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Thread: 1st Time Starting Up

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Mike S
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    1st Time Starting Up

    I bought a house last September with a 25,000 gallon inground plaster pool. We got to use it for a few weeks, before we had someone close it for us. I've spent a good amount of time reading through this site and decided that I would open up the pool myself this year. I pulled out the DE grids last week and hosed them off, replaced a crack manifold on the DE filter, and installed a booster pump for a polaris 280 cleaner. I pulled the safety cover off two days ago and found a pretty green pool. I can see the bottom in deep end, but it is definitely green. The cover was old and had some holes in it. In addition we had some pretty sizeable conifers blow over right next to the pool this winter and I just had the remainder of the row taken down. Long story short I ended up with a fair amount of tree debris in the pool.

    Last night I skimmed all the debris off the surface, pulled all the winter plugs, and put back in the drain plugs on the pump and filter. I had planned on starting to vacuum the bottom of the pool out the waste line before adding DE to the filter and running it. Unfortunately I was met with a pump that just hummed. Thankfully a few minutes searching this board led me to believe that it might just be the starter capacitor. I pulled the capacitor and tested it and got zero resistance, so I am trying to hunt one down today in hopes of getting the pool circulating tonight and shocking this weekend after vacuuming.

    I believe you should normally circulate the pool for a while before testing, but I wanted to get a rough idea of what I had. I was particularly interested in the CYA since the previous owner had used trichlor pucks in a doser and indicated that he never tested his water. This is what i got using the TF1000 test kit:

    CYA 60
    pH 8.2
    Total Alkalinity 180
    Calcium 330
    Total Chlorine 0 (didn't bother to run FC based on this)

    Looking at the recommended levels it seems the CYA isn't too bad. I am in NJ and the gets sun pretty much all day. I am guessing that this will drift down as I add water over the summer?

    pH and alkalinity appear to be high. It looks like I will need to drop the pH and then aerate and maybe repeat that process to get the pH down to around 7.5 and the alkalinity in the 70 to 90 range.

    I plan on testing again after I get everything running for a few hours, but assuming the numbers stay the same should I shock or address the ph/alkalinity issue first?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    Don't trust test results when the pump hasn't been on in a long time.

    Assuming your final numbers turn out the same, you should get the PH into range first, before shocking. I would lower the PH to between 7.2 and 7.4, though there is no need to hit an exact target before shocking, just be sure to get it down to between 7.0 and 7.8. TA is best left alone till after the pool is cleaned up.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mike S
    Guest

    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    Thanks for the help. MNy local pool store ordered me a capacitor. I should be able to pick it up tomorrow along with some chlorine and get everything circulating. Hopefully I can test tomorrow night, adjust the pH, and then start shocking and vacuuming and scrubbing Sunday morning .

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mike S
    Guest

    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    Well it wasn't the capacitor. I put a new one in and after a few seconds it kicked off. I pulled the pump apart and it seems to be seized up and I couldn't get it freed. The pump was about 20 years old and according to the prior owners records, it seems like every year they had been putting $100 to $200 into it. I decided to bite the bullet and just get a new pump. I got it hooked up and running late yesterday afternoon. the new pump is much quieter than the old one. Maybe the bearings had been going on it.

    I spent some time vacuuming to the waste line and then added D.E. to the filter. The pool had turned darker green and I could barely see the bottom in the deep end. After a few hours of running the filter it looks much better. After circulating the water for 12 hours my numbers are:

    pH 8.2
    CYA around 60 to 70
    Alkalinity 130
    Calcium 320

    I added 64 ozs. of 31% muriatic acid and am going to check the pH again in a few hours. Hopefully I can start to shock this morning and finish setting up the Polaris pool cleaner and let it go to work.

    The CYA seemed to be a little bit different, but I measured it this time inside in a room that isn't very bright. I am guessing that lighting can make a difference with that test?

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    Yes, indoor lighting tends to make the CYA test read higher than actual.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mike S
    Guest

    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    Thanks, I've done it twice outside this morning and it was 70 both times, so it sounds like that is my number.

    Either the pH drifted back up or I misread it earlier this morning, but it is back up to 8.2. I just added 64 ozs of 31% muriatic acid.

    I've also test free chlorine and combined chlorine in past four hours. Both times the free chlorine was 24. I didn't have any combined chlorine during the 1st test, but I did get 0.5 last time. Is that normal? My water was green yesterday and now is clear.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    All of that is fairly normal. The PH will tend to drift up because your TA is a little high. Any time PH goes above 7.8, just lower it back down to between 7.2 and 7.5.

    It is common enough for the CC level to wander around between 0 and 0.5, neither of which is a problem.

    It sounds like you have things almost completely under control.
    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

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mike S
    Guest

    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    Knock on wood besides the issue with the pump, it has been going pretty well. I added another 96 oz. of 12.5% bleach late this afternoon after the free chlorine level dropped to around 24. I just tested again and it is back to 28. My combined chlorine has been 0.0 other than a blip or two when it went to 0.5. The bottom is clean as is the water. Is it safe to say that shocking is done if my morning test has the free chlorine around the same level and the combined chlorine less than 0.5?

    This site has been fantastic. I appreciate the help. I can't imagine paying anyone to do this.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Time Starting Up

    You are done shocking when your FC holds overnight (1ppm or less lost)
    and your CC is .5 or less.
    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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