First time opening new pool

krmcgough

Member
Jun 30, 2018
24
Connecticut
I had a new pool installed last September and am in central Connecticut so I didn't really get to use it much last year. My 2 kids are itching to get in and so this weekend I started the process of opening the pool and it's definitely the first time I've ever done it. The installer closed it down as a part of the contract last season so I'm an extreme novice here. I need help (looked for a guide but couldn't find one) getting this sucker opened up. Here's what I've done so far -

- removed/cleaned/put away cover
- removed 5 plugs and reinstalled eyes on jets
- added baskets back to skimmers, removing winterguards
- added filter back to hayward filter casing, tightened air release at top and drain at bottom
- turned electrical on for everything but heat pump
- manually skimmed any left over debris on pool surface (I get way too many leaves)
- backwashed and vacuumed pool
- added 6 lbs of premixed DE to skimmer basket with the pump on (read this was the way to go)
- added 3 lbs of BioGuard balance pak 100 to raise alkalinity levels (was reading below 40 ppm using test strips)

Now given this was installed in September and patio didn't go in until a bit later, there was a ton of dirt that ended up in the pool, which is why I started backwashing first to get rid of as much dirt as I could. My Dolphin is roaming around, but requires constant emptying because there is still a lot of dirt in the pool, but it's getting much better. With that said, my pool is really cloudy and I can't see the bottom (which I could last year). I'm sure it's a chemical thing, so I'm going to 'pool school' for that, but I wanted to run by my 'opening' procedure with more knowledge folks that might be willing to tell me where I missed the mark. Do I need to do anything with salt or my AutoPilot?

Thanks for any help you can be to this rookie!
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,397
Laughlin, NV
First step is to order a proper test kit. Guess strips are not accurate, reliable, or repeatable.

Order a TF-100
The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006-C. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want.
I also have the Speedstir. It makes testing much easier.

Order a K1766 salinity test kit too.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,260
Morris Cnty NJ
You can start with figuring out your pool volume and adding a ballpark dose of liquid chlorine to get your FC up to slam level. run your pump 24/7 and brush the pool a few times well and use your robot or cleaner you have and it will clear up fast while waiting for your kit. I'm in NJ and my pool was coated with green slime and couldn't see bottom in deep end Saturday morning. I have sparkling water by Sunday night doing this just ballparking my chemicals
 

krmcgough

Member
Jun 30, 2018
24
Connecticut
So I got my salinity test kit and ran the test - 10 drops = 2000 ppm if my math is correct. My understanding is that is a good readout and I don't need to do anything to my salt levels - is that right?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,397
Laughlin, NV
Sorry - do you have any of the manuals for the SWCG you have? Look it up on line?

The information you provided in your signature is not complete enough for me to determine what actual SWCG unit you have. AutoPilot makes a number of them.
 

krmcgough

Member
Jun 30, 2018
24
Connecticut
I have the Pool Pilot Digital - it tells me my salt is a 2600 PPM and to add 66 lbs of salt. Are these normally reliable (my salinity test kit showed only 2000 PPM, but I pulled water off the top of the pool for that test).
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,260
Morris Cnty NJ
Most are not too accurate at least my Hayward T15 isn't. I would check with your test kit again and confirm your numbers and add salt to reach the required amount maybe shooting a little low so you dont get a too much salt warning if that's possible
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,397
Laughlin, NV
The SWCG readout is the least accurate of all. If your SWCG read out says you need to do something, always confirm it with your K1766 salinity test. As you did.

Is the SWCG generating chlorine?

Be sure the pool is well mixed before taking any test samples.