DIY Pool-- need help on start up

cteal

Bronze Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
64
Birmingham, AL
Hi guys! We are putting our own vinyl liner pool in. It is not ready for water yet but I'm trying to think ahead of what we will need to do at that time.

Once water is in, what do you recommend adding in the form of salt? Looking for cheapest route.

Will anything else need to be added? What other products or chemicals will I need on hand?

We are going to purchase the TF-100 test kit and Speed Stir that was recommended.

Thanks in advance!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,544
Laughlin, NV
What volume is your pool? Your salt cell may be undersized. Your salt cell size needs to be at least 2X your pool volume.

When you get your test kit test your fill water for pH, TA, and CH.

Read Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs

While filling, add 40 ppm of CYA using the sock method. I tie the sock(s) to a handle of a bucket and put one hose in the bucket with the socks to dissolve the CYA. You will add another 40 ppm CYA when your system is balanced.

Add and maintain 4 ppm FC in your water until things balance and you start your SWCG.

Test pH and keep your pH in the 7's.

Once things are settled and your water is above 60F, add the additional CYA and your salt. I use plain water softener salt.
Raise your FC using [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. Base your FC on your expected CYA.

Once the salt is in the water and circulated for a couple days, start your SWCG. Monitor your FC a couple times a day to get your SWCG set. As you go from spring to summer you will need to increase the amount of chlorine the SWCG creates each day. Typical loss of FC during the summer is 2-4 ppm.

Good luck!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,544
Laughlin, NV
Circupool offers the largest output residential SWCG. The RJ60. With that you would not have to run your pump and your SWCG at 100% nearly 24 hours per day as you will now with the 40K SWCG. During the peak of summer, even with the RJ60, you will be close to 16 hours per day but less on the shoulder months.

It does not appear you have automation so changing the SWCG is not a big deal. You will need timers for both the pump and SWCG.

Take care.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,544
Laughlin, NV
But you cannot automate both. And you need to have a way to insure that the flow splits to each.

With 2, you place one SWCG at a constant setting, and the second you ramp up and down using your automation, as required.

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And you would need to insure the non-automated SWCG turns off when the pump turns off. That should be possible with a relay in your automation, but I am not familiar with Aqua-Plus.
 

losgatosgtr

Member
Apr 17, 2017
16
Los Gatos, CA
Hello Mknauss,

My pool is rather large as well. I believe it is around 30,000 gallons if not slightly larger. I do not have a spa. After our pool remodel, happening this spring, I will have a pebble finish and I wish to add automation and a SWCG. I will also add solar water heating panels on my roof and I already have a Pentair Intelliflo VS 3HP pump supplied with 220 VAC. I am thinking of using Pentair automation like the easytouch PL4 and screenlogic.

Will the Circupool RJ60 work with the Pentair automation system?


I do like the fact that the RJ60 outputs more chlorine than the IC60.

Thanks,
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,544
Laughlin, NV
The Circupool will NOT work with Pentair automation.

The largest residential SWCG Pentair markets is the IC60.

Los Gatos I believe is near San Jose, close to the coast. If you do not have the high temperatures (day and night) like the Central Valley, you should be able to get away with an IC60. You might find you are running 12+ hours a day in July/August but with a VS pump you should be able to keep your electrical consumption low.
 

cteal

Bronze Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
64
Birmingham, AL
Hi there!
First- remember you are talking to a major newbie here. I have a couple of questions because we are getting so close.

1. When you say add 40ppm of CYA-- how many lbs of CYA is that? Or is there some calculation I will need to do to come up with the amount I need for my pool?
2. When I add the salt-- do I just use the guide on the back of the salt to tell me how many lbs to add?

Thanks bunches!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Hey newbie! :wave: Okay, here we go ....
1. When you say add 40ppm of CYA-- how many lbs of CYA is that? Or is there some calculation I will need to do to come up with the amount I need for my pool?
The easiest way to do this is to use the Poolmath Calculator (at top of web page and in my sig). You enter your pool size (volume) and your current CYA value (NOW) and desired target (GOAL) and it will tell you how much by volume or weight is needed to reach that goal.
2. When I add the salt-- do I just use the guide on the back of the salt to tell me how many lbs to add?
The Poolmath Calculator can also help you with that, as well as ALL TFP recommended chemicals. Take a little bit of time to get used to the calculator view, colors, rows, etc, and you'll be a pro in no time. The calculator is your friend. :)
 

cteal

Bronze Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
64
Birmingham, AL
Well Hello and thanks for the info. I have downloaded the app to my phone. Can I add my pool size and 0 for CYA to determine how much to add to start with?
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
Hi there!
First- remember you are talking to a major newbie here. I have a couple of questions because we are getting so close.

1. When you say add 40ppm of CYA-- how many lbs of CYA is that? Or is there some calculation I will need to do to come up with the amount I need for my pool?
2. When I add the salt-- do I just use the guide on the back of the salt to tell me how many lbs to add?
PoolMath is your friend. There is a link on top of each page.

In the orange box, put in your pool volume (38000 gallons) don't use the comma. In the CYA section (yellow rows) put your initial CYA on the left (zero for a new fill) and then put your desired value on the right. Further on the right is will give you the amount to add. In this case weight of the powder.

The same applies to the salt, use PoolMath (white rows). But you should test your water first. Some use strips, many like the Taylor kit (K-1766) better. The initial salt may have some salt in it. You will need to read your SWG manual to check the salt level your needs. Once you do the calc, add 75% of it and check the level to see how close you got.

edit: slow/distracted typer
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,758
Central California
As you've already encountered, knowing your pool's volume comes in handy for many things. Will your fill water be coming from a water source that is metered (like from your city, through a water meter near your curb or street)? Here's a way you can find out what your pool's volume is, very accurately.

Start with the pool as empty of water as possible. None if you can manage it.

Mark where you want your water level to end up with a piece of tape. This is usually half way up the skimmer opening, but other things might determine that as well. The point is, when the water is nearing where you want to stop, it's not always easy to tell where that is, either because of the reflection in the water, or the refraction of the water. A piece of tape is much easier to see.

Have everyone in your household take their showers, use the toilet, wash the dishes or clothes or whatever, before you start your fill. The idea is to use virtually no water during the entire fill. Be sure any automated irrigation system is shut down.

Go out to the street, find your meter, make note of the meter reading and/or take a picture of it.

Start your fill. You can use as many hoses as you want. With 38K to fill, that should take overnight. Start your fill late in the day, after shower time, and then go to dinner or a movie. Family night! Celebrate your new pool. Come home and go to bed. That would minimize the need to use any water. If anyone has to sneak in a toilet flush, just keep track of how many.

Once the fill is complete, go read and record the meter reading (take another picture), then lift the water use embargo!!

Calculate the difference between the two meter readings, subtract a gallon or two for every flush you snuck in there, and voila! You'll have a very accurate number for pool water volume, which will help you with all your pool water chemistry adjustments, equipment adjustments, programming, purchases, etc.

Some meters are in gallons, others are in units. You'll need to know which and do the proper math.

The accuracy of the result will be based on how well you limited water use during the fill, and the water meter itself (typically accurate to about 1.5%). In your case ±500 gallons or so, plenty accurate enough for figuring out which SWG to buy, or how much chlorine, or CYA, or salt to add!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,758
Central California
Someone just pointed out to me:

At 10gpm, it will take 63 hours to fill a 38k gallon pool.

38,000 / 10gpm = 3,800 minutes
3,8000 min / 60 = 63.3 hours = 2.6 days

20 gpm = 31.6 hours still 1.3 days
With all my hoses running, my 12,300 G pool took about 10 hours. So for me, 38K would have taken about 30 hours. Personally, I could go a day without a shower and just keep track of flushes. With a ±500 gallon accuracy rate, you can see that the odd tooth brushing or dish rinse is not going to greatly impact your water fill result. But if you have a house full of teenage girls, all bets are off!! ;)

So if you still want to give the "meter fill" a try, you can take an intermediate meter reading, say after one hour, then roughly calculate how long your fill is actually going to take. You can make up your mind at that point if it's worth the trouble or not.

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An alternate method, that won't impact your daily use, is to go out and read the meter every day at the same time for some number of days before you fill. Then you can calculate your average daily use, and subtract that from the number you get for the pool fill. If your daily use is fairly consistent, you'll still end up with a good number for your pool...

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You could even calculate your daily use from a water bill or two. It's automatic irrigation that can throw a wrench into these guess-timates...