First time pool owner, ?s about startup and chemicals

vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Hi All. I am so happy that I found this site as I will be having my first pool installed in about a month. Thanks for all of the great info and forum conversations. I read through the Pool School sections and am a bit overwhelmed about the chemicals and testing. Most of that is because I am color blind and dreading trying to decipher the test result colors...my wife and kids will have to help with that :)

The pool package comes with a bunch of chemicals and I was hoping someone could help me determine what I can keep (are they actually some of these: Recommended Pool Chemicals) and which ones I should not keep. Here is the list:
Chlorine "Power Gran" 10lbs - I already know that I need to get LC but is this usable to start with or should I avoid it?

Water Conditioner 1.75lb
Total Alkalinity 10lbs
Greenaway 1.75lbs - Its says "Green" so this is a no go according to the video, no Green or Yellow potions
PH Up 10lbs
PH Down 3lbs
Algaecide "Super" - This is most likely a no go as well

Once we get through this question, I also have others around how much LC should I stock up on and what/how much chemicals to add to the newly filled pool.

Thanks in advance for all of your help with this.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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You can probably keep everything except for the algaecide "Super" and the Greenaway. The other products are not "ideal" but can work since you paid fro them with the pool. But in the future, keep it simple:
- Liquid chlorine/regular bleach for FC and no side effects.
- You may need some more stabilizer (for CYA); not sure if that conditioner is enough
- Baking soda if you ever need to increase TA
- Muriatic acid as opposed to the dry acid products to lower pH

I wouldn't go out and buy a bunch of anything though until you test you water with a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C test kit first. On day one of fill, have some liquid chlorine/bleach handy. Remember that chlorine Powder they are giving you has either stabilizer in it or calcium, so check the ingredients on that one.

Welcome to TFP! :wave:
 

vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Hi Texas Slash, thanks for the reply and guidance. I hope to be able to "return" the stuff I don't need.

I am currently on the hunt for some LC. I agree with you about stocking up on stuff before I know what I need. With limited supplies and not many stores open right now, I do want to have enough on hand to "start up" the pool and keep it going for a couple of weeks - before having to go out into the world again for more.
With that, how many gallons of bleach/LC is a good number for startup and a couple of weeks.

Sorry for having a similar question again but I am a bit of a planner as well as apprehensive about having to go to stores often in the current times.

Thanks again.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
572
New York
Hi Texas Slash, thanks for the reply and guidance. I hope to be able to "return" the stuff I don't need.

I am currently on the hunt for some LC. I agree with you about stocking up on stuff before I know what I need. With limited supplies and not many stores open right now, I do want to have enough on hand to "start up" the pool and keep it going for a couple of weeks - before having to go out into the world again for more.
With that, how many gallons of bleach/LC is a good number for startup and a couple of weeks.

Sorry for having a similar question again but I am a bit of a planner as well as apprehensive about having to go to stores often in the current times.

Thanks again.
Hi. For LC I like to buy from Lowe's. I used to buy bleach but in my local stores they have stopped putting the concentration on the bottle (I'm sure lowering the concentration). I was getting ShopRite 8.25% until they eliminated the conc. Lowe's is 10% and $4 per jug ($1 more than I was paying for bleach). I like having less jugs to recycle overall too. If you'll be using LC all summer get a lot b/c Lowe's will run out early and likely not restock. It wouldn't be unreasonable to get 15 (and I say def buy it now if you can). That would get you started up and then allow for 1 per week. I'm at 21k gallons and when I was solely on LC I was adding 64 oz / day (half jug). So you're about 1/3 of the gallons as me. Worst case scenario you could pick up a few jugs at the pool store late in the season if you couldn't get bleach in the store. Keep in mind that even though a pool store is more money it's 12.5% concentration and it's less jugs to recycle so it's not the end of the world to buy from them, it's just not my 1st choice due to price. Good luck!
-chris
 
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duraleigh

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Welcome to the forum :wave:

Your best path would be to return the entire package if they will give you any credit for it.

Next, order a test kit. Either the TFTestkits TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006C. None of that chemistry will mean anything to you if you can't test accurately so you know what and how much to add. The test kit will be the single most important investment you will make in your pool water management.

Stay out of the Pool Store! As you read more and more here, you will find those words over and over. Unless you are going to pay someone to manage your pool, learn how to perform and TRUST your own testing. We'll help you with all of it.

Then, Please read "The "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That'll get you away from all those cutesy names of that chemistry and will teach you exactly what that stuff is and why or why not you need it.

Last, I wouldn't purchase ANY chemistry until you can perform a complete set of tests and post them up here. You won't know how much or what to buy until you make your first tests.
 

vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Thanks Nectorologist. I will be hitting off Lowes and HD early tomorrow morning...all locations report low or no stock but I am hoping for a miracle :)

Thanks Duraleigh. A TF-100 is in the mail and I continue to read through all of the Pool School topics.

Really appreciate everyone help.
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
378
Michigan
vdubin, not sure where you are at, but near me Ollie's, Menard's and Family Farm and Home are all sources of LC for me. I usually end up paying about $3/gallon, maybe $3.50.

Muriatic acid can usually be found at Tractor Supply Company, Family Farm and Home, or even at Walmart, depending on location.

Great job on getting a real test kit! The posters that follow that advice NEVER regret it. The guess strips are terrible. And the OTO kits available in stores aren't much better (though some will at least come with a CYA test).

The advice here is always outstanding! These are knowledgeable folks that know what they are talking about. Unlike the college kid working part-time at Leslie's! The first year I owned my pool (cam with the house) I hated it. Last year I found TFP and my pool ownership was unbelievably rewarding! My water was PERFECT all summer.
 

duraleigh

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Great start with the TF-100. I would suggest you test your fill water when the kit comes in. It'll give you some practice with the kit and give you a preview of what to expect when you fill the pool. Post the results here in this thread.

Once again, Please read "The "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. Ask all the questions you want. Hundreds online to help you anytime!
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
378
Michigan
vdubin, not sure where you are at, but near me Ollie's, Menard's and Family Farm and Home are all sources of LC for me. I usually end up paying about $3/gallon, maybe $3.50.

Muriatic acid can usually be found at Tractor Supply Company, Family Farm and Home, or even at Walmart, depending on location.

Great job on getting a real test kit! The posters that follow that advice NEVER regret it. The guess strips are terrible. And the OTO kits available in stores aren't much better (though some will at least come with a CYA test).

The advice here is always outstanding! These are knowledgeable folks that know what they are talking about. Unlike the college kid working part-time at Leslie's! The first year I owned my pool (cam with the house) I hated it. Last year I found TFP and my pool ownership was unbelievably rewarding! My water was PERFECT all summer.
Just got the new Ace Hardware ad. Advertising LC at $2.99/gallon.
 

vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Thanks everyone.

Hey LoneWolfArcher. Thanks for the call out to Ace. My local ad is $4 per gallon but I purchased via their web site for curbside pickup and it was $3 per gallon. Great! Thanks again.

I will let everyone know when I get my TF-100 to test the fill water and post the results.

Have a great memorial day weekend. I hope you get a chance to take a dip in your pools.
 
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vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Hi Everyone,

I received the TF-100 kit and tested my fill water yesterday, here are the numbers:

PH = 7.2
CL = 1
FC = 2
CC = .5
TC = 2.5
CH = 25
TA = 120
CYA = 0

I entered all of that into PoolMath and get:
Red exclamations marks: TA, CYA are outside the recommended range
Blue exclamation marks: pH, CH are outside of ideal range
CH: Add 19lbs of Calcium Chloride to put CH at 300
CYA: Add 2lbs 13oz of Dry Stabilizer to put CYA at 45
TA: To lower TA, reduce PH to 7.0-7.2 then aerate to increase PH
PH: Add 2lbs 6oz of Borax to raise PH to 7.6

Do I need to worry about CH? Recommended range is 50 - 550, what the common number around here for my pool type?

I don't really understand what it wants me to do about TA and PH. The steps for TA tell me to lower the PH but the steps for PH tell me to raise it. I read this but am still a little confused and need help identifying a viable way of aerating the water: Lower Total Alkalinity - Trouble Free Pool Can you help me out with this?

Thanks
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,539
Laughlin, NV
All you need is CYA and chlorine. The CH does not matter as you have vinyl pool. The pH will rise naturally. The TA will fall as you keep the pH in the 7's using acid, when necessary.

Get 30 ppm worth of CYA granules dissolving using the sock method.

Add 5 ppm FC of liquid chlorine. Test each day and return your FC to 5 or 6 ppm each day.
 

vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Awesome! That straight forward "do this" is that I needed. Thanks mknauss and LoneWolfArcher.

For daily testing, the TF-100 instructions say to only do PH and CL with the included Taylor kit in the small Blue Box. I am under the impression that I need to test FC daily along with PH and not CL, is that correct? Is knowing CL helpful at all?
 

duraleigh

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when you are new, you should first do a complete set of test results and then post them in this thread like this using these abbreviations

FC
CC
pH
TA
CYA

Next, responders will comment on results and help you with the next steps.

You will get to a point where you will only do the pH and FC daily but you are not there quite yet.
 

vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Hi,

After many unexpected events causing delays, the pool is finally built, full of water and I just turned on the filter about an hour ago. The fam is so excited!!!

I think my pump is way overboard for what I need for this pool, vortex in the skimmer for a while, raised the water level to 3/4 up on the skimmer, now very little vortex but the skimmer door stays flat and the water is moving pretty fast around the pool. I'm also getting somewhat of a vortex at the return (Aqualuminator) re: the water dips a bit at that location. I guess these aren't bad things but most likely a huge waste of electricity...thats what I get for going with what the pool store recommended before finding this site.

OK, for the water test....here are my results:

FC = .5
CC = 0
pH = 7.2
TA = 60
CYA = 0

I put those numbers into PoolMath and added enough CYA to get to 30 and LC to get FC to 5. I did not add anything to raise the pH per the guidance above.

I will run the filter 24/7 until the CYA is fully dissolved.

Am I on the right track? Anything else I should be doing/not doing?

Thanks again for everyone's help.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,421
NY
Hey Vdubs !!

I will run the filter 24/7 until the CYA is fully dissolved.
Great job. And with everything else too. Keep tabs on the FC until the CYA come up. With no CYA (or very little as it first starts to dissolve), the sun can burn off the chlorine in a matter of minutes. Not a problem tonight, but you'll want to test a few times tomorrow. After that it should be closer to normal.
 

vdubin71

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2020
25
Long Island, NY
Thanks Newdude! I am super siked to get this going...

The kids enjoyed the pool all day today, I took a dip but 70 degree water was a bit cold for me :)

I just tested the water again, here are the results:

FC = 3.5
CC = .5
pH = 7.2
TA = 50
CYA = 20 (you could hardly see the dot with a fully filled cylinder so I called it 20)

I put this into PoolMath and will add enough LC to get to 5 and CYA to get to 30. Should I still ignore pH and let it come up on its own or add some Sodium Carbonate to slowly bring it up to a target of 7.6? Also, should I worry about bringing TA up a bit?

This is more fun than I expected...I feel like a scientist :)

Thanks everyone.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,421
NY
Should I still ignore pH and let it come up on its own or add some Sodium Carbonate to slowly bring it up to a target of 7.6? Also, should I worry about bringing TA up a bit?
They are both in range, albeit on the lower end of the scale. Patience will probably settle both. The TA will settle where it wants to be at some point. Enlist the kids for help with 'science' tomorrow and have them enjoy themselves all day. The splashing will help raise the PH.

*side effects may include having to 'watch this'