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Thread: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Hi everyone, been reading here the past few weeks and gathering information. At the end of this week, I'll be moving to my new (to me) home that has a pool and spillover spa. It is an inground concrete pool, estimate about 10-15K gallons (maybe more), spa is about 500 gallons. It also has a waterslide that is built into an artificial rock that houses the pump, filter (sand), and electrical equipment down below. The pool has been drained as well as the spa, I made a deal on the contract, so I will be filling and starting up the pool myself. Is it a good idea to start up the pool using pool store shock and chlorine pucks, then switch to BBB when the CYA gets to where I want it? I don't have a SWG, chlorinator, or heater. Is there anything I should be careful of when starting this pool up? Sorry about all the questions, but I want to make sure I do this right, the first time
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Welcome to TFP where you will find lots of friendly people willing to help you. Congrats on your new pool and spa. Please post pics when you can, we love to see pics
    First I would start reading Pool School and become familiar with the chemistry. I know that I had no clue and relied on the pool stores until I found this forum
    Next I would invest in a proper test kit. The Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100. I am partial to the TF-100 because it has more testing chemicals.
    Other people more knowledgable that I will soon be chiming in
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
    Pics of our Spool ( Social Pool) being built Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Hi and welcome! Is your pool completely empty? If so then yes you will either need to use a form of chlorine with stabilizer or add cya seperately until your cya level is around 30-50. The best thing to do is to get one of the recommended test kits and test your fill water for calcium hardness (CH), total alkalinity (TA), and pH to see what you will need to balance the water.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Hi, yes the pool is empty, except for a small bit of nasty water that I'll drain off before I start filling. I'm trying to order a tf100 kit, just working out a small issue with the shipping to Guam. Is there a cheap testing method that will help get me going while I'm waiting for the tf100?
    Thanks for the replys, keep 'em coming, I need all the help I can get
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    I am not sure what you have available over there in Guam. Do you have a Wal-Mart or something similar?

    Because people do have pools over there, you are bound to find something that has a test kit of sorts. A simple HTH 6 way kit will help get you going at first until you work out the TF-100 situation.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    See if you can find CYA locally and purchase it seperately - that's likely going to be your least expensive route (and easiest/trouble free one).
    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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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    No walmart, but there are plenty of stores that sell pool products. I'm sure I can find CYA and a cheap test kit. I'll be filling the pool this weekend and want to be sure I'm all set up to do this the right way. Should I shock the pool as soon as it's filled, or just get the FC up to where it's stable overnight? I've read through the pool school, but I don't see anything about opening an existing pool with a complete fresh fill of water.
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    I think that since the pool is empty, the first thing you should do is a pressure test on all the lines, including the drain to verify integrity.

    Next, get the ugly water out. You'll be able to see if the drain's edge is firmly sealed. Given that you said its been empty for some time and that there is only a little water in the hopper, I would have expected the rainy season to have added a lot more water. If that was the case, where did the water go?

    If there are hydro static valves in the pool, replace them. This will help ensure leak free service. It would really be a bummer if they started leaking shortly after filling or even next year. Gaskets dry out and deteriorate over time.

    Test your water source before you fill, specifically looking for metals like copper or magnesium, calcium, and pH. Forwarned is fore armed.

    If everything is good, fill it up and balance it. If you want to shock it, go for it. It won't hurt and won't take long.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Doing what you can to insure the pool is in good mechanical condition before you fill it makes sense.

    Probably the best way to get your water chemistry off to a good start is to test your fill water (shipping test kit is about to be resolved) and post your results up here. Also, let us know the source for that water...i.e. is it a well? city water?

    You will probably need quite a bit of chlorine initially but I wouldn't run out and start buying stuff (I know it's tempting) until you develop a good plan. Do you know how did the previous owner chlorinated the pool?

    To calculate your chemistry accurately, you will need to get a more accurate assessment of how much water is in your pool. Let us know if you need help with that.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Thanks for the replys, I think the drain is probably ok, since there has been an increase in the level of the water in both the pool and the spa every time I go to check on the house. Are the hydrostatic valves under the main drain? How would I determine if I have them or not? I believe the previous owner used chlorine pucks in a floater. We do have city water, but I think it would be considered hard water, because quite a few people here have water softeners and the water leaves deposits in plumbing fixtures. The city water is not chlorinated here. I will try to get an accurate measurement of the pool so I can determine the volume. It is a freeform pool, and the spa is round so that should be easy enough to figure out.
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Often, a hydrostatic valve is located in the drain pot bottom. If the cover is in place, you can't see it. Drains are normally pulling from the side near the bottom of the pot. On the bottom, if you see a port that has a plug with a flat top, slightly raised with a gasket, that will be a hydrostatic valve. If the port has a plug with square knob, it's a plug.

    Floaters for an in-ground pool are not normally a sufficient delivery system. I prefer to see, if the customer really wants to use pucks, an off-line chlorinator like the Hayward CL220 and Pentair Rainbow 300. The Pentair Rainbow 320 in-line system also works very well.

    Getting your water tested before hand will tell you how hard it is, if there are metals, and if there is any alkalinity. Forewarned is fore-armed.

    Simply note the number on the water meter at the start and end for the fill. Subtracting a couple hundred of gallons/day for a family of 4 will give you a pretty close value to your pools size, unless you have a sprinkler system running.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Thanks for the replys. The pool has been cleaned, checked for hydrostatic valves, and the fill started! Went to the store and picked up and cheap test kit. It's a OTO chlorine test, and my results for the fill water are: FC=0.8ppm, CC=0.8ppm and ph=7.0. I've got a tf100 on the way, so I should have some more conclusive tests soon. I've got a sand filter, so should I change all the sand, or just open it up and see how nasty it is inside? I'm not sure of the model, but that sucker is BIG!!! Should I dump in a few bottles of bleach while it's filling, or should I wait untill it's filled? Another question... How would I go about starting up the filter and pump? I know I need to prime the pump, but should I open up the filter and stick a garden hose in it to fill with water?
    BTW...I believe my pool is built with concrete that is covered by plaster or something. How can I tell exactly what it is made of?

    Brian
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Hey,

    You're off to a good start. That you have detected chlorine (chloramines) indicates your filling from city water....that's good. You should have very few water quality issues. pH of 7.0 is just a tad low but not enough to worry about at this point.

    Adding a small jug of clorox every other day until you can test more accurately will only help you but I wouldn't call it mandatory.

    I would suggest you open up the filter and look at the sand. Clean off any obvious gunk from the top and make sure the sand is loose and evenly distributed. As long as it doesn't look horrible, I would use it.

    Once your pool is filled to 1/2 way up the skimmer, simply turn on the pump and see what happens. IG pools take a little while to prime but if you have had the pump on for more than two minutes and you still do not observe water in the pump strainer basket, turn the pump off and post back.

    Your pool is either plaster, fibreglass or vinyl lined. If it's hard like cement, it's plaster.....which I'm pretty sure it is.

    It is very important that you figure the gallons in your pool and post that info when you post test results. All your adjustments will be based on how many gallons you have.

    How much of Pool School have you read?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Thanks for the reply, I guess my pool is plaster then. I will be going over to the new house tomorrow and I'll see if I can find a measuring tape long enough so I can figure how many gallons this pool holds. I took a reading of the water meter before we started filling, so I'll have that in a few days, too. I've been reading pool school, about halfway through it, and I plan to finish reading over the weekend. There is some great info there. I read some other stuff before I found TFP, and I almost started to think I could maintain the pool using only trichlor pucks in a floater and test the pool only once a week
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    I would not add bleach until you can get the water circulating thru the pump....unless you can figure out a way to manually stir the water up...

    Edit - this really isn't as important since the surface is plaster....
    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: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Quote Originally Posted by guamguy
    I read some other stuff before I found TFP, and I almost started to think I could maintain the pool using only trichlor pucks in a floater and test the pool only once a week
    Hi Brian,

    We're glad that you only almost started to think that stuff!!

    When you have some time, post some pics of that new pool for us.

    You're doing a good job. Welcome to the forum
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
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    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    Ha ha, I almost started to think that stuff, but I found it hard to believe, so I dug a little deeper, and here I am! Stopped by the new house this morning to have a quick look, the pool is just under halfway filled (3 garden hoses in there), and some leaves and other junk. The realty company is going to have a pool company come out and clean the pool the way is should be. I've got a feeling the pool guy is going to add chemicals. Is it a good idea to let him get the pool going (not on my dime!), or should I call the realtor and have them just clean the junk out of the water? I'll post some pics of the pool and spa once everything looks presentable, hopefully in the next day or two! My kids are just about going crazy wanting to get in the pool, so hopefully I can get it sorted out soon
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    My personal choice would be to have them clean the pool only. That prevents anything from going into the pool that you really don't want or need.

    The other advantage is that if you do it yourself, you will quickly become familiar with the test procedures and how to add the appropriate stuff and get the precise results you want. I think it would really accelerate your learning curve and allow you to manage your pool from the "gitgo".
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    I agree with Dave, who knows WHAT they will throw in the pool....
    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: Fresh start at a new (to me) pool

    To prime your pump you (probably) just need to fill the pump strainer basket with water and put the lid back on. If the pump is above the water level of the pool you will only be able to fill the strainer basket until it starts to drain down the suction line back to the pool, but that should be enough water to seal the pump and let it self-prime. Like Dave said, if you aren't pumping after two minutes - turn off the pump and post back.
    27K gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP pump, 24" sand filter, Goldline Aqua Plus SWG

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