    As the owner of an SWG, it's not unusual for me to have to add a gallon of MA every week or two to keep my pH in range. The action of an SWG tends to cause pH to rise, as do my water features (fountain and waterfall). That's just part of my normal pool maintenance.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
    Jandy Stealth pump/CL340 cartridge filter
    Pentair IC40 SWG
    Pentair MasterTemp 250HD heater
    Jandy AquaLink RS automation

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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis010 View Post
    My pool water temp says it’s 71F, but since we’re Canadian, that might be ok.
    Yes you may be fine at 71, I know when I was younger the lakes in upper MN were plenty warm for me.

    You will want to pick up a quality test kit. I like the TF-100 from tftestkits.net, others use the Taylor K-2006c. Either way get yourself a speed stir. I don't know how I managed without it.
    20'x48' 40,000 gal. Vinyl, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Sta-Rite PLM300 System 2 Cartridge Filter, and a Pentair Mastertemp 250 heater all controlled by Pentair Easy Touch with Screen Logic. Dolphin Premier pool attendant.
    I've got iron stained well water. TF-100 and Speed Stir, Lamotte 3017-G for Borates

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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by AftonJeeper View Post
    Yes you may be fine at 71, I know when I was younger the lakes in upper MN were plenty warm for me.

    You will want to pick up a quality test kit. I like the TF-100 from tftestkits.net, others use the Taylor K-2006c. Either way get yourself a speed stir. I don't know how I managed without it.
    What are the differences between TF-100 and Taylor K-2006??? I had ordered the latter set a couple weeks ago, but it came with expired reagents so I’m trying to see whether I should go get something else or use the expired products???
    19,000 gallon free-form, IG gunite mini-pebble pool and spa; cartridge filter; Hayward 400F DN, SP 3202VSP, C 7030; brand new pool 2/1/2018, Houston, TX; using Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD tests.

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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    The K-2006 is the smaller version of the K-2006c, you get more bang for your buck with the "c". I would hope they would take it back if the reagents are expired.

    Take a look at this: Pool School - Test Kits Compared
    20'x48' 40,000 gal. Vinyl, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Sta-Rite PLM300 System 2 Cartridge Filter, and a Pentair Mastertemp 250 heater all controlled by Pentair Easy Touch with Screen Logic. Dolphin Premier pool attendant.
    I've got iron stained well water. TF-100 and Speed Stir, Lamotte 3017-G for Borates

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    If you're still within the break-in period, I would use a chlorine floater filled with trichlor to hold your FC at a more constant level and only use chlorinating liquid sparingly. The reason being is that while your plaster is curing, it needs A LOT of acid to keep the pH in check. Trichlor is acidic and so it adds acid, chlorine and CYA to the water, all things your pool needs. Don't worry about jacking up your CYA levels as you are going to need your CYA to be at 60ppm or above for a pool in Texas. The trichlor pucks in the floater will help you to maintain a more consistent FC which is important during start up.

    And, against the advice already given (I'm a bit of a contrarian), an FC of 2-3ppm is fine for the first 30 days. You don't want high FC during startup as you do not want to bleach the plaster color (assuming it isn't just plain white plaster). You're not in danger of an algae bloom during these colder winter temps.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    Thank you to everyone who contributed!!!
    I am slowly feeling less overwhelmed trying to manage this new pool of ours.
    I definitely still have questions.
    Is it typical for the pH to wander as much as it does??? My TA was 160, it’s now around 120.
    I’m still finding that my pH sways from 7.5-8 within a couple of days. Will this be a constant parameter to monitor then or is there a break once it hits a more narrow range?

    - - - Updated - - -

    You guys are AWESOME!!!
    19,000 gallon free-form, IG gunite mini-pebble pool and spa; cartridge filter; Hayward 400F DN, SP 3202VSP, C 7030; brand new pool 2/1/2018, Houston, TX; using Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD tests.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    Right now your pool water has very high alkalinity and it needs to be that way while the plaster cures. TA drives pH so the higher the TA the more likely you will get rising pH. Once you get past the break in period you can start to lower TA. Aim for the lower value of 80ppm TA and see how your pH reacts. Pool water is over-carbonated relative to atmospheric CO2 levels and so it is always outgassing CO2. That outgassing process is what causes your pH to constantly rise. However, alkalinity is absolutely necessary for pool water because, without a buffer, the pH could swing around wildly and/or crash and that would be bad for equipment and plaster surfaces. So you're basically working with a trade-off - keep some level of alkalinity in the water to protect your pool (and yourself) and adjust it so as to minimize the frequency of acid additions as much as possible. New pools always need a lot of acid in the first year or so as the plaster cures so just keep MA on hand and use as-needed.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Brand new pool start up; any helpful insights appreciated

    Looks like you are in good hands. Let us know when you have a new question as I KNOW there will be many more to come! We love to teach and help!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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