Confusion over order to add chemicals


Jul 6, 2020
Beaufort, SC
Hi all, new owner of an old above ground pool finally set up after 7 weeks of challenges! I have been a spa owner for several years and use Nitro's method for getting the water balanced, never have any problems with it - cannot tell you how valuable this site has been.

So I filled the pool 2 days ago and immediately started adding dichlor - I couldn't get ahold of any CYA, so for now I'm using dichlor until I reach my desired CYA level then will go to pool bleach. Also adjusted pH to be within range.

I'm used to using the pool calculator and usually do things in the order of calcium hardness > alkalinity > pH for the spa. However, are things different in a pool? I know the pool school info says vinyl doesn't need to worry about CH but I've read some things that suggest keeping it around 200 is a good idea and we have EXTREMELY soft water (start out at about 25) so I do want to bring it up some. Do I do things in the same order as I would for the spa? And then since it's such a huge volume of water, how long do I wait before measuring to see if I've reached the level I want? 5500 gal is my best estimate for the pool based on depth and dimensions, but I haven't been able to find anything in the manuals that tell me how many gallons it is so I'm not 100% that my math is exact yet.


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Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
Verona, MO
I don’t have a spa but would imagine similar.
TA, CH no rush, get everything else in place first. Vinyl usually not a big deal unless have heater or SWG.
30 minutes after adding chemicals usually ok to test, except for salt and CYA.
Pool gallons = width X length X depth (in feet) X 7.5


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Hiya KMattson.... just wanted to holler out a hellooooo!

Old PoolMath web version is my fav way to determine quantities, but for those younger techy folks the TFP PoolMath on phones is cool, too,.

Maddie :flower:
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